Where is the memory of a person located? Experiences are stored in the limbic system and processed in the neocortex, which enables learning. However, the intestine also learns, because experiences have an effect on peristalsis as well as on the intestinal flora, which has consequences for the hormone balance, among other things. A feedback, which in turn extends to the brain and the limbic system and influences cognitive ability and mental state. When a bone breaks and heals, it is more stable afterwards than before. So it has learned something too. The lungs are always learning. Namely, that it’s easier to breathe in the forest than in the city and smoking’s less healthy. Fortunately, the lungs have a special knowledge in their back pocket, namely how to set in motion a remarkably effective repair program after quitting smoking, for example.
One could continue this list for all organs of the body. The stomach experiences, so it learns. So does the heart, liver, kidneys. In fact, the lymphatic system is also learning. And even blood is trained. As a matter of fact mitochondria, so-called organelles in our cells and a kind of microscopic dinosaurs – even they learn. And are better or worse off, depending on what they learn. The latter can lead to serious diseases.
People learn from experience. Without exception and always. Even when it doesn’t seem like it. And especially they learn from negative experiences. After such an experience they feel worse than before. Like kids who learn that hot plates are hot. According to the same principle, the stomach, lungs, intestines, blood and all bacteria in us learn, even the mitochondria.
These learning processes as a whole are what we call life.
If it were possible to take a complete view of all the experiences made and the associated learning right into the furthest and innermost corners of the human body, this would result in a tree structure of biological and mental interactions – a mapping of individual existence.
Amazing, seen in this way. And sometimes terrible in the result. Because these interactions decide on health, illness, a long life, a short one, death.
These are the interactions between the psyche and the body of a person. In resonance with the environment. In relation to other people. In relation to oneself. Based on experiences with oneself, with other people and the environment. The study and deciphering of these interactions is one of the most challenging and at the same time grateful tasks of the present. Unfortunately, the knowledge of this is not yet advanced. Probably Bachelor level, if at all. In any case, the master’s thesis is still pending. Not to speak of a doctorate. But that is another story.
In principle, the same interactions occur in all people, but they are never the same. Which is why some people are better off, others worse. As a result, some people learn from certain interactions in a meaningful way, which is why they feel better. While others learn less meaningfully and suffer.
Sure, it would be nice if these interactions were easy to grasp. But they are not. The effects of individual existence branch out to the innermost tissues and cause sensitivities in such a complex way that there is always cause for great amazement, often also reason for despair.
And this mysteriousness of individual existence, one might think, increases rather than decreases. Perhaps especially in times of accelerated knowledge growth.
A blessing, if there are simple things in this context.