Why can we not observe God?

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Cognostic's picture
@Kafei: Amorphous

@Kafei: Amorphous abstraction, explained by amorphous abstraction, explained by amorphous abstraction, does not a theory make. Inane assertion after inane assertion only leads to inane conclusion.

Kafei's picture
I'm speaking about an

I'm definitely not speaking about an amorphous abstraction or an inane assertion, what I'm speaking of has been very concretely defined. Spinoza wrote books on it, Ken Wilber has written extensively on it, and there's been many authors of the Primordial Tradition that have written upon this understanding of the Divine, and interpretation of the Trinity. What I've given you is the mystic's interpretation of The Holy Trinity, and its relationship to philosophical Absolute and man/woman. You see, the mystic claims to directly experience the Absolute, and it's through this interchange which is mediated by the Holy Spirit (mystical experience), that this insight is imparted to the mystic. If you'd like a better description, I recommend some of these links. Darth Dawkins A.K.A. "EF" also speaks on these topics, but I attempted to steel man him one time on a live feed, and so I offer a description there. If you're interested, here's the link.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Looks like more flim-flam.

Looks like more flim-flam.

Cognostic's picture
Kafei: LOL Self reported

Kafei: LOL Self reported studies? Ha ha ha .... Spiritual or Drug Induced, which was the actual cause? Please explain the difference. "concretely defined?" I have never heard of anything spiritual "concretely defined."

(From the Video you posted) "It's hard to do a double bind study." "Look at the effects of Psilocybin." Spinoza? " The soul as a "spiritual automaton." Can you quote the "Concrete Definition."

THINGS YOU THINK MAKE SENSE:
"Directly experience the absolute."
"Divine"
"Trinity"
"Absolute man/woman"
"mystic"
"Interchange mediated by the holy spirit."
THERE IS NOTHING HERE THAT EVEN APPROACHES "CONCRETE."

LOOKING AT THE LINK: link. ???? What a coward who attacks and then runs and hides behind their imaginary friend god! ?????
And then a presuppositionalist defining God. The commentator does not understand the word "Prove." "straw man" verificationism. Laws of nature are prescriptive not descriptive. They are not things. Likewise the number two is a mental construct. One inane assertion after another from the presuppositionalist. Not really sure what you are on about here. Nothing at all concrete. Presuppositionalists simply make claims without facts or evidence supporting those claims.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Yeah, having a debate with a

Yeah, having a debate with a presuppositionalist makes about as much sense as having a debate with a solipsist.

Kafei's picture
I'm going to have to disagree

@Cognostic I'm going to have to disagree. The so-called "mystical state of consciousness" is quite well established in the scientific literature. This has absolutely nothing to do with presuppositionalism. The fact that you'd assume so only reveals your nescience relative to these topics, no offense to you, but that's definitely not what I'm referring to. I'm more accurately referring to the mystical-type experiences that yes, do occur on a spectrum, but nevertheless are very distinctive in that they've recognized archetypal/visionary states which occur just prior or after what they deem as the "complete" mystical experience. By "complete," these professionals simply full-spectrum or highest mystical vision which is one and the same for all volunteers, and described by mystics throughout the ages.

Mysticism, in other words, is perceived by these researchers as being based on a natural phenomenon in consciousness. Something that is biologically normal, but that would not happen else someone engaged a discipline like meditation or asceticism or the use of high-dose psychedelics, and even more rare than that do these experiences happen spontaneously or in instances of a stroke as in the case of Jill Bolte Taylor or even in devices aimed to induce this experience i.e. The God helmet as most people are familiar with or more recently, the Ajna Light which also claims to produce this experience naturally. Dr. Dawkins explained that he was one of the 20% of people who are typical of the EEG for not having this experience when he tried on the God helmet, and admitted he was disappointed. They're also speculated to occur in near-death. Mysticism, you see, involves the disciplines and techniques aimed to elicit these mystical experience of which this research is investigating, however for the mystic, mysticism isn't simply about the experience itself, but to integrate the insights of those experiences into one's daily life. That is what encompasses mysticism. Anyway, I could go on about this, but I'll wait for a response. I've left plenty of material here for anyone to help themselves regarding this scientific research, and what's going on at Johns Hopkins that has prompted entheogenic research all over the world.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Kafei - This has absolutely

Kafei - This has absolutely nothing to do with presuppositionalism. The fact that you'd assume so...

/e BTW: if your unhappy that the conversion veered into criticism of presuppositionalism; perhaps you shouldn't have steered us to a presuppositionalist.

Kafei's picture
Who are you accusing of

@Nyar Who are you accusing of presuppositionalism? Certainly neither Spinoza or Wilber. Neither are presuppositionalist. I'm not unhappy that the "conversion" *cough, Freudian slip, cough* I mean conversation veered towards that direction. I'm simply saying that direction is irrelevant.

Nyarlathotep's picture
@Kafei

@Kafei
Three hours ago---in this thread--- you discussed a presuppitionalist, and linked a youtube video discussing them.

Kafei's picture
What I've cited has

@Nyar What I've cited has absolutely nothing to do with presuppositionalism. I just would like to make that clear. Which presuppositionalist do you think I've mentioned, specifically?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Kafei - Which

Kafei - Which presuppositionalist do you think I've mentioned, specifically?

"Darth Dawkins"

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kafei

@ Kafei

On his home front, Bob is co-convenor of a spiritual community formed around ecstatic dance. His formal training is in engineering. He resides in San Francisco.

Well, re the "complete mystical experience" all self reporting.....this last quote (above) from the bio on the video says it all. If you really want to be lumped in with the woo merchants you are going the right way about it.

Fekking Iriot.

Kafei's picture
To the contrary, these

To the contrary, these experiences have been well established beyond mere "self-reported" mystical experience. This is the very point I atttempted to inform Matt Dillahunty of on the very first call of The Atheist Experience this year. Rather, and more accurately, on these measures the psilocybin-induced mystical experience appear virtually identical to naturally occurring mystical experiences from which mystics have "reported," sure, rather expressed and construed via this direct experience. In other words, Matt attempted to make this same argument, that mystics were reporting this experience as "mystical" when no mystic used the term "mystical experience" to describe this experience, neither do the volunteers involved in this research. Rather mystics variously described it in the scriptures of the major religions in different ways, and this is why this research has defined these mystical experiences within accordance with the Perennial philosophy.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kafei

@ Kafei

To the contrary, these experiences have been well established beyond mere "self-reported" mystical experience

Then you didn't listen to the video. All the experiences were "self reported". The only control were neighbours and friends who reported on the subsequent behavioural characteristics of the subjects. These were according to several (Eleven) arbitrary and rather woolly "divisions" (i think they meant definitions)

This is, as the lecturer (He of the mystical dance classes) admitted not actual evidence. Or at least not evidence that would constitute a valid study. It has all the validity of drug takers or alcoholics reporting their dreams with neighbours and family reporting on their behaviour before and after binges.

That "mystical experiences" have been subjectively reported throughout human history is not evidence of their existence. Only that they have been reported as experiences by individuals for varied and uncertain motives.

Unitil reliable evidence either medical or physical can be produced such experiences are just an individuals say so; varying from naked venality to drug induced hallucination. Sometimes a genuine mental illness produces delusions.

Supply genuine evidence or quit wasting our eyeballs reading and watching this guff.

Kafei's picture
Well, I ask you to review the

Well, I ask you to review the science before judging this research so hastily. To accuse these experiences of being "reported" as a "mystical experience" using that specific phrasing, (which neither mystic nor volunteer do) is one thing, but to accuse it of being simply reported whether regarding it as the Theoria of Christianity or the nirvana of Buddhism is baseless criticism. Of course, for a mystic to communicate this experience, they must necessarily "report" it. They must put it into symbolic form be it a painting, words in scripture, or a symbol, etc. However, the representation isn't necessarily what it is. In other words, don't confuse the symbol for what the symbol points to which is what these professionals are describing as a universal phenomenon in consciousness, as a "complete" mystical experience or as Bruce Lee would say, "Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!"

CSP Founder Robert Jesse on the "Complete" Mystical experience

Dr. Roland Griffiths on "Complete" mystical experience

Dr. Alex Belsar - "Complete" Mystical Experience

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kafei

@ Kafei

Thanks for your links. I think you are confusing the deceased and distinguished biochemist DR R Jesse ( MD PhD) with your rather 'out there' Mr Robert Jesse whoi does not claim either a doctorate or an MD. He is the organiser of the Council on Spiritual Practices (csp.org/about), which aims to shift modernity's awareness and practices with respect to primary religious experience. Even the link you supplied does not describe him as a Doctor of anything. But then I could be very wrong on this as I had not come across the two of them , and certainly not heard of Jesse but in the context of psychedelic drug studies.

Roland Griffiths PhD conducted a series of experiments on the chemical ingredient of "magic mushrooms" along with Robert Jesse. I note that in each case they were studying the effects of drugs and overdoses on reported 'Mystical experiences" or did you not actually read the papers?

Again in your final link about the improvements in cancer patients symptoms that report a "mystical experience' it is only using the scale of experiences self reported by the individual. That these experiences are reported by an individual does not mean that they are manifestations of reality. It only means that those reporting disparate 'mystical experiences' from a group pre-disposed to believe in such have reality for the individual.

Your sudden segue into esoteric symbolism is not borne out by any of your citations that I can see. Few of the individual mystical experiences have commonality except where it is shown that the subject are pre-disposed to a particular 'brand' of spirituality. You will have to read the papers to get that indexation. Jesse (in the video) glosses over the pre existing bias of the subjects, it is reported in the papers however.

I would suggest that instead of concentrating on any appendages or things that the late Bruce Lee 'would say' yopu organise ytour evidential house. Make sure you are quoting the right people and stick to a single point.
You have no evidence or systematic pointers to anything but 'self reporting' of unprovable experiences that may or may not have an effect on your well being especially when initiated by overdoses of a particular drug.

When the Johns Hopkins studies are replicated by another academic institution it may be time to take notice and seek the confirmation of 'complete mystical experience' . As it is....well....

Kafei's picture
Thanks for your links. I

@Old man shouts

Thanks for your links. I think you are confusing the deceased and distinguished biochemist DR R Jesse ( MD PhD) with your rather 'out there' Mr Robert Jesse whoi does not claim either a doctorate or an MD. He is the organiser of the Council on Spiritual Practices (csp.org/about), which aims to shift modernity's awareness and practices with respect to primary religious experience. Even the link you supplied does not describe him as a Doctor of anything. But then I could be very wrong on this as I had not come across the two of them , and certainly not heard of Jesse but in the context of psychedelic drug studies.

No, that's right. Bob Jesse is the founder of the CSP, and has recruited this team of professionals to investigate psilocybin-induced mystical experience. The leading researcher is Dr. Roland Griffiths, and I'd say the veteran psychedelic researcher is Dr. Bill Richards.

Roland Griffiths PhD conducted a series of experiments on the chemical ingredient of "magic mushrooms" along with Robert Jesse. I note that in each case they were studying the effects of drugs and overdoses on reported 'Mystical experiences" or did you not actually read the papers?

I think you're pouring too much emphasis on the word "reported." Yes, the volunteers' descriptions of the experience were put against measures that have been specifically designed to gauge mystical experience. They were originally laid out by William James, further elaborated throughout the decades with the work of Dr. Walter Pahnke, Dr. Walter T. Stace, and Dr. Ralph Hood, et al. and most refined in this research out of Johns Hopkins led by Dr. Roland Griffiths. In order for a volunteer to be considered by these professionals to have had the so-called "complete" mystical experience, they have to meet measures on all six criteria definitive for the CME ("complete" mystical experience).

Again in your final link about the improvements in cancer patients symptoms that report a "mystical experience' it is only using the scale of experiences self reported by the individual. That these experiences are reported by an individual does not mean that they are manifestations of reality. It only means that those reporting disparate 'mystical experiences' from a group pre-disposed to believe in such have reality for the individual.

I don't think these volunteers were necessarily primed for the experience. I'd also say that it's a mistake to not consider it a manifestation of reality, when it's a manifestation of reality insofar as everyone is reported a universal phenomenon in consciousness that is outside the bounds of their personality, of their personal history, etc. This is why they relate this to the Philosophia perennis, because the content of the CME transcends time and culture. Dr. Rick Strassman, the guy who led the DMT studies back in the mid-90s also said that all his volunteers reported that these experiences are "more real than everyday waking consciousness." William James called this the "neotic quality," and Dr. Roland Griffiths also says this of his volunteers as well.

Your sudden segue into esoteric symbolism is not borne out by any of your citations that I can see. Few of the individual mystical experiences have commonality except where it is shown that the subject are pre-disposed to a particular 'brand' of spirituality. You will have to read the papers to get that indexation. Jesse (in the video) glosses over the pre existing bias of the subjects, it is reported in the papers however.

Yes, Bob Jesse explains that they were looking for people who adhered to some kind of spiritual or religious practice, whether it's fervent or passé. However, I believe that's irrelevant, because they've also had atheist volunteers involved in the survey studies as part of their research. Guess what happened to the atheists?

I would suggest that instead of concentrating on any appendages or things that the late Bruce Lee 'would say' yopu organise ytour evidential house. Make sure you are quoting the right people and stick to a single point.
You have no evidence or systematic pointers to anything but 'self reporting' of unprovable experiences that may or may not have an effect on your well being especially when initiated by overdoses of a particular drug.

This is quite a risible entry. You see, the point in that Bruce Lee clip is not to pay attention to the appendage, if you're focusing on the finger, then you've missed the entire point. I follow this research quite diligently, actually. I am quoting the right people, my evidential house is well organized. Once again, they've established more than simply "reported" experience. They're now starting to use fMRI in combination with the survey data, the questionnaire data, etc. Eventually, I believe a neuroscientist will have just but to look at an fMRI scan to determine a CME. Yes, we are talking about a very real phenomenon in consciousness that is universal across the board. These professionals consider the mystical states of consciousness evidence for the Perennial philosophy, and we're definitely not talking about an overdose. You see, they are using a high dose, the equivalent to Terence McKenna's "heroic dose" contained in a pill, but this orders of magnitude away from what would be considered an "overdose."

When the Johns Hopkins studies are replicated by another academic institution it may be time to take notice and seek the confirmation of 'complete mystical experience' . As it is....well....

Well, like I said, don't judge the research so quickly. I believe what happened is you're simply just being introduced to this stuff, and hastily judged it while not realizing that this scientific research has a very rich history initiating with the work of William James in the early 1900s. The CME is not something that may or may have not happened, it's an extant and recognized phenomenon in consciousness that's been well established within the scientific literature.

@Nyar I don't know EF's position. In that stream I appeared on with him, I had chimed in late, and so if he was arguing from a presuppositionlist standpoint, I wouldn't have known. If he is arguing from the philosophical Absolute, that's a concept that has absolutely nothing to do with presuppositionalism. I was more referring to the actual professionals I've been citing, not EF whom I don't know very well, and am not clear as to what position he holds.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Kafei - ...if he was arguing

Kafei - ...if he was arguing from a presuppositionlist standpoint, I wouldn't have known.

  1. take drugs
  2. discuss the presuppositionalism of someone else in a recorded video
  3. take drugs
  4. as a non-sequitur, link that part of the video here
  5. take drugs
  6. tell us you didn't know the person was a presuppositionalist
  7. take drugs
Kafei's picture
That would be a valid

That would be a valid criticism if it were not for the fact that psychedelics aren't required to elicit these mystical states of consciousness.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kafei

@ Kafei

In my youth I tried the psychedelics, and among other experiences, had a very interesting and mystical 3 days in Yacqui country.

Psychedelic research is indeed "a thing" and has been for the better part of a century. The Holy Grail of course has not been discovered, that is, the communication of a mystical experience to a third party in "real", observed time. In other words the dreamers are experiencing all of it entirely within their own skulls whatever the psychedelic experience may say.

The effects of magic mushrooms have been widely reported and as widely investigated as have others such as Datura, Cannabis, Peyotl etc. However there is no evidence, save personal anecdotes, of anything except the psychedelic experience itself.
Even though some experience (talking coyotes and the like) have a slight commonality, when rigorously examined as in the studies you quoted the commonality is slight, the messages different and the similarities are really down to the cultural and educational conditioning of the subjects.

No amount of your word salad will change that. No amount of endowing Bob Jesse with a doctorate (as you did) will change that. The fact is psychedelics, hallucinogenics and many other drugs will change the chemical composition of your brain after extended use. It does NOT prove the reality of the experience except to the individual

So, in conclusion, take your stuff, but know it is inside you and only inside you that changes occur and they are chemical changes not gods.

Stay in rehab, you will be better for it.

Kafei's picture
@ Old man shoutsIn my youth I

@ Old man shouts

In my youth I tried the psychedelics, and among other experiences, had a very interesting and mystical 3 days in Yacqui country.

You know, I discuss these topics often across many forums across the internet relative to atheism, theism, people interested in psychedelics (places like Shroomery.org or DMT-Nexus.com as well as chatrooms, various hang outs, YouTube streams. I've also been a caller on The Atheist Experience, and other shows like Atheist Edge and Talk Heathen.

Psychedelic research is indeed "a thing" and has been for the better part of a century. The Holy Grail of course has not been discovered, that is, the communication of a mystical experience to a third party in "real", observed time. In other words the dreamers are experiencing all of it entirely within their own skulls whatever the psychedelic experience may say.

Well, I wouldn't compare a "complete" mystical experience to a dream. I would describe it more as a metanoia, it's a fundamental alteration of one's perception. I believe you're overemphasizing the neurological processes here. I wouldn't necessarily call that a criticism, especially when all your subjective experience happens "entirely within your own skull." If that's your criticism, then your perspective, God is impossible, you see, precisely because every experience you have, even if it's a consensus reality, is all ultimately happening within you.

The effects of magic mushrooms have been widely reported and as widely investigated as have others such as Datura, Cannabis, Peyotl etc. However there is no evidence, save personal anecdotes, of anything except the psychedelic experience itself.
Even though some experience (talking coyotes and the like) have a slight commonality, when rigorously examined as in the studies you quoted the commonality is slight, the messages different and the similarities are really down to the cultural and educational conditioning of the subjects

.

I'll try to explain, actually following this research, how it's addressed by these professionals. The mystical experience does occur on a spectrum, and so in the research, they make this distinction between what they call the archetypal/visionary states of consciousness vs. the unitive mytical states of consciousness (also referred to as the "complete" mystical experience). Now, I made a mistake on Atheist Edge, and so one of the listeners by the name of Jim Majors ended up misconstruing me due to my error. So, he contextualized the experiences. However, let me clarify here. What referred to as the "archetypal/visionary" experience as the "height of the experience." My mistake, and I didn't meant to phrase it that way, I don't know if I was nervous or what the hell, because it was a kind of 9 vs. 1 situation which I'm used to, but not necessarily in person like that. However, the point was that the "visionary/archetypal" experience emphasized in this research actually occur just before or right after the "complete" or unitive mystical experience which is, more accurately, the very height of this phenomenon, the universally reported CME. I accidentally referred to the visionary experience as the height, and it's not, but for some people it is, they don't end up having the "complete" mystical experience, but partial mystical experience, some aspects of it. But one shouldn't assume it ends there. The visionary states can be very personal, addressing you specifically, so for instance if you're Christian, you may see Christ at the Cross; if you're Muslim, you may see Muhammad, if you're Hindu, you may see Shiva, etc. Let's say you're not very religious, you may see someone that has died that was important in your life or a dead parent or family member, etc. However, and this is the point I wish I had emphasized when I was brought onto the show. I sort of got at it, but apparently not quite, and that is that in the unitive mystical experience, there is the complete dissolution of the subject-object dichotomy that we all experience in our everyday consciousness. So, that there's no longer an ego, there's no longer perception that can see something that is separate from itself, like Christ on the Cross or a dead loved one or what-have-you. There's no longer a distinction between what you think of as objective and what you think of as subjective, they're the exact same thing at the height of the "complete" mystical experience. So, for the mystic (mystic meaning someone practices these disciplines and engages these mystical experiences, and uses the insights of those experience to direct their life) they are someone who have seen that God is everywhere but merely invisible to us due to our ego-centered nature. So, for them, it is easy to find that a drug that occasionally obliterates the ego can also make God more visible. You see, because this experience of "ego death," of having died to witness this complete dissolution of the subject-object dichotomy, they are often led to a panentheistic understanding of the divine or God ever after this experience. The content of the unitive mystical experience or CME goes beyond the personal history of the individual, so that the experience has nothing to do with what religion you came from or lack of religion, it's nothing to do with your memories, the culture you live in, etc. It is transcendent of all these things. It's rather considered a direct experience of the philosophical Absolute. So, if you scratch the major religions to their core, then what you'll find is that each of the major religions has a description of this Absolute. It is Brahman in Hinduism, "The Father" in Christianity, "The One" of Plotinus, it is the Tawhid of Islam, etc. I realize that was quite long-winded, but I don't think this is something easily discussed, even the researchers point this out, and the outside the research.

No amount of your word salad will change that. No amount of endowing Bob Jesse with a doctorate (as you did) will change that. The fact is psychedelics, hallucinogenics and many other drugs will change the chemical composition of your brain after extended use. It does NOT prove the reality of the experience except to the individual

Well, this experience isn't necessarily easy, I believe that's why Terence McKenna called it the "heroic dose." Another thing to point out is we're not speaking about "extended use." Dr. Roland Griffiths is quick to point out that no one is coming back to Johns Hopkins saying, "More please." This is not necessarily an experience you'd like to repeat, but I'd like to be clear that we're talking about a single high dose, not extended use. That's after all the Big Point arising out of the scientific research. I wouldn't necessarily say any of this is a "word salad," I have been pointing to quite concretely defined concepts here. However, the sort of necessary issue that arises here is that something that is realized in an experience, in a fundamental transformation of perception cannot be transmitted by telepathy, then all this exchange would be unnecessary. The experience necessarily has to be transposed into words, and that unfortunately completely destroys the fullness of the message. Alan Watts said that it's ultimately something that cannot be put into words, it's only realized through this revelation.

So, in conclusion, take your stuff, but know it is inside you and only inside you that changes occur and they are chemical changes not gods.

That could be said about any experience. I've I believe I've explained why this is not a criticism, and I'm willing to continue the dialogue.

Stay in rehab, you will be better for it.

Straight to the put-downs already? C'mon, you think you're the first atheist I've encountered or something?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kafei

@ Kafei

The visionary states can be very personal, addressing you specifically, so for instance if you're Christian, you may see Christ at the Cross; if you're Muslim, you may see Muhammad, if you're Hindu, you may see Shiva, etc. Let's say you're not very religious, you may see someone that has died that was important in your life or a dead parent or family member, etc. However, and this is the point I wish I had emphasized when I was brought onto the show. I sort of got at it, but apparently not quite, and that is that in the unitive mystical experience, there is the complete dissolution of the subject-object dichotomy that we all experience in our everyday consciousness. So, that there's no longer an ego, there's no longer perception that can see something that is separate from itself, like Christ on the Cross or a dead loved one or what-have-you. There's no longer a distinction between what you think of as objective and what you think of as subjective, they're the exact same thing at the height of the "complete" mystical experience. So, for the mystic (mystic meaning someone practices these disciplines and engages these mystical experiences, and uses the insights of those experience to direct their life) they are someone who have seen that God is everywhere but merely invisible to us due to our ego-centered nature. So, for them, it is easy to find that a drug that occasionally obliterates the ego can also make God more visible. You see, because this experience of "ego death," of having died to witness this complete dissolution of the subject-object dichotomy, they are often led to a panentheistic understanding of the divine or God ever after this experience. The content of the unitive mystical experience or CME goes beyond the personal history of the individual, so that the experience has nothing to do with what religion you came from or lack of religion, it's nothing to do with your memories, the culture you live in, etc. It is transcendent of all these things. It's rather considered a direct experience of the philosophical Absolute. So, if you scratch the major religions to their core, then what you'll find is that each of the major religions has a description of this Absolute. It is Brahman in Hinduism, "The Father" in Christianity, "The One" of Plotinus, it is the Tawhid of Islam, etc. I realize that was quite long-winded, but I don't think this is something easily discussed, even the researchers point this out, and the outside the research.

What this magnificent block of word salad boils down to is: Personal experience, no shared experience, everything happening within the subjects brain. No physical, measurable effects outside the subjects own body (no levitation, telekinesis, transformations). Just a giant slab of presupposition that a "god thing exists " and can be visible when taking unwise quantities of hallucinogenics.

You are talking in one phrase: So, for them, it is easy to find that a drug that occasionally obliterates the ego can also make God more visible. You see, because this experience of "ego death," of having died to witness this complete dissolution of the subject-object dichotomy, they are often led to a panentheistic understanding of the divine or God ever after this experience as if there was a 100% commonality of hallucinations....where do you get that from? Certainly not the subjects themselves, unless you are choosing to interpret their words to back up your bias.

Kafei's picture
What this magnificent block

What this magnificent block of word salad boils down to is: Personal experience, no shared experience, everything happening within the subjects brain. No physical, measurable effects outside the subjects own body (no levitation, telekinesis, transformations). Just a giant slab of presupposition that a "god thing exists " and can be visible when taking unwise quantities of hallucinogenics.

Well, if by shared, I am speaking of a universal phenomenon in consciousness when it comes to the unitive mystical experience. An experience that seems to be part of the structure of consciousness itself, and this is very akin to how the eastern religions viewed these type of experiences. I offer that as some Alan Watts ASMR.

You are talking in one phrase: So, for them, it is easy to find that a drug that occasionally obliterates the ego can also make God more visible. You see, because this experience of "ego death," of having died to witness this complete dissolution of the subject-object dichotomy, they are often led to a panentheistic understanding of the divine or God ever after this experience as if there was a 100% commonality of hallucinations....where do you get that from? Certainly not the subjects themselves, unless you are choosing to interpret their words to back up your bias.

Yes, this is what I'm attempting to emphasize, that the volunteers invariably describe these type of experiences. Recall, it's not the volunteer that deems their experience as a "complete" mystical experience, rather this is assessed by the professionals involved in the research and the measures developed over decades of scientific research.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kafei

@ Kafei

Yes, this is what I'm attempting to emphasize, that the volunteers invariably describe these type of experiences.

Come back to me when you have some actual evidence. Not personal revelation. At the moment you have only that. Not uniform, not communicable. Only supposition based on the ingestion of drugs.

Yes I know that deep meditation can replicate a drug induced 'mystic' or 'revelatory' state, as can deep psychosis. But as it stands you have not one piece of evidence that can be replicated, communicated or evidenced even to a 'balance of probability'.

When you have that then please let me know I am all attention.

Kafei's picture
Come back to me when you have

Come back to me when you have some actual evidence. Not personal revelation. At the moment you have only that. Not uniform, not communicable. Only supposition based on the ingestion of drugs.

Well, I did point out that these experiences do not require drugs for them to happen. That they resemble naturally occurring mystical experience reported by mystics throughout the ages. That the are uniform across the board, they aren't necessarily incommunicable, just very hard to communicate. And yes, the professionals involved do consider these mystical states of consciousness the very evidence for the Perennial philosophy, and God or Brahman or Allah is most properly understood within this context.

Yes I know that deep meditation can replicate a drug induced 'mystic' or 'revelatory' state, as can deep psychosis. But as it stands you have not one piece of evidence that can be replicated, communicated or evidenced even to a 'balance of probability'.

They've ruled out psychosis. That's why they don't call these things psychotomimetic anymore, because they realize that's not a very good model to label psychedelics.

When you have that then please let me know I am all attention.

That's precisely what this is, revelation of the divine has never come through anywhere else but through the mind. It's the only way it can happen. It's not going to happen in a way an atheist might expect, it's not going to be some entity that performs some magic trick for you, or some "object" out there in space and time which, by the way is the conception of God 99% of atheists have which is at the very basis of their rejection.. It's going to be a direct experience with the Absolute.

Talyyn's picture
@Kafei

@Kafei

Can you link papers instead of videos please? Understand that we don't necessary have the time and will to watch hours and hours of videos.

" or some "object" out there in space and time which, by the way is the conception of God 99% of atheists have which is at the very basis of their rejection"

Care to provide the source for the 99% number? And no, it is theists that grace us with this particular concept. We also reject the various gods of classical paganism for example.

Kafei's picture
@TalynnCan you link papers

@Talynn

Can you link papers instead of videos please? Understand that we don't necessary have the time and will to watch hours and hours of videos.

That's fine. I have linked them. I'll link them once again. That link there is an excerpt on the 2017 mystical experience chapter that is a summary of all the peer-reviewed material that Johns Hopkins managed to get published into the Scientific Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Care to provide the source for the 99% number?

I believe it's pretty obvious. It's been the very notion of the divine I've encountered among atheists. It inspired me to create this meme.

And no, it is theists that grace us with this particular concept.

What sort of theists have you been speaking to? You know, George Carlin used to say, "Yeah, well, many people are fucking dumb, shall we adopt all their standards?

We also reject the various gods of classical paganism for example.

Nevertheless my point is that, whether you were influenced by a theist, a set of parents, a local community, something you read on the internet, you essentially conjure what you regard as God. You ultimate make the decision of whether it makes sense to you, whether you should reject it, etc. Matt Dillahunty says that if he were asked what it would take to convince him, he often replies, "I don't know." Then, how the fuck do you know you're an atheist, if you don't even know what you're rejecting? Talk about contradiction. Sure, I realize you became aware of theism, of religion, and God at some point in your life, whether it was your atheist parents you explained it, whether it was your religious parents who made you practice it, whether you saw it on tv, etc. However you became aware of it, you ultimately accepted whatever you were told that formed your ideas about God, and to which those ideas you ultimately rejected. This is why I emphasize eisegesis in the meme which is the very opposite of exegesis, of actually attempting to construe a text in its original intended meaning to whatever degree we can do that. For instance, many people are not aware that the great Greek philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Xenophanes, etc. rejected the mainstream religion of Zeus and his offspring as "entities" born out of the human fanciful imagination, and likewise any God with a form, be it anthropomorphic or creature-like; rather they adhered to what Plato called "The Good," and what Plotinus called "The One" which was recognized in the contemplative state of Henosis. So, the divine is not something conjured by the mystic, you see, it's not something they inherit through a set of parents or their culture, it's rather something they experience directly, and through that experience, they construe the nature of the divine often expressed as a direct experience or dissolution into the Absolute. It is also expressed by the early Christian mystics as "The Father," again, not "Father" in the sense of a literal paternalistic deity, but the Father in contrast to mother nature, the Father as the Absolute which is all the possible underlying permutations that can manifests itself through mother mature, and Mother Nature again, not as a Gaian Goddess, but as nature itself. It is also recognized as Brahman in Hinduism or the dreamtime of the Australian aborigines. There's many names throughout history and various religions and cultures around the world for it, however the Taoist sage said it best, "The name that can be named is not the eternal name." People have only been using the word "God" for a very short amount of time, its etymology is traceable to a Germanic root, some scholars speculate it may go further back to the nickname for Siddartha Gautama, "Gaut" in Gautama shortened to God. Even if that's so, you still wouldn't find it uttered 10,000 B.C. when Hindus were saying Brahman.

@LogicFTW

Are we still talking about various god ideas that arise from the human brain, whether through mediation or psychedelics? "lost of ego" and all that?

Yes, it's called ego death in psychology. Michael Pollan has spoken on this aspect of it.

Ya know, the same human brain that can be hypnotized, and is tricked constantly with simple pictures? The same human brain that can be easily distracted or misdirected by a street side "magic" performer performing tricks that he learned in misdirection, suggestion etc?

I've never heard of mystical experiences being invoked in that way. I have heard of the God helmet which even Richard Dawkins participated in, but his EEG was typical of the 20% of people who don't get this experience. So, unfortunately, Richard Dawkins didn't have it, and now that he's had a stroke, it may be out of the picture for him. The most recent method I've heard of for eliciting this experience naturally is the Ajna light developed by a man who used to work under Steve Jobs by the name of Guy Harriman. It's basically strobing lights that are witnessed behind closed eyelids that blink in a pattern of LED lights that surround you. It's supposed to facilitate in meditation, and produce DMT-like visions.

Explain why a pantheism or panentheism god an idea that arises solely out of the human brain not backed by any evidence whatsoever should not be a HIGHLY suspect idea of being even remotely true? While pan/panen god concepts do not suffer from much of the ridiculous BS of the more defined gods of the popular religions today, they still suffer from an utter lack of evidence, of which the only fact we have is the human brain is capable of fiction and being tricked.

Well, what I'm trying to explain to you, is yes, there is science out there that supports what I've laid out here. The reason the panentheistic understanding is recognized is because the subject-object duality has been dissolved in the perception of the individual. The ego death has occured, this is also recognized in the research as the core feature of mystical experience, being a Unity with all that is and could ever be. Not simply a feeling out of the ego, but a recognition that arises from the very death of the ego in a temporary transformation of consciousness.

LogicFTW's picture
@Kafei

@Kafei

This thread and this reply tree is getting long and unwieldy so I made a response at the end of this thread. (Can we not observe God.)

LogicFTW's picture
@Kafei

@Kafei

Are we still talking about various god ideas that arise from the human brain, whether through mediation or psychedelics? "lost of ego" and all that?

Ya know, the same human brain that can be hypnotized, and is tricked constantly with simple pictures? The same human brain that can be easily distracted or misdirected by a street side "magic" performer performing tricks that he learned in misdirection, suggestion etc?

Explain why a pantheism or panentheism god an idea that arises solely out of the human brain not backed by any evidence whatsoever should not be a HIGHLY suspect idea of being even remotely true? While pan/panen god concepts do not suffer from much of the ridiculous BS of the more defined gods of the popular religions today, they still suffer from an utter lack of evidence, of which the only fact we have is the human brain is capable of fiction and being tricked.

 
 

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I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.
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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ CR

@ CR

Go look up Tertullian of Carthage. He was the first (2nd Century) to formalise the idea of of the Trinity much later adopted by the Roman Church in the Nicene Creed in 382CE.
Why is he not a saint? Well, he actually formalised the idea of the Trinity (but not an equal trinity) when he became a Montanist.

Why did he think up the Trinity? Well, he was a polemicist, dead set against the Gnostic and Adoptionist and Marcionite sects (and others) that abounded in 2nd century Empire. He is considered the father of the Latin church..and not a saint because of his rebirth as a Montanist (another of those sects that inconveniently challenged the later Roman narrative).

You have much to learn grasshopper.

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