Saturday, 29 March 2014

An interview with Tim 'Mac' McCarthy


Tim is the author of 'Finding Soul - The Invisible Path to Authentic Leadership'. The book is the story of one man’s search for meaning and purpose in a society that is captivated by values and beliefs that are assaulting the Earth’s living systems and collapsing society in upon itself. It is a call to people who find themselves standing on the side lines. It demonstrates how pain, loneliness and some measure of suffering can become doorways to courageous acts that have the potential to illuminate our lives.

In 1983, Tim was a gardener at a management training centre, by 1987 he was the head of consultancy at the same place and two years later had his own London based people and organization development consultancy working with the leaders of multinationals.
He has foot in two worlds…there has been times when they have been at war with each other; one part is shocked at the beauty of the earth, the other loves the business of business

‘Leaders are failing us and we fail them too…we get the leaders we deserve. We are at a time when we all need to find our own self-leader. Real vision cannot embrace conformity yet most organizations insist upon it. Conformity is the place of the slave. Leaders need to be restless truth seekers. They exist to articulate the dreams and aspirations of a community, they may get burnt but they don’t give up; they must sit by the people side by side as equals and listen.

As things are now, we are in a war with ourselves, with life and the lines are drawn. We are implicated whether we like it or not. We can pretend that the corporations are the enemy but all of us are employed by them, eat their food and derive our power, fuel our cars, furnish our houses and take out entertainment from the same organizations. We can deride our politicians but someone keeps voting them into power. We are the problem.

Around the world, small and big initiatives are being born that are the response of dedicated and visionary people...there are millions of people just one step away from entering the garden and picking up the spade.’

Iain McNay's interview with Tim 'Mac' McCarthy is now available on Conscious TV through this link 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

An interview with Iain McGilchrist

Iain McGilchrist is a psychiatrist and writer who lives on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. He is author of ‘The Master and his Emissary – The Divided Brain and The Making Of The Western World.

McGilchrist's other interests include the relationship between creativity and mental illness, and he is currently working on a number of books: a critique of contemporary society and culture from the standpoint of neuropsychology; a study of the paintings of subjects with schizophrenia; a series of essays about culture and the brain with subjects from Andrew Marvell to Serge Gainsbourg; and a short book of reflections on spiritual experience.

He is committed to the idea that the mind and brain can be understood only by seeing them in the broadest possible context, that of the whole of our physical and spiritual existence, and of the wider human culture in which they arise – the culture which helps to mould, and in turn is moulded by, our minds and brains.  He argues that the division of the brain into two hemispheres is essential to human existence, making possible incompatible versions of the world, with quite different priorities and values. 

In McGilchrist's words: 

Most scientists long ago abandoned the attempt to understand why nature has so carefully segregated the hemispheres, or how to make coherent the large and expanding body of evidence about their differences. In fact to talk about the topic is to invite dismissal.  Yet no one who knows anything about the area would dispute for an instant that there are significant differences: it's just that no-one seems to know why.  And we now know that every type of function - including reason, emotion, language and imagery - is subserved not by one hemisphere alone, but by both. My book argues that the differences lie not, as has been supposed, in the 'what' - which skills each hemisphere possesses - but in the 'how', the way in which each uses them, and to what end.  But, like the brain itself, the relationship between the hemispheres is not symmetrical. The left hemisphere, though unaware of its dependence, could be thought of as an 'emissary' of the right hemisphere, valuable for taking on a role that the right hemisphere - the 'Master' - cannot itself afford to undertake.  However it turns out that the emissary has his own will, and secretly believes himself to be superior to the Master.  And he has the means to betray him.  What he doesn't realize is that in doing so he will also betray himself.

The book begins by looking at the structure and function of the brain and at the differences between the hemispheres, not only in attention and flexibility but in attitudes to the implicit, the unique, and the personal, as well as the body, time, depth, music, metaphor, empathy, morality, certainty and the self.  It suggests that the drive to language was not principally to do with communication or thought, but manipulation, the main aim of the left hemisphere, which manipulates the right hand.  It shows the hemispheres as no mere machines with functions but underwriting whole, self-consistent, versions of the world. Through an examination of Western philosophy, art and literature, it reveals the uneasy relationship of the hemispheres being played out in the history of ideas, from ancient times until the present.  It ends by suggesting that we may be about to witness the final triumph of the left hemisphere – at the expense of us all. "

Iain McGilChrist's complete interview with Iain McNay on Conscious TV is available via this link