Despite experts' claims and radiographic advances to the contrary, only a tiny little bit is known about the brain. In determining the brain's behaviorial work products, I believe we are still at the stage where its most practical information comes from observing its capabilities through the functions of its qualities, powers, and actions. Of particular interest to the question of why people avoid Critical Thinking (CT) and engage in automatic thinking associated with Patterned Thinking (PT) is the Paleo-mammalian Brain ('Paleo,' a Western science word for prehistoric; "mammal" refers to vertebrate animals who give milk to its young). This mini-brain encircles the brainstem [Ancient Brain] like a 'wishbone.' It is intimately connected with the Limbic ('bordering') System's hippocampus, amygdala, anterior thalamic nuclei, septum, limbic cortex and fornix as well as serving as the partial home of the Hypothalamus (concerned with regulation of the Autonomic Nervous System).
This means it supports the handling of emotions (as in the broad categories of Pain and Pleasure), combines emotions with Instincts, and is involved in aspects of memory. In short, the Old Mammalian Brain (OMB) deals with the instincts of feeding, fighting, fleeing, and sexual behavior. Thus, it is intimately interwoven with the Instinct and Omnibus portions of the Ancient Brain. Although this combination is normally prominent only "as needed," the horrible conditions of Enslaved African Americans made it permanently and constantly present--a mindset handed down to and dominating the thinking of many of their today's struggling descendants. It features being in a high-alert state; operating only in the "Here and Now"; and lacking moral regulations.
The normally acting OMB was originally designed before the dawn of mankind for the necessary duties of survival, self-protection, and self-preservation--as in directing one to eat whatever was available; be a predator; and avoid being prey. Today's OMB actions are shown in most people's instant thinking to dart out of harm's way; tell friend from foe; search for food; find a mate; fight or flee when danger is perceived; and even in how daily problems are handled. But herein lies a problem. The OMB is a power oriented mental faculty manifesting as being bossy, arrogant, and never shutting up. As opposed to it taking up to six seconds for other parts of the brain to process complex emotions (e.g. empathy or admiration), ones OMB quickness shows as it taking no time and no thought at all. Since ones "Thinking Cortex" is reflective, slow, and often conflicted, it often defers to its elder, the OMB, whose aim is to make the handling of situations as automatic as possible. The result is Patterned Thinking (PT) in daily living which hampers thriving in life.
When not doing necessary duties, the OMB leads one into seeking pleasurable and exciting things going to no worthwhile life-shaping or life-changing destination. By lacking morals and operating in the "Here and Now" what it advocates is done without considering what is "right" or the consequences of ones actions. An example is foolishly texting or talking on the cell phone while driving. Or, the OMB is busy shutting out the common sense messages of why self-defeating things ought not be done. For example, while the Cortex is giving its long self-talk dissertation about why the salt-ladened greasy soul food on the table is bad for ones health, the OMB has its owner already on a second serving. When problems occur from getting into attractive things not in ones best interest, rather than the OMB allowing its owner to admit mistakes, excuse (anything but the truth) "cherry-picking" (selecting the most satisfying) is done. OMB's sheer strength and popularity with its owner gets the green light to handle serious business (badly) which only the cortex is qualified to handle. The solution for this and its Patterned Thinking is for ones cerebral cortex to take charge and control of ones OMB so as to keep the OMB from doing ill-advised things.
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