It’s useful to summarize these enormous powers and the direction of those powers with respect to each of the brains as we described them. In the reptilian world the present moment and survival is paired to the development of the sensory and motor systems and we see this remarkable modification through evolution of trial and error and very often we forget how many times it’s been an error. We look back and we identify certain creatures but we also have to keep in mind to make it real that there were many, many other experiments that didn’t work out. So the whole of the evolutionary thrust, we can point to what its aim is in terms of survival in the moment and with food and with reproductive activities. But still in all, we have to see the limits of that, that it is the present moment that has really restricted the attention.
When we come to the mammalian brain, the limbic brain, this enormous tale of a past appears and this increases the versatility but it also increases the world of relationship enormously within the family, the grouping, the tribe, etc., and we see this reflected in our three-brained cultural history in the dominance right up to the present day. Ethnicity is based on the recognition that men are the progenitors. So when that appears in life and there is some argument as to exactly when did the male recognize that the offspring were somehow his, that paternity, that concept of paternity, whether it was unconscious or conscious is really not important. It did finally appear and when it did it becomes the sub-straight of this family, this grouping, this clan, this ethnicity, this race and this is still a major, major factor in today’s world, however unconscious most of it happens to be. Because we see these divisions again in image even into the present day where we where we think that one group or one ethnic group is less than another or this should be done to them or for them or whatever, when all of the while we’re all one group, we’re all one species. That’s big one of our big struggles, biggest struggles over time has been to sort out, the end result of what is essentially something that happened in the mammalian life during the evolutionary development of mammalian life forms. So the overview there is one that opens into the past and opens the production of images of a different quality, a different type what we call feelings and this is a whole world.
With the emergence of the neo-cortex and this doesn’t happen to Nova either. This has a long, long evolutionary history that I think recent researchers are beginning to show more and more clearly that the abstracting capacities that man has for so long has claimed were only his are really not only his. We see abstracting capacities, sometimes a rather surprising development occurring in the high primates and even earlier when such things as counting and simple arithmetic, that the concept, the ability to abstract that is obviously present. We also see some very, very sophisticated levels of communication. With dolphins and whales we’re beginning to see now some enormously complex things that we never knew existed and yet they betray a very, very high development of abstracting capacity.
So, when the neocortical brain reaches its development in man, I won’t say final develop because who knows about the future, but in any case, we end up with an instrument that now potentially has power over the other two brains. Not always, but it can have power over the other two brains because it’s almost like we have an outer world and an inner world and then we have an abstract world which in a sense can look down on the products of these other two views into the outer and inner world and can come to concepts about the nature of this outer and inner world but can also create its own concepts and this is a marvel. This is just a great mystery how this could possibly take place. But, in any event, the most important part of that for me is that it is an immense power and a large part of that power is that it is tied to the future. It has this arrow into the past. It has an arrow into the present moment so it can stay alive but it also can enter into relationships, it can enter into the whole of limbic life and then you can also add this enormous infinite world of abstraction that allows it to look on both of these worlds and also create worlds that never were and never can be.