Standard scratchpad disclaimer. I am not tied to any of the perspectives below. I believe beliefs are best held lightly.
In his discussion with Jefferey Mishlove, Andy Newberg notes the importance of “being open to all paradigms. There is value in being reductionistic at times, and there is value in not”. This strikes me as another example of an integral, or meta-modern stance, looking to draw on transrational conceptions to expand the bounds of understanding.
This kind of work has been pursued in the past, and not unexpectedly has proven controversial. It seems extracting new the most value from these sorts of endeavours calls for a willingness to step back from ones own perspective, and a willingness to let a bigger picture come into view
Easier said than done when the most relevant data consists of profound, subjective experience. It seems this kind of enquiry calls for rational dreamers, both ice-cold and open-hearted.
Iain McGilchrist describes specific relationships between areas of the brain associated with features of perceptual hallucinations - demonstrated by way of brain lesions.
This draws some questions from the perspective above.
- at 25:03 - In his description of the perception as a whole-body phenomenon, he is echoing the picture presented by whitehead of a panexperiential universe. Self organization leads to a concentration and intensification of experience. Perception is streamlined to, then coodinated in our brains even more intensification. - btw - the missing link 🐒 - McGilchrist explicitly describes the right hemisphere of the brain as being responsible for "both-and" thinking - an integral keyword. Metamodernism is hot. Destined to fail and offering so much. McGilchrist is the first citable connection I have come across between integral conscioussness/metamodernism and a flip to panexperientialism. I live in hope.
On one hand, brain lesions are able to create very specific hallucinations or delusions, like a familiar persons eyes being distorted, or the straight lines of houses skewed diagonally. [[note Oliver Sacks]]
On the other hand, a significant number of otherwise ordinary people describe unbelievably novel, real, surreal, and unreal experiences complete with a set of esoteric details.
Repeating themes emerge from different individual’s accounts and reports date several thousand years back at least.
Devils, demons, aliens, elves, mantids, greys.
These varied descriptions, when viewed through their respective cultural and personal interpretation have the clear pattern of some sort of thing.
Like a super-humanoid? or a Bizaro-humanoid?
What part of the brain is responsible for that?
And why is…
... the perception of humanoid figures who consistently fly around in metal capsules ... ... a perception *sometimes shared* between witnesses and *sometimes not* ...
… a specific, subjective perceptual trait?
What sort of insidious, Jungian brain implosion is so specific and pronounced?
If its perception is not due to a localised brain region, but instead involves a coordinated effort on behalf of the brain, what is it responding to and and why the hell are aliens communicating telepathically to groups of children?
Whether that is actually happening or not is not the question.
The question does is why does it seem like it is?
Jacques Vallee describes the phenomenon acting as a metasystem. It’s not what it seems…. But it is something… so what the fuck is it? What part of us expresses itself like that? Because that too, is fucked.
[[Jeffrey Kripal]] describes The Imaginal. To interpretively quote him quoting someone else…
Like a small subset of caterpillars all hallucinating butterfly wings. A hullucination that contains an absurd truth they are unable to decipher - but something that will reveal itself, emerging into reality via their minds, to be ultimately incorporated into their being.
Maybe this perceptual hallucination eternally evades us, nevertheless leading us. Like a carrot on a stick we carry in front of ourselves. Forever.