Our Brain is a Garden

When we arrive at the wonderful realisation that we all know virtually nothing in the grand scheme of things, we find that the garden is a place of condensed mysteries. It blooms with the natural essence of creativity. The garden reminds us that all of our ideas are a product of our ecosystem, our history, our environment.

Our brain is a garden and in it we sow the seeds we gather on our travels – our experience. In the garden these seeds will grow into something even more meaningful. Bees will spread pollen through the flowers, worms will keep the roots in order. We must clear the weeds and turn the soil. Biodiversity is important, our ideas should support each other in a vibrant way.

We delight at these new ideas, the seedlings, but it is the deeper subconscious connections that will truly nourish us in the future. That love of origami as a kid combined with a crush on your science teacher combined with your first scuba dive might produce an innovation in the science of marine protein folding. Of course, the roots of inspiration aren’t always as obvious as this but we don’t need to understand the deeper processes, or try to control them. We just need to feed our brain consistently with healthy raw materials, drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep.

The garden isn’t there to solve problems for us. It is there to remind us that our problems are part of a cycle. Flowers fall, we grieve. We need a place of beauty to hide until the primal hurt subsides. There will be guilt and anger and rage and shame, this is inevitable, but in a healthy mental garden this stuff will soon turn to mulch.

Sometimes an idea comes along which threatens to transform the garden. Perhaps it’s a flash of fleeting seasonal colour, perhaps a malicious species will try to hide the garden’s beauty. We have to be careful that these ideas don’t take root without our conscious approval. Change is good but not at the expense of a lifetime’s cultivation and experience.

Our brain is a garden, it needs our constant love and protection.