How Much Thinking Happens Outside Your Brain?

You might think all thinking happens in the brain.

But that’s not quite right.

Even you take a step, a lot of the processing happens in neural clusters scattered throughout your body. The brain is too far from the legs to make all the fine motor adjustments it needs to balance you, so smaller brains in your gut and legs handle it.

There’s also a small brain near your heart. It controls the steady beating needed to keep you… you know, alive. But the strange thing is your heart brain sends four or five times as much information to the head brain as the other way round.

What about outside your body. How much thinking happens there?

Obviously, there are computers.

But isn’t memory an essential part of thinking? Insufficient by itself, but still a necessary part. So is some of our thinking in the books on our shelves and in the radio waves in the air?

In Western countries, driving fatalities have dropped enormously. It’s something like 20 times safer to drive today than it was in the early days of cars.

What’s the difference?

Some of it is better driver education – in other words, we became smarter.

But we also made our cars smarter – getting them to do some of our thinking for us.

And traffic laws reduce the need for us to think, by making traffic do some of the thinking for us.

How much your thinking is really you? How much is because of, or even in, your environment?

Now, is this a curious idea?

A pointless curiosity?

A distraction?

Or is it something you can use to guide you into a trance?

Opening up your mind to greater things.

It’s your choice:

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