Friday, November 14, 2008

Lefty or Righty?

look how fun right brain is!
(picture taken from here)

Faith

Faith is an island in the setting sun

But proof, yes

Proof is the bottom line for everyone

-Paul Simon, "Proof"-


This week I finished reading a book written by Michael X. Deli Carpini and Scott Keeter, "What American Knows About Politics and Why It Matters". However, the lines that caught my eyes were not anything related to the level of political knowledge as discussed in that book. Instead, the eye-catching lines are the ones that I quoted above.

I often joked about my brain capacity with Jj. We both realized that we possess different dominant part of brain. He, with his left brain is so good with numbers, data, analyctical skills, drawing conclusions from the facts, and I, with my right brain, has very strong intuition, artistic talents, and capability to read between the lines when things are blur. Yet, I am very weak with data reasoning. I'm hopeless with formulas and numbers. I have strong faith on many things, that is built through empirical reasoning, or merely intuition.

So, now, I'm at the flipside of my intellectual experience. Here I am NOW, a new student in a graduate study program. In this new world of mine, everything is justified with theory, data, evidence, numbers, statistics. Intuition is not something that is taught in the textbooks, nor in discussed in the class. While in this moment Jj is taking off to the world of right brain to balance his left one, I, am now crashing into the world of left brainers. Somehow I feel that it is like suicidal action to my identity.

After 29 years living within the formula of 75% strong basis of intuition and 25% of textbook theories for my survival potion, now I have to spread the "logical-rational" virus to my super-active right brain. Suppressing my right brain to influence less, while I feed my left brain with tons of supplements: of data reasoning, justifications. theories, cause-effect exercises, and the most horrible of all, restructuring my salient belief of many things. In positive way, I would say that I "improve" my salient belief, with "more reasonable" belief. The belief that derives from justifications of what the scholars said, no more merely from "what I feel is right".

If I have to explain the feeling, I just can say that I am overwhelmed. The two sides of my brain possess very strong "ego". I feel like now, for every decisions that I take, I will need "signed-and-stamped" consensus from both sides. In a way I also feel that gradually I lost my innocence. I lost my spontaneousity, and I feel that I build a huuuuugeeee wall around my right brain, limiting it from roaming, or day dreaming as much as before.

Today I'm writing this because I was shocked to find that I had no objection toward Paul Simon's "Proof". For years, my energizing anthem has been Jewel's "Intuition":


"Follow your heart, your intuition

It will lead you in the right direction

Let go of your mind,

Your intuition, is easy to find

Just follow your heart, baby"


Oh. It felt soo good to sing it in my sleepy early morning radio show....
By the way, some says that the right hemisphere of the brain is more emotionally-skilled, whereas the left is more cognitively-skilled. I, myself, used to follow the HEART (that, in my viewpoint, is the manifestation of the works of right brain), while left-brainers follow the (left) BRAIN.
However, I start to believe that a head is too weak to use without a heart anyway.
Wait... BELIEVE? In what basis?
Cognition or emotion?
Intuition of Information?
Proof or faith?
Oh no. Even now I can't tell whether it is my left, or right brain that's justifying it! :))

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