Ian McGilchrist (2010) The Master and His Emissary

A place to recommend and discuss books that contribute towards our systems thinking and practice

Ian McGilchrist (2010) The Master and His Emissary

Postby Andrea on Mon May 16, 2011 3:45 pm

I'm so excited about this new find that I couldn't wait to finish the book before posting here! This is the book that I have been dreaming of ever since I wrote section 1 of T214's Block 2. Finally my prayers have been answered! :mrgreen:

You can download the first chapter of the book from http://www.iainmcgilchrist.com/brief_description.asp

this is a taste:

Both hemispheres clearly play crucial roles in the experience of each human individual, and I believe both have contributed importantly to our culture. Each needs the other. Nonetheless the relationship between the hemispheres does not appear to be symmetrical, in that the left hemisphere is ultimately dependent on, one might almost say parasitic on, the right, though it seems to have no awareness of this fact. Indeed it is filled with an alarming self-confidence. The ensuing struggle is as uneven as the asymmetrical brain from which it takes its origin. My hope is that awareness of the situation may enable us to change course before it is too late.

The Conclusion, therefore, is devoted to the world we now inhabit. Here I suggest that it is as if the left hemisphere, which creates a sort of self-reflexive virtual world, has blocked off the available exits, the ways out of the hall of mirrors, into a reality which the right hemisphere could enable us to understand. In the past, this tendency was counterbalanced by forces from outside the enclosed system of the self-conscious mind; apart from the history incarnated in our culture, and the natural world itself, from both of which we are increasingly alienated, these were principally the embodied nature of our existence, the arts and religion. In our time each of these has been subverted and the routes of escape from the virtual world have been closed off. An increasingly mechanistic, fragmented, decontextualised world, marked by unwarranted optimism mixed with paranoia and a feeling of emptiness, has come about, reflecting, I believe, the unopposed action of a dysfunctional left hemisphere. I will have some concluding thoughts about what, if anything, we can do – or need not to do – about it.
esse sequitur operari
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