Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our Reptilian Overlord - Part 1 of 2

I have been re-immersed into the world of the mind. I studied "The Mind" many years ago, but have found so much new information, now I feel compelled to take another look. It's a fascinating subject.

Did you know most decisions have already been made about most things before the conscious part of your brain gets the message? Our, once-called reptilian brain, or ventral palladium, has already made the decision, before you have time to think about it.

Did you know that unconscious goals are often stronger than our conscious goals because we have no way of moderating stuff we are not conscious of ? Think about that. We have unconscious goals that are stronger than our conscious ones.

Did you know that we can be "primed" to react a certain way by a smell, or object? (And, no, by the way, the old story about the movie theater that flashed a subliminal message to buy popcorn and coke, never happened. The theatre operator admitted he lied to increase sales of coke and popcorn.) Nonetheless, test subjects that had a briefcase in their hands acted differently than those that didn't. They were more competitive and selfish. Could the Wall Street debacle have been different if all the bankers wore shorts and flip flops? 

All of these things have one thing in common - our most primitive part of our brains. It controls our breathing, body temperature, sexual behavior. It is instinctive and automatic. It has remained unchanged by evolution and it sits in the middle of our brains. It tells us when to flee, fight, and eat. It's motto is "might is right."

But how is it connected to our thoughts? 


TheChicGeek said...

Fascinating post. I agree wholeheartedly. I think we need to learn to be still and listen to those unconscious thoughts, bring them to the forefront of our minds. They are our most authentic feelings. So often if we'd just listen to that little voice in the background of our minds we'd save ourselves a lot of trouble in life.

linda said...

great post and food for thought...I know the sense of smell and hearing trigger the quickest flashes of memory, while one would think it would be sight...probably smell is the fastest to speed through the emotional brain, bypass the thinking part, and suddenly you are weeping and don't know exactly why...something just seems vaguely familiar...or a flash of a few notes heard in passing...it's very strange, these masses in between our ears!

Lover of Life said...

I agree, ChicGeek, the trick is to "be still". It takes practice, I think.

Yes, Linda, smell, sight, touch, all our senses send messages to the brain and then somehow it activates "the mind" who coordinates and passes on the message. But it' so mysterious because it is not something we can see under a microscope.

disa said...