Naturally we are mind-readers! Musicians, more so!
What if musicians could really develop supernatural capabilities? What if they can communicate in dimensions unknown to people otherwise?
If the answer be yes, then we surely have to give music the due respect of being one of the guiding forces of our evolution throughout.
Well, the theory of ‘Mirror Neurons’ supports this.
Some years back, Science announced the discovery of some really uncanny neurons that fire in our brain in response to people around us or, more particularly, for things s which we are connected to. Might be guitar for a musician, typewriter for a writer, brush for a painter. Through mirror neurons, your brain builds a relationship with these tools. The same neurons account for empathy as well. They really connect very well with people you closely know and people who are involved in similar activities as you, more precisely people who use the same tools that you do. A guitarist watches another guitarist perform and he can actually feel what the performer is feeling right now. Same thing happens in a football match. Sitting in the stadium, we actually start feeling live-in-the-moment & emotions rush out as if we are ourselves involved in the game.
Mirror neurons are also said to be responsible for conditions like contagious yawning, autism, cigarette smoking, felt presence, sexual orientation, drug abuse, political attitude, spectator sport appreciation, etc. Mirror neuron therapies can really cure people then!
Tripped Out Fact: All this & much more is explained by ‘Mirror Neurons’. They indirectly prove that we all share a space in our bodies (oops mind ! ) for each other.
But the real question is what is this ‘much more’ that can be explained by Mirror Neurons?
Some good months of tripping over ‘Mirror Neurons’ opened my mind to a lot more probable explanations. One weird fact that enthralled me was that artists have a really well developed mirror neurons response system. That simply means that you can condition your mirror neurons & get them to do crazy things for you which other people cannot. If we consider the basis of mirror neurons, it reflects that I have some neurons which will fire only for you & some specific ones out of them will fire only when you do a particular/typical activity. That means me & you, we share a special circuitry in our brains for each other. So my mirror neurons network indirectly develops a connection or relationship with you and then tries to mirror the activities that you perform, as if it is being performed by me. This is the over-whelming mirroring ability that our brain has. Experiments have suggested that these neurons reflect sensations & emotions too. That means we are very well creating emotional realities of different people inside our minds. This further means that naturally we are mind readers. We have the tendency to step in to someone else’s mental shoes. And probably artists have many more such capabilities. If you know for a fact that neurons are transmitters & receivers of information/signals, then you could agree that my mirror neurons which fire for you are always hunting for information or communication from you or in search of building a channel probably. And if we are to further agree that it is all a game of conditioning yourself, by knowing a person properly, you can actually feel what he feels or anticipate what he would say next or figure out what he wants without the need of communication. And we have all had such experiences at some point or the other! Shared neuronal activation!
Tripped Out Fact: Musicians or Artists can step (errr, peep) into someone else’s shoes (errr, mind) more easily, effectively & deep!
This could mean that with deep conditioning, mirror neurons could actually link-up with their counterparts inside another person’s brain or at least pass on information. It could be argued that this could happen only in rare cases where probably some neurons in both the brains connect or end up hitting the same neural frequency that could lead to shared, scientifically speaking synchronized neuronal activation. And it could be reasoned out only through our experiences, scientific proof won’t work. Science just doesn’t have a way out for non-physical & non-material things that we actually feel or experience. But if we keep an open mind, mirror neurons open us up to really great new possibilities flirting with Freud’s idea of unconscious communication.
And if this be the case, musicians & other artists really have an upper hand in connecting with people, philandering with a variety of emotional realities, reading minds and frequent cases of shared neural activation which could be called telepathy in other words. Artists have a real chance at conditioning themselves for some crazy extrasensory or telepathic experiences.
Mirror neurons conditioning could indeed be vital to how we shape up our own realities. For better or worse, we now actually know that thoughts, feelings & actions of people around us are in a very subtle way blended into our own realities. This in itself is as thought-provoking as it is hideous or mysterious.
Tripped Out Fact: Knowing mirror neurons itself can really change our reality, you can now in fact allow your mirror neurons to reflect about people who make you happy, inspire you, energize you or assimilate positive thoughts. So, mirror neurons can give you a knack; which you surely don’t want to lack !
There still is ‘much more’ to be reflected about the neurons that reflect emotions & sensations of other people but this could very well claimed to be the single most underrated discovery of Science.
For me, the answer is clear. Explorers as we are, keeping an open mind wouldn’t hurt!
(A brilliant take on how mirror neurons shaped up the civilization)
(A thorough guide)
“Mirror Neurons & the Evolution of Brain & Language (Advances in consciousness research) by Maxim I. Stamenov