Holistic Brain Balance 101 is each of us has twice as much neurology as we were taught in school and med-school.
Written by Bruce Dickson, Health Intuitive. Initial gift session available by phone-Skype.
Excerpted, updated from Holistic Neurology, by Bruce Dickson. Subtitles: Our Two Nervous Systems, Head-spine and enteric (gut) brains, Neurology for purposes of personal growth, Physiological basis for Self-esteem and Self-concept (2016). Online HERE.
I have some good news for you. You have twice as much neurology as you were taught in school and med-school.
Twice as much neurology means, if you play your cards right, you could be TWICE as SMART as you thought you were without doing anything extra.
With twice the neurology you thought you had, you might be twice as FLEXIBLE and ADAPTABLE than you thought you were.
If this sounds good, read on.
It’s not what people know already that’s the problem; the problem is, what people know that t’ain’t so–that’s the problem ~ Josh Billings or earlier from Mark Twain?
Holistic Neurology is more light and clarity on how we experience ourselves.
We all came thru school systems teaching us “We think with our brain” and “Sooner or later, we will tell you which part of your brain does which part of your thinking.”
This paradigm of self-experience came from anatomy-physiology of human corpses, cadavers. It led to thinking our psyche is a clockwork mechanism. In the 1950s, “clockwork mechanism” became a car metaphor: our body and brain works like a car engine does, when you lift up the hood and poke around.
The ‘car-engine-under-the-hood-model’ of physiology actually works somewhat well for understanding our digestion, assimilation and elimination.
However above our diaphragm muscle, at the level of our heart center and above, it’s a completely different ball game.
What we have above our diaphragm is the potential for a purple rose to blossom in our heart center. What we have in our head above C-1 vertebrae is already like a flower blossom.
If you had never-ever seen a single flower blossom and were only ever shown plants with roots, stems and leaves—could you predict—could you imagine–a rose blossom?
The only way you could imagine a rose blossom is if you liked the idea of transformation and were looking for where transformation—a rapid change of state and behavior—was likely to occur. This is the cycle of evolution: slow progress building to a leap to a new octave, a new key, to use a music analogy.
18th and 19th century corpse anatomy students were not interested in transformation. Medical students in the 1800s were not Romantics. They were the beginning of “hard” science, what we now call Second Order Science. To them the human being was all and only physical matter. Describing the physical-material contents of human cadavers, speculating on the function of each and every small piece, was the extent of their interest.
In a more living view of human beings, everything is evolving. If we look for gradual evolution, we can find it. How our 33 vertebrae evolve from our hip bones and sacrum up to C1 is an evolution, a “story,” a “musical progression.” How C1 evolves into the “butterfly” of our sphenoid bone; and, how sphenoid bone evolves beyond itself can only be described as “transformation.”
Q: This is not a new idea. Goethe thought this way.
A: Yes. Goethe’s poems and plays were appreciated in his time—but not his science. Goethe was the first modern holistic thinker. 250 years after Goethe, and 40 years after holistic health and healing went mainstream in the 1970s, we are now in a position to integrate Goethe’s foundational contribution. Holistic Neurology is a Goethean approach to our two nervous systems.
Ideas of “sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems” from the 18th and 19th centuries are no longer helping us evolve. Why? Because they are based 100% on cadavers and admit to no possibility of energetic movement or growth in consciousness. This is why puberty has been such a mystery. Puberty is us evolving from one lower frequency nervous system to a higher frequency nervous system.
We keep this simple because our audience is not neuroscience researchers and medical textbook authors. Our target audience is young adults, in college mostly, PSYCH 101, excited about psychology and everything that can be done with it.
Evidence of our two brains
Example 1: Have you ever felt like you got kicked in the gut but no one physically touched you? That’s your gut brain, your Enteric Nervous System (ENS), specifically the omentum. A complete set of nerves exists below your diaphragm mostly, in your intestines, stomach, esophagus and tongue.
Example 2: Did you ever attend a wine tasting gathering, cheese tasting demo, Coke vs. Pepsi challenge? Did you ever hear a three year old say, “I hate spinach!”
Who’s doing the thinking here in all these? Our tongue. You think with your tongue when making decisions based on taste. Our tongue at the top of our esophagus is analogous to our brain at the top of our spinal column.
Q: This is too many new ideas for me at once.
A: Yes. Take your time. What works is simply to accept this as a point of view to consider. See if it feels safe and trustworthy again in about two weeks. If it still feels solid in two weeks, perhaps you will be curious to learn more. That’s how I had to learn this.
Both brains equal by weight of nerve tissue
Meridian Clinic, a holistic medical clinic associated with the Edgar Cayce people in Virginia Beach kept online the 1907 dense, technical report on the enteric brain (mesenteric). The clinic is now kaput and the page is not up anywhere else. I have a copy of this if you want to email me.
The fact is our gut brain, Enteric Nervous System (ENS) has approximately as many nerves by weight as your entire Central Nervous System (CNS), your brain, spine and major lateral spinal nerves. This is the physiological basis for the whole two brains topic.
Gut brain (ENS) responds to and processes nourishment, feelings and self-esteem.
Cerebral brain (CNS) responds to and processes thoughts, feelings and everything to do with self-concept.
Q: How can I tell when the two are working harmoniously together, as a team?
A: “Happiness” is one of few useful words here. “Inner teamwork” also points to this, the felt-sense of all of you working as one.
Differences between our neurology are not supposed to be obvious or intrude constantly. If you hired two butlers, would you wish them to cooperate, collaborate and work together? Or would you allow each do the same household routines in very different ways so neither knew what the other was doing or how the other worked?
How to visualize your two brains
This is easy. Picture your cerebral nervous system (CNS) as being mostly on top and in back. It’s located in the head, spine and lateral spinal nerves.
Picture your enteric nervous system (ENS) as being mostly in front and down below, our omentum, organs of digestion, assimilation and elimination, esophagus and tongue.
This is a simple polarity many people can work with.
We can make this even simpler…
Neck-up vs. neck-down
In normal waking life, each of us experiences a big difference between ourselves ‘from the neck up’ versus us ‘from the neck down.’
Some people are wired like this: “I don’t pay any attention to and am not interested in anything from my neck down; unless, it feels good or tastes good.”
We can call this the Homer Simpson Philosophy of Life.
The biggest, most common, internal split in our psyche is between our two nervous systems. How these two are dissociated, apart, not communicating, is the biggest obstacle to growth in the human experience.
Conversely, integrating our two nervous systems is the closest thing we have to a guarantee of growth. “Integrating” means mutual acknowledging, mutual communication, methods of self-connection and ultimately self-testing of some kind. Where are you now in this sequence?
Most people are still at the stage of inner child work. Effective inner child work remains one of the most timely things anyone can do to grow and integrate. Making inner child work more safe, fun, social and interactive remains a major cultural task for Cultural Creatives in 2016, in my mind.
Q: In Homer Simpson, how did his two lower selves, become complete strangers?
A: Think about your hands. Which is more useful and practical here on Earth: two separate hands; or, one longer-combined-hand coming out of the center of your chest?
Most people will say, “Two hands are more practical.” Ask them why, they say, “Because I can carry a heavy shopping bag of food or my five year old if I have two hands. I can’t if I have only one hand.” Two hands can work as a team. One hand cannot. Teamwork, working together as equal partners is a HUGE theme in the human experience. Homer Simpson is the poster child of individuals who acknowledge and work with only one of their two nervous systems.
The good news about neck-up and neck-down is these two CAN work together as a team.
The bad news about neck-up and neck-down is each CAN imagine it is alone, working solo, all on their own.
Because each has its own neurology, its own unique, active intelligence, this enables the possibility our two selves can be complete strangers to each other, split and foreign, two ships passing at night in the fog.
The healthy intention is for our two nervous systems to work cooperatively and collaboratively. Think about having two legs versus only one leg. We need two legs to walk easily.
When and if our two nervous system cooperate and collaborate, we can multi-task. We can cradle the baby, chew gum and talk on the phone, all at the same time. The genius of multiple intelligences enables us to multi-task. Ain’t it great?
Given the poor role models most of us had growing up, virtually everyone requires lots of support as adults to connect and build a communication bridge between our two lower selves. The more connection-integration these two have, the more balanced and effective we are in the human experience.
Holistic Neurology upgrades the psychology of the 1800s-1900s so young adults can focus on “inner cooperation,” if they wish to, instead of memorizing corpse anatomy parts. Some of them will want to do both. No problem.
Oneness is a two-edged sword
If you like Oneness, maybe you’ve noticed, along the way to Oneness, we uncover more and more complexity inside us. A paradox.
To explore our own complexity, make it safe for you to go beyond any view of yourself limited to your experience from the neck-up.
If we live only from the neck up, we are in a kind of negative singularity. This topic has great relevance to science, how we view the natural world. Full discussion in Balance on All Levels PACME+Soul Chapter 20.
A polarity exists between the negative-singularity viewpoint Homer Simpson is stuck in; and, the challenge of embracing Our Many Selves, acknowledging, tolerating, accepting, exploring, healing our multiple, active interior intelligences. Full discussion of Our Many Selves in Balance on All Levels PACME+Soul.
Threeness helps us understand twoness
Rudolf Steiner faced the same problem in 1991. He needed a simple model for his first batch of Waldorf school teachers, parents who had never taught in a school before (this was a deliberate criteria). RS wanted parents curious about inner life and how to nurture its development. He didn’t want to overwhelm them with complexity. He wanted them to contemplate the felt-sense differences between different intelligences in our psyche—not anatomical body parts.
RS settled on three familiar felt-sense terms to sketch the human psyche end to end, top to bottom:
Waking ⇔ Dreaming ⇔ Sleeping
RS pointed out we are awake on these three levels simultaneously.
Carl Jung basically agreed with Freud’s iceberg model. Some of Jung’s students have adapted Freud’s iceberg model to Jung but not much is added for our purposes.
In this, the three contemporaries, Steiner, Freud and Jung, evidenced an informal consensus on the length and breadth of our psyche as:
Conscious ⇔ Sub-conscious ⇔ Unconscious
Our two neurologies are basically one at each end of this continuum: Waking ⇔ Sleeping
How can Homer Simpson bridge between these two? Dreaming. Inner child work. The inner child lives in dreaming.
Q: Are there more than two active intelligences in a waking adult psyche?
A: Yes. Multiple Intelligences 2.0 recognizes 12 or more creative intelligences potentially active-awake in adults. Each person has to language for themselves which intelligences they are actively aware of and using.
Holistic Neurology is a good starting place, only two active intelligences and both of these familiar to us.
Fourness to understand twoness
Biofeedback in the 1980s divided the whole of our psyche into four brainwave frequency divisions:
Beta ⇔ Alpha ⇔ Theta ⇔ Delta
Guess where our CNS is awake and aware?
Guess where our ENS is awake and aware?
If you are familiar with Beta <=> Delta, this can support getting your bearings in a field primarily characterized by Oneness. We’re attempting to perceive something invisible here, in plain sight, we have not seen our entire lives.
Can you handle multiple levels of responsibility?
Here’s where it gets tricky-sticky. If I have two active intelligences awake in me, one of which I’m only dimly aware of, or altogether unaware of; and, if each of these is also creative, who’s responsible for what they do?
You, Conscious Waking Self. You are responsible for what they do, how they do, and when they do it. You are the Behavior Manager, the Behavior Editor.
The absence of any personal accountability is why the partial teaching of “sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems” is past its expiration date. It challenges no one and avoids personal responsibility 100%. It offends no one. It challenges no one. No one is ever the responsible party for our actions. Therefore, drugs and surgery are the only solutions as we are victims, not my fault.
Old neurology excuses us from all responsibility for all our behavior. Holistic Neurology asks us to consider we may be making some poor choices—and these can be corrected
If you have a Masters level psych course under your belt, you may recall learning psychology of the 1900s progressed towards more and more emphasis on personal responsibility.’ This encapsulates the whole Rational-Emotive, CBT, REBT cognitive-behavioral epic.
The whole cognitive-behavioral epic was simplified by William Glasser in 1998 to one word: choice. William Glasser’s Choice Theory (1998) is a modern, practical, psychology for Conscious Waking Self; especially, for those willing to take one more baby step of personal responsibility in their own life. In 2013 a new edition was released, Take Charge of Your Life: How to Get What You Need with Choice-Theory Psychology. I have not read it yet.
Holistic Neurology encourages waking up and getting in gear to manage your two nervous systems—as best you can.
Two neurologies as animal self and Sherlock Holmes
Our gut brain is clearly home to our felt-sense and our “animal self.” Our brain-spine neurology is clearly home to any capacity we have for ‘Sherlock Holmes thinking’ and rational feeling.
You want to make up your own names? Go ahead. If you improve on these, let me know.
ENS-CNS as “inner cooperation”
According to the educator, John-Roger, The biggest karma on Earth is “lack of inner cooperation.” ENS-CNS gives us concrete reference points, in our neurology, to locate and identify our lower two selves. For those interested, how well or how poorly our two nervous system are cooperating can be measured with self-testing, one person at a time.
When conscious-waking self and immune-system-self are split and diverged, this is the biggest, most basic, “wound” we endure in the human experience.
A split between ENS-CNS is very much a top~bottom split. If you ever felt subjectively-internally split top and bottom, this is what that is.
Are such splits healable? Absolutely. Inner child work of all kinds is about this.
Healing our top~bottom split can also be addressed thru each and every method of Energy Medicine on the Skill Ladder of Energy Medicine: http://www.healingtoolbox.org/2014-05-02-22-51-46/best-practices-in-energy-medicine/333-skill-ladder-of-energy-medicine-methods-techniques-arts
Being of two minds
We experience an ENS-CNS split every time we struggle with “being of two minds” on a decision or choice.
If I keep a manual clicker-counter in my pocket, for me this takes place, on average, in my experience, about 12 times each day. What number do you get?
Any issue on which we remain “of two minds,” points to where we are OUT of coherence, integration and inner alignment, depleting our energetic strength. A dozen absences of inner cooperation daily could add up to quite a habit over years. This is why Oneness and teamwork are such useful goals in self-healing.
Q: Why am I “of two minds” so many times each day?
A: How we are educated K-12 is a big reason. We are taught Homer Simpson neurology, the neurology of “King of the Hill,” one neurology must dominate and subjugate the other. Homer imagines we have only one nervous system; for him it’s the gut brain. When this didn’t work well in practice, in the 1800s, corpse anatomy students added the distinction of “motor nerves” and “sensory nerves.” This is how virtually all the neurology textbooks were written up to about 2014. After 2014 the GAPS book (2004), the idea of gut-brain connected with and affecting head-brain began to take hold among researchers and drug companies. To anyone who already understood Conscious Self and Child Within, this was old news, welcome news; progressive ideas were spreading more widely.
When a few generations of elementary school children are taught to treat our two neurologies as distinct and nearly-equal partners, “inner child” will become integrated and become common knowledge.
Q: How do I begin getting my two nervous systems to cooperate?
A: Acknowledge, accept, cooperate, collaborate and negotiate with the weaker half of your two neurologies. What can you do to build daily, on-going partnership?
Stress disintegrates inner cooperation
From the neck-up we assume if I can do it—it’s not stressful. We mother a family, hold down a full time job, work out at the gym–and imagine this is normal, natural and sustainable.
From the neck-up any stress in our gut brain not impacting us consciously, we assume we can ignore. This denial approach leads to a funny thing, thinking our bodies can handle unlimited stress. From the neck-up we imagine we can pile on more stress and our “body” whoever, whatever that is, will handle it.
How did this happen? By Angelic design, from the neck-up, Conscious Waking Self is supposed to feel a bit invulnerable and above-it-all. Why? Because this is how the Angels wished to represent the soul in the human experience. We abuse-misuse our natural detachment when we assume our silent partner below, our body and immune system, is invulnerable to all stress. A few years later when we have have chronic fatigue, thyroid failure, adrenal failure, we wonder, “What went wrong?”
Hans Selye has been pointing to unnecessary stress as the cause of many organic disorders for a long time now: http://www.stress.org/about/hans-selye-birth-of-stress/
If you live only in your head, from the neck-up, the significant cost of stress on our lower neurology and immune system is news worth hearing.
What balance between your two nervous systems looks like
One vision of wholeness is:
Dg-spiritual warrior plaque
Out-of-balance between your two nervous systems = indecision
Top~bottom disintegration looks like classic indecision. On one hand I feel one way, on the other I feel this other way (just as strongly). Splits between our top and bottom create DIS-integration.
A friend of mine demonstrated this twice in ten minutes recently. She had the headache and stomach pains to prove how energetically and physically real indecision could be.
On one hand this wonderful person wanted to attend a business networking breakfast meeting, a meeting where professionals exchange referrals for new clients. On one hand she wanted to pay the $350 membership fee plus $200 quarterly dues so she can get her new acupuncture practice off the ground.
On the other hand this person felt scared and apprehensive about spending the money while her income was low and she had yet to complete her elevator speech, brochure and website, several things needed to be successful at such meetings.
Further, at the same time, this person was of two minds on a second topic. On one hand she had decided to withdraw from a long term friendship with another woman because, she felt the relationship was unbalanced, the friend was taking too much and giving too little. On the other hand my friend appreciated this friendship very much, valued the warmth and caring still present, if not to the degree she wished.
When my friend talked to me, she complained of headache and neck pain in the back under the occipital; also, upset stomach and occasional shooting pains in the stomach.
A therapeutic direction for her was to talk with her inner child and recognize she was tying to hold onto two contradictory directions, on two different issues, at the same time.
After airing the benefits of each of the two contradictory directions and making a clearer choice about what she wanted, the neck and stomach discomfort went away.
Mimi Castellanos of HealthyEnergetics.net
jjjjj (Mimi) Castellanos, a gifted energetic healer, has been clairvoyant since childhood. She has 30 years of experience supporting clients with Energy Medicine. I am very grateful to Mimi for educating me about our two nervous systems.
The booklet of Holistic Neurology takes further things I learned from Mimi’s Choice Point classes. She uses awareness of our two nervous systems as a tool for self-healing. Her Choice Point classes at HealthyEnergetics assist students to uncover their own patterns, flesh out concepts and substantiate them with real-time hands-on personal experience.
Mimi says the short version of ENS-CNS is:
Enterics feel first and then think second
Cerebrals think first and feel second.
Any guess as to which neurology is most-used in you?