Cerebral Override

One would think that we humans, endowed with a large, complex brain, would be more aware of our environment than "lower" forms of life. In fact, the opposite is generally true.

Other animals, acting on instinct and focused on survival, rely on their senses for the detection of prey and for protection from predators. Unencumbered by cerebral distraction, they are highly aware of visual, auditory, vibratory and olfactory clues that eminate from their surroundings. Humans, on the other hand, prone to analysis and subject to rumination, are constantly bombarded by thoughts; every sound, sight and smell is likely to trigger a memory and our natural senses cannot protect us from the worry, regret and anticipation that often cloud our mind.

While we will never be as keenly aware of our environment as many of our wild neighbors, it is worth the effort to immerse ourselves in nature and attempt to soak in its bounty. A secluded wilderness, far from the trappings of human commerce, offers the best opportunity to escape the stress of modern life and to indulge our natural senses. As this season of color and fragrance unfolds, one would do well to counter the effects of cerebral override whenever possible.