Welcome to the What We Have In Common Project
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What WWHiC is about
This project is designed to help promote knowledge of our common human nature, and to pass on information to tease apart the common threads in everyday life, work, religion, and other important areas of our lives, to assist in a better understanding of us all, and to promote change on several levels.
The vast majority of us are potentially able to reach the highest echelons, depending on how we were brought up, the developmental influences we encountered, and also what we decided to learn. Thus, using the word "environment" in it's widest sense of everything influencing an individual, i.e. those physical conditions, the mental pressures on the brain and mind, how we see the world, and the influences of everything we do - all have a bearing on how we develop, and how far we actually progress.
At the heart of our heritage is one of nature's gifts to us - Neuronal Plasticity. Neuroscience discovered that throughout our lives, our brains are able to mold themselves into almost any new configuration. Professor Ian Robertson in his book: "Mind Sculpture: Unlocking Your Brain's Untapped Potential" was one of the first to show that when we learn something new, the neurons in our brains form more and different connections, enabling this new learning to become embedded in the brain and mind.
Neurons reach out to other neurons as we learn. These connections take place as we learn. This means we have to start learning something before the neurons connect up. Thus, learning (and neuronal growth) is frequently started by an act of will. For example: "I am going to learn this or that", or "I will attend this college to learn that", and "I'm going to start a new job that entails me learning a whole new set of skills" etc.
It also means that what we learn becomes "hard-wired" into our brains and minds, making it more difficult to change our point of view, or even our world outlook. This means that someone brought up in a non-conducive environment where they may have learnt something unhelpful, could have an uphill struggle to change their lives, because those unhelpful patterns can become embedded.
However, though it takes effort to break existing patterns, it can be done by the desire to change ourselves and will power. It is literally modifying existing neuronal patterns and creating new ones. Much of course depends on how deeply these patterns are embedded.
This site then, is about how we all learn patterns of thinking that can be useful or even detrimental - whether we realize it or not. By seeing our existing patterns and becoming aware of the traps along the way, some of which are pointed out on this site, we can modify those existing patterns, and by the power of our desire for change, using our own will and a little effort, we can create new, better ones. All we human beings share the same genes, and we can all fall subject to influences that can slow, halt, or even reverse our progress to becoming something we desire.
The videos and articles here serve several functions. None of them need any knowledge of neuronal plasticity (or any other science), just a desire to learn something more about our common human nature. The neurons will take care of themselves as you progress. However, there is the odd mention of how neuronal plasticity and other processes work for those more curious.
Neuronal plasticity enables our brains to be modified according to the surrounding environment, and the needs of the individual. Even if you don't feel the need for change right now, it is still good to know how our very own brains came to be structured the way they are, how we came to think the way we do, and know what happens to our brains, and our minds, when we decide to do something new.
Knowing we are able to change ourselves, the essence of this site is to help show what makes us all human: Our environment, our nature, our minds, our thoughts, our feelings, our wants and desires.
In the interests of clarity the site is broken down into two major, but overlapping sections. Current thinking supports the idea that our genes (Our Givens) determine possibilities, and it is our environment (What We Learn) that shapes us.
Both those categories influence us. However, how we think and behave influences neural development through plasticity, and thus the structure of our individual brains. This in the longer term can modify our genes because those characteristics can become "hard-wired" in, and thus our modified genes can eventually alter the course of our evolution. We are able to not only alter our thinking patterns, but in the longer term we can also alter ourselves physically. This is now becoming referred to as "Conscious Evolution". If you think this is far-fetched, then the Arrowsmith Program focuses on retraining and reforming the brains and minds of those people with learning difficulties by use of cognitive exercises.
The two main sections are:
- Our givens - What we are born with - our genetic inheritance
- What we learn - Our all encompassing environment, including the value systems that get implanted into us by various means
Other sections are added as the need arises.
All sections overlap considerably because they are artificial divisions, there being no clear boundaries. For example "Fear" is an embedded response to danger from even before our days in the trees, and it can also be learnt - as in a fear of not being able to pay the bills and its consequences.
A holistic approach works best on this site. A good method is to let the information presented here just sink in (go with the flow). Over time, your mind at a different level is quite capable of putting pieces together that may initially seem disjointed.
Don't think this site is just about science. It isn't. It is very much a mixed bag. After all, it is about what we have in common. I wish you happy browsing on this site, and may your brain and mind develop wisely!
This first video explains in good measure what the What We Have In Common Project represents. The video is about empathy. We can all learn to be more empathetic, and if we as the human race are to survive, this is an essential characteristic:
This under 15 minute video entitled "Know Thyself" looks at another aspect of what this site is about. Self knowledge leads us to a greater understanding of our similarites, common heritage and direction:
If you are interested in helping out, please use the contact us page.
Note: All material on this site is used in a particular context to present a certain point of view, or direction. This means that other material by the same authors may, or may not necessarily correspond with the views of WWHiC.
All information used on this site is freely available on the internet. If there is an item inadvertently being used here without permission, and you would wish that people do not get access to important information for free, then please use the contact page to inform us, and we will let visitors here know your choice.