Beyond Theory – Experience and Attention
Have you had an unusual experience while being conscious of LH and RH attention modes? Mine doesn’t fit... View more
Have you had an unusual experience while being conscious of LH and RH attention modes? Mine doesn’t fit into any existing groups, so I thought I’d make a new one for interesting experiences.
I had a recent close encounter with a Grizzly Bear, and while I’ve told the story in person at least a dozen times, I’ve never spoken of the divided brain aspect I relate here. I tell this version on Channel McGilchrist because only someone familiar with Iain’s work could know what I am talking about.
Do you have a story involving direct experience of the attention modes?
Are you sure you want to leave ?
Intent to Write a Letter of Intent
Intent to Write a Letter of Intent
I’m writing a challenging letter and would appreciate your thoughts. Modern media are lost in their maps, and I say that as someone critical even before reading Amusing Ourselves to Death thirty years ago. It’s not news that defending status quo is paramount, or that guardrails funnel our thoughts into well-grooved lanes, but with Dr. McGilchrist’s revelation the problem of Narrowism<sup>TM</sup> appears unfathomably deep. Even if it’s accidental, correction can’t happen in a bureaucratic mindset of strategic ignorance.
Bored with map analysis, I intend to disengage. An analysis might be valid, but when describing only isolated slices of reality it’s also trivial. The map becomes the terrain: For example, the left-right political spectrum is a line and not a spectrum, which doesn’t actually exist, and on it no real person actually maps. That map is increasingly misleading, as is the discourse derived from it. We splash in shallow pools of mapthink<sup>TM</sup>.
I’m writing a love and goodbye letter to the New York Times. Once upon a time I wrote a handful of letters To The Editor and, surprisingly, found myself heard and understood. The experience was transforming, a heroic journey you could call it, and it set me on a better path. But barring success with this letter, it’ll be time to leave that world. Certainly they’ll provide excellent documentation of the end of the earth, but climate collapse and the social chaos that security agencies are already warning about will force profit-seeking media to embrace Disaster Capitalism. For as long as the status quo map is paramount over the deteriorating terrain, we’re stuck in yesterday’s schema. For as long as thinking outside the guardrails is verboten, the guardrails form the track we are tied to.
My objective is to persuade the publisher to showcase Dr. McGilchrist’s theory, for NYT’s millions of smart daily readers. At the very least that would be a book review, although ideally it could be a review coupled with a profile, followed by extended conversations where the ideas get debated across different departments and opinion silos, explicitly and/or implicitly. The chances are slim, but I learned a lot from the NYT and it feels right to at least try to return the favour before I cancel.
With a disclaimer that Dr. McGilchrist is not responsible for my views, I intend to grab some third rails with both hands. The format in my (third) first draft is to spell out common “left wing” and “right wing” LH versions of an issue, then show how we argue about incomplete maps that highlight different features. I might try RH views too, if that’s possible without any kumbaya. Also, I’d mention what I do with my own map, which is encode into the map that it’s only a map, creating a portal back to RH mode. As well, I’ll describe difficulties and advantages in finding hemisphere balance. For example, a difficulty is the LH taking over in survival situations, making it prone to hijacking attention and never letting go. This is problematic in an atmosphere of always-on identity politics, since we process identity threats as mortal threats. However, an advantage for realignment is that’s how the brain evolved and longs to be, and for aeons the proper alignment was the default.
As background, I want to float something here that I don’t think I’ve heard before. (I’m only on Ch6 though…) Recalling the image of the bird grabbing a seed on a sandy beach, while at the same time scanning for predators, what happens AFTER the RH senses danger? In my experience, whether it’s fight or flight, the LH is invited to take control. What is the implication of LH control for both food-grasping AND threat situations? As I think Dr. McGilchrist and many others allude to, if we built a bureaucratic world based on a misread of evolution, atomic-dog-eat-dog in the eternal war of all against all, that’s a world of unceasing threat and hypervigilance. If chronic insecurity was burned-in by design from warehouse floor to corner office, to manufacture Behaviourist production and consumption predictability, we can expect to be blinded by our narrow beam spotlights.
Any thoughts? Advice? Thanks in advance. If you have thoughts but don’t want them here, send a message and we can find a way to communicate directly, perhaps phone or email or zoom. It’ll be a couple weeks before I’m done grinding this out, probably longer. As I say it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever attempted. A favourite image from Orwell is that a writer should be a slightly unwelcome guerrilla fighter, manoeuvring on the flanks of the regular army. I’ve written very little in my life, but when I do I aim for a high degree of difficulty, holding to hope the ring of truth will be heard. Thanks again.