Chapter Two: The Riddle of the ‘Two Selves’
For some reason that no physiologist yet understands, human beings have two brains. Or rather, the brain they possess is ‘double’—almost as if a mirror had been placed down the middle.
What seems even odder is that the left half of the brain controls the right side of the body, and vice versa.
the left-brain person is a scientist, the right-brain an artist.
as soon as I began trying to turn my own intuitions and insights into words, I found I crushed them flat. Words seemed to be the enemy of insight.
Gradually, I got better at it. The left was slowly becoming more expert in turning the insights of the right into language. And sometimes, it did it so beautifully and economically that the right would get excited and say: ‘Yes, yes, that’s it!’, and the left would feel delighted with the compliment and do its job even better, until the two were co-operating like two tennis players spurring one another on to play more and more brilliantly. This is obviously the state that artists call inspiration.
The business of the left is to ‘cope’ with everyday problems. The business of the right is to deal with our inner-states and feelings.
And it also seems to be in charge of our energy supply. When I am feeling tense and overstretched, I only need to become absorbed in something to become aware that my energy-tanks are refilling. (absorbed in a book or a film)
The conscious mind thinks it is in control when it is really a mere puppet in the hands of a force far greater than itself.
Freud’s mistake lay in his assumption that, because the unconscious mind is so much more powerful than the conscious, it must be the real master. The ship is far more powerful than the captain; but the captain decides which way it will go; an elephant is more powerful than the boy who sits on its head; but the boy gives the orders.