The Master Betrayed #1
A series based on Iain McGilchrist's conclusions about a left brain dominated world
In the conclusion of Iain McGilchrist’s book The Master and His Emissary, the question is asked, “What would the left hemisphere’s world look like?” if the left hemisphere of the brain “became so far dominant that, at the phenomenological level, it managed more or less to suppress the right hemisphere’s world altogether”.
In this series of posts I’d like to break down his conclusion and discus just how closely our world is conforming to the left hemisphere’s perspective.
We could expect, for a start, that there would be a loss of the broader picture, and a substitution of a more narrowly focussed, restricted, but detailed, view of the world, making it perhaps difficult to maintain a coherent overview. The broader picture would in any case be disregarded, because it would lack the appearance of clarity and certainty which the left hemisphere craves. In general, the ‘bits’ of anything, the parts into which it could be disassembled, would come to seem more important, more likely to lead to knowledge and understanding, than the whole, which would come to be seen as no more than the sum of the parts. Ever more narrowly focussed attention would lead to an increasing specialisation and technicalising of knowledge. This in turn would promote the substitution of information, and information gathering, for knowledge, which comes through experience. Knowledge, in its turn would seem more ‘real’ than what one might call wisdom, which would seem too nebulous, something never to be grasped. Once would expect the left hemisphere to keep doing refining experiments on detail, at which it is exceedingly proficient, but to be correspondingly blind to what is not clear or certain, or cannot be brought into focus right in the middle of the visual field. In fact one would expect a sort of dismissive attitude to anything outside of its limited focus, because the right hemisphere’s take on the whole picture would simply not be available to it. (Iain McGilchrist, The Master and His Emissary)
MD.com offers a list of almost 100 different medical specialties to which there can be many sub-specialties. A neurologist isn’t just a neurologist but a specialist in categories such as Brain injury medicine, Child neurology, Clinical neurophysiology, Endovascular surgical neuroradiology, Hospice and palliative medicine, Neurodevelopmental disabilities, Neuromuscular medicine, Pain medicine, Sleep medicine, or Vascular neurology. Physics, also, has a dizzying array of sub-disciplines to cover the broad array of things there are to know. Here is physicist Dominic Walliman explaining these areas:
Now there’s a lot to know in any field and the only way we are going to get to the nitty gritty bits of knowledge in these disciplines (or sub-sub-disciplines) is for people to focus on one particular area very well, with a good grasp of the rest of the field. And this is what has been happening - we have a lot of specialists who know a narrow field extremely well. This is not a bad thing in itself. What is not good is when the narrow and myopic view of the little bits seem “more important, more likely to lead to knowledge and understanding, than the whole, which would come to be seen as no more than the sum of the parts.” And this is what can tend to happen in a left-hemisphere dominated world. The big picture, which is all sort of uncertain and fuzzy (often the realm of religion and philosophy that addresses the ‘big questions’ of life and meaning), is disregarded in favour of the sharply focused, technical, measurable, and seemingly more real data - which it is assumed can all be put together, like a giant jigsaw puzzle, to account for the world.
The real danger comes when most of the scientists, specialising in their sub-disciplines, have a “dismissive attitude to anything outside of its limited focus” because the broader context is not available to them (because their right hemisphere has been suppressed). When called upon to make judgments about broader issues, what do they rely on? Necessarily their myopic sub-discipline bits of data - the knowledge of which would be trusted over the more nebulous concept of wisdom which requires a right hemisphere, global, contextual, experiential appreciation of many elements, some in sharp focus, some ambiguous.
For the most part the left hemisphere (if operating on its own, the focus of this thought experiment) is in denial of what it cannot see - or will just confabulate some ridiculous notion to explain away what it cannot see or comprehend. Are we seeing this with vaccine injuries? Doctors denying or confabulating some ridiculous notion to explain away what they cannot comprehend (that they have willingly injected their patients with a potentially deadly concoction that is ‘safe and effective’?)
Recently I signed a petition to halt the governments move to inject children with the experimental mRNA ‘vaccines’. The official responsestarted with, “Dr Robert Malone’s views on COVID-19 vaccinations have been widely discredited by the scientific community.” And went on with a typical bureaucratic ‘blah, blah’ about how safe and effective the vaccines are and how important it is for children as “the most effective tool available to prevent infection and severe illness in children and adults.” No remark about all the accompanying evidence of contrary findings. (The broader picture would in any case be disregarded, because it would lack the appearance of clarity and certainty which the left hemisphere craves.)
If we were to interpret many medical professionals and health ministers attitude toward vaccination from a left hemisphere perspective, we could argue that they have abandoned the experiential (kids are getting sick and dying from the mRNA technology) for the simple abstract ‘scientific’ notionof ‘safe and effective’. ‘Safe and effective’ has a clarity and finality that would appeal to the left hemisphere - besides, something so clear can be legislated, made public policy, and can be parroted with limited brainpower. The experience of others is messy, not clear or final, and if it involves death (the ultimate incomprehensibility to the left hemisphere that craves complete control - more on this in a later post) is something to be dismissed.
Once again, I have nothing against specialisation, it’s necessary for scientific pursuit, but it’s when the majority are immersed in their silos leading to “a loss of the broader picture, and a substitution of a more narrowly focussed, restricted, but detailed, view of the world, making it perhaps difficult to maintain a coherent overview.” We need to have both the narrow, precise, clearly defined view of the ‘bits’ at the same time as holding a view of the experiential, messy, fuzzy whole. When bureaucrats adopt a narrowly focussed and restricted view, instructed by specialist scientists with even more of a narrow focus, paid for by Big Pharma with the ultimate myopic view of profitability, then we are going to be led up the garden path.
And so we are.
And it’s not a nice garden after all.
Here’s a very nice summary of left and right hemispheres by Captain Jack Carter of Virginia (probably written during a break from battles on Barsoom)…
From a certain Yvette D’Arh (Minister for Health and Ambulance Services) who recently toured some of the ambulance stations under her purview and was told that recently (with the vaccine push) there has been a 40% increase in heart attacks and chest pain. In a press briefing she said “I don’t think anyone can explain why there is a 40% jump in code ones… I can hear some interjections on the side - vaccines actually help people stay out of hospital, not put them in hospital.” Sticking to the narrow, clear, unambiguous ‘reality’ that vaccines are ‘safe and effective’.
I say ‘notion’ because they can hardly lay claim to ‘facts’ and ‘data’ proving ‘save and effective’, despite the rhetoric that “COVID-19 vaccinations are a proven, safe and effective means of reducing both the risk of severe disease and transmission.” (from the same response to the petition mentioned above).
And this does not mean we must become polymaths (if that were something we could choose to be) as a polymath is someone who may excel in 2 or 3 specialisations in diverse fields - different again to someone who can appreciate the whole (physical, metaphysical, social, technical, sacred and secular) with their right hemisphere while having access to the technical data provided by the left as a guide, but not the lead.
It's as if there is the imagining that parts are separate from the whole. This includes oneself. Objects are perceived as separate and somewhat alien from each other. Focus on parts instead of parts in relation to the whole without even realizing it.
I had a long conversation once with someone who was somewhat of an expert on Shakespeare. We were discussing Romeo and Juliet. He knew the meanings of the language used very well, much more so than me. He understood the symbolism of the usage of certain words and phrases which was educational to me. I learned things I did not know. I wasn't and still am not by any means well versed in Shakespeare. When I asked him what he thought of the overall symbolic meaning of the whole play I received a blank stare. "It's a love story", he said. I told him that I was not as familiar with all of the details as he was and I had probably mistakenly seen it as Romeo and Juliet representing divided consciousness and in the acceptance of death that division resulted in unity of consciousness. I received another blank stare. "Well I don't know", he said. Then I talked about King Lear and how I thought similar symbolism was used about acceptance of death and how overcoming the fear of death resulted in a change in consciousness. Another blank stare, "I'll have to give that some thought." A week or so later we talked again and he said, "I think you may be on to something."
This guy knows a whole lot more than I will ever know about Shakespeare's plays but he had focused so much on the parts that he didn't give much thought to the whole. He thought the focus on the parts was looking at the inner but it really wasn't. It was sort of like him using a microscope and focusing it here and there but never using binoculars.
Maybe this is a not so good of an example. It popped into my head when reading what you wrote.
I agree: "We need to have both the narrow, precise, clearly defined view of the ‘bits’ at the same time as holding a view of the experiential, messy, fuzzy whole", but I fear that the 'fuzzy' bit is what's causing the 'right-hemisphere-brained' so-called leaders (a la BoJo, Palacechook, Buy-dong, Dangerous Dan, all the other lunatics running things) to have no freaking idea of the application of common sense.
Disclaimer: My left hemisphere dominates my right by at least a 2:1 margin, but my psyche is not unbending, righteous, or fanatical and certainly doesn't impose black/white-right/wrong judgements because my critical thinking tends to subject all of my senses to the wide range of options between transparency/opaqueness; good/bad; belief/disbelief; possible/impossible; probable/improbable; etc. for which I'd welcome any leader to evidence their thought processes for what has gone on over the last two years.