The Different Sides of the Brain by Jan Engels-Smith


I have been intrigued lately with understanding the different sides of the brain. Our society is what’s called a left brain dominant society. The left side of the brain is all about logic, rational thought, the ego is on the left side, the capacity to think of past, and future also resides there. In the Western culture we have the need to have a logical order to things. We like information given to us in a standard form, which is linear. How many of you have ever sat with an indigenous elder and listed to an indigenous elder talk? You know they do not speak about things in a linear fashion. In fact, it drives most westerners crazy. You think they are losing topic all the time because they speak in what is called a circular format.

We like to linearize everything. We also force things to have rational logical sense according to a previously set standard, usually by people who have come  before us. A typical standard incorporated is the Newtonian standard from Isaac Newton. Newton developed a mechanistic ideology where things are compartmentalized, taken apart, looked at in compartmentalized versions. Allopathic medicine is very much like this today.  An illness will usually set into motion a series of specialists each doctor specializing in one set of symptoms. They are each treating something in a very isolated way instead of the whole picture.

This mindset philosophy comes out of the Newtonian era. Our business and governments are set up this way. Most everything in our lives is set up this way. Our school districts are set up this way. We automatically fall into this acceptance of this structure…I’m going to be in English class, now math class, now science class…and everything is pulled apart.

The left side of the brain loves and operates from this theory. We actually test your intelligence according to how well you can take apart a sentence in English and know all the components. We’re constantly chopping things into little bits and reinforcing that part of the brain and saying that’s the correct way to live. Another form of intelligence is to come up with the RIGHT answer, even though Right is often objective for the time. The more you can do that the higher you rate on intelligence tests.  Again we live in a very left brain dominant culture.