Taken your Reptile to a Football Match Lately?

My last post, A Racism that Lusts After the Kill, referred to the reptilian brain ~ one aspect of our Triune Brain [1] ~ and its powerful impulses. As the oldest and deepest section of the brain structure, akin to that of birds and lizards, the reptilian brain holds deep-seated ancestral or primordial memory; it harbours all our phobias and generates our greatest nightmares. It plays a crucial role in keeping us alive.

This primitive part of the brain controls our survival and reproductive instincts as well as our fear, vengeful, attack, anger and aggression responses. It governs our flight, fight and freeze (or hide) impulses. It is the home of the tribe and its territorial behaviour, where loyalty and tribal honour towers above all else, even love.

The reptilian brain's 'kill', revenge and retaliatory impulses are satisfied and indulged in ‘theatres’ of war, where it is ‘legitimate’ to defend ourselves against attack, even those perceived as only a future possibility, in order to protect the tribe’s way of life.
Much of that primitive ‘kill’ instinct is also carried out on the streets of our towns and cities, sometimes legitimised by law enforcement imperatives, or by gangs, including fundamentalists of all kind, as well as by the individual.

Those aggressive and tribal instincts are played out in tough contact spots, such as football and boxing – not far removed from the gladiatorial arena. They are also satisfied and disguised through competitiveness, even on the Monopoly or draught/checkers board. 

So when last did you take your reptile to a football match? Who and what tweaks your tail until you turn and snap?

It seems that the power structures of our world function according to the impulses of the reptilian or primitive brain – regressive and controlling – while a large section of the peoples of the world – specifically the Arab world, Greece, Turkey, Brazil, are demanding freedom and a kind of progress not dominated by the needs of rampant globalization.

The second part of the brain, the limbic system, the more ‘cuddly’ emotional side, we inherited from mammals.  It is said to be the source of some aspects of personal identity, and some critically important memory functions. It is much more engaged with the ‘here and now’ and our emotional response to immediate experience.
 So let your koala give your reptile a warm bath and a loving stroke.

The third and outer formation of the brain, the neocortex, is devoted to higher order thinking skills, reasoning and linguistic expression. A path of transformation follows a track that moves a definition of self from mere IQ through EQ to SQ – from basic through emotional to spiritual intelligence.

Thus we have a mind-brain (the past), an emotional-brain (present time), and a higher ordering or ‘transpersonal’ brain, that gives us the ability to perceive a Source greater than we are. On occasions when we are able to integrate the triune brain, it facilitates a rise in consciousness.

[1] P.D. Maclean. The Triune Brain


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