December 19, 2010 §
blink by malcolm gladwell
i started reading blink by malcolm gladwell. the book indeed has something to say. it talks about how the first impression works, the power of subconscious mind. it uses different examples of various scenarios to show how our subconscious parallel-process a vast amount of data and information gathered from our senses to get to a conclusion which our conscious, organized brain may reach after a very long time, if it ever gets to it.
i only read the first chapter of the book and left it, because i think the power of the first impression will only last as long as it resides in our subconscious mind. i believe by analyzing and categorizing this ability in your conscious mind, you start losing the power. every time you see something, your start analyzing it in your conscious way, the end to this power comes when you also start analyzing your first impression results using your conscious mind. i mean it is good to know that we have such powers, but we don’t want to grant a lot of privilege to our conscious mind to give away the abilities of our subconscious mind. anyway…
i saw a very powerful and amazing speech by dr jill bolte taylor, a harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist, in ted in a similar context (at least in my opinion they are of the same nature). she talked about how left and right brain work and what the differences are between them. she has a stroke in her left brain and her right brain started to take over, and she described her stream of thoughts at the moment. first impression, according to its specifications, very well fits into the right brain way of functioning.
i found that the right brain vs. left brain functioning is very similar to introspective vs. extrospective religious beliefs. when you meditate you let your right brain takes over, when shamans talks about turning off the internal dialog, they talk about shutting down your left brain. when you pray or chant and you’re supposed to give all your attention and concentration to god, you are quieting down your left brain. when you whirl for hours as sufis do, you dismantle the left brain’s concentration gears. there are a lot of similar examples in different beliefs and you can map almost all of them in the same way. and it makes sense, because they are all about human beings as the same species all over the world.
now the question is, is it all physical? is there any spiritual aspect behind it? is there any unknown? why do the right brain and left brain differ in their functionality? this is the boundary between the spiritual and secular beliefs, where your knowledge stops. your left brain’s limit.