Right-brain vs left-brain—everyone knows that theory has been thoroughly and utterly debunked by mainstream science. The gods of scientism have spoken and we mere mortals must bow down and toe the line. We have not entered into their high priesthood of the scientists, thus cannot understand and must… OBEY.
Here’s the way I see it; it’s possible that the brain is not physically lateralized such that the left side primarily deals with logical matters and the right side deals with creative matters. There are at least four reasons the “conclusions” of those experiments are meaningless.
There is a Difference Between Creative and Logical Thinking
John Cleese calls it the Open and Closed Modes of Thinking. Popular culture calls it Right Brain and Left Brain Thinking. Despite what one calls it, the fact remains that thinking logically and thinking creatively are different phenomena. A person thinking in closed-left-logical mode is not going to paint a masterpiece or write great music or make a great film. Similarly, someone thinking in open-right-creative mode is not going to do well balancing the accounting books or calculating retained premium for an insurance company or coming up with an experiment to “disprove” a known reality.
We don’t need to belabor the point anymore. It should be more than obvious that some activities require open-right-creative thinking while other activities require closed-left-logical thinking.
Some People Default to Creative (Right Brain) Thinking
I know this from personal experience within myself. It is much easier for me to think in a creative manner than a logical manner. This doesn’t mean that I can’t think in a logical manner, it just mean that when left to its own devices my mind enters the open-right-creative mode. People who default to the open-right-creative mode of thinking tend to view those who default to the closed-left-logical mode as dull, boring, tedious, and stiff.
I’m certainly not alone in this. People we tend to think of as “creative” all have minds that default to the open-right-creative mode. This is very beneficial to people who work in the arts, write fiction, make movies, compose music, etc. Why was Mozart such a genius of music? I would venture to argue that he was stuck in the open-right-creative mode most of the time. Many of the great creatives have spent their whole lives in that open-right-creative mode.
Some People Default to Logical (Left Brain) Thinking
Scientists, Engineers, Accountants and the like tend to have minds that default to the closed-left-logical mode of thinking. Again, it doesn’t mean they can’t think creatively, but they have to force their minds to move into the open-right-creative mode of thinking. People who default to the closed-left-logical mode of thinking tend to view those who default to the open-right-creative mode as undisciplined, ill mannered, flighty, and of lower intelligence.
Some left brain groups, especially scientists and engineers, like to think they operate in a combined logical-creative thinking model, but they are mistaking creativity with innovation—that’s a topic for a later blog. The latter is more a consequence of the closed-left-logical mode than it is of the open-right-creative mode.
“Inaccurate” Terms are Often Used to Describe Real Phenomena
Sunrise and sunset—we all know these terms are not “scientifically” accurate but we still use them every day. Our use of terms like that do not change the underlying reality, whatever that may be. So why are those stuck in the closed-left-logical mode so desperate to discredit the distinction between “right-brain” and “left-brain” thinking? It must me more than just saying “the terms used are inaccurate.”
I’m speaking anecdotally from personal experience here. Most people I know who are stuck in the closed-left-logical mode despise the very idea of creative thinking, and think it’s used as an excuse to justify laziness. What they fail to realize is the left-brain mode of working is not the only way to work.
For many left-brain thinkers, work takes place on a particular schedule, at a particular place—right brain thinkers tend to see work happening anywhere and at any time. To be fair to scientists, many of them understand that work need not happen on the strict left-brain schedule of time and place. At the same time, scientists tend to look down on people stuck in the right-brain mode as being dullards, who are incapable of understanding the complexities of their religion of scientism—I’m not being sarcastic here, and this is a topic for another post (or series of posts).
At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter if we call the distinct phenomena open mode, right-brain, or creative thinking as opposed to closed mode, left-brain, or logical thinking—there is a real difference and distinction between them. For me I will continue to use the terms open mode, right brain, creative thinking and closed mode, left brain, logical thinking interchangeable. If you dig deep enough you will find that, like many thinks the practitioners of Scientism prove/disprove, there’s another agenda altogether that explains the results of this “study.”
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Everyone needs a focus. I’ve toyed around with the idea of branching out into different genres, but have stayed pretty true to the thriller genre while playing around inside some of the subgenres. I’m very interested in branching out and doing some Science Fiction, and may do that later this year. When you write fiction and also want to maintain a blog the temptation is to focus on the craft of writing and offering advice … Continue reading