I’ve mentioned in the past that a part of good religion is a good anthropology. In our case, that means having a good grasp on human nature, in the sense of how we are designed. My contention is that the biblical Hebrew viewpoint is as close as we can get to reality, since it’s the viewpoint God as Creator revealed. This viewpoint conflicts with common Western assumptions, of course. But it probably conflicts a lot less with the leading edge of Western research.
For example, we’ve already noted that Western medical science recognizes the heart as a sensory organ in its own right, along with an independent nervous system. But it’s not common knowledge. And even among medical researchers there is some debate about whether the heart has its own “mind” for processing the sensory data it collects. Nor is there consensus how it is possible to process such data, because they aren’t sure what that data is. My contention that this research supports my teaching that the heart is the seat of convictions and your true moral will is likely to find very little hearing among medical researchers, due to their residual Western biases.
Still, there is progress. Take this article from Nautilus online magazine as evidence of incremental improvement. The author notes that it’s false to imagine the intellect as fighting emotions; intellect and emotions cannot be separated. It’s more a question of fine-tuning we need to work on, not one squelching the other. Of course, I still have reservations with this improved model, but it is an improvement.
I note in passing that the reason our brains focus on prediction is because of our space-time perception. We are locked into that linear progression frame of reference as part of the Curse of the Fall; that’s a very unpopular notion. Even when mainstream Christians proclaim a belief in the Fall, they fail to understand how it affects their whole existence. It becomes compartmentalized in their thinking, and they absorb the ambient social mindset as the default.
My point in all this is to improve understanding the self. Most people who think they have problems are simply stuck in a place where they don’t understand how the self works. Their perception is locked in a mythology that doesn’t make room for their very real experiences. Further, being “beside yourself” is not necessarily a problem, because sometimes you really do need to move your awareness outside your self, as it were, to get a better look at what’s happening inside.