McGilchrist Irregulars: successful first meeting!

  • McGilchrist Irregulars: successful first meeting!

    Posted by David Baum on February 27, 2023 at 10:44 pm

    The ‘McGilchrist Irregulars’ met for the first time, Sunday 26 February, with great success! There were 11 people on the Zoom screen, from several U.S. states, Canada, France, Sweden, and South Africa.

    We shared in a circle and then had open discussion on a “raise-your-hand” basis. Everyone was courteous and respectful of the time, so the conversation flowed admirably!

    All of us expressed our admiration of Dr. McGilchrist, whom we consider a figure for the ages. Also, we shared our gratitude for the opportunity to meet together and speak with one another.

    I believe we have discovered something useful and important. Unexpectedly, it turns out that there are identifiable “tendencies” in how people relate to Dr. McGilchrist’s teachings. People understand his work at different levels of depth and completeness, but everyone wants to “use” it (left-hemisphere style) or “incorporate” it (right-hemisphere style) so that it may become part of their life, and the life of society.

    Put another way, people encountering Dr. McGilchrist’s wisdom want to “take it in.” To do that, they relate their learning to a context that already is significant to them. The two contexts that surfaced in our meeting were: “the body,” and “culture and institutions.”

    “The body” was said to be significant by an artist and an actress in our group, who talked about the need to “integrate” the hemispheres, such that a person is fully “present” while their “reason” is operating at full strength. This leads to “flow” and “immediacy.”

    “Culture and institutions” were significant to activists and academics in our group, who fear the consequences when society is driven by the logic-only left hemisphere. The question arises of how to propagate appropriate values that will lead to a balanced (and thus survivable) culture.

    For my part, I would add a third context: “spirit.” This was hinted at in our discussion, but I would like to learn in depth how people “take in” Dr. McGilchrist’s wisdom with regard to approaching the sacred.

    I feel that these three contexts — body, culture & institutions, and spirit — can give a useful structure to further discussions, especially if a growing number of people attend the Irregulars gathering. (Think breakout rooms!) This is not to say, of course, that other approaches are not welcome.

    The next meeting of the ‘McGilchrist Irregulars’ will be Sunday, 5 March 2023, at 10am Pacific time, 1pm Eastern, 6pm London (UTC). Please register at this link:

    Lucy Fleetwood replied 1 year, 1 month ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Mark Delepine

    March 19, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    Afraid I caught on too late for 3/5. If you do it again I’d like to join you.

  • Lucy Fleetwood

    March 29, 2023 at 10:18 am

    Hi David,

    What a great meeting! I love the three areas-body culture and spirit. All three resonate with me, and I’m going to sit with them for a little while-a few weeks probably-then return to this chat. I have been a Tibetan buddhist for the last 16 years, with regular teachings and practice, and since discovering Iain’s work, recently, I find myself reflecting within the context this, also in relation to culture, however I hadn’t been thinking in relation to body.

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