A TEASING PARADOX
It was by mere chance that the terms 'Left' and 'Right' came to be applied to political allegiances of, in the one case, a progressive and, in the other, a reactionary or conservative bias. For it was the progressive party (Jacobin/Cordelier) that sat on the left of the chamber in the new French Assembly of October 1791, while the moderates (Girondists) sat on the right, following the political turmoil of the French Revolution. Thenceforth, as a result of this contingency, each successive progressive party the world over acquired the description 'left wing' and, conversely, each conservative party the description 'right wing'. We have lived with this habit for so long now that we tend to take it for granted, convinced that it reflects a logical, meaningful way of describing the antithetical parties. The thought that evolution, whether political or otherwise, may not be proceeding from the Right to the Left never really enters our heads, and we would be inclined to brand anyone who had the nerve to suggest, on the contrary, that political evolution proceeds from the Left to the Right as an ignoramus or, more likely, an idiot. Yet the curious fact of the matter is that, strictly speaking, evolution does indeed proceed in this latter fashion - not according to the chance arrangement of an historic division in the new French Assembly!
It isn't simply a matter of bringing a Nietzschean 'transvaluation of all values' to bear on the traditional viewpoint. For such a 'transvaluation' can only reasonably be applied to natural phenomena and their relationship to civilization as it is now constituted. A contingency doesn't permit of a transvaluation, and so we shan't attempt to turn the logic or, more correctly, illogicality of 'Left' applied to progressives and 'Right' applied to conservatives the correct way up. Instead, we shall simply reverse the descriptions, so that, for once, the progressive party are regarded as right wing and the conservative party, by contrast, as left. This merely as an experiment in logic, not as a recommendation for a revolution in our political thinking!
Why, then, have I come to this subversive decision? Because the brain, as currently constituted, is divisible into a left and a right compartment - the old brain or, in psychological terminology, subconscious mind being on the left, and the new brain/superconscious mind, by contrast, being on the right. Translated into physiological terms, this means that the old brain is located to the left of the new brain, not underneath it. Strictly speaking, there is no physiological entity corresponding to the ego, since it is a function of the brain, a spiritual attribute that arises from the latter's physiological workings, which also produce the independent attributes of subconscious and superconscious psychic functioning. Thus as spirit arises from matter, it is dependent on matter, and will remain so until transcendence is attained ... as the long-awaited goal of human evolution.
Now since evolutionary progress presupposes the gradual expansion of spirit towards its transcendent goal, it follows that the psyche's evolution proceeds from left to right, which is to say, from the subconscious to the superconscious via a continuously-modified ego which reflects, at any given point in time, the existing degree of consciousness, or the extent to which the one side of the psyche prevails over the other, in any individual. This degree of consciousness isn't only a personal affair, depending on the intellectual or spiritual potential inherited from one's parents, nor, for that matter, is it solely related to the cultural standards of the society into which one was born, but is also - and perhaps predominantly - a consequence of the environment in which one lives - the successive historical transformations from rural to urban via suburban and/or provincial engendering a corresponding shift in the psyche's constitution, so that consciousness will reflect either more or less superconscious influence according to the individual's environmental position, extended over many years, at any given time. With the rapid growth of urban environments, in recent centuries, we may note a more radical shift in consciousness from a kind of twilight balance between the subconscious and the superconscious to a light imbalance, so to speak, on the side of the latter, an imbalance which constitutes the psychic integrity of transcendental - as opposed to Christian - man. Thus a shift away from the old brain towards the new or, rather, deeper into the new brain ... is a principal characteristic of evolutionary progress at this juncture in time, and, as the former is on the left and the latter on the right, we may infer that, strictly speaking, political evolution also tends from left to right, reflecting, as it must, the psyche's evolution.
The fact that the old brain/subconscious mind is situated on the left and its antithesis on the right ... makes for a corresponding distinction between the left- and right-hand sides of one's face, most especially with reference to the eyes. The left eye, it will be observed, is usually somewhat gentler and even sleepier-looking than the right one, and in the morning, if you bother to scrutinize your face before washing, you will find that it usually contains more sleep than its neighbour, the reason being that it is closer to the subconscious and therefore more under subconscious domination during sleep. A factor which I have often observed in myself, and which I can only suppose common to others as well, is a predilection I have to sleep on my left side, so that consciousness slides down naturally into subconscious domination with the coming of sleep. When, by contrast, I have attempted to sleep on my right side ... the almost invariable consequence has been a nightmare, and this I can only suppose to be related to the fact that, in such a position, the subconscious is on top of the superconscious and, with the coming of sleep, tends to oppress one through its essentially active, negative characteristics. A reversal of this position doesn't necessarily prevent one from experiencing a nightmare, but it does at least guarantee that the subconscious, in being underneath, remains in a less oppressive context, thereby facilitating a more agreeable dream-life.
As to the right eye, the fact of its proximity to the superconscious guarantees it a more penetrating, lucid, aggressive appearance than the left one, an appearance which, as a rule, will be more marked the greater the intelligence of the individual concerned, that is to say, the more his particular psyche is under the sway of the superconscious, with its intellectual/spiritual bias. A poster I have of Lenin is particularly revealing of the distinction between the left and right eyes. For whereas the former is in shadow the latter stares fiercely out at one from a brightly-lit section of the face, almost menacing in its fixity. Men like Hitler, Dali, Baudelaire, and Nietzsche also provide conspicuous examples of the psyche's dichotomy, as reflected in facial appearance, and more than a few well-known politicians, including former American president Richard Nixon, have furnished convincing illustrations of this fact when photographed in a stern mood! It would be misguided, however, to equate this forceful stare in highly intelligent men with the evil eye of superstitious tradition. For it isn't the right eye but the left one which connects with the subconscious, and the only valid criterion for objectively assessing evil must pertain to the sensual, not to the spiritual! A penetrating right eye is no more evil than a highly intelligent mind.
Whether the distinction between the two eyes is sharp or blurred will, of course, depend on the psychic constitution of the individual, the vast majority of people probably not presenting the critical observer with very much contrast, and especially will this be true of people accustomed to a rural environment. A more marked contrast will only be observed, as a rule, among the most spiritually-evolved people who, now as before, constitute a minority of higher types. In the course of time, this distinction between the two eyes will doubtless spread to greater numbers of people, in response to social amelioration in educational and genetic contexts. Post-dualistic man will be aptly reflected in his facial bias - a bias corresponding to the stronger influence of the superconscious in his overall psychic integrity.
Before the discovery or perhaps I should say acknowledgement of the superconscious, psychologists were inclined to attribute positive characteristics to the subconscious in an attempt to explain away the psyche's positive predilections. Since, to their way of thinking, consciousness was simply something that sat atop the subconscious, it seemed perfectly feasible to attribute positive motivations to the latter, seeing that such motivations had to come from somewhere and, given that the subconscious was the only other known part of the psyche, so the psychologists reasoned they must come from there. Thus Freud and, following his example, Jung each endowed the subconscious with positive inclinations.
For my part, I contend that positivity, in the truest sense of that word, is the principal attribute of the superconscious and will generally - though not invariably - be found on the right-hand side of the psyche, which is to say, in the new brain. Positivity is not, as was formerly believed, an active thing but a decidedly passive phenomenon, like love, and corresponds to the spiritual life. Only negativity is active, since aligned with the sensual, and it is precisely this characteristic that should be associated with the subconscious. The proof of this, if it isn't already self-evident, lies in the fact that one's dreams are always active, and thus negative, whereas the experience of anyone who has expanded his consciousness through LSD, for example, will show that the contents of the superconscious, as revealed in this hallucinogenic way, are perfectly still, passive luminosities whose positivity fascinates the receptive consciousness. Thus an antithesis may be posited between the restless, active contents of one's subconscious mind, as experienced during sleep, and the tranquil, utterly passive contents of one's superconscious mind, as revealed through upward self-transcending synthetic stimulants like LSD, whilst awake. Aldous Huxley's mescaline experiments, as recorded in The Doors of Perception, provide quite conclusive proof of this matter and clearly point in the general direction that transcendental man is taking towards the millennial Superman, when equivalent artificially-induced upward self-transcending visionary experiences will become the social norm, shared by the vast majority of fellow-superhuman beings. If Aldous Huxley deserves to be especially remembered for anything, over the coming centuries, it must surely be for his experiments with synthetic stimulants, which arguably constitute the most interesting and enlightening side of his work. Hallucinogens like LSD may not be suitable to society as it is currently constituted, but they must surely presage a future applicability in response to the dictates of a more evolved psyche than generally exists at present.
I have contended that whereas the subconscious is active, the left eye, as the one nearest to the old brain, is relatively passive and sleepy-looking, which would seem, on the face of it, to be a contradiction in terms. Yet this is only so if one fails to perceive a contradiction within each part of the psyche, which corresponds to the mind/brain dichotomy. For whilst it is perfectly true to say that the subconscious is active during sleep, we cannot accredit it with anything like the same degree of activity during our waking hours, when the conscious mind takes over. Thus we needn't be surprised that the eye most under subconscious influence should be comparatively passive during the day, whereas the right eye reflects the visio-spatial/analytical activity of the superconscious or, at any rate, of its lower regions thereof, which correspond to the higher, logico-verbal regions of the subconscious. Admittedly, the eyes don't exclusively connect with that part of the cerebral cortex nearest to them. For they also cross-connect in the chiasma and thereby link-up with the opposite brain. But the distinction between the contradictory appearance of the left and right eyes in highly intelligent people confirms a bias reflecting the predominant influence of the nearest brain, whether old or new. The fact that the left side of the brain controls the body's right side, and, conversely, the right side of the brain the body's left side, does not invalidate this contention, since the eyes are arguably too close to the brain to be subject to the same rules as govern the physical body in general.
The converse of the intellect's conscious activity in the lower regions of the superconscious, however, is the utterly passive nature of the visionary contents of the upper regions of superconscious mind, as revealed by mind-expanding drugs, which tend to fade into post-visionary consciousness at the topmost level ... of mystical beatitude. Thus not only is there an antithesis between the active dream-world of the subconscious and the passive visionary world of the superconscious, but there is a parallel distinction within each part of the psyche between, on the one hand, active dream and passive thought, and, on the other hand, passive visionary experience and active intellectual behaviour, depending on whether one is in a state corresponding to sleep or to wakefulness. In a wider context, an active superconscious mind is paralleled by a slothful subconscious body, and, conversely, an active subconscious body normally presupposes a slothful superconscious mind. When the superconscious is passive, the subconscious comes awake, so to speak. And, similarly, a passive subconscious mind makes possible the true awakening of the superconscious in visionary experience. One might say, to extend this paradox, that the superconscious is only half-awake in visio-spatial/analytical activity, while the subconscious is only half-awake in logico-verbal/intellectual passivity. To come fully awake, the former needs the passive visionary experience encouraged by synthetic hallucinogens like LSD, whereas the latter needs the active dream behaviour of sleep. Let us therefore leave the matter with this teasing paradox: that whereas the subconscious only comes fully awake with the sleep of the superconscious, so the latter likewise only attains to full wakefulness with the sleep of the former. Our higher mind is generally only half awake. It will be our duty and privilege, in the future, to bring it fully awake, as we are transformed into Supermen.