William Blake and the Divided Brain, by Iain McGilchrist

The Infinite Brain and the Narrow Circle

The Blake Society Annual Lecture was this year given by Iain McGilchrist, whose remarkable book The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World is widely regarded as one of the most important texts of the twenty-first century.

His extraordinary talk on William Blake shows how a profound understanding of contemporary neuroscience and hemispheric difference can illuminate and reveal hidden dimensions of Blake’s thought, a writer and thinker so at home with contraries, asymmetries, and the deep processes of the human brain. It is quite simply the best talk on Blake that has ever been given or is ever likely to be given. Prepare to have your hemispheres altered!

A major new documentary film about McGilchrist’s work is currently in production for release in 2017, featuring V.S. Ramachandran, Jill Bolte Taylor, Leroy Little Bear, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, John Cleese, and your brain. For more information please click here 


Reviews of The Master and his Emissary

‘A profound examination of the differences between the left hemisphere of the brain and the right’— Philip Pullman

‘Really superb!  The best book on laterality I have ever read, with profound implications for the nature of consciousness. A true masterpiece’ — Professor Jaak Panksepp

‘A marvellous and highly original synthesis of ideas on how the division of labour between the two brain hemispheres can provide key insights into human nature’— Professor VS Ramachandran

‘A dazzling masterpiece, hugely ambitious and the most comprehensive, profound book ever written on brain laterality’— Professor Norman Doidge



  1. Pingback: Review of 2016 | thehumandivinedotorg
  2. erikleo · December 30, 2016

    wonderful talk. I wonder if he knew about Wicksteed’s discovery of the symbolism of right and left in Blake’s engravings such as Book of Job?


  3. Spiral · November 18, 2018

    If you are not familiar I think you will find the work of Tony Wright really interesting. He wrote the book about Left and Right brain division from the environmental and nutritional point of view. Book is called Left in the Dark. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsALCqrjX38PD_7koh7WwKQ

    Liked by 1 person

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