– Tom Robbins
When left to its own devices, the head brain becomes a compulsive hoarder. It accumulates and stockpiles learned information and stories, squirreling them away as if readying itself for a famine. The greater the head brain's hoard of learned information and stories, the more adept it is at steamrolling intuition and guarding against the heart. Like any addictive behavior, the head brain's compulsion to learn and cling escalates until pathology successfully masquerades as a necessity: hoarding becomes essential to living. That we call the age we live in "the information age" might be more telling than we realize.
Like any addiction, hoarding information and knee-jerk answering weaken the head brain. Its ability to discriminate and draw on its discretionary dimension suffer dramatically. Habitually satisfying its urges with a knowledge fix allows the head brain to close down to the unknown. Conversely, when the Three Brain Complex is dynamic, the gut brain informs and the heart brain anchors. Simply put, the Hoarder head brain is our struggle with our self.
When the head brain dominates, we look to external sources to inform us. And we look to external sources to anchor us. While we are in this dissociative state, the external is mistaken for our source of survival and also our greatest threat. Accumulating learned information to ensure answers are always at the ready is how the over-compensating head brain keeps us feeling safe. The head brain's primary conviction is that learned information is our greatest strength. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what that information is as long as it keeps us armed with answers.There is nothing wrong with the head brain. It is just doing its job relative to what needs to be done in the moment.
Self-inquiry questions all learned information, stories and our assumptions about them. This means that self-inquiry puts the head brain's addiction to hoarding and its entire stash of knowledge and stories under threat. A simple explanation of self-inquiry is the process of questioning all our assumptions. A simple place to begin self-inquiry might be to ask “What do I know for sure?” This is a self-reflective question. It turns our focus inwards which immediately shifts the habit of looking for answers "out there." And whenever this shift in orientation happens, the mind temporarily calms. Over time, the practice of self-inquiry or self-reflection disrupts apathetic head brain habits. This is because self-reflection naturally engages the Three Brain Complex in a far more dynamic way.
If any of the preceding speaks to you, please join our Q&A and share your questions or your presence with us. Although I am calling this class a Q&A, my focus is not simply to answer your questions. My role is, primarily, to serve as a catalyst for the deepening of our own questioning process.
“There has to be another way!”