The Muse

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blame it on the Reptile*

*Not the one from the Garden of Eden. I mean the old brain stem, the Reptilian Brain.

A home buyer noticed construction close by the home he was considering purchasing, and asked his agent what it was.

“I don’t know,’ the agent answered, “a shopping center I think.” (He had heard that one was going in somewhere in the vicinity.)

Later, after buying the house, the client found that it was not a shopping center, but a bottling plant, and he turned the agent over to the Grievance committee, where they faulted the agent.

Here you can worry about casual remarks, plain old conversation, and corporate stupidity.

An elderly man and his wife were about to board a cruise ship. Before boarding they were asked to fill out a form . One of the questions was : ”Have you been sick within the last week?”

The man checked the yes box, then quickly realized his mistake. He had not been sick, so he scratched out the YES box and checked the NO.

Do you think he got to board?


First they had medical personnel come from the ship and take the man’s temperature, then, although his temperature was normal, he was denied boarding.

Whoa,  and we don’t know the planning that went into that vacation, where he traveled from, how much his plane fare cost, or long he had looked forward to it.

Stupidity abounds. Or is it fear?

Are we so afraid of getting something wrong that we have become stupid?

Blame it on the reptile.

You know that old reptilian brain, the primitive brain stem that lies under our higher “Thinking brain?” This reptilian brain controls our vital organs, our heart, our lungs, that is the autonomic system, so we don’t have to think about such things as digesting our food.

It also looks out for our physical well-being. Using this brain we can jump out of the way of a careening bus without thinking about it. We might fight off an attacker, or lift a car off a loved one if need be. The Reptilian brain has our best interests at heart…

HOWEVER, it is always looking for trouble.

It knows nothing of SPIRIT. It knows nothing of the higher working of the brain. It doesn’t know that guidance, intuition or well being exists.

So, if someone wants to get the human animal, or any animal for that matter, into a state of discontent, of confusion or turmoil, go after the reptilian brain. Let it believe it is in danger.

When some animals are faced with danger they run, that’s a prey animal.  If they fail, they get eaten—end of animal. If the human animal, the predator, fails or gets it wrong, they fear being humiliated, or ostracized, or unloved. Being ostracized is so serious that ancient cultures used it as punishment, and often, without their tribe, that ostracized person died. It was essentially a death sentence.

But, if you are a good horse trainer (and it’s all about horse training) you will want the animal to want to be with you. In that case you will provide comfort, safety, food, and fun.

Horse meditation

What if we used that training on the old reptilian brain? Calmed the savage beast so to speak.

There is an old Native American tale: Two dogs were fighting. One Native asked the dog’s owner which dog would win. Replied the owner, “The one I feed.”

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