“What is offered by the right hemisphere to the left hemisphere is taken up and into a synthesis involving both hemispheres. This must be true of the processes of creativity, of the understanding of works of art, of the development of the religious sense.” – Dr Iain McGilchrist
We hope you are keeping well. With lighter evenings now on their way here in the British Isles, it brings a sense of hope after a long, dark winter. It seems timely too that John Cleese and Dr McGilchrist’s conversation on Creativity, Humour and the Meaning of Life, recorded a couple of weeks ago, is now available. We also have news about the Sam Harris interview, the Polymath Festival, a recent podcast with Jax Pax, Rupert Read’s audiobook and an upcoming event with Dr Rowan Williams and Cambridge University’s Faculty of Divinity.
John Cleese and Dr Iain McGilchrist on Creativity, Humour and the Meaning of Life
The full unedited version of the brilliant conversation between John Cleese and Dr McGilchrist titled Creativity, Humour and the Meaning of Life is now available in the member’s area of Channel McGilchrist. From this longer conversation we have created three shorter ones which are listed below and now available to watch on YouTube. We hope you enjoy them.
Part One – John Cleese and Dr Iain McGilchrist on Creativity and Meaningfulness
Part Two – John Cleese and Dr Iain McGilchrist: Wokism and the Threat to Humour
Part Three – John Cleese and Dr Iain McGilchrist: We are Not Machines: Iain McGilchrist’s New Book
The discussion between Sam Harris and Dr McGilchrist is now available on Harris’ Making Sense podcast. You can listen to the first hour free of charge, but to listen to the full 2.5 hour podcast there is a subscription fee to Harris’ podcast series (if you are unable to afford it, there is an option to request free access – click the ‘Subscribe’ link and then you will see ‘Can’t afford a subscription, contact us’ – click the link there). In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Iain McGilchrist about the differences between the right and left hemispheres of the human brain. They discuss the evolutionary history of the divided brain, research on surgically divided brains, popular misconceptions about the differences between the hemispheres, the left hemisphere’s propensity for confabulation, the prospect that consciousness might be partitioned in an intact brain, the difference between consciousness and attention, the boundary between the conscious and unconscious mind, how face-to-face encounters differ between the hemispheres, the unique deficits resulting from damage to the left and right hemispheres, the ascendancy of the left-hemisphere in modern culture, the possibility that the brain is a mere receiver of mind, the prospect of surviving death, and other topics.
The Polymath Festival is currently underway and Dr McGilchrist will be giving the closing talk of the festival on 14th February at 1pm. This is the world’s first major festival of ideas dedicated to celebrating many-sided human potential and exploring interdisciplinary solutions to complex world problems. You can book your place here.
Polymath: an exceptionally versatile human who excels in multiple, seemingly unrelated fields.
Whether at the individual, organisational or societal level, it is increasingly accepted that creativity happens at the intersection of seemingly different domains. This makes the Polymath not only the most versatile human on the planet, but also potentially the most creative.
The world of disciplinary silos is over. As a landmark ‘festival of ideas’, the Polymath Festival aims to catalyse a cultural paradigm shift, away from hyper-specialisation and ‘silo culture’, towards the encouragement of connection-making between different fields, disciplines and cultures.
The Festival is not only interested in discourse, but also in action. It is designed to facilitate the genesis of novel, cross-disciplinary collaborations that would otherwise be unimaginable.
Jax Pax interviews Dr Iain McGilchrist (neurologist/psychiatrist) author of The Master and His Emissary about embodied philosophy, models of reality vs reality itself, as well as schizophrenic art work and the Toxoplasma Gondii parasite.
Rupert Read’s Audiobook
Extinction Rebellion (XR, for short) is an emergency response. Politics as usual, governments, as usual, have let down the peoples of the world in an extreme way: We are on course for eco-driven societal collapse, and we are extinguishing other species very rapidly. We could even end up making ourselves extinct. XR suggests that when your government is driving you and your family over a cliff, it is no longer a legitimate government. Rebellion against it is permitted – indeed, it is required. But XR is insistent that such rebellion must be nonviolent.
“Everyone should read this book. It is short, and impassioned, but full of important information: above all an honest and practical plea for us to seize the moment for change urgently. It is inspirational. Please, for all our sakes, read it, and take its timely words to heart.” (Iain McGilchrist, author of The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World)
Upcoming Event with Dr Rowan Williams and Trinity College Cambridge
Dr Iain McGilchrist will be in conversation with Dr Rowan Williams for an online event hosted by the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge on Friday 19th February from 5-6pm. There will be a number of places made available and as soon as we have the booking details we will be sharing them via this newsletter and on Dr McGilchrist’s Facebook and Twitter pages, so do keep an eye out. We will have more news to share with you about this soon.
Thank you for reading and stay well.
With all best wishes from the Team at Channel McGilchrist