In The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist stresses the central dynamic that lies behind the images and poetry of William Blake. It can be seen even in the titles of Blake’s works, such as The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Songs of Innocence and Experience. The titles “allude to the reality that, in the lived world of the right hemisphere, opposites are not ‘in opposition’.” Instead, these “contraries”, to use Blake’s word, create the tension needed to open onto deeper levels of consciousness.
This image is used by Iain McGilchrist in his discussion of depth. On Plate 7 in his book, The Master and His Emissary, he writes: Here light, colour and texture of the stone surfaces all emphasise the depth of perspective in both time and space, drawing us into felt relationship with the world.
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article to be published in Society. The final authenticated version is available online here. Iain McGilchrist richly explains the right and left hemispheres of the brain, how each functions and what each tends to do. This paper serves, firstly, as a primer to McGilchrist’s fascinating exposition. Second, it offers a […]
Dr Angela Voss has been involved in devising and teaching Masters programmes for Kent University and CCCU in the UK for the last fifteen years and she is a co-founder of the newly launched Centre for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred. This piece is reproduced from the book, Re-enchanting the Academy, by kind permission of Rubedo Press.
Why do we think of our own brains, our own beings, as machines? As McGilchrist compellingly suggests in his groundbreaking work on the hemispheres, “the whole problem is that we are obsessed, because of what I argue is our affiliation to left-hemisphere modes of thought, with ‘what’ the brain does rather than the ‘how’ – ‘the manner in which’, something no one ever asked a machine.”
The relationship between the two hemispheres of the brain is increasingly seen as central to our well-being and mental health, as a number of leading neuroscientists and psychotherapists have observed.