The reptilian brain versus higher consciousness

I’m a big fan of what Neil Slade calls “amygdala tickling.” It’s easy to do and you can do it anywhere. Like anything, it takes practice, but I’ve been doing it so long now I can usually shift my consciousness forward to the frontal lobes pretty quickly. I’m kind of addicted to it because it is so much more pleasant to be in the frontal lobes than in the reptilian brain or the thinking brain. I no longer think of the frontal lobes as the frontal lobes. For me, it’s a matter of the reptilian brain versus higher consciousness.

The Reptilian Brain versus Higher Consciousness

TDA Lingo called the reptilian brain EGGS, for “ego, greed, grasp, suck.” That pretty much sums up how we’re raised to live. We’re supposed to be rugged individualists who pursue “happiness” through things. The frontal lobes are a little harder to explain. I can’t speak for everyone, but when I “click forward” into my frontal lobes, my thinking brain slows down and my heart begins to expand. Maybe a few photographs can explain it better.

I was at my favorite cafe this afternoon having a cappuccino. I was a little stressed out because work is temporarily slowing down. When you’re stressed or worried, you’re operating partly from your reptilian brain. While I was worrying, this is what I was aware of:


I was hearing the traffic noise and smelling the traffic smells. It occurred to me that there was no sense worrying at that moment in time, so I practiced the amygdala tickling exercise. Almost immediately, peace descended on me and I saw the world in a different light. This is what I noticed.


I noticed the beautiful flowers on this tree and watched it sway in the breeze. After a loud motorbike passed by, I heard birds chirping. I hadn’t noticed any of this when I was in my worried and stressed state of mind, but getting into the frontal lobes seems to tune me in to nature even when I’m on a busy street.

As I wrote in Serendipity Road: between heaven and hell, you don’t see images of nature in paintings of hell. Hell, to my mind, is what we often mistake for normal waking consciousness. When our minds are active and stressed, we consider it normal. When we indulge ourselves, we become briefly happy, but it doesn’t last. Heaven is a peaceful mind. It dwells in the moment and is attuned to the natural world.

When I turned my head, this was the scene I saw:


Since I was in my frontal lobes, I noticed the sky rather than the street or the buildings. I can’t prove it, but I think it’s because I had activated my higher chakras. The throat chakra is blue, therefore I was in tune with that color.

Being in higher consciousness also seems to enhance intuition. A couple of weeks ago I went to the beach for a swim. The sea was choppy and dirty and I decided not to swim. I sat on a rock I habitually sit on and shifted my consciousness to my frontal lobes. Something told me to go for a short swim and to go NOW. It was compelling enough to get me off my butt and into the water. I dove in and swam underwater like I usually do. When I popped out, a small boy was up to his chin and sputtering water every time a wave washed over him. I went to him. He put his arms around my shoulders and I walked him to shore. Cambodians don’t understand ocean currents. Ten people drowned that week. If I hadn’t gone in the water at that moment, he would have been the eleventh.

Why Higher Consciousness and Not the Frontal Lobes?

There are a lot of theories about the brain. To me, they’re irrelevant. Focusing my consciousness on the “point between the eyebrows” worked when I learned meditation and hadn’t even heard of the amygdala or triune brain. “Amygdala tickling” works for me now. What works is all that matters to me

triune brain and frontal lobes copy

“But you can’t doubt science!” some would say. Well, when TDA Lingo was around, he believed the amygdala had a positive function and the entire medical establishment believed it was the brain’s fear center. Now science has discovered the Happy Amygdala. Science, as Dr. Kelly Brogan says, is a process, not a destination. Meditation was around a long time before neuroscientists started studying it. It worked for those who did it. They didn’t care about the science. They just cared about the experience. That’s all I care about, too.

The reptilian brain seems like an apt description of how we operate in our daily, stressed out lives. When we’re living in our brains, we’re not connected to any greater realities. I don’t like to refer to consciousness in the frontal lobes because it doesn’t seem like my brain is working when I’m in the frontal lobes. I can feel pressure there, but my consciousness seems to be emanating from my heart. It’s a higher consciousness because it is more all-inclusive and blissful.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bragging about being more spiritual than anyone else. I happen to agree with Walt Whitman, who wrote: “I am as bad as the worst but, thank God, I am as good as the best.” It’s just a matter of which state of consciousness I happen to be dwelling in. I prefer higher consciousness, but the reptilian brain kicks in more often than I’d like.

I can’t say for sure that “amygdala tickling” will work for everyone. Neil Slade has been blogging about it for about 15 years. Last time I looked, his website had over 13 million views, but amygdala tickling hasn’t become a fad like various forms of meditation have. Maybe it’s because the technique is too easy or maybe it’s because he’s not a good marketer. All I know is that it works for me and once in awhile I feel like writing about it. Here’s a Slideshare presentation I put together a long time ago. It tells how to “tickle your amygdala.”



2 thoughts on “The reptilian brain versus higher consciousness

  1. I do something similar which also works good for me, in shifting my state. I project my attention into the place where my heart is. Its super simple and remarkably effective in causing me to change the channel, so to speak. Its so simple, people usually don’t believe me. I did it so often when my daughter was little, her standard way of drawing her first stick figures was with a circle in the middle of the chest, just like eyes and mouth go on the face. She noticed what I was doing! I never told her to do that. When I asked her what that was, she said ‘the heart.’ I will also try what you are suggesting as well.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Interesting how simple it can be. I think your method may be a shortcut, but amygdala tickling does make me heart-centered.

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