Personality and Behavioral Systems and Evolution:
If you click on the references above, you
will discover paintings, essays, diagrams
commentary on the I Ching (Yi Jing),
works of Eric Fromm, systems theory,
etc.  You will also find work on brain
function, personality theory, even animal
behavior.

Animals, like humans indwell the
information in their brains to generate
thoughts and indwell the energy in their
bodies to generate passions.

Two basis systems are important in
animal behavior, the central nervous
system and the autonomic nervous
system.

The autonomic nervous system controls
the balance between restful and restless
behavior, apathy and excitement.   When
parasympathetic nerves dominate, kitty
wants to sleep and digest food.  When
sympathetic nervous energy gains
control, kitty becomes nervous and
wakes up, looks around, starts to pace.

We symbolize this polarity on these
pages with the old male to female
polarity.  In Chinese mythology it is the
wake up and get excited long male yang
line energy vs. the broken go to sleep, do
not be excited short breaks female yin
line approach.  In Roman mythology it is
war making Mars opposed to love
making Venus.

This wake up and shut down polarity is
basic to animal behavior and to the
organization of the animal nervous
system and glands.  The master gland,
the pituitary, is intimately connected with
the hypothalamus, a brain structure that
regulates basic drives like hunger and
thirst and controls the activation of the
sympathetic and parasympathetic
portions of the autonomic nervous
system.  The hypothalamus maintains
nerve connections with structures in the
lower brain like the medulla that regulate
heart beat and breathing.  The
sympathetic nerves increase the rate of
breathing and heartbeat, cause the blood
vessel to become wider that take blood
to the muscles.  The sympathetic nerves
prepare us for fight or flight.  The
parasympathetic nerves activate the
digestive system, cause us to slow down
and rest and disgest our food.  We can
watch our pets and animals.  When the
sympathetic nervous system is more
active, they attack, or become anxious.  
When the parasympathetic is active, they
tend to lie down and rest.

Excited behavior is regulated at a higher
level by the amygdala.  This is a structure
that acts as the night watchman, the
early warning system of the brain.  It
regulates emotional states, particularly
those associated with anger, sex, and
fear.  It sometimes will convert one to the
other.  Of course it has strong
connections to the hypothalamus and its
influence over both glandular and
autonomic nervous response.

The amygdala has connections to the
hippocampus, a structure at the base of
the temporal lobe of the cerebrum that is
very important in organizing short term
memory and in orienting our movements
in time and space.  Our personal time line
and our mental filing system are ordered
by the hippocampus and areas of the
temporal lobe and amygdala associated
with it.  The amygdala puts an emotional
marker on those memories associated
with anger, fear, or sexual pleasure.  
Also associated with the hippocampus
and the amygdala is an ancient part of
the upper brain called the
"rhinencephalon," or the "nose brain."  
This area connects some of these
deeper structures with the sense of
smell.  This structure is particularly well
developed in many of our pets and many
animals that have a sense of smell much
better than ours.

All these lower brain structures are
connected to upper brain structures on
the outer surface, the cortex, of the
cerebrum.  The cerebrum is divided into
to hemispheres.  Each hemisphere is
divided in turn into posterior and anterior
portions by a fold called the "central
sulcus."  Allong this fold, in both animals
and humans are strips of sensory and
motor nerve centers that control our
sense of touch and our voluntary
movements.

The motor nerves, the nerves that control
voluntary movement, in both animals and
humans are arranged in a long strip along
forward part of the brain, the anterior
portion, or Frontal Lobe, just behind this
fold.  To the rear of the fold lies the
posterior portion of the cerebrum and the
Parietal Lobe.  Also, at the edge of the
Parietal Lobe, is the long strip of nerves
controlling the sense of touch.  Deep in
the fold lies the centers that coordinate
emotions and feeling, here are many
connections to the cingulate area
underneath the frontal lobe and the
hippocampus and amygdala and finally to
the hypothalamus itself.

At the very front of the brain, in the
Frontal Lobe are areas that control
planning and executive functions of the
brain, in humans control morality, and
contain the mental chalk board that we
use to store short term working memory,
things we wish to work on.

In our system, developed on this web
site, we use Greek and Roman gods to
symbolize these functions.  This executive
area is the Mount Olympus of the brain
where the ruling gods live.  Zeus (Jupiter)
is the ruling executive function, the
planned action function of the Frontal
Lobes.  Hera (Juno) is that aspect of the
Frontal Lobes that tends to say no, the
censors Zeus and tries to control him.  
Zeus symbolizes the lets do it and Hera
the lets not do aspect of Frontal Lobe
executive function.

In contrast, Ares (Mars) is motor activity
along the central sulcus supportive of
deeper stimulation in the amygdala that
would have us attack in anger.  Aphrodite
(Venus) is touch sensations in the nearby
Parietal Lobe connected with sexual
activity in the amygdala and restful
activity in the deeper hypothalamus.

In humans, speech is controlled by
Broca's area in the left Frontal Lobe and
listening and understanding language by
the left Temporal Lobe, which lies just
behind the Parietal Lobe, to the rear of
the cerebrum (posterior).  In our system,
Hermes (Mercury) stands for this
speaking function and Hestia (Vestia) for
the complementary listening function.

Deeper structures in the brain are
responsible for wakefulness and sleep.  
Some of these lie deep in the brain
stem.  Areas associated with attention
and pleasure are connected to nerves in
the brain stem and thalamus and in the
cingulate areas and nucleus acumbens in
the deep lower portions of the Frontal
Lobes.  Those aspects of these
associated with wakefulness and
attention we will associate with Apollo
(the sun god) and those associated with
sleep and dreams with Artemis (the
moon goddess).

The right hemisphere of the cerebrum is
divided into lobes just like the left, there
is a right Frontal Lobe planning and motor
area, a right Parietal Lobe touch area for
touch sensations from the left side of the
body, there is a right Temporal Lobe that
handles hearing form the left side and a
right Occipital lobe for vision.  In our
system, we associate the thinking and
planning processes of the right Frontal
Lobes with the goddess Athena
(Minerva) and the associated motor
areas (along with their connections to the
striated bodies and basal ganglia and
cerebellum--lower areas of the brain
associated with the switching on and off
of muscle movements and the
coordination of muscle movements and
the learning of skilled actions), these we
attribute to the god Hephaestus (Vulcan).

The posterior portion of the right
cerebrum is divided into the right Parietal
Lobe, this we attribute to Demeter
(Ceres), goddess of the fields, because
of its importance in handling space and
location, and the right Temporal Lobe,
attributed by us to Poseidon (Neptune)
because of its connections to the
hippocampus and its ability to track
sequences in time and space like waves
rolling in on the shore (even listening to
the sound of the waves) and journeys
across the sea.

Each of these Greek and Roman god
functions can be associated with a stage
in evolution.  First came the tunicate
chordates that just settled down an
attached to a rock.  These, like the moon
and the night, like Artemis basically
allowed their neural functions to go to
sleep.  But, the ancestors of fish had to
wake up.  The waking functions reguired
the reticulate system, the thalamus, the
brains structures associated with wakeful
attention, this is the realm of Apollo, the
sun god.

Amphibians allow themselves a less
dangerous life.  They stayed more with
Aphrodite (Venus) and a very active
parasympathetic nervous system.  The
hypothalamus and pituitary functions, the
drives to eat and drink evolved at the
amphibian level.  Reptiles had to go out
on land and lay their amniotic eggs in
dangerous places.  The amygdala and
associated structures had to perfect their
awarenss of danger and regulation of
fight and flight.  This is the Ares (Mars)
level of brain evolution.

The next level of evolution required the
further development of the cerebrum.  In
birds, the basal ganglia, the striated
bodies associated with skilled action, the
realm of Hephaestus (Vulcan) is very
important.  In contrast, mammals have
moved many of their thinking functions to
the surface of the cerebrum, its cortex,
and to the planning areas in the Frontal
Lobes, the realm of Athena (Minerva).

Mammals began to develop a more
effective sense of smell, of space, of
time necessary to track food in their
underground tunnels.  First came the
sense of touch and home base needed
for the primitive mammal to find its way,
the realm of Demeter (Ceres), then came
the development of memory, of hearing,
of smell, of location so important to cats
and dogs, as well as to sea going
animals like whales and dolphins, this is
the realm of Poseidon (Neptune).

Further evolution allowed the placental
mammal to explore its environment.  It
began to climb trees.  It left, on the
ground, its old paranoid fearful way of
life, Hera (Juno) and became a creature
of the trees, monkey, ape, it entered the
creative realm of Zeus (Jupiter).

Gradually, the areas associated with
speech developed, beginning with
listening, in some of the apes that had
come down from the trees and needed to
locate their group, thus Hestia (Vestia)
goddess of the campfire hearth.  The art
of public speaking became associated
with leadership, as Broca's area began
to differentiate and these apes became
more human, realm of Hermes (Mercury).
It is possible to impose a
deeper structure over all
of this.  Ouranos (Uranus)
to Gaia (Gea) can
represent the old I Ching
opposition of Heaven
trigram (Uranus) to Earth
trigram (Gea), of
cingulate areas in the
Frontal Lobes that
coordinate the emotions
and choices surrounding
the primitive notion of
the individual vs. areas
in the parietal lobes and
adjacent insula that
coordinate the
sensations and feelings
associated with the
emotions and body
states, Heaven:
executive function
creativity vs. Earth:
sensory product, Uranus
vs. Gea, Ouranos vs.
Gaia, Sky Father vs.
Earth Mother.

Similar polarities can be
found in the other
trigrams: Wind, as
Persepone, Goddess of
Spring, and the deep
areas of the Frontal
Lobe associated with
pleasure (Nucleus
acumbens) vs. Thunder,
as Hades, misfortune,
evil, death, as Pluto, the
criminal underworld, as
a symbol for the deep
striated bodies, deep
switiching centers at the
root of the cerebrum,
associated centers
responsible for
sensations of pain, and
connections to the
amygdala and its
coordination of feelings
of anger, fear, and need
for sexual pleasure.  This
aspect of Thunder as
Hades is the deep
aspect of popular
vulgarity and the ability
of the mob to turn to the
dark side, to shake the
deep earth to its
foundations: thus, Stalin,
Hitler, etc.

In a similar fashion, the
Mountain trigram can
represent Chronos
(Saturn) as the Frontal
Lobe regulation of motor
function, and Lake as
Rhea, the
complementary use of
the Insula, the deep fold
in the central sulcus,
and association areas in
the nearby Parietal Lobe
as the coordination of
sensations and feelings,
but particularly their
roots in the
hypothalamus and
limbic lobe.  Thus,
Chronos becomes
analysis and reason and
Rhea-Lake becomes
emotional synthesis and
feeling.

Finally, Dionysus
(Baccus) can be
Waterpit, the deep
regulation of behavior,
of the cycle of sleep and
wakefulness, soberity
and drunken blackouts,
(and the registration of
memory by the
hippocampus and the
deep Temporal Lobes)
by sleep centers in the
pons and by the
dopamine, etc, nerves
coming out of the
ventral tegmentum, and
Semele, his mother, can
be Flame, the of this
deep pattern into the
Thalamus and the bright
light of consciousness,
the presence of Zeus

Uranus, in this
symbolism is the
primitive roving animal
self, the tiger, the
mountain lion, ranging
over a large territory by
itself looking for food
with the Frontal Lobe
executive functions of
the predatory cat, the
loner.

Gea, in this sequence, is
more like the coral reef,
a colony of animals
touching each other and
sharing a mutual
association.
Artemis=
Diana=
invertebrate
sea squirt
tunicate
autonomic=
Moon=
OFF=
Sleep
medulla
brain stem
glands

Vs.

Apollo=
vertebrate=
shark
fish
central
nervous
system=
awake=
Sun=
ON=
reticulate
thalamus
_________
Aphrodite=
Venus=
autonomic=
hypothalmus
para-
sympathetic
amphibian
frog
rest-soft-
weak

Vs.

Ares=
Mars=
autonomic=
amygdala=
sympathetic
adrenalin
fast heart
reptile
excited-
strong-hard
__________
Hades=
Pluto=
Basal
Ganglia
Striated
Bodies
Packaged
Response
Dinosaurs
Birds

Vs.

Poseidon=
Neptune=
Rhine-
encephalon
Hippo-
campus
Memory
Learned
Response
burrows
Monotreme
Duck Billed
Platypus
__________
Uranus=
Sky Father=
Primates
Frontal Lobe
Tool Use
RESPOND

Vs.

Gaia
Earth
Mother
Parietal
Occipital
Temporal
Lobe
Association
Posterior
Cerebrum
Non-
Primate
Mammals
STIMULUS
__________
Chronus=
Saturn=
Frontal
Lobe
Memory
Motor
Inhibition
Monkeys
STOP

Vs.

Zeus=
Jupiter=
Frontal
Lobe
Planning
Apes
GO
__________
Hestia=
Vestia=
Temporal
Lobe
Primitive
Hominids
Listening
INPUT

Vs.

Hermes=
Mercury=
Frontal
Lobe
Speech=
Broca's
Area
Humans
Speech
OUTPUT
__________
Poseidon=
Nepturn=
THERE=
right
temporal
lobe

Vs.

Demeter=
Ceres=
HERE=
right
parietal
lobe
__________
Hera/Juno=
Frontal
Inhibition

Vs.

Zeus/Jupiter
Motor
Facilitation