Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
Contact Us
Visit us on Facebook
The hemispheres of the brain correspond to chochma and bina

Right and Left Brain Activity

Right and Left Brain Activity

Intermediate Intermediate
E-mail
Right and Left Brain Activity
The hemispheres of the brain correspond to chochma and bina

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.

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.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
E-mail
1000 characters remaining
Email me when new comments are posted.
Sort By:
Discussion (8)
June 11, 2013
lefthandedness
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
jean-marie avril
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
kabbalaonline.org
June 4, 2013
great stuff I Always seek knowledge thk U People May G-d BLESS U all.
Gilbert Singh
March 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.
Anonymous
Centurion, South Africa
kabbalaonline.org
July 16, 2012
intution

gosh! lots of times i hear such an intuitive person. now i understand. will continue to learn. thanks.
michele ann garris-barlow
santa monica, ca
November 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/
Anonymous
mansfield, tx
September 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.
Ms. sherry cook
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.
Anonymous
NY
kabbalaonline.org
October 19, 2009
Right and Left Brained Activity
I'm a left handed , very right brained individual. I think in oictures , see the big picture..can park a car in no time because spatial awareness is better for lefties too. I write songs , play guitar intuitively , draw etc etc.

I really struggle getting into gemorrah ! Learning institutions seem so right brained that i have to start at the end and then find out how i got there.

How do left handed /Right brained thnikers learn in this environment other than conceptualy ?
David Dome
London, UK
kabbalaonline.org

The larger, bold text is the direct translation of the classic text source.

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse.

FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG