Archive - January 11, 2016

The Thinking, Feeling, Evolving Brain

The Thinking, Feeling, Evolving Brain

Evolution Blue


Millions of years before we were thinking organisms, we were in our evolution collectively and individually sensing, feeling, and intuiting organisms.

The brain’s frontal lobes and their executive functions emerged only much later.

In other words, we had a thalamic feeling/sensing/intuitive brain for millions of years before the thinking functions of the frontal lobes and their executive functions evolved.

We have not, however, evolved nearly so far as some science would lead us to believe. Our frontal lobes have not replaced, by any means, the feeling, sensing and intuiting functions of the thalamic brain.

However, the evolutionary task today, in which we are all engaged, involves a balance or ‘coming into alignment’ of the proficiency of the frontal lobes with the “earthy” power of the thalamic brain.

In our tendency to “over think,” the thalamic brain reasserts its claims to deeper and different functions of the integration and action process.

It is important to understand the need to quiet the frontal lobes and to listen more deeply and differently to the messages of the rest of the brain, as in meditation.

Even our science has not caught up with this balancing, evolving brain.

Thinking, as we define it narrowly today, certainly has a strong role in our consciousness.

Feelings Circle

But the emotions you are used to feeling and the emotional patterns which you are used to, and in some cases even addicted to, also affect both thought and feeling.

The core issue in addiction, for example, is recycling and being unable to let go of an emotional pattern, far more based in the old brain than managed by the new brain.

Trigger the beginning emotion of an addictive cycle and you set in motion a series of emotions that lead to addictive behavior.

Thinking has little to do with it. In fact, in the addictive process (and in other times in life), thinking is the slave of feelings and reasoning has little to do with the process.

New findings show the old brain to be much more involved in addictive behavior than previously considered.

Our emotions are the most fundamental way that we measure our lives.

We want most to “feel good.”

© Dr. William K. Larkin 


Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute