The Left Cerebral Hemisphere (LH, the language dominant hemisphere), can be viewed as a child that mimics the roles it is assigned, or through its sharply focused observations, is drawn into itself, but on its own, continually lacks the required affective attentional access to the Right Hemisphere’s (RH) primary processes of experience (way of ‘Being’); which are essentially concerned with ‘Care’, is nonverbal, instinctual, socially reinforcing, relationally aware, empathic, sensually rich and highly integrated spatial-temporal imagistic and intuitive perceptions; producing highly contextualized knowledge, memories, evaluation and insights.
Thus ‘presenting’ to the mind an immediate and holistic understanding of wherever it places its attention, nonverbally, and without the requirement of decontextualizing analytical thought, providing the individual human being with ‘values’ grounded in reality and a practical and meaningful apprehension of the whole.
The LH processes the information gleaned from its highly focused window of attention (like a microscope or telescope) recursively, and is essentially concerned with the usefulness of things, ‘Utility’, habituates the thoughts and behaviors required to implement the global demands of one’s ‘total being’, as apprehended and processed by the RH, in its primary processes of discerning the salient and cohesively interrelational aspects of ‘being’.
The RH subsequently depending upon the LH to implement the behaviors required (forming neurologically hard-wired circuits) for the automated volitional acts it deems consistent with its ‘being’ and its relationships as a whole to everything it is aware of, allows the RH to extend its attentional processes onto an ever-expanding and interrelated world of ‘care’; relationships, value and meaning, as they relate to ones ‘being’.
The Attentional Awareness required to ‘see’ objects and reality as they actually are, a fundamentally interconnected interplay of an untold number of dynamically emergent processes, all necessarily related to and dependent upon each other for existence and expression, continually changing and transforming into and out of multitudinous re-configurations, requires the capacity to intuitively recognize patterns of experience from a whole interconnected view first and foremost, in the processing of experience in the RH.
One’s orientation with reality must be natural and actually ‘present’, not only ‘re-presented’ to the RH by the LH, the actual image of the whole must be considered first, before any experience can be ‘re-presented’ by the narrowly focused attentional processes of the LH.
The information that the LH ‘unfolds’, and subsequently presents to the RH, in this way, can be accurately placed in the context of the whole, allowing for the largely automatic and effective perspectival evaluation of experience, extensionally broadening the minds global view and improving the individual’s ability to recognize, and extend, similar and new experiences going forward. This then is the natural process of psycho-logical human growth, as predetermined by the processes and functioning of our currently evolved human neurological processes.
According to the eminent neuropsychiatrist and Oxford Fellow, Iain Mcgilchrist, the primacy of the right hemisphere, a requirement of the processes of our nervous systems structural functional configuration, has recently been, from a cultural perspective, effectively sacrificed, in deference to the narrow wants and fascinations that the child, now believing it is the master and ‘seer’ of the whole, clings to for its own power and a contrived appearance of certainty, control and survival, as the LH’s primary function in isolation from the RH, is to procure its own power and to utilize the objects of its environment to maintain such power.
“Certainty is purchased at the expense of Content, the more certainty we require, the less content we have to contextualize experience, the less colorful our expression.”
Our Environment, Nature, the Fundamental Dimension (Space-Time-Mass-Energy, STEM) like a slice of a CT Scan or a photographic snapshot, the eternal now is as an ever-changing focal point where our environment is blended with the unspeakable, spacetime and massenergy with our nervous system, resulting in a unique manifestation of our own human conscious experience.
This is the primary phenomenon, the ignition point of the consciousness of observers interacting with STEM, it is the point, the calculus, where the curved and the chaotic blends with the linear and the ordered, naturally providing us the intellectual (psycho-logical) structure we require to adapt, predict and thrive within the myriad of interlacing dynamic processes that we are shrouded in and an integral part of.
The transitory moment through which we interface with reality, like a photograph, provides a relatively two dimensional physical perspective which our neurological apparatus has evolved to automatically sense, process, perceive, conceive, contextualize and respond to in such a way to provide us an advantage over the less aware and the more dangerous, with which we share and depend on in our environment.
The Human Nervous System, the structure and resultant natural pattern recognition functions of our currently evolved nervous systems provides us with the most advantageous evolutionary adaptive characteristics known, as evidenced by the knowledge gleaned and the achievements made over the full spatialtemporal range of human activity and endeavor, relative to STEM, no matter any particular evaluation or judgement of others behavior or negatively construed consequences one may assert to the contrary.
Through all of our uniquely formative and consciously unaware experiences of our childhood (and continuing into adulthood for the many); untold numbers of poorly evaluated associations, relations, meanings and conclusions are incorrectly deduced and attached to the objects and events of our experiences.
Our human nervous system has evolved over many many millennia and is primarily concerned with the function of aligning the structure of itself with that of the ever-changing environments it interacts with, is subject to and is an integral part of (accurate information gathering and pattern recognition intended for adapting to and predicting potential outcomes for enhanced chances and experiences of survival).
It must also function (somewhat artificially) relative to civilizations’ fundamental requirements for the uniformity of its constituents generalized behavior for its own ongoing survival, a phenomenon which has ultimately resulted in a generalized de-tuning of the evaluating apparatus that we all have been naturally endowed with.
Misaligned and incongruent neurological associations develop, not naturally and in tune with the structure and functioning of our anciently evolved nervous system relative to our environment, but are powerfully influenced and directed from a cultural perspective, and subsequently continually reinforced unconsciously through habitualized behavior and language patterns that we reactively employ in response to the essential and primary demands of a successfully functioning, advancing, productive and safe society.
As scientific discoveries have continued to advance at an advancing rate, the myriad of technologies that are successively introduced, act in such a way to provide us essentially more and more extensions of our nervous systems. We effectively harness new modalities for acquiring more subtle levels of knowledge assumptively intended to expand our experiences and the reach of our care and ambition.
While these ‘advancements’ can potentially enhance our awareness and the quality of our life experiences, an equalizing, yet antithetical measure of technologies and novel modalities are also required to offset the ever-growing internal psychic imbalances which also continually expand and spring up (in varying levels in varying individuals) in opposition to the ever-conforming force needed to maintain the certainties and comforts that civilization (and particular cultures, societies, affiliations, groups, etc.) promises, and is depended upon, to afford its members.
Empathy costs us emotionally, it’s an investment in others.
Judgement costs us nothing, but it does reinforce our rightness over others however!
Which one should we employ when dealing with other souls?
Language made possible the accumulation and communication of knowledge; it was language that permitted the formulation of ideas and the codification of laws.
It was language that turned us into human beings and created civilization
*We created our own code for programming ourselves (and by default social norms), but we created neither ourselves nor the environment(s) we live in and interact with.
*Language allowed us to share our intellect with others (to communicate and distribute), through agreed upon definitions and meanings of symbols, and the relationships between them.
A Language is a code, a particular way of structuring, representing and employing our intellect in order that we may accurately apprehend our existence and to aid us in coping with, adapting to, and surviving in the particular environments in which live.
As a result, language, fosters our ability to pass on and redistribute any knowledge and wisdom that we may accumulate, in order to assist our progeny in their life experiences, and so on.
A Language is a virtual philosophy, and through its particular coding processes, our conceptions of both our inner and outer reality, are given a particular flavor, angle or perspective that is unique to the language itself, resulting in a powerful influence on the individuals who employ any particular language(s).
Ones worldview is initially most influenced by the particular language(s) that they employed to construct their understanding of reality.
Languages are works of genius, and were created by people as stupid as ourselves, Therefore to believe in the existence, within ourselves, of a higher source of intelligence than the conscious self, seems a coherent and sound conclusion.
Like the code that is the source of the programming that allows computers to compute, as the programmer intended, language, as it relates to human cognitive processes, is one of the primary facts of human existence.
Although language admits us into a conceptual world of ideas, through its gift of contextualized thinking and the knowledge it may provide us, it does so only at a price – the conceptual world of doctrines, ideologies and beliefs, that as a result of a language system, are both thrust upon us from others, and bubble out of our own imaginations and thoughts.
A world where delusions and created realities keep popping up over the horizon: where all kinds of poison came pouring out from the propaganda factories of religion, politics and commerce.
THE INDEPENDENT MIND
By Gregory Mitchell
Solomon E. Asch was a world-renowned American Gestalt psychologist and pioneer in social psychology. He became famous in the 1950s, following experiments which showed that social pressure can make a person say something that is obviously incorrect. Solomon Asch thought that the majority of people would not conform to something obviously wrong, but the results showed that an alarming number of participants gave the wrong answer.
The inner-directed person has discovered the potential within themselves to live and act not according to established norms, but based on what they discover using their own inner compass. They have their own moral code and values. They are originally influenced by parents and other authority figures, but later the source of their direction appears as an inner core of principles and character traits. The inner-directed person does not derive his sense of value or identity solely from tradition nor from conformity to peer-group fashions, but from the resources of his own nature.
Other-directed persons tend to be dependent. They may be anxious and fearful about others’ approval or disapproval of themselves. They tend to be oversensitive to others’ opinions and are compulsive conformists. They often are manipulating in order to please others and insure constant acceptance and approval.
Research by cognitive psychologist Herman A. Witkin reports that one aspect of cognitive style, namely field-dependence/field-independence, is affected significantly by socialization and child-rearing practices.
The term ‘field‘ relates to the external perceived world.
Relatively field-dependent individuals thrive more in situations where decisions are made for them.
They tend to prefer a ‘spectator’ approach to life with responsibility on the shoulders of others.
They operate with a relatively external frame of reference, as opposed to the greater ‘inner-directedness’ of the field-independent individual.
Inner direction is considered a desirable trait in Mind Development. This orientation can only be achieved by an individual who is in the process of developing his own character, of becoming ‘field-independent’, his or her volition self-determined (based on self-knowledge) rather than the effect of manipulation or propitiation.
The most original, creative and outstanding men and women are invariably of this type, and yet it is no ‘elitist’ type, for it is available to all human beings with the courage of their convictions.
It is the way of life that takes ‘Individuation’ (as described by Carl Jung) as its goal: to manifest one’s highest potential. To achieve Individuation, the individual needs to become much more field-independent and inner-directed than is generally the case. There is a significant correlation between field-independence and IQ.
Rely on the surrounding perceptual field.
Have difficulty attending to, extracting, and using non-salient cues.
Have difficulty providing structure to ambiguous information.
Have difficulty restructuring new information and forging links with prior knowledge.
Have difficulty retrieving information from long-term memory.
Have a tendency to be extrinsically motivated.
Have a disposition to be other-directed.
Have a tendency to be extraverted.
Field-independents: (independent thinkers)
Perceive objects as separate from the field.
Can dis-embed relevant items from non-relevant items within the field.
Provide structure when it is not inherent in the presented information.
Reorganize information to provide a context for prior knowledge.
Tend to be more efficient at retrieving items from memory.
Have a tendency to be intrinsically motivated.
Have a disposition to be inner-directed.
Have a tendency to be introverted.
Field independence/field dependence are a semi-independent dimension to introversion/extraversion, but the separation is not complete.
There is a moderate correlation between introversion and field independence, as well as between extraversion and field dependency.
The capacity to introvert is a skill dependent on a certain level of maturity – children and the immature are not good at this.
The process of introversion is a skill that the child will need in order to develop greater intelligence and wisdom.
Introversion reaches a maximum at about age forty, the true age of maturity.
By the age of forty, most people have had twenty years of adult life, they have had the experience of marriage, children, ownership of property and forging a career, and they have become politically aware.
Introversion is the tendency to focus one’s attention towards the inner, mental world, but it is only with maturity that harmony may be found.
The American bias toward extraversion as a sign of maturity is a dangerous but little-discussed political phenomenon.
Let us consider how dangerous this bias is.
It requires that the introvert abandon her particular genius in order to join the crowd.
Consider the extraverted leader who values loyalty above clear thinking; consider the dangers we are led into by a coarse, unsubtle extravert who distrusts the loner, the doubter, the thinker.
Ironically, although extraverts tend to have developed outgoing social skills, people who are truly great at working social interactions such as diplomats tend to be introverts, since they have needed to look inside to develop meaningful empathy between themselves and others.
Internal motivation is an attribute of the introverted personality.
An introvert spends inordinate amounts of time processing the world around him through his own emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. He frequently thinks about how his environment impacts his existence.
As a result, when he is enthusiastic about a life task, he is able to discipline himself for greater periods of time for the purposes of reflection and problem solving.
This process of inner reflection energizes him and propels him forward toward new ways of thinking, believing, and behaving.
In essence, an introvert is motivated by his own self-talk. Introverts work well independently, and usually prefer to work alone. Internally motivated individuals are frequently insightful and can more easily see the association between cause and effect.
On the down side, an introvert is more susceptible to mood swings and depression because he spends so much time reflecting upon the significance of his life.
Introverts tend to be intrinsically motivated.
Intrinsic motivation is inner-directed (field-independent) interest in a task.
In studies on field dependence and field independence, it was found that field-independent individuals tend to engage in a hypothesis-testing, participant role in learning.
They seemed to function on intrinsic motivation and were perceptive of the subtle and inconspicuous information relevant to the task.
Intrinsic motivation, field independence, reflection, cognitive complexity, deep-level processing, and task orientation are all positive traits exhibited by introverts.
On the other hand, field dependent individuals tended to notice only the most prominent information and seemed to be motivated by extrinsic rewards.
The source of motivation tends to be externally based when individuals are other directed and seek affirmation of traits, competencies, and values from external perceptions and influences.
In stressful and/or threatening circumstances, field dependent individuals appeared to utilize repression and thus exhibited inferior or distorted recall.
The Illusion of Normality
Experiments were undertaken by Gestalt psychologists early last century, in which a person viewed through a mechanism of titled mirrors. At first all seemed to the person to be indeed tilted, but after a period a normalization effect took place and the mind auto-corrected the view so it seemed normal again.
When exposed to the real scenario, this now seemed tilted to the person. The normalization effect represents a wearing off of the influence of the framework of the outer world. In the mirror world, the framework of the normal objective world could not be sustained, and a new framework takes its place.
The subject felt he must conform to the influence of the titled framework, even when it meant not only suppressing bodily feelings (his sense of bodily uprightness) by subsequently feeling tilted when objectively upright but denying the obvious perceptual conflict when the frame could not possibly be upright when it was not lined up with his body. This indicated not only a denial of his body as a standard of reference and an inability to relate it to what he could see in front of him, but a denial also of perceptual contradictions. These are strong illusions and indicate the potent effect of the normalization phenomena.
Those who excepted the field as upright in its tilted position insisted they were quite correct in their judgments, or that “the longer I look at it the less faith I have in my judgments.” With continued conflict between visual and postural determinants, the conflict is resolved in the direction of even greater reliance upon the visual framework. Thus, when a person loses one of their main points of reference – in psychology it may be significant people, or one’s job, for example – and outer cues become stronger, inner conflicting cues are ignored in determining the objective reality.
In addition, as outer cues begin to saturate the person for longer periods, inner cues become less and less useful as a basis for judging reality. The surrounding field becomes increasingly accepted as normal, even though its acceptance leads to an inaccurate judgment of the world and represents a tilted and distorted view.
A field-dependent person actually has a much narrower visual field so even in everyday life he is actually blind to certain reference points that would exist on the periphery of his vision – his vision is more literal and central. Such a person when reading makes very small fixations, and cannot read more than one word either side, or one line above or below the fixation point they are looking at. They are focused on a single point without reference to the total context. Of course, there are many fields beyond the perceptual, such as cognitive fields and social fields.
By analogy we can think of many everyday life situations which provide a person with this kind of conflict, between his own inner feelings and the outside stimulation that surrounds him. It seems that although a person may at first resist the intrusions of the surrounding field which might be quite distorted, without a point of reference or with supports of the objective reality taken away, he cannot for very long maintain himself. An obvious example is the situation of sensory deprivation. The distorted world tends to right itself and be perceived as normal.
We may speculate that in social situations an individual’s judgment may be rendered less useful for making a true assessment of what the objective reality is, by constantly saturating him with a bold, distorted field whilst at the same time limiting his access to independent assessment of the outer situation. Although he may at first rely on his inner standards and judge the socially induced reality to be distorted and untrue, in practice he will tend gradually to be overcome and accept the distorted reality as normal and true.
These observations derived from the perceptual laboratory may also help us to understand such phenomena as propaganda and brainwashing, and how they insidiously work their pernicious effect over a period of time, even on individuals who under optimal conditions might demonstrate good judgment.
It would also seem that this is the model used by some governments and organizations, surrounding their people with stimuli that are presented as reality, while at the same time limiting popular access to other sources of information. In the beginning the people may resist and protest and view the offered reality with suspicion, but little by little they too may succumb to the normalization effect, to accept as true, right and normal that which was previously perceived as a distortion.
Both hypnotic suggestibility and vulnerability to non-hypnotic social influence have positive and significant correlations with field dependence. Rhetoric and reality can be confused even when there is a clear and definite need to distinguish between them. A person may be immersed in a philosophy and a context which permeates by a process of osmosis until it seems normal. The context therefore has a hypnotic effect.
In contrast the effects of work with Mind Development techniques lead to greater field-independence. The student is continually encouraged to objectively reality check his internal belief system, against the context of his relationships, his hobbies, the outside world in general, his occupation, and to utilize objective tests of performance such as biofeedback, IQ and personality tests.
Unless we are dead, we are all individuals to a certain extent, but when we have achieved Individuation we are inner-directed and field-independent, so we would not be compelled to be conformist. Solomon Asch stated that most of the participants in his experiment were field-dependent and other-directed. They may of course be classed as individuals, but they were a million miles from being Individuated. They may have been free to express minor individuality within a bounded reality, but they were unable to express their individuality in an unbounded reality.
When we have achieved Individuation, we can say metaphorically, we are in the world without being of the world. There is an enormous gap between being an individual in a small way, to being a person who can write his own script.