QC: Koan: If you were a butterfly, dreaming you were Chuang Tzu, dreaming you were a frog – what would happen to the butterfly if a princess kissed the frog?
Quirky Contemplations: Left-Brain Right-Brain Switch
Because my brain has a lifetime of associations and responds to triggers of circumstance through acquired experience, it’s not so easy to just switch from one mode of experiencing the universe to another. Generally speaking, here’s what my right brain has to offer: compassion, forgiveness, fluidity, relaxation, universal awareness, being in the moment, and perception of the whole. Generally speaking, here is what my left brain has to offer: organization, getting things done, attention to detail, discrimination, articulation, planning, motivation, and a pride of self. But what a web the left brain weaves, the way it puts up our guard and expects the worst. “Can’t fool me, I’ve seen this before.” How easily it is drawn into repetition, repetition, repetition. And the left brain is jealous, unlikely to give up control to the “inferior” half – the lazy, time-wasting right brain (left brain memo to right brain: “Just send your perceptions and let me decide what to use and what to discard.”)
I’d like a switch surgically implanted onto the top of my head, rather like a light switch that I could use to switch back and forth from my left to my right brain. “Left brain has done its job, you’re getting obsessive. Time to switch over to right brain nirvana.” Ideally, there could be a dimmer switch that I could use to fade out the desirable amount of left brain involvement. For example, I may desire enough left brain capacity for basic language or minimal problem solving. I think a timer would also be a good idea, so that if I set the switch to full right brain, a timer would automatically retrieve me to “normal” mode after the amount of time set on the timer went off. I’d prefer it did so gently, without the beeping of a kitchen timer. A gentle female voice, saying something like “Normalcy has been restored” would do nicely.
What if that brain switch became available, and I had one properly installed? Could I do it, just press the switch back and forth as situations required? Or would warring brain halves freeze my ability to make decisions. What’s worse, could people switch me into right brain mode in order to manipulate me. Say, I’m buying a car and the salesperson deftly switches me to right brain mode. “I love you man, here’s my checkbook. I trust you totally. Pick out a car and fill out the check.”
So maybe I’d need a cover for my right-left brain switch, perhaps with a special lock on it. But that would slow me down when I wanted to make the switch myself. Maybe I could have the surgeons implant a mechanism that only I knew how to manipulate to activate the switch. Of course, the switch would look weird. I’d have to wear a hat on top of my head – all the time. Maybe I could sport a forest of switch-hiding hair. Would that interfere with usage?
Someday someone will invent and engineer that left-right brain switch, fuse it straight into the corpus callosum. So it’s important that someone starts to ask the important questions now.
In the meantime, maybe I can improve flexibility of brain function by pretending I have a switch. If you see me scratching the top of my head I may be attempting to engage the imaginary switch. If I begin tapping my head, as if to try to re-engage disconnected internal wiring (that doesn’t exist), will someone kindly push my reset button? It’s located at the back of my head at the base of my skull. At least that’s where I think it is. Since I last hit reset, I no longer recall. What was I saying?