Somewhere Between The Limbic Brain And The Pre-Frontal Cortex

Sundays are for coffee and chilling. Mostly. Because sometimes, during these coffee and chilling mornings, a sparkling conversation can ensue. That’s exactly what happened today.

As I was enjoying my Sunday morning coffee, a daily ritual I try to follow (almost) religiously, a friend came in the same coffee shop. We never met there, but we both knew the place. And it so happens that we are both sharing similar opinions on the major clusterfuck that is “the world’s Covid response”.

As we started to talk about the state of affairs around this topic, we went from how relatively “civilized” states are enforcing more meaningless measures than so-called “uncivilized” nations, to the lack of reason of all the bureaucratic approaches, and we eventually came to the topic of fear. Namely, how fear is used to create obedience and polarization.

And at that exact moment it dawned upon me that we could classify countries – or, to be more precise, places where you could live – by the exact place they are occupying between the pre-frontal cortex and the limbic brain.

You see, the limbic brain, situated at the back of our heads, just on top of the spine, is the oldest layer of our brains. It’s also the headquarters of fear, that’s where our strong emotions of fear are triggered and manifesting.

As you advance towards more recent layers (in evolutionary terms) of the brain, you get to the pre-frontal cortex, which is situated in the front, just beyond the forehead. That’s where the majority of the reason is done, where our rational thinking takes place.

You can pinpoint where exactly a country stays in this space, just by looking at how they deal with this pandemic.

If there is a climate of extreme control, and there are bureaucratic measures like certificates and QR codes required for basic life activities, and the army is involved in the process, then those places are close to the back of the head, close to the limbic brain. Countries like Australia, Canada, Germany, where the polarization is really heavy, and where fear is instilled so people are turned against each other. It may look like they are doing it “to keep everybody safe”, but in fact they’re keeping everybody in a permanent state of fear, they’ve locked down the population in the limbic brain.

If there is a climate of relative relaxation, and bureaucratic measures are not enforced, but merely implemented as a transitory and complementary way to mitigate the viral threat, then you are close to the pre-frontal cortex. For instance, there are countries where the green certificate is required for participating in some part of the social life, but at the same time there is a massive deployment of testing facilities, for free, so people can just go into a booth, on the street, test for free and then go to a restaurant, if they so wish. Compare this with places where the army is forcing vaccination as the only measure of protection. It’s like saying: “ok, we give alternatives, we don’t consider you guilty without first giving you a chance to prove yourself”, instead of: “we know better than you what you should do with your body, and we are going to enforce this on you, whether you like it or not”.

This area, between the pre-frontal cortex and the limbic brain is where we live all of our lives, actually. The more we lean towards fear and hostility, the more we’re supporting extreme measures and dividing policies. The more we lean towards reason and logical thinking, the more we’re supporting a life of choice, freedom and safety (please note I said “logical thinking”, not “blindly following the science”, which is just another form of cult thinking).

Choose wisely that place, if you can.

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

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