The Human Brain
The human brain is responsible for about 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections, a floating command and control centre for all human activity. Split into two hemispheres, each side of the brain processes information differently and creates the looking glass through which we interpret our world.
Conventional education is geared towards left-brained thinking. We go to school, learn things and re-process them through lists, tests, essays and exams.
The left hemisphere is responsible for analytical and methodical thinking. It enables us to think in words, form sequences, generate linear thinking and process facts, logic and building blocks like mathematics.
This part of the brain is responsible for structure and order, without which day-to-day living would be untenable. Often it is reflected in our outer world in the hierarchical systems we operate within.
It is this invisible rationality that manifests in real time. For aeons society has been formulated around the this aspect of human brain function. Our society is built around this simple structure and rewards behaviour within it.
The Secret of the Right-Brain
The right brain is both complimentary and in outright conflict with its other half. It is responsible for processing intuition, feelings, visualisation, imagination, rhythm and holistic thinking. It is creative and footloose.The non-linearity of this aspect of mind can make connections between things that the left-brain may not process. This hub of activity is often undervalued by society, yet essential to human experience and the full expression of our humanity.
Intuition and Roger Sperry
When you have a feeling, an intuitive thought, see the ‘bigger picture’ or understand multi-layered concepts, that is the right brain. If you create, make art or write, that is the right brain.
Roger Wolcott Sperry won the Nobel Prize in 1981 for his work on the “Split Brain Theory.” He established how one side of the brain functioned differently to the other.Indeed Sperry went as far as to say our society has become over-reliant on the left-hemisphere, creating an imbalance in how we think, process information, comprehend and build our world.
“What it comes down to is that modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere” - Roger Sperry
Sperry along with Einstein recognised that our world is on a one-way ticket to destruction without a revolution in how humans think.
At the forefront of this revolution would have to be a set of subjective human values that could integrate all modes of thought and emotion. This evolution could push humankind into a situation where the total consciousness of an integrated brain is greater than the sum of its parts.
“When the brain is whole, the unified consciousness of the left and right hemispheres adds up to more than the individual properties of the separate hemispheres.” - Roger Sperry
An Integrated Consciousness
What would a world with an integrated consciousness look like?
It is hard to say but it would retain structure, but with a more even balance between reason and intuition. The insanity of nuclear weapons, backed by an entirely controlled consumer media, could not co-exist with an integrated human consciousness.
Equality and equity are two terms that are often conflated. The world can never be equal, but it can be equitable. Between sexes, countries, races. Which is fair. And that is a distinction a whole brain can make.
When seen through the prism of our collective consciousness, it is clear the old paradigms and and systems no longer serve us as a race or as a planet.The key is to recognise how many internal barriers beyond Sperry’s ’Split-Brain’ that we must identify and integrate to get to what we can really become. We will examine this more closely in future articles.