Identity with language

  • Identity with language

    Posted by Whit Blauvelt on March 11, 2024 at 5:09 pm

    If language is LH and limited, and our better wisdom is RH, and we accept McGilchrist’s claim that in current culture we often become too caught up the LH’s language in a way which divorces us from our better wisdom, there can be two ways to go towards correcting this:

    1. Silence

    2. Better use of language

    These are not necessarily in contradiction. By the length of his writing, Iain shows a leaning towards (2). Are there possible recipes for (2)? Iain demonstrates the usefulness of reading a lot, which certainly is one recipe for achieving better use. Are there recipes for those with more limited time and inclination for deep scholarship?

    If we are to adopt the working perspective of the RH Master, and have language serve us from a view which is broader than any LH linguistic utterance provides where even those which point beyond language require looking beyond language to see where they point, how are we to direct ourselves?

    Does this not call for a change in internal posture, a repositioning of consciousness, a correction in how we hold language as a mirror for self reflection? This is the question Hui Neng asked, in founding the Sudden School of Enlightenment (Chan/Zen). My question is: Has McGilchrist provided us with additional knowledge by which we might craft an improved set of answers, suitable to quickly-enough spread the modern Enlightenment to head off the some of the worst threats of our current meta-chrisis?


    Martyn Swain replied 1 month ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Martyn Swain

    March 12, 2024 at 6:37 am

    Hello Whit, and thanks for posting this. I come at this from a different perspective, having worked as a simultaneous interpreter for more than 30 years (you call them simultaneous translators in the US). What also strikes me as important, in light of what Dr McGilchrist writes, is to examine how we communicate, and how we can learn to enhance our command of the paralinguistic tools that support communicative intent.

    Dr McGilchrist writes in in ‘The Matter With Things’ page 302; “Simultaneous EEG monitoring of two subjects communicating while ‘both participants are continuously active each modifying their own actions in response to the continuously changing actions of their partner’ reveals synchronization at the millisecond level of the right centroparietal and right temporoparietal regions in each subject. They really do ‘resonate’.”

    It seems to me that if we were able more frequently to engage the regions of the brain that resonate with each other, we would need fewer words.

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