Silencing a Thousand Barking Dogs – Episode 16 Brain Anatomy of Duality Discourse 4 – The Deep Limbic System

This is a rebroadcast of a 2011 episode by Bryan. He continues to explore for the listener, his premise that unlike God Consciousness, that of a human brain is dualistic, hence the title “Brain Anatomy of Duality.”


He continues to draw from research from Dr. Daniel Amen and cites this researcher’s discoveries using the science of SPECT Imaging, information found within his book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.”


Bryan begins by talking about what Amen says about the Deep Limbic System and how love and affective disorders are related to it. The Limbic system contains the Thalamic Structure and the Hypothalamus. The Limbic system as a whole contains multiple parts and Bryan focuses in this episode on just the Deep Limbic System and what neuro-psychiatry has to say about it.


Bryan, once again relates the scientific findings to the symbolic nature of dog-like thought and behavior patterns.


The Deep Limbic System sets the emotional tone of the mind. It filters external events through internal states which is known as “emotional coloring”. It is what gives “flavor” and “zest” to what we process. The DLS also tags certain events as internally important. It also stores highly charged emotional memories, it modulates motivation, controls appetite and also sleep cycles. An important function of the DLS is that it promotes bonding as seen with mammals, such as dogs, wolf-packs, and other animals, both domesticated and wild. In the DLS you process sense and smell and modulates libido or sexual drive for procreation.


The Limbic System lies near the center of the brain and its size is that of a walnut. The functions contained within are critical to human behavior and survival. From an evolutionary standpoint, this is part of the mammalian brain that enabled animals to express emotions. The Deep Limbic System adds the “emotional spice” (coloring) and passion to carry out planning and actions related to the Pre-Frontal Cortex part of the brain. The DLS sets the emotional tone. For example, when the DLS is less active there is usually a more positive hopeful state of mind in a person. On the flip side, when it is heated up, it can have a negative impact.


Dr. Amen says that when the DLS is inflamed emotional “shading” takes place. Emotional shading is the filter in which you interpret the events of a given day.


Amen says that hormones can effect emotional states that are controlled by the DLS. Highly charged emotional memories (positive and negative) are stored in this area of the brain as well and can affect your ability to think in the present. Sleep, appetite, and social bondedness are affected by damage done to this area of the brain. Such damage can seriously impair a person from healthy social connectedness. Bryan shares his understanding based on personal experiences about how he healed his ability to bond as talks about the push-pull relationships we may find ourselves in. Overactivity in the DLS can lead to decreased libido and many people who become celibate in religious vocations do so for the wrong reasons or without fully healing this area in their life. He talks about repressed desires for sexual functioning and certain behaviors that may result.


Some problems in the DLS are clinical depression, mood disorders, negativity, decreased motivations, decreased sexual responses, the tendency to self-isolate, and crippling anxiety and fear.


Once again Bryan uses the symbolism of dog-behaviors rooted in barking as characteristic ways of understanding these issues.


Some of the anatomy of the DLS includes the Hypothalamus and the Basal Ganglia. Barking dogs such as heightened fear, anxiety, and lack of attention span are the results of an over-activity in the Basal Ganglia. Under activity in this area can affect pleasure control “loops” says Dr. Amen.


Bryan says that we cannot ignore the role that brain and body states play in our thinking. He speaks about addictive love patterns and how it relates to the Basal Ganglia. Heightened Basal Ganglia activity as shown in Amen’s SPECT imaging can cause panic and anxiety loops. Bryan calls this the descent into a living hell.


Bryan goes through one of Dr. Amen’s Basal Ganglia checklists to allow the listener to self-score (not as a replacement for medical attention, but merely for self-awareness) how prone they are to having challenges with this part of the Deep Limbic System.

Silencing A Thousand Barking Dogs – Episode 15: Brain Anatomy of Duality Discourse 4 – Dogs that Distract and the Pre-Frontal Cortex


The Pre-Frontal Cortex is the executive part of the brain – the supervisor. It controls attention span, perseverance, impulse control, self-monitoring, critical thinking, learning from experience, organization, and it governs interaction with the limbic system, regulating emotions. Found underneath the forehead. Bryan continues to talk about Dr. Daniel Amen’s research on brain anatomy.


PFC guides directs and focus behavior. It helps us govern dogs of distraction, Bryan says, and is the watcher who filters sensory input from the outside world. It gives you the capacity to make goals, to plan, and to bring structure to your life. Critical thinking and organization are vital functions of the Pre-Frontal Cortex.


Emotional trauma and pain can stunt the development of this part of the brain. Bryan states that he had an over-active limbic system during adolescence, something that is typical in the developmental process, before the Pre-Frontal Cortex can begin to keep it in check. 7:38


The development of the Pre-Frontal lobes are integral according to the field of brain science. Bryan relates his experiences in the performing arts as having given him an outlet. He talks about multiple intelligence, meditation as a means to re-wire the brain, and illustrates examples of patterns of behavior found in people who do not learn from their mistakes.


You don’t have to continue to live with the brain you were born with or that was conditioned by social means. Bryan also talks about some examples of what happens when the Pre-Frontal Cortex is damaged or when someone has a stroke, for instance. The emotions felt in the Pre-Frontal cortex are more evolved than those that come from the Limbic system.


Animal and “dog-like” behavior such as reactivity, readiness to attack, acting from ingrained instincts or fears, and lack of domestication is typical of someone living out of an over-active Limbic System.


Short term-memory challenges, distractibility, attention span, hyper-activity, poor time management, procrastination, mis-perceptions, and disorganized patterns of behavior are prevalent in those who have stunted development in the Pre-Frontal Cortex.


Those with brain damage and severe trauma may never reach the capacities that someone with a healthy brain may have. Attention Deficit Disorder and Schizophrenia are examples of disorders related to poor regulatory functions that the Pre-Frontal Cortex is responsible for. Psychotic disorders are also typical for those who have troubles with this part of the brain.


The way dogs perceive and act are symbolic for those who don’t have a developed Pre-Frontal Cortex.

Silencing A Thousand Barking Dogs Episode 13 – When The Dog Bites: You Can’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lay – Rescuing and Healing Abused and Stray and Dog Pain Patterns


Is demon possession and mental illness connected? Is “possession” a supernatural phenomenon where we are taken over by malevolent energy or is there a less Medieval and and less ancient way of explaining what it means to be “taken over” by an energy, a mental state such as psychosis or pathology of other kinds? In this short episode, Bryan explores commentary and teachings of Eckhart Tolle as supported by Franciscan priest Richard Rohr.


Tolle speaks of the “pain-body” to explain violent and temperamental “phantoms” that are rooted in pain-patterns we store in our bodies from the past. Bryan talks about ways to identify the surfacing of the pain body as it awakens from its dormant state. Richard Rohr says that Tolle’s concept of the pain body is a perfect example to describe what Christianity and other ancient religions have attributed to the phenomenon of demonic energy.


The pain-body is the “dark-shadow cast by the ego” and is afraid of the light of you consciousness. The pain-body is afraid of being “found out”. We need to bring our pain into the light of consciousness so we do not let it possess us like an “insubstantial phantom”.


There is a way out of pain from the past. The first step is becoming aware by exposing our strong reactivity and buried emotional traumas. Bringing it to consciousness, we free ourselves from the “anti-life” that causes us to lose control. “Sleeping dogs” can be traumas or disowned pain patterns in the unconscious, Bryan says. Like the fearful dog who mistrusts others, may be chained and neglected, we all have our triggers and can become explosive.


This episode explores a subject worth pondering, for we all repress pain that leads to “dis-ease” of many kinds.


The picture above was a snapshot from a beautiful day, one that I treasure in my heart, especially so, now, after learning of the passing of my mentor and Ordaining Bishop +Lee Allen Petersen. This picture was from a round-table discussion on our spiritual journeys at a retreat in Mustang Island, on the coast of Texas that took place hours before I received the laying on of hands from Bishop Lee.

I was only thirty years-old when I came into contact with this loving man and emanation of the Christ Presence. It was not by accident that I was led to Bishop Lee and the members of the Order of the Friends of Jeshua (Jesus). I was ordained at the age of 32 and was told that the office of priest was “an awesome office, one where I would not only serve at the altar, but out in all humanity as well”. He said this to me on May 27th, 2011. Now, today, turning 41, on January 25th, 2020, I wanted to honor and remember him, as he recently lost his battle with lung cancer.

The Bishop Lee that I came to know, was one of love, light, and laughter. He touched so many lives and served humanity in the true spirit of Divine Love. He inspired many and he inspired me to grow and evolve throughout the years as I sought to grow and mature as a young priest, seeking the realize the fullness of my vocation.

Normally, I would write a poem or something from my heart, but I instead wanted to share a link to a radio show that he co-hosted with my dear friend and Bishop who con-celebrated at my ordination, Rev. Dr. Linda Marie Nelson and Fr. Michael Sherbert, where you too, get a chance to hear the teachings of this wonderful Christ-filled soul, who is now at peace in eternity. Bishop Lee, you are free now to experience the fruits of your life-long ministry in Heaven. I just want to thank you for touching my life, Bishop Lee, and for challenging me to live more from the heart, what I now consider the pathway to God. You were a light in this world. Be at peace and know that you are missed and loved. I know you are having a fantastic time where you reside now. Here is the link!

Renewal & Rebirth

It has been awhile since I last posted. There were good reasons for that. I was in the process of moving over the course of many months. I have been doing a lot of reflecting and have acquired a renewed appreciation for my sacramental roots.

My wife and I (more so her), had to leave behind a big part of our past in the moving process. She lived in the house I shared with her for fifteen-years, for forty-four out of her almost forty-five years. Though we both had to say good-byes and do a lot of releasing in order to move forward, she had to do much more, having grown up in that two-story colonial that just became too big for the both of us to maintain.

In going through the Course Companions program for the Circle of Atonement last year, having started in 2018 reading the Complete and Annoted Edition of the Text of A Course in Miracles, I had the opportunity to experience original content given to Helen Shuchman, scribe of “The Course”. It was eye-opening and it expanded my understanding of Jeshua’s message for our times. Reading the original notes she received through the inner voice that led to her dictation, I came to think about what I was holding onto in the past that needed letting go, something I thought I had done through the use of artistic expression, creative writing, poetry, painting, making 3D sculptures, shadow work, and more.

Through the packing and moving process, I saw my wife experience many degrees of emotions and insights as she had to make choices about what to keep and what to let go of. We down-sized by a thousand square feet into a log cabin set in the country, the exact set up we had been looking for. Now, months after the move is complete and having spent the holidays in our new home for the first time, I notice that my wife is seems more free. Free of guilt, free of grief, free of being surrounded by both wonderful and painful memories that she could not escape in our old house. I pray that she continues to enjoy this new sanctuary as we make it our own.

“Only loving thoughts are true”, teaches A Course in Miracles. That is something we are to keep in mind as we look back at the past and this past year too. If that is true, tragedy and loss can be viewed in a new light. We take with us, all the loving thoughts and memories of the people we were in relationship with that may no longer be with us or in our physical life anymore. It is hard to let go, but what we can do, is integrate memories into our innermost being and turn to them when we want to experience a certain sentiment, especially when we love or hold something or someone dear to us.

When my other half and I joined in Holy Matrimony and made a life-long commitment, we shared in a common goal. This was the beginning of our holy relationship, something that “The Course” speaks a great deal about. Part of the journey in the holy relationship is going through a period of discomfort, I have learned through those I have called my teachers and guides. I think now, after the trials and tribulations that we have faced together, we are moving into a new phase of our relationship, one of renewal, healing, reconciliation, remembrance of our true identity, and a life rooted in love.

As one of my spiritual directors said long ago, moving can be cathartic. Man was it hard and wow, did it take a lot of hard work and effort. But as we continue to settle in our “Quiet Sanctuary” in the woods away from noise and traffic, maybe we can hear the voice of the Divine more clearly now.

We both have much to be thankful for. Change is inevitable, but not always a bad thing. I am happy with the decisions we made to begin a new chapter in our lives. Now, moving into a new decade, it is time to take on a new perspective, both individually, in our relationships, and collectively as a human race. May we all do so, living from the heart. Best wishes to all.