Left Brain, Writing, and Religion

Why the goddess was replaced by the aggressive sky gods

The advent of writing was a death sentence to feminine equality.

Before written literacy, creation stories were dominated by a goddess. Writing, a primarily left brain/right handed activity in men and women, set a course for aggressive patriarchal governance. It was inevitable.

The focused, tunnel-vision of right-handed writing dominance enlarged masculine importance and violence. By the written word humanity has subjugated itself to what history has shown us to be.

The hammer, whether held by a man or a woman inflects masculine traits through its writing—inevitably turning religion into a masculine dominated source of controls. Ultimately replacing the goddess creator with aggressive sky gods. It was as inevitable as handedness and the development of the alphabets.

“Writing involves the muscles of only one side of the body. Pure writing, using stylus, quill, pencil, or pen, engages the dominant hand, which the dominant hemisphere controls. Right-brain participation is markedly reduced. The left hand has no role during this activity. Evolution selected the dominant hand to be the aggressor, the hand that wields the club, swings the sword, and pulls the trigger. Placing the pen in the fighting hand etches aggression into the written word differentiating it from speech, which depends more on a bicameral cooperative effort.” — The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain

Clinging to a book written from the violent hand of a one sided mental framework will forever inspire male-dominated culture and religion. It may as well have been written with a hammer. No matter how soft the writing approached, it’s left brain subtleties are destined to put religious men above the rest. Forged [sic] solely of the masculine principle, the Bible is a trap both men and women who believe it is of god are cursed to remain in its grasp.

Danna Nolan Fewell stated that “the Bible, for the most part, is an alien text (to women), not written by women or with women in mind.” I would argue that it would’ve made little difference since the culprit is writing, not what or who wrote it with very little right brain input.

The left brain handles reading, writing, and calculations. Some call it the logical side of the brain. The right brain is more visual and deals in images more than words.

Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

30 thoughts on “Left Brain, Writing, and Religion”

  1. Poppycock. Left brain-right brain dichotomies have been debunked and you could have written the above substituting the left for the right and decry to dominance of left-handed people.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. I haven’t read the book, but I did address this in my own book based on some of the research I did. It’s definitely a “thing.” Considering getting the Kindle version as I have some accumulated “credits” related to delayed shipping options. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Grammar and laws are unique to the left brain. Abstract, they are the antithesis of spontaneity and intuition, and they inherently reinforce masculine principles. * The dreary record of the written law’s overt discrimination against the female gender, with the exception of very recent history, is testimony to the masculine bias of this innovation.

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  2. I read Leonard Shlain’s Art & Physics when it was released, and I loved it. His masculine-feminine dichotomy pales a bit. This is where Iain McGilchrist might come in handy.

    The left hemisphere (LH) is the controller of the instrument, from pencils to pickaxes. It is logical, in fact, hyper-logical, which is to say logical to a fault. It is responsible for symbols, hence words, but it’s merely a stenographer. The true thought of metaphor and poetry are right hemisphere (RH) functions, without which the left would have had formed no symbols. The LH knows no allusion or allegory. It just knows names and categories.

    Either poets are left-handed or they allow their RH to keep the LH in check. The LH is the part that needs metaphors explains—and art and music and jokes and other non-literal communication.

    In the end, Shlain gets it right—the right hand reaches; the left hand grasps. As above, so below.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Subtely is not a LH trait. Finesse resides in the domain of the RH.

        The RH is about segmentnig and atomising. It’s about categories and parts. It’s also about re-presentation. The RH is about the whole. It’s about Gestalt and presentation.

        The Christian Bible definitely suffers from LH limitations. First, the included chapters have been parsed to weed out the obvious contradiction. Then, the original language is parsed into Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and then into modern languages, like English.

        Many liberties are taken to select words to reinforce the mythos. So the word for ‘girl’ is swapped for ‘virgin’ because is makes for a more compellng narrative. Ands who knows why pomegranates in Eden were swapped for apples?

        The lord works in mysterious ways. 😂

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        1. I was alluding that it’s influence was subtle and unnoticed. Had it been noticed things might be different. Not that they ought to be though.
          Considering the tools we have to work with I think we’re right on track—over and over again.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Steve. You are both right and wrong. Psychology and pop psychology, a distinction that is almost unnecessary, had it all wrong. But after 20 years of research, psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist revisited the topic, and made cerebral bi-cameral hemispheric asymmetries the topic of the thesis for his second PhD. This time he leveraged neuroscience—big brother of psychology that I like to present as an analogic relationship between astronomy and astrology—to map the distinctions.

    He published his results in 2008 in The Master and His Emissary. In 2021, he followed this up with The Matter with things—3,000 pages, about 1,600 of content and the rest being notes and bibliographic support. Each of these contain many case studies with copious citations. I highly recommend reading these and in this order. I write about this at length on my blog, but rather than engage in shameless self-promotion, I’ll share instead a link to him discussing the topic in a 2-odd minute clip on his YouTube channel. He’s got hundreds of hours of material, so if you are interested, you can binge watch to get up to speed. Myself, I’ve watched dozens of hours already. (And check out my blog if it suits your fancy.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LH/RH? What is the point of this discussion? How does this pertain to the difference between theism and atheism? Is there any significance?
    I am asking as someone who sees no connection.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Written laws became a new and important feature of Western civilization at just the moment that the Babylonian Goddess suffered defeat and dismemberment. This peculiar pairing of events—the ascendancy of written laws and the decline of feminine power—can be traced to a feature unique to writing. Speech is a skill that toddlers master with delight and speed. Linguist Noam Chomsky has argued that humans are born with an innate ability to learn oral language. The complicated rules of syntax appear to be genetically encoded. Any mother can attest to her child’s amazing ability to string words together in their proper sequence, even though the toddler has never heard the sentences she effortlessly speaks. Young children learning to talk handle case endings, plurals, and pronouns with relative aplomb. But this ease does not extend to writing. Writing is not genetically encoded. No one writes as he speaks. Judging from the many tablets devoted to teaching it, grammar was a most tedious part of the curriculum in the first scribal schools and took years to master. It still is difficult. Small children can communicate effectively by the time they are four; lucid writing is an achievement high school English teachers seldom see. Forced to learn the rules of grammar, scribes introduced into culture a novel concept: the transcription of codes of human conduct, or The Law. For the unlettered, conduct is regulated by taboos that are acknowledged by everyone in the tribe. Elders and shamans pass down these conventions through oral teaching. Tribal mores discourage individuality; everyone is inextricably enmeshed in the community at large, and in general, violating a taboo brings misfortune on everyone. Breaking a law, however, singles out an individual. This significant distinction encourages individuality and ego development in literate societies. Customs organically grow with the maturing of a community; laws press down upon the people and can be initiated and manipulated by a privileged literate elite. Scribes transferred the authority previously vested in the shaman’s chanted spells to the written word. Now, an abstraction called a law was in effect even when no one of influence was present. Posted throughout the kingdom on stone stelae, these abstractions took on a life of their own, outliving the lawgivers themselves. Civil laws bear the unmistakable imprint of the rules of grammar. They are abstract, authoritative, and elude an ordinary individual’s ability to tamper with them. Grammar and laws are unique to the left brain. Abstract, they are the antithesis of spontaneity and intuition, and they inherently reinforce masculine principles. * The dreary record of the written law’s overt discrimination against the female gender, with the exception of very recent history, is testimony to the masculine bias of this innovation.”

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      1. I learned how to read and write, including all the basic rules, even as I learned to speak. By the time I got to school at age 5 I knew the alphabet, simple punctuation, word placement, etc. In English. I have never mastered a foreign language. What does that say about me?

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    2. From the perspective of brain hemispheres, whcih extends from handedness, the right hemisphere (RH) controls the left hand and the left hemisphere (LH) controls the right.

      RH is about perceiving the whole in a Gestalt manner. It is not concerned with parts. That’s delegated to LH. Religious and mystical experiences derive from RH. I’d posit that atheism is LH fare: logical and categorical. But I feel it’s important to note the there is a connexion between the logic of atheism and religion practice.

      Rote actions are LH behaviours. So whilst the religious experience of, say the Enlightenment of the Buddha is RH, the systematising that into, say, Commandments (I know I am mixing metapors here), is LH. LH is the domain of rules and laws. RH is about creativity.

      Gret artists, poets, musicians, shamans, and mystics are RH dominant. In the day, scientists were RH. Nowadays, most seem to have shifted to LH, which is not a good thing. I’ll share a YouTube short at the end that tells the story in under 60 seconds.

      RH is about forests. LH is about trees. Interpretting the difference is a Sorites challenge, but neither view is correct. In a nutsell, the forest can’t exist without the trees. And the trees cannot become a forrest without enough.

      But RH doesn’t see trees. It doesn’t even know trees. RH is not the province of words—only concepts. It views the mass of tree-objects as is it. This is a Zen concept, The forest just is.

      And this is where I come full circle to your question. When a person experiences religion, it is a feeling. Personally, I am an atheist. I’ve never been otherwise. I’ll spare you the story and the challenge of being so in a town where 70% of the poopulation where Roman Catholic, including most of my mates, most of whom took their religion pretty seriously.

      The religious experience of RH is not the religious practice and ritual of LH. Even Jung commented on this. I find religious PRACTICE to be a detriment to society, like a plague. However, this does not invalidate the religious EXPERIENCE. The religious experience is metaphorical. One can’t invalidate this experience anymore than one can invalidate someone’s emotional reaction to a work of literature, music, or art.

      If I tell someone claiming to feel the spirit of God within them, I can roll my eyes, but to attempot to invalidate it is to tell the person moved by an art piece that they are not. Or I can tell the person who is enraptured by some novel or poem that they can’t be. This is what the critical LH does.

      Just to end on a personal perhaps humorous level, if someone is enjoying themselves listening to some modern Country music or Hip Hop, two genres I can’t connect with any more than I can connet to Christianity, I can say it doesn’t resonnate with me. I can even say it sucks. What I can’t say is that they are not experiencing what they are experiencing. I can say that I don’t recognise or have the same experience, but I can’t say it’s invalid.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will say only this: whether I see trees or forest is usually about perspective — I see a forest until I enter it, then I see trees, because each tree is different from the ones around it.
        Being alive is pretty much the same. I can look at all living things and see the connections, the similarities that all living beings share. But when I pick up a kitten, and hear it purr, it becomes the center of my universe.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. For me, depending on how one defines reality, the true reality of the cosmos is NOT what we see as reality here on earth. Our sight/vision is severely limited by factors we find it hard to ignore… or explain!

            Liked by 2 people

  5. But gender ideology demands we accept there is no difference in the male/female brain and so this goddess/god thesis cannot have any merit whatsoever (regardless of which ‘hemisphere’ we associate with writing because… well, compelling physical evidence, which is ‘assigned’ of course by misogynistic – and probably white neo-colonial apologist – neuroscientists). And so if you don’t reject this thesis out of hand for this virtue signalling reason, you are a bigot and a hater and a card-carrying extreme right wing Trump supporter.

    There. All fixed for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly a right handed comment from you Tildeb. 😁 Still sharpening spears? So happy my right prefrontal cortex (a brain region associated with social cognition and identifying emotions) helps me understand sarcasm.
      But you’re right. Virtue signaling is purely a Republicans problem.

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      1. Oh, virtue signalling is certainly important at the political extremes but the left has taken it to new heights through the filter of social media.

        But look how dismissive is the ideology when applied to what I think is a very interesting thesis that cannot pass through the belief filter that supports it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Social(ism) media=Mayberry. It just doesn’t add up to any sort of reality. I think if I were to start editing the comment threads to make me look right would be wrong and people would leave. Why do they tolerate it on the big platforms?

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          1. Good question, Jim. For example, how many lead stories of legacy media talk about the ongoing Jane-was-here attacks and firebombings of pro-life offices? As of yesterday, there were 78. Imagine if, say, 10 abortion clinics were similarly attacked and bombed. I suspect it might lead the news cycle.

            I’m not saying anything about this particular issue; what I’m saying is that legacy media only seems to ‘report’ what fits a particular ideological narrative… on either side of the political divide… which plays only to these extremes rather than offer insight to the mass of moderates… again, moderates and small ‘l’ liberals who fill in the vast center across the so-called divide.

            I think Twitter is the central culprit here; the mob that dictates aimed outrage and the selection for a daily lynching and seems to suck up all the oxygen of legitimate news rooms.

            So when it comes to interesting theses like the one you’ve posted about, if it doesn’t fit an approved narrative, it is rejected and dismissed. Guess what loses? Yup, what’s true. But then, we’re told everyone is ‘allowed’ to have their own truth! Handy, that little gem.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. JAMES 5:14 KJV
    Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
    Contact if for more prayer and for deliverance elevationbaptistchurchprayerse@gmail.com

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