Controlling the Primitive Mind and Mastering Your Primitive Instincts

Controlling the Primitive Mind and Mastering Your Primitive Instincts

Did you know that our culture uses our primitive instincts to control our lives? Most people don’t even see it happening because it has been going on for generations. That’s why controlling the primitive mind and mastering your primitive instincts is important.

We share the same primitive brain functions with many living things. What makes us unique is that we can learn how to control them. The art of controlling instinctual triggers gives us more autonomy. It’s also important to know that others can manipulate these triggers to control our beliefs and behaviors. It’s time to unmask these tactics and take back control.

Taming the Primitive Side

There are different ways to describe the characteristics of the primitive mind. Some call it the monkey, reptilian, or lizard brain. These terms come from human and animal-based research on the brain.

Research (1) shows that we share essential brain functions with other vertebrates. This is how they develop correlations between animals and humans. The reptilian or lizard brain is a term used to describe the basic automatic brain functions that come from the base of the brain stem. This area regulates and coordinates many body functions.

The health of our reptilian brain is vital for healing. It controls the immune system and determines what enzymes need to be sent. It can also shut down systems of the body to prioritize the system’s ability to heal.

The monkey brain is in the medial temporal lobe. It houses the default mechanisms of Ego. Our Ego acts like a conduit between our conscious and subconscious. It is the home of our personality and the direct link to our instincts.

Enneagram w cultural narrative

We are not the only creatures who exhibit individual personality traits. Many creatures have traits we associate with personality. For example, dogs, cats, and horses have easily recognizable and distinct personalities. But unlike these animals, we have the analytical ability to understand our personalities and instincts.

The Enneagram teaches you how to move beyond the confines of your default personality settings. Mastering your primitive instincts is not only possible but also a normal step in personal and spiritual development. Taming the primitive side doesn’t detract from its power. It makes a more effective tool.

Many wild creatures also have specific personalities if you spend the time to observe them. Squirrels are a good example of other common animals that have unique personality traits. Some are more curious and trusting. If you are kind and give them snacks, some will learn to recognize you as friendly and will show more trust.

Birds and insects exhibit instinctual behaviors for migration, procreation, and community building. They have specialized migratory GPS that helps them navigate great distances. Birds and insects pass information about specific routes and destinations to future generations. Some indigenous people, like the Inuit, have similar abilities to navigate in whiteout conditions.

What we call our monkey brain is the control center for our survival. It is that part of the subconscious mind that houses our instincts: social, sexual, and self-preservation. Here, we find the programming for nurturing, procreation, and protection. This aspect of our brain is like the RAM of a computer. It holds processes that trigger automatic thinking and expedited value judgments. It has a direct link to our most valuable instinctual response to danger or fear, our fight, flight or freeze reaction (3F response).

Accessing and Mastering Your Primitive Instincts

The 3F response controls the sympathetic nervous system. We trigger this system when we perceive a threat. This mode activates the adrenal gland, an endocrine gland on the top of your kidneys. It pumps adrenaline or epinephrine through the bloodstream to all cells of your body. The fear or danger response enables us to react quickly and is a genetic function for life-threatening situations.

What is interesting is that we can learn to program this aspect of the subconscious mind. Here, we store the blueprint of things that may be potentially harmful. When something fits the harmful blueprint, we react immediately. That’s good if your programming is correct, but if someone programs false information, that can cause problems.

For example, we freeze when we encounter a bear while hiking. Instinctively, we know that running would cause the bear to think of us as prey and charge. If we encounter a fallen beehive, we instinctively run. The incorrect reaction is imperative.

Training and Controlling the Primitive Mind

Taming the Primitive Side Controlling Instinctual Triggers

Mastering your primitive instincts is more important today than ever because if you don’t control them, others will. That’s right. You are likely a victim of being manipulated through your instincts. Manipulating our instincts is such a part of our culture that most people don’t even know it’s happening. How does this occur?

The tactics used to manipulate our instincts come from ancient times. They come from the ancient mystery religions of the Mediterranean region circa 5000 BCE. These cults devised ways to trigger our basic instincts like fear and greed in order to make them committed, paying devotees.

People are more likely to contribute more because of fear and greed than they are willing to pay in taxes. It costs more to enforce tax collection. The Roman army conquered the ancient world, but it cost a lot to keep afield. So, assimilating the religious cults in each area was more cost-effective. They used the groupthink manipulation tactics already in place. It helped build a worldwide empire.

So, the cults of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, and Persia created mythologies and superstitions to trigger fear and greed. These tactics were rebranded as the Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. (2)

Of course, unscrupulous politicians and leaders used manipulation tools. The ad industry uses these strategies to sell everything from apples to zucchini and more.

The bottom line is that if someone is already controlling the instinctual triggers that drive your behavior, wouldn’t you rather be in more control?

You have likely seen commercials like Mr. Clean, who sells magic soap. You’ve been prompted to buy antiperspirant out of the social fear of body odor. The purchase of cars is driven by the sexual instinct, which portrays drivers as having sex appeal. Think about the clothes you wear. You need specific clothes for work or other occasions, which communicate that you fit into a specific social class.

Our monkey brain is easier to program when we are young. The more exposure to propaganda, the more susceptible we are to groupthink manipulation. It is the primary tactic organized religion uses to maintain control. The longer you are exposed, the harder it becomes to remove the programming.

Religious prejudice can become deep-rooted. If you can relate to this situation, you may have negative religious stereotypes and prejudices. Congratulations, you’ve taken the first step in fixing your programming. Realizing you have a problem is the first step. Decide to change course. It will positively affect your life, and everyone in your circle of influence will benefit.

It’s hard to break away from religion once you are in its grip. Organized religions make it hard, so you can’t break free. The belief system becomes your identity, so leaving the faith is emotionally challenging. They purposely commingle personal and business relationships with the belief system. These relationships reinforce their control. It would help if you found others who have escaped the religious turmoil. If you can, locate an organization like ours. It helps to have resources and peers who have gone through the process of de-programming.

The Basics of Controlling Instinctual Triggers

We don’t normally control the primary survival mode of the 3F response, but we can learn to turn it on or off with proper training. Mastering your primitive instincts takes practice. We learn what it takes to turn them on and off, and then we learn to correct any cultural programming that is triggering them.

Taking control of the primitive mind is essential. It keeps you from triggering this response when it is not appropriate. Clinicians teach techniques to help people deal with their emotional trauma response. They help them reframe memories without triggering the 3F response. Everyone should learn to do this because our culture bombards us with propaganda.

There are two basic ways to take control of the primitive mind: with the breath and with the eyes.

Controlling the Primitive Mind with Breath

The first step in controlling breathing is learning to observe it without interfering. It isn’t as easy as you would think. When we draw our attention to our breathing, we tend to alter it. So, we start with an exercise to observe breathing. Then, we experiment with different breathing patterns to see how they affect our emotions. Lastly, we use techniques to control the 3F response.

Observe the Breath

The first step in controlling the primitive mind is to observe your breathing without interfering.

— Sit comfortably and start by closing your eyes. Later, you’ll do it with your eyes open, but it’s easy to learn with the eyes closed.

— Bring your attention to your breathing. If you notice you are changing your breathing, then move your attention to your hands. Rub your hands together for a few seconds, then stop and consciously move your attention up your arms to your chest and your lungs.

Eventually, you’ll be able to sit and observe your breathing. If you work on this for 10 minutes without success, then give it a rest. Wait an hour or a day and try it again. It also helps to be sure you are calm.

— Once you can sit with your eyes closed and observe your breath, try it standing and then walking. You should observe differences in your breath when you stand and move. These observations serve as a baseline. Sitting, standing, and walking are activities that should not produce stress, anxiety, or fear.

Mastering your primitive instincts is a process that makes you aware of the physical and emotional effects of these triggers. It gives you practical skills to remain calm under pressure. And, it helps you to spot when someone is trying to trigger your emotions to drive a behavior.

Diaphragm Awareness Exercise

You should establish a baseline by observing your breath while sitting, standing, and walking. Next, we will learn to trigger our diaphragm. This is important because it is necessary for deep breathing. Some call this belly breathing, but it is really all about engaging the diaphragm, which sits below the lungs. This is called alternate nostril pranayama.

— Sit comfortably. Place your thumb on the side of your nose nostril and your index finger on the other side. Breathe out as you close one nostril with the thumb, then release. Close your nostril on the other side of the nose with the index finger and breath in. Do this rapidly, breathing in and out, opening and closing each nostril. It will create a fluttering, fast breathing using your diaphragm.

— Practice alternate nostril pranayama for up to one minute. If you start to feel light-headed, stop. Afterward, take a few relaxed breaths.

— Do a body scan. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your body and emotions. How does this exercise make you feel?

This kind of breathing is a prerequisite for many advanced forms of Yoga, such as the Siddhis of Patanjali. Deep lung breathing is effective for pumping oxygen into the blood. Blood polls at the bottom of the lungs, so this form of Pranayama helps to get more oxygen into the blood.

Eventually, you should be able to engage this rapid diaphragm breathing without using your hand as an aid. What you may notice is that this kind of breathing begins to activate our 3F response. This technique will help you interrupt the activation and give you control.

This method can even interrupt preprogrammed activations caused by social conditioning. Diaphragm breathing gives us back control over this reaction. It provides access to higher-level thinking and reaction time of the parasympathetic system. Plus, it provides some of the higher-level oxygen associated with the sympathetic system. People recovering from cult indoctrination use this method. It helps them overcome harmful beliefs and values.

Controlling the Primitive Mind with the Eyes

The eyes are windows to the soul; they also provide us with tools for controlling instinctual triggers. Images provide a bulk of the stimuli that trigger the sympathetic nervous system. For example, some people are afraid of spiders, and even pictures of spiders can trigger their 3F response.

Some people enjoy the stimulus of activating the 3F response, which is why amusement parks with scary rides are popular. Horror movies are popular because they trigger this response. However, we know that living in a constant state of hyper-readiness isn’t healthy. This state obviously causes high blood pressure and the release of stimulus chemicals. This state is meant for life-threatening emergencies.

One ancient way to stop the activation of the 3F response is with the unblinking stare. The martial arts Silat and Kuntao demonstrate this. Practitioners constantly drill with this stare, which is used in their forms or Jurus. As they practice these forms or in controlled combat, others throw or spray water into their faces. The goal is to maintain the unblinking stare, which keeps the nervous system in parasympathetic mode.

Silat and Kuntao practitioners use a recipe of elements to maintain control during combat. One of these is the rhythmic music of the Gamelan. Music is a tool to help focus internally. They employ ocular control of the stare to engage in peripheral vision. They practice Jurus, which elements to internalize practical combat elements of the dance. Silat’s dance movements, internalized music, and control of the senses work together. It gives them the ability to make split-second decisions and move on time in combat.

First Ocular Exercise

As we described above, the unblinking stare is a primary control of the nervous system.

— Start by standing where you have a wide and deep field of vision, preferably outdoors, with a view of the horizon in the distance. Now, take in the whole panorama without focusing on any one aspect. This should activate your peripheral vision.

Move your head slowly from side to side and up and down, keeping your vision unfocused. Next, begin walking while keeping everything within your field of vision. This mode of operation makes you acutely aware of depth perception. Eventually, it gives you the ability to move in response to threats, such as an attacker, without engaging in the 3F response. Achieving this level of mastery takes time and practice.

Second Ocular Control Exercise

— The next phase is to increase the sympathetic nervous system’s level. Using the peripheral vision attained in the first exercise, blink the eyes rapidly four or five times. This will help reduce anxiety and maintain control of the nervous system.

Third Ocular Control Exercise

— Once you have mastered or are at least comfortable with the first two levels, it’s time to combine your ocular control with your breath. While maintaining peripheral vision, add intervals of rapid diaphragm breathing. This is the engine that drives the efficiency of Silat and Kuntao.

Controlling the Primitive Mind By Its Programming

You can practice breathing and ocular control exercises and still be under the influence of harmful programming. So, you need to identify and remove the thought scripts that drive unhealthy thinking. Here’s how to identify harmful scripts that trigger your instincts. Cultural programming often triggers fear, hate, and greed. These emotional triggers are used to override our natural personal and social instincts.

1. Safety Based on Religious Standards

Do you need to know what someone believes in to determine if they are safe? If you do, explore why. Fear drives the need to know what someone believes because it is part of religious indoctrination, which triggers our 3F response. We react to the threat of different beliefs as if they were life-threatening. It comes from programmed bias and prejudice.

If you only feel safe around those with similar beliefs, that is a problem. It shows you have set up boundaries for thinking. Instead, explore why this need governs your values. It’s the reason you need to ask yourself some critical questions. If what I believe is wrong, do I want to know? Am I willing to change my beliefs if what I think is wrong?

2. Lack of Diversity

If your inner circle of friends is limited to people who believe exactly like you, you won’t grow. You are more likely to assimilate to extremist points of view. So, ask yourself, do you have people from different backgrounds and spiritual beliefs in your circle of friends?

The more diverse your inner circle, the more likely you will encounter ideas and opinions to help you grow. The more segregated and closed your social circle, the less likely you will accept new ideas. Also, the greater the tendency you will reject any information that conflicts with the “groups” paradigm. It sets up the conflict between the programming of the cultural narrative and your natural social instinct. Your natural social instinct tells you to be kind, but your programming tells you people of some group are your enemy.

3. Reacting Instead of Thinking

Do you react without understanding why? Do you spend time on unimportant things? Are you persuaded to buy products when you don’t need them? These are signs of groupthink manipulation. They show you how powerful the cultural narrative is in your life. You are acting and reacting like a trout to a shiny object.

In Conclusion — Who is Controlling the Primitive Mind

Mastering your primitive instincts will help you to avoid being manipulated by others. All it takes is a little practice. Find and correct the harmful programming that is triggering harmful beliefs and behaviors. Sometimes, it is unhealthy thought scripts in our personality. The problem is likely the programming of the cultural narrative. The best tool to help reprogram our thoughts, which affect our primitive mind, is the Enneagram Personality Profile.


(1) From natural geometry to spatial cognition. National Library of Medicine.
(2) Abrahamic Religions. Wikipedia.ta