THE ZEN PRACTICE IS FAMILIAR WITH THE SECRET OF THE CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES
The scientific studies have revealed the fact that the left side of the brain usually controls logic, analysis, talking, and temporal function, while the right side has an intuitive, sensitive, spatial and holistic side, which does not use a linear type of knowledge, although the way one obtains this type of knowledge remains a mystery.
Thomas Hoover a researcher who compared the latest discoveries in neurology and the terms of the Japanese Zen, has synthesized this relationship in a highly suggestive way: “the hemisphere that knows, does not speak, and the hemisphere that speaks does not know”.
Although the two hemispheres work in an integrated manner, their functional ways have been defined according to a series of key words:
The neurobiologist and neurophysicist Marcel Kinsbourne, director of the Department of Behaviorist Neurology from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center of Waltham, Massachusetts proved that there are two types of emotional activity that are characteristic to the function of the brain.
He discovered that the two halves of the brain control quite different emotional states. Thus, the left hemisphere is responsible mainly for happiness and positive feelings, while the right hemisphere controls sadness, nostalgia and melancholy.
However, there are abnormal states of mind, in which case people with unbalanced hemisphere activity are highly merry, exalted and totally indifferent to their situation, or in the other case, they have a gloomy view of life, they are full of anger, guilt or despair.
Most people fluctuate between these two states, even in normal situations, but without reaching the extremes manifested by the subjects with their brain affected. This fluctuation is tiresome if we are not balanced and healthy.
According to one of Kinsbourne’s theories, the association of the left hemisphere with the optimistic and merry thoughts and of the right hemisphere with the sad, pessimistic thoughts leads us to the conclusion that this dualistic action of the brain was conceived in order to control our preferences (Pingala nadi) and aversions (Ida nadi).
The left hemisphere coordinates the things that we like, and it first focuses on the object or situation that is the cause – this corresponds to the active pattern that belongs to Pingala nadi.
In exchange, we try to avoid or get out of the situations that we cannot control or that we dislike, a situation in which we have the tendency to consider the picture in its whole (without focusing on the unpleasant thing itself).
This function is under the control of the right hemisphere and corresponds to the receptive, introverted way of perceiving things, all characteristic to Ida nadi.