One can compare the functions of the right and left hemispheres of the human brain to the writings of the Old and New Testaments. Just as the left hemisphere of the brain thinks in a linear fashion focusing on details and order pertaining to absolutes, the Old Testament gives us a detailed account of the laws man perceived were given by God in all their minuet detail, focusing on the letter of the law and following rules of absolute right and wrong. On the other hand the right hemisphere operates in a much more abstract way; it is where our intuitions and emotions lay, living in the here and now and perceiving the “whole picture” beyond the sum of it parts. In much the same way the New Testament portrays Jesus as encompassing the whole of the Old, while looking to the underlying intent of the “whole picture” which he sums up as “Loving your neighbor as yourself”.


For an individual to live a balanced life, one must live in a harmonious state with both the right and left hemispheres functioning together. Each part of the whole plays a vital role in the dance of life that makes up how we perceive reality. When one side dominates (usually the left) as is common in our modern, western civilization the well-being of our minds suffer. Balance of both hemispheres is essential to proper functionality and well-being, but in modern societies the left side tends to dominate instead of being in partnership with the right leading to a lack of harmony and sense of well-being. The same is also true for the mind/body balance, if the mind dominates the body both end up suffering which happens many times in fundamentalist religious mindsets where the desires of the body are seen as sinful and something that needs to be denied and put down by the ruling mind. To have true harmony one needs to live life in a state of mind/body unity and wholeness letting each work together in partnership.

2 Responses to “Harmony of the Hemispheres”

  • Sue:

    I think this is true – I’ve thought for years that the Old Testament was to give some framework for the coming of the Spirit, as well as the metaphors that Jesus could work with. But as we are moving into the realm of the Spirit, we will leave behind the law, and be able to move more into the right brain. However, even in that, the left brain is important to provide necessary reflection and structure. How do we know if something is of the Spirit? We test it – and that can be a left brain function.

  • Rose:

    Hi Sue,
    Thanks for taking time to comment. I think the key is balance, which doesn’t seem to be the norm in our western society. As the title of your blog so aptly says (Let’s Choose Joy) I feel that the only way to find real freedom in our lives is to “follow our bliss” which mean allowing our right hemispheres to emerge fully and work in harmony with the whole…then it seems like almost miraculously – Synchronicity Happens –

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