The brain orchestra
Our brain, which looks like a single organ, is actually a network of separate components which work together like musicians in an orchestra. The harmony of the sounds made by the orchestra as a whole, depends on the musicians feeling connected to and working together with each other.
The oboe plays its part, it does not play the violin melody, and it contributes essentially to the whole. An orchestra whose musicians are not listening and moving with each other, is disharmonious. Similarly, when our brain sections are not connected correctly, we feel internally scattered and messy. We may have clashing feelings and wants, we may tell ourselves to be or feel one thing, whilst doing and experiencing entirely different things. The oboe and the flute sections are playing music, but they’re not playing the same piece or maybe, they started the same piece but at different times. The outcome may have some familiar tones to it, but it is not melodic nor is it easy to listen to.
The cortex of our brain, which is the upper, topmost layer, the one folded like a walnut, is the most modern, most evolved most sophisticated and most human. It is the conductor of the orchestra. It co-ordinates all the other parts, which are subconscious and work without our being aware of how they are doing it. The conductor needs to be on-line and connected in order to coordinate and unite the players. However, it is the least robust member of the team. Often times, if the situation is too intense, she needs to lie down in a darkened room with a flannel on her head whilst the players enthusiastically do their best without her, using experience as their guide. And therein lies the rub. Experience. It teaches each musician part of our brain differently and sets a different beat within them. It will determine which music is played and when. If experience is not harnessed, the players get lost in their own world and play their own tune. Does this sound familiar? A brain that has too many voices within it? It’s not madness, it’s life for many of us.