Reply To: Encounter in the Wild from an LH/RH Perspective

  • Don Salmon

    April 4, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Whit:

    A suggestion. Iain hasn’t really done any research – or much thinking – about how to relate his findings to practical matters.

    Les Fehmi used hemispheric research – VERY much along the lines of what Iain writes about – for 50+ years to help people with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and relationship problems AND to help with athletic skills.

    It rarely works out in practice to divide LH and RH so neatly. Fehmi spoke of 4 major modes of attention:

    Narrow detached

    Wide detached

    Narrow immersed

    Wide immersed

    Detached TENDS to be (not always) LH dominant, and immersed more RH. But in practice there’s dozens of variations and it takes a subtle level of experience to discern what is going on, which we aren’t even close to having the imaging technology to correlate with brain processes.

    If you want something to start with, just notice the difference between being caught up in a mental narrative and “coming to your sense.”

    Getting lost in the stories of our mind almost always involves a kind of partially detached, disconnected state of attention, whereas shifting attention to sensory experience frequently if not always gives more of a sense of immersion.

    The key is – don’t think about this. Look. When you “get it,” it’s so incredibly obvious you can’t imagine how it was ever confusing.

    But don’t complicate it either.

    1. Catch the detached way you’re attending to experience when you’ve just come out of being lost in thought.

    2. notice the difference from detachment to immersion when you suddenly pay attention to sounds in the environment. It’s SO striking when you get how different it is.

    For one thing, among many others, you’ll understand what it is about attention that leads us to believe in physicalism or materialism, and you’ll also see how it affects political orientation, as well as fundamentalist religion vs yogic or mystical religion. It affects our relationship to people, to music, nature, science, sports, entertainment, everything.