Earlier in the year, an essay of mine ended up being featured in a compendium of psychedelic writing compiled by Graham Hancock. It’s an incredibly worthwhile read that I recommend checking out to anyone (The Divine Spark, which you can pick up here). I could actually go on and on about the thing. In particular, Graham’s stories of dealing with dark ayahuasca entities and the piece about the prevailing concept of the holy trinity throughout various mystical traditions (The Soul Cluster: Reconsideration of a Millenia Old Concept, if you’re curious). The funny thing about this is that I’m also an Occultist and if my work was featured in an Occult compilation, I probably wouldn’t even mention it to anyone. Man, what passes for the Occult these days is some seriously embarrassing bullshit. Monotheism won. They slandered the art of summoning your Holy Guardian Entities with a dark creepster veneer so effectively that it’s become an absolute fucking joke.… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Consciousness
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A robot solved the “wise men puzzle” at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
Duncan Geere via TechRadar:
Roboticists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York have built a trio of robots that were put through the classic ‘wise men puzzle’ test of self-awareness – and one of them passed.
In the puzzle, a fictional king is choosing a new advisor and gathers the three wisest people in the land. He promises the contest will be fair, then puts either a blue or white hat on each of their heads and tells them all that the first person to stand up and correctly deduce the colour of their own hat will become his new advisor.
Selmer Bringsjord set up a similar situation for the three robots – two were prevented from talking, then all three were asked which one was still able to speak. All attempt to say “I don’t know”, but only one succeeds – and when it hears its own voice, it understands that it was not silenced, saying “Sorry, I know now!”
The Morbid Anatomy Museum and Stephen Romano are excited to announce a curated exhibition opening July 18 in recognition of the museum’s first year anniversary.
This milestone will be celebrated with an all day “Festival of Arcane Knowledge” followed by a Devil’s masquerade party. The exhibition will be comprised of a blend of historical, “Outsider”, and Visionary art, as well as contemporary works, vintage books, vernacular photography, folk sculpture, spirit photography, and many surprises. As with previous exhibitions curated by Stephen Romano, the design and content of the exhibition will be in constant dynamic motion throughout the course of the exhibition, adding, taking away, reflecting the synergistic relationship the curator has with the collection.
The exhibition examines the place the visionary occupies as the “HYPNAGOGIA”, defined as the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep: the hypnagogic state of consciousness, when mental phenomena such as lucid dreaming, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis occur.… Read the rest
via Evolution News:
… Read the rest
Would you have a rational discussion with a zombie? Materialists are forced into the position of discussing philosophy and science with the walking dead, since under their terms we are all that. Unless rationality is a mindful concept — unless we are more than atoms in motion — that’s the logical result of denying mind and intelligence.
To deny that we are mindful creatures, the materialist also has to deny the existence of any realm of abstract concepts that a mind can access. Yet materialism itself is an abstract concept.
This seems intuitively obvious, but it’s amazing how often materialists ignore the self-refuting nature of their assumptions. Nancy Pearcey wrote about this a few months ago, noting ways in which materialist claims commit the self-referential absurdity: “Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.”
A recent example is a new theory of consciousness from Ezequiel Morsella, a psychology professor at San Franciso State University.
San Francisco State University via EurekAlert:
… Read the rest
Consciousness — the internal dialogue that seems to govern one’s thoughts and actions — is far less powerful than people believe, serving as a passive conduit rather than an active force that exerts control, according to a new theory proposed by an SF State researcher.
Associate Professor of Psychology Ezequiel Morsella’s “Passive Frame Theory” suggests that the conscious mind is like an interpreter helping speakers of different languages communicate.
“The interpreter presents the information but is not the one making any arguments or acting upon the knowledge that is shared,” Morsella said. “Similarly, the information we perceive in our consciousness is not created by conscious processes, nor is it reacted to by conscious processes. Consciousness is the middle-man, and it doesn’t do as much work as you think.”
Morsella and his coauthors’ groundbreaking theory, published online on June 22 by the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, contradicts intuitive beliefs about human consciousness and the notion of self.
I’d completely lost track of what was going on with Michael Persinger’s “God Helmet” but in stumbling on a few new articles I got the gist. As with much controversial research into altered states of consciousness or psi, what apparently went down is that someone (who probably had an enormous confirmation bias) tried to replicate the results and failed (likely on purpose). So in the court of popular/scientific opinion, that was it. Nothing to see here. Except that scientists in Brazil have just effectively replicated his results so you know, game on:
“A team of neurotheology researchers have replicated and confirmed the results of the iconic “God Helmet” experiment. The apparatus, originally developed by renowned neuroscientists, Stanley Koren and Michael Persinger, generates weak magnetic fields around the test subject’s temporal lobes, and elicits a distinct set of experiential phenomena in the participant’s brain, including: altered mystic states, visions of God, and the feeling of a sensed God-like presence.… Read the rest
Join me as I rant about:
Organized religion and how it relates to the spiritual retardation of modern culture.
How Christianity is the ONLY spiritual practice I’ve experimented with that demonstrably didn’t work.
Why religious people have a fundamentally more accurate view of the spiritual world than hardcore atheists.
Making a connection with the symbol of the weeping Christ in the midst of an LSD fueled sex marathon.
And most importantly:
How I spontaneously developed a “personal relationship with Jesus” during an epic wine bender.
Julian Jaynes, author of The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, is well known for his controversial theory that consciousness in humans began only 3,000 years ago.
At Nautlius, Veronique Greenwood analyzes Jaynes’ thesis and its continued impact in philosophy and neuroscience circles:
… Read the rest
In the beginning of the book, Jaynes asks, “This consciousness that is myself of selves, that is everything, and yet nothing at all—what is it? And where did it come from? And why?” Jaynes answers by unfurling a version of history in which humans were not fully conscious until about 3,000 years ago, instead relying on a two-part, or bicameral, mind, with one half speaking to the other in the voice of the gods with guidance whenever a difficult situation presented itself. The bicameral mind eventually collapsed as human societies became more complex, and our forebears awoke with modern self-awareness, complete with an internal narrative, which Jaynes believes has its roots in language.
It is widely accepted that consciousness or, more generally, mental activity is in some way correlated to the behavior of the material brain. Since quantum theory is the most fundamental theory of matter that is currently available, it is a legitimate question to ask whether quantum theory can help us to understand consciousness. Several programmatic approaches answering this question affirmatively, proposed in recent decades, will be surveyed. It will be pointed out that they make different epistemological assumptions, refer to different neurophysiological levels of description, and use quantum theory in different ways. For each of the approaches discussed, problematic and promising features will be equally highlighted.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Philosophical Background Assumptions
- 3. Neurophysiological Levels of Description
- 4. Examples
- 4.1 Ways to Use Quantum Theory
- 4.2 Stapp: Quantum State Reductions and Conscious Acts
- 4.3 From Umezawa to Vitiello: Quantum Field Theory of Mind/Matter States
- 4.4 Beck and Eccles: Quantum Mechanics at the Synaptic Cleft
- 4.5 Penrose and Hameroff: Quantum Gravity and Microtubuli
- 4.6 Mind and Matter as Dual Aspects
- 4.7 Mental Quantum Features