Modern physics clearly points out that we live in a universe where space and time may be stubborn illusions. The intriguing question is: How did mystics who lived more than 2,000 years ago come to the same conclusions without the aid of scientific instruments or advanced mathematics? Is there really a timeless and spaceless sphere that we can access here and now by merely altering processes in the human brain? This book aims to answer this question.
Also by Jay Alfred: Between the Moon and the Earth and Our Invisible Bodies
Right vs. Left Brain
Our brain, like many other parts of our anatomy, is made up of two halves, a left brain and a right brain. They are connected to each other by a thick cable of nerves at the base of each brain, called the corpus callosum. It is analogous to a cable or network connection between two incredibly fast and immensely powerful computers, each running a different program to process basically the same input. When Roger Sperry severed the corpus callosum in the sixties, which connected the left and right brains, he was stunned by the fact that his ‘split-brain’ patients behaved as if they had two minds and two persons in one body!
He found that the patient could name an object but could not explain what it was used for when the object was shown only to the right eye (the left ‘verbal’ brain processes data from the right visual field). When shown to the left eye (the right ‘non-verbal’ brain processes data from the left visual field), the patient could explain and demonstrate its use, but could not name it. Roger Sperry received the 1981 Nobel Prize for his work in this area. It appears that when a normal person names an object and explains its purpose, both halves or hemispheres of the brain, which are connected by the corpus callosum, participate in this final conclusion.
Split-brain vs. Normal People
Split-brain studies imply but do not prove that ordinary people have two minds. However, there is abundant scientific evidence that demonstrates the relevance of split-brain findings for ordinary people with intact brains. In split-brain patients the left brain uses different strategies from the right brain.
Scientists have found that ordinary people have the same differences in cognitive abilities between sides as split-brain patients. If an ordinary per-son is seated in front of a screen and asked to look forward and an object is flashed very briefly to his right side (i.e. his left brain), he will respond faster and more accurately if the task involves language. If you flash a spatial task, for example, asking the subject to identify if a dot is within a circle, he will perform better when flashed on his left side (or to the right brain).
Ordinary people are also shown to be better at seeing the overall picture if an image is flashed to the right brain. These studies and others involving hearing through the left and right ears have been repeated many hundreds of times in ordinary people, and the findings are consistently similar to those in split-brain patients. The findings mean that the cognitive abilities of the left and right brains of split-brain patients are similar to those of ordinary people.
PET scans show that even when normal people (with intact brains) talk, the blood-flow pattern changes in their brains, and there’s more activity in the left brain than in the right. When they imagine space, the pattern reverses. One study on occupational preferences in cognitive styles showed that those who declared English as a major had a greater blood flow in the left brain (the verbal brain); whereas those who majored in architecture had a correspondingly higher level in the right brain.