This a a Re-Post.

 

It may seem strange, but it is nevertheless true that up until ten years ago scientists had no idea of just how the human brain and nervous system worked “purposely” or to achieve a goal. They knew what happened from having made long and meticulous observations. But no single theory of underlying principles tied all these phenomena together into a concept that made sense. R.W. Gerard, writing in Scientific Monthly in June, 1946, on the brain and imagination, stated that it was sad but true that most of our understanding of the mind would remain as valid and useful if, for all we knew, the cranium were stuffed with cotton wadding. However, when man himself set out to build an “electronic brain”, and to construct goal-striving mechanisms of his own, he had to discover and utilize certain basic principles. Having discovered them, these scientists began to ask themselves: Could this be the way that the human brain worked also? Could it be that in making man, our Creator had provided us with a servo-mechanism more marvelous and wonderful than any electronic brain or guidance system ever dreamed of by man, bur operating according to the same basic principles? In the opinion of famous Cybernetic scientists like Dr. Norbert Weiner, Dr. John von Newmann, and others, the answer was an unqualified “yes”.

Your Built-in Guidance System

Every living thing has a built-in guidance system or goal-striving device, put there by its Creator to help it achieve its goal — which is, in broad terms — to “live”. In the simpler forms of life the goal “to live” simply means physical survival for both the individual and the species. The built-in mechanism in animals is limited to finding food and shelter, avoiding or overcoming enemies and hazards, and procreation to insure the survival of the species.

In man, the goal “to live” means more than mere survival. For an animal to “live” simply means that certain physical needs must be met. Man has certain emotional and spiritual needs which animals do not have. Consequently for man to “live” encompasses more than physical and survival and procreation of the specie. It requires certain emotional and spiritual satisfaction as well. Man’s built in “Success Mechanism” also is much broader in scope than an animal’s. In addition to helping man avoid or overcome danger, and the “sexual instinct” which helps keep the race alive, the Success Mechanism in man can help him get answers to problems, invent, write poetry, run a business, sell merchandise, explore new horizons in science, attain more peace of mind, develop a better personality, or achieve success in any other activity which is intimately tied in to his “living” or makes for a fuller life.

The Success “Instinct”

A squirrel does not have to be taught how to gather nuts. Nor does it need to learn that it should store them for winter. A squirrel born in the spring has never experienced winter. Yet in the fall of the year it can be observed busily storing nuts to be eaten during the winter months when there will be no food to be gathered. A bird does not need to take lessons in nest-building.

Nor does it need to take courses in navigation. Yet birds do navigate thousands of miles, sometimes over open sea. They have no newspapers or TV to give them weather reports, no books written by explorer or pioneer birds to map out for them the warm areas of the earth. Nonetheless the bird “knows” when cold weather is imminent and the exact location of a warm climate even though it may be thousands of miles away.

In attempting to explain such things we usually say that animals have certain “instincts” which guide them. Analyze all such instincts and you will find they assist the animal to successfully cope with its environment. In short, animals have a “success instinct”. We often overlook the fact that man too has a success instinct, much more marvelous and much more complex than that of any animals. Our Creator did not short-change man. On the other hand, man was especially blessed in this regard.

Animals cannot select their goals. Their goals (self-preservation and procreation) are pre-set, so to speak. And their success mechanism is limited to these built-in goal-images, which we call “instincts”. Man, on the other hand, has something animals haven’t — Creative Imagination. Thus man of all creatures is more than a creature, he is also a creator. With his imagination he can formulate a variety of goals. Man alone can direct his Success Mechanism by the use of imagination, or imaging ability. We often think of “Creative Imagination” as applying only to poets, inventors, and the like. But imagination is creative in everything we do. Although they did not understand why, or how imagination sets our creative mechanism into action, serious thinkers of all ages, as well as hardheaded “practical” men, have recognized the fact and made use of it.

“Imagination rules the world,” said Glenn Clark. “The faculty of imagination is the great spring of human activity, and the principal source of human improvement … Destroy this faculty, and the condition of man will become as stationary as that of the brutes,” said Dugold Stewart, the famous Scottish philosopher. “You can imagine your future,” says Henry J. Kaiser, who attributes much of his success in business to the constructive, positive use of creative imagination.

How you’re Success Mechanism Works

“You” are not a machine. But new discoveries in the science of Cybernetics all point to the conclusion that your physical brain and nervous system make up a servo-mechanism which “You” use, and which operates very much like an electronic computer, and a mechanical goal-seeking device. Your brain and nervous system constitute a goal-striving mechanism which operates automatically to achieve a certain goal, very much as a self-aiming torpedo or missile seeks out its target and steers its way to it. Your built-in servo-mechanism functions both as a “guidance system” to automatically steer you in the right direction to achieve certain goals, or make correct responses to environment, and also as an “electronic brain” which can function automatically to solve problems, give you needed answers, and provide new ideas or “inspirations”.

The human brain possesses the attributes of both the analogue and the digital computer. The word “Cybernetics” comes from a Greek word which means literally, “the steersman”. Servomechanisms are so constructed that they automatically “steer” their way to a goal, target, or “answer”.

“Psycho-Cybernetics” — A New Concept Of How Your Brain Works

When we conceive of the human brain and nervous system as a form of servo-mechanism, operating in accordance with Cybernetic principles, we gain a new insight into the why and wherefore of human behavior.

I choose to call this new concept “Psycho-Cybernetics”: the principles of Cybernetics as applied to the human brain.

I must repeat. Psycho-Cybernetics does not say that man is a machine. Rather, it says that man has a machine which he uses. Let us examine some of the similarities between mechanical servomechanisms and the human brain:

The Two General Types Of Servo-Mechanisms

Servo-mechanisms are divided into two general types:

(1) Where the target, goal, or “answer” is known, and the objective is to reach it or accomplish it, and

(2) Where the target or “answer” is not known and the objective is to discover or locate it. The human brain and nervous system operates in both ways.

An example of the first type is the self-guided torpedo, or the interceptor missile. The target or goal is known — an enemy ship or plane. The objective is to reach it. Such machines must “know” the target they are shooting for. They must have some sort of propulsion system which propels them forward in the general direction of the target. They must be equipped with “sense organs” (radar, sonar, heat preceptors, etc.) which bring information from the target. These “sense organs” keep the machine informed when it is on the correct course (positive feedback) and when it commits an error and gets off course (negative feedback).

The machine does not react or respond to positive feedback. It is doing the correct thing already and “just keeps on doing what it is doing”. There must be a corrective device, however, which will respond to negative feedback. When negative feedback informs the mechanism that it is “off the beam” too far to the right, the corrective mechanism automatically causes the rudder to move so that it will steer the machine back to the left.

If it “over corrects” and heads too far to the left, this mistake is made known through negative feedback, and the corrective device moves the rudder so it will steer the machine back to the right. The torpedo accomplishes its goal by going forward, making errors, and continually correcting them. By a series of zigzags it literally “gropes” its way to the goal.

Dr. Norbert Weiner, who pioneered in the development of goal-seeking mechanisms in World War II, believes that something very similar to the foregoing happens in the human nervous system whenever you perform any purposeful activity — even in such a simple goal-seeking situation as picking up a package of cigarettes from a table.

We are able to accomplish the goal of picking up the cigarettes because of an automatic mechanism, and not by “will” and fore-brain thinking alone. All that the fore-brain does is to select the goal, trigger it into action by desire, and feed information to the automatic mechanism so that your hand continually corrects its course.

In the first place, said Dr. Weiner, only an anatomist would know all the muscles involved in picking up the cigarettes. And if you knew, you would not consciously say to yourself, “I must contract my shoulder muscles to elevate my arm, now I must contract by triceps to extend my arm, etc.” You just go ahead and pick up the cigarettes, and are not conscious of issuing orders to individual muscles, or of computing just how much contraction is needed.

When “YOU” select the goal and trigger it into action, an automatic mechanism takes over. First of all, you have picked up cigarettes, or performed similar movements before. Your automatic mechanism has “learned” something of the correct response needed. Next, your automatic mechanisms uses feedback data furnished to the brain by your eyes, which tells it “the degree to which the cigarettes are not picked up”. This feed-back data enables the automatic mechanism to continually correct the motion of your hand, until it is steered to the cigarettes.

In a baby, just learning to use its muscles, the correction of the hand in reaching for a rattle is very obvious. The baby has little “stored information” to draw upon. Its hand zigzags back and forth and gropes obviously as it reaches. It is characteristic of all learning that as learning takes place, correction becomes more and more refined. We see this in a person just learning to drive a car, who “overcorrects” and zigzags back and forth across the street. Once, however, a correct or “successful response” has been accomplished — it is “remembered” for future use.

The automatic mechanism then duplicates this successful response on future trials. It has “learned” how to respond successfully. It “remembers” its successes, forgets its failures, and repeats the successful action without any further conscious “thought” — or as a habit.

 

How Your Brain Finds Answers to Problems

Now let us suppose that the room is dark so that you cannot see the cigarettes. You know, or hope, there is a package of cigarettes on the table, along with a variety of other objects. Instinctively, your hand will begin to “grope” back and forth, performing zigzag motions (or “scanning”) rejecting one object after another, until the cigarettes are found and “recognized”. This is an example of the second type of servo-mechanism. Recalling a name temporarily forgotten is another example.

A “Scanner” in your brain scans back through your stored memories until the correct name is “recognized”. An electronic brain solves problems in much the same way. First of all, a great deal of data must be fed into the machine. This stored or recorded information is the machine’s “memory”. A problem is posed to the machine. It scans back through its memory until it locates the only “answer” which is consistent with and meets all the conditions of the problem. Problem and answer together constitute a “whole” situation or structure. When part of the situation or structure (the problem) is given to the machine, it locates the only “missing parts” or the right size brick, so to speak, to complete the structure.

The more that is learned about the human brain, the more closely it resembles — insofar as function is concerned — a servo-mechanism. For example, Dr. Wilder Penfield, director of the Montreal Neurological Institute, recently reported at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, that he had discovered a recording mechanism in a small area of the brain, which apparently faithfully records everything that a person has ever experienced, observed or learned. During a brain operation in which the patient was fully awake, Dr. Penfield happened to touch a small area of the cortex with a surgical instrument. At once the patient exclaimed that she was “reliving” an incident from her childhood, which she had consciously forgotten. Further experiments along this line brought the same results.

When certain areas of the cortex were touched, patients did not merely “remember” past experiences, they “relived” them, experiencing as very real all the sights, sounds and sensations of the original experience. It was just as if past experiences had been recorded on a tape recorder and played back. Just how a mechanism as small as the human brain can store such a vast amount of information is still a mystery.

British neurophysicist W. Grey Walter has said that at least ten billion electronic cells would be needed to build a facsimile of man’s brain. These cells would occupy about a million and a half cubic feet, and several additional millions of cubic feet would be needed for the “nerves” or wiring. Power required to operate it would be one billion watts.

A Look at the Automatic Mechanism in Action We marvel at the awesomeness of interceptor missiles which can compute in a flash the point of interception of another missile and “be there” at the correct instant to make contact. Yet, are we not witnessing something just as wonderful each time we see a centre fielder catch a fly ball? In order to compute where the ball will fall, or where the “point of interception” will be, he must take into account the speed of the ball, its curvature of fall, its direction, windage, initial velocity and the rate of progressive decrease in velocity. He must make these computations so fast that he will be able to “take off” at the crack of the bat.

Next, he must compute just how fast he must run, and in what direction in order to arrive at the point of interception at the same time the ball does. The centre fielder doesn’t even think about this. His built-in goal-striving mechanism computes it for him from data which he feeds it through his eyes and ears. The computer in his brain takes this information, compares it with stored data (memories of other successes and failures in catching fly balls). All necessary computations are made in a flash and orders are issued to his leg muscles — and he “just runs”.

Science Can Build the Computer but Not the Operator

Dr. Weiner has said that at no time in the foreseeable future will scientists be able to construct an electronic brain anywhere near comparable to the human brain. “I think that our gadget-conscious public has shown an unawareness of the special advantages and special disadvantages of electronic machinery, as compared with the human brain,” he says. “The number of switching devices in the human brain vastly exceeds the number in any computing machine yet developed, or even thought of for design in the near future.”

But even should such a machine be built, it would lack an “operator”. A computer does not have a forebrain, not an “I”. It cannot pose problems to itself. It has no imagination and cannot set goals for itself. It cannot determine which goals are worthwhile and which are not. It has no emotions. It cannot “feel”. It works only on new data fed to it by an operator, by feedback data it secures from its own “sense organs” and from information previously stored.

Is There an Infinite Storehouse of Ideas, Knowledge, and Power?

Many great thinkers of all ages have believed that man’s “stored information” is not limited to his own memories of past experiences, and learned facts. “There is one mind common to all individual men,” said Emerson, who compared our individual minds to the inlets in an ocean of universal mind. Edison believed that he got some of his ideas from a source outside himself. Once, when complimented for a creative idea, he disclaimed credit, saying that “ideas are in the air”, and if he had not discovered it, someone else would have.

Dr. J.B. Rhine, head of Duke University’s Parapsychology Laboratory, has proved experimentally that man has access to knowledge, facts, and ideas, other than his own individual memory or stored information from learning or experience. Telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition have been established by scientific laboratory experiments. His findings, that man possesses some “extra sensory factor”, which he calls “Psi”, are no longer doubted by scientists who have seriously reviewed his work. As Professor R.H. Thouless of Cambridge University says, “The reality of the phenomena must be regarded as proved as certainly as anything in scientific research can be proved”.

“We have found,” says Dr. Rhine, “that there is a capacity for acquiring knowledge that transcends the sensory functions. This extra sensory capacity can give us knowledge certainly of objective and very likely of subjective states, knowledge of matter and most probably of minds.” Shubert is said to have told a friend that his own creative process consisted in “remembering a melody” that neither he nor anyone else had ever thought of before.

Many creative artists, as well as psychologists who have made a study of the creative process, have been impressed by the similarity of creative inspiration, sudden revelation, intuition, etc., and ordinary human memory.

Searching for a new idea, or an answer to a problem, is in fact, very similar to searching memory for a name you have forgotten. You know that the name is “there”, or else you would not search. The scanner in your brain scans back over stored memories until the desired name is “recognized” or “discovered”.

The Answer Exists Now

In much the same way, when we set out to find a new idea, or the answer to a problem, we must assume that the answer exists already — somewhere, and set out to find it. Dr. Norbert Wiener has said, “Once a scientist attacks a problem which he knows to have an answer, his entire attitude is changed. He is already some fifty per cent of his way toward that answer”. (Norbert Wiener, the Human Use of Human Beings, Houghton Mifflin, New York.)

When you set put to do creative work — whether in the field of selling, managing a business, writing a sonnet, improving human relations, or whatever, you begin with a goal in mind, an end to be achieved, a “target” answer, which, although perhaps somewhat vague, will be “recognized” when achieved. If you really mean business, have an intense desire, and begin to think intensely about all angles of the problem — your creative mechanism goes to work — and the “scanner” we spoke of earlier begins to scan back through stored information, or “grope” its way to an answer.

It selects an idea here, a fact there, a series of former experiences, and relates them — or “ties them together” into a meaningful whole which will “fill out” the incomplete portion of your situation, complete your equation, or “solve” your problem. When this solution is served up to your consciousness — often at an unguarded moment when you are thinking of something else — or perhaps even as a dream while your consciousness is asleep — something “clicks” and you at once “recognize” this as the answer you have been searching for.

In this process, does your creative mechanism, also have access to stored information in a universal mind? Numerous experiences of creative workers would seem to indicate that it does. How else, for example, explain the experience of Louis Agassiz, told by his wife: “He had been striving to decipher the somewhat obscure impression of a fossil fish on the stone slab in which it was preserved. Weary and perplexed, he put his work aside at last and tried to dismiss it from his mind. Shortly after, he woke one night persuaded that while asleep he had seen his fish with all the missing features perfectly restored.

“He went early to the Jardin des Plantes, thinking that on looking anew at the impression he would see something to put him on the track of his vision. In vain — the blurred record was as blank as ever. The next night he saw the fish again, but when he woke it disappeared from his memory as before. Hoping the same experience might be repeated, on the third night he placed a pencil and paper beside his bed before going to sleep.

“Towards morning the fish reappeared in his dream, confusedly at first, but at last with such distinctness that he no longer had any doubt as to its zoological characters. Still half dreaming, in perfect darkness, he traced these characters on the sheet of paper at the bedside. “In the morning he was surprised to see in his nocturnal sketch features which he thought it impossible the fossil itself would reveal. He hastened to the Jardin des Plantes and, with his drawing as a guide, succeeded in chiseling away the surface of the stone under which portions of the fish proved to be hidden. When wholly exposed, the fossil corresponded with his dream and his drawing, and he succeeded in classifying it with ease.”

Practice Exercise No. 1 Get a New Mental Picture of Yourself The unhappy, failure-type personality cannot develop a new self-image by pure will power, or by arbitrarily deciding to. There must be some grounds, some justification, some reason for deciding that the old picture of self is in error, and that a new picture is appropriate. You cannot merely imagine a new self image, unless you feel that it is based upon truth. Experience has shown that when a person does change his self image, he has the feeling that for one reason or another, he “sees”, or realised the truth about himself.

The truth in this article can set you free of an old inadequate self-image, if you read it often, think intently about the implications, and “hammer home” its truths to yourself. Science has now confirmed what philosophers, mystics, and other intuitive people have long declared: every human being has been literally “engineered for success” by his Creator. Every human being has access to a power greater than himself. This means “YOU”.

As Emerson has said, “There are no great and no small”. If you were engineered for success and happiness, then the old picture of yourself as unworthy of happiness, of a person who was “meant” to fail, must be in error.

Memories the following basic principles by which your success mechanism Operates. You do not need to be an electronic engineer, or a physicist, to operate your own servo-mechanism, anymore than you have to be able to engineer an automobile in order to drive one, or become an electrical engineer in order to turn on the light in your room. You do need to be familiar with the following; however, because having memorized them, they will throw “new light” on what is to follow:

1. Your built-in success mechanism must have a goal or “target”. This goal, or target, must be conceived of as “already in existence — now” either in actual or potential form. It operates by either

(1) Steering you to a goal already in existence or by

(2) “Discovering” something already in existence.

2. the automatic mechanism is teleological, that is, operates, or must be oriented to “end results”, goals. Do not be discouraged because the “means whereby” may not be apparent. It is the function of the automatic mechanism to supply the “means whereby” when you supply the goal. Think in terms of the end result, and the means whereby will often take care of themselves.

3. do not be afraid of making mistakes, or of temporary failures. All servo-mechanisms achieve a goal by negative feed-back, or by going forward, making mistakes, and immediately correcting course.

4. Skill learning of any kind is accomplished by trial and error, mentally correcting aim after an error, until a “successful” motion, movement or performance has been achieved. After that, further learning, and continued success, is accomplished by forgetting the past errors, and remembering the successful response, so that it can be “imitated”.

5. You must learn to trust your creative mechanism to do its work and not “jam it” by becoming too concerned or too anxious as to whether it will work or not, or by attempting to force it by too much conscious effort. You must “let it” work, rather than “make it” work. This trust is necessary because your creative mechanism operates below the level of consciousness, and you cannot “know” what is going on beneath the surface. Moreover, its nature is to operate spontaneously according to present need. Therefore, you have no guarantees in advance. It comes into operation as you act and as you place a demand upon it by your actions. You must not wait to act until you have proof — you must act as if it is there, and it will come through. “Do the thing and you will have the power,” said Emerson.

Original Article : http://e-articles.info/e/a/title/Discovering-The-Success-Mechanism-Within-You/

 

~ääRÐëë

“Humans often admire what they cannot create, and nature keeps on painting even if we steal all the colors from her!”

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