Reply To: Suggestions of how discussions might be framed

  • Whit Blauvelt

    April 18, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Hi Lucy,

    In the recent online session where McGilchrist spoke with the woman who leads workshops based on Mark Johnson’s Moral Imagination (one of my favorite writers, too), McGilchrist voiced discomfort with the term “spiritual,” while he’s more comfortable with “God.” For me, it’s the reverse. When you ask about a “prescribed” path, well, yes and no. If the hemispheric hypothesis is right, we need more paths, accessible from wherever people are, by which we all can find at least balance, or even to lean to the RH as McGilchrist advises.

    There are the paths we take, and the spirits with which we undertake them. These paths often branch, or converge, or cross. The spirits — both the better and the worse of them — are quite varied too. The notion of reducing all the spirits to one “Great Spirit,” or all the paths to one “True Path,” is that a LH idea? Recognizing that there are spirits and paths of great value, and finding the paths which access those spirits, and the spirits which enable us to walk those paths … that’s what I’m after.

    Working this out in some detail in terms of the “path” and “spirit” metaphors (or schemas, if we’re going to work this out in a Mark Johnson-style way) may be of general use in this. Doing so may constitute one path in — not the only one. This way in quickly gets to levels of abstraction many people aren’t comfortable with. Zen, too, works at high levels of metaphoric abstraction, thus perhaps the greater comfort with the more literal Pure Land Buddhism in the larger Japanese population.