The Dysfunctional Family Inside of Us – Triune Brain Theory

Triune Brain shown through an open doorwayNancy Smeltzer, MFA

Triune Brain theory, which I mentioned in the last posting, was first postulated by James Papez. Then,  Dr. Paul MacLean at N.I.H. back  in the 60s, greatly expanded on that work and is usually the one associated with the major work of the theory. (Here is a link to Triune Brain theory which has some great diagrams and explanations of the physiology of the subject for the more scientifically inclined.) I am going to write, however, on how I and my healing partners have used the theory coupled with metaphysical structures.

For us, the three major parts of our being are composed of the Mind, Heart, and Body consciousnesses. The Mind consciousness, or primate part of our brain, we see as being located in our physical brain. It’s involved in understanding the world around us, and uses the language of thoughts. usually in the form of words, to get these ideas across to others.

Our Heart consciousness, we see as being located in our physical heart. It’s comprised of the energy associated with our mammalian brain. It’s “job” is connecting with others and it uses the language of emotion to convey its information to you and to others.

The third consciousness, our Body brain, is derived from the reptilian part of our physical brain. Its metaphysical location is in our lower belly, and it has the job of maintaining our survival. This part of our consciousness communicates its concerns to us through many body sensations such as headaches, body aches and pains, nausea, and limited range of motion. To complicate matters further,the Body or reptilian brain,has the rational capability of a two year old, so it wants what it wants when it wants it. NOW! Just like many two year olds, when your body consciousness isn’t heard, it ramps up the volume of the body sensations until it may be “screaming” at you with debilitating pain or other bodily afflictions to get your attention.

Notice that each of these parts of our being communicates in different languages… thoughts, emotions, or body sensations. These differing communication styles often result in our assorted brains “talking past each other” inside of us with their different languages . To complicate matters further, in western society, the language of rational thought is given priority status by most educational disciplines, with any other means of communication being demeaned at best. Most of us also haven’t been taught to interpret the languages of emotions and body sensations, so we’re often unaware that any information is trying to access our awareness. The result is often like dealing with a dysfunctional family all within ourselves.

An example of this disconnection would be that someone might be interested in another person who really isn’t in their best interests. The Body brain may have unconsciously associated that other person with some primitive survival need. The Heart consciousness might be trying to communicate its fears, joys, guilt, or sadness about that other person. Meanwhile, the rational Mind brain is saying to yourself that you’re crazy to be interested in that other person, so no wonder many of us wander around in inner conflict.

Learning about Triune Brain theory and how each of these parts of our consciousness operates was a real eye opener for me, as I had ignored my Body brain so much that it only knew how to get my attention by screaming at me. The various physical ailments that resulted from ignoring these unconscious messages led to many surgeries for me. These procedures would alleviate my symptoms for awhile, but they’d return often in the same place where various organs had been removed, since I had not healed the issue that my Body brain had been trying to tell me.

I hope that this explanation gives you some insight with regard as to some of the reasons for inner conflicts in you. Since the Body brain, or as Jung would call, the Unconscious, is speaking at levels most of us aren’t used to interpreting, many of our responses  can be confusing. More postings will have information on how the Body brain can be running our lives without us even knowing it. The takeaway here that I’m trying to get across is that there is often an unconscious block or stuck energy in the Body brain consciousness that is driving the car of your life without your conscious being aware of what’s going on for you.

What are some of your own experience where you’ve said you want to do one thing, but find yourself self-sabotaging? Does the knowledge of baring theory give you some insights as to what’s going on inside of you?

Why not leave a comment as to your thoughts on this posting. Please take a minute and fill out the form below and share your ideas with the rest of us. We all grow when we share our thoughts and impressions, so why not join our growing community of those who appreciate learning about our inner selves and the intricacies of healing work. We’d love to hear from you!

You can find out more about my healing work at, about my artwork on my web site at (be patient as it loads; it’s worth it), and can find me on Google + , Facebook (for Transition Portals), Facebook (for Fiber Fantasies),  and Twitter.

About Nancy Smeltzer

I'm passionate about long distance spiritual and alternative healing, having had a successful practice now for over ten years. My clients work with me over the phone and on Skype from all over the USA and Canada, as well as Switzerland, Russia, and Australia. I specialize in helping people heal their negative repeating patterns of behavior and remove the stuck energy in their unconscious minds. By doing that, they can quit going round and round in circles,. repeating the same mistakes, and move forward to having the life of their dreams. Besides my holistic healing practice, I've also been professionally creating art quilts and other fiber arts for over 30 years. My specialty is contemporary beaded art quilts. On my web site, I bill myself as the "Self Proclaimed Button and Bead Queen of Maryland (USA)." My recent works have images that are based on what I see when I tap into a person's energy field and are called Meditation Gardens. These visionary art pieces are the perfect place for that person to play and meditate. In my spare time, I'm a rabid, avid "dirty nails" gardener, composing scenes with plants. Sometimes, I come inside so dirty that my clothes have to go straight into the washing machine; they're too dirty for the dirty clothes hamper! -The Official Google + site for Nancy Smeltzer
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