The culture of the western world has for some time been under diagnosis as though it were a patient sick with an unknown disease. The doctors are agreed only on this: the illness is acute. They differ on when it began, and how long the patient may be expected to live; they differ on how radical the cure must be. But, for a long time, no one has been very happy with it. Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Matthew Arnold, Spengler, Eliot, Jaspers, Marcel, to name a few, all find something radically wrong. Some, like Hegel, had the sense of living at the end of a great period, a twilight in which they could reflect on the work of the day. Others, like Marx, thought they could perceive the cause in socio-economic factors which were correctable by revolution. Kierkegaard and Nietzsche saw the sickness in religious terms; Kierkegaard in the progressive loss of individuality, inwardness, and passion; Nietzsche saw it in the “herd-men,” the “nay-sayers,” and prophesied something beyond man, superman, who could at last affirm himself and life. But all the doctors feel that something is finished. Read the full article here.
How can we resist the sixth mass extinction in our imaginations? What kind of cultural shift does it take? In this latest post for The Vanishing series, Rupert Read considers the future of human societies, following in the wake of whales. With artworks by Angela Cockayne. Originally published on The Dark Mountain project here.
Our planetary home is haunted by a spectre, one becoming more incarnate by the day: the spectre of extinction. What would it mean, to rebel against this ‘fate’? To rebel against extinction?
Here’s my take, as one of the many who has heard that call, inner as well as outer, to rebel:
Surely it is to stand up against the extinctions that are happening right now. The sixth mass extinction, anthropogenic, that is taking out many many species every day; alongside the extinctions of much-needed ancient human wisdom cultures; and of biodiverse wild ecosystems. And to revolt against the prospect even of human extinction that comes with a business-as-usual trajectory.
Why rebel in this way? Because some of what we do at least makes the destruction of our civilisation less painful, literally. Even just slowing down the coming of a potential apocalypse is potentially worth doing, if it preserves some more good years, or reduces the suffering that occurs in the process, or even if it merely manifests some sane loving joyful consciousness amidst the madness that surrounds us. Read the full article here.
Members’ Questions answered by Dr McGilchrist
In the Members’ area, the latest questions from the Q&A answered in the monthly video recording with Dr McGilchrist and Mark Tyrrell included the following:
- the evolution of consciousness and morality
- whether the right hemisphere’s diminishment has come along with the reduction of threat in our surroundings
- how the bicameral brain may (or may not) have contributed to our political structures
- and the relationship between the poetry of physical movement and of words.
Dr McGilchrist’s responses to these questions can be found in the member’s area of Channel McGilchrist. You can find out more about joining here.
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The Team at Channel McGilchrist