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Mind Your Head Brain Training Book by Sue Stebbins and Carla Clark
by Sue Stebbins &
Carla Clark

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(Coral Lee/tr. by Scott Williams, SINORAMA Magazine©)

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Page 2

Ineffective thinking?

Almost 80% of the world's people have a more developed left brain. Why is this so? Professor Chen Lung-an, director of the Creative Thinking Educational Center at the Taipei Municipal Teachers' College, says that this is related to the superiority of the left brain in handling language and logical thinking. Chen cites the game of bridge as an example. He says that when you are about to play a card in bridge, your right brain goes running off in a thousand directions at once, thinking laterally. This sort of thinking is not appropriate to this situation, and the left brain takes over, assembling a logical train of thought. It sorts through the cards available, considers which has the greatest chance of winning the trick, what will happen if one's partner plays such and such a card, and what will happen if he does not, slowly tracing through the many possibilities to come up with a play. Similarly, in most of our thinking and learning in daily life, the left brain's speed and efficiency mean that the right brain often has no chance to do anything.

Other factors are also detrimental to right brain development. There are our years of utilitarian education, with its emphasis on mathematics, language, logic and analysis, and its tendency to ignore the arts, music and creativity. There are parental pressures to become doctors and lawyers and scientists rather than poets and artists. And there is the world itself, which requires us to do more left-brain thinking than right. Under these circumstances, our left brains become more and more developed while our right brains atrophy, metaphorically speaking, from under-use.

After Sperry discovered the right brain's capabilities, a number of Taiwanese in numerous different fields began to take note. For example, Chen Lung-an, whose academic research is in "creative thinking," has proposed a methodology for developing children's creativity. Chen stresses the utilization of imagination and lateral thinking, stating that this is a form of right-brain exercise. Meanwhile, some people in the commercial sphere advocate using breathing and meditation to change your moods or the direction of your thinking. Even cram schools have gotten into the act, taking advantage of the right brain's affinity for images by promoting the concept of "mind maps"-taking notes in a pictorial or diagrammatic format rather than the traditional line upon line of text.

Four major functions of the right brain

To enliven your right brain and increase your creativity, most people working in this field recommend bringing your feelings and imagination into play when observing and contemplating the physical world. But Shichida Makato stresses that in addition to utilizing the right brain's image processing and imaginative capabilities, we must also develop its memory and wave-generating functions.

In his book, Shichida writes that the right brain has a "high-speed, high-capacity memory" mechanism. He explains that the left brain turns data from the external world into language. This requires "sequential processing," wherein data is processed one bit at a time. It is a time-consuming activity. The right brain, on the other hand, processes information very quickly as images or pictures. The left and right brain also differ in the capacity of their memories, and the period of time for which information can be stored. According to Shichida Makato, the left brain is continuously dumping old information to make room for new, but right-brain memory is never deleted. He thus explains "photographic memory" as a right brain phenomenon.

A second function of the right brain is the combination of memory with imagination to produce "structures which transcend our personal experience and knowledge."

Chen Lung-an agrees that memory and creativity are intimately connected. In his view, creativity requires knowledge, experience and sufficient data. If you have a good memory, your mind will be able to provide you with an uninterrupted stream of data when you are trying to come up with something new.

According to Shichida, a third right-brain function is the production of waves which resonate with the universe.

He explains that brainwaves come in four varieties of respectively lower frequency-Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta waves. Beta waves are generated by the brains of adults when fully awake. Alpha waves are produced by the brains of young children. Theta waves are generated as we enter sleep and while we dream. Delta waves are produced in deep sleep.

"The universe broadcasts at 7.5 Hz, just at the border between Alpha and Theta waves. Through meditation people can maintain their brainwaves on the same frequency as the universe. In theory, they can thus make themselves receptive to the power of the universe." Shichida says that with repeated practice and training with images, one's perceptions may become sharper. One may develop stronger intuition and even more advanced capabilities such as the ability to see through solid objects, telepathy, telekinesis and ESP. The brains of embryos and infants produce waves of around 7.5 Hz. Therefore, the younger a child, the stronger his ESP.

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