Understanding Cogjam

Understanding the Journey

What is the first step of the journey? Where does the story of cogjam begin? Two main characters hold center stage.

First, the antagonist: the gut brain, affectionately known as the inner lizard. He looks innocent enough, hiding in the shadows. But he’s a formidable foe to any who dare threaten.

Next comes the protagonist: the logical brain, seeking to bring wisdom and practical know-how to the inner lizard’s automatic alarm system. He’s more inclined toward thinking things through than knee-jerk reacting.

Unfortunately, these two guys haven’t been getting along very well these days.

Here’s how Chapter Two describes their relationship:

“The prevailing view of today’s strained society is of two extreme positions duking it out, with both trying to claw their way to the top of the food chain. This certainly paints the most tangible picture of what we see and hear. And it’s definitely the arena that stirs up the most cogjam misery.

However I beg to differ in regard to what it is we’re really looking at. I suggest that this conflict we’ve entered into is a reflection of something much deeper and more profound, an allegory of epic proportions. What we experience today is only a bump in a story that has been unfolding for many thousands of years.”

“All would be well if the two brain functions knew how to play together nicely. But that’s what’s only beginning to get sorted out in the grand history of the evolving brain. More typically, no matter how gently or firmly the gut brain tries to keep cognition from getting in the way, the logical brain becomes all the more insistent, believing it’s the better lobe for the job. As a result, the restricted flexibility of the stress response can become self-defeating.

Thus the real conflict is not one of opposing social attitudes, differing philosophies and worldviews, or cartoonishly polarized political parties. It is the ultimate battle between fear and logic, two yet-evolving brain functions going head to head. What spins around us today is merely the joint echoed cry of each individual’s inner struggle between logic and gut.”

And there you have it – the evolution of cogjam, playing in an arena near you. Except, we don’t typically recognize it as such. Instead, we tend only to see political perspectives busily tearing into one other. We react. They react back. And the beat goes on.

But there is hope: resilience, proving itself stronger and mightier than antagonist and protagonist alike.

To be continued . . .

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