The most striking discovery in Robert Ornstein's The Psychology of Consciousness was the relationship between contemporary scientific results and the wisdom of ancient cultures concerning the duality of nature. This link reassured my searching mind of the bridge between science and spirit. Added emphasis appears in red, and my reactions are enclosed in a box: (Note 108)

The polarity and the integration of these two modes of consciousness, the complementary workings of the intellect and intuition, underlie our highest achievements. Some persons, however, habitually prefer one mode over the other, for example, our pedagogue at the beginning of this chapter. The exclusively verbal, logical scientist manifests a similar dominance, often forgetting, or even denying, that he or she possesses another side. . . .

The preference for one mode represented a powerful block for the expression of intuition in the large. The preference for the rational gave little play to either intuition in the small or large, whereas a preference for intuition in the small would overshadow intuition in the large. As we worked together with these ideas in the classroom, I was more often guilty of the former, my wife of the latter.

This duality in human consciousness has long been recognized in other cultures. For instance, the Hopi Indians of the American Southwest distinguish the function of the two hands, one for writing, one for making music. The French words for law, that most linear and rational of human pursuits, is droit, which literally means "right." For the Mojave Indians, the left hand is the passive, maternal side of the person, the right, the active father. . . .

I learned about the contralateral wiring of the nervous system - the left side of the body is controlled by the right hemisphere and vice versa. The fact that cultures down through the ages recognized the left - right differences was more compelling than reams of scientific data. Ageless wisdom had revealed the deeper truth of our being.

The complementarity of these two modes of consciousness is a central consideration of this book, as they are manifest within each person, between different persons, within different disciplines . . . , and in the organization of cultures. . . . Following Bogen, I present one such table, but only for purposes of suggestion and clarification in an intuitive sort of way, not as a final categorical statement of the conception. . . .

The Two Modes of Consciousness: A Tentative Dichotomy

Who Proposed It!  
Many sources Day Night
Blackburn Intellectual Sensuous
Oppenheimer Time, History Eternity, Timelessness
Polanyi Explicit Tacit
Levy, Sperry Analytic Gestalt
Bogen Propositional Appositional
Lee Lineal Nonlineal
Luria Sequential Simultaneous
Semmes Focal Diffuse
I Ching The Creative: Heaven,
Masculine, Yang
The Receptive: Earth,
Feminine, Yin
Many sources Verbal Spatial
Many sources Intellectual Intuitive
Vedanta Buddhi Manas
Jung Causal Synchronicity
Bacon Argument Experience

From this and similar lists during the left - right popularization, I selected term pairs that clearly captured the dichotomy. I fashioned my favorites in a symbolic diagram of the brain with one term pair in each hemisphere. I used this visual to highlight the complementary nature of opposites in every course I taught.

Many different occupations and disciplines involve a concentration in one of the major modes of consciousness. Science and law are heavily involved in linearity, duration, and verbal logic. Crafts, the "mystical" disciplines, music, are more present-centered, aconceptual, intuitive. A complete human consciousness involves the polarity and integration of the two modes, as a complete day includes day and night. . . .

In The Art of Scientific Investigation, W.I.B. Beveridge stresses the need for the development of the intuitive side in scientists. He defines intuition in science as "a clarifying idea which comes suddenly to mind." Intuitive knowledge complements the normal, rational scientific knowledge, much as the paradigm change is the complement to the normal progress of scientific thought. . . .

The integrating complementary nature of the rational and intuitive ways of knowing became a standard theme in my classes. This evolved into a special topics course, Managerial Decision Making, that replaced my information systems teaching assignments.

In the writing of this book, I have had one vague idea after another at different times: on the beach, in the mountains, in discussion, even while writing. These intuitions are sparse images, . . . but they are never fully clear, and never satisfactory by themselves. . . . For me, it is only when the intellect has worked out a form for these glimpses that the intuition becomes of any use to others. It is the very linearity of a book that enables the writer to refine his own intuitions and clarify them, first to himself, and then, if possible, to the reader. . . .

This Self Discovery section came into being when my intuition could not express the meaning and origin of this site. Out of frustration, I organized my half formed intuitive impressions into an outline. The linear outline and the writing discipline clarified these ideas for me, and I hope, for the reader. I doubt many visitors will read this section. Whether they do does not matter. The work has already served its purpose by bringing coherence to the rest of the site.

The idea of the complementarity of two major modes of consciousness is hardly new. It antedates systems such as the I Ching and is found in many forms of philosophical, religious, and psychological endeavor. . . . What is new now is a recognition that these modes operate biologically as well as mentally and culturally. With a recognition of the biological basis of the dual specializations of consciousness, we may be able to redress the imbalance in science and in psychology.

Science was catching up with the wisdom of the ages. When the scientific and mystical minds realize they reveal the same core truths, we can heal the fractious splits in Western culture. But personal healing must come first since external antagonisms are reflections of an internal split where parts of us lie buried in our shadow.