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Consciousness and the Paranormal



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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
I don't want to get too far afield from the topic - but I think I can tie it in this way. The problem is more scientism and technicity than science and technology - we are all familiar with the common examples: antibiotics and drug resistant strains or extended lives and more time spent with the infirmities of age if not outright disability and misery (plus the problem of caring for an aging population) - and many others. But these aren't the fault of science, I don't think you can talk about science being at fault for anything. It's a collection of methods for gaining certain kinds of facts about the world, that's all. What we use these methods for - decisions made about science, who does science, what science they do - what problems they pursure, those decisions aren't made scientifically. But we forget that.


I agree - I was a bit sloppy in my writing. You have made the distinction elegantly.

The character of Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory is a wonderful portrait of scientism, of someone who tries to live literally by the dictates of science. It's no coincidence he comes from a fundamentalist Christian house-hold. The idea of Sheldon in power (something he often refers to) is actually terrifying, but Sheldon is in power in our world.

I have known a few - and they tend not to be scientists, or not the kind of scientists I respect. There are for sure scientists out there who function in that way. They are the ones taking the research jobs at pharmaceutical companies for the money - doing the research on GMO's for the money.

I think that too is a real portrait of the narcissism of the middle class in this country. In the real world, what is missing, what is always missing, is the discernment you talked about Tyger. I think this is something Zajonc talks about too - and that connects us back to Steiner . . . where we began! :)

It's an issue of thinking. Calibre of thinking. It's a complex web of intellectual capacities that are not always fully engaged by the time an individual reaches the age of 21.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
It's plainly self-evident that humans are physical and create plenty of things on their own, and there is no substantial ( or even reasonable ) evidence that a so-called "spiritual universe" exists, or that the physical is "the final 'effect' of spiritual action", and simply proclaiming that it's reasonable to maintain all these things doesn't actually make it reasonable at all.


Of course they do - I never said they didn't - but humans are far more than just the physical. Were they just the physical, nothing would happen. There needs to be life, then desire/feeling - and then there needs to be thought. All that we see around us originates from thought - not the physical. The physical left alone just sits there. It needs life - have you figured out what life is? Look around - there is nothing made by humans that was not first a thought. It is the thoughts of humans that shape the world. Thoughts can be sense-bound - or not. When they are not, we are entering the realm of spirit.

But you understand nothing of what I say - either honestly or willfully. I've told you many times that I am not the one to explain things to you. Yet even that you don't seem to grasp.

Even the question of what constitutes spirituality in the first place hasn't been clearly defined here.

Ufology, why are you on this thread? You made it clear that you didn't want certain areas of exploration taking place over on 'your' thread. So some of us have decamped over here to have those conversations, and yet you come over here to natter unhappily about how the conversation is proceeding. What is that all about? What's up with you?
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Tyger generously wrote: "Brilliant, Constance! You are amazing! I sit at your feet and learn!" Thank you, but the feeling is mutual, Tyger.

Not generous at all. You have a considerable intellect. Far better than mine. You apply yours in ways I do not apply mine. Our interests are different - so I learn from you.

P.S. I don't understand the poems. :( See?
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Really? Then you need to tell me what you're talking about. What is "Spirituality" to you Tyger?

Why? I am answering the question but you are unable to understand what I am saying. Sometimes an answer is not in a definition. Sometimes you must approach it indirectly - in such a way that an experience of the concept is built up.

"Those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything." - George Bernard Shaw

Sometimes you have to be prepared for thoughts. Students have to be prepared for algebraic thinking - and if the student's basic number sense is faulty in arithmetic, algebraic thinking will be, if not impossible, severely constrained. There are certain experiences you must have before certain concepts 'makes sense' or are understandable. That is why there is knowledge that is 'hidden' - no one is 'hiding' anything, it is simply knowledge that requires preparation and experience.

The Ptolemaic System is exceedingly complex and takes a considerable intellect to understand it. Add to that - it is a totally rational model from an observational viewpoint - yet it is based on a faulty premise. The heliocentric view requires imagination and abstraction - spiritual qualities - and even then the model didn't 'make sense' until Kepler puzzled out the ellipse - but it is the accurate model. You will not 'get' the heliocentric view without adequate (abstract) preparation because it simply does not 'make sense' based on purely sensory experience.

If I were to guess from the material you've presented I'd say you believe it to be associated the belief there is a supernatural. Does spirituality equate to supernatural beliefs then?

Figure it out. Why must another always explain?

Oh, I obviously do enjoy the subject, have spend some amount of time in it, and have my own opinions about it derived from a vain pursuit for "spiritual truth."

It's not vain - it is accessible.

Well, if you put that way then yes, it's all very interesting and worthy of study, like any aspect of being human or aberration of that. Mankind's essentially superstitious nature has to be directly linked to processes behind the formation of the individual consciousness and the requirements placed on it by the struggle for survival.

This is why your search is 'in vain'. You already have your mind made up. Until you can approach every natural and human condition with reverence - the secrets of the universe will remain 'hidden'. The bane of the intellect is our critical faculty, oddly enough - or misapplied critical faculty, our cynicism, our lack of real interest. Where there is real interest along with awe and reverence, the universe begins to reveal itself. Truth is not shy in the presence of genuine interest.

Consider human beings - approach them with genuine interest, genuine respect - and observe how much more you will understand - what 'spiritual truths' will be revealed.

Spiritualism is superstition by definition. "Spiritual" studies and theories center around understanding and controlling invisible forces thought to control nature and influence human destiny.

There's so much in that scramble that I can't tease it apart. I don't have the time (because of RL obligations) nor the ability (because I am not your teacher). Place those statements as questions before yourself - if they are honest questions and not a game on a chat site thread. Dig deep for what is your question - ask - the answer will come - that is a guarantee. You may already have the answer.

What good has it done anyone to operate from a superstitious model of the universe? I'll go ahead and answer that. It hasn't benefited anyone. That's been one benefit of my "spiritual studies", I realized that.

Too much abstraction is not healthy. Life must be balanced. Too much head and not enough heart is not good. Life must be lived - hands in the earth gardening, cooking a good meal, raising children, loving, doing good work in the world. That is where the most important answers lay nested - in the artistry of a life well-lived, as well as in any form of artistic expression. In all of that one comes to have a personal experience of what is true - what is spiritual. Ideas must be grounded in experience.

There is a point on the inner path called 'the Dark Night of the Soul." In the old Medieval mystical text 'The Cloud of Unknowing' it is stated: "Wherever thou art thou dost assemble thyself, and in assembling thyself, thy dost assemble Me." Even in the Dark Night.
 
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trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Too much abstraction is not healthy. Life must be balanced. Too much head and not enough heart is not good.

Living in a fantasy world is not healthy. I've read the Cloud of Unknowing (actually practiced that prayer for a good while) and I know more about traversing a Dark Night of the Soul (a separate work by St. John of the Cross b.t.w.) than I'd care to go into. I know where you are coming from, I've been there. It's a waste of time unless it gets you to the point where you abandon the whole mess because you finally come to understand why you must kill the Buddha should you meet him on the road.

Peace to you and may you find your way out of the maze.
 
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trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Were there any benefits or effects (temporary or permanent) as a result of the exercises or methods you used? Examples might be in terms of personality: equanimity, loving kindness, empathy or perhaps just an increased sense of well being or physiological: decrease in stress/blood pressure, muscle tension or better sleep? Or was the focus strictly on gaining "knowledge"?

I was more interested in contacting the creator and doing whatever he had in mind for me to do. Does all of that business help you be a better person? There are benefits from these practices, but its all psychological and physiological, which is the true realm of the human "spirit" and not some invisible realm operating under another set of rules than the physical universe.

My advise to young people is this. Concentrate on the skills and knowledge necessary to make your way in the modern world. While most of it relates to making a buck, a great deal of that is how to communicate and get along with others. Religions will not give you this. Religion, Spiritualism, and their ancestor Superstition divide and enslave, they do not unite and liberate no matter what the glossy packaging says.

Any "knowledge" supposedly gained through alleged "spiritual" means has historically proven to be absolutely worthless. This is a historic fact as well as my personal experience. You might as well throw dice and write fiction.

Did I come out the other end a better person? The question doesn't apply since I was a "believer" in spiritual matters since a child up until my late 30s or so. I think I was several years in recovery from it, perhaps still am. There is no base line from which to judge.

Most of the things that pass for spiritual knowledge are actually delusions, imaginings, and outright works of fiction. Mental health problems, injury, and drug use can account for a great deal of this type of literature. I see no difference between the writings of junkie poets and schizophrenics and that of so-called prophets, holy-men, and other people presumed to be "spiritual giants" talking about "energetic bodies", "after-lifes", or whathaveyou.

Consciousness and the paranormal? I think the secrets to most paranormal events must lay in the intricacies of brain processes and their control of our perceptions. Will that be found in pseudo-scientific and supernatural coming from the likes of the Theosophy Society, its members or any other individuals of similar ilk? I think not. They might be amusing, thought provoking, and enjoyable as art and an example of the diversity of human experience and thought? Yes.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
I highly recommend Barbara O'Brien's classic memoir of schizophrenia Operators and Things:The Inner Life of a Schizophrenic.

I think it contains an account that parallels many so-called paranormal events including alien visitation, communication with higher beings, a feeling of having insight in the true nature of reality, and other things associated with "spiritual" or paranormal matters.

The book is all about what is happening to the poor woman's consciousness.
 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
"What does mysticism have to teach us about consciousness?" Evidently a great deal. This a paper presented by Robert K.C. Forman at the Second Tucson Consciousness Studies conference in 1996, since published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, and linked below.

Extract:

In sum, the PCE [pure consciousness event] may be defined as a wakeful but contentless (non-intentional) experience. Though one remains awake and alert, emerging with the clear sense of having had ‘an unbroken continuity of experience’, one neither thinks, nor perceives nor acts. W.T. Stace (1960):


  • Suppose then that we obliterate from consciousness all objects physical or mental. When the self is not engaged in apprehending objects it becomes aware of itself. The self itself emerges. The self, however, when stripped of all psychological contents or objects, is not another thing, or substance, distinct from its contents. It is the bare unity of the manifold of consciousness from which the manifold itself has been obliterated (p. 86).
Now what implications can we draw from the pure consciousness event about the nature of human consciousness?

1. We have a pattern here that is seen across cultures and eras. This, in combination with the reports offered in The Problem of Pure Consciousness, suggests that the phenomenon is not an artifact of any one culture but is something closer to an experience that is reasonably common and available in a variety of cultural contexts.16

2. Thomas Clark and other defenders of functionalism have suggested that consciousness is identical to certain of our information-bearing and behaviour- controlling functions, even going so far as to define it thus (Clark, 1995, p. 241). Others have suggested that consciousness is an artifact or an epiphenomenon of perception, action and thought, and that it arises only as a concomitant of these phenomena. Our accounts tend to disconfirm this view, which is generally argued on a priori grounds. Rather they suggest that consciousness does persist even when one has no perception, thought or evaluation. This suggests that consciousness should not be defined as merely an epiphenomenon of perception, an evaluative mechanism, or an arbiter of perceptual functions, but rather as something that exists independently of them.

3. Some have suggested that if we can understand how we can tie together perceptions and thoughts — the so called binding problem — we will ipso facto understand consciousness.17 Now, how we bind together perceptions is a very interesting question for cognitive psychology, neurobiology and philosophy of mind. But even if we understand how we do tie together perceptions, we will not necessarily understand the phenomenon of consciousness per se thereby, for according to these mystical accounts, it is more fundamental than a mere binding function.18 These reports suggest that binding is something done by or for consciousness, not something that creates consciousness.19

4. Our evidence suggests that we should conceptually and linguistically differentiate merely being aware or awake from its functional activities. Accordingly, I propose to use the terms as follows: (i) ‘awareness’ and ‘consciousness’ for that facet of consciousness which is aware within itself and which may persist even without intentional content; (ii) ‘awareness of’ and 1consciousness of’ to refer to that feature of experience which is cognizant when we are intentionally aware of something; and (iii) ‘pure awareness’ and ‘pure consciousness’ to refer to awareness without intentional content.20

5. Reports of pure consciousness suggest that, despite the absence of mental content, the subjects were somehow aware that they remained aware throughout the period of the PCE . Apparently they sensed a continuity of awareness through past and present. If they did, even though there was no content, then they must have somehow directly recalled that they had been aware despite the absence of remembered content.21 This implies human awareness has the ability to tie itself together and to know intuitively that it has persisted.22

We may want to say that being conscious seems to entail this sort of direct self-recollection, a presence to oneself that is distinct from the kind of presence we have to perceptions and other intentional content. In this sense, the pure consciousness event tends to affirm Bernard Lonergan’s distinction between our conscious presence to intentional objects and our consciousness of consciousness itself:


  • There is the presence of the object to the subject, of the spectacle to the spectator; there is also the presence of the subject to himself, and this is not the presence of another object dividing his attention, of another spectacle distracting the spectator; it is presence in, as it were, another dimension, presence concomitant and correlative and opposite to the presence of the object. Objects are present by being attended to but subjects are present as subjects, not by being attended to, but by attending. As the parade of objects marches by, spectators do not have to slip into the parade to be present to themselves; they have to be present to themselves for anything to be present to them (Lonergan, 1967, p. 226, quoted in McCarthy, 1990, p. 234).
In sum, the PCE militates towards a distinction between consciousness or awareness per se and its usual binding, relational and culturally-trained processes. It suggests that consciousness is more than its embodied activities.

The paper goes on to distinguish the PCE from what he calls the 'dualistic mystical state'. All of this is fascinating to me because I've always personally resisted engaging in deep meditation while being aware that there is much to be learned through it. I hope others will share their experiences of the kinds of states identified by the author.
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Living in a fantasy world is not healthy. I've read the Cloud of Unknowing (actually practiced that prayer for a good while) and I know more about traversing a Dark Night of the Soul (a separate work by St. John of the Cross b.t.w.) than I'd care to go into. I know where you are coming from, I've been there. It's a waste of time unless it gets you to the point where you abandon the whole mess because you finally come to understand why you must kill the Buddha should you meet him on the road.

Peace to you and may you find your way out of the maze.

I'm not sure you do - given your response. The Dark Night is a necessary stage on the path - and long or short, it ends - and the further way opens up. It is considered the side-effect of the development of the mind.

Peace be to you, too, TrainedObserver. Mazes are fun, though - as long as one is aware of what the mind is doing. It is also the nature of the mind. Coming to that understanding, one can go to beyond the lower mind (the lower mind is where such 'mazes' of belief exist).
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
I highly recommend Barbara O'Brien's classic memoir of schizophrenia Operators and Things:The Inner Life of a Schizophrenic.

I think it contains an account that parallels many so-called paranormal events including alien visitation, communication with higher beings, a feeling of having insight in the true nature of reality, and other things associated with "spiritual" or paranormal matters.

The book is all about what is happening to the poor woman's consciousness.


Julian Jaynes' 'The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind' is very relevant to the phenomenon of schizophrenia.

There is no question that in traversing the path of inner development one confronts significant and dangerous challenges. It is not for nothing that warnings are given to the aspirant to the path. Derangement is a very real caution.
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
I was more interested in contacting the creator and doing whatever he had in mind for me to do. Does all of that business help you be a better person? There are benefits from these practices, but its all psychological and physiological, which is the true realm of the human "spirit" and not some invisible realm operating under another set of rules than the physical universe.

Maybe a more realistic goal would be to contact oneself rather than the creator. Just a thought. :)

My advise to young people is this. Concentrate on the skills and knowledge necessary to make your way in the modern world. While most of it relates to making a buck, a great deal of that is how to communicate and get along with others.

I totally agree.

Religions will not give you this. Religion, Spiritualism, and their ancestor Superstition divide and enslave, they do not unite and liberate no matter what the glossy packaging says.

From a certain perspective, you have good points. Can't argue with you.

Spiritualism - interesting you put that in there. It relates to what went on in the 1800's with 'spirit knocking' and stuff like that. Spiritualism usually concerns invoking spirits.

As for religion - I think it pretty much depends on the group of travelers you connect up with. Religion can be a much needed safety in a hostile world - and can be a wonderful place to do good works. For sure, there are nasty people everywhere - human nature being human nature - and bad stuff (always associated with the mind) gets cookin' wherever there are people.

Any "knowledge" supposedly gained through alleged "spiritual" means has historically proven to be absolutely worthless. This is a historic fact

I don't think so, because all that you see is the result of the spirit. Nothing would be here - good, bad, indifferent (worthless or worthy) - were it not for 'spiritual means.' [Here I agree we may be in a semantic toss - the activity of the brain is physical, but the event of the mind is (one aspect) of the spiritual. When we think - particularly with sense-free thinking - we are living within the spiritual - and it is without question that we can think all kinds of thoughts to the point of delusion, since the soul's influence must also be considered.]

as well as my personal experience. You might as well throw dice and write fiction.

Can't argue with that.

Most of the things that pass for spiritual knowledge are actually delusions, imaginings, and outright works of fiction. Mental health problems, injury, and drug use can account for a great deal of this type of literature. I see no difference between the writings of junkie poets and schizophrenics and that of so-called prophets, holy-men, and other people presumed to be "spiritual giants" talking about "energetic bodies", "after-lifes", or whathaveyou.

Unfortunate because you are throwing the baby out with the bath water, as the saying goes. You can't see the forest for the trees. There is for sure error in the world - you seem outraged by that. If you are to understand what the mind is - you must understand how and why error occurs.

Consciousness and the paranormal? I think the secrets to most paranormal events must lay in the intricacies of brain processes and their control of our perceptions.

This is your belief - that is obvious when you say 'must'. You operate from an assumption - as do most of us (in or out of religion) - some more consciously than others. I call my assumptions a heuristic device. The lower mind needs a handy construct.

Will that be found in pseudo-scientific and supernatural coming from the likes of the Theosophy Society, its members or any other individuals of similar ilk? I think not. They might be amusing, thought provoking, and enjoyable as art and an example of the diversity of human experience and thought? Yes.

The vehement aversion to ancient knowledge streams on this chat site I find fascinating - and totally unexpected.

If anything is a dead-give-away that scientism is a religion it is this fundamentalist's- like call of pseudo-scientific - not of the 'true religion'.
 
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smcder

Guest
Folks have been commenting on my avatar . . . it is Don Quixote and, as to whether I am tilting at Windmills, I came across some lectures by Nabokov on the Knight With the Rueful Conuntenance:

"Among the numerous misconceptions about Don Quixote is the idea that the knight never wins any of his contests: he always ends up with a drubbing. But that is not true at all.

In one lecture Nabokov goes through the contests one by one, and scores them, finding that the tally is even: the Don wins as many contests as he loses. "Moreover," says Nabokov, "in each of the two parts of the book the score is also even: 13 to 13 and 7 to 7, respectively. This perfect balance of victory and defeat is very amazing in what seems like such a disjointed and haphazard book. It is due to a secret sense of writing, the harmonizing intuition of the artist."
 
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smcder

Guest
"What does mysticism have to teach us about consciousness?" Evidently a great deal. This a paper presented by Robert K.C. Forman at the Second Tucson Consciousness Studies conference in 1996, since published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, and linked below.

Extract:



The paper goes on to distinguish the PCE from what he calls the 'dualistic mystical state'. All of this is fascinating to me because I've always personally resisted engaging in deep meditation while being aware that there is much to be learned through it. I hope others will share their experiences of the kinds of states identified by the author.

Hi Constance - I didn't see the link to this paper?
 
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smcder

Guest
You shouldn't take things so seriously. Have some fun with this stuff like with a good ufo yarn. But also consider that you may not yet have the capacity to understand what she is saying - reporting, really - and that she may have made errors (which she did - 'Isis Unveiled' is more reliable - but it is definitely of a time and place. With all the problems her two works remain important - if for no other reason than the training in discernment).

Methinks you may also have some significant biases that occlude your understanding. Rather than reject, strive to see everything within it's context. Everything has it's truth. The trick is to discern the truth. Takes a mighty keen intellect to do so - and I have never found any such great mind to laugh or dismiss out-of-hand. The world is a tad more complicated than we would have it sometimes.

Synchronistically or, if you prefer, coincidentally, the Aeon Bytes Gnostic Radio podcast just showed up in my feed and it is on HP Blavatsky - with Gary Lachman. The intro to this podcast is usually about 15min long and repetitive, so you might want to fast forward on this although Miguel has reasons for doing it that way.
 
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smcder

Guest
It may be a bit of a fine point and the results arguably aren't in - but science hasn't turned out to be self-correcting. It's as subject to corruption as any other human activity and, due to its success in the physical world, that has enormous consequences. That's not a critique of science but rather a point against scientism (and I don't think anyone on this thread is scientistic, we all acknowledge the good and the limits) but I do know people with faith that it will yet all turn out OK due directly to science and technology and perhaps we will go to work and correct the very "human nature" that leads to that corruption, but, in and of itself, science and rationality aren't yet sufficient . . . Now, Steven Pinker argues that we have less violence on the planet than at any time in history:

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined: Steven Pinker, Arthur Morey: 9781455883110: Amazon.com: Books

(there is a YouTube video and podcasts available of this material too)

I was in the mental health field for some time and I think of it sort of the same way I think about the claim that mental health medications work but patients won't take them consistently . . . to me, that's a bit of an argument that the medications don't work. Of course, it's complicated.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Julian Jaynes' 'The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind' is very relevant to the phenomenon of schizophrenia.

Yes, I'm familiar, I have the thing here on my shelf, can't say I made it all the way through it. Although interesting, Jayne's theories are not generally accepted by his peers you know.
There is no question that in traversing the path of inner development one confronts significant and dangerous challenges. It is not for nothing that warnings are given to the aspirant to the path. Derangement is a very real caution.

Yes, people who take this bullshit too seriously can go stark raving mad. You can look at the lives of some of the people considered to be "Spiritual Giants" of one kind or another and see exactly where their psychotic breaks happened.

I highly suggest anything by U.G. Krishnamurti. The Mystique of Enlightenment is an excellent start. There is also an audio file someone put together called Give Up which I highly recommend even though the audio quality leaves much to be desired. A clearer take on "spirituality" you will be hard pressed to find.
 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
Hi Constance - I didn't see the link to this paper?

Sorry for the oversight Steve. Here it is and well worth reading. I think there is a lot to learn here about the different kinds of deep states obtainable and that they reveal the depth and complexity of consciousness:

Forman2
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Maybe a more realistic goal would be to contact oneself rather than the creator. Just a thought. :)

You must not understand what I've been saying if you think I need that advice now.

The vehement aversion to ancient knowledge streams on this chat site I find fascinating - and totally unexpected.

If you've bought into the "ancient knowledge" fantasy and the Theosophical Society in particular, you're lost in the maze. You're sucking on Maya's hind teat, so to speak. "Bless your heart", as they say here in Texas.
 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
I don't think that clearing one's mind as described above is necessarily a "mystical" experience. In the theatre of the mind described in Cartesian Dualism this is what we experience before the movie begins. I've made an effort to relay this in the past, but it seems to have been misinterpreted as something I "believe in" as opposed to a model used for the purpose of illustration. I don't personally subscribe to Cartesian Materialism, but still find the illustration of the theatre of the mind useful.

I hope you'll tell us why you find that illustration helpful, ufology. And also unpack for us what work Dennett wanted the concept of the Cartesian Theatre to do. He originated the term/concept to make a point --- what was that point? And how is Dennett's concept/illustration a necessary consequence of Descartes' thinking?

You also wrote: "I don't think that clearing one's mind as described above is necessarily a "mystical" experience. In the theatre of the mind described in Cartesian Dualism this is what we experience before the movie begins."

Now that Steve has reminded me to link the Forman paper, we can read it and discuss the question of whether the states he describes there might or might not be called 'mystical'. I don't know enough about 'mysticism' to know whether the states of consciousness he describes should be called mystical and would like to find out from others here who know more about the mystical and/or more about deep or altered states of consciousness that can be achieved through personal effort. I do know from reading the paper that the states Forman describes cannot be claimed to be "what we experience before the movie [in the so-called Cartesian theatre] begins."

After you've clarified for us what you (or Dennett) mean by the Cartesian Theatre, we ought to try to find out whether the concept is in any way commensureable with what Descartes wrote.
 
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