Reply To: Message from Iain to members about why he wrote The Matter with Things

  • Niels Hoffmann

    November 8, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    Dear Iain, Happy Birthday TMWT, or perhaps (To Morrow Without Terror). I am fully aware of your manifesto, and that’s why I am here, the result of looking for like-minded people with insight into better ways of thinking, doing science, and saving the world from committing suicide by jumping into the abyss. The result of projective thinking with narrow sequential complete incomplete understanding, i.e., LH mechanics.

    When asked to assist London Underground to develop its Station Congestion Model. Following the Kings Cross fire in 1987, LU had the desire to develop such a simulation model. The result was an AHA moment when discovering what we could call RH mechanics.

    Sunday morning, I looked up Niels Bohr in TMWT. With 82 hits, it was a moving time as a fellow Dane and namesake. And dare I say, familiarity with his mindset. The awareness of opposites and complementarity. In book III: “It is the hallmark of any deep truth that its negation is also a deep truth”, Niels Bohr.

    How better to think Rightmindedly with complete understanding, RH, as opposed to LH’s complete incomplete understanding?

    To Iain McGilchrist and the McGilchrist community with love, Niels

    (And to the Pari Centre with thanks)

    RH Dynamics

    (Iain McGilchrist TMWT)


    Iain McGilchrist’s Split Brain Hypothesis backed by Iain’s incredible work on empirical evidence and understanding was a reminder of work done in the field of transportation modelling and microscopic simulation the foundation of which in a holistic way also resonated with David Bohm’s: ‘Wholeness and implicate order”, with the implicate order of the two hemispheres being different, as two sides of the same coin, the process. (The ultimate example of A N Whitehead’s idea of Process and reality)?

    Some thoughts on reality from Roger Penrose as a starter:

    Roger Penrose: “The Road to Reality”:

    34.7 The roles of mentality in physical theory

    “Whatever the status of these ideas, it seems to me that a ‘fundamental’ physical theory that lays claim to any kind of completeness at the deepest levels of physical phenomena must also have the potential to accommodate conscious mentality. “

    Last paragraph chapter 34,

    “Perhaps what we mainly need is some subtle change in perspective—something that we all have missed . . . .”

    What it is, The subtlety here asked for seems to be in the direction of a completeness paradigm which eliminates complexity, it simply doesn’t see any levels of difficulty. It constitute the process of dealing with the extreme complexity of the brain in an efficient and complete manner as a learning mechanism for consciousness emanating in the so called unconscious RH. I believe it should be subconscious, unconscious is a left over from the time, not long ago, when general wisdom was to ask: ‘why do we have the right hemisphere? It doesn’t seem to do anything!’ More likely it is subconscious all the time, a necessary function in order to reveal the full scope for action (sub-consciousness) and bring the most appropriate one into the conscious awareness of the LH. Thanks to Iain and many others we now know better.

    How? We simply reduce the complexity irreducibly and not the problem by sorting and labelling network branches in order of distance either from an origin, the scope of the LH, or to one or more destinations simultaneously, the scope of the RH. This reduses the complexity from any enormous lateral dimension to a single vertical dimension, hence the claim for process reduction rather than problem reduction. Now, it is the same open sorting process for the two hemispheres extending to the end of the universe. Note, distance can be any additive variable, to be minimised, like time, amount of green house gas used, …. Interestingly the sorting of things is well known as a means of solving problems in general but inconceivable in case of RH. Since the process itself is the same for the two processes we can like Hillary Lawson who in a reason chat on IAI, used the coin metaphor for the process and the sides as the two thought systems implying something mythical for the complex side, i.e. perhaps the sacred, my interpretation.

    I recall Iain’s recent interview with the Theos think tank where Iain talks about consciousness as an encounter the solution of which sounds very much like just described. An enormously complicated horizontal complexity reduced in an instant revealing in the same instant all equal or indifferent choices for action. And that instant is a split second in the simulation program of learning what it would take billions of years to learn using the LH. Because of this incredible operational speed of the wide shrinking to the single perspective we may comprehend the dynamics delightfully experienced by both Iain and Alex in one of the dialogues on chapters of TMWT, 13 or 14. Their faces of delight talking about brain imaging, said it all.

    The process in the LH represent a closure of the self-referential open field. Good for knowledge of how far to everywhere, i.e. creating a travel distance matrix. In this sequential process integration is along links in the order of shortest distances from the origin.

    The process in the RH on the other hand represent a closure of the everything- referential, anyone can get to a destination from wherever they are in a way of equality (the golden rule or an expression of love?) . This became an AHA moment when asking the question of how to solve the problem of parallel processing, achieving the ‘impossible’ viewed from the LH perspective. Here the integration is from the future in the direction of the past of shortest distances of travel towards the future, a learning process for learning any Maze completely in an instant. From this we may suppose the workings of a universe to be in accordance with a superior mind, that of God envisioned by Stephen Hawking in his ‘A Brief History of Time.’ He sees this as the result when we fully understand nature, we will have found a mechanism so simple that everyone can understand it. Søren Kierkegaard expressed this as: ‘We live forwards but understand backwards’ and ‘either or’. Backwards integration equals forward differentiation in an instant at all levels, necessary for complete closure to happen based on complete understanding, mental consciousness!? Schrodinger in his book “What is life” talks about negative entropy which enable a movement of ions in both direction aligning with the pre consciousness RH process to kick in and reveal action to LH sensory system perhaps. Seems logical to me.

    Iain, I just watched your talk to the world AI congress in Amsterdam. It really spoke to my heart. Here was a prophet of fire warning people of the danger there is in ignoring the creator of us all and thinking we have the ability to become as God and act as self-created beings. The ministry of Jeremiah.

    As Mark Vernon brought out in his recent talk about perceptual awakening in Iain’s work. I would like to extend Marks prophetic statement that Iain and his work is anointed. I also know from having followed Mark and Rupert Sheldrake’s dialogues that the spirit of a new old world order is well and alive. Thank you Mark and Rupert for not keeping quiet also.

    The change we need has been envisioned by a number of scientists: Waddington, Sheldrake, Bohm, Hiley…, and many more, Bergson, Peirce, Aristotle… . From Plato, Moses and Jesus we have the miraculous least action/effort paradigm which I believe resonates with the RH process of/and reality.

    The process solution proposed is a Graph theoretical solution; a network of relational connected things a help in reasoning first made use of by Euler in his seven bridges of Konigsberg paradox. Something Leibniz was very keen un and called geometria situs, or geometry of position but had to abandon because he couldn’t get funding for this work (sounds familiar in todays world where institutions sometime seem to block real progress rather than support. Eric Weinstein call this GIN: Gated Institutional Narrative)

    Just briefly on Iain’s talk to the AI community. Judged on the applause, I think Iain, you touched on an instinct of desire of the community at large. This made me think of Google. When they started up their graph theoretical search engine with a mindset of giving, they were forced to submit to the capitalist system in order to survive economically.

    Reading Martin Ford: “AI Architects of Intelligence”, where Martin interviews 23 of the most prominent architects of AI, I found a consensual desire to create something good for us all. Despite disagreeing on when and how AGI for the machine and robotics would happen, they mostly agreed that since there would be less need for human input to keep the world going, there would be a need to do something for the unfortunates’ not able to partake in the party of wealth creators who are currently raping the earth of it’s resources in the race of LH dominance, and in so doing has largely created hell here on earth. Universal Income seems to be the most inspired notion they could come up with? In a paradigm with no complexity, a paradigm which seeks and strive only on optimising for the good of everyone we should be able to create efficient futures based on efficient thinking to serve everyone and everyone serving everyone when having learned the RH mindset, true equality has arrived. No more headbanging and blaming and killing for gain; any one with the LH mindset would be a laughing stock. The LH RH dichotomy explains it so succinctly. Who would want a LH created world anyway?!

    To round up, we need briefly to touch down on the Sacred, as experienced by some through almost a lifetime, so well described by Iain in TMWT as the inspiration and insight given us through the RH. My experience has always been, and I believe strongly like many others, the experience of something greater than ourselves in terms of power, perfection which direct us in resolving our endeavours, desires and needs. This is given us all but only some hear.

    Iain and Mark have both expressed awareness of the book: “A Course In Miracles” this book deals essentially with the mind body issue from the point of view of the sacred and reality, LH perception or upside down thinking and RH true perception and reality or Right Thinking. Not in competition with TMWT, but in great harmony with the issues of Iain’s hypotheses of the split brain and empirical evidence. Interestingly, the mechanism of the Holy Spirit minimises the need for time by effecting a sudden shift from horizontal to vertical perception which substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years. Also, the recognition of the part as whole and of the whole in every part is quite natural, it is the way God thinks, and what is natural to God is natural to us. This I believe resonates with the structure of neurons as junctions, each one a whole and groups of neurons a whole as well, in a transportation network. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, talks in one of his books about a neuron can be as complex as a large transportation network. The course is summed up very simply in this way:

    Nothing real can be threatened.

    Nothing unreal exists.

    Herein lies the peace of God.

    The course is said to be just one way to God.