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ANOTHER LOOK AT DEMENTIA
AND AT THE PRESERVATION OF YOUTH

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Preliminary remark

The present article is based on hypothesis, deductions from observations, which are making sense and have not been written with reference to other documents, excepted in the first paragraphs. I do not express my doubts in each sentence, yet they are real. I cannot really prove everything I write here. However, all of this is based on concrete observations about myself and the people I meet or have met. And this helps me, on the one hand, to better understand, to seek more coherence and accuracy in my choices, my actions and behaviors, and on the other hand, to increase my abilities for empathy in order to have better adapted behaviors with some people I know, helping them to feel better understood. In addition, until now, those explanations have echoed with persons who read or heard them; which makes me hope to stick as much as possible to reality.

However, I ask all those who read, to trust what it will awaken or not in them. It is likely for some of them that they will understand these points of view as obvious, because they already know them implicitly and this will allow them to access a wider or more precise understanding grid.

A) Our automaton-brain

In his book "You are the placebo (HayHouse publishing UK page 71), Dr Joe Dispenza states that, from about thirty-five years old, one can consider that 95% of our thoughts have become unconscious and/or automatic. This leaves not much latitude to our will.

"95% of who you are by the time you're 35 years old is a set of memorized behaviors, skills, emotional reactions, beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes that functions like a subconscious automatic computer program.
So 95% of who you are is a subconscious, or even an unconscious state of being. And that means your conscious mind's 5% is working against the 95% of what you've memorized subconsciously. You can think positively all you want, but that 5% of your mind that's conscious will feel as if it's swimming upstream against the current of the other 95% of your mind - your unconscious body chemistry that has been remembering and memorizing whatever negativity you've been harboring for the past 35 years; that's mind and body working in opposition. No wonder you don't get very far when you try to fight that current!"

Each person being on a personal development work in consciousness, can observe this process on their own - no matter how valid the percentage size is; it is the disproportion, and the direction of the increase of this disproportion over time which matters for the understanding of what follows.

If 95% of our thoughts have become automatic, it's at the beginning, with the tacit agreement, in some way, of our conscious thoughts. As long as we ignore the existence of this process, we cannot have a hold on it and we don't see the need of seeking to be in the present moment. We can, to some extent, choose to change the orientation of those thoughts, by changing activity, distracting ourself, working on ourself, and so on.

B) Aging

However, in the long run, this freedom to bring back a part of our thought according to our intentions, turns out to be an increasingly difficult task.

Because over time, no doubt that the percentage of the unconscious thoughts will continue to increase. When advancing in age, can happen a moment when we have almost no longer a hold on our thoughts. In this case, the vast majority of our actions, of our speaking, of our choices, is then only the result of the combination of our thought automatisms. Some forms of dementia would then be nothing else than the result of this process, when it went that far, that we end up losing control over our will, our presence, our intentions, except during some exceptional moments. It then becomes impossible going on in creating new neuronal connections, and the deterioration of those already existing will then accelerate over time; and this will ultimately become visible at a medical level by an atrophy of the cerebral hemispheres.

Therefore, the atrophy of the brain would not be due to a disease of biological origin, but it would be the consequence of a natural process that appeared from childhood, and that life circumstances would have reinforced and accelerated. Once the tipping point is reached, and the will is no strong enough anymore to change the neuronal connections and to create new ones, those will freeze. And the less the brain is used, the more it will atrophy. This atrophy, if it exists long before the onset of the symptoms, would then confirm that the tipping point appears long before this becomes visible.

The mental degeneration would be established, when the mind gets into the habit of freewheeling. For, as a car on a slope, when the driver is not at the control, and there is no brake, it drives by itself, and, as in a water stream, it will follow the meanders created by the environment. And some obstacles can pull it away in a direction which, if nobody take back control, will lead it in an acceleration in that direction, which at some point, won't be manageable anymore, even when the driver will try to react. This is where one reach the stage of dementia. Single people, inactive people, are therefore much more likely to follow these kinds of paths. Yet, self-discipline - when we become aware of this phenomenon - becomes then a lever that can lead us, if we are not too far away in the slope, to take back the control as often as possible. It is then necessary to set goals, activities, priorities, clarifications, and to keep our mind busy on a positively, usefully, diversified and if possible socializing way.

In other words, whereas in childhood, the moments of presence are practically constant, they diminish bit by bit in adulthood, and it's their almost constant absence that characterizes some forms of dementia.

When our mental is working by itself, without having more control over it, it means that we are living permanently a bit like when we are stuck in emotions and when we no longer control our thoughts. If it happens to you sometimes to write down your thoughts at the moment you are stuck in a strong emotion, and you re-read them later - once freed from this emotion - you know how strong emotions can sway your opinions and thoughts.

In a way, suffering from dementia means losing the presence of mind almost continuously. It happens when our mental flees almost permanently in the habits of thoughts that it has developed for years and from which it can no longer be released. When, accumulated, they prevent him from still keeping the slightest possibility of intention, will, or control over the direction and content of his thoughts. As an adult, we sometimes have to tear ourselves away from our thoughts about preoccupation or daydreaming. Dementia is that, permanently without almost getting there. Only emotions can still help us to achieve this, otherwise, we flow back into what we know : our past.

Most adults over the age of 40 to 50 are very familiar with what I am talking about. They know then where to avoid to go.

In the same way, drugs, alcohol, psychotropics substances, are conditioning us to certain modes of brain functioning which, at a certain moment, could end up preventing the mode of brain functioning that prevails when we are sober.

And when you live in stress, you are also almost in autopilot, to the point that it is most of the time impossible to activate the "stop" lever. In order to fight stress we are advised to practice relaxation, meditation, yoga, sleep, breaks, some medications or herbal teas. Who thinks about those things when he's in a stressful time? No one. We can think about it only when we are just on a break, or when the stress finally drops, or if someone bring us there.

And in this context, the burnout would then be nothing but the stress machine that ends up working on freewheeling, and that the body and thoughts can no longer keep pace and lead us to lose control. In the same way, post-traumatic stress disorder would be the consequence of the emotion machine working on free-wheeling, dictating looping thoughts, self-generating the pursuit of both emotions, and thoughts. Burn out, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dementia, would then relate to a dysfunction of the same nature. However, if they have in common an inability to manage thoughts correctly, they don't have the same consequences.

When our mental cannot leave the "box" anymore, we are like the hamster in his wheel, we can not stop anymore. With the difference that, in the case of dementia, we cannot leave the wheel either anymore.

 

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