From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 3 - November 1991
The Duality of the Brain Functioning: The Two hemispheres
By Gregory Mitchell, England
(Gregg has had training as an Hubbard Professional Auditor, has at
least twice been in personal conversation with Ron, but has for most
of his career run his own parallel research track to Scn. He runs
Mental Development which includes evening courses for 'ordinary
people' which produces after two years a stable state where one is
'51% shareholder in his own mind' (somewhat comparable to the rather
unclear state of clear). Ed IVy.)
Mass and Significance
(Edited transcript of a short recorded talk in June 1991.) Now I am
going to talk about the two sides of the brain which are perplexing
people somewhat. Here we are not denying that there is a mind that
does the thinking, and that there is a spirit that controls the mind.
However we have to interact with the body, control it, and Hubbard
describes this in terms of his genetic control centres (Advanced
Procedures and Axioms, see also PAB 5), in that some people are
genetically right handed, some are genetically left, and may well be
running on the wrong control centre.
So the two sides of the body are to a certain degree specialised. For
example we will look at what the two hands do, and let us consider a
right handed person, and make such neccessary adjustments to what I am
saying, in terms of left handed people.
The right hand of a person controls fine detailed movement, such as
writing, and adjusting mechanisms or controlling tools, or doing
anything which requires sequential action as such. Whereas the left
hand establishes an anchor point or reference point. It may hold on to
something that we are working on, so there is a relative motion
between the left hand and the right. So there are two modes of
perceiving. The one which is educated most in this culture goes with
the right hand, the left hand having been called the kack hand or the
sinister hand (sinister/dexter is left/right in Latin). So two modes
of knowing, two modes of perceiving the world, to deal with the
material of this world exist. One is potential, the other one
manifest, which is the right hand side or the left brain side in most
people. You might say that the left brain is chalk and the right side
Now if we could contrast these two sides, the left side is linear, it
can only deal with one thing at a time. It forgets rather rapidly, and
a person who is learning in that mode will be called a stringer - he
will have to learn one thing very carefully, and then the next and
then the next. A person almost totaly unable to take an overview.
Luria, the great Russian neurologist describes this in his book "Man
with a Shattered World". He talks of a soldier who received a bullet
wound through the head, and it damaged severely the right side of the
brain, yet the man survived, but with very strange experiences. Such
as while eating soup, when he concentrated on the soup the spoon
disappeared, when he concentrated on the spoon, the soup disappeared,
when he concentrated on the flavour the whole room disappeared. So the
organization of the left hand sphere is such as to deal with one
detail at a time, whereas the other side deals with many details. This
is necessary too, otherwise music would not be possible.
And again this is reflected in that the left hemisphere would deal
with one note at a time, whereas the right hemisphere would be looking
at the overall context, of that which has gone before, and the
immediate history of that piece of music and the anticipatory scale of
what will happen. Now a person without a right hemisphere could tune a
guitar against a pitch pipe. He may be able to play the odd note if it
is written down on a bit of paper, and in a very artificial way play
some very simple tunes, but this would be done at a robotic level.
Whereas on the other side a person may easily translate intention into
action, at that nonverbal level. Both types of consciousness are
In the child and in primitive people, the degree of differentiation
between the two sides of the brain is slight. So both sides are doing
something like the same work, the difference is a matter of degree.
And according to the philosopher Ernst Cassierer many primitive people
are unable to tell a lie because this means standing outside yourself
to have feelings about your thoughts or thoughts about your feelings.
Whereas a person with specialised hemispheres that are quite
specialised can do so easily.
You may say, well why tell a lie. When we write a story or invent
something initially we are telling a lie. We are postulating an "as-
if" universe. The classic form of a postulate would be, for example,
"were I to do so-and-so, if that, then that". So we have one side that
is capable of mocking up, where the other side is trying to recreate
reality. Both sides draw on much more primitive structures which
produce the imagery, much in the way of a tape recorder, but in
different ways. The left side can isolate out a detail, which is
useful to be able to do, so long as it does not become compulsive,
whereas the right side is unable to deal with details and looks at the
And a person who is right side dominant has a totally different
learning style with a subject: they will read every book in the
library about it, and read everything else, talk to everybody, and
then only gradually will a picture of what they are learning emerge
out of the mist. You may say that one side is concerned with plan and
the other with putting it into action, so no single side is right.
Full conscieousness would arise from an integration of the two sets of
processes, which involves a cooperative or colaborative aspects of the
According to depth psychologists such as Janov and Bianco, we may
retreat into left brain modes of proceeding and acting, where our
emotions are memory rather than what is directly experienced, because
the traumatic material is being stored in the right and we are doing
so in a way which is inaccesible. So we may have a verbal description
of events, but are unable to experience the pain and emotion thereof.
Another person who is in the right brain may well have pain and
emotion and effort visible, however he is unable to access the
postulates and conclusions and other verbally and conceptually stored
material in the left, as this is below the boundaries of
consciousness, e.g. when a person is in an extreme emotion such as
love or rage or grief the words to express this do not come easily or
they may not come at all.
There are differences in the visual imagery, in as much as the left
brain imagery tends to be small, inside the head, and moves with you,
whereas imagery of a right brain nature due to some peculiar
arrangement of the balance is such that if you turn your head the
imagery will tend to move as though you are seeing something in the
real world. If you move your head to the left, it will appear to move
to your right.
For example I can imagine with my eyes closed that chair and as I move
my head it is still where my finger is. Well the left brain imagery
will not be related in any way to the outside world and will tend to
move with me, as I move around. So one sort you can describe as
grounded, the other is ungrounded.
Again in perceiving things, the right side will be concerned with the
spaces enclosed. I am looking at those plants and see various spaces
exist between the leaves which set up another set of shapes beyond the
conventional. The left side would tend to see the thing itself, the
figure rather than the ground. Likewise, I did some experiments with
some playing cards. The hearts and the diamonds were black and the
clubs and spades were red. People who were left brain dominant
actually experienced visible misemotion trying to play with these
cards, because it interfered with what you could call conventional
perception. The right brained person had no difficulty doing this.
Integration of the two sides
However true higher creative thought comes from an integration of the
two sides. Einstein said "I will do a flight of fantasy and work on
some thinking which is not thinking as you would understand it but a
combination play of some imageries and sensory feelings and only when
this comes to some resolution I would fumble in the other side of my
head for words and for algebraic statements which would permit me to
communicate these insights to others".
The true thinking which stands behind things is non verbal. Now a
person who is right dominant and when both sides are cooperating, uses
words as his servants whereas a person who is left dominated
frequently tends to be governed by words and belief systems and symbol
systems often to the exclusion of the external reality.
Some work has been done with a device rather like an E-meter in one of
the London hospitals recently, as a diagnostic device, finding the
discrepancies between the left hand TA shall we say, and the right
hand TA, representing particular clinical types. The manic type having
a lower TA on the left hand and the schizoid/schizophrenic type having
a lower TA on the right hand, indicating either functional imbalance
between the two sides due to early dramatization or actual organic
damage. Either way you will end up with a problem.
If you have an E-meter with solo cans you can test this for yourself.
Take your tone arm with solo can first in the left and then the right
hand. Then compare the TA. More than half a division difference shows
that you have a problem of integration. Parts of your track may have
been bypassed in your earlier auditing (Gregg mentioned that although
we tend to regard the time track as a single track, it could be
regarded as three parallel lines, for thought, emotion and effort
(effort is right brain). It might equally be regarded as having -many-
parallel tracks one, for each perception, and also tracks for other
things we can recall. Hubbard has at times stressed the importance of
auditing both the effort or force and the significance but there is
the vague possibility that some people have not had a complete balance
in their auditing. Parts of your track may have been missed).