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Can there be mindfulness in battle?

"...after finding a tunnel shaft nearby, Lieutenant Eitan, on his own initiative, asked to go in pursuit of the terrorists in the tunnel. ...Lieutenant Eitan entered the narrow and dark tunnel alone, but due to the difficulties he got out of it, he took off his protective vest. After that, Lieutenant Eitan entered the terrorist tunnel at the head of a squad of commanders armed only with a gun and began to lead the force inside the tunnel at high personal risk and under real fear of the unknown, Lieutenant Eitan continued to advance a distance of hundreds of meters deep into the tunnel, with the aim of rescuing the missing team commander , Lt. Hadar Goldin." From the I.D.F website


Every military has many decorations to indicate bravery and levels of extraordinary performance in battle. When reading the descriptions, it is hard for me not to notice an extraordinary function of the brain and nervous system in the background. Entering a dark tunnel without proper protective equipment or suitable weapons seems dangerous and threatening to me, and so it probably seemed to Lt. Ethan Pond. The Lt. here produced a control function of the nervous system that is not intuitive, we sometimes call it top-down control. When I want to eat a cookie, when I really feel like it, and I hold back, it's top-down control. When someone learns to relax their muscles and breath when entering freezing water, it's top-down control.


When there is an ability to activate Top-down control, this ability can move from one action field to another action field. Many heroes demonstrated it in their ordinary lives, the life that preceded the heroism, an ability to control a variety of ordinary behaviours. We claim that this has a direct relationship to their bravery and resilience in battle.





Lt. Eitan Pond - IDF spokesman photo

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