Left, Right, and Gut


Left Brain - Right Brain

This gorgeous left/right brain artwork has been floating around the Web for several months now. It’s apparently from an ad campaign by Mercedes-Benz, but the Benz logo has been creatively cropped out to just leave this sort of colorful infographic. Lately I’ve been thinking about creativity and intuition — left brain, right brain, and … gut.

I love what Seth Barnes says, “Life is complicated and busy and needs more parties. I think God loves them. I think heaven is a party. Parties let you switch off the left brain and open up your spirit.”

Daniel Pink has written provocatively about “Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future“:

“If the Industrial Age was built on people’s backs, and the Information Age on people’s left hemispheres, the Conceptual Age is being built on people’s right hemispheres. We’ve progressed from a society of farmers to a society of factory workers to a society of knowledge workers. And now we are progressing yet again – to a society of creators and empathizers, pattern-recognizers, and meaning-makers.”

I was recently reminded of this hilarious exchange between Stephen Colbert and President George W. Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Jump to 3:09 when Colbert explains how he and Bush are not “members of the Factinista” but rather go with their guts:

Ironically, there is research — in a book and in Scientific American — that seems to support Mr. Colbert’s comedic claim:

“An often-overlooked network of neurons lining our guts … is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it our ‘second brain.’ … The second brain contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system.”

What I find fascinating is that Michael Gershon, an expert in the nascent field of neurogastroenterology, says this: “The second brain doesn’t help with the great thought processes … religion, philosophy and poetry is left to the brain in the head.”

Why isn’t religion more intuitive? Why don’t we go with our gut more often than our head? Is it simply just another consequence of The Enlightenment? What is your gut telling you?


Bonus Points
One of the most creative people I’ve ever met, former Disney imagineer McNair Wilson, posted a great list of descriptions for both left and right brains — along with two more beautiful left/right brain images to go with the one posted above.

Here’s more right/left brain stuff from ChurchCrunch.



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Posted on 01-25-2012

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