RE: virus: Biochem, sorta

Wade T. Smith (
Sun, 22 Sep 1996 20:00:01 -0400

>I wonder, what opinion do you hold of Julian Jaynes' _The Origin of
>Consciousness In the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind_? It's a dusty text by
>now, but interesting in its own right.

And I've read it. It is fascinating, but (unfortunately IMO) unprovable.
The best thing about it is that it actually uses the art and culture of a
period to define the state of consciousness. (While overly romanticizing
the ancient, perhaps.)

>P.S.: A solipsist could make a decent case that religious experiences
>aren't the only thing that we hallucinate.... :b
> "Hallucination" in fact, seems to be used frequently as a
>definition/vaccime, especially when the word "consensual" is prefixed to it

And I don't hold any particular objection to that- the definition of the
condition of the senses is IMHO a necessary prejunct to any subjective
valuing of any experience. The senses lie. They are not reliable. They are
connected to a brain, after all.... ;-)

I've had quite a few hallucinations myself, some induced, some not, but
careful evaluation of the experiences leads me to aberrated senses every
time. The very acts of ritual are intended to induce definite mental
states. My take on this whole thing is, why are we not more intently
studying the vessel, rather than leap (via faith) to the supernatural?

To extend an earlier analogy- the bodily tools we use to perceive the
universe are limited greatly. They should be treated as short-sighted, and
the instruments of scientific exploration should be the actual calibrations
of discovery. Within the limitations of our several senses we can manage
marvelously, but in no way can we see the universe. The extension of our
senses, coupled with the creative imagination, _is_ the realm of science.
Religion (and the religious) are largely confined to the sensual subset of
reality, leading to errant solipsisms of stunted imagination, leading to
gods, leading to faith, leading to organized religions.

The perception of the wonderful is not granted to the religious, cuz
there's a god standing in the light....

Wade T. Smith | "There ain't nuthin' you | shouldn't do to a god."
****** *******