Tour of The Ship – Part 4

The Deckhand

The Deckhand is our reptilian brain, and they can seem weird even to our own Captain and First Mate. This primal instinct is so ancient that its worldview seems a bit alien, especially to us modern humans.


They are exceptionally straightforward. Everything is yes or no, all or nothing. There is no in between, no grey area.

Either they are happy, or they are not. Either they are angry, or they are content. Nothing in between.

No Horizon

They have no horizon, either. They have no concept of time and space beyond where they are now. This moment, right here. That is what they know. That is what they understand. And they simply have no comprehension of anything that exists beyond that.

Voice & Purpose

Because of they on/off nature, they are often overlooked, because when they are content, you don’t notice them. They are there, lurking beneath the surface like a crocodile dozing in the water.

But only when they strike – when their attention is drawn and they act – in that moment, there is no mistaking them. Then you slam our fist, or shout a curse.

That is how the Deckhand communicates: with noises and gestures. Clear, unmistakable, and with no subtilty whatsoever.

Because subtilty and tact are not what is needed for the Deckhand’s core purpose, namely survival.

Ultimately, that is the only thing the Deckhand cares about: keeping the Ship safe. Keeping her protected, in good working order, and afloat. Because as long as the Ship is afloat, your continued existence – your life! – is ensured.

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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