Two hemispheres of the brain and the Antahkaran

Questions and discussions from the Fourth Way groups.

Moderator: ADMIN2016

User avatar
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:30 pm
Group: Cheltenham
Location: Gloucestershire, UK

Two hemispheres of the brain and the Antahkaran

Postby Rumpelteazer » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:51 pm

This is an initial attempt to answer Gerald's question for O Group:
Gerald wrote:How does the well-established bilateral asymmetry of the brain relate to the Antahkaran?

From what I’ve read (mostly in Iain McGilchrist’s book, “The Master and His Emissary"), the two hemispheres of the brain are both involved in almost everything we do. But some functions tend to be concentrated in one or other of the hemispheres as follows:
  • Left – Looking at things in detail and analysing them into separate components, logical reasoning, language, mental arithmetic, optimism and pleasurable emotions.
  • Right – Seeing things as a whole, interpreting body language and intonation, understanding metaphor, processing visual and aural stimuli, creativity and understanding anything new, vigilance and arousal, depression, pessimism and negative emotions.
The Antahkaran seems to me to consist of those parts of the mind over which one might, with practice, learn to have some control. So it probably lives in the cortex – the part of the brain that we can (to some extent) observe. It comprises: Manas, Buddhi, Chitta and Ahamkar. Perhaps like the two hemispheres, almost everything involves all parts of the Antahkaran?

To try to work out how the parts of the Antahkaran relate to the two hemispheres, I’ve taken a specific example:
I am sitting outside on a hillside eating a sandwich, feeling happy and relaxed, and trying to keep the mind still. Just enjoying being aware of the taste of the sandwich and of all the countryside and sounds around. Something must be automatically processing the sounds and images, comparing against memory (Chitta). I think this is in the right hemisphere. Then something different is detected, Manas presents it to the left hemisphere and I feet a slight surge of energy in the body. Buddhi decides to look more closely – perhaps it’s an interesting bird. I pick up my binoculars, and suddenly, just for a moment, I ‘become’ a buzzard (Ahamkar). The left hemisphere identifies it, (using Chitta) and since I've seen plenty of buzzards before, I go back to my sandwich.

This time Manas reminds me of something I need to do when I return home and a whole train of imagination starts in the left hemisphere. There is a different “I” in control now (Ahamkar), and I suppose most of the ideas come from initially from Chitta. I’m not aware of Buddhi having chosen to allow this, but maybe it has.

This is interrupted by the sight of a dog galloping towards me. Manas alerted me (left hemisphere) and Buddhi decided to take the threat seriously. So something (in the right hemisphere) was still keeping a look-out despite the thoughts going round in my head. It could be a more primitive part of the brain – like an animal sensing a potential threat. There is a very slight feeling of tension, a mild kind of fear, in the body and I have now ‘become’ my body (Ahamkar). Does the dog want to bite me or is it after my sandwich? Something assesses this, presumably automatically comparing the dog's body language against memories of friendly and unfriendly dogs (Chitta?), and decides the dog is friendly and hungry, so I protect the rest of the sandwich. It is an almost instantaneous and entirely automatic reaction. It may come from the right hemisphere or possibly from lower levels in the brain.

I’m not quite sure what conclusions to draw from this, but some preliminary ideas are:
  • Manas works mainly in left hemisphere
  • Chitta mainly in right hemisphere
  • Does Buddhi sit in the middle – in the corpus callosum? McGilchrist explains that the corpus callosum has mainly an inhibiting function to prevent the hemispheres interfering with each other, but also allows communication between the hemispheres. Perhaps that’s how Buddhi works? Or is it that Buddhi is in one or other of the two hemispheres and it simply uses the corpus callosum to prevent the other hemisphere interfering?
  • It seems as though Ahamkar could be either – the buzzard seems more like right hemisphere, the “I” that took over from it was, I am sure, left hemisphere, and the feeling of being my body was probably right hemisphere.
I’m really not sure how much of this, if anything, is right, so it would be nice to have some comments and more ideas from others.

Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:04 pm

Re: Two hemispheres of the brain and the Antahkaran

Postby oipat » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:15 pm

Would it be true to say that any view of the brain by the mind in that brain is limited
like a knife trying to cut itself?
Might rather take it out on another knife at fencing
The black and white ,left and right of it are polarised (formatory?) As well as limited
Like maps or schematics of a body such as the blood , the nervous ,the skeletal systems etc all are from a subjective partial point of view-
the toe trunk tail of the elephant in still water for which our 3 dimensional perspective is a s limited as the water surface sections of the body passing thru it.

The automatic right brain mind sees space and form instantly as it is
The schooled miss educated mind sees associative thought, rote learning and linear thinking
The form in the sky is a buzzard or was it a hawk who knows?
Modality of the visual is a left-brain disease?

Pythagoras used right left brain within a geometric parameter in representation of formulae-
E G: left side =X squared plus Y squared =C squared--which plots a circle on coordinates etc
Plotting the formula opens the brains right side to the subject matter—computer graphics have a similar effect.

Left brain destroys spiritual practise?
Analysing and asking questions
Celebrating information input like the traditional educo gestalt "who’s a bright boy then" "there’s a clever chap” “genius uno”
Right brains freedom is made impossible by the very engagement and celebration of such a traditional gathering.

Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:25 am

Re: Two hemispheres of the brain and the Antahkaran

Postby Diogenes » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:09 am

Thank you for the absolutely brilliant YouTube link. Real food for thought in a nutshell.

Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:04 pm

Re: Two hemispheres of the brain and the Antahkaran

Postby oipat » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:08 pm ... 7c1b27d2b9

The above link illustrates the right brain appreciating calculus in 3 dimensional graphic

In school (for me) calculus was x to the power of 3 turning into 2 x to the power of 2
If you knew where and when to apply it you passed

Ouspensky said somewhere that we(adverge folk) are introduced to maths with out any real understanding of it.

Somewhere else he described the understanding of a ruble/russian penny as a reflection of our ignorance.
Not many people understand economics?
The enneagram glorification of the pi 142857 configuration is like scratching the dirt under the fingernail while missing the direction it points to?
Polarised left brain engrossment/engagement?

Return to “Fourth Way groups”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest