You may not have noticed before but human experience is made up of series of patterns. In fact the programming/conditioning of patterns in the brain are fundamentally important to human existence and communication. So let’s take some time to discover the patterns that shape the brain.
The human brain is central to survival, our immune system controlled by the brain is one fairly obvious fundamental asset that we possess and that ensures that we can fight illnesses, thus allowing the privilege of life to continue to flow through us. The immune system uses recognition of patterns in viruses that enables it to deploy resources specific to the enemy it is fighting. It is fascinating stuff.
Over time we have used our brain to develop numerous other skills and techniques that enable us to survive, many of these are now seen as givens. Thankfully not many of us will be eaten by wild animals any longer!
The human brain is a magnificent problem solver, it is The Fixer for the human being. It fixes challenges, minor and major problems, it enables us to understand our world, create excellence, and create thriving relationships that sustain human life on earth and gives us the potential for pleasure and joy. One of the main ways that the brain fixes the problems that we have is through pattern formation and pattern recognition.
Imagine someone talking and you can’t tell what they are saying. How annoying would that be for you? How frustrating could that be for the other person? Language is a series of patterns that we use to communicate with others and within.
Fun with patterns
Let’s have some fun and do a test for a minute. Do you know what a hot air ballon looks like? How do you know that? You have committed the patterns to memory, right?
Just for a minute and if you can do this safely and easily, shut your eyes and imagine a big red hot-air ballon. Have you got one. This is your pattern combination for a big red hot-air balloon. From seeing it before you can ‘see’ it again internally and in your imagination. Is it nice and red? Make it red, not blue, just the perfect shade of RED. This image is your hot-air balloon image! It may or may not be the same as mine but it will be similar because we are matching fairly common and distinct patterns.
If you struggle to visualise your balloon then search for the phrase and take a look at the images, do they look familiar to you?
Now personalise your balloon, bring it to mind and put your name on it in big letters. Now this really is YOUR balloon. Keep it safe.
All good? I hope so.
We are not born with these patterns, we learn them, don’t we. We are not taught them, our brain is such that it has the capacity to store patterns, notice patterns during waking hours and relate them to the stored patterns to give us a sense of awareness. Awareness is our power.
Patterns that the brain understands can be related to other patterns that the brain is familiar and that is how our world is put together. Things on earth have form and form is created by a series of patterns that are recognised by human brains.
From the perspective of the human brain and our psychology a pattern is any combination of information that can be used to separate something from other things and lead to it being identifiable.
Human bodies have sensory functions and each of the senses uses patterns to separate and identify. The brain processes and learns to recognise visual patterns, auditory patterns, kinesthetics patterns, gustatory patterns and olfactory patterns. These patterns combined produce within the brain a template of the world and what is within it. We use language internally to express thought to ourselves and externally to express thoughts to others, those thoughts often contain code which identifies which sense or senses the human is using in their thought process.
Once the brain has recognised information in a similar pattern sufficient times that thing becomes known to the brain, the sensory aspects to it become combined to form a ‘memory’ of that thing. These patterns can be recalled consciously by the human and used purposefully and these patterns can also be used internally and unconsciously by the brain to form combinations of patterns (patterns chunked together).
All of this provides reality through form to human beings, enables us to grow as we continue to group patterns together, develop expertise as we learn more and more complex groups of patterns and share ideas through patterns and description of patterns in our language.
In summary, patterns and pattern recognition in the human brain play a major part in the ability of the brain to fulfil its primary purpose – our survival, existence as a species and they assist in our awareness, which is our species specific personal development facility.
Human behaviour repeated in the same way a number of times becomes a habit and is described as a ‘behaviour pattern’. Thoughts in a sequence that repeat are known as ‘thought patterns’.
Patterns can be conscious and in awareness as previously described, they can also be unconscious and out of awareness. Unconscious patterns and habit can also consciously altered if they do not serve us correctly. This is now entering the world that we describe (using a language pattern) of NLP. Fascinating, isn’t it?!
Your world is full of patterns, some familiar to you and some not so familiar. Start noticing the patterns that reoccur in your awareness, your thoughts and your dreams. Noticing is the first stage and is the stage of awareness. You can change your patterns just as easily as you created and changed your balloon. Enjoy NLP with me. Ant