Human Brains: Windows of Lucidity -- Eric R. Pianka

Human Brains: Windows of Lucidity

© Eric R. Pianka

"If you were good enough, then what better reward than to be rolled up near the warmth
of the fire, nestled into the sweet plump convexity of a female buttock?"
-- Hooton (1946), Up from the Ape.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
-- Albert Einstein

The left and right sides of our brains communicate via the corpus callosum. Our conscious rational left brain appears to be much more limited than our subconscious right brain which is capable of pattern recognition and fast "unconscious intelligence" (Gladwell 2005, Isenman 1997, 2013). Gladwell (2005) calls this "thinking without thinking" and Isenman (1997, 2013) details several celebrated examples of insights gained from such intuition as described below.

Einstein treasured intuition over rational thought and considered conscience to be intuitive. He once said "To these elementary laws there leads no logical path, but only intuition, supported by being sympathetically in touch with experience" (Holton 1978). He also said "the universe is rational and our highest destiny is to ponder it and co-create its laws. . . . what seems impenetrable to us is as important as what is cut and dried, and . . . our faculties are dull and can only comprehend wisdom and serene beauty in crude forms, but the heart of man through intuition leads us to greater understanding of ourselves and the universe." Einstein had a reverence for all life and even for inanimate matter which he once referred to as "solidified energy." When he was a boy, Einstein contemplated riding a wave of light which image ultimately led to him to the theory of special relativity (Isenman 1997).

Another example of intuition in action was Mendeleev's dream showing him the periodic table of the elements which ultimately led to our understanding the structual principles of matter (Harmon 1984).

While contemplating atomic structure, August Kekule had his famous dream of six snakes grabbing each other by their tails which prompted his discovery of 6 carbon benzene ring (Rothenberg 1993).

Last updated 22 October 2014 by Eric R. Pianka