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The Original Deepfake: Our Mind

Artificial intelligence ("AI") has taken over the body, but what about the mind? Fair question, and the truth is the mind was the original "deepfake"-- AI's got nothing on the faculty of the mind to spin seemingly real thoughts and emotions.

In neurological terms, the mind's capacity for story-telling began with the limbic system, which is the oldest part of the brain, and chronologically dates back to pre-historic days when mankind was roaming the savannah, dodging sabre tooth tigers and other animals that threatened their existence.

Being alert to, and avoiding, threat was critical to survival-- that's a primary function of the limbic system. Ditto re: anticipating threat--  which is where the mind comes in. Along with survival of the fittest, came the growth of mind-chatter (or, as most meditators refer to it, the "monkey mind").

Anticipation of threat evolved from protection of one's self, into stories about one's self-- and many of those stories (which come from a milieu of paranoia, and self-preservation) are not particularly positive. As many modern thinkers describe it, the brain is "hard-wired" to think negative thoughts.

Along come AI and deepfakes. Throw in a bit of "hard-wiring", and what have you got? As the comedian, Richard Pryor presciently exclaimed, "Who you gonna believe: Me, or your lyin' eyes?". Whatever the case may be, there is a lot of bad stuff-- a lot of skeptical, if not downright negative thought-- that we all assess, every minute of every day.

Self-doubt and self-criticism (sometimes referred to as "imposter syndrome"), runs rampant among many. Speculation leads to unfounded assumption, and that assumption fuels belief-- an      all-too-often, mistaken belief. It's a destructive cycle to which many of us fall victim, and it needs to be broken.

How to do that? My suggestion will come as no surprise: Mindfulness and meditation-- finding the "space" that Viktor Frankl wrote about, between stimulus and response.

In that "space" lies our humanity (not to mention, our ability to separate what is real, from what's a fake)!


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