Someone has been reading my blog ...

It appears that some people have been reading my blog, because I recently received comments from three different readers. The counter had not been moving very quickly so I had imagined that all my visitors were in fact no more than google robots.

Just to keep you, and the robots, posted then, about what I am thinking about: I had an interesting conversation today with an American academic about a number of things. One thing that sticks with me is what he said about the corpus colossum and communication between left and right brain.

What I know on the subject is a kind of hotch-potch of information from my PGCE (right brain, left brain, 'brain gym', etc) and magazine articles about how men and women are different.

Today, however, we were speculating about whether there are fewer people (and specifically men) around these days who can exploit the full potential of both sides of their brains; or rather whether they can think effectively with both sides at once ... It struck me that if the ability to think with both sides of the brain were in fact a symptom of mental agility and even intellectual plenitude of some kind, then we are much the poorer for not having artistic scientists and novelists who still remember their algebra.

We mused that the Greek and later medieval notions of the Trivium and Quadrivium adressed this issue well, expecting the intellectually mature man to have mastered all seven of the liberal arts: spanning from astronomy and geometry to music and rhetoric.

The nasty part of all this is that bad our intellectual habits, our forgetfulness and our laziness are not just psychological handicaps, but actually scar the brain for life. Just as a physically inactive man runs to fat and becomes less active as he becomes more sluggish; so too, it would seem does a bad education change the function of the brain so that we veer to using one side or the other more than we should, and have a diminishing ability to connect the insights of both sides into a unified and balanced cognitive process.

All this talk of right brain and left brain leads me to believe that the ideal man - one who strives for 'life and life in all its fulness' - should seek to use all the mental faculties that God gave him in as perfect a unity as possible. This is what I understand must have happened to our Lord when he returned to the care of his parents in Nazareth (after the finding in the Temple) and grew in wisdom and stature in the sight of God and men.


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