WELCOME TO THIS BLOG


"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Introducing Our Second & Third Brains: We Do Think With Our Heart and Instinct


Neuro-scientists have finally done it! They have demonstrated that we have a brain in our heart and another in our intestines. What we have in each of these, in actual fact, is an extensive mass of neurons that behave in a fashion similar to the neurons contained in the brain, and that appear to function at mega-speeds, often much greater than those of our cerebral neurons.

The Second Brain
The second brain consists of about 100 billion nerve cells in the digestive tract – a greater number than those in the spinal cord. Professor W. Prinz of the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich indicated to Geo Magazine that it is possible that unconscious decisions may be taken by the stomach network, which are later claimed by the main brain as conscious decisions of its own.

This second brain was brought to light by neuro-biologist Michael Gershon of New York’s Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, author of The Second Brain. When asked if the brain in our heads influences our second brain, he replied that it does, and that we get butterflies in the stomach when the brain sends a message of anxiety to the gut. This, in turn, sends messages back to the brain that it is not happy. However – and this is perhaps the most riveting part of it – the brain in the gut can also work in isolation.

The Third Brain

With his revolutionary research the University of Montreal’s pioneer neurocardiologist Dr. J. Andrew Armour first introduced the concept of a functional heart brain in the 1990’s. This brain in the heart – just as the brain in the digestive tract – may also act independently of the brain in the head. The size of this brain, according to Boulder Creek, California’s Institute of HeartMath, is as great as a number of the principle areas of the brain in the head. Studies discussed in Brain and Values, have shown that the consistency of the rhythm found in the heart brain is capable of changing – sometimes in spectacular fashion - how effectively the thinking brain functions. In theory that means that what occurs on a feeling level, has the capacity to deeply influence what occurs on a thinking level.

In The Heartmath Solution, co-authored by Doc Childre and H. Martin, an in-depth look is taken at the heart and its association with the mind and body. This contributes to the newly emerging view of the heart as a complex, self-organized system that maintains a continuous two-way dialogue with the brain and the rest of the body. Research available at the Heartmath website and published in major medical journals demonstrates that the heart has a significant influence on the function of our brains and all our bodily systems.

What This Implies

Imagine the implications of this! Those who live by “their instinct”, or who “listen” to their gut, or who make decisions based on what their heart tells them rather than their logical brain, now know that although that may not necessarily always be the right way to go, but that this clearly shows that in order to make decisions based on all of their knowledge, they should apply not only that which their logical brain tells them, but also what their feeling brain (heart), and their instinctive brain (gut) have given them to understand.

Cutting-Edge Research

Keeping up with cutting edge research is a fascinating thing because it means that you are able to discover what is happening in that intriguing world of avant-garde thought and progress long before any of this hits the main stream press. It means that you can begin to apply the information contained therein long before everyone else is talking about it…and of course the only reason that is important, is because it might make such an enormous difference to the quality of your life…sometimes just because it changes the way you think about things.

Concurrence in El Pais and Der Spiegel

A recent (2006) article by Alex Celma in the weekend supplement of the Spanish daily El Pais referred to the value of tenderness, not just in the sense of tenderness in relationships, but in the sense of how tenderness can be implicit in thinking actions, and make a difference in decisions taken. A few weeks later, an article in the German weekly Der Spiegel referred to the fact that more and more researchers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and even philosophers, are paying record amounts of attention to the study of intuition, some of whom have gone so far as to state that human intuition is much sharper and stronger than reason.

Aristoteles and Albert Einstein Knew

Even Albert Einstein stated that “the intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Clearly he recognized the priceless value of intuition over reason, while simultaneously expressing that reason evidently plays an important role, further saying: “the only really valuable thing is intuition.” Concurring with Aristoteles who said “intuition is the source of scientific knowledge”, Einstein also stated, “I believe in intuition and inspiration; at times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason.”

Antonio Damasio: “I Feel, Therefore I Am”

Antonio Damasio, the widely-recognized Iowa University based Portuguese neuro-scientist and author of the highly-acclaimed Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain, has demonstrated, based on his extensive experience and studies with neurological patients, that every decision an individual makes needs an emotional impulse, because human beings can not act based purely on reason. In his earlier book Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, Damasio insists that the renowned philosopher’s axiom: I think, therefore I am, is a mistake, and that it should read: I feel, therefore I am, which became the motivational slogan of Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence (recommended Book of the Month in my March 2006 Newsletter).

Cooper and The Other 90%

Robert K. Cooper, author of The Other 90%: How To Unlock Your Vast Untapped Potential For Leadership & Life, writes that many people have learned not to pay attention to the butterflies in the stomach (gut), and what the heart is feeling because that way it is so much easier to let the head lead the way, thus trampling over possibly better choices that might put all of their different sources of intelligence to use.

Paying Attention to All Our Brains

As a society we have very much undermined and sabotaged the knowing we receive from our feelings and our intuition. Even when we are wont to give such knowing value, due to consistent and damaging connotations connected to feelings and intuition, we often hesitate to even give them any consideration at all when they arise in us. Therefore, research such as that described in this article is very encouraging, because it may persuade many who might not otherwise do so, to pay greater attention to such knowing, and to begin to use it in their daily lives.


Note: This article was originally written in the spring of 2006 and published in my monthly newsletter as well as on numerous sites all over the web, and then republished here on my blog in 2008. In July 2011 portions of the article were included in my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self:


Read what some reviewers are saying about it on Amazon:

A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom & joy but illuminates the way to true human potential. Dr. Kortsch is a spiritual master for our time. Paul Rademacher, Executive Director, The Monroe Institute; author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"The instruction manual on rewiring the soul. An in-depth guide on life, love, spiritual evolution & our integration within the universe." Michael Habernig & April Hannah; Producers: The Path- The Afterlife & The Path 11 Documentaries

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world & practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd; Founder Trans4mind.com; author: Daring To Be Yourself

"The human being's directory to the soul. A breakthrough for those seeking practical assistance, those of a more mystical bent & every soul awaiting discovery." Toni Petrinovich, Ph.D.; author: The Call: Awakening the Angelic Human












Image: Zakynthos, Greece



My new book The Tao of Spiritual Partnership is now also available in print and Kindle formats.

To download the first chapter, click here
To see the Table of Contents click here

From the Description on Amazon: More exciting than any other kind of relationship you have ever known, spiritual partnership is a path, a Tao, available to you so that you may transform your life. Spiritual partnership becomes background music to daily life allowing you to enhance the process of your growth and evolution.

This ground-breaking book addresses:

• relationship patterns that hold you back from a truly fulfilled life
• the strong connection between sexuality and spiritual partnership
• communication leading to true connection & lasting transformation of your relationship

It is precisely at the problematic crossroads so often encountered in relationships that we are offered the opportunity to create a new foundation based on mutual complementarity rather than need; a free relationship between two people who want to be together, rather than two people who need to be together. Needing another, we are told, is the measure of love, but for a fully conscious individual nothing could be further from the truth. And therein lies part of the secret and healing power of spiritual partnerships. 


Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership 

“All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come." 
Chris Griscom: Spiritual Leader, Author 

“Eloquently and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion.” 
Robert Schwartz: Author of Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born 

"The Tao of Spiritual Partnership is a unique blend of wit and wisdom; Dr. Kortsch encourages us to take responsibility for our relationships, while recognizing and seizing the opportunities for our own personal spiritual growth." 
William Buhlman, Author of Adventures Beyond the Body 



Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for my new book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

No comments:

Post a Comment