We do not have a brain: according to Maclean, who first proposed the model of the triune brain, we have three brains, the Reptilian, the Mammalian and the Thinking Brain, stacked on top of each other in the order they have evolved.

The oldest and the most primitive of the brains, the reptile brain remains basically unchanged since it first appeared in reptiles. It’s main “concern” is to keep our body alive and reproduce. It does not “think”, it does not have emotions, it only “acts in a cold and uncalculated way.

It is mechanical, and ritualistic, keeps repeating the same behaviors over and over, and it is incapable of learning from past mistakes. It controls our very basic, anatomic survival functions, such as breathing and heartbeat, and therefore it is active even in deep sleep. It aggressive, territorial, rigid, obsessive, compulsive, ritualistic and paranoid, it prefers fighting over fleeing, action over thought.

Directly above the reptilian brain in terms of evolution and physical space is the middle brain, or the Limbic System, known as the Old Mammalian Brain.

This brain still does not “think” complex and rational thoughts, but it is capable of basic feelings, instincts, and corresponding behaviors such as feeding, fighting, fleeing, and sexual behavior. According to MacLean, the mammalian brain is rather hedonistic: at this level, everything is judged to be either “agreeable or disagreeable, and the corresponding actions are either pleasure seeking or pain avoiding.

The Mammalian Brain is believed to be the seat of value judgment, and has a great influence on behavior: it decides whether the higher brain has a “good” idea or not, based on whether it “feels” true and right or not. It subordinates logic to feelings, and hence, it is responsible both for unpredictability and creativity. The Mammalian Brain tends to be dogmatic and paranoid and because of its tendency to hedonistic, pleasure seeking and pain avoiding behavior, its judgment of what is “good or bad” is mostly based on rationalizing desires instead of “thinking rationally”.

Literally and metaphorically in the middle between the Reptilian and Thinking Brains, the Mammalian Brain is both greatly influenced and influences both systems: it acts as a bridge, translator, negotiator and mediator between the two and it is capable of overriding not only logic, but even the instinct of self preservation and survival.

It is responsible for our most foolish, self destructive, and our most heroic and selfless acts: it compels the hero to jump in front of a speeding bullet to save a loved one, or to give our last morsel of food to our children, even at the danger of starving ourselves. Other times, it might “decide” that starving ourselves to death is a good idea in order to fit in, in order to be loved, and, in order to seek pleasure or avoid pain, harming or killing others, or even ourselves is acceptable.

On top of the evolutional chain, and physically, on the top of the reptilian and mammalian brains, resides the Neocortex, the Superior, Rational, Thinking Brain.

The Neocortex “thinks, therefore it exists”. MacLean called the Neocortex as "the mother of invention and father of abstract thought”: the higher, more superior cognitive functions that sets us apart from animals and make us humans are seated in the Neocortex. This brain is “responsible” for complex human thoughts, cognition, memory, human emotions, self reflection and self realization.

Although nothing goes unnoticed by the Superior Brain, it is also the one last evolved compared to the other brains, both of which are very reluctant to change, and resist being controlled. Whatever we do, feel, or think, it is always a combination of the three brains working together, competing, or working against each other: we truly seem to have enough blood to fully operate only “one brain at the time: one of the systems, based on the situation is always dominant over the others.

When a space shift, aircraft, or nuclear plant is in danger of destruction, all systems that are not necessary for immediate survival are shut down, in order to preserve energy and to free all available resources to handle the situation most effectively. In times of real or perceived danger to our survival, our body acts much the same way: the first brain to "shut down" is the thinking brain, and if the trauma is severe, then the emotional brain follows.

When the body goes into an "all systems halt", and only the very basic functions that are necessary for physical survival remain. This is why people who experienced extreme physical or emotional trauma, go into "shock": they are unable to problem solve, rationalize, make sense of the situation, and emotionally, they feel listless, or "numb". Similarly, when a person is in a rage or terrified, they physically and literally stop "thinking", and they are unable to effectively problem solve or communicate.

In times of perceived or real, imminent danger, it is a fairly good idea to act first, and think later. In terms of physical survival, often it could be a fatal mistake to stop and analyze the situation or determine the right action based on logical thought. In order to preserve an intact skull, and the possibility of further scientific or spiritual analysis, we need to let the bodyguard brain handle the situation.

Pure logic and rational thinking is not necessary and sometimes even counterproductive to human development, and evolution: Some of our most human feelings and behaviors (love, our ability to have faith, or perceive God for example) often, if not always, have nothing to do with logic, not even with self preservation, but everything to do with “feeling” and “emotions”.

Somewhere and everywhere (to use the word very loosely and metaphorically), in this constantly changing, creating and recreating, created and recreated by the body, and our three brains, resides and works The Human Mind.

The Mind is everywhere, but it is nowhere specific in time or space: although most would agree that even the most mindless of us have a brain and a mind, no one can physically locate, nor satisfactorily define what the Mind is, or is not, if it is “all in our head”, or expands the physical boundaries our body, The Universe, or even beyond that.

Modern science is catching up what our body, and instinctively, and at a cellular level, human’s had known all along: our mind is part of a larger, infinite intelligence that “has a mind” on its own, an intelligence that created, re-creates and interacts with all of the Universe with all of its innate and animate objects and keeps everything, even inanimate objects “alive”.

Our highly interdependent and interrelated behaviors, actions, reactions, instincts, feelings, emotions, complex cognitive functions, all our needs and desires are creations and creators of the mind. Agreeable, or disagreeable stimuli from the environment create sensory input, our senses create feelings, feelings trigger thoughts, thoughts create further feelings, we act, we react, we feel, we think, we search for and create meaning from our experiences and feelings, alter and realign our beliefs, values, and corresponding actions, we constantly react to what we perceive to be inner our outer reality, and in the process, we are the creators of our own, highly individual and collective reality, our individual reality, collective reality and the mind of the Universe itself.

Individually and collectively, by learning to use our brain, our body, our mind, our environment, our reality, and in fact, the entire Universe with its unlimited and infinite power, intelligence, and resources, we can evolve to an entirely new "species" and create an entirely new reality. By becoming masters, rather than being mastered by of our individual mind, we can evolve into a species of Mindful and Conscious Homo Sapiens, we can find and create an individual, collective, personal and universal Peace of Mind: an experience and reality of harmony, balance, peace and love.

Author's Bio: 

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Gina Lantos is a writer, artist, counselor, coach, facilitator, a creative, passionate, wise and wildly entertaining Modern Gypsy Sage, living mindfully in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.

Being an ethnic gypsy (Rroma), and having both a genetic disposition for intuitive wisdom and a passionate thirst for cutting edge scientific knowledge, Gina is passionate about and dedicated her life to explore, learn, live and share everything she can about the ways to incorporate ancient wisdom and modern science in order to escape the limitations and trappings of the human mind, and through mindfulness and mindful living, to enable herself and others to become fully aware, to tap into the unlimited power, resources and knowledge of the Universal Consciousness.

Gina continues to explore and share with others the skills and knowledge that is needed to become Masters, rather than being mastered by their mind and to imagine, dream, and create a life that gives them both a peace of mind and an increased sense of power in order to create a balanced, harmonious, abundant, passionate, and compassionate life experience.

Gina complimented her University studies of Anthropology, Psychology, and Business Management with short course completion. A certified Neurolinguistic Practitioner, Gina incorporates Jungian Psychology, Buddhist Zen teachings, Mindfulness Based Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy into her clinical, coaching, business consulting and facilitating practice.