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Sway: Your Brain

June 22, 2010

I have been reading the book Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori and Rom Brafman. As I have said, great book. I wanted to add some final thought before I move on which brings us to your brain. Well at least some things we know about our brains. We know that there are two different places that process pleasure and altruism. We also know that they both can’t work at the same time. Either one or the other is in control.

Now the pleasure center of the brain in extreme cases is the one that drives addiction. The addictive behavior triggers this area and we receive a feeling of contentment and ecstasy. It is also the part of our brain that responds to money and sex. All of the things we tend to abuse.

We also know that it is harder to motivate this area of the brain. This is why people need more and more of whatever they are addicted to if they want to continue to experience the feelings.

They have also discovered that it is very easy to motivate the altruism part of the brain. We also know now that this part of the brain also reacts to social interaction and the bonds we share with others. Our brains are stimulated in a positive way in this part of our brain.

I just think it is beautiful. A beautiful reminder that when God said don’t he was warning us to be careful with the pleasure part of our brain. It can easily hijack us and become very destructive. It can override altruism or better put love of neighbor. I also think it is beautiful that God points us to altruism. He gives us a way to stimulate our brain that has no negative side affects and is much easier to motivate. How great is our God.

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

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