Keynote Lecture Dr. Mario Alonso Puig

Reset your mind

On 23 June 2021, the Rafael del Pino Foundation organised the Master Lecture live on the Internet on
entitled "Reset your mind. Discover what you are capable of", which will be given by Dr. Mario Alonso Puig on the occasion of the presentation of his book of the same title, published by Editorial Espasa.

Dr. Mario Alonso Puig is a physician, fellow in surgery from Harvard University Medical School and has devoted much of his life to research on how to unleash human potential, especially in times of challenge, uncertainty and change. For more than 20 years, he has been giving courses, conferences and working with management teams for enhancing human capacities such as: leadership, teamwork, change management, health, wellbeing, happiness, communication, creativity and innovation.

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On 23 June 2021, the Rafael del Pino Foundation organised the conference "Reset your mind. Discover what you are capable of", given by Dr. Mario Alonso Puig, fellow in surgery at Harvard University Medical School, on the occasion of the publication of his book of the same title.

According to Mario Alonso Puig, the human brain has one hundred billion neurons. There is no computer that can completely replace the human brain. A computer can do some functions better, but it cannot replace the human being. However, understanding how computers work can help us better understand our brain functions. Let's explore a way to reboot mental processes that are not working well so that they bring more health, prosperity and happiness to our lives.

The drama of human beings is that we are lions who look in the mirror and see ourselves as simple kittens. That's why we are so afraid. One of the things I wanted to bring about by reading the book was to get to know again who we really are so that the level of fear we live with, which generates anxiety, tension, which is a source of illness, disappears.

This is a discovery, it cannot be reached through the intellect but through another way. The intellect counts, but it is not the only thing that counts. Our intellect must give us permission, what we explore must not be repugnant to reason, it must make sense, but it is not the only thing.

Santiago Ramón y Cajal was the only Spaniard to win a Nobel Prize in Medicine for Spain. Severo Ochoa did it for the United States. Ramón y Cajal was a man full of wisdom who said that every human being, if he sets his mind to it, can be a sculptor of his own brain. This is wonderful news because there are people who believe that they will never change even though they don't like the way they are.

We have to go a little further and go to two scientists, Professor Roger Sperry and Mike Gazzaniga. Sperry won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1981. We all have two brain hemispheres. Each of them does roughly the same thing, for example, moving a hand or a foot. But what Sperry, Gazzaniga and the whole team discovered at Caltec (Pasadena, California) was that seated in each hemisphere is a different mind. There is not just one mind that realises what it realises, but another mind that realises that there are things that happen without one being aware of them. The first belongs to the left hemisphere and the second to the right. The left hemisphere cannot rationally explain why it doesn't like a person, but the right hemisphere understands.

Sperry, Gazzaniga and the rest of the team demonstrated that, very often, these two minds are at odds. This is important to understand how we boycott our true potential because of this internal conflict.

There is a part of our brain that sees one reality and another part that is seeing another reality. As the two minds are at odds, far from seeing that as an opportunity it becomes one or the other, it splits and only sees one. One of the two hemispheres, the left one, by cultural training, has become so powerful that it has the other one blocked. It doesn't allow what it is seeing to be exploited because one of the hemispheres doesn't want that to come to the surface.

There are four operating systems in the brain. One, the deepest, the hypothalamus, is originally about 350 million years old. The second is the limbic system, which is the emotional system. The rational world is connected to the left hemisphere, the third system. The left hemisphere loves to compartmentalise, to divide, to measure. This has nothing to do with the fourth, which is connected to the right hemisphere, which cares about the spiritual world, about what goes beyond appearance, about forms. The right hemisphere has spectacular capacities, but the left hemisphere has become dominant.

The left hemisphere is very overbearing. What it does not see, does not exist; if something cannot be measured, if it has no matter, it is not real. It is also very ignorant of what it does not know. It doesn't know that it doesn't know. The right hemisphere is much more open to explore, to discover, to understand the logic of the unreasonable. It is the wisdom of the heart that says that the past need not determine the future.

The left hemisphere has been our evolutionary breakthrough. Its development began a hundred thousand years ago and ended forty thousand years ago. It is the one that allows us to converse, to explain, to develop strategies. This ability to communicate, describe, organise and develop strategies was the key to man's survival. It allowed him to use tools, to have scientific and technological development. The problem is that, by forgetting the other hemisphere, he disconnected himself from the deep aspects of nature. By dividing he stopped seeing things as a whole, he detached himself from nature. This is its tendency due to the cultural conditioning that reinforces the division.

From the left hemisphere comes something that can be very limiting: egocentric speech. This hemisphere is the last to develop. It does so after the hypothalamus, the limbic system and the right hemisphere. When it develops, it begins to interpret things, which it experiences as real. The interpretations made by the left hemisphere are experienced as the only interpretation of something. Egocentric speech makes us captive to our own narrative to explain reality, because it makes us believe in it, even if it is not true, even if it does not take into account things that belong to the unconscious world. The left hemisphere has to collude to find a reasonable explanation, to explain what does not make sense to it. It does not explore, it only judges and dogmatises on the basis of what it sees.

In the right hemisphere of the brain are our childhood traumas. Who has not experienced an emotional wound as a child, even if it was intentional? All that remains in the right hemisphere, especially in infancy and childhood. This hemisphere is in permanent contact with the body, which makes the person feel unwell, blocked, because of these childhood traumas. The left hemisphere has to give an explanation for this, but as it has no contact with the right hemisphere, it invents a story and believes it. It has to make up a story like this is what happens to me because I am not intelligent enough, it believes it and starts to act not on the basis of how things are, but on the basis of how it thinks they are. This obsessive tendency of the left hemisphere has to give way to a feeling of humility, of exploring, so that the right hemisphere can say what is wrong, but as it is not listened to, the left hemisphere invents a story and carries it without knowing the reason.

The left hemisphere does not want to know about the right hemisphere because it senses that there is something there that it would rather not know. But it does not realise how many resources it is losing by not connecting with the right. The idea that you cannot change is only of the left hemisphere, not the right. If you open yourself to understanding the right, you begin to see solutions that cannot be understood by ordinary reason. The left hemisphere goes to the detail, which is important, but you also have to see the whole, which is what we are missing, the wide angle that the right hemisphere provides.

The right hemisphere does not see division, it only sees unity. It helps us transcend the timeline and allows us to connect with an eternal present. The left hemisphere is obsessed with death and the right hemisphere with life. The left is obsessed with the material and the right with love, with giving.

When children are very young, the two hemispheres are very close friends. The left one understands very well what it is capable of doing, but it also knows that the right one has capabilities that it lacks. The result is that young children are happier, they are exploring, they are learning very quickly.

Infancy and childhood are very important times in the life of a human being. Human beings need two things. The first is to feel deeply loved with unconditional love, that is, I love you for who you are, not for what you are. The child longs for that unconditional love because at some point he or she is aware of what that love means. There have been children who have suffered a lot because they were in dysfunctional families who have come to believe that if they were treated badly it was because they deserved it. If they feel good, that feeling makes them uncomfortable because they think they don't deserve it. This is in the left hemisphere. If I could understand these behaviours, that child would be healed because the right hemisphere is longing to meet his childhood friend. The dark side of the left hemisphere is its arrogance and ignorance; the light side is the ability to think, to write, to build, to describe. The right is our traumas, our wounds.
The second thing the child needs is to feel self-sufficient. He needs to be helped to have the feeling that, even though he is small, he can do things. His luminous side is the gaze with breadth, with depth, the one that sees unity in the midst of division. That is why the right hemisphere is obsessed with death and the left with life.

If we are in the field of levels of consciousness, what we have to do is to unify consciousness, to bring light to the left hemisphere so that it understands that there is a world beyond matter, beyond the measurable, beyond the controllable. The right hemisphere, for its part, has traumas within itself, it knows that the other hemisphere does not pay attention to it, but it is interested in getting to know it, not to compete with it. It will not reject those traumas because it knows that, if it embraces them, the person will heal and everything will move to another level. He has to express himself through a drawing, through writing, through poetry, through art. The solution is in the union.
When both sides embrace each other, light enters both. Thus, unified consciousness is the solution to these problems.

The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for the comments, opinions or statements made by the people who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their sole responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio González, are the result of the debates held at the meeting held for this purpose at the Foundation and are the responsibility of the authors.

The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for any comments, opinions or statements made by third parties. In this respect, the FRP is not obliged to monitor the views expressed by such third parties who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their own responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio J. González, are the result of the discussions that took place during the conference organised for this purpose at the Foundation and are the sole responsibility of its authors.