According to Daniel J. Siegel in his book The Developing Mind, there are two ways of thinking. I think there are three. He concludes that the self is created by the neural activities of the right hemisphere of the brain. I believe that there is much more to the self than just the activities of the neural pathways.
In his chapter on Representations, he states that there are two ways of thinking due to the activities of the left and right brain. He prefaces this with the caution not to be too dogmatic about left and right because neural activity involves the two hemispheres working together. However, he makes a strong case for the duality of the mind. We are indeed bilateral beings. We have a left hand and a right hand, a left eye and a right eye, and we also have a left brain and a right brain. Our brain makes sure the two sides are coordinated through the corpus callosum and by having the left brain operate the right side of our bodies and vise versa.
One way of thinking evolves from the left brain. The left hemisphere creates words to categorize objects and combines these concepts to form abstract ideas. It uses these linguistic representations so that we can experience a logical and higher order of consciousness. It allows us to create new combinations in our mind and in the world. It breaks down reality into small symbolic chunks that allow us to communicate in social situations. As we noted in the last blog, there is power in the word.
On the other hand (pun intended), the right brain gives us our second way of thinking. The right brain approaches life holistically. It perceives patterns within the whole in the form of sensations and images, ties them together with emotions, and is able to relate these patterns through a holistic sense of awareness or consciousness. It has a great deal more interregional links than the left side which gives it the ability to combine information to construct its own visual and abstract reality. This ability of the mind to create gives us a sense of our own mind that we can refer to as mindsight. Therefore it forms the basis of the self. It is able to relate to other minds through its sense of self relating to another person’s right brain with its own sense of self. We can then share thoughts through the left side and humor, painting and poetry through the right.
I believe there is a third way of thinking. The brain is merely a tool that we use to experience and process the environment in which we live. The brain by itself is like a very sophisticated robotic computer, but it does not operate itself. The functions of the brain in a sense do create mind but we are more than the mind depicted by science as a product of the functions of the right brain. By some fluke of nature or some divine plan from an infinite being, we have soul. Our soul or self, is an entity composed of pure energy that functions beyond the processing components of the brain. It is the substance of thought and the substance of life. In fact, it is the energy that controls and employs the brain to carry out the functions of living.
I believe that the part of us that is pure energy has the potential to grow into something beyond the confines of the left and right brain. Whether we are eternal beings or not is insignificant brain noise. We simply are. We have this moment to be whatever we want to be. We are beautiful powerful creatures in the here and now. We create and we live and milk whatever we can from this period of time we call life. We have a wonderful brain that we employ to make sense of our world, but it is limited to those areas that involve reasoning and ordering of thoughts and other brain functions. In order to find meaning and purpose the answers exists in the energy of the soul. The purpose is to live, experience, expand, and enjoy. The rest will be revealed (or not) the moment these brains cease to function.
Here are my five applications for bisexuality:
1. Let’s not fall into the left brain trap. We do not need labels. We are simply individuals who enjoy sexual experiences, period. It can be with either men or women. We are led to sex by the biological urges of our bodies. Sex is sex. Enjoy it.
2. We are also sentient beings. Our right side of our brain wants to get involved. It wants to feel the sensations of the body, create emotion, and turn them into perceptions of something greater. We should listen.
3. If we just have sex, and for some of us bisexual men this can be an anonymous encounter, we are often left with a hollow feeling. Where the body ends the mind is just getting started; it feels left out. The left side of our brain wants to turn the sexual experience into an opportunity to relate on an intellectual level. It wants to form a physical/mental bond.
4. Where the mind ends, the soul is now just getting started. It wants to linger in this exchange of positive energy. It wants to form an energy or spiritual bond. It wants to create and enjoy the resonating vibrations of one being uniting with another.
5. When we engage in sexual activities let’s go for the touchdown. Let’s not be satisfied with encounters. Let’s look for relationship. We may discover that there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.