The problem of porn…

Here we are, together, online. We have easy access to information unprecedented in history. We don’t go to libraries to read books, we go online and consume articles – all kinda articles. Some feed our brain. Some destroy it. We know almost everything about our organs; the exception is the brain. According to modern neuroscience, we know about ten percent of what we believe there is to know about our brain. Recently, I sat down with a psychologist friend of mine and talked about the brain. He told me his favorite brain book is titled, The Brain That Changes Itself by Dr. Doidge . I’m reading and enjoying this book as I write this rant.

Only recently have scientists proven that our brains are elastic, meaning you can literally change your hard wiring. It wasn’t that awful long ago we believed intelligence was fixed. You were either born smart or not so smart. We now know that neurons that “fire together, wire together.” If you want to learn something, put in the hours mastering the movement until you hardwire the new neural network. This is great news for those of us who aren’t afraid of putting in the hours toward our labor of love, our opus. Mastery is not limited to the gifted, the few, or only the fortunate. Mastery, it turns out, is more about doing the work, putting in the hours, practice, practice, and more practice. Fire and wire.

However, there is a dark side to brain plasticity. Neurons do not have a moral code, so to speak. Neurons are neutral. So, if you feed your brain negative thoughts about a particular person or person group in general, your brain will learn to hardwire a negative mental model. You will get better, if you will, at seeing the worst. Study prosecuting attorney’s and you will see why they lead the way in drug addiction, divorce, depression, and even suicide. They have negative neural networks that make them masters in the courtroom; at home, not so much.

Now for the darkest of the dark. Porn. According to Doidge, “Porn viewers develop new maps in their brains, based on the photos and videos they see. Because it is a use it or lose it brain, when we develop a map area, we long to keep it activated. Porn hyper activates appetitive pleasure not the consummatory one.” Translation. Looking at porn creates an almost endless desire for something that won’t satisfy. According to Doidge most of his patients crave porn but paradoxically don’t like it. Since the brain is re-wiring its appetitive pleasure, those participating in porn are like the rat pressing the bar for more and never getting enough. Do not become a master at this practice. Historically there was the shame of the person at the “check out counter” to slow the would be porn participant. There was, historically, faith and family that taught the moral code. Today, the media and mainstream culture says there’s nothing wrong with it, who is it hurting, and if some pleasure is good why not experience more, more, more. What do you believe?

Neurons are neutral, friend. Ones that fire together wire together. Please understand this is a fact. Build your CORE. Challenge your beliefs. Develop the discipline of delaying gratification. In the end, it is so much more satisfying. And, if you’re a parent of young ones, prepare yourself for adding this topic to “the talk.” Don’t believe me, trust modern science. There is a problem with porn. What do you believe…

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