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Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being Paperback – October 22, 2013
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Q&A with Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi
In this Q&A authors Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi discuss issues raised in their new book Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness and Spiritual Well-Being. Deepak Chopra. M.D. is the author of more than sixty-five books, including numerous New York Times Bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University and director of Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Q. How would you define super brain?
A. It's the brain you have now but maximized. Everyone uses the brain at every moment, but we use it unconsciously. We let it run in the background without realizing the power we have to reshape the brain. When you begin to exercise your power, the everyday brain, which we call the baseline brain, starts to move in the direction of super brain.
Q. The power to reshape the brain—can you be more specific?
A. It means being more mindful of your own thoughts and feelings and becoming more proactive in taking charge of your brain. Each of us plays four roles in relation to the brain. We lead, we inspire, we invent, and we use it. Most people do not actively use their brains. They passively let their feelings and thoughts control their lives. Or they only use their brains without giving it much inspiration or leadership. They don't invent new ways to use their brains, either, settling instead for the same routine and repetitive thoughts every day. But if you master all four roles, you create your super brain. The bottom line isthat you when you are the active observer of your feelings and thoughts, you become the user of your brain. Your super brain then serves you, not vice versa.
Q. How did you hit upon this power to create super brain?
A. Directly from breakthroughs in neuroscience. Modern brain-scan technology has revealed that each person shapes a completely unique brain. Other studies have documented the amazing regenerative ability of the brain, which can be reshaped by the power of your mind to bring you the world you desire. Knowing that, the obvious question arose: Why not use your mind to create the brain you want, using conscious choice?
Q. What does that mean on a practical basis?
A. We give a lot of pointers in the book, but the quickest answer is this: All experiences are either positive for your brain or negative. If you maximize the positive ones, you are shaping the brain you want to being you the world you want.
Q. Can you give a few examples of what you call"a positive lifestyle for the brain"?
A. We divide it into inner work and outerwork. Outer work includes diet, exercise, stress management, social engagement, intellectual stimulation, and good sleep—very familiar advice, but we have made it specific for the brain. Inner work is even more important and little understood until now.
Q. Can you describe inner work?
A. The brain is a dynamic system that constantly processes and creates your reality. It works best if you balance all the things that the brain is good at. The brain is good at being adaptable, flexible, creative, and intelligent. But it's also good at playing and just being. A balanced life provides time—every day if possible—so that every function of the brain is allowed to come alive and flourish.
Q. Do you think that "work" might be more than many people want to do?
A. By work, we mean doing the best you can for yourself. If you want lifelong good health, intact memory, reduced risk of Alzheimer's, and inner fulfillment, your brain plays the central part in all of them. The old adage of "use it or lose it" applies to the brain. The "work" is actually quite simple but requires persistence. One must simply choose to be the observer of the thoughts and feelings brought to them by their brain and use them to create a positive and constructive world that best suits them.
Q. Where is super brain taking us in the future?
A. We believe that super brain is the next evolutionary leap for the human brain. The last leap was the neocortex, the higher intellectual brain, which gave humans the ability to reason, to plan ahead, to love, to feel compassion and empathy, to attribute meaning to the world. Now we can build on that. Choice is the key, because human beings are the only creatures who can choose to evolve, who can shape their destiny. Furthermore, we have been given the gift of "self-awareness," which allows us to step back into our true selves to observe and use our brains to create the world we wish to live in. For us, super brain is the future and starts now.
About the Author
Deepak Chopra, MD, a member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, is the author of more than 65 books including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and a Senior Scientist at the Gallup organization.
Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Tanzi co-discovered the first Alzheimer's disease gene and several others, as head of the Alzheimer's Genome Project and is the co-author of the book Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Top customer reviews
Most importantly it's written by two brilliant and forward thinking scholars. The first being, Deepak Chopra, M.D. a New York Time best-selling author and author of numerous books who's known around the world for his work on the brain, mind-body connection, consciousness, spirituality, and Quantum Physics.The second, Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi a Harvard Professor who was a pioneer in Alzheimer's research and being one of the co-discoverers of the first Alzheimer's disease gene.
As quoted in the book "Every day you step into the invisible firestorm of electrical and chemical activity that is the brain's environment. You act as leader, inventor, teacher, and user of your brain, all at once.
As leader, you hand out the day's orders to your brain.
As inventor, you create new pathways and connections inside your brain that didn't exist yesterday.
As teacher, you train your brain to learn new skills.
As user, you are responsible for keeping your brain in good working order."
I have to say that this one is greatest books I've read on the topic of the brain because the two authors go extremely in-depth into the working of the brain, and they also give you tools that you can implement into your life today.
It's broken up into three parts. Here's a very basic summary.
Part 1 DEVELOPING YOU GREATEST GIFT
Which goes into great detail about the latest advancements in science that explain how the brain functions. It also talks about the five myths of the brain.
Part 2: MAKING REALITY
This part gives you information and knowledge to literally work on changing your brain from negatives states of mind to positive states of mind.
Part 3:MYSTERY AND PROMISE
I thoroughly enjoyed this part because its goes into the biggest idea in all of science. Something to which I'm fascinating with, the question being "How does this three pound brain produce consciousness?"
I think this is an incredible book that anyone can use to increase more positive states of mind. I've read hundreds of books on the brain and I think this one is one of the best because it gives you tools on how to work on changing your brain immediately.
Beginning with the latest brain science in neuroplasticity the book convincingly shows that that we have the ability to influence our own brains and thus can improve our own well being.
The next part of the book moves from science to conjecture. At first making claims that seem reasonable. Claims that may very well be true, but are based on “wisdom traditions” rather than scientific evidence.
In last and most disappointing part of the book, it uses Ray Tallis’ false logic and straw man arguments to show that the mind cannot be contained within the brain and therefore there must be some sort of external power that drives our mind. It is ironic that there are examples elsewhere in the book that show how certain superstitions have been replaced with scientific understanding, yet when it comes to our mind being contained within the organ that is our brain, the authors leave no room for an enhanced scientific understanding that makes that possible.
Bottom line: The first part is informative and worth the read. The rest of the book provides an interesting theory, but not an evidence based conclusion as it seems to claim.
I grew up believing that the nerve paths of my brain were fixed and immutable. Science told us brain cells died over our lifetime and could not be regenerated, period. Super Brain helped me understand that’s just not true!
I recently wrote an article on My Philosophy for Mental Fitness for HappyLiving.com. I credit Super Brain for evolving my philosophy to include "rewiring". My philosophy for mental fitness is simple: 1) feed it, 2) rest it, 3) exercise it, & 4) rewire it.
Founder of Happy Living, LLC