The Brain's Four Operating Systems

You might be familiar with the concept of right- and left-brain-dominance, the situation where our behavior suggests we favor either right- or left-brain ways of seeing and responding to things. Most of us experience this. The operation of the brain’s left hemisphere, for example, is energized by fear and shows us scarcity; characteristics that make us conservative. The right hemisphere, in contrast, is energized by love and leads us to view the abundance of life; loving and fearless, it leads us to be liberal with our resources.

Right- or left-brain dominance is genetically determined. It’s the result of genetic complete dominance, one of three types of genetic dominance that we will look at. When dominance is complete, one of our two brain operating systems is in charge—that of the right or that of the left —and the other is recessive, subordinate. In other words, under the influence of complete dominance, our default sense of consciousness is limited to an awareness of half of a whole. Imagine how that limits our experience of consciousness and shapes our behavior.

To understand the relationship between complete dominance and human consciousness is to go a long way towards explaining why we experience polarization and what we can do to help heal its destructive outcomes. By recognizing how the three types of genetic dominance affect human consciousness, we set ourselves up to better understand ourselves, our loved ones, and our relationships with them—and to develop healthy cultures. It is crucial that we bring an end to damaging polarizations. Recognizing their source and character is a vital first step.

The role genetic dominance plays in orchestrating the brain is simple and easy to understand. Genetic dominance consists of three genetically-determined functions. Through the force of dominance, the three establish control over the design of things, and thus shape outcomes. The effect of dominance on a system can be complete, incomplete, or cooperative. As we will see, genetic dominance works to create diversity.

For example, if you breed a red flower and a white flower, under the influence of complete dominance the offspring will either be completely red or completely white flowers. There is no mixing of colors.

Under incomplete dominance, as the name suggests, the dominance of one flower color over another is incomplete. Thus, the flowers produced will display an integrated mixture of red and white, creating some shade of pink.

Under genetic codominance the two variables—red and white—work cooperatively as a harmonious team. This combination of the two variables produces individual blossoms that have sections that are completely red and sections that are completely white. 

Integrated systems such as incomplete dominance and codominance are holistic, fluid systems in that they produce variable outcomes. Pink, as you know, has many variations. As I explain in my video, Gender’s Four Variations, gender fluidity is a product of holistic brain operating systems and the holistic consciousness they give us.

Let’s now look more closely at the role played by these three genetic systems in determining our brain’s operating system, the system that guides how we process what we see, think, and feel about the world. 

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As we have seen, genetic dominance plays a twofold role in creating diversity. First, as we have just discussed, complete dominance represses one of a binary or paired system, allowing the other to creatively express itself freely without interference, as in the example of flowers that are either all red or all white rather than some combination. This system also produces either right or left-brain dominants, people who are inherently predisposed to consciousness that is shaped by the operational characteristics of one side of the brain and have only a secondary knowledge of the other. We see an extreme example of this type of consciousness in polarized individuals who champion either a conservative or liberal approach, fail to understand the value of the complementary view, and consider those who hold it to be misinformed, and even opponents.

A second role of genetic dominance is to integrate elements of a binary or paired system. In terms of consciousness, this creates holistic-minded individuals predisposed to use both sides of the brain as a result of having their faculties genetically harmonized in one of two ways. This is a  discovery I made while conducting research for my second book and suggests that there are two fundamental variations in consciousness that have, until now, gone undiscovered, and are unrecognized by all but a few people.

Genetic incomplete dominance, the first of the two genetically integrated systems of consciousness that we will consider, unifies control and management of the brain using a single, hybrid system. Incomplete dominance gives us a holistic, hybrid perspective with which to view the world and a holistic, hybrid system to help guide our response. Genetic codominance, the other integrated system, unifies the brain’s management by employing two independent parts working in harmony, giving us a team system. Codominance informs us by using a team of complementary perspectives and helps guide our behavior by promoting a team-based response. People who have inherited a hybrid or unified system of consciousness can be either liberal or conservative, though depending on their education they are more likely to be somewhat liberal. Ultimately, most people guided by a holistic operating system are perhaps best characterized as progressive moderates since they are genetically predisposed to work toward recognizing and harmonizing the characteristics of both hemispheric operating systems.

For more information about how consciousness is structured to influence our behavior I invite you to check out the next video in this series, The Sixteen Variations in Consciousness.