“Devitalisation leads to boredom, and boredom, in turn, to sensationalism. The high stimulus society in which we live is represented through advertising as full of vibrancy and vitality, but, as advertisers know only too well, its condition is one of boredom, and the response to boredom.” – Dr Iain McGilchrist
Dr McGilchrist is currently busy working on the upcoming publication of his new book, The Matter with Things, and interviews and events are being kept to a minimum. We are very much looking forward to sharing news about the publication via this newsletter soon, as well as excerpts from the new book.
If you are a new subscriber to this newsletter, there are a number of free articles written by others available for you to read on Channel McGilchrist. Below you will find examples of two of these. The first is written by Jenny Mackness, education consultant, and the second, by Dan Nixon, freelance writer and senior researcher at The Mindfulness Initiative. We are also sharing a recent interview on advertising and the brain hemispheres with Orlando Wood, news of a film which may be of interest, and the latest recorded lecture Dr McGilchrist has produced in the member’s area of Channel McGilchrist.
Free Articles in Channel McGilchrist
The Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba, Claude Lorrain, 1648
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.
Depth is one of the themes from Iain McGilchrist’s book that I am currently exploring. McGilchrist doesn’t write about this in relation to education. Rather, in his book, The Master and his Emissary. The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, he examines the ways in which the two hemispheres of the brain attend to the world, both attending to everything, but each attending differently. Read more.
This article was originally published at Aeon. Dan Nixon is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Sunday Times, The Economist and The Guardian, among others. He also leads Perspectiva’s initiative into the workings of the attention economy and is a senior researcher at The Mindfulness Initiative. He lives in London.
‘We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.’ Those were the words of the American biologist E O Wilson at the turn of the century. Fastforward to the smartphone era, and it’s easy to believe that our mental lives are now more fragmentary and scattered than ever. The ‘attention economy’ is a phrase that’s often used to make sense of what’s going on: it puts our attention as a limited resource at the centre of the informational ecosystem, with our various alerts and notifications locked in a constant battle to capture it.
That’s a helpful narrative in a world of information overload, and one in which our devices and apps are intentionally designed to get us hooked. Moreover, besides our own mental wellbeing, the attention economy offers a way of looking at some important social problems: from the worrying declines in measures of empathy through to the ‘weaponisation’ of social media. Read more.
In this recent interview with Orlando Wood, he discusses the application of Dr McGilchrist’s hemisphere theory to the world of images and advertising, how the lack of gesture, story, character, place – and a whole person – is causing a crisis in creativity. His best-selling book, Lemon, which is endorsed by Dr McGichrist, can be found here.
We were recently contacted by Ross Harrison who has put together a new film, Forgetting Nature. You can watch the trailer here, and in the film, we hear an urgent reminder to protect the richness of nature in our lives. The film is due to be released on March 17th 2021 and you will find a sign-up page here where you will be informed when it is available.
Forgetting Nature is a new short film intended as a catalyst to get more people thinking and talking about the importance of connection to wild nature, then acting on it. We are in the midst of a progressive separation of humans from the rest of the living world, an ‘extinction of experience’ in parallel with a mass extinction of species. Through the under-appreciated trap of environmental amnesia, each generation risks accepting a more depleted natural world. By sharing stories between generations, and ensuring continued access to direct experiences in wild nature for children, we can inspire each other to rewild our landscapes and our lives. Ross Harrison is an independent filmmaker from the UK with an interest in the intertwined questions of environmental sustainability, social sustainability, and individual psychology.
Dr McGilchrist has recorded the latest lecture, Imagination and Creativity, from his home on the Isle of Skye, for the member’s area. In this illustrated lecture, Dr McGilchrist explores questions around the nature of the imagination, what the imagination is and the distinction between imagination and fantasy. He suggests that imagination is not a way of covering over reality but a way of uncovering it for the first time. That, in fact, imagination is the only route to reality. You can watch it in the member’s area of Channel McGilchrist.
Thank you for reading,
The Team at Channel McGilchrist