To my faithful and other visitors to my blog, thank you for continuing to come even though I have been very irregular lately.  At least two reasons are involved. The first is that i have been reading McGilchrist’s recent book, The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World, and the second is that my wife and I are moving to a CCRC, that is a retirement or senior community. The move will take place in mid-July, but has been very unsettling for a while as the process of moving is horrendous after being in a big house for decades. I am both excited about and disappointed in MGilchrist’s new book. It is much more philosophical than The Master and his Emissary, raising deep questions about reality and how we perceive it, and very challenging for a non-philosopher like me. My disappointment comes in the absence of more practical understanding of how the brain works that might allow me and others to advance our work to reverse the trajectory of life on the earth these days to a path toward flourishing. The urgency of action grows every day. For folks like me, the ultimate nature of reality is merely an interesting question, but for others to ponder. The immediate problems that must be dealt with have arisen as a result of how the human brain attends to that reality right now. The same is the case for “value.” It matters little whether these concepts are “ontological primitives,” which means that they simply are, but we cannot dig any deeper to determine how they came to be. This critique is not meant to devalue the immense value and significance of McGilchrist’s continuing scholarship, but only to question how it can be applied to bring about the shift in hemispheric balance so urgently needed. If I am mistaken about the practical implications of The Matter With Things, please point out the way it can add to the power already available from the bihemispheric model in real change.

One Reply to “Moving Homes (Not Blogs)”

  1. Hi John,
    First, I hope this finds you well. Second, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve only just discovered your work. Embarrassed because I have only recently realised the extent to which I share your interests and commitments – underlined by linking your distinctive contributions to “flourishing” . That realisation has emerged in only recently discovering a deeply shared regard for Iain McGilchrist’s stunning scholarship – across both “The Master and His Emissary”, then “The Matter with Things” (at first via watching your contribution to the SC 2021 Summer School – Cognitive Challenges of Climate Change on YouTube). I hope there will be more opportunities to expand on the conjunction of our interests.

    More immediately, I simply want to suggest in response to your “disappointment” with McGilchrist’s “The Matter with Things”, that I’ve found his (and John Cutting/ Eugene Kelly/ et al) references to Max Scheler’s “hierarchy of values” especially useful in revealing fundamental differences in LH/RH thinking and practice. I am writing an essay along those lines with a colleague aimed at the acclaimed Academy of Management Learning and Education (AMLE) linking McGilchrist to complexity/paradoxes in management, striving to foreground a corrective via RH. We specifically want to challenge much that constitutes a dominant LH Anglo-US Business School education fixation with neoliberalism. If interested I’d be honoured to forward an advanced draft in early January 2024.

    Meanwhile I hope you and your wife are settling in to a smaller scale of living.

    I am delighted to have finally found such a passionate, globally recognised advocate for marrying RH to sustainability (via flourishing) , and so send warm regards John,

    Dr Walter Jarvis, Ed
    University of Technology Sydney (Australia)

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