Intention of religious philosophies and how we process our thoughts

A brief exploration into the objectives and intentionalities of philosphy, religion, spirituality thru the lens of processing strategies of the mind.  Arising out of a discussion on the Krishnamurti board.

Why is that religion and science are always at loggerheads with each other? Why is that that we get completely opposite views from these two aspects of our world. Why are they at odds? The answers may lie in the way they empower thoughts to be processed by our brain.

The brain is divided into left and right hemispheres. Left brain stores discrete data in a format that is linear and asymmetrical. Right brain stores data in a format that is non linear and symmetrical. The way information will be understood, processed and stored depends on the the hemisphere that is primarily used to handle the information. Both are active at any time, connected by Carpus Collosum, (which BTW is 8 times stronger in women than it is in men, hence women are more capable of switching between discrete and abstract constantly), but I digress…..

Sunil is angry with Madhu, for example.

In the asymmetrical and linear left brain, sunil, a specific individual, is angry with another unique individual Madhu. While Sunil is angry with Madhu, he is not angry with Paul, nor OM. While Sunil is angry with Madhu, Sunil is not feeling any other emotion for Madhu except his anger. There is no other possibility except that defined by a linear, sequential, and concrete relationship. If Sunil has expressed anger before in his lifeime, then there is a previous template in his mind that he is invoking that defines the quality and texture of his anger. Madhu is exclusively engaged in receiving this anger from Sunil. If 10000 people have expressed anger towards Madhu in her life, then she has been traumatised 10000 times in her life. Each trauma is personal attack on the self, an ego that is a child of the left brain because it is the left brain that individualizes and makes unique. The quality and texture of the energy called angerthat she receives from Sunil is understood in terms of those 10000 previous experiences and the impact they have left. This is a part that belongs to the individual and has not had significant adaptive history, ego being as young as the individual is…and a memory of previous angry relationships is the only template that is invoked. Thats very threatening, personalised form of giving and receiving and leads to a lot of stress – right ?

In the symmetrical and non linear right brain, Sunil, the symbol, and Madhu, the symbol are interacting. Anger, the symbol, is flowing between them from the first symbol to second.

A blank and a blank are interacting, and blank is flowing between them.

In the human mind, there already exists a template for this relationship that has been passed as a psychic dna from antiquity, is stored in the objective psyche or collective unconscious – right hemisphere – in a non linear form. It is a part of the evolutionary process, and so much more adaptable. Whenever anything in the external environment happens, this relationship may be invoked. However, because it is in a symbolic form that has undergone centuries of adaption, there is no perceived threat to the body.

This situation between Madhu and Sunil can be represented in many ways. Masculine can be lighting a fire in the presence of a feminine. Adam may be fast-dancing with Eve. Heaven can be teasing the Earth. God could be dialoguing with Satan. America could be waging war on China. There are many possibilities in this interaction, each of varying emotional intensity. The psyche can choose according to the level of discomfort that the body can handle, and express it in the form of dreams for relief, and for creative solutions to emerge. This is where dreams are useful as a means of repairing traumatic memories. They provide a safe outlet for the trauma and impel us to take corrective action. Madhu may dream any of the above, and instinctively feel magnanomous (sp!) enough to repair her relationship with Sunil. Or Sunil may be drawn to do the same. Or there may arise a realization in either – conscious or unconscious – that they are part of a universal whole and the problem between them is the problem of humanity…and hence there is no trauma experienced.

If the distress cannot be contained in the internal world, if it cannot be repaired thru dreams, and other acts of creativity, it is taken into the external world for resolution and acted out there for resolution. So an internal war for internal resources, eg, becomes an external war for external resources – the physical manifestation of those symbols changes only perceptually. Hunger for love and nourishment becomes hunger for food, for resources, for material wealth. The psychic equaivalent in symbolic form is the same.

All religions and their means of meditation and worship try to teach humanity to disengage from the left brain mechanisms – which are experienced as being deeply traumatizing, and they fortify the right brain thinking. Although individualisation is encouraged in normal living (left brain operations are emphasized, name, achievements, education are emphasized), misery is said to be eliminated when we collectivize and universalise the problem (switch to right brain thinking). Its like any yinyang, anima and animus, masculine and feminine principle…opposites nourish and sustain life. BOTH hemispheres are needed to develop a healthy life.

Technology, science, mathematics encourage left brain thinking. Religion, spirituality, creativity, imagination allow for this right brain mechanism to operate. Hence we can see how the left brain is dominating the essence of life…and the world is becoming what it is.

When any philosophy, religious, political or spiritual, asks us to abdicate our self (small s), give up our ego what it is asking us to do in fact is to switch to the right brain thinking, merge with the collective, and lessen our trauma. The self, ego, I being a left brain phenomenon.

My thinking is this – I disagree that one has to, or even can, dissolve their ego completely. When one is asked to do that, what is really being asked is to make the ego subservient to the universal Self (capital S) – which is the totality of the psyche. Or one can say it is necessary that the ego be kept on a leash, which is what Hindu scripture – Bhagvad Gita espouses. Dissolution of the ego would be like absolute zero. There is no psychic life without the ego. Whenever there is trauma in life, there arises an inner need to regress developmentally, and strengthen the ego again, else our existence would become threatened.

Now one can argue that the ego of K, or Buddhism, or Christianity may not be the same as the ego of psychology. And so we may be talking apples and oranges here. Perhaps the former comprises of a sliver of the latter. But psychologically speaking, a weak ego is like a body without the capability of immunity…


PS: Most of this is based on scientific investigations and published papers, linked together by me. I’ll update it later into a more academic form if a need exists for verified sources of information.

One response to “Intention of religious philosophies and how we process our thoughts”

  1. […] return, once more, to right brain and left brain functioning. New readers may want to scroll back a few posts to read how the right brain and left brain functions. Further details are provided by Matte Blanco […]

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