The power of the subconscious mind is being recognised and utilised more and more in therapy and elite performance due to the research of neuroscientists.
Triune Brain Theory
In the 1960s, Dr Paul MacLean, physician and neuroscientist, proposed that the skull held three brains, which he referred to as the ‘triune brain.’
Dr MacLean suggested the brains operate like “three interconnected biological computers” and they each have their own special intelligence, subjectivity, sense of time and space, and memory.
The three brains, in order of evolutionary development, are the reptilian complex (the brain stem and cerebellum), the limbic system, and the neo-cortex (the left and right hemispheres).
- The reptilian complex is obsessive, compulsive, rigid, ritualistic and paranoid. It is ‘filled with ancestral memories’ and repeats the same behaviours over and over again, never learning from mistakes.
It controls muscles, balance, and autonomic functions, such as breathing, metabolism and heart rate.
- The limbic system is concerned with emotion, attention, emotionally charged memories, instincts, feeding, fighting, fleeing, and sexual behaviour.
The limbic system is thought to be the seat of our value judgments and it decides whether the neo-cortex has had a ‘good’ idea or not – whether it feels true and right.
- The neo-cortex, or higher brain, takes up nearly two-thirds of the total brain mass and is responsible for the higher cognitive functions.
The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and is more linear, rational and verbal.
The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body and is more spatial, abstract, musical and artistic.
The neo-cortex is considered the conscious part of the mind but is only responsible for < 10% of total brain function. On the other hand, the limbic system and reptilian complex form the subconscious part of the mind and are responsible for > 90% of total brain function!
(In the past two decades triune brain theory has been contended. However, it is useful for understanding The LifeLine Technique® philosophy and explaining brain function more easily.)
The Function and Interconnectedness of the Triune Brain
- The limbic system integrates the reptilian brain and the neo-cortex. If an experience is perceived by the limbic system as non-threatening, it allows the neo-cortex to process it.
- However, when we experience fear, trauma and/or perceive a threat to our survival, the reptilian brain reacts in an autonomic and reflexive manner – the acute human stress responses of fight, freeze, or flight. When this happens, the neo-cortex is deactivated.
- Overwhelming feelings and painful experiences are downloaded and stored in the limbic brain – referred to as emotional memory.
This takes place automatically and on a subconscious level. In a single millisecond of time, all the sensory data, feelings, and perceptions of the traumatic experience are captured.
- If a situation is perceived as life threatening or beyond the higher brain’s capacity to adapt or cope, the limbic system will act as a stopgap and inhibit the experience from being processed by the neo-cortex.
- If a similar situation occurs again or a subconscious memory of a traumatic event is triggered by any one of the senses, a signal is sent from the limbic system directly to the reptilian brain to activate the survival response.
Importantly, the body doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination. Regardless of how the trauma is triggered (simply by discussing it), the body will begin to respond as if it were experiencing it for the first time. The body won’t break the holding pattern of reacting in a survival-like fashion until the trauma is processed.
“What I know to be true and what the power of ‘infinite love & gratitude’ and The LifeLine Technique® has proven is this: the greatest obstacle to your health and wellbeing is the subconscious disconnection from your emotions.” ~ Dr Darren Weissman
The Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind is primarily and progressively programmed with emotions – thoughts, feelings, and beliefs – from conception to 6 years of age.
During this period, every sensory experience is downloaded and integrated into survival mechanisms, or programs, of the subconscious mind. Initially they are useful, but in time they often result in limiting behaviours and beliefs, or thought viruses.
The primary purpose of the subconscious mind is to keep us safe. If a person is in an environment that doesn’t have the consciousness to choose love over fear – for example, bullying at school, harassment at work, or family unrest – the subconscious brain will protect you. It does that by not allowing the sensory data to be processed by your conscious mind.
In The LifeLine Technique® this is referred to as the Spirit Protection Reflex. This subconscious reflex is a defence mechanism that inhibits a person from consciously perceiving an experience and making choices in the ‘here and now.’
The spirit protection reflex will remain in place until a person has all of the conscious tools, strategies, and support to move through emotional experiences with love. As a result, what begins as a protective mechanism creates a repetitive opportunity to learn and grow.
According to The LifeLine Technique® philosophy, symptoms are the language the subconscious mind uses to tell us that it is no longer necessary for the spirit to be in a state of protection and that we now have the ability to own our power and live with intention.
We are unaware of the functions of the subconscious mind because they are reflexive, automatic, autonomic, and below consciousness.
The subconscious mind is in charge of all the major body functions including digestion, blood pressure, hormone balance, and detoxification. The subconscious mind also stores emotions, memories and beliefs that have not been processed and integrated.
The sole (really, soul) purpose of the subconscious mind is to protect the spirit. When a consciousness other than love is present during a time of perceived trauma, the subconscious mind creates a gap. This protects an overload of the conscious mind that would otherwise cause our systems to shutdown. This gap then incubates a part of ourselves – often creating a persona – until we are ready to grow and evolve with love.
The Conscious Mind
The conscious mind represents what we consciously focus on with our senses. It’s through conscious perception that we are able to make a creative and logical decision about an experience. It is important to note, however, that we never perceive the truth; we only perceive what we believe.
Choice only exists in the conscious mind. It’s through choice that change can occur. If you’re not aware of where something is coming from, i.e. a subconscious reaction, then the choices you have will be limited.
The LifeLine Technique Flow Chart leads you on a journey into the subconscious mind of the limbic system and reptilian brain. This will provide you with insight, awareness, and impetus for change, so that you can live your life with intention and stay in Present Time Consciousness – the power is in the present moment.