An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of July 20, 2006
Issued from Polly's Bend, Garrard County, in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region
SNAKE BRAIN

You've probably heard that we humans have a three-part brain, the "root" one being reptilian. Our brains are like a house that has had rooms added twice. Mammals, of which humans are one, arose from reptiles. Thus our "nuclear brain" is reptilian. As evolution proceeded and more complex mammals arose, a new wing of the brain appeared, the "limbic brain" or "mammalian brain." Finally, when we humans came along our much more complex behavior was made possible by a second new wing of the brain, the "neo-cortical brain (neocortex)" or "monkey" brain, which was set like a helmet over the reptilian and mammalian brains.

Our reptilian brain supports basic physiological functions such as circulation, respiration, digestion, elimination and mating. It's also involved in territorial behavior, pecking order, defense, aggression and the emotions of anger and fear. Reptiles are capable of these behaviors, for they have reptilian brains.

Mob behavior and voting patterns of groups stirred up by demagogues deal with issues exactly within these reptilian domains -- territory, status, defense, aggression, anger, fear...

The more sophisticated mammalian brain is concerned with emotions of love, sadness, jealousy, and hope, so humans share these traits with "higher" mammalian species such as cats, dogs, horses and other warm blooded animals.

Note that the emotions of the mammalian brain -- love, sadness, jealousy, and hope -- seldom set mobs and stirred-up voting groups to action. One could say with good reason that a dog has more feeling, more empathy and love, than a mob. One could also say that our recent elections appear to have been contests between issues of the reptilian brain and those of the mammalian brain. You can figure out for yourself which political party's issues are most reptilian in nature.

The most recently evolved "monkey brain" -- appearing only within the last 3,000,000 years or so -- enables humans to manifest higher functions of imitation, speaking, writing, planning and symbolic reasoning and conceptualization. Neither is this mob stuff.

So, in order to save Life on Earth from the biosphere collapse well underway already, how can we enable the thought processes of the masses to blossom beyond the limitations of the human reptilian brain? How can we insert mammalian empathy and love, and monkey-brain rational thought and spirituality into the equation?

I don't have a clue. I'll just give you some links in case you want to study this matter more.

For more insight into the reptilian brain, go to http://www.reptilianagenda.com/brain/br121804p.shtml.

To see how our three brains interact in daily life visit http://www.claudesteiner.com/triune.htm.