Using Our Whole Brain with James Olson

For many years Olson has investigated the effects of brain perspective on government, corporate life, war, and our personal lives. Most of us have a predominant way of thinking. Either we use the left brain, which tends to be analytical and dualistic in its perspective. It looks at the parts. Or, we are predominantly right brain, which is holistic and relational. It seeks unity. These two different ways of seeing the world can be detected in the way we view politics, religion, war, and peace. Olson says we must “understand what the right brain sees and how it responds and what the left brain sees and how it responds. That is the only way we are going to be able to integrate these two forces. It is not just our brain; it is the mind and our ideas.” We need to ask ourselves if we are motivated by love or fear. The problem is not how each side of the brain responds to life, but how to integrate the best of both sides. (hosted by Michael Toms)

A former innovative farmer, James Olson, is a philosopher whose studies have included business, engineering, art, Eastern and Western religion, yoga, qigong, psychology, language, neuro-linguistic programming, sacred geometry, and brain science. For many years he’s investigated the effects of brain perspective on government, corporate life, war, and our personal lives. He’s the author of The Whole-Brain Path to Peace: The Role of Left- and Right-Brain Dominance in the Polarization and Reunification of America. To learn more about the work of James Olson go to

 Topics Explored in this Dialogue:

  • What are the different perspectives of the right and left sides of our brains
  • How can we tell when we are functioning in our right brain or our left brain
  • How can we integrate the best of both sides of our brain
  • What spiritual texts and teachers influence and guide Olson
  • How does left brain and right brain thinking affect our political process
  • What is the importance of intention
  • How does conflict start in the brain.
  • Why do we need to stop lying to ourselves

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Host: Michael Toms                 Interview Date: 1/30/2012                 Program Number: 3427

Music Playlist:

From Album:  Music from the film, The Meaning of Tea
Artist: Joel Douek & Eric Czar
1997 Quinland Road Music

Opening Essay: Track 14 Wu Wei
Music Break 1: Track 03 Tea, South Dakota
Music Break 2: Track 11 Tea Ceremony
Music Break 3: Track 13 Nantou Mist