Visions of the Impossible: Is Materialism Becoming Controversial?

visionsoftheimpossibleThose who follow my Facebook magick blog (friend me) might be aware that a month or so back I had a series of visions indicating that there is a psychic veil of sorts beaming upside down pentagrams into the hearts and minds of humanity, keeping us “blind and in line” as to the nature of our higher functioning. This is of course a biblical concept (our banishing from the Garden of Eden) and as one of my readers pointed out to me, something William S. Burroughs wrote about in extended detail. I suppose that’s my way of saying I’m not the only mystic who’s perceived this lower dimensional prison wall barring our heavenly ascension.

Now, the good news on that front is that the message imparted on me actually had to do with the idea that this supernatural force of order has reached its apex in power and will become increasingly insignificant as time moves forward. As if to echo this sentiment, in the last week I accidentally stumbled upon a couple of well received articles urging academia to re-think it’s hardline materialist dogma.

The first is by Jeffery J Kripal, who wrote a fantastic book called Mutants & Mystics a few years back which I’d recommend to anyone. The guy’s a college professor and took an interest in this sort of thing due to an astral contact encounter with a divine spirit form he had years back, which is the exact sort of thing that’s happened to me repeatedly throughout the years after experimenting with Robert Monroe’s techniques. Anywho, it’s a fantastic read and the fact that it aired in The Chronicle of Higher Education is probably the most significant thing about it:

“Nothing in our everyday experience gives us any reason to suppose that matter is not material, that it is made up of bizarre forms of energy that violate, very much like spirit, all of our normal notions of space, time, and causality. Yet when we subject matter to certain drastic conditions, like the Large Hadron Collider, near Geneva, Switzerland, then we can see that matter is not material at all. But—and this is the key—we can get to that point only through a great deal of physical violence, a violence so extreme and so precise that it cost billions of dollars and decades of preparation to inflict and then analyze it.

Because we’ve invested our energy, time, and money in particle physics, we are finding out all sorts of impossible things. But we will not invest those resources in the study of anomalous states of cognition and consciousness, and so we continue to work with the most banal models of mind—materialist and mechanistic ones. While it is true that some brain research has gone beyond assuming that “mind equals brain” and that the psyche works like, or is, a computer, we are still afraid of the likelihood that we are every bit as bizarre as the quantum world, and that we possess fantastic capacities that we have allowed ourselves to imagine only in science fiction, fantasy literature, and comic books.”

I’d say the most novel thing about the article is Kripal’s theory that psychic phenomenon seems to manifest more intensely and accurately when it involves traumatic events. Not sure I entirely agree with that and would posit that quite possibly they also manifest themselves more intensely and accurately in states of extreme bliss, sexual and otherwise. To further his point though, last year my wife sent me an e-mail describing a dream she’d had about a family being trapped in a house which was about to be consumed by a tornado. She could sense their fear quite intently, was sure that it was more than “just a dream” and when she woke up the next morning, caught a story on the news about a tornado that ravaged a small town in Texas. About a week later, the OKC tornado hit. My wife quite rarely e-mails me to talk about dreams it should be pointed out.

Now, of course, mainstream academia was not going to take this lying down, and so shortly thereafter, some super bore named Jerry Coyne had to write his angry retort for the New Republic which is full of the classic debunker bullshit we know so well (the word woo is bandied about indiscriminantly). It even references James Randi, as if completely oblivious to the fact that guy’s a total asshat and you know, not a scientist. Enjoy this choice nugget:

“Actually, as I’ve pointed out many times, science does not take “nonmaterial” or spiritual phenomena off the table. It’s perfectly acceptable to test psychic and paranormal phenomena like ESP and spiritual healing, and in fact those tests have been done. But they always fail, and so, as Laplace said, we no longer need those explanations. It’s not that we’ve taken non-materialism off the table—it’s simply fallen off the table.”

You see, that part is blatant lies. Blatant lies that a scientist is trotting out to defend his position, which should be rather embarrassing to all of science but is really just par for the course if you follow this sort of thing. I think the most telling aspect to all of this was that in the comments section on the article, a vocal psi-denier was blatantly called out and admitted to not actually looking at any of the evidence he somehow “knew” was bullshit, which is PRECISELY the problem. And of course, the supreme irony is that Kripal’s article is pointing out that even people like Mark Twain were rather shy in talking about their psychic experiences for fear of being publically mocked by the bull horn trumpeters of conservative consciousness. You write an article talking about the potentiality of this stuff, a counter article will appear days later angrily taunting you. But I’ve got to be honest, the comments sections on both of these articles seemed to skew in favor of the potentiality of psi, which is a rather new development and echoes exactly what my inner world has been telling me. Here’s my favorite one in regards to Coyne:

“In light of the discussion to the brain-as-radio metaphor, it is interesting to note that the introduction to the German edition of Upton Sinclair’s “Mental Radio,” a book chronicling his experiments in telepathy with his wife, was written by someone named Albert Einstein. You may have heard of him. He found the amateur experiments of Sinclair to be suggestive of the *possibility* of telepathy and worthy of a wide readership.

I guess he was a scientific illiterate with a propensity for “woo.”

Moving on. A few days after reading that someone of FB pointed me in the direction of this opinion piece which appeared in the New York Times of all places, entitled A Rationalist’s Mystical Moment, which concludes with this:

“Fortunately, science itself has been changing. It was simply overwhelmed by the empirical evidence, starting with quantum mechanics and the realization that even the most austere vacuum is a happening place, bursting with possibility and giving birth to bits of something, even if they’re only fleeting particles of matter and antimatter. Without invoking anything supernatural, we may be ready to acknowledge that we are not, after all, alone in the universe. There is no evidence for a God or gods, least of all caring ones, but our mystical experiences give us tantalizing glimpses of other forms of consciousness, which may be beings of some kind, ordinarily invisible to us and our instruments. Or it could be that the universe is itself pulsing with a kind of life, and capable of bursting into something that looks to us momentarily like the flame.”

Again, this is an admitted hardline rationalist acknowledging the potentiality of psi and again, the comments were overwhelmingly supportive from what I read. Of course, this is where I’d point out that science could quite easily give every hardline rationalist a “mystical moment” and that this is something that we’ve thusfar chosen not to pursue scientifically. More to the point, if hardline materialists like Jerry Coyne ever bothered experimenting with say, DMT or astral projection, he probably wouldn’t be writing douchebag articles mocking those who assert their enormous potential. There’s a fairly huge difference between experiencing something first hand and reading about it in books. Anyone going to argue with that?


(As Always, Occult high strangeness always streaming on the Facebooks, Friend me)

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken is a psychedelic writer, musician, visual artist, filmmaker, Occultist, and pug enthusiast based out of Seattle. He is the author of the books The Galactic Dialogue: Occult Initiations and Transmissions From Outside of Time, both of which can be picked up on Amazon super cheap.
Thad McKraken
  • Jeremy Johnson

    Just arrived here from the R.S. Twitter (I’m one of the peeps who help run the account). Need more time to respond thoughtfully. For now I’m just excited to find another person who’s a reader of Dr. Kripal’s work, and mention that David Metcalfe has some pretty kickass pieces over on R.S.’s Limitless Mind section. Seriously the most brilliant space on the magazine right now.

    Enjoying your work, Thad! I certainly hope you’re right.

  • DonovanCagliero

    It’s interesting that you mentioned down-pointing pentagrams being projected to us. Recently I’ve been feeling unwillingly drawn to black magic, it’s the strangest feeling to describe. I’m repelled by almost everything that I read from some of the most popular LHP authors, and yet I’ve been feeling an unnerving draw to it. I feel absolutely repulsed by the idea of dominating infernal spirits for my own gains, and yet I found myself putting my repulsion to the side and learning as much as I could about it. Eventually I talked myself through it all, and I’m back to my normal thought processes. I think I’ll make a submission about it in the future. All very, very interesting.

  • Monkey See Monkey Do

    Psychedelics and NOE’s are less like the microscope or telescope analogy but resemble something more of gaining or revealing an extra brain function or order, like developing a new tool for navigating reality, the same way mathematics and language came before. The learned experience only comes to those entrained in such pranksterisms.