Reply To: The Salience Network

  • Don Salmon

    June 8, 2023 at 2:20 pm

    Here’s another way of looking at how to relate to the idea of LH and RH.

    1. Different “selves” in us (different organizations of personality, often associated with quite different states of consciousness). Yogis, contemplatives around the world have always had profound knowledge of this (it’s implicit in Ayurveda and even more in Vedic astrology). But in the modern world, Pierre Janet was probably the first who brought this out (many look at that era, the late 1800s, and think it truly a shame that Freud came into prominence, rather than Janet, whose work has been far more strikingly confirmed by modern psychology and neuroscience than Freud’s – much of Milton Erickson’s work can be traced by to Janet – and another even lesser known figure of that era, Frederick H Myers, who’s writing inspired Irreducible Mind, Beyond Physicalism and Consciousness Unbound, the work of Ed Kelly and his extraordinary group of neuroscientists, philosophers, psychologists, etc)

    2. The heart brain (40,000 neurons surrounding the heart) and enteric nervous system or “gut brain” (100 million neurons), as well as the intelligence of EVERY cell in the body, all trillions of them (now that evolutionary neuroscientists realize that one celled organisms have astonishing levels of intelligence, even possibly the ability to consciously mutate, change their basic genetic material, in order to meet various challenges

    3. The upper and lower brain

    now, put that all together, with the fact that at every moment of our lives, BOTH hemispheres are ALWAYS functioning.

    Let’s say we’re in our work self. Some combination of the working of trillions of cells, the gut brain, heart brain, LH, RH, subcortical head brain, comes together to form one particular personality.

    Then we’re in our on-the-way-home-planning-to-watch-a-documentary-on-the-medieval French-Renaissance self.

    Then we get home and we’re in our -chuck-that-I’m-getting-some-beer-and-chips-and-watching-basketball self.

    If you want the neurophysiology of these selves, check out Dan Siegel’s Developing Mind.

    Dan has put together;

    LH/RH integration

    integration of our various selves

    memory integration

    upper/lower brain integration (and more recently integration of head, heart and gut brain, as well as the rest of the body)

    interpersonal integration

    transpirational integration (integration of mind, heart, body, interpersonal relationships and the whole universe

    and ALL of that is in relationship to pure Awareness, which is not situated in any area of the brain or body, but rather, brain, body, universe are all manifestations of that Awareness.

    And Dan’s a mainstream psychiatrist!

    And then we have the yogic understanding of vast subtle universes beyond the physical universe, and the transcendent reality beyond all universes, and that Divine Reality which includes and transcends all of that (God immanent and transcendent, the panentheistic view which Iain only vaguely hints at in the final chapters of his book)

    So take all of that, and compare that to the tool of simply talking about LH and RH. It’s a VERY useful tool, but if we make everything about that, it’s incredibly limited.