Have you ever asked yourself the existential questions such as Who am I? Why do I do things I do? What are my thoughts? What is a gut feeling?
All these can be explained by understanding the most fascinating organ in our body, the brain.
It all starts with evolution. As we know today, human brain has three parts - the fore brain, mid brain and the hind brain. 600 million years ago, the first fish had evolved followed by land plants, forests, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, flowering plants, bees, great apes and homo sapiens (Humans).
From the first fish, the mid brain and hind brain were functional and much more evolved than the fore brain. Only with the evolution of mammals, were the fore brains sizable.
Fore brain is responsible for functions such as memory, planning, organizing, problem solving, analytical reasoning and emotional control. Mid brain is responsible for functions such as vision, motor control, sleep, awake, temperature regulation.Hind brain is responsible for functions such as movement, balance, coordination, breathing, heart rate, swallowing.
The fore brain is what we call Rational brain while the mid brain is what we call Intuitive brain.
From the study of evolution, it is obvious that as living species, it is sufficient to posses mid brain and hind brain for our survival. Animals and fish and various other species have evolved and survived without an actively functioning and much developed fore brain as it is in the humans. Thus the objective of mid brain is Reproductive survival. Our Intuitive brain makes decisions that ensures our survival. It is a natural process that has evolved over 600 million years and works at a much faster pace. The decisions are made with an unconscious effort with a non verbal language using tools of evolution and tacit knowledge (more on this in another post). It uses the approach of sufficiency and does not aim for best decision but rather an immediate one with available knowledge from evolution and past experiences.
So what does our fore brain do? It helps us to think, rationalize, organize and ultimately achieve fulfillment. The approach the fore brain employs is optimization which means arriving at a best decision with a conscious effort using the languages of speech and math making use of tools such as data, logic, analysis.
The functioning of intuitive brain is still a black box and largely unknown. However, it is clear that it is the part of the brain where emotions arise and to which the sensory organs transmit their signals.
We often say that our heart wants something while our mind tells something else and tries to reason with us. The mind that reasons with us is the Rational brain or the fore brain. The heart that wants what it wants is the mid brain or Intuitive brain or the emotional brain. Intuitive brain is the gut feeling that we possess. As humans, we have the power and ability to form rational thoughts and control our emotions with the help of fore brain. It is a daunting exercise that requires patience, deliberate practice and understanding. It is however, definitely possible.
With that thought, I end this post. Here is a beautiful poem.
My mind has thunderstorms,
That brood for heavy hours:
Until they rain me words,
My thoughts are drooping flowers
And sulking, silent birds.
Yet come, dark thunderstorms,
And brood your heavy hours;
For when you rain me words,
My thoughts are dancing flowers
And joyful singing birds.
- William Henry Davies
Love yourself and life will be much more rewarding!