Cognitive Pearls #007 Kislev 11, 5775 3/12/14

My father, z’l, loved to garden and care for the fruit trees that grew in the back of our house. During the spring he would fertilize them (the stink!) and then water them regularly. And then magically, we would have apples, peaches, and pears. My dad really loved those trees. They were like his children. So I was more than shocked one day when he took a large saw and began cutting away some of the branches. It was then that he explained the magic of pruning, that in order to ensure a steady supply of nutrients and water to the fruit, one needed to limit the growth of the tree. 

It would be years later when I learned about pruning in the developing brain. Fetuses and neonates are born with gigantic mass of undifferentiated brain cells. Over the course of development and learning order is created through the forming of an infinity of connections and biological pruning that forms the weaving of various systems and neural matrices. 

It was this morning that pruning came back to me. A client spoke of a total sense of inner busy-ness. He described a terrible heaviness. We went back and forth for a few moments; he then decided that he needed to do some inner pruning of his own: a little less worry about office politics, a little less competition with his buddies, a little less angry freak outs that seem to dot his days. Big stuff, no? He said he felt lighter already. 

Who knows? Maybe there will be a nice crop?