yin-yangThe polarities of the Tao (yin = feelings, yang = action) alternate between (–) and (+).

The feet are in south, rooted in mother earth (–); the head is in north, in the clouds (+). The left side of the body is feminine (–), the right side is masculine (+). The front of the body is (+), the back is (–). The left Achilles tendon is therefore a triple negative, from which it derives its name and its implied vulnerability (refer to the myth).

We have two hands and two hemispheres to our brains. The hands are the tools of the brain. The diagram of the homunculus by American neurologist Dr. Penfield (1891-1976) provides the proof.

In the illustration of the human body wrapped around the surface of the motor cortex, the motor control for the hand muscles, and for the thumb in particular, takes up a third of the brain’s surface.

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, victim of a serious cerebrovascular accident (CVA), or stroke, underwent eight years of rehabilitation and shares the fascinating experience of the two cerebral hemispheres in the book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.

Since we’re not free to go poking around in the brain to understand its nature and discover its mysterious powers, we’ll observe its workings through its manual manifestations and performance.

The brain is comprised of two hemispheres. The right cerebral hemisphere is the centre of the unconscious processes of a Yin (–) nature; the left cerebral hemisphere is the centre of the conscious processes of a Yang (+) nature. The connections between the two cerebral hemispheres and the two hands are crossed, so that the right hemisphere is linked with the left hand and the left hemisphere is linked with the right hand. Do not conclude from this that because you are left-handed, you are more right-brained than left-brained. The following test will classify you.

Are You Primary or Secondary?

Interlace the fingers of your two hands, comfortably and naturally.If the right thumb crosses over the left thumb, you are secondary, which means directly linked with the left hemisphere. If the left thumb crosses over the right thumb, you are primary and directly connected to the right hemisphere.

Characteristics of the secondary and primary:

In order to find balance, the intrinsically emotional nature of the secondary needs to develop its rational side.

The learning of the secondary occurs in a linear fashion, through the itemized breakdown and the analysis of data under the critical eye of reason. It’s the domain of the left hemisphere to separate, compare, examine from all angles, in order to make a judicious choice. The secondary questions, establishes, confirms, checks and double checks. He is the detective who observes, gathers evidence, examines it by the light of his good Cartesian sense and puts it in chronological order before drawing his conclusions. He is pragmatic, objective and conservative; he relies on concrete facts and mistrusts his imagination.

To sum up, the secondary is bound to become: traditional,rational, realistic, activeand puts ideas into motion.

In order to find balance, the fundamentally rational nature of the primary needs to integrate its emotions.

The learning of the primary occurs in a broad, sensory and subjective fashion. The right hemisphere uses metaphors and analogies; he sees the big picture at first glance, reads the non-verbal, senses moods and atmospheres, smells and tastes; he anticipates outcomes. He is perceptive and feels empathy and compassion for others, capacities born in the right frontal cortex. He is spontaneous, impressionable, dramatic, eccentric, creative, imaginative, exuberant, innovative and experiences strong emotions. He lives in the here-and-now, and relives in the present memories of the past, experiencing the same emotions as if they happened yesterday.

The primary is bound to become: unconventional, intuitive, imaginative, reactive, and has a great emotional sensitivity.

The ambidextrous who crosses effortlessly from one mode to the other integrates simultaneously the qualities of the primary and the secondary.

The Law of Balance and Complementarity

The two cerebral hemispheres are connected by the corpus callosum, which coordinates their actions and allows them to harmonize their different functions. The way the two hemispheres compliment each other is illustrated by the example of music. When we learn to read music and practice the scales, we call upon the left hemisphere. The right hemisphere comes into play when we play without a musical score or we improvise.

The police detective on a murder investigation relies as much on his sense of observation in collecting clues as in his intuition and imagination to track the killer. At the scene of the crime, he has to adjust his wavelength, “become” the murderer, get into the person’s skin to feel the passion that drove him to commit his crime.

Remember your first driving lessons and think of how you now drive almost automatically, without even thinking.

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