Tour of The Ship – Part 1

Our Three Brains

The human brain is not one solid organ. In fact, it consists of several partitions that are interconnected. The best-known examples of partitions are the left and right hemispheres, but the key to Ship Psychology is in the three evolutionary brains.

There is the rational part, shown in blue, the emotional brain, shown in yellow, and the reptilian brain, shown in red.

Each of these brains developed at a different stage in human evolution, and they each serve a very different and distinct purpose from one another.

The Reptilian Brain

The reptilian brain is our most ancient part. This developed way before even the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. It is our survival instinct, and this is what makes our bag of flesh and bones a living being. It makes sure that we take care of our basic needs, like sleep, food, and procreation.

The Animal Brain

The next step up the evolutionary ladder is the animal brain. This developed when animals started to live in groups, in which they depended on each other for survival.

In order to not look after yourself, but look after the good of the group, you need to have a social feeling. You have to have compassion and empathy. And this is where the animal brain comes in.

This is the basis of not only our social skills, but also of our ability to experience creativity, to dream, and to experience complex emotions.

The Rational Brain

The latest evolutionary addition is the rational brain: the neocortex. This part is exceptionally well developed in humans. What makes it special is that this part of the brain allows to think in abstract thoughts.

What does that mean?

It means that we have a concept of the world beyond what is right in front of us. We have a concept of time, of symbolism, writing, languages, planning, calculations. Even our love for stories and our ability to convey information through storytelling and fiction finds it roots in our ability to think beyond the horizon.

3 Worldviews In 1 Person

So the reptilian brain thinks in the here-and-now, the animal brain thinks in terms of the group, and the rational brain can look beyond the horizon.

Three very distinct abilities, three very distinct ways to view the world.

Those three perspectives reflect in how we as humans think, feel, and act. And this is the basis of “the Ship Inside Your Head”.

About the author

Christel Vogels developed the Ship Psychology Method as a playful means to understand your own mind. As coach and trainer, she teaches people how managing their thoughts, feelings and behaviour can help to improve their mental quality of life.

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