Perennial philosophy - Atheism and Theism are DEAD
Donating = Loving
Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.
Log in or create an account to join the discussions on the Atheist Republic forums.
Well, the way I see it is that it's a phenomenon in consciousness. I agree with you, these bodies are simply avatars we temporarily reside in, in a sense. Psilocybin is a kind of technological augment if you see it as a kind of nanotechnology developed by extraterrestrials eons ahead of us in evolution (that's an idea Terence McKenna played with). Neuroscience doesn't have a complete grasp of what consciousness is unless we assume that classical mechanics can explain away the processes of the brain. Consciousness is supposed to be that which is most familiar to us, yet it is the most mysterious. So, when I say "natural," I simply mean we can achieve this altered state without the intake of exogenous psychedelics. And it won't mean squat to you, I believe, until you have the experience for yourself. I'm in agreement with William James that it's pointless to attempt to transmit this experience in words to others who've not had a mystical experience. You see, William James concluded that while the revelations of the mystic hold true, they hold true only for the mystic; for others, they are certainly ideas to be considered, but can hold no claim to truth without personal experience of such. So, my purpose here is merely to sharpen my ability to articulate these ideas with open-minded individuals even though I believe I can never tell someone what a mystical experience is like, perhaps I can come close with intricate metaphors, but words pay no justice to the colossal aspect and God-like proportions of this phenomenon. I can't obviously do this at a theist form, because I'd be immediately banned. Atheists, fortunately, are a bit more open-minded, and can respond to what is being emphasized here.
I see your well meaning, but to me the conscience is something physical, and dies with the body, unless it can be transfered to another object like, say, a computer. I do not find it to be mystical or mysterious. That's why this reeks of subjectivity. Everyone has their own ideas, none of which can be empirically proven.
Well, I would say what these studies are suggesting is that the mystical experience isn't a subjective experience per se in the sense that each individual undergoes and experiences something unique to their own personality or subconscious. Sure, your personality may influence how you interpret the mystical experience itself, but there are six notable characteristics that have been outlined in the study which have been recognized to be universal to anyone who undergoes a mystical experience. These characteristics have absolutely nothing to do with the personal history or the unconscious mind of the individual. That is what these studies have empirically shown through fMRI and through questionnaires that have been around for decades to gauge the "mystical experience." The mystical experience is often described as being transpersonal or impersonal in that you're not met with the detritus of the ego or the subconscious mind.
As your comment that consciousness is something physical, and dies with the body, that is a mainstream atheistic point-of-view. Not all physicists or neuroscientists believe that consciousness is generated by the brain. Your mainstream model of consciousness definitely sees it as produced by the brain; the same way a factory makes cars. So, if you smash up the factory, the cars stop being made. Ergo, if the person dies, the brain dies, then consciousness just blinks out, gone, finished. That's the mainstream view. However, there is another view where the brain is a transceiver or receiver of consciousness, that it is the junction box that is manifesting consciousness on the physical realm. Then, when you destroy the receiver, the signal is still there just as if you destroyed a tv set, the tv signal is still there, and you get into all kinds of possibilities from that. Perhaps you've heard of quantum mind or what's also referred to as quantum consciousness which is a group of hypotheses which propose that classical mechanics cannot explain consciousness. It posits that quantum mechanical phenomena, such as quantum entanglement and superposition, may play an important part in the brain's function and could form the basis of an explanation of consciousness. If you Wiki consciousness, the quote that stands out there is, "Nothing worth reading has been written about consciousness." So, I think if you believe you've got it figured out, then you may be fooling yourself.
There was something I wanted to add… Oh yes, another reason you may not find consciousness mysterious is because you've never had a mystical experience. I mean, this is an experience which most people find that terms such as "spiritual" or "mystical" seem the only viable words that suffice for a description. Of course, those people may have been religiously influenced prior to their mystical experience, but I will point out that in Dr. Rick Strassman's book "DMT: The Spirit Molecule," he notes that atheist volunteers that he dosed intravenously with N,N-DMT would reach for more mathematical metaphors, common descriptions would include "beyond dimensionality" or even "fourth dimensional." To my mind, calling it "Brahman" or "hyperspace" are essentially two ways of describing the same thing. You know, Johns Hopkins is currently running a trial now. You could potentially be a volunteer, if you so wished, and you can have a mystical experience for yourself. They're accepting anyone between the ages of 25 and 80-years old. Now, you might say, "No, thanks," but you see, you've precluded yourself from the very thing that could challenge your atheism. Terence McKenna used to reserve DMT for the most hardened skeptics because it only lasts about five minutes. He'd say, "Surely you've five minutes to invest in an experience that would alter your entire ontological foundation." If you aren't willing to challenge yourself to this experience, then you'll forever circumambulate the true mystery of religion, and perhaps you'll have this experience prior to the moment of death (which is another area where it's speculated to occur).
I'm not up for completely changing how I look at my brain today. Thanks, but no thanks.
If anyone is curious: the conclusion of this peer reviewed paper1 Kafei has been eluding too was that if you give hallucinogens to people2 who regularly participate in religious activities; many of them will have an experience which is similar to "classic mystical experiences" while they are high. Does this surprise anyone?
1. This is assuming I found the correct paper since while Kafei has eluded to it several times, he hasn't actually told us the name of the paper. I'm pretty sure I found the right one, but can't be 100%.
2. Different forms of tests were done, many with as few as n=15 participants.
"Does this surprise anyone?"
Not in the least.
"1. This is assuming I found the correct paper since while Kafei has eluded to it several times, he hasn't actually told us the name of the paper.
2. Different forms of tests were done, many with as few as n=15 participants."
And if you look out the cabin window, you can see any remaining credibility flying off twords the sunset. Everyone wave goodbye!
15 participants? No, that doesn't sound like the study I'm referring to. There were far much more participants than that, and there has been multiple studies done since about 2009. They're actually going to start a study soon recruiting confirmed atheists. Now, that's going to be interesting. I'd like to add that these characteristics manifest themselves despite someone's religious inclination or lack thereof. That's a very important distinction to make. Dr. Rick Strassman had some atheists present in his clinical trial involving N,N-DMT which I mentioned in my previous post.
You don't meet many atheists who've actually had such an experience, and when you hear about atheists who've had the experience, they usually develop a different perspective afterwards. Two examples I can point to are Richard Alpert and Alex Grey. Both of which were atheists prior to their "mystical experience."
I don't want religious or mystical experiences. I'll keep my mind on the physical world, here and now, working on getting rid of religion and its derivatives.
Well, the entire point I'm attempting to make is religion will never disappear as long as you ignore the mystical experience. It will remain ambiguous and thrive throughout the world unless you're willing to address mystical experience. Otherwise, you'll never get rid of it. How can you? By rejecting the very thing that prompted it in the first place, it will continue to haunt our culture. However, if we can show religion for what it is, then perhaps we can show it for what it is. If you're going to get rid of it at all, that's how it will be done.
Religion was created when a conman met the a spiritualist who was talking to a gullible person. Nothing needs to be done but exposing religion as a completely unfounded delusion.
Kafei- "No, that doesn't sound like the study I'm referring to."
Then maybe you should actually refer to the study, so we can actually read it?
Nyarlathotep, I did you one better. In the very first hyperlink on the original post of this thread, I linked to a video of the leader of the research reviewing the peer-reviewed material himself of which you obviously never clicked.
"Ivinski Borokove: Religion was created when a conman met the a spiritualist who was talking to a gullible person. Nothing needs to be done but exposing religion as a completely unfounded delusion."
Sure that's what bureaucracy has twisted religion into over time, but its underlying claims are still there. You can reveal how religion is used today to indoctrinate people and influence how they think, but the underpinnings of religion such as the mystical experience will remain. And we are addressing it through various scientific studies which are currently taking place, and we'll continue to shed light on this phenomenon in consciousness.
You speak with absolute certainty. Which is a delusion in and of itself.
Kafei - "They're actually going to start a study soon..."
"Unperformed experiments, have no results" - Asher Peres
Nyarlathotep: Kafei - "They're actually going to start a study soon..."
"Unperformed experiments, have no results" - Asher Peres
Of course, we must understand that these things take time. It's hard to get these sort of clinical trials running because of the fact that they are illegal. The government has to give permission, volunteers must be screened, etc. Just because it hasn't been performed yet, doesn't mean it's not going to happen.
I'm done. Have fun with the nutcase, Nyar. I'm fileing this under "Delusions Caused by Substance Abuse".
Now, to relax to some Disturbed.
Giving up already, Ivinski Borokove? I don't possess any delusions. I've only tried psychedelics about a handful of times in my lifetime. Psychedelics aren't addicting, by the way. I mean, some people reserve this experience as an annual event. Taking something like DMT twice or thrice a year is perhaps taking it too much. This is an experience of such profundity that you will spend the rest of your days pondering it. Terence McKenna once told an audience that he gave a friend of his a vile of DMT, and this guy replied, "I'm going to save it for my grandchildren," and Terence joked, "But you're not even married." This is definitely something you're not going to jump right back into the next day once you've had a Kilindi Iyi-recommended dose. You're going to want to spend some time digesting the experience, you might never return to it, even.
Its not about giving up. Its about realizing when someone will never realize how rediculus they sound. There is no way in the nine holds of Tartarus that I would trust you. Or any of this crap your preaching about. And I don't think you can convince anyone here of it. Go home. You can't win here.
What have I said that is so ridiculous? I'm not attempting to preach anything. A similar thread was posted at "ThinkAtheist.com" with the title "The Entheogenic theory of religion" which I participated in. Some atheists there accused me of proselytizing an "LSD God." You see, that's entirely missing the point. It's not like I'm saying "mystical experiences exists, therefore God exists." That's not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that the usual atheist conclusion is that "God" was a sort of God of the Gaps, it was a fanciful notion born out of the imagination to give answers to what we didn't have answers for. Perhaps some religions developed the notion of God in such a fashion, but the major religions such as Hinduism, for instance, is without a doubt referring to an altered state of consciousness which they referred to as "samadhi," but what our neuroscientists today are referring to as "mystical experience." What Perennial philosophy is arguing is that God is not some old man with a long white beard sitting on a throne in heaven, but rather a metaphor used to describe an altered state of consciousness, likewise Brahman, samadhi, satori, nirvana, moksha, Beatific vision, shekinah, etc. Carl Jung called it the "collective unconscious," because he recognized that religion seem to sprout spontaneously in various cultures throughout the world, and in various epochs even when there was no influence upon one culture to another. That was his notion, but what these scientific studies are implicating that it wasn't a "collective unconscious" but the mystical experience which is hard-wired into our species.
I don't have to convince anyone here of the mystical experience because that has already been scientifically proven. What I'm doing rather is helping people understand the implications of such a study.
of or relating to mystics or religious mysticism.
"the mystical experience"
NOTICE: "RELIGIOUS MYSTICISM"
If you try to fight the defintion, your a lost cause.
Kafei - "Nyarlathotep, I did you one better. In the very first hyperlink on the original post of this thread, I linked to a video of the leader of the research reviewing the peer-reviewed material himself of which you obviously never clicked."
Actually following your link is how I found the paper in question, so that's another 5 points for you. A bonus 50 points for suggesting that a youtube video is "one better" than a peer reviewed paper. And finally a bonus 20 for being 3 pages into the thread and still refusing to give us the title of the paper.
Nyarlathotep, I've referenced multiple studies. If you give me time, I can get you the links to every one of them. Here's one:
The one that involved 15 volunteers, I believe, was done in the treatment of tobacco addiction. There is another study that was done on terminally-ill cancer patients. It involved ten men and five women:
Ivinski Borokove, the term is "mystical experience." That is the term used in the study, not simply "mystical" by itself.
Kafei - "Nyarlathotep, I've referenced multiple studies."
25 points for saying you have referenced studies without having referenced any studies.
Well, I didn't directly linked to them, but I have indirectly referenced them. I mentioned Dr. Rick Strassman's work with DMT, the current study happening now with psilocybin in Baltimore, MD, and a few others. Like I said, give me time, and I'll prepare the links. I've most of this stuff bookmarked. By the way, if the video somehow led you to the tobacco study, then I'm not sure how you linked to that. The video is addressing another study that had taken place, the study on tobacco addicts wasn't addressed in that particular video.
e/ Unfortunately, the links that referred to the peer-reviewed material on the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine website have been taken down, but I did find a link that mentions numerous studies that you can Google if you'd like some more information on these clinical trials:
Kafei - "Here's one:
That is the exact paper I was discussing, which you said is the wrong one. + 15 points
Kafei - "The one that involved 15 volunteers"
It is more than one experiment, some had 30, some as few as 15. +0 points since you put in the qualifier "I believe"
Kafei - "was done in the treatment of tobacco addiction"
It has nothing to do with tobacco, but again because of the qualifier + 0 points
All in all, the amount of inaccurate statements you are posting seems to be slightly diminishing. Perhaps there is hope for you yet, but I doubt it.
/e Isn't it odd that in one lunch break of reading, it seems I'm more familiar with his work than you are?
The one I linked to had over thirty participants, not simply thirty participants, but why nit-pick over these trivialities? The trial involving the tobacco addicts did involve precisely 15 participants for both sessions, so I could accuse you of being vague, but like I said, why nit-pick over something so petty? Now, there has been many follow-ups and multiple clinical trials that have taken place now, and have yield similar results. Johns Hopkins are actually using higher doses this time around, and expect to see a higher rate for mystical experience in individuals. So, there's more to come.
Of course there was more than one experiment, these trials have been going on since 2006! I mean, talk about being vague. Why don't you address any real points instead of nit-picking at trivialities?
Kafie: "Why don't you address any real points instead of nit-picking at trivialities?"
Consider that you might very well be the only one in the string who considers these items trivial.
And here's dome more:
"Full Definition of mystical
a : h̲a̲v̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲a̲ ̲s̲p̲i̲r̲i̲t̲u̲a̲l̲ ̲m̲e̲a̲n̲i̲n̲g̲ or reality that is neither apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence
b : involving or having the nature of an individual's d̲i̲r̲e̲c̲t̲ ̲s̲u̲b̲j̲e̲c̲t̲i̲v̲e̲ ̲c̲o̲m̲m̲u̲n̲i̲o̲n̲ ̲w̲i̲t̲h̲ ̲G̲o̲d̲ ̲ "
"mystical Translate Button
mystic; o̲f̲ ̲o̲r̲ ̲r̲e̲l̲a̲t̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲t̲o̲ ̲s̲u̲p̲e̲r̲n̲a̲t̲u̲r̲a̲l̲ ̲a̲g̲e̲n̲c̲i̲e̲s̲,̲ ̲a̲f̲f̲a̲i̲r̲s̲,̲ ̲o̲c̲c̲u̲r̲r̲e̲n̲c̲e̲s̲,̲ ̲e̲t̲c̲.:
a strange, mystical experience."
"mystic Translate Button
involving or characterized by esoteric, otherworldly, or symbolic practices or content, a̲s̲ ̲c̲e̲r̲t̲a̲i̲n̲ ̲r̲e̲l̲i̲g̲i̲o̲u̲s̲ ̲c̲e̲r̲e̲m̲o̲n̲i̲e̲s̲ ̲a̲n̲d̲ ̲a̲r̲t̲;̲ ̲s̲p̲i̲r̲i̲t̲u̲a̲l̲l̲y̲ ̲s̲i̲g̲n̲i̲f̲i̲c̲a̲n̲t̲;̲ ̲e̲t̲h̲e̲r̲e̲a̲l̲."
1. Of, relating to, or stemming from mysticism or immediate understanding of spiritual matters, e̲s̲p̲e̲c̲i̲a̲l̲l̲y̲ ̲w̲h̲e̲n̲ ̲e̲x̲p̲e̲r̲i̲e̲n̲c̲e̲d̲ ̲a̲s̲ ̲d̲i̲r̲e̲c̲t̲ ̲c̲o̲m̲m̲u̲n̲i̲o̲n̲ ̲w̲i̲t̲h̲ ̲G̲o̲d̲"
I can keep this up all night.
Sure, you've defined the word "mystical," but the term adopted in the scientific study is "mystical experience." The very first hyperlink I left in my original post is of the leader of the research himself taking the time to define "mystical experience." Perhaps you should start there before jumping on online dictionaries searching irrelevant terms.