McGilchrist at Embercombe

Missed this conversation last night, so watching the recording today.

Just VERY rough notes for conversation.

What is the matter?
Doesn’t actually answer – but talks around that we all seem to see the plight of western humanity.
Then a long summary of TMWT (inc repeat of TMAHE HH content)

Attention – a moral act
Judgement – a moral act
Intelligence – cognitive as well as emotional / affective.
Attention as honest encounter – neither PoMo (all is constructed) nor naive reductive (it’s all objectively out there).

Summary of HH
Right – comprehension
Left – apprehension
Map & Terrain as usual

Reason / rationality and Intuition / creativity / imagination

(Negative re “algorithms” X again. ie new science understanding involves creative intuition.)

Tosh about
Arty / Hippie Right
Boring / Sensible / Reliable Accountant Left
In fact left is much more unreliable.

The problem … decline of civilisations losing their L/R balance – the decline can be rapid (years), but new recovery can be very long (centuries).

Can’t be solved by an algorithm X (again).

The problem of social-media chat rooms … left-brain dominates
But we can all begin from the life we lead – tend our own garden, etc.
Prefer “nature” to “environment”.

Human as a computer X again.

Whole synthesis / integration of brain hemispheres.
Seat of consciousness in mid-brain structures? (See Solms)
Endocrine system very much part of brain behaviour, not just neurons. McGilchrist needs to read Solms.

Goethe / Steiner
Jung / Nietzsche
Dionysian / Apollonian

Charlie Rykken (Where does our sense of unity come from – .) – IMcG – Fractal rather than modular – bits that do know about other bits and their relations as a whole – Systematic (holistic) whole. – CR – Relationship between mental – causality (local) & communication – panentheism and panpsychism. Yes!

Joel’s question – language and definitions hemming us in – yes. Especially English / European languages. (I think it’s more to do with what the symbols / words symbolise than the fact we need to have them – allow us to reference shared experience – so more about the kinds of experience (other than things).

Much on Sacred and Divine ?- again – from the  chair.
Scheler pyramid of values – (must check directly).

Theists vs atheists most thoughtful about existenece of divine means?
A subject that cannot be captured in words, so could argue better NOT to have written about it. Agnosticism – Active receptivity – using Rayner’s language again.

Change coming about the sacred – as with modern panpsychist movement.(My position – sacred is real and important, but it’s not supernatural – it’s the RH view.)

Most primitive view – God as engineer  – setting the world machine in motion – X – again, gotta get all the language “dissing” machines out of the way.

(Complexity of real genetic evolution … not his topic … Zombie ants / rats etc. – become a meme – zzzz.)

Hope vs Despair
Urgency of the young – hmmm. (Double-edged)
Trust & Question (ie not cynical – we do need trust – but thoughtful)
Compassion – common in all spiritual / religious traditions.

2 thoughts on “McGilchrist at Embercombe”

  1. I agree with your “sacred is real and important”. That is what I’ve been saying to my more thoughtful and open minded Christian friends for years. More recently I’ve felt emboldened to add “dynamic” to the mix: so “R, D and I”.

    Also I wonder if like me you take a pragmatic stand toward what beliefs ground people’s faith? I admit I have faith in something greater that is R, D and I but do not at all think of that as anything at all human-like. Nonetheless I tell my Christian friends that if their belief in a human like, personal God provides them with a feeling of connection to whatever this something greater may be – don’t mess with it. There is no description which is entirely satisfactory let alone correct, so what works for each individual should respected.

  2. Hi Mark, sorry missed your comment for a couple of days.
    Thanks for commenting.

    This was a particularly sparse post of rough notes – without links to other things I’ve written about “McGilchrist and God Talk” and his “Sense of the Sacred” – and “Sacred Naturalism”

    You may have to decode “R, D and I” for me?
    But yes – Dynamic – I’m always pointing out the time-axis missing from statements of what “is” true or good – missing the “becoming”. In my systems thinking context I tend to point out cycles of causation. And of course “Dynamic Quality” is a Robert Pirsig invention for the subject-object interaction.

    I have a page on my “non-theist” identification – but I have a lot of respect for sophisticated theists and theologians.
    I’ve never found the need – even with these people – to accept a grounding in a personal / causal-agent of a god in our real world.
    “Panentheism” appears to be the version I could credit. Currently writing something about exactly that.

    (I’ll come back and add other specific links if you’re interested – but you will find those quoted expressions if you browse / search the blog.)

    Do introduce yourself, and where you have any other thinking shared publicly?

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