The Two Sides of the Brain Complement One Another

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.

Given that the two sides of the brain give us complementary perspectives, they naturally supply us with different views of our environment. One looks outward at the world around us, surveying the needs of others; the other looks inward, focused on our personal thoughts and wants. One monitors the whole of things, the other selected parts, one at a time. As such, the two are radically different in terms of the information they share with us—whatever it might be—and it acts to polarize us.  The operating systems of the two hemispheres are also complementary in terms of how they respond. For example, one is aggressive, the other passive. The problem is, since the two sides are so different, it’s often difficult for them to work as a team, and that’s where many of our problems start. The information offered us by the two sides of the brain can actually be in conflict, both internally as individuals, and externally in the interactions of our cultures.

The polarizations we experience in our cultures are a direct result of the split in our brain and the resulting split in our collective consciousness.  Given that the two sides suggest totally different values, it’s no wonder that we are so culturally divided.

If you understand the strengths and weakness of both perspectives and understand the strengths and weakness of both responses, the fact that they are different is a good thing.  It makes you a specialist. It also allows you to be in relative harmony with your environment, something that requires we use both hemispheres. It enables you to understand why others have values that are so much different than yours. The harmony that comes with being familiar with both of your brain’s operating systems allows you to develop a greater peace than those who give away their power by blaming the others for their problems.

However, if you have yet to come to know that you have two voices guiding you, this dualistic system can be confusing. It’s therefore critical to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the two sides and understand how they team up to delegate responsibility. When you fail to recognize the contribution of your nondominant hemisphere and those of your fellow citizens, you tend to see different solutions than they do, and want different responses, then fight over who is right and who gets to to control things.  It often ends in some degree of war. 

James Olson