Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Symptoms of the Reptilian Brain in Human Evolution

Back in 1971 when I was a kid we moved to a new neighborhood in Palos Verdes Estates, CA with much surrounding undeveloped land. I recently checked on Zillow and some of that same undeveloped property from the 1970s was later developed in the 1980s and 90's into $2-5 million dollar mansions.

One of my first experiences after having moved to the new neighborhood was being introduced to the licorice plants that grew hearty on the sidewalk curbs.  I was directed by the local kids to break off one of the plant branches in order to taste the flavor of licorice.  What else did the new neighborhood have to offer I wondered?  Eventually I learned the truth that the neighborhood was seething with primarily lizards and snakes including long slithering skinks (pictured) that would find ways into the house to terrify.  Rattle snakes would even occasionally hang out as if waiting for me outside the backyard gate's steps.  In other words, the neighborhood was a young boy's paradise full of creepy crawly things to terrify girls with.

Lizards were so prevalent that going blue belly lizard hunting became a neighborhood kids pass time. They'd often hide under bushes hanging over the curb.  If you caught a lizard by its tail, it would demonstrate its "fight or flight" reptilian trait. The tail would break off and wiggle around after the lizard ran off.  Other ancient and creepy things in the neighborhood included small scorpions and, *gasp*, huge potato bugs!

A Reptilian What?!!

Back in 1999 when I researched about the human brain and evolution for my website www.BrainChannels.com (since sold), I learned about something called the reptilian brain I could hardly believe.

"The brain stem is the oldest and smallest region in the evolving human brain. It evolved hundreds of millions of years ago and is more like the entire brain of present-day reptiles. For this reason, it is often called the ‘reptilian brain’. Various clumps of cells in the brain stem determine the brain’s general level of alertness and regulate the vegetative processes of the body such as breathing and heartbeat.
It’s similar to the brain possessed by the hardy reptiles that preceded mammals, roughly 200 million years ago. It’s ‘preverbal’, but controls life functions such as autonomic brain, breathing, heart rate and the fight or flight mechanism. Lacking language, its impulses are instinctual and ritualistic. It’s concerned with fundamental needs such as survival, physical maintenance, hoarding, dominance, preening and mating. It is also found in lower life forms such as lizards, crocodiles and birds. It is at the base of your skull emerging from your spinal column."
I'm pretty sure the photo above is my recolorization artwork version of the scanned photo from a book Mapping the Mind I had up on the BrainChannels website that a few people have since used on their blogs.  Only I would have colored the reptilian brain in pastel pinks and purples!

www.BrainChannels.com (Human Brain, Evolution, Memory)

This PDF has clickable URLs just as the website had. Javascripts are missing however,
which is why the home page is missing its menus.

San Francisco's Welcome Wagon 

So, back again to my lizards story. After I left Palos Verdes in 1979, I didn't really come into contact with lizards for a long time. It wasn't until I moved up to San Francisco in 1996 that I was welcomed to the city with a large iguana dragon a roommate owned that made the skink seem like child's play.  I can't say I was scared of the thing since it was domesticated, but it was really ugly and gross. He'd even let it out during dinner hour to walk around and crap all over the place.  I couldn't understand why this guy Peregrine enjoyed having such a pet let alone being a drummer in a heavy metal band.  He'd often practice in the garage. I was really surprised I lasted 6 months living in that environment prior to his mother buying the place returning from living in India.

Four years after living with the iguana I came back into contact with reptiles again  when I studied about the reptilian brain stem. (Apparently they hadn't really ever left being embedded in the lower portions of my brain!) What I studied convinced me there was no hope for humanity's survival.  Back in 1999 there were already books being written about how the scientists planned on merging man and machine to overcome the brain's flaws.  I noted how these people who were learning during the Golden Age of brain discovery would most likely exploit the information to their own advantage.  I came to the conclusion there was obviously a race going on for the next step in human evolution. Breaking free of the reptilian brain seemed widely accepted as the key to evolution.

Shortly after I released my BrainChannels site, within four months Bill Joy, the Chief Scientist at Sun Microsystems,  published his infamous article "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us": 

As this enormous computing power is combined with the manipulative advances of the physical sciences and the new, deep understandings in genetics, enormous transformative power is being unleashed. These combinations open up the opportunity to completely redesign the world, for better or worse: The replicating and evolving processes that have been confined to the natural world are about to become realms of human endeavor.

In designing software and microprocessors, I have never had the feeling that I was designing an intelligent machine. The software and hardware is so fragile and the capabilities of the machine to "think" so clearly absent that, even as a possibility, this has always seemed very far in the future.

But now, with the prospect of human-level computing power in about 30 years, a new idea suggests itself: that I may be working to create tools which will enable the construction of the technology that may replace our species. How do I feel about this? Very uncomfortable. Having struggled my entire career to build reliable software systems, it seems to me more than likely that this future will not work out as well as some people may imagine. My personal experience suggests we tend to overestimate our design abilities.
Summoning Higher Brain Functions Please!

We're now 10 years into the advent of breakthrough information about the human brain and advanced technologies.  I recently came to the awareness my personal growth is connected to my ability to overcome my reptilian brain's symptoms. While such "symptoms" are largely only natural to the human race, the times we're living in demand overcoming the fear, survival instincts and the like to enter into a new dimension of life prior to the disintegration of everything to come.   

I've been listening to this physicist David Sereda who is an enlightened physicist talking about what's coming in 2012.

Then there's David Wilcock, another enlightened person overcoming the reptilian brain's control. In this video, part of his Enigma series, Wilcock talks about the pineal gland and its affect on human history (also known as the third eye of the human brain):

Matrix Men & Their Rice-A-Phony

From my perspective, all evidence points to overcoming the reptilian brain as the key to human evolution.  I was on the right track in the early 1980's to be meditating and practicing yoga.  Back then it wasn't nearly as popular as it is today.  Previously, my mind became controlled and manipulated from watching too much television throughout my life, especially as a child. To this day silly things pop into my mind from my memories of television decades ago.

For instance, one day I walked by a cable car in San Francisco where the infamous commercial was shot on California at Powell. The jingle, "Rice A Roni, the San Francisco treat!" activated in my brain.  Just what I needed on the way to performing a notarization for someone. I don't know about anyone else, but I consider this an assault on my mind. A company had taken my mind over with its dumb jingle, having embedded it cleverly into my subconscious through television! I don't recall ever having their rice either. Think about it -- if a rice company can plant something in your memory to be triggered with association of a cable car, think of what the government can do with this part of our reptilian brain?

Television programming's really bad for the human mind in so many ways since it puts us in a hypnotic passive state where we don't interact with things as we should.  It's easy to see how dangerous television can be to humanity under the circumstances of how it stunts human development.  Would Einstein have developed his mind as such had he lived in a television culture? Michelangelo? Why aren't we witnessing new scientific talent lately? That one huge brilliant mind of our ages? Could it be the forces of television and all the other factors prevent genius minds from developing as they should?  I think there's a strong possibility television has at least partially destroyed many a mind and life.