So today I was learning the ‘other’ side of yoga. Basically it was theory and practice on the basic principals of meditation and mindfulness. My teacher was explaining how our ego is often in control of our actions, and that the ego is simply made up of all our past experiences – likes, dislikes and such are not really within the realm of our conscious control, usually. I was contemplating this and found an unlikely congruency with some stuff that my brother and I had been doing research into.

Neural Networks.

A very oversimplified way of explaining neural networks (a certain type of them anyways) is that you have higher and lower levels of the network. The lower levels gather sensory data and send it up the network towards the top (or outer edge) while the top is constantly observing and making predictions on what’s to come next based on what just happened, and what it’s observed as happening next after similar input. Basically the network works it’s hardest to minimize the difference (or gap) between the predictions, and real observations. It’s been shown that the simple act of this minimization can be responsible for complex behavior such as learning language / communication skills.

So the similarity between the mechanical machine that is the network (or brain) and what Buddha states that is the cause of much of our suffering is striking.

The teacher went on to speak about how the practice of meditation will result in helping one become more aware of what is really going on around them, the likes and dislikes that are being inflicted upon them by their network / ego, and will help one make more meaningful decisions based on that more “meta” state.

The Japanese held the power of the mirror above all other powers…..