Recently I completed reading Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist reveals how to think differently. While this book was rather redundant and perhaps would have been better as a pamphlet or a series of slides than a book, there is a rather simple message I gleaned from this book.
- Those who do things that others say is impossible are iconoclasts.
- Iconoclasts have brains that operate differently.
- Their brains see things differently
- They mitigate fear that comes with change
- They pitch ideas to others in convincing ways
- We all think like iconoclasts even if we are not born with the brain of an iconoclast.
- As our brains are plastic they are able to change and adapt to new norms.
- If we expose ourselves to the novel then our brains will begin to adapt and see the novel as the new norm
- If novel is the new norm then we no longer fear the novel/change and we can move forward.
This is a major thesis I gleaned from this book which gives me great hope. You and I can become iconoclasts in the world if we are willing to expose ourselves to novelty often. If we are open to novelty then our brains will no longer be allowed to be lazy and must work at understanding the world around us. If our brains are working to understand the world around us then our brains will begin to make connections that others have overlooked.
Of course I think Jesus was an iconoclast in this sense - he was able to see that which others could not or refused to see.
How did Jesus expose himself to the novel? He befriended those who others deeded as "sinners". He threw ideas and concepts alongside one another such as love and enemy. He engaged in the Roman world, the Jewish world, the Hellenistic world, the Zealot world, the Herodian world, the spiritual world, the poverty world, and the like. He traveled all around his country and saw new things, new foods and new ideas.
Perhaps you and I can become more Chirst-like if we begin to embody the simple act of encountering the novel in our lives.
So drive to work a different way. Read a different book then you normally would. Buy different shampoo. Eat new foods. Attend to the Arts. Travel. Pray. Befriend new people. Change your patters and routines. Work outside. Listen more than talk.
Who knows what iconoclastic actions God might be calling you into.