Right and Left Brain Balance in Civilizations
The depths of life and Darwinian survival come to us from our feeling right brain. The vision-based neurology of our “silent” right brain has been the primary Darwinian survival mechanism of nearly all life forms (including humans) since the Cambrian Life Explosion.
The story of our species has been that of the development of our speech-based and thinking left brain. Our left brain enabled us to separate ourselves from the animals, and then enabled us to dominate all other life forms on the planet and to aggressively develop the planets resources to meet our needs and desires. Our strong grouping instincts, which fundamentally come from the depths of Darwinian survival since the Cambrian era, have been supported and nurtured by our thinking left brain group think. Current and past Civilizations use different strategies of incorporating left and right.
The accomplishments of our thinking left brain in species development are immense and they most essentially define the current existence our species. However, what should be the role of the right brain in our current guidance and the future of our species? Is participation by the Darwinian right side needed? Or, is the right brain guidance vestigial?......has it been superseded by the left brain? The grouping strategies of major Civilizations are quite different from one another. In particular, the differences between East and West include a large difference in orientation towards the right and left brains respectively.
Human history suggests that we need to incorporate the right brain in our group governance. The argument here is that the seeds for destruction of the Greco-Roman Empire were sown when democracy, it’s only real inclusion of the right brain, was lost when Julius Caesar eliminated it. Out of the ashes of the Dark Ages, Western Civilization emerged with both a God and with democracy restored. This suggests that we need to include the right brain in our group organization.
To the extent that the right brain must be involved in our future, Eastern and Islamic Civilizations are better organized and suited to incorporate the right brain. If our species encounters over-population with limited resources, they are much better poised for survival.
Right/Left Balance in Western Civilization
The success of Western Civilization at leading the future of our species will depend, at least in part, upon the extent to which the triumvirate of science, capitalism and democracy, with a dash of religion can meet the Life Drive that comes from our right brain. Is there an inner voice that needs to be better represented in our civilization in order to more truly meet the Life Drive? Has the left brain developed to the point that it has outgrown the need to include the right brain in guiding our civilization? Should formal religion play a larger role – or is the current role of “conscience” the correct one? These are difficult questions to answer.
Science has no direction or real guidance from the right brain. The Life Drive is not exercised in the scientific method nor does it influence scientific outcomes or advancements. The Life Drive is held in abeyance throughout the scientific method. However, as the arbiter of truth in our society, the outcomes of science often act in the role of the judiciary to answer factual questions in guiding our civilization.
It is difficult to find fault with or recommend altering science as a mainstay of Western Civilization. The application of scientific principles to the study of nature seems to clearly serve the collective good by providing us with valid answers and information about the world around us.
The role of science in Western Civilization is one of its greatest strengths; this role is probably ideal and should not be changed. However, science could help us design our future better by studying the human core, human motivation, and the optimal social methods of organizing humans for group success. In other words, science should study god and religion. This may help to answer some of the difficult questions regarding the optimal roles of the left and right brain functions in guiding our future.
As demonstrated by the fall of the Roman Empire, democracy is a necessary component of a civilization led by left brain reasoning.
Democracy, by its very nature, allows all individuals to participate in making group decisions. Democracy allows all people to participate in governance decisions and to caste their votes based upon the feeling of their right brain and/or upon their thoughts of the left brain. Democracy seems well designed to combine the inputs from our right brain Life Drive and from our human left brain.