The man with 2 brains

Posted by Sinead Duffy on

The man with 2 brains



The man with 2 brains is one of my all time favourite movies.

But actually, we all have 2 brains.

We have the front – thinky bit. (Over-thinky bit for most people).

This is the neo cortex and it sure is useful for doing stuff.

But it’s not so good at turning off. It’s a bit like a toddler. If you give it the option of being still… it’s not going to go for it.


Our second brain is the back, older, more primal bit.

It’s the gut instinct, the intuition – the emotional brain.

We spend so much time fine-tuning and working on the first of these two – clocking up hours in school and college to push lots of data into the front brain and getting it working at its optimal.


We don’t spend much time working on the back brain. But it’s the back brain that governs how we feel. And how we feel – well that’s pretty fundamental, right? Feeling good is awesome.



So why the division?

Well – our brain evolved over millions of years.. with new parts being added as we evolved…from the back to the front.. (neo cortex = new brain).  And like everything ‘new’ the front brain thinks it’s all that and it doesn’t really rate the back-brain. That’s why your rational self won’t rate the sense of smell. It just won’t, because it’s rational – and the rational just doesn’t value the pre-rational.

My favourite example of this is the milk-smell-test. When you smell your milk, and it’s past its best – you smell it a second time. Every time. But you know it was gone off the first time – but you always smell it a second time, right? That’s the front brain not trusting the back brain.


In the same way sometimes we let the rational over-ride our intuitive gut feelings. But our intuition is so vital – it’s what has the more macro-perspective – and it's what needs developing to make the best life and wellness choices for us and our families and communities.

We know that how we feel matters. And it’s the back brain that governs how we feel.

Smell changes how you feel instantly – you know this. So don’t second-guess your macro-feelgood self. Use fragrance and Gandha to feel good every day. And if your front brain still keeps telling you that smell isn’t important…just remember is the same part that tells you a million things that are more pressing than getting on your yoga mat. And OVERRIDE!