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Brain and Memory

Sep 13, 1994 10:25 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

The discussion about experiments with the brain (which I only saw
the end of, alas) reminds me of a report on NPR not long ago.
The experimenters had subjects who had gone through traumatic
experiences, and interviewed them about it while the subjects
were under the influence of a drug which "paralyzes" one side of
the brain.  (This can't be quite right, as the consequences would
be disastrous, but must refer to some sort of localized
suppression of function.) I heard a man who had been in a serious
car crash.  When his right brain was suppressed, and they asked
him how he felt at the time of the crash, he said "I felt silly.
I was so embarrassed to have done something so stupid." When the
left brain was suppressed he answered the same question with "I
was terrified.  I didn't know if I was alive or dead."

What this implies is that the hemispheres correspond to what
Gurdjieff calls "essence" and "false personality." That is, the
embarrassed feelings were socially acquired and not innate,
whereas the terror was vice versa.

For what it's worth.  Also, a comment on Eldon's material on
emanation as related to the emergence of character traits in the
course of a life.  Astrology makes a distinction between levels
of talent or ability.  A trine signifies something that is fully
operational, a solidly earned trait.  A sextile on the other hand
indicates a possibility which can be developed, a talent which
can be expressed, but not something so deeply rooted in the
personality as to emerge without favorable conditions.

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