Every scientist knows that the mind is divided almost like a cross, in four parts. The right side is divided in two parts, the front and the back; and the same is true about the left side. Whatever we have done to look into the mind, we have not found any way to determine what the purpose is of the back sides. They seem to be absolutely unnecessary. But nature never produces anything unnecessary. And particularly the brain is existence’s greatest creation; it will not contain unnecessary parts. The probability is that we have not yet discovered their functions.
When the researchers looked into the brain they found a strange thing: the right hand is connected with the left side of the brain and the left hand is connected with the right side of the brain. So when I am moving the right hand it is being directed by the left side of the brain.
The people who are born left-handed – and their number is not small; it is ten percent of the whole population – they are in a difficulty their whole life, because they are born in a right-handed society but with a left-handed personality. And nobody knows the deeper problems – neither the parents nor the teachers. They force left-handed children to write with the right hand, just as everybody else is doing, not with the left hand. They are not aware what they are telling the child; neither can the child say anything against them. He can see that everybody is writing with the right hand, and it is strange that he writes with the left hand. But because of continuous enforcement, he tries the right hand. It is not so easy, but continuous practice makes him capable of writing with the right hand. Only a very few people keep writing with their left hand. People who are left-handed and are writing with the right hand, are creating a great confusion in the mind.
The back of both sides of the brain, as far as we know, seems to be completely useless. But it is not. According to George Gurdjieff, who is the only one who has pointed out the fact, both of these back sides of the brain are a kind of robot. You learn something with the right hand; at first the front side of your left brain is active, but only in the process of learning. Once you have learned it, the front side delivers the learning to the back side. The back side is like a robot, or a computer. We don’t see any function, but it goes on working without our knowing.
For example in Africa, one tribe has been found to eat only one time in twenty-four hours, and they are perfectly healthy. When they saw the Christian missionaries they could not believe it – “What kind of idiots are these? Their whole concern is eating and eating and eating. First the breakfast, then the lunch, then the afternoon tea, then a coffee break. And it goes on!” Those simple people could not understand – what is the point?
And the people of this tribe live longer, they are healthier; they live twice as long. If the average person here lives seventy years, in that small tribe he will live one hundred forty years or one hundred fifty years very easily. And even at the age of one hundred fifty he is not old; that tribe has known only young people dying. At the age of one hundred fifty he is functionally as young as any young man at the age of thirty-five. But they have been habituated for millions of years to eating one meal a day.