The left-brain override

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

What if this statement is actually true? It puts a totally different slant on what life is about, on what we do day-in and day-out, and in service of what.

If we are indeed spiritual beings having a human experience for the short time we plant our feet on this planet, how come we have allowed ourselves into such a mess? Perhaps we find an explanation if we imagine that the human experience is the function of the left brain, and the spiritual experience the function of the right brain.

You can do this fun test right now and see which way you’re brain is working!

It would appear that we have managed to get ourselves into the thrall of the left brain. It is well documented that the left brain is the linear analyzer and it is easy to see that how the world operates is strongly influenced by the functioning of the left brain.

From politicians to bankers, from sportsmen to celebrities there are countless high-profile examples in the recent past of left-brain override – i.e. the point where there is a huge blindspot to what makes sense. Their reality comes from a mindset that is totally stuck and the only way forward is a linear approach to what appears to be the next logical step.

And it doesn’t just exist with people we might consider to be high profile. Have you ever found yourself, or someone else, absolutely insisting that there really is only one way? Or taking a sharp intake of breath at a new suggestion? Change does not live in the left part of the brain. This cerebral area likes to keep a strong foothold. It is the right side of the brain that is much more free floating, and here, the unknown is not a fearful place.

It is therefore not a surprise that change of any sort is difficult to achieve. Put this alongside the fact that ‘change is the only constant in today’s world’, how come we are not more prepared for it?

Take a look at education systems around the globe. What is it that they value? Obviously the role of the left-brain, the field of logic and cognition. Even those subjects that appear to draw on the more natural functions of the right-brain are undervalued: social skills, music, art, dance, aesthetics. If you are a parent with grown-up children, were you ever guilty of suggesting that perhaps the ‘law’ or ‘business’ or ‘medicine’ might be a better bet than theatre arts? There are many, many examples of this happening over the generations. Some get through regardless; others – and this may include YOU – spend a working life doing what you were not really cut out to do. And yet, it is much safer than taking the leap of faith into some large change, even though, as an adult, it is in your hands to make the change.

Left-brain override has reached such a pitch that even the top business research schools are calling for a need to bring heart into business and leadership. In other words, give some credence to what the right brain has to offer. Give people the ‘Yes, and…’ rather than the ‘No, and’ in order to help generate that latent creativity, lateral thinking, opening up of consciousness that exists in the untapped potential of any organisation.