Is God in the Details?

Posted by on March 18, 2002

The left brain is your link to this physical world and the right brain is your link to the spiritual. It’s all very simple, really. It’s just a question of body and soul.

Sight, sound, touch and muscular control are housed in the brain’s left hemisphere and provide your soul’s connection to physical reality. Language is a left-brain function while intuition, romance and faith are located in your brain’s right hemisphere, that soulful world of the lovable but wordless beagle.

Just as a sentence is composed of words and each word is composed of letters, thoughts are composed of mental images that are likewise composed of tiny thought particles of shape, sound, color, texture, smell, taste, opinion and mood. Each of the left-brain “sensing” thought particles in a mental image will indicate a single characteristic of objective physical reality, while the right-brain “musterion*” particles each contribute a subjective message of hope, love, faith or confidence. When these right-brain particles carry a negative emotional charge, they become despair, anger, fear and vanity.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that your soul is merely an electrochemical manifestation located in your brain, although I do believe that the soul and the brain are obliquely connected. But just as a movie is bigger and more beautiful than the VHS tape that carries it, your soul is bigger and more beautiful than the nerve activity that gives it residence in this physical world. Yes, just as words are bigger than the tongue and lips that formed them, your soul is bigger than your brain.

So which is better, the detail-focused left brain or the big-picture focused right? Traditional wisdom tells us that “God is in the details,” but like most traditional wisdom, this old saying is more tradition than wisdom since it is equally true that “God is in the big picture.” But as with all dualities, the highest truth can be found by combining both extremes. Hence, “God is everywhere.” I think F. Scott Fitzgerald may have said it best when he said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

May you always have the ability to do so.

Roy H. Williams

* Musterion is the ancient Greek word for “anything that is completely and utterly real, but which cannot be sensed with any of the five senses.” A similar word in Latin is sacramentum. I know of no word for this concept in English.

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