The brain is by far the most mysterious organ in the human body, as it is without a doubt the most complex, which has also led to it being possibly the most misunderstood. With multiple layers of varying tissues and billions of neurotransmitters, the brain is an organic labyrinth. The field of modern neuroscience has made great strides in our attempts to understand this organ of perception. One of the major discoveries it has made has had to do with our understanding of the left and right hemispheres of what is known as the cerebrum. This discovery over the natures of these hemispheres has become mainstreamed to the point it has made its way into the common vocabulary.
The term “left-brained” and “right brained” have been used to describe people who tend to lean towards a certain type of thinking and perception. People who are left-brain dominant will tend to be more linear in their thought process, see things in a compartmentalized manner, lean towards math and science, look to maintain order and structure, look at things from the point of view of detached logic, and will tend to view the world from a more materialistic or literalist perspective. Meanwhile, people who are right-brain dominant will tend to be more “big picture” oriented, looking at the whole rather than the parts; they will lean towards art and creativity, as well as being somewhat spontaneous and even sporadic and random in their actions; they will tend to be very empathetic and lean towards a spiritual or philosophical perception of the world.
While we have come to view the left or right brain dominance as “just the way people are”, in truth these are actually imbalances that need to be overcome by the individual. Over-reliance on left-brain thinking can result in the inability to move out of compartmentalized thought and see the big picture when it is necessary to do so. It can also make one unable to understand or perceive the workings of the psycho-spiritual or “non-material” currents that shape and move the world around us. In its extreme state of imbalance, the cold detachment of calculated logic can result in psychopathic behavior. Left-brain imbalance can lead to a “master” mentality, through the imbalance of masculine/dominator characteristics.
Conversely, over-reliance on right-brain thinking can result in the idea that the details don’t matter, and lead to a sort of flighty and careless attitude in life. This type of thinking can lead to people being overly passive and apathetic, while living in a sort of delusional fantasyland, where “perception is reality”. In its extreme state of imbalance, the over-empathetic nature of right-brain dominance can result in actions or inactions that put one’s self and others in danger. Right-brain imbalance can lead to a “slave” mentality, through the imbalance of feminine/submissive characteristics.
Modern society as a whole can be seen as an imbalance relationship between these two aspects of consciousness. We have the extreme left-brain imbalance of detached, unempathetic psychopathy heading up the structures of big business and government, which in turn promotes linear compartmentalized thinking in work and education and materialist thinking in science and medicine. At the safe time, we see an extreme imbalance of subservient and over-empathetic thinking in the general public, who are kept in a sort of fantasyland of reality television and social media.
The left and the right hemispheres of the brain represent the masculine and feminine aspects of higher consciousness and perception. The attributes of these hemispheres correlate with the attributes of the divine masculine and feminine principles that can be seen in the Hermetic Principle of Gender and the Taoist principle of Yin and Yang. One of the prime objectives in personal spiritual growth is the balancing of the masculine and feminine aspects of consciousness within us in order to move towards Unity Consciousness and Internal Sovereignty, which is done first and foremost by balancing our own thinking and perception; “mind over matter”.
There are various ways this balance can be achieved. Recent studies have shown that use of psychedelic mushrooms create pathways that open communications between the left and right brain hemispheres. The initial catalyst for me in my journey onto the conscious spiritual path was use of entheogens (psychedelics). Of course, if we use entheogens to open consciousness, I strongly recommend it be done safely and sparingly, as it is not a practical tool for day-to-day development. I also suggest it be done as an aid to one’s practice, rather than making it the core of one’s practice. Lastly, with any entheogens, they need to be used respectfully (not recreationally) and in a safe and hopefully ritualistic and/or therapeutic environment.
We need to work on creating a “balanced mind” every day. First and foremost, we need to reflect on ourselves and our thinking and find in which ways we are most out of balance. For most people, it is not usually a complete dominance of one side over the other, but rather a mix of imbalanced aspects, which may ultimately lean toward one side or the other. I, for example, can be extremely detached empathetically and lean towards rational thinking, while at the same time I can be fairly flighty in my financial and “business” affairs, and would prefer to be writing or philosophizing than dealing with that “boring stuff”.
The good news with this mix of left brain/right brain imbalances is that most of us don’t need a complete overhaul of our thinking to get to a more balanced state; we just need to do a little tweaking and cleaning up. We can do this by challenging our thinking on a daily basis in a variety of ways such as practicing mindfulness, artistic expression, journaling, meditation, and listening to and reading information, ideas and concepts that challenge or even directly contradict the way we view the world, and then taking actions that force us to further step outside our box or “comfort zone”.
The establishment of connection between and then the balancing of the left and right brain modes of perception is the marriage of the Divine Masculine and Feminine within us. This creates the Divine Child within, which grows into the Sovereign King- the whole and balanced human who reaches his or her full potential and is free of the pull of external human influences. Right now, we are both the “master” and the “slave” of our own minds, and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we can be truly free.