Over the past couple of years I have found myself increasingly interested in and drawn to subjects that relate to spiritual development and phenomena. However, during my time researching these subjects and talking to individuals about such matters, it has been brought to my attention time and time again how these topics are either disregarded as irrational and unscientific or often treated with ridicule.
As such, it has forced me to ask the question why it is that these topics are treated in this way and are not fully explored by the academic and scientific community, when there is such compelling scientific evidence suggesting that there might be more to the Universe than what the material scientific view offers? Why is it that we have created a society that is so opposed to the spiritual and the metaphysical, and which treats all related matters with reverent scepticism?
I would argue that the reason for this approach to such matters is because we have made fundamental scepticism and strict left-brained styles of thinking become the primary mode of thinking in the West. Now, there is nothing wrong with logical thinking and of course reason and logic are necessary in order to make decisions and come to conclusions. No one could deny such a thing. But what I would like to argue is that we have privileged this strict left-brained style of thinking over more feeling and open minded ways of understanding things and I believe that this has led to an unhealthy imbalance between our left brain and right brain.
Traditionally, the left side of the brain is commonly associated with logic, reason as well as analytical thought processes and is thought to be responsible for mathematical calculations. In contrast to this, the right side of the brain is commonly associated with creativity and emotion.
A number of scientific studies have shown that the brain is not as lateralised as it was once thought to be and separately the left and right brain are not necessarily responsible for either maths or creativity but the anatomical details of this are not to be discussed here. I have brought up this fact in order to make it clear that when I refer to the Left and Right side of the brain I use these names in more of a symbolic capacity to refer to two opposite ways of thinking. When I discuss left-brain thinking I am talking about a type of thinking that uses the brain rather than the heart, that concentrates on the material rather than the spiritual and that only goes by facts rather than intuition.
In recent years, efforts have been made by scientists and researchers such as Dr. Rupert Sheldrake and David Wilcock to bring scientific research into the public domain, that challenges the current scientific dogmatic views that most mainstream scientists hold to be true. One particular scientific dogma that they both challenge is that the Universe is purely made up of matter.
Sheldrake has done this by compiling a large body of research suggesting that phenomena such as telepathy, happens frequently in our daily lives. Similarly, Wilcock in his book The Source Field Investigations suggests that meditation has the power to alter the behaviour of society, as he reports that in one experiment it was found that 7000 people practising meditation in a room together had the power to reduce world terrorism by 72 per cent with all other variables ruled out. Furthermore, Dr. Masaru Emoto has done many experiments analysing the effects thoughts have on water and has found that positive thoughts can change the structure of the water, so when frozen the water crystals present beautiful geometric patterns. I cannot go into much detail of the evidence provided by Sheldrake, Wilcock and Emoto but if you wish to read more about their research you can click on the links here.
Their work indicates that consciousness is not the by-product of dead physical matter but of something else. What that something else is cannot be said with certainty but it brings me to the question that with evidence suggesting there is more to the Universe than what our five senses can ascertain, why as a society do we still cling to an understanding of the Universe that is limited and that does not account for the amazing discoveries made by scientists and researchers such as Sheldrake, Wilcock and Emoto?
Again, I believe it is because we have become trapped in this sceptical left-brained thinking where anything that cannot be measured by the five senses or cannot be found in the electromagnetic spectrum of visible light, is believed not to exist. Furthermore, the implications of such scientific discoveries gives rise to an understanding of the Universe that is spiritual and metaphysical – something that requires faith and faith cannot be brought about by logical or reasonable thinking. Faith and belief in a higher power require emotional and heart-felt thinking.
The idea that as individuals we would be healthier if we embraced a style of thinking that uses and acknowledges the heart is also supported by science. The Institute of HeartMath has found through their research that the connection between the brain and the heart is not just one way, i.e. the brain communicating with the heart but that the heart also communicates with the brain in a number of different ways. They explain: “we now have learned communication between the heart and the brain is actually a dynamic, ongoing, two-way dialogue, with each organ continuously influencing the other’s function”.
One of their key findings in the research that they conducted is that when an individual intentionally alters their emotional state through heart focus and experiences positive emotional states, neurological input from the heart to the brain is modified. Also, they found that “coherent heart rhythms lead to increased heart-brain synchronisation and significant cognitive performance”. Therefore, what I believe we can learn from this is that by striking a balance between these two organs, in that we acknowledge our heart and emotions as well as our head, we can come into a state of being that is open to exploring new ideas and not because they only logically seem right but because they feel right.
The balance of two extremes like the head and the heart or the left brain and right brain has also been seen to be healthy in a number of ancient traditions. Most notably, the ancient Chinese tradition has the concept of Yin and Yang, which relates to the healthy balance between two contradictory forces that complement each other. For example, Yin represents darkness, the moon, passivity, coldness and femininity whereas Yang represents light, the sun, action, fire and masculinity. This philosophy is central to a number of martial arts and Chinese herbal medicine practices. Similarly, the ancient Greeks had the philosophy of the Golden Mean which essentially was the idea that balance should be kept between two extremes, which philosophers such as Aristotle argued was crucial for creating harmony in the ideal state.
So my point is this. Right now we are facing a number of global problems such as the destruction of our ecosystem, poverty, famine, the corruption of politicians and corporate greed and the list goes on. Not only that, what we are spending on tackling humanitarian problems like world poverty is a fraction of the money we spend on the military. In 2012, global military expenditure came to $1.75 trillion whereas it was estimated that the cost of eradicating hunger, universal primary education, child mortality reduction and disease prevention would come to $120 billion annually. If ever there was evidence that we have become detached from our heart, this surely is it.
To create a brighter future for ourselves, I believe that we as individuals and as a society need to become more centred, more compassionate and more feeling in our thinking. We need to start exploring new alternatives and new ideas and need to refrain from brushing off such things as irrational or illogical. We as human beings have both a left and a right brain, a head and a heart, and I believe we need to acknowledge them both if we are to move forward and evolve. In everything, balance is key.
Do you have a way how we can help people engage in this way of thinking? If so please feel free to comment below, it would be great to start a dialogue around this!
8th September 2014
Arabella Lumley graduated from St Mary’s University College with a bachelor’s degree in English and History. She is an active researcher in the fields of politics, consciousness and science, meditation and ancient history. By bringing awareness through information, her goal is to help humanity understand the power within themselves and assist in the transition that is now occurring. You contact her on twitter.