‘I’, the Interwoven Consciousness of the Left and Right Hemispheres of Our Brain
Michio Kaku, in his book ‘The Future of the Mind”, discusses consciousness and self-awareness as integral components to the understanding of the brain and who we are. The identity of the self is defined by the “unified narrative of who we are”; the firing of two centers of consciousness, one in the right hemisphere and one in the left hemisphere, in the same brain. Our ability to appreciate the information supplied by the two separate entities as complementary and walk this middle path, integrating the data from both, to create our version of reality, is our measure of self-awareness.
Our current understanding of the brain as two hemispheres that perform different duties that complement each other, while thoughts move back and forth between the two, came from Dr. Roger W. Sperry, who received the Nobel Peace prize in 1981 for this research. The left hemisphere, analytical and logical, houses our verbal skills, while the right hemisphere is more holistic and artistic. Generally, the left brain is more dominant, making the final decisions and sending commands to the right brain via the corpus callosum. Standing on this middle road of the corpus callosum, observing both brains, we can choose our responses. This is the Observer.
Dr. Sperry demonstrated that the left and right hemispheres have entirely different responses to the same stimulus. In experiments that allow the right hemisphere to have its own ‘voice’, it has been discovered that the right hemisphere can even have entirely different religious beliefs from the left hemisphere. We walk around with two completely different personalities with two completely different levels of self-awareness housed in our skulls, both vying for control of our body. The left brain has dominated because it can express itself through speech, while the right brain expresses itself through other, more creative modes, such as painting.
The left hemisphere is more hardened and severe, while the right is softened by compassion. The exercise, given us by Pa’Ris’Ha, of asking, ‘Who is talking?’ when we explore our thoughts, is an exercise in identifying which of our hemispheres has the dominant expression at any one time. This is an illustration of the field of duality in which we live. Whereas the left processes speech, the right hemisphere processes symbols and holds a bigger picture. The rainbow bridge represented in mythology and indigenous cultures is our ability to function from the Observer place, the corpus callosum, and allow the two parts to complement each other, producing a unified expression. Medicine people, wisdom keepers and prophets have a more highly developed and expressive right hemisphere. Taking the path that complements both sides of the brain is the beauty way of native people.
An article written by Mary A. Smith based on studies of Michio Kaku’s book “The Future of the Mind” pages 37-39 and 57-60, with Pa’Ris’Ha. 1-19-15