Lesson 34- Summary of Right and Left Lobe
In the past few week, I have been laying down some pretty heavy concepts and the teacher in me is saying that its time to review them before I move on. So before continuing with my analysis of the implications of the differences between the right and left lobe of our brains, I would like to summarize some of the major points which we have covered.
First, we now know that not only is it possible for one being to contain more than one person but it is an established fact that we ourselves, although we have the perception of being one person are, in reality, at least two persons and possibly three.
Next, we now know that it is the right and left lobes of the human brain that are the two different persons with two different personalities. We also know that the frontal lobe, which is the seat of judgment, could constitute a third person which is a blend and product of the other two. Therefore, the human brain may be Trinitarian in nature.
Next, it is the Trinitarian nature of the human brain which probably explains why we have a reflective, rational brain which is able to make judgments about its own thoughts and impulses. In other words, there is a dialogue going on between the two sides of our brain in which the left brain is reflecting back to the right brain its evaluation of the right brains thoughts and impulses. From this dialogue, the frontal lobe of the brain forms a judgment of what to do.
Next, animals, whose right and left lobes are duplicates of each other are said to have a non-reflective , arational brain which is not able to make judgments about its own thoughts and impulses. Therefore, their behavior tends to be more impulsive since there brains are not involved in any type of dialogue.
Next, it would appear that the essence of any rational brain is this ability to dialogue and reflect upon itself and then form a judgment based on the dialogue. If this is so, then if God is, according to Bible, a rational being, then He must be a Trinity with a right, left and frontal lobe. In other words, this one being, who is called God, is made up of three different persons who, despite their separateness, act as a unity. Therefore, the Ancient Jews were corrects when they said that we were made in the image and likeness of God.
Next, animals, since they lack a left lobe that is reflecting on their right lobe, are Unitarian rather than Trinitarian in nature. In other words, there is just one person in their one being and, as a result, they are not made in the image and likeness of God.
Next, the right lobe in humans is, like animals, unable to speak or understand language and, therefore, must communicate non-verbally through facial expressions, tones, and body postures.
Next, the left lobe, which is the essential difference between us and animals, is the source of language and logic and the reason why we are able to reflect and make judgments about our thoughts and impulses.
Next, the right lobe, like animals, operates on the philosophy of hedonism which says whatever gives me pleasure is good and whatever gives me pain is bad. In other words, it is subjective and feeling based because it looks inward towards its own feelings.
Next, the left lobe, being rational and goal directed, operates on the philosophy of pragmatism which says whatever helps me to reach my goal is good and whatever interferes with it is bad. In other words, it is objective and fact based because it looks outward towards the goal that it is seeking.
Next, because animals lack a logical left lobe, they are incapable of knowing or understanding the logical primary purpose of anything. Instead, they operate according to secondary purposes. Thus, they eat food for taste rather than nutrition and are driven to sex through pleasure or some other instinctual drive without any conscious understanding of reproduction. As a result, they often do the right thing for the wrong reason. For examples, beavers, when they build dams, appear to be performing a rational act. In fact, we often refer to them as engineers. However, studies have shown that beavers will pile up sticks in a dam like fashion anywhere if you play for them the sound of rushing water.
Next, since, the word sin comes from a word used by Greek archers which means to miss the target then to sin is to miss the real, objective, logical purpose of things.
Since animals, lacking a logical left lobe, are incapable of knowing the real, objective, logical purpose of things, they can not be held morally responsible when they fail to do the right thing. In other words, they are morally innocent because they lack the Knowledge of Good and Evil because they dont know or understand primary purposes. Obviously then, there is a connection between moral responsibility and the ability to reason.
Next, young children, before they reach the Age of Reason, are, like animals, morally innocent because they dont know or understand the real, objective, logical purpose of things. Like animals, they have to be led to do the right and avoid the wrong through a system of rewards and punishment which appeals to their hedonistic nature. They dont become morally guilty or responsible until they reach the Age of Reason. Until that time, they, like animals, are amoral rather than immoral. In fact, Jesus once said to the Pharisee that if they had said they didnt know they would be held innocent but because they claimed to know, they were guilty.
Next, although animals and young children are morally innocent, that doesnt mean that they cant sin. If sin means to miss the real, objective, logical purpose of things, then it implies that sinning, in the long term, will lead to unfavorable consequences . In other words, sinning involves illogical behavior which leads to chaotic results. Thus, whether we know that something is a sin or not, we will still reap what we sowed.
Next since the moral responsibility for sin begins when a being develops a rational understanding of the true, logical purpose of things, then only the logical left lobe of the brain is capable of being held morally responsible since it alone is capable of understanding the true, logical purposes of things. It knows that the real purpose of food is nutrition and thus can be morally guilty of the sin of gluttony. It also is capable of knowing that the real purpose of sex is reproduction and thus can be morally guilty of fornication, adultery, homosexuality etc
Next, because we have two brains which have different views and interpretations of the world, we are capable of being a house divided against itself, as one brain says impulsively Go! and the other says restrictively Stop! As a result, we will never have the feeling of wholeness until both brains get on the same page. Like St. Paul, we will lament that we do the evil that we know is wrong and fail to do the good that we know is right. Our problem is that our right lobe is motivated by secondary purposes based on feelings while our left lobe is motivated by primary purposes based on knowledge. One says food is for taste, the other says it is for nutrition; one says that sex is for pleasure; the other says that it is for reproduction. What are we to do when there is a conflict between secondary and primary purposes?
Next, St. Thomas Aquinass solution to this dilemma is the principle that secondary purposes, which motivate the animalistic right lobe of our brain, are alright so long as they either help, or at least, dont interfere with primary purposes, which motivate the rationalistic left lobe of our brain. Thus, there is no problem with good tasting nutritious food but there is a problem with good tasting junk food. Likewise, there is no problem with sexual pleasure within the reproductive context of marriage but there is a problem when sex is practiced outside this context through fornication or in any way that undermines or totally blocks the possibility of reproduction. This is the reasoning of the Catholic Church in its opposition to artificial birth control, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality or any other sexual practice which undermines or eliminates the primary purpose of the reproduction of the species. Their opposition is based on logic not feelings. Its not because these actions are detestable, although some of them could be on other grounds. Its because they are illogical.
Next, There are two ways of looking at reality: a circle or a line. The circle is a symbol for the eternal that is complete and its attitude is one of existence. Thus, it is repetitious and non-progressive because nothing can be added to it. The other is a line which is a symbol for the eternal that is incomplete because it is always capable of being extended one more inch. The only legitimate circle in the universe is God, the Great I Am who, being outside of space and time, is Existence Itself. Therefore, there is nothing towards which It can progress because there is nothing outside of It because It is the Omega Point towards which all other things point. All other creatures, if they intend to united with the Eternal God, must take a progressive linear approach. In other words, they must be following something that is leading them from the Alpha to the Omega towards the fullest expression of life.
Next, the right lobe of the brain, because it has no sense of time, which is linear, is circular and existential. To it things just are. In fact, research has shown that although it understands a few common nouns, which is the name of things that exist, it does not understand any verbs, which refer to things that are in action. To it things are neither good nor bad because, since it is non-linear, it is existence oriented rather than goal oriented. And without a goal or target, there is no right or wrong way. Therefore, like animals, which functionally speaking have two right lobes, it is non-judgmental.
Next, the left lobe of the brain is linear and goal directed and is constantly making judgments according to the goals and purposes that it perceives. In this context, it is interesting to note that according to Jesus, the Father, who, like our own right lobe is the creative artistic genius, judges no one. According to Jesus, who is the Logos or Logic of God, it is He , who does all the judging based on whether an action leads reality closer to the Kingdom of God or farther away. He is the Alpha and the Omega, that is leading Mankind from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of Light. If the Father is the Great I AM then Jesus is the Great I AM What is to Become, who is leading Mankind along a linear path towards salvation.
Next, it appears that the right lobe is patterned after the Father in the Blessed Trinity, the Creator who, just like our imaginative right lobe, dreamed the universe in its total completed form. Since the right lobe of our brain is creative, artistic and thinks in pictures, it tends to think holistically. That is, it see the Big Picture all at once without any developmental steps. The only problem is that what it sees exists only potentially in a subjective imaginative way. Also, our right lobe knows immediately and intuitively without any logical effort and it does not need a rational reason for doing anything. If we could ask it why it acted it would give a simple one word reply: Because., which could be translated as meaning Because I wanted to This suggests that animals, who possess instinctive intuitive knowledge which allows them to perform intricate and impressive behavior patterns necessary for survival, must have two brains patterned after the Father, and because of this their view of life is existential and non-progressive. There purpose in life is to exist by repeating the patterns over and over again like a circle.
Next, It would appear that the left lobe is patterned after the Son in the Blessed Trinity, who is the Logos used by the Father to take His dream of the universe from the subjective and potential to the objective and the actual. Since any linear development requires effort, the left lobe is a Suffering Servant of the right lobe because it has to take a holistic dream and develop and work out the individual logical steps that are necessary to make the dream a reality. It attitude must be linear and goal directed and therefore it must make moral judgments according to how well certain behavior hit the target by moving closer to the dream and which behavior sins by missing the target by either blocking or moving away from the dream.
Next, the frontal lobe of our brain seems to be patterned after the Holy Spirit who is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Nicene Creed says that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and the theologians say that this is because He is the product of the love that flows between them. In a similar fashion, our frontal lobe is the product of the agreement between our artistic right lobe and our logical left lobe. The right lobe is concern with form or beauty which involves how things look, or sound, or smell. The left lobe is function and it is concerned with how things work. Nearly everything that we create is a blending of form and function. When there is a perfect balance between these two criteria, there is a psychological burst of creative energy flowing through our frontal lobe which is used to carry out the blended views of the other two. The name of this creative energy is enthusiasm and it comes from two Greek words, en theos, which means God in us. This energy could be rightly called a Holy Spirit. Thus, in conclusion, we could say that all creative acts, including the creation of the universe, requires a rational mind in which the creative, artistic right lobe thinks of what to do; a logical, technological left lobe that plans how to do it; and a frontal lobe which takes the creative love, or enthusiastic energy flowing from their agreement to do it! Thus, the Holy Spirit, according to the Church, is constantly renewing the face of the earth. In short, all creative acts involve the interaction of two which produces a third.
Next, when two things interact to produce a third, it is known as a dialectic. The prefix dia means two and lectic implies a dynamic relationship between them from which a third thing arises.
Next, anything that is dialectical is moving and changing and thus is linear because it is creating new patterns. Anything that is not dialectical is not moving or changing and thus is circular because it is repeating the same pattern over and over again.
Next, asexual reproduction in which a one-cell creature reproduces itself by dividing or cloning itself is non-dialectical and non-progressive and the best that it can lead to is simple existence because it is impossible to have Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest without a variety of beings to choose from.
Next, sexual reproduction in which one being interacts with another being of the same species to reproduce a third being which is a blend of the original two is dialectical and progressive. Because it is capable of reproducing a infinite number of new patterns, it provides the variety that is necessary for Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest. In this way, life is constantly progressing towards the fullest expression of life.
Next, the animal brain, which is functionally speaking, a right lobe interacting with a duplicate of itself, is, like asexual reproduction, non-dialectical and non-progressive. Because of this it is built to survive or exist by repeating the same patterns and its life could be symbolized by a circle.
Next, the human brain, which is a creative artistic right lobe interacting with a logical, technological left lobe, is, like sexual reproduction, dialectical and progressive. Because of this, it is built to survive by constantly developing new patterns and responses to the challenges of life and, therefore, could be symbolized by a line.
Next, from this we could conclude that animals were to live circular lives of existence and humans were made to live linear lives of development. In other words, animals are forever denied the possibility of seeking the fullness of life because, although their brains are patterned on the Eternal Father, who is Existence Itself, they lack a reflective left lobe patterned on the Eternal Logos or Son who is leading Mankind down a linear path towards the fullness of life.
Next, this implies that human beings who fail to live linear lives are missing the target in the most important issue of their lives, that is, the primary purpose of human life. They were made to lead linear lives of development towards the fullness of life and they chose to lead circular lives of existence because they failed to follow the Logos or Logic within their left hemisphere which was trying to lead them out of the Kingdom of Mental Darkness into the Kingdom of Mental Light. In other words, the Truth was trying to set them free but they, like animals, chose to live lives rooted in the flesh and thereby failed to develop their spirit which was fed and nourished by Wisdom, the Bread of Life.
Next, people who mistakenly choose to live circular lives are risking their immortal souls because, having a dialectical mind, they were meant to pursue the Infinite and they settled for the finite and, in do so, they gave up the quest.. Some circles are bigger than others but all of them are just different types of hells because, if heaven is the presence of the Infinite God and hell is His absence, then anything less than the Infinite will never satisfy our souls. As St. Augustine said, Our hearts were made for Thee, Oh Lord, and will not rest until they rest in Thee. Thus, eternal life is an eternal struggle in which the finite, like a lover longing for its love, is constantly pursuing the Infinite and each time it thinks it has encompassed it within its grasps it discovers, to it joy, that there is always more to the loved one than it ever imagined. Thus, God is a revelation who is constantly revealing Himself to those who pursue Him. Therefore, those who are on the path to eternal life are those whose hearts, being drawned by the Good, are constantly following the Truth which is constantly revealing new aspects of the Truly Good, which is God. Obviously, the process that I am describing is linear and that is why St. Paul advises us that we should train like athletes to run the race to win and St. Thomas Aquinas could write:
Life must be lived, even by those who cannot find the courage to face it. In the living of it, every mind must meet the problem of mystery, (which is our inability to know the Truth completely). To some men, this will be a joyous challenge, that so much can be known and truth not be exhausted; that so much is still to be known; that Truth is an ocean not to be contained in the pool of a human mind.
It is also why St. Irenaeus, who lived in the 1st Century, could write, The glory of God is man fully alive, and Justin, another Christian who lived in the 1st century, could comment that that all rational men were Christians whether they knew it or not. Justin was simply saying what the Psalms says: Happy the man who ponders My laws day and night a fact that Albert Einstein seems to confirm when he wrote:
My religion consists of the humble admiration of the illimitable superior Spirit who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. All I ever wanted to do was to understand the mind of God.
This causes one to think, What happens to those people who ponder nothing? Who, in essence, have no mental life? They fill their lives with toys and trinkets and never once ponder the miracle of which they are a part. They never seek so they never find; they never knock so nothing is ever opened unto them. They live in the Kingdom of Mental Darkness where Truth has no place or value. This leads us to my final summary point.
The Old Testaments word for hell is Gehenna and, according to one scholars Bible which I read, it means empty thought. This was a revelation to me because, like most people, I had grown up with the idea of hell being fire and brimstone. However, once one considers the nature of the two lobes of our brains which look at nearly everything from two different perspectives, it becomes clear that heaven and hell would also be viewed differently. The right lobe, which is related to our hedonistic animal nature, would think of heaven and hell in the context of pleasure and pain. And it would interpret them in terms of reward and punishment. However, our left lobe, which is the basis for our rational nature, would think of heaven and hell in terms of knowledge and ignorance. And it, being logical, would consider them to be states of being. In other words, which ever one we ended up in, we were merely reaping what we sowed and reward and punishment had little or nothing to do with it.
Helen Keller, who lived seven years without a functioning left lobe, gives us a chilling description of what it is like to be without language. She described her nonverbal world as a place of midnight darkness where the sun of understanding never shone. She said that she thought with her feelings and didnt know God, Nature, death, or good and evil. She said that without the power of language, she was locked in a subjective prison occupied only by herself and, because she lacked the power of language to communicate, she was unable to establish a living bond or connection between herself and others. In other words, she was in Gehenna, the place of empty thoughts because the Logos within her had not yet been activated.
Based on her description, any being who either lacks a left lobe or fails to develop a left lobe, lives in Gehenna, the place of empty thought. In other words, they live in the hell which is feared by the rational, truth seeking, left lobe. Unfortunately, this seems to apply to both animals and young children. Animals, because they will never develop a left lobe, are destined to remain there forever. Young children, because they have a left lobe that has the potential of developing language and rationality, can get out if they are taught and encouraged to develop the rational dimension of their minds. Since salvation seems to depend more on whether you are on the road to growth and development rather than how far down it you are, young children, whose total outlook is one of development, begin life pointed in the right direction. How far and how long they stay on this road is dependent on their parents and other adults who influence their lives. If the parents are wise enough to feed the rational dimension in them, they will continue to emerge from the Mental Darkness of Gehenna into the Mental Light of rational thought. Perhaps, this is why the Church requires that infants be baptized because it symbolizes a death to one level and a rebirth to another level. And to assure that it is more than symbolic, the Church says that the sacrament bestow graces on the child which, if he or she cooperates, will help him or her to move towards eternal life. However, it also requires that some responsible adults, who are on the correct path, will assume the responsibility to make sure that the child will follow the same path. Thus, both parents and godparents have the initial responsibility for making sure that this child will get out of Gehenna or hell by following the path of rational thought. If they fail, the child will continue to remain more an animal than a rational being and, if he should die in that state, his spirit will continue to live in the only world that he ever knew. Thus, parents who allow their children to live animalistic, impulsive lives or to participate in wild types of music, sports, and entertainment which feeds their animal nature jeopardize their salvation. One day they might discover that such children, lacking the self control of rational thought have become addicted to drugs or alcohol, or produce a child out of wedlock , or have failed to develop the necessary discipline or knowledge to assume adult responsibilities, or have become involved in some impulsive act, like road rage, which will cause them to spend part of their lives in prison.
Parents, what this analysis says is that your children were born in hell and it is your responsibility to help to get them out. God help both of you if you dont.
Well, I see that my time is up. Heres Dom!