Posts Tagged ‘Brain’

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Time-shared Brain

April 11, 2012

yin yang

Sometimes I think I have two separate minds.  A mind centered about technical things and one for the purely creative.  Sometimes, the technical is in-charge of things while other times it is most certainly the creative.  My problem with this is the two minds have very little in common and makes me seem as if I suffer from multiple personalities.

It is the classic yin and yang equation, but in my case they seldom influence each other.  As a Piscean, I am prone to a segmented mind.  Hell, even our symbol illustrates that point.  It was not until recently I started wondering if the yin and yang concept is exactly what they had in mind when the symbol was selected all those years ago.  My engineering mind points out that is impossible to know while my poetic one has faith and is quick to jump on that train.

I guess this explains my being an engineer and a poet.  The do seem somewhat removed in influences but I did have the benefit of a liberal education, I’m sure that had something to do with it.  At the very least it exposed me to both fields and I found interest in them.  It is said you cannot serve two masters, but I think you can – just not at the same time.

When I have my engineering hat on, I am serious, focused and very task oriented.  I can plow through a stack of old crusty reports gleaning from them relevant information and decide on the best course to move a project forward.  When in this mode, ask someone who just met me, and they will say I am a single-minded and driven man.

At other times, when my poetic mind takes control, I take in what I see and read, mull it over and metaphorically reduce a complex world to

Pisces Symbol

couplets, quatrains and stanzas.  I am open and approachable and seamlessly flow from one topic to another.  If that same person were to meet me with this mind, they would describe an aloof sage-like person that lives in a  nuanced world built upon rhyme and meter.

While it is nice to have both abilities, calling one or the other to the forefront is not possible.  You could say my two minds have minds of their own.  When one is in control, he fights to retain it.  Unchecked, it would be a fight to the death.  Thankfully, that checking takes place deep within my core.  It is as if each mind knows it cannot survive without the other so they both refuse to deliver the coup de grâce.

Perhaps this all comes from my inability to choose one path over the other while growing up.  Most of us tend to migrate to a single interest.  After all, in is hard to devote time to being in the high school band and playing on the football team at the same time, one must choose.  This I could not do and choose instead to pursue my one interests in my own way.  I chose to develop a compartmentalized mind.

So now I am switched back and forth between my two minds, and yes, it is like throwing a switch.  I can stay in one mind for a long period or switch several times a day but I do not have control over the trigger; knowing just what the trigger is has escaped me.  It only becomes a problem when I need one mind for a task but have the other mind in control.  It is sort of like the student suffering through math when all they wish is to be in history – they can do the math, it’s just their mind is some other place.

All-in-all, I am happy with my two minds.  I just wish I could find a way to get them to play well with each other.  As it stands, they fight like children over a toy, shouting “Mine! Mine!” over and over.  When I was younger, the engineering mind won more often than not.  Now, it is the poetic mind that has the lion’s share.  Still, I do not wish to change or meld my two minds.  I am afraid both would be diminished by the process.  I’ll keep my time-shared brain the way it is and be happy with people thinking I’m just some sort of eccentric nut.

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Right Brain – Left Brain?

March 23, 2012

Left Brain/Right Brain Test

I have been told I am a smart man.  I remember in grade-school being given some test and it being “suggested” to my parents that they put me in a school that could challenge me.  I am very grateful they did not follow this advice.  School was very boring to me and I never studied, in hindsight that may not be such a bad thing.  I received good grades even without applying myself, as was pointed out to me time and time again.  I received some bad grades too, but that was due to my lack of caring to even try.

Now that is not to say I did not study, I studied and read all the time.  It was just on things that held my interest and not what someone else thought I should be working on, of course this led to problems.  I never could take the easy path.  I use to love reading the encyclopedia.  I do miss having a large gilded-edged set at my disposal.  Something is lost not having them around.

I have been asked often if I was a right brain or left brain person.  Right-brain people tend to be dreamers and artistically creative.  Left-brainers are technically astute and able to take on monumental tasks and get them done.  Given my nature, I sought to left-brain the matter and study the issue.  To that end, I have taken many tests to answer the question.

Both!  I use both ides of my brain equally well. Of course I know a few people that would say I don’t use my brain at all but that is another essay.  I am told that people are mostly one or the other but a rare few of us have a holistic method of thought.  The question is why, why is that so?  I have my mother to thank for it.  All those years ago had I been carted off to some school, I am sure I would be a left-brained, burned-out genius that was of little use to anyone. As it is, Mom took the time make sure I was exposed to all kinds of mental stimulation.  I can see both poetry and mathematics with equal value.  If fact, I see a sort of poetry in mathematics and sure see mathematics in poetry.

The interesting thing is I have met a few other people that are “both-brained,” and we do have one thing in common for sure – exposure to science and the arts at an early age.  Think of someone like Leonardo da Vinci, he mastered both.  It is my feeling that he would have not master either without both playing an important role in his early life.

We tend to think of life in terms of right and wrong, black and white with no gray.  Or right and left to put in terms more suited to the topic.  Absolutes in life are rare, hardly anything is 100% one way or the other.  We live in the gray. God gave us a brain, not half a brain, we need to use it all – right and left!  In the end, what would art be without science?  What would science be without art?  I do not know that answer but I do know it sure would be one boring world.

Have you a right-brain or a left-brain, it matters not.  What is important is to keep in mind a whole-bran requires both artistic and scientific input.  It requires and education in both.  It is something to think about for sure when the local school board seeks to cut funding for arts programs.

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