Emotional Intelligence · Our Subconscious

The Lizard Brain Meets Its Match

Brian’s Fiat Panda

The Sub-Conscious, Part 4

There’s an interesting defect in the design of the Fiat Panda. It’s not something that’s obvious. It’s annoying and it shows that the person designing the car had no idea about how lizard brains work. Well, let’s face it, most of us don’t and it’s only recently that its become apparent to me.Now when I come to open the driver’s door, I always lock it. Opening the passenger door, it’s a matter of chance if I
lock it or actually open it.What is going on here?The question is a little more subtle: why should it be so difficult to perform this seemingly simple task?The answer is a real clue as to how our lizard brain works. Calling it
that’s a little disingenuous, but it’s a common term and I’ll stick with it. It’s the primordial part of your thinking apparatus (your brain) the basal ganglia. And it’s the least conscious. In fact, it’s entirely unconscious. This series of mine is all about how you experience your own thinking. Only, the problem here is that everything your lizard brain does is unconscious. So how do you even start experiencing things you can’t experience?Now I may not be using this term correctly, for the time being just accept that without raising intellectual objections. Because I draw from my own experiences, my own insights. I am not trying to establish academic facts, I am communicating something that will make your thinking more powerful. Way more powerful. Then you’ll begin to see where I’m coming from.You see the issue is that to lock a Fiat Panda you have to turn the key to the front of the car.
Now to an intellectual thinker that’s quite reasonable. Only like so
many things that intellectuals dream up, it’s really stupid.

Yes, stupid.


Well look at it this way. We’re dealing with the sub-conscious here and how it takes an active part in your life.

Oh, sorry … you just point and click to unlock these days, don’t you! The car goes beep, the lights flash and you’re in before you’ve even noticed you’ve opened the door. I’d forgotten that these things are all automatic nowadays. Well we’ll come to that later. Only … because it’s so natural, so habitual, so regular that … well, now are you beginning to see things in the way I see things? Through the intervention of technology you’ve allowed these things to be taken over by your lizard brain.

Who’se in control here? You with the brain the size of a planet – or a battery powered conglomeration of semi-conductors acting like light switches?

You see the issue here’s really about intellectual thinking. To the intellectual, the rational thinker, it’s all perfectly reasonable and can be explained in long sentences like this one. You can win arguments that way. It’s easy, you just make assumptions that don’t hold in reality. You don’t believe me? Take a look at our world!

The Nitty Gritty Of The Lizard Brain

Anyway, on the Fiat Panda, you turn the key to the front of the car – in both cases. Change from passenger side to driver side – and your fingers don’t work any more. What locked before doesn’t lock now. My tatty old Opel Corsa was a little more sensible – down was lock and up was unlock. The hand could grasp “up” and “down” – front and back are a little more arbitrary.

You don’t have to think “down” to lock. You do have to think “front” when you usually lock the passenger door – only today you’re driving. Or vice versa.

Your lizard brain can’t kick in and unlock the door for you as it kicks in to change gears. Because what was “lock” is now “unlock” and so on. It all depends on which side of the car you’re standing. You have to sit up and think about it all, recognize which side of the vehicle you’re on and all sorts of things that the lizard brain can’t do for you. You can’t just think “sit in car” because the thing’s locked and you can’t unlock it!

The lizard brain’s great when it comes to things that are automatic, repetitive and habitual. The things you don’t need to be aware of. Only in this case, it never seems that I do enough driving. Whenever I unlock the door, somehow it’s always locked.

Perhaps I should always use the back hatch, that’s always the same! Only I get the feeling that people would find that a woman climbing in through the back little odd.


The Subconscious: Links To Other Parts In This Series.

Part 1 Why Some Africans Can’t Count Beyond Three.
Part 2 Doctor Jazz, Düsseldorf.
Part 3 Letting The Lizard Drive!
Part 4 The Lizard Brain Meets Its Match: Brian’s Fiat Panda.
Part 5 Snow White And The Railways.
Part 6 Enemies In The Boardroom.
Part 7 The Clock Ticks: The Unconscious Threshold.    (Published on my private blog)
Part 8 Milena Sees Witchcraft Everywhere.
Part 9 Frustration!
Part 10 What’s On Mina’s Mind Today?
Part 11 A First Peek At Autism.
Part 12 A Railway Waggon At The Roots Of Dementia?
Part 13 What’s It Like In There? Life With Dementia… (Published privately)
Part 14 The Evidence For Dementia.
Part 15 The Trouble With Alzheimer’s.
Part 16 The Man On Platform Two.



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