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Sloww Sunday Newsletter 061 (May 16, 2021) — How Your Brain Works, Indigenous Wisdom, Polarity Thinking, & More
Sloww Sunday is a free newsletter delivering the latest from Sloww along with the most interesting modern knowledge and timeless wisdom I discovered last week.
To respect your time and attention, every newsletter can be read in under 5 minutes. Enjoy!
🌀🐇 Thank you to HighExistence for featuring Sloww in their newsletter last week, and welcome to all the new subscribers! I can count on one hand the newsletters I actually open and read each week. HighExistence’s “Down The Rabbit Hole” newsletter is one of the few—I’m guaranteed to learn something new with its blend of wisdom and wonder.
New Public Post:
It’s rare these days to come across a concept that doesn’t have a Wikipedia page yet is such a no-brainer that it makes you wonder, “How did I make it this far in life without knowing this?” Polarity thinking is one of those concepts. For almost 50 years, Barry Johnson has been sharing the wisdom of polarities and his set of principles. This post is an introductory summary of his work.
In Case You Missed It:
Polarity thinking is a key concept in human development models like Integral Theory and Ego Development Theory. Lately, I’ve been putting myself to the test. Learning is essential, but we eventually need to move beyond theory to practice—and eventually mastery. These Premium posts show my current self-assessments. And, you can copy/paste the posts into your favorite note-taking tool to conduct your own self-assessments as well!
🧠 A Brain Divided with Iain McGilchrist
(1h 45m | YouTube)
This podcast covers the latest thinking from renowned psychiatrist and author Dr. Iain McGilchrist. The discussion about the differences between the left and right hemispheres of the brain is endlessly fascinating. If this piques your interest, check out Sloww Sunday issues #51 and #53 for more brain hemisphere insights from McGilchrist and Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.
- Key Questions: Why is the brain divided down the middle? Why is the brain—and every neural network that we know of—asymmetrical?
- Main Hypothesis: There are two neuronal masses—with different reasons for existing and therefore different things they respond to—that can direct attention at the world.
- Right Brain Hemisphere (“The Master”): Your grasp of reality as it comes into being, broader attention, appreciates multiple views/possibilities, aware there are things it’s not aware of, the world is nuanced/implicit, interested in discovery/exploration, sees interconnections and uniqueness, sees things as flowing/animate
- Left Brain Hemisphere (“The Emissary”): Your mental ‘re-presented’ reality (via language), targeted attention, uncomfortable with uncertainty/ambivalence, doesn’t know what it doesn’t know, the world is known/explicit, interested in getting a precise/clear hold on an idea/thing, sees categories, sees things as fragmentary/isolated and frozen/inanimate
“You can’t have one without the other. We need them both … We need the left and the right, but we need the right to be in control … The master and the emissary are not equal. The master needs the emissary, and knows he needs the emissary. The emissary, being inferior, doesn’t know he needs the master. The emissary is good as long as he’s under the control of the master.” — Iain McGilchrist
🌎 Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change
(60 mins | YouTube)
I’m starting to explore Indigenous wisdom and ancestral knowledge. If you have any recommendations, please leave a comment and let me know. This particular talk is by Sherri Mitchell (Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset), author of Sacred Instructions. Her book shows a pathway of where we’ve been together and also creates a map of where we can go in the future—a way of life that’s lived in harmony with the rest of creation.
“You have permission to be all of who you are … We can’t become all of who we are in the world if we don’t heal the illusion of separation that has been ingrained within us.” — Sherri Mitchell
🤯 Mind Expanding
Mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring content has the power to shift your perspective in an instant.
A human has more in common with a fly than you may think. This screenshot is from the talk “The Uniqueness of Humans” by Robert Sapolsky, a researcher, author, and professor of biology, neurology & neurological sciences at Stanford.
It also reminds me of this: “All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly.” — Thomas Aquinas
💭 Deep Quote
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Have a beautiful week!
Solopreneur & Synthesizer, Sloww