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.

After giving the group of some 30-40 consciousness explorers a survey that asked a series of questions to determine how our brains processed information, we were arranged according to where we fit on a left-right continuum.  As the results were called out, starting with those who were the most extreme right-brain dominant, we took our place in line, allowing us to see not only how left-brain or right-brain we were, but also the relative dominance of the other participants, and how we related to them.

I had always thought that I had a rather balanced perception, so when those in the middle had taken their places and I was not among them, I was surprised. Eventually my name was called and I found myself third from the end of the left-brain extreme.

How did that affect my perception, I wondered. What did that mean in terms of my ability to understand those at the other end of the line?  Several questions came up and I remembered some advice often attributed to great masters: know yourself. There is no knowledge more valuable than knowledge about who you are.

If knowledge about the self is of utmost importance, I reasoned, what self-knowledge could be more important than to understand the brain that feeds my consciousness and guides my behavior, including what information to believe and what to discard? This recognition set me off on a quest to better understand the brain, and after several years of research and self-reflection, my first book on the split brain, The Whole-Brain Path to Peace, was published.

Since writing that book, I have made several discoveries that are critical to understanding the operation of the brain, the most important of which were the result of having discovered the genetic triggers that determine our brain’s management systems. All of the important insights from the first book can be found in the new book, so it will not benefit you to read my first book. But I hope you will read the new one, and trust that it will benefit you. The brain feeds the mind, and we have a great deal of control over how we use our mind to process the brain’s information. It’s mostly a matter of understanding the options that we have available to us.

“You are what you eat,” we often heard it said. What do you want to feed your mind?  In future blogs we will explore the mind/brain complex and how it affect us as individuals and impacts the behavior of our cultures.

James Olson