“The knowledge from an enlightened person breaks on the hard rocks of ignorance.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Daily Nugget of Gold 1520
Welcome to The Hippo Campus
Alrighty, then. Hippo Campus? Is that where river dwelling, muddy mammals go to school to learn something? Well, no. Hippocampus (yeah, it figures our spell-check program hasn’t heard of the word) is not an educational institution for hippos, it’s a part of the brain. If you’ve ever wondered why the medical community uses Greek or Latin in naming parts of the body, this is why: Hippocampus translated to English means “Seahorse”. Why did they call part of the brain seahorse? Because it resembles one.
There are two parts to the hippocampus, twins really. Yes, sometimes these twins are referred to as “hippocampi” (another word our spell checker hates). They sit side by side somewhat near the lower center bottom of the brain- with one of the twins residing on the left side of the brain and the other on the right. By now, you might be wondering why we have such a fascination with this. It seems that these are very important parts of the brain which seem to have a great deal to do with our daily lives. If the hippocampi becomes damaged, people suffer such things as amnesia (memory loss) and disorientation (loss of balance or perspective).
Both of these structures have something to do with contextual thinking, the hippocampus on the left, thinking with words, the hippocampus on the right, thinking without words- something we might liken to instinctual thoughts. We’re discussing these today because in meditation, we act upon them by what we’re doing. If we do a mantra or repeat a prayer or chant, what we are in essence doing is engaging the language center of the hippocampus on the left with something akin to a busy signal. We get it working on something that doesn’t involve much thinking, but does employ it through repetition of thought in order to quiet the random thoughts we normally think.
In doing this, we allow our silent thinking hippocampus on the right to expand its role by exercising it in an intentional way. Through repeated application of this process, it becomes easier and easier for us to engage the silent thinking apparatus this structure offers and also easier and easier to quiet our chatty left hippocampus so that we set the stage for enlightenment. These twin seahorses aren’t the center of the enlightenment process, but they are indeed involved. Further discussion is forthcoming on just where enlightenment takes place and why- but it should be noted that sufficient daily meditation alone can lead to enlightenment over what is usually a long period of time, so important is the practice.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do to learn more about how to become Spiritually enlightened?”
Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.