We tend to think of our brain/mind as “one thing.” At least I did!
It’s really helped me to recognize how multi-layered and multi-dimensional it is!
The primitive brain speaks with a specific “tone” of threat/fear/protection and risk/death avoidance.
The “inner critic” seems to be a part as well. I suspect we could even map it.
The part of my mind that is still – that’s there! I might have been out of touch with it for eons, but I “know” it’s always there even if I might at times find it a challenge to go to the silent place/mode.
People can get so frustrated when they can’t make the inner critic shut up, or switch off The Ruminator. I do believe that just as in a crowded restaurant we can still focus in on the person we want to hear despite the noise.
Isn’t the “same” as when we’re in solitude and silence listening to the soft inner voice. That voice is still there, though.
In the book ‘Turtles All The Way Down’, which was written by two of the main developers of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) the authors discuss a technique/state of mind called ‘stopping the world’ which comes from a Carlos Castaneda book about the Yaqui indian shaman Don Juan. The state of ‘stopping the world’ is deep enough that language falls away…it’s just a pure state of awareness without the automatic labelling of the ‘things’ that you are aware of.
I love the phrase ‘stopping the world’ …and it seems to me that’s what you are describing. I think I’ve had fleeting glimpses of it through naturally occuring altered states and I suspect that’s probably the main driver for chronic substance abuse…an attempt to stop the world…because, as you say,
"The part of my mind that is still – that’s there! I might have been out of touch with it for eons, but I “know” it’s always there even if I might at times find it a challenge to go to the silent place/mode."
…so humans intuitively ‘know’ it’s there…it’s not a concept we have to be taught…we experienced it for 9 months in the water-world of our mother’s womb and for many months more during infancy…we were simply aware and most importantly we didn’t have language to describe what we were aware of…that’s deep inner silence!
And then the acquiring of language disrupts it all…I’m reminded of the opening lines of the Tao Te Ching…
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
…there is a place in us that is eternal…and we ‘know’ it.