glance, that posting seems related to D'Aquili and company.
Mystical Mind : Probing the Biology of Religious Experience
G. D'Aquili, Andrew B. Newberg
Won't Go Away : Brain Science and the Biology of Belief
Newberg M.D., Eugene G. D'Aquili Ph.D., Vince Rause
Symbol & Experience : Towards a Neurophenomenology of Human Consciousness
Laughlin, John McManus, Eugene G. D'Aquili
author's name for more titles."
seems to me, has succeeded in correlating brain states with mystic states. Has the subject of neuroscience/mystic state
been discussed in this group?
new to this group and would appreciate a reference to a post or two where the
neuroscience/mystic state subject was discussed.
have written something. There is
little, if any. It's generally
on-topic. Search here:
and Transcending: The Neurocognitive Roots of Materialism and Idealism
transcendent black-box utterly hidden god who is defined usefully can lift and
fish the mysticized one out of the deterministic cosmos, raising the initiate
into heaven, above the deterministic sphere of the fixed stars.
course the stars only appear to us as fixed. Stars move at great speeds ...
"rebuttal" is a misfire that mischaracterizes even the surface of
ancient thinking. The ancients held
that the stars moved, but in a manner that is fixed, unchanging, regular,
fated, deterministic. The goal of
mystic experiencing was both to experience that determinism deeply in a way
that killed the usual familiar sense of being a self-steering freewill-wielding
control agent, and to experience a sense of transcendending consciously, in some
sense, that newly intensely experienced determinism.
can see how mysticism ties into religion and such experiences and how they are
connected. Your post breaths the same sort of religious sounding experiences
and beliefs I have heard before from many believers. Nonetheless, I still think it is belief,
It is not
"belief" so much as *description* of standard common mystic-state
phenomena are shared subjective similar experiences, just as all knowledge is
shared subjective experience in which many people compare notes and take into
account the reports of others. Ken
Wilber covers this point well in the front of the book Eye to Eye.
not something with very much objective proof regardless of how true you might
believe or think it is.
weaknesses of "proof" have been covered by Hume and your objection
carries no weight unless you essentially acknowledging that "objective
proof" is highly problematic in the philosophy of science and epistemology
in general -- not just in mystic-state reports and descriptions of their
experiential phenomena. It is a fallacy
to imply that it's unproblematic to treat science as simply objective while
treating mystic experiencing as simply subjective. To do so is pre-philosophical, lacking all precision, and failing
to address obvious objections to such a simplistic dichotomy.
understand there are 'altered' mental states and these brain states can lead
one to believe they are mystical and transcendental, but they are still rooted
in the bio-electro-chemical nature of our brains and bodies. That is nature, not super-nature.
attempt to set up an opposition between mystical transcendental supernature on
one side, and bio-chemical nature on the other side, as though these must be
against each other, one falling and the other standing. Particular well-known and standard and
common altered mental states are brain states.
It's incorrect, and has a jump of meaning, to say these states "can
lead one to believe they are mystical and transcendental". Certainly these are mystical states -- there
is no serious debate regarding that point.
whether these are transcendental states depends mostly on the definition of
'transcendental', a highly shiftable term with two or three main distinct
meanings which I ought to identify here.
You raise good, basically relevant points, but it takes some work to
straighten out the various groupings or combinations of ideas. That work is good online conversation.
experiments confirm that the brain can make remarkable feelings and experiences
such as pain and pleasure centers and the feeling of being out of ones body,
among other things.
point, it's not clear why you bother pointing out what everyone (every thinker
I know of) agrees upon unproblematically.
mystical, or even magical experience is a mental state.
ancients often divided the person into 3 levels:
o Body (soma)
o Psyche (also often known as soul or mind;
see Reitzenstein's book Hellenistic Mystery-Religions: Their Basic Ideas and
o Spirit, as in some biblical passages
attributed to the Paul character.
3-tier system, one would generally assign the best part of hermeticism,
alchemy, magic, astrology, and mystical gnosis to the realm of the person's
spirit level, rather than their body or psyche level. The ancients (Greco-Romans to 476 CE) generally said that the
body did not participate in spiritual phenomena, but it's a distortion to force
modern literal non-mystical distinctions and categories straight into the
antique mystic allegorical descriptive system.
ancients did not assert that mystic experiencing is caused by brain chemistry;
neither did they deny it. They used a
different paradigm. The ancients -- in
fact, all of the pre-moderns, until the Reformation of 1517 or the
Enlightenment of 1700 or so -- operated within a paradigm that was mostly
mystical-state allegorical/descriptive, rather than literalist and uninformed
of mystic phenomena.
pre-moderns were generally operating from within an initiated paradigm, whereas
the moderns generally operated within an uninitiated paradigm, limited to only
being familiar with the ordinary state of consciousness, alienated from the
mystic altered state of consciousness.
point of view and Carl Sagan said it best, "The possible number of
possible mental states outnumber the atoms in the known universe."
consider that to be opposed to the simple concept of "the mystic altered
state", or not. Mystics assume the
existence of the following states:
o The ordinary waking state
o The standard sleeping dream state
o The sleeping dream state while using
visionary plants, such as in the temple of Asclepius.
o The mystic altered state induced by
ingestion of visionary plants, with different plants having different
characteristic experiential ranges.
mind remains open however on this. I haven't experienced it, and though I doubt
those who claim to have had mystical experiences, I remain open to the
possibility. ... seeing is believing and I haven't seen anything like this yet.
would immediately consider you unqualified to doubt; they would instantly
assign you to the category of "uninitiated" as unhesitatingly as we
identify sexes or the child/adult distinction.
If I belong to a group of people who sees the 3-dimensional Statue of
Liberty hidden in the large, framed stereogram poster in the bathroom at Guitar
Center, and you doubt that there is any such image hidden in the random-looking
blocks of color, we who agree the image is there can only shrug and laugh that
you don't see it.
it subjective, but we perceive it and our perception matches each other in
essentials. It is proven that the image
is there, among our group of observers.
The inability of others to perceive it -- when they haven't put their
perception apparatus into the requisite mode -- carries no weight whatsoever.