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"We Need to Act, We are at a Point of Crisis" - Iain McGilchrist

Updated: Oct 24, 2022


Video from Rebel Wisdom


"Iain McGilchrist has been outlining for many years that a fundamental problem in the way we are perceiving the world is likely to lead us into trouble. Now in 2022 he believes the situation is reaching a crucial turning point and we need to wake up urgently. In this conversation with Rebel Wisdom's David Fuller he talks about how our current culture's domination by a 'left brain', reductionistic, materialist and literalist perspective had reached crisis point. He explains how this is manifesting as a 'war on reality', and a series of attacks on free speech. Iain's work can be found here: https://channelmcgilchrist.com/License Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)" from video introduction


Iain McGilchrist, 'We Need to Act' The influential philosopher/psychiatrist believes that we are at a point of crisis by David Fuller


Iain McGilchrist has been outlining for many years that a fundamental problem in the way we are perceiving the world is likely to lead us into trouble. Now in 2022 he believes the situation is reaching a crucial turning point and we need to wake up urgently. In this conversation with Rebel Wisdom's David Fuller he talks about how our current culture's domination by a 'left brain', reductionistic, materialist and literalist perspective had reached crisis point. "In the Master and his Emissary, I said we look like sleepwalkers who are shuffling our way towards the abyss. In the 13 years since I wrote that, I just feel that we are much, much closer to that abyss. And unless we wake up, we will fall to destruction."

Iain outlined his theory about the clash between the way the left and right brain perceive reality in his book The Master and his Emissary thirteen years ago, and followed up with his epic The Matter With Things which came out earlier this year. He explains how the left brain sees the world as a series of discrete, unrelated objects, and it was the right brain that was able to understand context, nuance and the relation between things.

He talked about the danger of restrictions on free speech and that there were now many subjects that simply could not be questioned. Also that the left hemisphere way of looking at the world was prone to black and white thinking and to fixed delusional beliefs.

"The right hemisphere, however, sees that everything is ultimately connected, that things are never static and fixed but evolving and changing, that they they move and create complexity, beauty and order out of their being. And that this is something that can never be disembodied and turned into a process that a machine could do.

"So, in fact, a lot of our thinking has gone towards the idea that we are kind of faulty machines, that has none of the complexity, the depth or the meaning. That is the important part of a human life."

He talked about the sense of being lost and untethered in our own lives, similar to the sense of 'Domicide' (destruction of home) that the cognitive scientist John Vervaeke talks about in his Awakening From the Meaning Crisis series:

"The root of the word belonging is the same as the root for longing, which is the sense of being connected to something that stretched away from us. And we have no sense of that tethering to a place, to a time, to the collection of those that we love, to our own place in this cosmos.

Instead, we see ourselves as as completely like vagrants in the universe with no place that which has meaning for us and no place of connection with what came before or after." from the article: Iain McGilchrist, 'We Need to Act'


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