More ‘Being’ , Less ‘Doing’

by | Sep 3, 2019 | Lightfulness

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

Not so long ago I came across this quote in an article by Vince Gowman titled “The Right Brain Develops First~Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning.” While the author focuses on academic learning, his observations apply to a wider slice of life. He describes how the right brain develops by the time we are 3 or 4 but the left brain doesn’t fully come on line until the age of 7, and then continues:

“The right brain connects us to our boundless sense of being. Being is primary; hence the right brain developing first; hence, human being, not human doing…”

As a teacher, I’m often discussing how our energies are balanced (or not) between being and doing, intuitive and rational mind. My pet theory is that in this modern age, most of us are way out of balance, weighted heavily towards the rational, to the doing. No fault of our own really, it’s what is emphasized and valued in most sectors of society. When I ask students: “How much of your daily life is spent in rational mind?” The answer invariably veers towards ‘most of the time.’ When I follow up asking if a little more ‘being’ time would be helpful, the answer is invariably yes.

Thanks to Dr. Einstein for clarifying why it is that way (society,) and reminding us how valuable intuition really is-one doesn’t expect a theoretical physicist to be the one talking about ‘sacred’ intuition being a gift. Are we finally getting the message, is society changing in the right direction? Consider how mindfulness has risen in esteem in workplace cultures, one can certainly argue that that’s a step in the right direction. It’s also great to see how empathy is gaining distinction as an important leadership skill, and recognition that a person’s feelings (right brain) are directly going to impact results (left brain.)

Yet the ‘workplace mindfulness’ focus is almost always on the individual me, and rarely on the collective ‘we.’ Spending more time ‘being’ is great, yet if we wish for a society that honors the ‘gift,’ then I’d argue that we as a society needs to spend more time ‘being’ together. ‘Being’ as a strategy for self improvement might be fine, yet changing how society functions is going to require a lot more than that. In this age of climate emergency, less doing seems to be an imperative. Less producing and consuming as well.

Can we escape the prison of production, where value and self worth is judged and determined by productivity? How do we do that? Dr. Einstein gives us a clue: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

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