Sitting on the sand at the Oak Street beach in Chicago, I was looking toward the downtown area. Straight ahead was the Drake Hotel, many celebrities stay there, and behind it, loomed the Hancock Building, once the tallest in Chicago. Great architecture in a great city!
Then I laid back on the warm sand and looked at the sky with its cloud formations. It was so peaceful, this is how I get my shot of dopamine, the feel good chemical released by my brain.
I was in the process of counting how many faces or objects I could see in the clouds. When I noticed the shape of a good looking woman, in a bikini, laying next to me, also looking at the clouds.
“It’s interesting how many objects or faces you can see in the clouds,” I said, hoping to start a conversation.
“Yes, I see a face in that cloud over there,” she said, pointing.
I looked at her cloud and said:
“It looks more like a flower vase to me.”
“That’s funny, we see different things.”
“Our brains are in the business of deceiving us. It seeks patterns in random stimuli.”
“You sound very knowledgeable.”
I smiled, feeling very full of myself.
“We see things that are not there!”
She shifted her bikini clad body on the sand and said:
“Oh, you mean like when you see something in the tea leaves but it really isn’t there.”
“That’s right, you’re getting the hang of this now.”
“It’s sort of scary really, when what we see, we perceive of as reality, yet it is an illusion built by our brains.”
“Oh, you’re giving me goose bumps!”
I turned toward her to check. Yes, she had goose bumps on her arms. Looking at her, I felt sort of dizzy, like I was on drugs that lead to nowhere, but at least it was a scenic route!
“I feel like I exist somewhere behind my eyes!”
“Your brain is deceiving you to feel that way.”
“How does that work?”
She was squirming in the sand to get comfortable.
“Well, different parts of your brain are talking to each other constantly, coming into conflict on what is the right decision to make.”
“You mean it’s like little people bickering inside my brain and together they build an illusion of one mind, when really there are different parts of consciousness?”
She was getting smarter by the minute!
“That’s right, let’s say, I want to eat a piece of chocolate cake for desert.”
“I love chocolate cake, but I have to watch my weight!”
“Yes, right, but what’s happening is the primitive, instinctual member of the brain says, “Go ahead, enjoy, you’ll feel good if you eat it.” Another member of the brain says, “Hold on, it could be bad for your health!”
“There is a fight going on in my brain?”
“That’s right, the fight will be resolved one way or another. When the conflict is over, your brain will release “feel good” chemicals, as a reward.”
“I knew when I took this sunbathing spot next to you, I would learn something. It’s my intuition!”
“That’s your brain subconsciously processing again. Your brain invents a reason to explain how and why you feel a certain way.”
“Oh, my head is bursting with information. I’ll have to leave now, see you again sometime.”
I turned toward her to say goodbye, but all I saw was a mound of sand that resembled a HUMAN BODY!