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"The way to understand the structure is to study its formation."
                                                                                                          Salamat Sarsekenov

Without exaggeration, the most important organ in our body is the brain. At the same time, it still remains the least understood. In recent years, neurobiology has advanced in the study of biochemical and electrical processes in neurons, but scientists still do not know how electrons and atoms relate to thoughts and images we perceive.
I would like to introduce you to the "Triune Brain", quite an interesting and symbolic hypothesis created by the neuroscientist Paul McLean. He identified three different structures in it: the reticular system (reptilian brain) - the most ancient component, the limbic system (emotional brain) - appearing with the ancient mammals and the neocortex (visual brain) - the latest gadget of the vertebrate nervous system. McLean came to the conclusion that in the process of evolution, new structures were formed on top of the old ones. Thus, what we have in our head is three interconnected biocomputers with their own reality, functions and programs. Neurobiology has discarded the first, evolutionary part of the statement, but the second remains relevant at any time.
Reticular (reptilian) brain
It is an instinctive, unconscious part of our nervous system that evolved over 400 million years ago. Structurally, it is similar to the brain of reptiles and birds. It regulates breathing, heart rate, metabolism, unconditional reflexes, hunger, sexual behaviuor, “fight-flight-freeze” stress response. It remains active even when we sleep. Signals from our sensors enter this brain first, and in case of danger it reacts immediately. Reaction is more important than comprehension. This is an autopilot and its main task is survival with a rather limited set of interactions: stereotyped behavior, dominance, aggression, flight or stupor. Regardless of whether the threat is real or imaginary, it literally shuts off conscious thinking and takes control of the body at once. The predominance of the instinctive circuit often whispers from the basement of the unconscious as a desire for hierarchy, the accumulation of material wealth, a desire to pump up muscles, plastic surgery, the cult of food and body beauty.

Limbic system (emotional brain)
This is the brain of your hamster, cat or dog, formed 50 million years ago. It is involved in the regulation of the functions of internal organs, smell, memory, sleep and wakefulness, but primarily for emotions. It governs social behavior, maternal care, responsible for territorial disputes and the maintenance of personal boundaries, belonging to a particular group and the desire to achieve status in it. The limbic system gives us a vibrant emotional life. Everything that evokes feelings here, becomes significant and is deposited in the long-term memory. Any experience in one way or another is connected by a chain with a certain emotional center and every action we do is aimed at achieving or avoiding certain emotions. Information from the senses, passed through the filters of the reticular system, triggers a hormonal reaction before we comprehend anything. Therefore, we often begin to defend ourselves without even understanding the essence of the situation. This is especially true for smells receptors, directly connected to the emotional brain. The limbic system doesn't like changes. When we do things in the usual way, it rewards us with a dose of serotonin for saving energy. This part of the brain is dominant in women during pregnancy and for some time after it. When the emotional brain takes over, it manifests itself as hedonism, perfectionism and impulsivity.

Neocortex (visual brain)
This is the cerebral cortex, the youngest structure responsible for higher nervous activity. It sorts information from the senses, allows us to speak, think, be creative, make plans and strategies, and make decisions. Paul McLean argued that it is unique to humans, but further research has refuted this. The rudiments of the neocortex are found even in insects, but in our heads it has reached the apogee of its development. It occupies at least 80% of the total mass of our brain and takes a lot of the body's resources to maintain its activity. Their lack can limit its use, leaving us on autopilot of the limbic and reticular systems. Its dominance manifests itself as rationality, emotional rigor, pedantry, ideological spirit. The neocortex is directly connected with consciousness allowing us to control our behavior, suppressing impulses from less educated ancient structures. But most importantly, with its help we can be self aware.
Now that we have briefly got acquainted with our inner zoo, we can talk about the stages of development of its inhabitants. The brain of a newborn is formed only by 25%. In the first year of our life, we were all to some extent reptiles. All we needed was the safety, nutrition, closeness and warmth of the mother's body. We relied on our reticular system, already familiar with the genetic experience of our ancestors. Everything that happened to us and around us was recorded as an imprint into this unconscious part of the brain at the stimulus-response level in order to avoid negative experiences in the future. We had not yet separated ourselves from our mother and did not create our own personality, so we recorded her states as ours. The atmosphere in the house, attitude towards the child and bodily contact with parents formed the foundation of the psyche, an unconscious idea of ​​oneself and the world. It is often expressed for lifelong as a “fight-flight-freeze” response. Someone began to react aggressively to any irritant, the other tended to run away at any hint of conflict. Memories of this period will remain in the deepest layers of the unconscious, unreachable to verbalization and traditional therapy. At about 15 months old, we began to form our limbic system. We got acquainted with emotions, internalized the patterns of our parents and our role in the family. For the first time, we recognized our reflection in the mirror as separate ourselves and at some stage wanted to be separated from the mother. We wanted independence, to do everything on our own, but, often, for reasons we do not understand, our parents refused to do this. It will make a hard impact on the emotional brain, corroding all interpersonal relationships in the future. During this period of development of the psyche, we have chosen our favorite feeling we will live with the rest of our life. A child that was rejected, abandoned alone, often punished and refused, as an adult, unconsciously reproduces situations that cause his familiar, "native" state of despair. 

At 4.5 years old, when the neocortex begins to form, the foundation of the personality has already been laid. No matter how the circumstances developed, all this time we lived "here and now". This time will forever remain in our memories as the happiest, the times we often want to return to in meditation or intoxication. Development of the cerebral cortex brings us endless internal chatter. We no longer perceive events and phenomena as such, but our attitude towards them. Now thoughts do not appear by themselves, they have someone who thinks them. New brain abilities allow us to build on a ready-made emotional foundation images of the world around us, ourselves, our roles and the roles of others, and to live our life in a maze of convolutions. The cerebral cortex creates a virtual map of reality with all the characters necessary for a mental drama, and each signal from the senses will be checked against it. The limbic and reticular systems will respond to perceived threats to our newborn social character as a real threat to survival. The whole life, it would seem, is ahead, but it is already planned in advance inside the cranium.

Of course, the play may well develop in a different scenario. No matter how many parts we divide our brain, there will never be a place for consciousness. If we really want to be happy, we will have to put things in order in our inner zoo. So far, the only way we know to do this is through meditation and self-awareness. Very soon, observing our own sensations, thoughts and feelings for the first time will allow us to separate consciousness from its contents. In the bliss of its purity, we will be able to clearly see all the traumatic experiences of our lives and the lives of those who passed down their genes to us from generation to generation. In an effort to return to the original zero state, we will clear all the rooms of our house, get to its foundation and even what is under it. One day, in our last crisis, fears will be released, our ego, dissolving into emptiness, will give way to love and acceptance. But our first step is to believe that we are spiritual beings, and not a product of electrochemical reactions in nervous tissue. The brain, like the hard drive of a computer, is unable to understand or feel what it contains. It simply records and plays back files, following the stream of consciousness. To believe that thoughts are generated by a matter is a limiting delusion that we pay for with our freedom.
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