or – How Media Saturation Robs Us Of Our Joy
or – an Original Thought is a good thing
We humans find ourselves intriguing, in fact – fascinating. Theories explaining the experience of being human abound .
One theory that I heard as a young man has stuck with me through the years. This theory now finds a rather interesting application in my life of living as an expat here in Costa Rica. I see the possible truth to this theory as I observe what I have come to know as “4th Day Original Thought Syndrome” or “4DOTS” in Costa Rica. Based on this thing that happens on day #4, many decide that they would like to either make Costa Rica Home, or to at least make it a big part of their life.
4DOTS is simple – it’s really nothing more than relaxation. But I need to do a footnote definition here of what I mean by relaxation. It’s more than just having our neck muscles relax and our shoulders lower down by a couple inches, (which they do on day 4). 4 DOTS relaxation has to do with the mind.
It is thought that when we first have an experience as a baby, we fire off a unique circuit in our brain. The experience is profound and frequently pleasurable. We are drawn to the subject experience again and again to get better acquainted. We call this learning.
Let’s say that at the age of 1 year our Mother puts us on the warm, sunny lawn in our back yard to crawl around. A new circuit is fired through our brain and we are fascinated by the greenness of the experience and the warmth of the green. The texture is slightly prickly but not unpleasantly so. There is a humid component and a wonderful smell that we will later on associate with the word “earthy”.
From this point on in our lives this same circuit fires every time we experience warm green grass, causing a familiarity with the experience, and this we call memory. So the theory goes.
(As an aside, i t is thought that the psychoactive drug LSD causes variations in our established and familiar brain circuitry. This can be profoundly pleasurable (or disturbing) and cause fascination with what we adults would consider to be mundane things. This would explain why people on LSD can be seen studying their hand, or marveling at the grass they are standing on. )