Mirror Cells and Reflections

20080120 JEDCline

"Mirror cells" is a phrase seen a few times recently, a scientific discovery that the brain has such "mirror cells" which activate both when observing event perceived (such as watching someone doing a specific something) and also same cells firing when planning to do a similar thing oneself.

This sounds like groups of cells (not a solitary cells) in the brain, firing in response to something.

And they are likely "keyed on" to absorb presented data sets, identified as being something to "mirror". And similarly be "keyed on" to play back the patterns previously recorded (say, when observing something do the specific something, that now one chooses to do oneself.)

"Reflection" seems to be related to "mirror". The term "reflection" has a usage that goes way back, and in many contexts, recently the title "Reflections" of a short paragraph of thoughtfully pondered wisdom (another usage of the term "reflection," the reflection of a perceived reality) pointed out to me by a friend recently; "Reflections" was also the name of a company located in Monterey, California, a decade or two ago, which created a holistic technology that utilized reflection mirror-lined chambers and stereo audio cassette tapes (was before the CD drive was in use for audio playback) which were key tools that helped me greatly during my decades of struggles to recover from something - not quite known exactly what - that injuriously happened to me about the time my wife left me in 1972, when I was living in Old Topanga Canyon and working as a contract-employed electronics technician at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena on development of a spacecraft camera system. (That is a whole subject I have devoted almost endless time trying to figure out, but is not directly the subject here now.) The "Reflections" process taught a meditative protocol that was useful for becoming less introverted (my main usage of the Reflections process; for more efficient usage of both sides of the brain (also something that helped me); resolving relationship struggle (also helped a bit); and compulsive-addictive behavior was a subject of many more of their tapes. Cliff Cole and Pamala Piccolo apparently were an incredible team creating these tapes and the whole Reflections process, largely based on his research trips to India learning meditation and audio hetrodyne precesses of music ... and suddenly they vanished; in my buying some tapes mail order, Pamela replied that I could buy the last of their tapes at a discount so I was able to buy enough to have a whole set as they were going out of business, cause not mentioned ... I have also hypothesized what might have happened, but do not really know; it was a great loss to my world and I believe to the world in general, whatever caused it.

In "The Reflections Experience" in its optimum form, was to sit in a small box covered on the inside with mirrors, giving the impression that oneself was sitting in an infinitely large space populated with images of oneself from all angles, as one's reflection bounced around among the mirrors and to ones eyes viewing it all. To the various brain-stimulating audio instructional tapes, here one could breathe in images and exhale them back to out-there. This taught a technique which could then be used, the breathing in of images and breathing them back out to where they came from, in life's experiences outside of the mirror Reflections chamber. One could breathe in the image of a mountain being looked at, to fill oneself, then breath oneself out to the mountain and be the mountain, then breathe the mountain back to itself and breathe oneself back to oneself again; this enormously helped me overcome my severe introversion, giving me tools for relating to the world outside, tools I could really use. This way I slowly learned how to identify with more than just myself, an introversion acquired probably from relative isolation, Asperger social struggles, and being the smallest boy in the class, no siblings with which to interact to learn relational ways. So the Reflections Experience was able to help me learn some of these "mirror cell" processes albeit way late in the developmental process, yet still useful in daily life now.

Now that the concept of "mirror cells" in the brain and what their important function is for the learning of doing things by seeing other people do them first, the old "Reflections Experience" surely can be seen as a pure and powerful way of activating those mirror cells in the brain, first with the thousands of one's own image aspects, which were something more under control and sensible to oneself. Once strengthened by that learning, one then could more easily take on the more chaotic events of the "outer world" which sometimes were wonderful and comforting; and yet also others sometimes quite obnoxious and toxic. But now the "toxic" experiences (such as enduring in-your-face bully stuff and the news about more distant war stuff ongoing in parts of the world now) can be dealt with better, as well as participate more in the comforting and beautiful opportunities too, if one chooses.

Curiously, I have not been able to get myself to fully review the "Reflections Experience" in recent times, even though I have managed to create a digitized archive set of all the audios I bought from Reflections while they were in business, and re-built a Reflections Chamber. There seems to be a powerful invisible "inhibitor" blocking my efforts, as it does for most of my uses of protocols for recovering in ways that are not under the control of outside rival interests. (That externally-guided inhibitor is another subject that has taken a lot of my thoughts, all thwarted as if monitored and sabotaged, strange and dismaying stuff ... but again, not the subject of this post.)

If "mirror cells" in the brain provide "reflections" of activity sequences and store them for playback as models by which to guide one's own actions, this seems a fairly firm step in the understanding of the learning process.

And with this understanding, looking around at that which provides the examples of actions by others which provide the patterns for the mirror cells to copy for one's own actions later, I find stuff such as that of daily news often ugly drama; and the portrayals of life activities as seen in movies which were designed to capture the attention of audiences, not to teach fine life ways. Now that the media knows of what happens when it is holding up images of life actions by which people unconsciously copy for their own responses to life, maybe the daily news would tell of more wholesome things, if people had better examples of life ways, for their mirror cells of the brain to store to guide their own actions. Equipped with the power of new knowledge, let's hope will also come the responsibility guided by love instead of ego greed.

So I will be watching and reflecting in my mirror cells ....

Jim Cline 20080120 05:59 hrs.


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