Last Wednesday was the pilot launch of “Three Fork”, a cafe/bar that aims to stimulate “Free Thought”, conversation beyond the norm.
The plan: Three D’s
- Drinks 730pm
- Dinner 8pm (& TED Talk)
- Discussion 830pm
The night couldn’t have been more successful.
Over Drinks the nine people who were selectively and spontaneously invited about an hour before the event, informal introduced themselves standing/sitting around the bar.
Next everyone was encouraged to help themselves to the slow cooked lamb hotpot and take a seat to watch A Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor – a TV/TED Dinner:
Then started the best bit of the night: Discussions.
It started as a group – one person making a comment, then another adding to their thoughts. Sometimes in agreeance, sometimes in conflict, either way we bounced off each other to challenge and develop ideas.
A major theme was the tension between the left and the right sides of the brain, and the pattern of tension that one can see in politics, economics, spirituality, career and personality. Let me try to map out these patterns:
LEFT side of body/politics (right side of brain)
RIGHT side of body/politics (left side of brain)
Past and Future
Peace in ST; Violence in LT
Violence in ST; Peace in LT
As Jill described:
- the right side of the brain (controlling the left side of your body), sees everything as energy and connected
- the left side of the brain on the other hand (controlling the right side of your body), sees your body as a being made of matter that is separate from the entities and environment around it
I find it easier to think of the right side of the brain as Left and the left side as Right because of the pattern that I see in society:
- the right-brain-dominant people are often the artists, Collectivist, the Left of politics, seeing the connections, the spirituality of life itself, and the need to care for others and the planet;
- the left-brain-dominant are often the MBA’s running the world, Individualist, is the Right of politics, preferring religions that are about rules and books, seeing things as separate, different, numbers to be counted.
Today there seems to be a big disconnection between the Right and the Left, especially in the political sense. The Left in politics sees the Right as violent, materialistic, individualists to the cost of the wider society and environment. And the Right in politics sees the Left as hippy comms who are self-indulgent and without long term visions for security and realistic futures.
Of course this is terribly generalistic and simplified to the extreme, but a useful continuum of left to right, collectivist to individualist, goo to prickles, from which we can map the tensions and dynamics.
Alan Watts describes two personality types:
- the “Prickles” as those who see atoms, differences, and conflicts.
- the “Goo” as those who see waves, similarities and conformity.
While we may have a tendency toward being Gooey or Prickly, most of us are Prickly Goo and Gooey Prickles.
Another theme that I picked up on at Three Fork was a sense of the internal struggle between conformity and conflict that many of us seemed to share:
- a struggle to conform to material society, to be part of that culture which we have been born into and hence is a nature desire;
- the care for social justice and relationship to the environment which involves a certain amount of conflict, putting yourself on a ledge, sticking up for the good guy, standing up to the norm.
Many feel a disjunction between our cultural values and our humanitarian and environmental ones. Our concerns for our individual self, and our care for the collective other. I could hear a subtext loud and clear: a deep sense of knowing that some of the “Western” nation’s “wealth” has involved destructive material consequences for people of the “East” and people “Indigenous” to “our” lands.
I relate this disjunction to the Left and Right – the conformity being a tendency of over-emphasise on the collective (the right-brained / left-politics), and the conflict coming from over emphasis on the individual (the left-brained / right-politics).
Both the conflict seen by the left-side of the brain, and the conformity seen by the right-side, can cause violence or peace.
Future Three Forks:
- To occur once a month
- Starting time could come forward an hour
- Request $10 donations p.p. for food, and $2-3 per drink
- Record the audio so it can be shared as a podcast