The manner in which the human brain evolved over the millenia is that three “layers” were ultimately developed. Each layer developed roughly 100 million years after the other. Each of these three layers has very different functions than the others. The two evolutionarily oldest layers are completely unconscious to us. The third layer, which is the newest and outer most layer, or brain cortex, is the only layer that gives us conscious awareness. There is much more brain activity in the lower two brain layers, and the most influential emotional brain activity takes place in these bottom two layers. Most of the stresses and strains and pleasures that we experience in our lives come from these lower two layers…but since we are only aware of our own thoughts and personalities, we very often attribute our emotions and strong reactions to things, as logical consequences to various experiences or perceptions that occur in our daily lives.The truth is that very frequently, our strong reactions are actually due to our more ancient brain layers being re-triggerd into previous reactions that remain lodged in those ancient brain layers. Despite having three “brains”, we only have one mind. Therefore, we very often are unaware that the “there and then” of past experiences are hijacking our “here and now” experiences.
©Shelley Uram 2011