CORE PROBLEMS: W/RIGHT - W/RITE FRAMING, TOOLS & HANDEDNESS
Whether our problems get solved and questions answered depends more on how each is framed and our conceptual and practical tools than on the problem itself. For having a problem isn't the problem. The problem is when a problem when we can no longer handle it : it becomes overwhelming, seemingly intractable and we find ourselves in a black hole. If we're lucky we call for outside help.
If we're unlucky the outside help also fails. This suggests that the problem is genuinely unsolvable or that the wrong tools are used. Which is the correct conclusion? The optimist will assume problems remain unsolved because the wrong framing tools are used, hinting at the following deeper core framing problems:
What's left when common-sense and trying to do the right thing, the right way, at the right time, in the right order and in the right place, fails? How about examining the bio-logic of what it means to be 'alright', right' or 'not right'!
To start at the (personhood) beginning, a child's developing brain has to learn how to interpret the utterance "right", which has four overlapping graphical representations: right, write, wright and rite. But how does a brain learn which right should be used when? An embodied thinking perspective considers the possibility that there might be a mis-match between the way the body orients itself and the brain is organized. This is particularly pertinent in the case of left, preferred left and latent / converted left handers.
- right-----opposite of left
- wright---indicating craftsmanship as in: arkwright ... kenwright ... playwright, and of course Mr Wright
- rite--------as in ritual
- write -----with a pen in the hand 'thinking' on paper- and its variants
Labels or tools?
One of the principal reasons why some questions remain unanswered and problems remain unsolved is because we're more concerned with the right label for the 'problem' and / or with sticking to well established ritual. We fail to ask which 'right' , metaphorical and literal tools we should be using:
- Tetrahedral pyramid
- Jig-saw puzzle
- Cusp catastrophe graph
- World-views : mind sets : explanatory schemas ; mental frameworks
- Pen and paper
unlike 'talking therapies' pen and paper is used as another key 'thinking tool'
represents a faceted model of the individual, where the physical, emotional, social and intellectual aspects of individuals are not regarded and treated as separate entities which may or may not intereact with each other for better or worse. The pyramid represents an integral entity which is either in harmony with itself and the world or it is not.
represents the fact that the problems we 'see', are often, the tip of greater and deeper problems which we fail through accident (ignorance) or design (vested interest), fail to acknowledge.
represents the fact that all parties to an interaction hold some of the pieces of the puzzling worlds in which we live. One task, then, is to lay out the pieces face up. Another is to allow the bigger picture to emerge through a progressive 'fitting-together' strategy.
represents the fact that when 'insight' occurs it occurs suddenly (catastrophically) by breaking through previously (and often unintetionally) created barriers. The cusp-catastrophe is only one of seven catastrophe surfaces dealt with by Rene Thom.
differences in world-view (mental set, explanatory schemas, mental framework) explains why experts working in the same field often disagree with each other. World-views determine what facts we seek, how we seek them; and what we accept as evidence and what we neither seek nor accept. The best general account of world-views in Pepper's World-Hypotheses: A Study in Evidence. Mary Douglas uses much the same analysis in her book How Institutions Think.
Right brain - left hand
Generally we don't talk about being two-brained (two-faced, perhaps!). Instead we label the two brains 'cerebral hemispheres'. This captures the fact that the whole brain, looking face on, has two parts -left hemisphere and right hemisphere. It is important to note this because, although the two parts interact with each other by a bridge (labelled 'corpus collosum'), the right brain 'controls' the left side or the body and the left brain the right side. So the left hander is in their right mind!
Why do we need to know this when dealing with for example offending, recidivism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, stuttering, depression, radicalisation and a host of other seemingly intractable problems? Well, if we're not to be left in a 'no-man's land' black hole, we need to acknowledge that it is the one brain that learns how to handle the conceptual and practical problems the world throws at us or it doesn't. One such key 'problem' in any literate society, is reading and writing with fluency.
Failure to confirm that the writing hand is matched to the wright brain inadvertently prolongs any permanent solution to an intractable problem.
Such a solution doesn't demand much expertise for how the brain is organized and orients itself can be spotted early on in childhood by noting, for example, which leg leads when climbing, then later, descending stairs; which the 'holding' hand when spinning round a vertical pole and which hand is being used when the child becomes agitated or frustrated when tackling new tasks.
However, because, we live in a world of Universal Human Rights there is an implicit bias for us to interact with everything the right way. even if one is left handed. It may not be obvious but we cannot assume that just because someone prefers to write with their right hand that they are using their adept hand. Nor indeed that the left hand is the adept hand when writing with the left hand!
Attending to the hand-brain link instead of debating which label to use for the presenting problem seems at best a distraction. Yet an indirect link between the thinking hand and the manipulating brain is indicative of a core body-mind problem. This is why the mismatch between the adept and the writing hand appears so frequently as a co-factor in so many presenting problems.
But first we should clarify some terminology relating to hand use by defining writing, adept, preferred and latent hand operationally.
- The writing hand is easily self-defined by noting which hand is used for writing.
- The adept hand is less easily noted, being the hand which is better able to read the mind's eye image with seemingly effortless ease. It is not necessarily the writing hand.
- The preferred hand is, as the name implies, the one we choose to regard as our 'right' hand
- The latent / converted hand is unknowingly or unwittingly writing with the non-adept
In summary latent / converterd handedness is indicative of someone out of harmony with themselves and therefore potentially out of harmony with the rest of the world as well.
Failure to eliminate a mismatch between the writing and the adept hand, as a co-factor in any presenting problem when conducting evaluations for psychological, educational, medico-legal or legal purposes, incurs heavy financial and emotional penalities, particularly for the education and the penal system. Its neglect results in ineffectual Personalised Education and Professional Development Programmes or making appropriate Reasonable Adjustments in the Work Place for Fitness-to-Work programmes. The greatest cost-savings are in respect of depression, dyslexia and recidivism.
The meta-question when trying to solve interpersonal and personal problems is:
"What constitutes necessary or sufficient evidence that the mis-match between the writing and the adept hand is NOT a co-factor causing or sustaining any presenting problem"
This question is seldom asked because we, not unnaturally, assume that everyone tries to do the right thing the right way. Why indeed would 'a brain' deliberately try to make life more difficult for itself and its owner than otherwise needs be?
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