Tag Archives | Reality

Is the world real, or is it just an illusion or hallucination?


Marina Galperina writes at Hopes&Fears:

Is this real life? How do we know that we are not hallucinating it all? What if we’re plugged into a Matrix-style virtual reality simulator? Isn’t the universe a giant hologram anyway? Is reality really real? What is reality?

We asked renowned neuroscientists, physicists, psychologists, technology theorists and hallucinogen researchers if we can ever tell whether the “reality” we are experiencing is “real” or not. Don’t worry. You’re going to be ok.

Jessica L. Nielson, Ph.D. Department of Neurosurgery, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Brain and Spinal Injury Center (BASIC)

What is our metric for determining what is real? That is probably different for each person. One could try and find a consensus state that most people would agree is “real” or a “hallucination” but from the recent literature using imaging techniques in people who are having a hallucinatory experience on psychedelics, it seems the brain is hyper-connected and perhaps just letting in more of the perceivable spectrum of reality.

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DMT Entities — To Believe or Not to Believe?

Vision of the Shaman, by Infectednl (CC BY-NC-ND)

Vision of the Shaman, by Infectednl (CC BY-NC-ND)

Writing at Erowid, Teafaerie has some interesting thoughts:

We’ve got to be super careful about what we allow ourselves to believe. We’ve got to take a lesson from our betters and not let ourselves get caught up in the elaboration of whacko theories. Which is not to say that we shouldn’t talk about this stuff. We have to talk about it if we’re ever going to make any progress at all. I think what’s really happening with some of the so-called entity encounters eludes language, though, at least for now. We’re working on the language problem, but it’s tricksy and slow. If you somehow projected your consciousness into the mind of a person who has never been out of the deep rainforest, your contactee would be unable to tell his tribe mates what was happening. He would share your experiences as you ride on an airplane or read articles on the Internet, but he would not be able to interpret them, and even less would he be able to communicate them to others.… Read the rest

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Aristotle on Time

Darren Tunnicliff (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Darren Tunnicliff (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Aristotle’s The Physics:

Next for discussion is time. The best plan will be to begin by working out the difficulties connected with it, making use of the current arguments. First, does it belong to the class of things that exist or to that of things that do not exist? Then secondly, what is its nature? To start, then: the following considerations would make one suspect that it either does not exist at all or barely, and in an obscure way. One part of it has been and is not, while the other is going to be and is not yet. Yet time—both infinite time and any time you like to take—is made up of these. One would naturally suppose that what is made up of things which do not exist could have no share in reality.

Further, if a divisible thing is to exist, it is necessary that when it exists, all or some of its parts must exist.

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Philosophy Recap: Self-Knowledge

Tony Hall (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Tony Hall (CC BY-ND 2.0)

I love Stanford’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy, it’s a great resource. Here’s the introduction and table of contents to their entry on Self-Knowledge.

via Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

In philosophy, “self-knowledge” standardly refers to knowledge of one’s own sensations, thoughts, beliefs, and other mental states. At least since Descartes, most philosophers have believed that our knowledge of our own mental states differs markedly from our knowledge of the external world (where this includes our knowledge of others’ thoughts). But there is little agreement about what precisely distinguishes self-knowledge from knowledge in other realms. Partially because of this disagreement, philosophers have endorsed competing accounts of how we acquire self-knowledge. These accounts have important consequences for a broad range of philosophical issues, especially issues in epistemology and the philosophy of mind.

This entry focuses on knowledge of one’s own particular mental states. A separate topic sometimes referred to as “self-knowledge”, knowledge about a persisting self, is addressed in a supplement:Knowledge of the Self.

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Swimming In The God Pool

Ottways National Park, photo credit: James W. Jesso

Look at the cosmos as a pool where the greatest depths are the most inclusive. Look at the cosmos as expanded dimensions of consciousness and existence. As we move closer to the surface, we pass through galactic and planetary consciousness, in and through genetic and molecular history, upwards to the collected human unconscious before touching our cultural shallow end where we splash with our thinking minds across the surface of this vast archaic profundity.

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Getting Far-Out In The Jungle w/ Rak Razam ~ ATTMind Radio ep. 6

ep 6 w rak razam

Author and film producer Rak Razam is a special guest for a special show this week. This is not an interview but a conversation recorded between the two of us while we were both in the Peruvian Amazon on a plant ‘dieta’ retreat at Dios Ayahuasca Sanciones. 

This episode, (recorded September 17, 2014 in Peru) is admittedly one of far-out ideas, speculation, and heavy vernacular. From Terence McKenna as a pattern of potential consciousness analogues to The Christ, to navigating the experience of entities in altered states to the fundamental nature of reality as a play of archetypal patterns in divine consciousness, this is an interesting conversation. Enjoy.

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***In A Perfect World (Rak’s Podcast)***

*originally published on Adventures Through The Mind


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Dreaming Of Paradox

photo credit: James W. Jesso

photo credit: James W. Jesso

Originally Published On Adventures Through The Mind

Check out the crowdfunding campaign for author’s newest book here.

I’ve been having this reoccurring sensation; a feeling that the reality I experience as my waking life is really a dream that I am just about to wake from.

I start to get a light glimpse of each person within this waking reality – directly present and historically referenced – to be dream characters and creations of my mind. Like a wonderfully sewn yarn, each character in this unfolding dreamscape has become present at the exact moment necessary to further me along a process of awakening to this truth.

Simultaneous to this sense of pending lucidity, there exists a grand paradox of perception; an equally profound but significant counter observation. Though “I” am the only being that exists and all of waking reality is the illusion of my dream constructed around me in an unfolding process intended to slowly awaken me to my true existence, I can feel that every other person that exists – though to my perception is only a fragment of my greater mind – is actually in the same state of awakening as “I” am.… Read the rest

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How your eyes trick your mind

Via BBC Future [Follow the link to see more optical illusions]:

Visual, or optical, illusions show us that our minds tend to make assumptions about the world – and what you think you see is often not the truth.

Throughout history, curious minds have questioned why our eyes are so easily fooled by these simple drawings. Illusions, we have found, can reveal everything from how we process time and space to our experience of consciousness.

Scroll down our interactive guide to find out why.

Early illusions

Illusions have a long history, going as far back as the ancient Greeks.

In 350BC, Aristotle noted that that “our senses can be trusted but they can be easily fooled”.

He noticed that if you watch a waterfall and shift your gaze to static rocks, the rocks appear to move in the opposite direction of the flow of water, an effect we now call “motion aftereffect” or the waterfall illusion.

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