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Right and Left Brain Activity
The hemispheres of the brain correspond to chochma and bina
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Right and Left Brain Activity

It is interesting to compare chochma and bina with the results of right brain and left brain research. Dr. Elmer Green of the Menninger Clinic at Topeka, Kansas, is a foremost scientist in this arena. He has noted that creativity is associated with right brain activity. The left brain activity must be quieted if we are to encourage creativity to come to the fore. The left brain is the rational cortex, developing logic, rationalizing, deducing, and judging and is akin to the function of bina.

The right brain tends to "see the whole picture". It draws on an "intuitive" response, providing inspiration and creativity that seems very close to the nature of chochma.

Bina…taps the chochma energy and puts it to good use….

In fact, Green developed a biofeedback process of training people to elicit theta waves, a sign that the left brain is relaxed, to allow the less defined processes of the right brain to work on a problem. It is conceivable that similar biofeedback techniques could be used to identify chochma and bina spiritual flows.

Within chochma lies the "soul" of the idea. Hence "right brain" people tend to see overall general problems rather than grappling with individual components. Some scientists and artists employ non-analytic approaches to solve problems. They walk, or meditate, or daydream, or even "sleep on it". This allows right brain activity to emerge - the infusion of a chochma flow.

Although it has become fashionable to call upon right brain activity as a solution to all problems, the truth is that both hemispheres are necessary for their respective capacities. Even the most creative people need discipline and dedication if they are to produce anything worthwhile. This derives from left brain activity.

Using a Kabbalistic point of reference, the sparks of chochma must be harnessed by the shaping quality of bina, which taps the chochma energy and puts it to good use. While bina is discipline and definition oriented, it is nevertheless a pathway to creative freedom. All too often creative geniuses remain undiscovered because they lack the capacity to tap creativity in a meaningful and expressive way.

Pablo Picasso mastered the mind-body flow to a point where the cubic shapes and juxtaposition of colors captured a dimension of the subject that would otherwise have remained hidden.

For celebrated violinist Yehudi Menuhin, the inanimate wood and strings became living extensions of his own limbs, heart, and soul. This synthesis of painter and canvas, maestro and instrument, is the result of repetitious and self-disciplined practice. Each of these creative geniuses harnessed the creative spark of chochma and nurtured it through discipline and practice through the bina flow.

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By Laibl Wolf   More articles...  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author
Rabbi Laibl Wolf of Melbourne, Australia, is a renowned mystic, author and speaker who lectures worldwide on Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism. His "daily meditations" and weekly essays can be found on laiblwolf.com.


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Latest Comments:
Posted: Dec 22, 2015
I strongly disagree with this left brain separation of parts in connection with the tree: bina is the right brain and chochma is the left brain, etc. I even find that this can be experienced through the research that has already been done regarding the fact that the right brain controls the left side of the body and vise versa. Thus bina (right) controls chessed and Netzach, and chokmah controls geburah and hod. The math is adding the fact to the nature of these anatomical n physiological actions in the waking and the restful states.
Posted By Markhu

Posted: Aug 5, 2015
Thanks so much Pamela. Nice to hear from you. Please email me on spiritgrow@laiblwolf.com
Posted By Laibl Wolf, E. St.Kilda

Posted: July 16, 2015
C Shinn
How wonderful to find Rabbi Wolf's work again! I still think back on our trip to Israel together in 1999 and your teachings. Showing me the benefits that come when these energies complement and work together is one of my most cherished lessons. Shalom.
Posted By Pamela Hawe, Siler City

Posted: June 11, 2013
What's the traditional Jewish and Kabbalistic view on lefthanded people. I know that formerly in Catholicism it wasn't great (lefthand = woman = devil) and in Islam greeting someone with the left hand is badly viewed as Moslems use their lefthand to do some hygienics
Posted By jean-marie avril, Cheltenham, United Kingdom
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Posted: June 4, 2013
great stuff I Always seek knowledge thk U People May G-d BLESS U all.
Posted By Gilbert Singh

Posted: Mar 29, 2013
Right &Left brain activity.
In my research I came to the conclusion that the left brain, so to say, break-up and analyze all incoming stimulus and the right brain put the bits and pieces the left brain produce together to give the picture that is needed for action. If there is no bits and pieces the right brain can work with, it will produce it's own building blocks needed for the picture. But the result is always related to the input stimulus. That is the problem we had with interpretation of Scripture. To overcome this lack we have to know the allegorical language Scripture is written in.
Your letters and explanations are of a great help in understanding Scripture more fully.
Posted By Anonymous, Centurion, South Africa
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Posted: July 16, 2012

gosh! lots of times i hear such an intuitive person. now i understand. will continue to learn. thanks.
Posted By michele ann garris-barlow, santa monica, ca

Posted: Nov 21, 2010
brain waves
how does all of this function with brain waves/ states of mind.. for instance i have theta waves off the chart... How are these brain waves play into the story/
Posted By Anonymous, mansfield, tx

Posted: Sep 18, 2010
I also am left handed and very creative. I am an interior designer and a master florist. When it comes to critical thinking, long meetings, people repeating themselves I almost crawl out of my skin. My brain feels as though it is a pinball machine constantly on. I have such a hard time focusing if I'm not creating.
Posted By Ms. sherry cook

Posted: July 14, 2010
Answer to David
Basically you have to discipline yourself.

It is much more enjoyable being creative, however for you to also have the benefit of your left brain you must shut down creativity for that period of time, just as the left brain person needs to shut down their left brain for creativity to flow.

Perhaps the easiest way is to remember that this world is not a function of creativity, it was not some genius looking to paint a picture etc. rather a place where G-d seeks harmony, so anything that leads to harmony is worthwhile, while as lofty as music and art may be, if it serves no one, then, well, it serves no one.
Posted By Anonymous, NY
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