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Masculine & Feminine, Left- & Right-Brained Thinking Compared

An intentionally simplistic model of a complex topic

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Michael Haupt 

The following diagram represents schematically the complex polar opposites of two different views of the world, while simultaneously acknowledging recent neuroscience research that dismisses the simplistic misconceptions that the left hemisphere of the brain is hard-nosed, logical and male while the right hemisphere is dreamy, sensitive and female.

“Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful” — George Box

The hope is that this model falls into the useful category.

Summarised differences of left and right brain thinking.

Notable Quotations

“In general terms, the left hemisphere yields narrow, focused attention, mainly for the purpose of getting and feeding. The right hemisphere yields a broad, vigilant attention, the purpose of which appears to be awareness of signals from the surroundings, especially of other creatures, who are potential predators or potential mates, foes, or friends.” — Iain McGilchrist speaking about left vs. right brain in animals, quoted in The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World


“Direct causation (left brain) is dealing with a problem via direct action. Systemic causation (right brain) recognizes that many problems arise from the system they are in and must be dealt with via systemic causation.” — George Lakoff, Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley in Why Trump?


“Located in the left side of our brain is the masculine force. It is the part of us that is assertive, logical, analytical, doing, controlling, aggressive, striving, projecting, hard, organizing, rushing, thrusting, always pushing us to survive, and has its origin in our minds.

The right side of the brain is feminine or that which is creative, delicate, intuitive, nurturing, receptive, tender, surrendering, synthesizing, integrating, soft, feeling, and the part of us that “knows” without explanation. Its roots reach deep into the heart.

The feminine helps us to “be.” This form of energy softens the constant male-driven “doingness” of our lives, which has become part of our misguided and relentless efforts to survive in the material world.” From The Rising Feminine Energy.