24 February 2011

Direct to our unconscious

Left hemisphere knowledge revolves around facts that are fixed insofar as they do not change with the context, and they are repeatable so they do not vary in unpredictable ways. 
Things that do not vary in unpredictable ways are not alive. They are inert. The left hemisphere knows things in terms of their inertia. The right hemisphere knows in the carnal sense of a direct experience of another. 
"It is important to recognise that music does not symbolize emotional meaning, which would require that it be interpreted; it metamorphoses it – 'carries it over' direct to our unconscious minds. Equally it does not symbolize human qualities: it conveys them direct, so that it acts on us, and we respond to it, as in a human encounter. In other words, knowing a piece of music, like knowing other works of art, is a matter of kennenlernen." (The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist, 2009; page 96). 
To know another through the right hemisphere is for them to be familiar, as in belonging to the family; to know a thing through the left hemisphere is to pin it down so it is repeatable, routine, inauthentic (in the sense of not engendering that which would ascribe authorship), lacking the spark of life. 

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