December 3, 2010

Right Brain, Left Brain.


I've been listening to The Partially Examined Life recently, and there's been a thread in a bundle of a conversation that winds through a labyrinth of consciousness, self-consciousness, the nature of the soul, the relationship between G-d and science, Spinoza's rejection of Manichaean binaries, our capacity to understand the self/soul, right/left brain dynamics and schizophrenia. Specific to the PEL blog, I'm thinking of something that begins with this post and meanders to this post.

That last PEL post just mentioned is interesting in that the videos tend to question the self in terms of right/left brain dynamics. And the video series Soul Searching questions whether or not there is a self/soul at all. My impulse is to say that from the evidence they present, there are at least two selves in all of us and schizophrenia might be an internecine conflict within the two or more of us within "us". Soul Searching seems to imply that an overclocked left brain is the culprit and proof can be found in the alienated, fragmented, modern world that we have created for ourselves. And the right brain? It just wants to be an artist and gestalt all the time, all the while engaged in a hands to the throat pissing match with a logician left side who is locked in a nosedive into over-interpretation. The only weapon it has is passive-aggression.

Pretty wild.

I was going to throw up this animated gif of a compass with a title that might lead to mapping it's meaning onto the compass and leave it cryptically at that. But then shortly after, I came across this study that strongly implies that a traumatic experience might stimulate the right hemisphere into overdrive, like a car with a stuck accelerator. The world of Vonnegut's Billy Pilgrim.

If time can be assigned to logic and rationality and all this can be the assumed nature of the left brain, then for the hemisphere to the right: what's past is past, what's done is done. But if the right side is another category altogether distinct from the atomized, fragmented world of the left brain, then past/present/future are all of one piece to the hemisphere of the right side. There can be no distance construed from our actions in the past, or especially in this case, actions that other people had inflicted upon us in the past. No escape. Karma in real time. Or karma in no time.

All of a sudden, the moving needle seems to tremble instead.

Un poco haywire.

Tranquilo, hombre. Relajate. No pasa nada. Chill.

A back door reentry, Dr. Freud? It's a lively debate, this is a frontier subject for sure. All very interesting to me, all the me's within me seem to agree. And I hope all of you's out there do too.

p.s.: Here's another interesting article somewhat along the same lines.

Posted by Dennis at December 3, 2010 8:48 AM

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