Screening of Iain McGilchrist Documentary “The Divided Brain”

Wednesday May 24th, 6pm

“Our talent for division, for seeing the parts, is of staggering importance – second only to our capacity to transcend it, in order to see the whole.” - Iain McGilchrist

The Divided Brain” (2019, dir Manfred Becker, 1h18m) is a fascinating introduction to the ideas of philosopher and psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist.

In his groundbreaking books, Master and His Emissary (2009) and more recently The Matter with Things (2021), Iain McGilchrist explores the imbalance between the two sides of our brains and the devastating effect it is having on our culture.

Challenging the popular understanding of the difference between the two brain hemispheres (left concerned with reason and language, right with imagination and emotion etc) he argues instead that the role of the left is to focus attention on particular issues and tasks, while that of the right is to tune into and respond to the broader context. 

The Western world, however, has increasingly prioritised the left brain, so that modern societies have been shaped in its image. Which helps explain our apparent paralysis in the face of catastrophe. For while the now dominant left brain is proficient in technologies, procedures and systems, it is incapable of understanding the implications of these on humanity and the wider world. 

The documentary screening will be followed by a guided discussion on McGilchrist's theory and its implications.

Kairos, 1-6 Essex Street, WC2R 3HY

Doors open at 6.00pm for drinks, with the film starting promptly at 6.30pm. There will then be a break for a one-pot vegan supper, followed by guided discussion.

£5 members, £10 non-members. Includes food and drinks.