In the experiences of many people, the political damage that we inflict on our political systems through the destructive effects of polarization is no less destructive than is the damage created as a result of physical wars such as we see in Syria, or for that matter, any country where some type of physical war is a part of the culture. The policies of government, such as those that dictate health care and law enforcement, when flawed, often result in life-and-death events. And ill-conceived ideas that are the product of polarization can maim what they don’t kill. They can also starve us, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
As a person who wants to learn more about life in the hopes of making it a bit easier, I’m always looking for information that has practical value. Here, I will be sharing information that I found helpful in my own understanding of how the brain shapes our behavior. In particular, my interest is in what we can do to obtain fuller control over the information streams that flow from the brain to consciousness.
The solution to the divisive polarizations that we are experiencing in so many of our cultures has it root in the mind/brain complex. It’s a rather obvious statement, but one that needs to be remembered as we search for solutions to our many social problems. Through the power of mind we have more control over ourselves than we generally acknowledge, and if we are to be successful at managing the mind, it helps to understand the mental choices at our disposal.
My interest in how the lateral split in our brain also splits our consciousness and creates a mental divide that profoundly affects our perception and behavior, started with a weekend seminar. I was living in Oklahoma City at the time and a neuroscientist from the University of Texas who worked with another neuroscientist there, Ned Herrmann—now considered the “father of brain dominance technology”—came to town to map the brains of workshop participants.