An Excerpt from Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain's Potential by Richard Restak

Richard Restak serves as a personal trainer helping us to make the most out of our brains. Here is a passage about the spiritual practice of connections.

"Networking is a fundamental operating principle of the human brain. All knowledge within the brain is based on networking. Thus, any one piece of information can be potentially linked with any other. Indeed, creativity can be thought of as the formation of novel and original linkages. James Burke refers to this as the pinball effect. Rather than training ourselves in narrow specialties, suggests Burke, we should train ourselves 'to think in a different way about knowledge and how it should be used.' . . . Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, emphasizes the importance of the brain in the forming of connections. . . .

"Berners-Lee and Burke both emphasize the brain's vast capacity to form interconnections similar to the vast web of interconnections comprising the World Wide Web. Therefore, think of your brain as a vast assemblage of neurons capable of an infinite number of associations. As you learn new things, increasing linkages become possible. Your ability to comprehend and utilize these linkages is limited only by your powers of memory. Thus, knowledge and, especially, intelligence take on new meanings.

" 'We might even consider changing our definition of intelligence,' suggests Burke. 'Instead of judging people by their ability to memorize, to think sequentially and to write good prose, we might measure intelligence by the ability to pinball around through knowledge and make imaginative patterns on the web.' "