frontal lobes consist three overall regions: precentral, premotor,
and prefrontal. The precentral, or motor cortex. sends kinesthetic
signals to the spinal cord. In front of this cortex are the supplementary
motor area, frontal eye fields, and Broca's area. "The supplementary
area is involved in programming and initiation of movement sequences;
frontal; eye fields participate in controlling eye movements; Broca's
area is involved in voluntary speech."1 There
is also the prefrontal cortex, which occupies about 30 percent of
the total cortex in humans. Altogether, the frontal lobes are where
higher human cognitive processes take place. Where we think, where we are attentive, where,
if anywhere, our conscience resides.
In 1880, the reknowned
French sculptor Auguste Rodin was awarded a commission to produce
the door for the Museum of Decorative Arts, in Paris. Thus he began
work on The Gates of Hell, a project--based on the "Inferno" section
of Dante's The Divine Comedy--that he never completed. But from this momumental sculpture
came many individual pieces, including the work for which Rodin
is most remembered, The Thinker, "a man capable of
thinking the world."2
approached hierarchically, it is understandable why the frontal
lobe would be reached last, as it is the most recent major lobe
whose functions we've begun to interpret. This is because most
of our biological knowledge is usually gained from maladies, and
frontal lobe dysfunction is not always readily accessible, as the
patient's intelligence is usually not compromised. Furthermore, as
the frontal lobes play a central role in the recovery of memories,
and anticipation, it was best to keep them out of the picture for
as long as possible in order to dampen the Hero's expectations
of a resolution, even though mnemonics and foresight were appropiated
By the first century,
a feminine divine archetype began to emerge in the works of Alexandrian
Jewish writers, principally in the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon.
A central component of the Hebrew godhead, she was Chokmah, "Wisdom." Better
known by her Greek name, Sophia, she is "the mother of the
gifts of wisdom and prophecy."3
The orbitomedial frontal cortex
projects back to many of the modules already traversed, serving "as
integrator and intermediary between limbic drive systems"4 that
initated this journey, as represented by the hippocampus,5 and,
in fact, it constitutes an intregal part of the limbic
loop, which, among other things, sorts and projects emotions.
In his Gates,
Rodin "stripped away the poet's synthesis of all transitory
elements and attached himself solely to the representation of the
world of feeling and passions of the human figure that Dante created."6 Like
The Thinker, Sophia's wisdom cannot be detached from the
corporeal, along with the transformative associations
that makes it whole.
(1) G.R. Taylor, The Natural History
of the Mind. New York, 1979. p.198.
(2) I. Jianou, Rodin. Paris, France, 1970. p.57.
(3) S.A. Hoeller, Jung and the Lost Gospels. Wheaton, IL., 1989. pp.66-67.
(4) L. Miller, Inner Natures: Brain, Self & Personality. New York,
5) See, W.J.H. Navta and V.B. Domesick, "Neural Associations of the Limbic
System." In, A. Beckman, Editor, The Neural Basis of Behavior.
New York, 1982. pp.175-206.
(6) J. Cladel, Rodin, The Man and His Art. London, England, 1917. p.267.