'The master and his emissary' and 'The matter with things' by Iain McGilchrist.

genero81

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“In this book certainty has certainly not been my aim. I am not so much worried by the aspects that remain unclear, as by those which appear to be clarified, since that almost certainly means a failure to see clearly. I share Wittgenstein’s mistrust of deceptively clear models: and, as Waismann said, ‘any psychological explanation is ambiguous, cryptic and open-ended, for we ourselves are many-layered, contradictory and incomplete beings, and this complicated structure, which fades away into indeterminacy, is passed on to all our actions.’ 105

I am also sympathetic to those who think that sounds like a cop-out. But I do think that things as they exist in practice in the real world, rather than as they exist in theory in our re presentations, are likely to be intrinsically resistant to precision and clarification. That is not our failure, but an indication of the nature of what we are dealing with. That does not mean we should give up the attempt. It is the striving that enables us to achieve a better understanding, but only as long as it is imbued with a tactful recognition of the limits to human understanding. The rest is hubris. 106

If it could eventually be shown definitively that the two major ways, not just of thinking, but of being in the world, are not related to the two cerebral hemispheres, I would be surprised, but not unhappy. Ultimately what I have tried to point to is that the apparently separate ‘functions’ in each hemisphere fit together intelligently to form in each case a single coherent entity; that there are, not just currents here and there in the history of ideas, but consistent ways of being that persist across the history of the Western world, that are fundamentally opposed, though complementary, in what they reveal to us; and that the hemispheres of the brain can be seen as, at the very least, a metaphor for these. One consequence of such a model, I admit, is that we might have to revise the superior assumption that we understand the world better than our ancestors, and adopt a more realistic view that we just see it differently–and may indeed be seeing less than they did. The divided nature of our reality has been a consistent observation since humanity has been sufficiently self-conscious to reflect on it. 107

That most classical representative of the modern self-conscious spirit, Goethe’s Faust, famously declared that ‘two souls, alas! dwell in my breast’ (‘ Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Brust’). 108

Schopenhauer described two completely distinct forms of experience (‘ zwei völlig heterogene Weisen gegebene Erkenntniß’); 109

Bergson referred to two different orders of reality (‘ deux réalités d’ordre différent’). 110

Scheler described the human being as a citizen of two worlds (‘ Bürger zweier Welten’) and said that all great European philosophers, like Kant, who used the same formulation, had seen as much. 111

What all these point to is the fundamentally divided nature of mental experience. When one puts that together with the fact that the brain is divided into two relatively independent chunks which just happen broadly to mirror the very dichotomies that are being pointed to–alienation versus engagement, abstraction versus incarnation, the categorical versus the unique, the general versus the particular, the part versus the whole, and so on–it seems like a metaphor that might have some literal truth. But if it turns out to be ‘just’ a metaphor, I will be content. I have a high regard for metaphor. It is how we come to understand the world.”

— The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist
 

luc

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If you want to get a taste of the book, this lecture by McGilchrist is well worth it. If you don't have time, jump to around 1h05 (Q&A), it's fascinating and jives very well with some of the things the Cs said:

 

brandon

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that last part bugged me and kept in mind the question 'why right and left' when objective reality can be happening in any direction? A new question - did the C's give the words right and left in that order, opposite to the more popular order of left and right as a hint?

Fascinating observation/idea! Example of NOT paying attention to objective reality: I'd never noticed in that quote that the C's said "right and left", until you mentioned it! Always read it "left and right"..

My thoughts keep coming back to this topic for the last week.. but I don't have anything much to write, haven't yet read any of these books.. I'll listen to the Mind Matters about it today.. It's interesting thinking about this in conjunction with left/right audio stuff like 'binaural beats'.

There's also a bit in one of Carlos Castaneda's books where Dons Juan and Genaro are talking directly into Carlos's left and right ears, each saying different things at the same time, that always struck me.. I'll try find the passage later..
 
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Ben

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Fascinating observation/idea! Example of NOT paying attention to objective reality: I'd never noticed in that quote that the C's said "right and left", until you mentioned it! Always read it "left and right"..
Weird, I have the same experience. I've read that quote so many times and still in my memory it's 'left and right'. In normal speech we always say left first, so the order does seem deliberately reversed. Pay strict attention - starting with the basic task of reading one paragraph without assumptions!
 

Adobe

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In reference to the C’s saying, “People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the "Future." And the possibly of that having a deeper meaning of left-brain right-brain.

A similar message could have come through at an earlier time in the Muslim world through the Quran.

I was watching part III of Sheikh Imran Hosein and noticed him discussing the wisest and most learned persons in the end times. These people must harmonize two oceans of knowledge to hear directly from God.

Part III between minute 18 and minute 24 (6 minutes) the Sheikh says this is what the Quran or Lord God says about these people and the anti-Christ. I’m going to paraphrase a bit. It's not exact but it rhymes.

1-The Anti-Christ only sees with his left eye. His right eye is blind. (He can only see the material world.)

2-Why can some see, and others are blind? (Believer vs dis-believer or faithless ones)

3-The wisest and most learned men in the end times are known for kindness and compassion.

4-They receive knowledge directly from God.

5-Where do you find these people? They stand at the place where the two great oceans meet. The ocean of external knowledge and the ocean of internal knowledge.

6-These two oceans of knowledge must not exist in two separate compartments. The must be harmonized together.

18:00 to 24:00 of this video:

 

Jones

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After a bit of a break, I'm reading M & E again and working with the hypothesis that when triggered, we're operating from LH. There seem to be some similarities, i.e. focus on a particular set of details to the exclusion of a broader, more compassionate multi-level view, a certainty of being right and the old stickiness that McGilchrist refers to in discussion of LH. LH attempts to rationalise it's stance with a flavour of win/lose rather than a reasonable RH response that is multi faceted and probably prefers win/win.

With the above in mind, LH operation is probably also connected to the Criminal Mind.

So despite us actually needing the operation and input of LH for certain endeavours, there are pitfalls to be mindful of.

There's likely to be some refining of some of that as I read, I've only just finished the intro for the second time!
 

Eboard10

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After a bit of a break, I'm reading M & E again and working with the hypothesis that when triggered, we're operating from LH. There seem to be some similarities, i.e. focus on a particular set of details to the exclusion of a broader, more compassionate multi-level view, a certainty of being right and the old stickiness that McGilchrist refers to in discussion of LH. LH attempts to rationalise it's stance with a flavour of win/lose rather than a reasonable RH response that is multi faceted and probably prefers win/win.

With the above in mind, LH operation is probably also connected to the Criminal Mind.

So despite us actually needing the operation and input of LH for certain endeavours, there are pitfalls to be mindful of.

There's likely to be some refining of some of that as I read, I've only just finished the intro for the second time!
Thank you for the summary. Re-reading the information shared on this thread and the MM show with McGilchrist is making me reassess some of my own experiences that could relate to the dynamics between the two hemispheres.

I notice that in some instances, rather than analysing a particular set of details in the context of a broader view or idea, I end up focusing almost exclusively on the details while losing sight of the bigger picture, creating a distorted view of reality. Could be due to an imbalance between the two hemispheres, maybe the book will offer more insights into this.

Just ordered M & E and will jump straight into it once it arrives. Looks like the UFO books that are next on my pile will be waiting a little longer :-D
 

mkrnhr

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An excellent discussion between Jordan B. Peterson and Ian McGilchrist where they touch upon many subjects related to the the excessive lateraliization of the modern mind towards the left brain mode of thinking, including towards the end the effects on modern mental health, materialism and ideologies:
 

Chaze

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I stumbled across an interesting reference to the right and left hemispheres of the brain in “Destiny of Souls” by Michael Newton.*

Midway through the book—while discussing the reported interactions of newly returned Souls attending a life review in front of what they call the “Council of Elders”—this is what Newton had to say:

At the beginning of their incarnations, while souls are learning to utilize unique and complex circuit patterns, they find that most human brains are not balanced between the right and left hemispheres. I am told that no two host bodies are the same in the way our brain hemispheres are linked to process critical judgment, creativity and language communication. This is a primary reason why the wiser souls join the fetus of a new body early rather than late in a mother's term.

He also transcribed a brief section of a session with a patient who discussed this further:

Case 37
Dr. N: Why is your guide standing behind you on the left?
S: (laughs) Don't you know? With most human bodies the right side of the head is not as predominant as the left.
Dr. N: What does that have to do with his position?
S: The left side-right side thing... not in sync.
Dr. N: Are you talking about an imbalance between the left and right brain hemispheres in humans?
S: Yes, my problem—and that of many others recently returned from Earth—is a slight weakness of energy reception on our left side. It doesn't last too long.
Dr. N: And, as you stand in front of the council, you are still feeling the effects of your human body? You still have that physical imprint with you?
S: Yeah, that's what I am telling you. We don't shake off these effects by the time of our first council meeting. It seems like only a few hours since my death. It takes a while for us to get rid of the density of the physical body... the constrictions of it... before we are completely free. This is one reason why I don't need Jerome (guide) so much at the second meeting.
Dr. N: Because ... ?
S: By then, we are sending and receiving telepathic communication more efficiently.
Dr. N: Please explain to me what Jerome actually does to help you by standing on your left side.
S: In most humans the left side is more rigid than the right. Jerome assists in the energy reception coming into my right side from the council by blocking thoughts which might escape out the left.
Dr. N: Are you saying your energy aura is like a sieve?
S: (laughs) Sometimes it seems like it—on the left. By serving as a blocking agent for thoughts which might escape he serves as a backboard, bouncing thought waves back into me for better retention. This assists in my comprehension.

After reading that, it tends to make me agree with @Jones hypothesis. The idea that most humans are more rigidly LH dominant can help to explain much of the prevailing craziness we see exemplified the world over.
 

Adobe

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This is an interesting discussion between Mattias Desmet and Brett Weinstein on the dark horse show.

As I’m presently steeped in the L R hemisphere of things, thus seeing Weinstein as trying to keep everything rational (L hemisphere) and McGilchrist “trying” to utilize both hemispheres.

This is not a must see, but it’s a pretty good summing up of everything “Mass Formation” and I think L hemisphere vs both hemisphere discussion. (2 hours long)

Some take away points:

Why does it happen? Loss of individual connections, and loss of meaning. Mass free floating anxiety.

Both come up with the theory that there are three groups during Mass Formation.

Is MF natural? If so, what good does it do for society? (It does make some sense)

Why did so many survive wokeness only to fall to the covid narrative?

From past histories the greatest hope is in dissident voices.

Bret does a pretty good job of trying to understand it but in my opinion, he hits bedrock.

Mattias goes further and says it cannot be solved with mechanistic rational thinking or science. You have to resonate with it. At another point he says that the group that resists becomes strengthened in character and soul. To which Bret, who can’t really go there, because well, he can’t’. Thus states “we have a potentially productive disagreement here.” And they do a good job of listening to one another.

Both feel we are in a lull before the storm.

Rational thinking cannot grasp the meaning of life nor get us out of this.

Hannah Arendt and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn are mentioned several times.

Video below:

 

Jones

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After reading that, it tends to make me agree with @Jones hypothesis. The idea that most humans are more rigidly LH dominant can help to explain much of the prevailing craziness we see exemplified the world over.

Well, that hypothesis is open for fine tuning because McGilchrist indicates, if I'm understanding correctly, that fight -flight is RH along with vigilant awareness and predator detection. So that can be triggered, but LH can take over and supply or accept a faulty narrative to explain the triggered state, leading to actions and behaviours that are faulty for the circumstances because of the selected set of details that LH is either focussing on or focus is drawn towards. So it's not as straight forward as the original hypothesis.
 

Chaze

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So let’s say we’re in the midst of a battlefield.

You and I have become overwhelmed by the opposing forces and we’ve been forced to take cover. I lost my weapon in the process of finding safety, and you are down to your final bullets. Things ain’t looking good. We have but only a few moments before the enemy surrounds us and we’re under siege—or worse.

We both frantically scan our surroundings, scoping out any opportunities for escape.. Or at least in finding something to aid us in regaining our position. You immediately see a manhole that leads down to the sewers. I notice an immobilized humvee across the street that I suspect still has weapons and ammunition inside of it.

You propose that we take the sewers.. Drastically reducing the probabilities of us from falling under sniper fire, drone strikes, the threat of the advancing enemy on foot, etc. and convincingly increasing our chances of survival. I tell you no way, say some totally arrogant prideful nonsense, and proceed to make my way to that humvee so we can try to fight back.

I get shot and you escape down the tunnel.

~~~~~

Now I know this is a grossly oversimplified example of the concept, but my character would be the LH dominated subject who was blinded to the magnitude of danger he faced due to his manic drive to achieve victory. And your character would be more RH oriented—keeping in mind the threats outside of just the infantry, and the odds of survival we faced attempting to continue the fight as compared to eluding.

I’m getting the gist, right?
 

Jones

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I'd tentatively say at this stage of understanding that both proposed options are LH, either/or, this or that. In the example given both options are the result of focussing on a particular set of details, though they are a different set of details to each other.

When talking of the characteristic errors of each hemisphere McGilchrist suggests that the RH is more likely to come up with the correct answer, however it takes in all available information and then waits for an intuition to arise. So in a novel situation where there is time pressure the right hemisphere may not come up with an answer in time. LH on the other hand and in the same circumstances will answer, but the answer is more likely to be incorrect.

RH will be aware of a broader scale of information than the details given and apply that in a creative way that indicates that there are more options than just the two given. Eg: what time of day or night is it, how long have the enemy been fighting without rest, when did they eat last, when were their arms restocked, what other topographical or geological features are there, what flora and fauna, are there any civilians around, what are their customs, what type of vehicles are the enemy driving and do they have any quirks etc.

The example given could probably be one where RH doesn't have the time to wait for an intuition so one of the LH options would have to suffice.
 

Alejo

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I just found this animation of a lecture that McGillchrist gave on his thesis for the division of the hemispheres.

It’s a very good summation of his position and some of the knowledge that he conveys in the book.

Highly recommended.

 
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