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17 Responses to “Inside Out”

  1. Barnabas says:

    The deception of language, is its appearance to have power in its own right. A magic we project upon it. Unveiled by our senses and feelings. Our detachment from creation can give us a programmed narrative that lacks spirit.

  2. Barnabas says:

    More than thinking

  3. Dan says:

    what practical ‘exercises’ can we do to improve this exchange and dance between the left and right?

  4. Mike Metzger says:

    Hire an outsider to serve as facilitator of this tension. The arrogance of left hemisphere thinkers is assuming they best facilitate the back-and-forth reciprocating dynamic. They aren’t very well equipped to do this.

  5. Barnabas says:

    Is it your assertion then Mike, that a metaphor cannot be created from within the camp ?

  6. Mike Metzger says:

    Only in very rare (and generally not sustained) instances. Example: I was with a large organization last week that’s rolling out a new image, or icon, for the purpose of rebranding the firm. The project started well with a great image. Then a group added all sorts of words, etc. Classic left-hemisphere thinking. The final product looks like it was cobbled together by committee. An outside voice would have stopped the process long before it ran off the rails, reminding the roundtable that simplicity is the essence of sophistication.

  7. Barnabas says:

    The question being what prompted the need for a re-brand ? Does modelling by its nature seek to control ? Do we fail to celebrate our uniqueness, if we try to classify and brand everything ? Do our brains function so fast that we cannot seek to control each finite part. Would it be healthy to ? Has thinking and language gained too much focus ?

  8. Barnabas says:

  9. Mike Metzger says:

    Barnabas – as to your questions, from last to first. Thinking has not gained too much attention, language has. Both are necessary yet insufficient for making sense of the world. We also feel and imagine. In my option, “control” is a poor choice of word for this conversation. Too strong. “Influence” or “shape” or “awareness” might be better. We cannot be conscious or aware of all that influences us. Classifying and branding are not inherently bad. Our conversation would be nonsensical if we could not. “Celebrate our uniqueness” reminds me of “celebrate diversity.” Not sure what how that works. Modeling, like classifying, is inherently good.

  10. Barnabas says:

    Thanks for your response Mike. I sense that we exhibit the dilemma in our discourse. How we choose in our minds to interpret the words placed before us, recognising the absence of tone and sound. The language of the written getting attention as our main means of sharing information. The sufficiency of making sense of the world only being apparent, if the outcome resonates with each of us. Yes,we feel physically using our five sense and emotionally, imagine and aspire. I note the emphasis of adjustment to “control” in using “Influence” or “shape” or “awareness”. I also accept that we cannot be conscious or aware of all that influences us. I do not see classifying and branding as inherently bad, but I am uneasy about labelling that doesn’t fully express the essence. Maybe the clue is that conversing distils the resonance of sense or nonsense. I sense a hint of cynicism towards the phrases “Celebrate our uniqueness” and “celebrate diversity.” Possibly recognising how interpretation can influence our sense of outcome. None of us being exactly the same. Modeling, like classifying, is in my opinion a neutral abstract tool that can be used by us for good or bad.

  11. Mike Metzger says:

    Well said. Yes, our conversation is capped. Lesslie Newbigin said something to the effect that a conversation about an individual changes to some degree when that individual enters the room. We’re not physically in the same room, so our conversion to some degree suffers, as you rightly note. As to my cynicism, it comes from my wife and I having put three kids through college. The modern university is all about “celebrating diversity” yet is one of the most intolerant environments we’ve experienced, with a marked lack respect for a few diverse views, particularly orthodox Christianity. Oh well.

  12. Barnabas says:

    Thanks for the prompt response Mike. I appreciate the root of your cynicism. Is it possibly, more as a result, that you appreciate the individuality of your children more than the ‘institutionalised’ thinking and language of the ‘ruling culture.’I suspect, the wisdom of parenting is the challenge of leading a child to the point they can walk themselves, reflecting their personality. Often, guidance being given in actions that clothe the words with reality. Respect being a key as you, as you hint. We have a life time to learn from the Living Word. May we each find rest in the rhythms of grace imparted to us. Bless you for diligently voicing your perceptions each week.

  13. Barnabas says:

    Oops should have read ‘Respect being a key, as you hint’

  14. Barnabas says:

  15. Barnabas says:

  16. David says:

    “McGilchrist says this has led “ultimately to a large bias overall” for words over images in the Western world.”

    Mike, curious- why don’t you use images on your blog, then?

  17. Mike Metzger says:


    Good question. McGilchrist would say the solution is image/words. That’s what I do every week in these columns. I develop a metaphor that frames the piece. Last week it was a football backfield. Metaphors are word pictures, or word images.

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