The Bully in the Brain

the bully in the brain

Let’s say, by way of analogy, that you, as the driver of the vehicle, reside in the heart of your body. The engine of the vehicle resides in the head of the body, in the brain. As the driver you can have the most beautiful ideals, goals, objectives, hopes, dreams, wishes and wants, and be stuck right where you are, if the engine is not working.

We need to understand a little about our brain engine so, as the heart-seated driver of the vehicle, we can go places, do things. In our heart, as the driver, we may be rather frustrated if those hopes and dreams, wants and wishes are obstructed, because the brain engine is not firing on all cylinders. It needs a tune-up. It needs its timing reset. Moving parts need to be lubricated. Our higher brain functions, referred to as our executive functions, are very active, lots of moving parts. Our emotional brain is older, deeper, more fixed; it has moving parts as well. The part with the fewest moving parts, and often at rest, in peace, at ease, is that region of the brain commonly referred to as ‘the reptilian brain’ herein referred to as ‘the biological brain.’ Of course, the emotional brain and the executive brain are biological. The biological brain is the basis, the root, the power.

The biological brain engine in the body vehicle, of which you are in the heart of the driver’s seat, is intelligent. Although we are more advanced in emotional and executive functionings, we have sacrificed integration of that reptile, that animal, at ease, at peace in the world, into our lives, in favor of executive functioning, which rule with iron-fisted realities. It’s like an engine being run constantly at the red line. It’s going to wear down the moving parts quickly. Turning off the executive functions, and the emotional functions, to reside in existential peace and ease, to be in that animal brain idle, is a tune up for the whole brain engine.

But, the executive functions have taken over, commandeered the brain engine, caged it and now makes it perform, incessantly. Attempts to drive the vehicle towards that calm, organic state of animal idle, is obstructed, blocked, prevented, by the demands of the executive functions. The executive functions are powerful and do take command. They can regulate, or dis-regulate, emotions. Certainly they are behind decisions and actions. They are often less in command of reactions; the emotional brain, can, and very often does, intercede and override executive functions. The vehicle can drive erratically, as if the spark plugs are misfiring. And, indeed, they may be. Time for a tune-up.

Drive the vehicle over towards the biological brain bay and rest a while. Be like a polar bear laying in the snow, a sea otter floating on its back; be like a simple animal, a mammal; be like that magnificent ape, sitting, quiet, at ease, surveying its domain, for hours, idle, without a bully badgering it.

Read the companion blog post Told What To Do


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