In 1973, neurobiologist Roger Sperry stated: “There appears to be two modes of thinking, verbal and nonverbal, represented separately in left and right hemispheres, respectively. Our educational system, and science in general, tends to neglect the nonverbal form of intellect. What it comes down to is that modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere.”
To my mind, that’s one of the most paradigm-changing statements of the 20th century. One we still haven’t fully understood or acted upon.
In recent years, brain scientists have argued that the distinction between the left and right hemispheres is too simplistic and that the brain is much more complex.
But… as someone who has spent 30 years studying learning and creativity, I know of no other way of distinguishing between two states of being: one where we are focused and the other where we’re connected to something greater than ourselves.
I work with the right brain. The right hemisphere of our brain views the world intimately… it understands feelings and connection.
While our left hemisphere separates things and makes distinctions, it can’t bring things together. It can’t connect things.
In other words, to see the world compassionately, we need our right cerebral hemisphere.
Because our culture is solely focused on perceiving the world through our left hemisphere, we haven’t understood how to access and draw on the extraordinary creative powers that lie beyond our thinking. Powers that we can only access through the right hemisphere.
For more on the powers of the right brain and its language of metaphor, check out my book, Deep Knowing: Entering the Realm of Non-Ordinary Intelligence.