Iain McGilchrist in his famous book The Master and his Emissary. McGilchrist, both a brain scientist and a literary critic . . . argues that modern western culture has exhibited large-scale symptoms that correspond to the schizophrenia in which the brain’s left hemisphere dominates and the right hemisphere is under-used or screened out altogether. He insists that this is deeply unhealthy, since the right hemisphere, which handles metaphor, music, imagination, poetry and indeed faith, is designed to take the lead (‘the Master’), and the left hemisphere, which crunches the numbers and works out the details, is designed to back it up (‘the Emissary’). The take-over bid by the left brain produces, in a culture, the same effect as when the bean-counters take over the business. That’s not their job. The beans need to be counted, of course. But that must serve the larger purpose, which can never be glimpsed by merely counting beans.
–N. T. Wright,
Wouldn’t You Love to Know? Towards a Christian View of Reality
It is possible for a person to contend that a poem is nothing but black marks on white paper. And such an argument might be convincing before an audience that could not read. You can examine the print under a microscope or analyze the paper and ink but you will never find something behind this sort of analysis that you could call “a poem.” Those who can read, however, will continue to insist that poems exist.
–C. S. Lewis
Christian Theology in Plain Language