Left and Right

Dominant side of body

Some other views of what it means to be left or right handed

The right and wrong

This is a description of left and right brain hemispheres

More information about brain hemispheres

We each have a side of our body and brain that we use more often and is dominant. So in the following descriptions you decide whether you are dominantly right or left. 

Dominant side of body: The dominant, confident, conscious, exterior or expressed side of self. In other words it is your capable and active self which if working well is creative and doing most of the work. It is the hand we reach out with most often and use it in touching, leading with and sensing.  Also it can indicate what we have been taught or absorbed about what is right or wrong. So correct social behaviour and morals.

  Example: My mother is an emotionally positive person. What she feels is right. She has no doubts about the rightness of what she feels. Thus she is able to display a social temper, angering shopkeepers etc, (who she feels, or thinks), have done her wrong.

Dreams also use a play on what is right and left to illustrate polarity or opposites: But if you are left handed you might need to reverse the description.

The right – The ‘right’ choice at the time; the moral, right action; your conscious known self. Your external world of activity and environment; a secondary choice.

Right arm or hand: If you are right handed this indicates your active outgoing self, your conscious and capable skills such as you express with this hand and arm. It is the part of you obvious to others and yourself, your strength or lack of it. Injury or malformation of this arm indicates inability to be creative and productive in the outer world. It shows problems regarding manifesting or making real, what you wish or will to do.

The Left – parts of self that are unconscious or shadowy; the immoral, selfish, wrong action. Your internal world of feelings, memories and values. See You Are a Dual Being

Left arm or hand: The left is those supportive qualities, those strengths and traits that express in daily life underlying and making possible the action of the right arm. In other words they are the loyalties, the care and strength of support, almost unconscious energy we put into what we do with our right hand and arm – our outer activities. The left arm is the qualities that support outer activities and relationships. In a certain way it represents confidence, the absence of which would undermine all the external things we would be trying to accomplish.

  Example: ‘On my right are three monks, on my left sits a beautiful, shapely blonde. I am in the centre and I see a road, which leads to the right and into a beautiful sunlit valley in the distance.’ From Dreams Your Magic Mirror by Elsie Sechrist, published by Cowles.

Here right and left represent not only choice between sexual pleasure and the dreamers sense of right and wrong, but also the polar opposites of inner life and materialism. Although in the dream there is a movement to the right, to find equilibrium we often have to take a way between the opposites, both of which are probably extremes.

Most of us interiorise our morals into our dream life. In other words, we take as a truth that what is important outwardly is also as important inwardly. So you are as upset by a dream as if it had actually happened in waking life. An example of this is a person who dreams their partner is having sex with another person. Such mistakes make us feel things that are ridiculous. This happens with the morals we live with, or by, and may be necessary in waking life, we try to make them fit to our much bigger and freer dream/inner life and that causes conflict because the two worlds are completely different. So right or wrong are very different in the different levels of our being. See Morals; Inner World

Some other views of what it means to be left or right handed

Left: If you are left handed, it suggests you have greater spatial sense, better intuitive sense and awareness of gestalts – i.e. arriving at meaning through putting together many small bits of information and feelings.

“In his book Right-Hand, Left-Hand, Chris McManus of University College London argues that the proportion of left-handers is increasing and left-handed people as a group have historically produced an above-average quota of high achievers. He says that left-handers’ brains are structured differently (in a way that increases their range of abilities) and the genes that determine left-handedness also govern development of the language centres of the brain.[29]

Writing in Scientific American, McManus states that, Studies in the U.K., U.S. and Australia have revealed that left-handed people differ from right-handers by only one IQ point, which is not noteworthy … Left-handers’ brains are structured differently from right-handers’ in ways that can allow them to process language, spatial relations and emotions in more diverse and potentially creative ways. Also, a slightly larger number of left-handers than right-handers are especially gifted in music and math. A study of musicians in professional orchestras found a significantly greater proportion of talented left-handers, even among those who played instruments that seem designed for right-handers, such as violins. Similarly, studies of adolescents who took tests to assess mathematical giftedness found many more left-handers in the population.

According to 2014 study right-handed people have higher cognitive skills, less behavioural and speech problems, less often have learning disabilities, and more often graduate their school. Quoted from Wikipedia

 Example: I felt completely in opposition to this, and grabbed his hand with my right hand, levering it off the torch. This woke me because I was in fact struggling with my own left-hand. I had hold of my left little finger, and was bending it backward viciously. This amused me because it was so obviously a personal conflict – a struggle between my left and right hands, between my more refined and less refined self.

Example: I have had a few wonderful dreams lately. Very short though. In one I was leaning over a person who was sitting. It was my left arm that dominated the dream (I am right handed). It was gold and glowing. The other I reached into a glass of pure clear water with purple petals through it and I felt pure joy.

Being right handed I found that my right side of my body has many more injuries of difficulties than my left side, and I feel this is because it faces and has to deal with more stress than my left side. I also felt that we unconsciously associate the different sides of our body with someone. I associate my right side of my body with my father and my left with my mother. Of course it could be anyone you are deeply rooted in.

To sum up – you may be more holistic, intuitive, aware of body language, synthesising, integrating, emotional, interpersonal, feeling-based, and kinaesthetic.

See Jill Bolte Taylors extraordinary experience when her usual ‘right handed’ personality was knocked out. See Interview with Jill Bolte Taylor.


The right and wrong

Most of us have been raised to believe in absolutes of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. We are taught that there is a wrong way of doing things and a right way, and if we get it wrong we will be sure to end up a failure. But dreams have no fixed sense of right and wrong, like a baby which lacks any awareness of having an ego, lacks any sense of time and concepts such as approval or disapproval, right and wrong, the infant lives in a paradise where there is no (concept of) time or death. Without time it lives in eternity, especially while in the womb. It feels itself not an individual but an undivided part of an immense ocean of sentience. It and the animals are one. There is no striving or working to gain survival, no pressure to sexual procreate.

Dreams often show us this aspect of human consciousness existing beyond the opposites such as good and bad, right and wrong. When we access this view and accept it, it gives tremendous liberation to the dreamer, freeing them from restricting rigid concepts or habits of thinking, responding and relating.

In meeting a ‘big’ man in his dreams, a man who was not afraid of death, he met his own undammed life, his flood of loving sexuality, the strength to burst through social rules and regulations because love or life pushes. When we find it in ourselves, in dreams we don’t give a hang about bullets, death, right or wrong, because we have a sense of our own integral existence within life, and our own rightness and place in eternity.

 Example: As I looked at my impressions and rising feelings, I saw how powerful has been the realisation that within ourselves we are nothing. That our real existence is formless and beyond conception. It is the realisation that frees us from the prisons of recrimination, of feelings of defeat, of ideas and words – even of constant failure. Being formless, there is no mood, no passion, no philosophy that can hold us. So we can slip away from the agony of guilt or self-judgment, we can laugh at the phantom of being right or wrong.

But it is a frightening realisation too. For it brings us to the realisation that nobody else creates the hell or heaven we experience life to be. Nobody else creates our love or smouldering vengefulness. We are alone in our creation. This is because if you were to say what a beach is, you could not say the sea was the beach, or the sky, or the land. None of them separately is the beach. The beach is the indefinable amalgam of them all. In just that way the Nothing is the indefinable everything that underlies the particulars of our life.

 Example: In a dream a young man saw himself walking up a dimly lit cobbled street. The street was going up a hill, and on the left was a pub with two young men standing outside. They were holding pint jugs of bitter, As the dreamer drew near them, one turned to the other, looking at his bitter, and said, ‘Shall I let him have it?’ Being encouraged, he threw the bitter over the dreamer. Naturally the dreamer was very annoyed, and tried to brush it off his overcoat. He wanted to retaliate, but felt himself no match for these two, who walked back into the pub. Someone with the dreamer said that there was a policeman at the top of the bill, why not tell him. So climbing the rest of the hill. and turning to the right, he found the policeman and told him. The policeman very officiously took out his notebook and asked whether there were any witnesses. There were, but the policeman maintained his air of doing only what he was forced to do by law, which upset the dreamer and he walked away.

In exploring his dream, the dreamer realised that to climb a hill in real life is not only to expend energy, to face a difficulty, but also, if successful. to benefit by seeing the view from the top. A hill, in fact, gives him a wider view of things. So in climbing the hill he faced the energetic task of widening his opinions, rising above narrow limited views, he gained in growing up. In fact, he was going through a period of finding new ideas and outlooks. The pub and young men, on the left, represent the pleasure loving, down to earth, rough and ready side of himself. Something on the left of us in a dream usually means that it is unknown, or little used.

The dream was saying these parts of him are not expressed much in life. This is quite true, as the man was a quiet, serious person, religious and somewhat introverted. The dream shows that his pleasure loving outgoing side, due to his quiet nature was drinking the bitters of life, and in fact, this stifled side of his nature causes him to feel bitter about himself. He tries to ‘brush this bitterness off’, rather like one might say, ‘I feel depressed, but I’ll soon overcome it.’ Due to his retiring temperament, he does not feel he can face these other parts of himself. In a similar way, a person who inwardly wished to be noticed, might through shyness, not even he able to converse. Thus two parts of oneself may war against each other.

The dream goes on to show the dreamer’s present conscious efforts to deal with the conflict leading to bitterness. The policeman is on the right, representing his more conscious attitudes. The policeman usually represents our sense of right and wrong, conscience and law-giving. So the dreamer, in his efforts to deal with his attack of bitterness, tries to use his morals, his sense of right and wrong. But this side of himself is shown as unsympathetic, only really worried about the rules, and the dreamer realises he will not be helped by that attitude. He has to find a wider view which includes the aspect of himself which includes both the good and the bad and finds a middle way.

This realisation might lead to going the way of the razors edge, which depicts any behaviour or attitudes that are one-sidedness and would lead to imbalance within the individual. But at the same time it is not about being perfect or a saint, but a balanced and whole human being with very wide choices. Walking it we balance between the opposites facing us. See The Mountain Path

“Environment is a tremendous thing in the world, and frequently shapes lives regardless. If one proves that theory, one makes room in heaven for all sorts of souls, notably an occasional street girl, who are not confidently expected to be there by many excellent people.” Stephen Crane

This is a description of left and right brain hemispheres

The left and right in the brain

The right and left hemispheres of the brain to generalise, if your approach to life is dominated by your left brain hemisphere, which is largely rational and analytical, your best way of learning would be in learning facts in a sequential and logical order.

If you are largely a right brain person your approach to learning would be to understand details by gaining an overall picture of what you are studying. The details then fit into this concept of the whole and make sense to you. You would also be more open to learning through your feelings and intuitions, and through hands on experience. You would be more about living in this present moment. It thinks in pictures and learn through experiences of our body. This explosion of information comes through our senses, and our right brain forms a picture informing us of this present moment. We are energy beings connected to each other through these amazing inputs.

The left brain experiences life completely differently, and it is almost like two different people living in one body. It sees things linked on a long line connecting our past with our future.

This side of the brain takes in the enormous pictures and experience of the present moment and reviews them in enormous detail and then categorises them, organises them, then protects them into the perceived future and forms an impression or picture of our immense possibilities.

Also it is what gives us identity and says, “I AM”.

More information about brain hemispheres

In a very real sense each of us have two distinct ways of relating to and perceiving the world and the people around us. This is because our brain is split into two hemispheres, and each hemisphere has very different ways of dealing with incoming information and its different abilities. But it has other divisions also. See Levels (Brain)

On a recent radio interview a man and woman were described who created lively musicals. The way they worked and how they were such an amazing team were discussed. The man would lie on a couch and let flow with ‘stream of consciousness’ ideas, and the woman would write down what was said, but pulling it into structure and careful use of appropriate language.

This is almost a direct expression of how the left and right brain lobes can work together if we can easily access their different abilities. In people with a healthy brain the two halves of the brain work like two people in a happy and creative partnership. Each of the partners can perform its own special tasks most of the time, but each is able to take on, partly or fully, the skills of the other when necessary. This may be necessary in people who have experienced brain damage.

Although research has not arrived at definite classifications of what the lobes of the brain deal with, in general they are as follows:


Left Right
LogicalAnalyticalSpeechQuantitativeFact BasedPlannedOrganisedDetailedSequential HolisticIntuitiveBody LanguageSynthesisingIntegratingEmotionalInterpersonalFeeling-BasedKinaesthetic

Although if we are healthy we are not dominated by just one side of the brain’s action, we nevertheless may be oriented to left or right, logical or intuitive.

In terms of creativity the left brain follows rules of logical thought and does not easily move beyond the boundaries of what is rational. Its talents are in organising, planning and sticking to the task in hand, and in rational analysis of facts rather than feelings and speculations.

The right brain follows a more holistic approach, gathering many diverse bits of information and experience and leaping beyond the obvious to arrive at an insight into the nature of the situation. Its talents are in being aware of body language, the feelings involved in a relationship or situation that are influencing it behind the scenes. It takes all our life experience and summarises it into a grand view of who we are, our life journey and place in the scheme of things. See Using Your IntuitionOpening to Life; Arm Circling Meditation.

In fact, this last aspects of the right brain gives us a clue as to what your ‘brain type’ is and how you approach life. The left brain subject will have a sense that their life is not part of a grand scheme of things, but is subject to the agreed and rational rules of the dominant science and social rules of their culture. The right brain subject will know from their inner awareness that their life is part of the way the cosmos works, and has emerged out of a timeless continuum carrying all ages of the past into their present existence.

Returning to the theme of creativity, in test carried out through the 1970’s and 80’s, subjects who were known to be creative were given tasks calling on non rational thinking. EEG’s of their brain activity showed the right brain flooded with electrical signals. Less creative subjects given the same task showed much less activity in their right brain lobe.

One researcher, Martindale, noted that we mostly associate efficient performance with the ability to focus attention and be highly ‘awake’. Martindale observed that brain activity during such times showed cortical arousal is linked to the ability to fo­cus attention. But he also saw that cre­ative subjects diffused their attention when performing creative tasks. They were able to shut down concentrated focussing and diffuse their attention at will. In this way they created a mental state that perhaps can be likened to listening, or what I have elsewhere called a ‘keyboard’ state of mind and body, in which they are open to any inflow or up flow of experience. Martindale noted that this un-focusing proc­ess, rather than dampening mental acuity, actually enhances it. See The Keyboard Condition

Connecting this with dreams, our night time drama tends to express these different facets of us in the different characters we meet. The following dream clearly shows a ‘right brain’ character bringing something to the dreamer’s attention that his usual left brain way of looking at life would probably have missed.

 Example: I was on a plane or a journey. On my right sat an American, very flabby, with a paunch. I was eating an apple, (I had been on a fruit fast during the day), and my elbow sometimes touched the American’s paunch, it felt lifeless, lacking vitality. I told him he ought to eat only apples for a while, and all the dead flesh would fall off him. Then a young Chinese man came to me and pointed out a line marked on my apple, on the green, less developed side. He said every apple had such a line if one looked, and under the line was a hair, “the hair of discontent.” He said this was poisonous, and best not eaten. I slid my fingernail under the line, and pulled out a long hair. I thought this was wonderful, and that I had been given real wisdom of the East. Ian R.

In fact, Ian was far from content with his life at the time, and it led him to look critically at other people. The wisdom from the East – the left brain global view of life – pointed out how poisonous this was.

Here is a dream illustrating a very different stand:

 Example: I was walking home at night under a magnificent starry sky. I thought perhaps this was the Milky Way, as I had never seen it before. But there were distinct edges to the massive concentrations of stars forming the shape of people. I felt very enthusiastic and uplifted by this sight and wanted other people to look at it. Then I seemed to be at home, perhaps where I used to live as a child, and my father was there. I told him about the figures and wanted him to look, but he seemed quite uninterested. I also felt somehow that he was locked into an intellectual cynicism that could see no wonder in the stars. To him they were simply random shapes in the sky. To me they expressed something that, perhaps, I would find it difficult to put into words, but nevertheless was very moving at a deep level. Heather R.

Heather uses her father to depict her more rational way of looking at the world. Nevertheless, the dream shows balance as Heather herself feels the impact of what she has seen.

As is often the way, the right brain tends to express in symbols, as it does in dreams, but it takes the focussed enquiry of the left brain to work like a detective to unravel the clues and bring the creative impulse into real clarity and fruition, something that wasn’t happening in Heather’s dream. Exploring the dream would provide the creative spark between the intuitive and the rational. See: Characters and People in Dreams for further description of dream characters; brain.

Idioms: Two left feet; keep on the right side of somebody; in one’s right mind; in the right; mister right; set somebody right; right hand man; right in the head; start on the right foot; give one’s right arm; the customer is always right; right away; bark up the wrong tree; get up on the wrong side of bed; push the right buttons; play my cards right; darn right; dead wrong; don’t get me wrong; don’t go wrong; heart is in the right place; you’re wrong; you’re in the wrong.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Do my dreams make reference to turning right or left?

Or are there mentions of left or right sides of my body?

Do I often feel a big difference between what is right and what it wrong?

Is there any suggestion of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in the dream?

Do you have a fixed idea of what is right and wrong?

Or do you have a more mobile view allowing you to make fewer judgements?


See Razors Edge – Acting on your dream – Ox Herding – Dream Yoga – Summing Up – Jesse Watkins Enlightenment – Identity and Dreams


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