.

.

POSTS BY SUBJECT

POSTS BY SUBJECT

''ESTONIA'' (15) "Hindenburg" (2) “Yom Kippur” War (1) 2017 Westminster attack (1) 20th_Century (3) 7/7 London bombings (38) 911 (390) A.H.M. RAMSAY (2) Abu Ghraib (1) ADL (1) ADOLF_HITLER (23) ADVENTURE (1) Affirmative Action (1) Afghanistan (7) AFRICA (45) African Origins (1) Agriculture (3) AIDS (24) Al Azhar University (1) Alain de Benoist (15) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (34) Alois Irlmaier (1) AMAZONIA (3) America (4) American Islamization (21) American Universities (2) American_Indian (1) Ancient Egypt (1) ANCIENT_CIVILISATIONS (2) Angels (1) Animal_Rights (6) ANTEDILUVIAN_CIVILISATION (15) Anthony Blunt (1) Anthony Ludovici (3) ANTHROPOLOGY (7) Anti-Semitism (3) Antifa (2) Apartheid (1) AR. LEESE (4) ARCHAEOLOGY (3) Argentina (1) Armenia (4) Armenian Genocide (1) Art (15) Arthur Koestler (1) Astronomy (30) ATHEISM (1) AUSTRALIA (2) AUSTRIA (1) Ayaan Hirsi Ali (3) Baha'i faith (1) BALI (1) Balkans (4) Bangladesh (2) banned_weapons (1) Barbarossa (2) BELGIUM (2) Benjamin Freedman (1) BENJAMIN SOLARI PARRAVICINI (11) Beslan (1) Bill Clinton (1) Biological Warfare (2) Black America (1) BLOOD PASSOVER (12) BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION (15) Book purge (1) Boycottage (1) Brainwashing (1) BRAZIL (1) Brigitte Gabriel (1) British politics (1) Buddhism (5) California (1) Cambodia (8) CANADA (9) CANCER (40) Carolina bays (1) Celebrities-Show Business (3) Cell Phone towers (6) Censorship in Europe (7) CENTRAL_ASIA (1) Central/South America (1) Ch. Bollyn (30) Charles Tart (8) Charlie Hebdo (1) Che Guevara (2) CHEMTRAILS (13) CHINA (6) Christian Zionism (1) CHRISTIANISM (46) CHRISTIANISM in EUROPE (1) Churchill (7) CINEMA (2) Circumcision (10) CLIMATE (7) Climate Change (8) cluster bombs/mines (2) Cold Fusion (1) COLD_FUSION (1) COLONIALISM (1) Colonization of Europe (26) Commerce (1) Communism (49) CONGO (5) Consciousness (9) Conspiracies (8) Consumerism (1) contemporary society (8) COPTS (1) Cosmogony (1) Crime (5) Criminal_Sciense (1) CRIMINALITY (1) crop circles (5) CUBA (16) Cultural Marxism (7) DARFUR (3) Dead Sea Scrolls (1) Death penalty in ISLAM (1) Death-Bed Visions (1) DECADANT_ART (1) Deir Yassin (8) Democracy (1) DENMARK (3) Depleted uranium (6) DIAMOND CARTELS (1) DIANA (10) DIETRICH ECKART (1) DILUVIUM (5) Disney (2) DOGS (1) Donald TRUMP (4) Dönmeh (1) Doppelgangers (1) Dresden (6) DRUG ADDICTION (1) E.U. (11) Eastern Europe (1) ECHELON (1) ECONOMY (14) EDUCATION (4) Egypt (11) Eisenhower (4) El Inglés (2) Elie Wiesel (1) Elite_Child_Sex_Rings (16) Elizabeth Taylor (1) ENERGY (9) Enoch Powell (1) environmentalism (10) Ernst Zundel (1) EUROPE viz. ISLAM (8) EUROPE's FUTURE (7) European Parliament (1) EUROPEAN UNION (10) EUROPEAN_IDENTITY (4) Eustace Mullins (10) Evidence for the Afterlife (2) EVOLUTION (9) EXPLORATIONS (1) Ezra Pound (1) Facebook (1) FALSE_HISTORY (2) Fascism (4) Fashion industry (1) FATIMA (9) Female Genital Mutilation (2) FEMINISM (14) FINLAND (2) Fjordman (7) Flight 007 (1) Fluoride (1) Food (11) FRANCE (29) FRANCE viz. ISLAM (2) Francis P. Yockey (5) Frankfurt School (1) Franklin D. Roosevelt (6) freedom of speech (1) Fukushima (2) G7 (1) Gas chambers (1) Gaza (1) Geert Wilders (9) GENDERISM (1) genetically modified organisms (GMO) (8) Georges Bensoussan (2) German National Socialism (14) GERMANY (43) GERMANY viz. ISLAM (2) Gilad Atzmon (11) Global warming (2) Globalism (5) Great Britain (58) Great Pyramid (16) GREECE (2) GREENPEACE (3) Guatemala (1) Guillaume Faye (1) Gulag (3) Gulf War (1) Gulf War Syndrome (1) Guylaine Lanctot (2) HAARP (10) Hans Günther (8) Harry Potter (1) HEALTH (114) HEMP (1) Henry Makow (2) Hidden History (15) HIDDEN HYPNOSIS TECHNIQUES (1) Hiroshima (4) Historical Review (67) History_of_IDEAS (3) HMS Hampshire (3) Hollow Earth (22) Hollywood (11) Holocaust (138) HOLODOMOR_1932-33 (17) Homosexuality (6) Horst Mahler (4) Howard Hughes (1) HUMAN_ORIGINS (1) HUMAN_RIGHTS (2) Humorous (2) HUNGARY (2) HYPERBOREA (7) IAN STEVENSON (13) ICELAND (1) Image of Guadalupe (2) Immigration (15) IMPORTANT (5) INDIA (24) IndoEuropean (12) Indonesia (4) Infrasound Weapons (1) Intellectual_freedom (1) Intelligence (15) Intelligent design (8) International Criminal Tribunal (3) INTERNET (2) INTERRACIAL_RELATIONS (1) INTIMIDATION (3) INVENTIONS (3) IRAN (11) Iranian regime violence (1) IRAQ (21) IRAQ_war (11) IRELAND (1) ISLAM (325) Islam in Europe/America (92) ISLAM in RUSSIA (1) ISLAM propagandists (4) ISLAMIST INTIMIDATION (24) ISLAMIST_VIOLENCE (40) ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPE (65) Islamophobia (6) ISRAEL (127) Israel Supreme Court (1) ISRAEL-ARAB RELATIONS (9) ISRAEL's_ATOMIC_BOMB (4) ISRAEL/EU RELATIONS (1) ITALY (7) J.Kaminski (4) Japan (2) Jewish History (1) Jewish Question (1) JEWS (110) JEWS/ISRAEL-USA_relations (53) JFK Assassination (27) JFK/RFK (1) Jihad (15) Jo Cox (6) Joe Sobran (4) John Bryant (17) John Lear (3) Journalists (2) Julius Evola (38) Jyllands-Posten newspaper (1) Kafirs (1) Karl Marx (1) Katie King (1) Katyn (11) Kevin MacDonald (37) KHAZARs (1) Knut Hamsun (1) Kurdistan (1) KURDS (1) Lasha Darkmoon (13) Laurel Canyon (4) Layla Anwar (4) LEBANON (3) LEFT (16) Liberalism (1) Lord Kitchener (4) Lord Northcliff (1) Lost Civilisations (2) Lost Technology (1) LYDDA (1) MADELEINE McCANN (4) Magic (1) Magnesium (7) Mahathir (1) Mahatma Gandhi (4) Malaysia (2) Manchester terrorist attack (11) Manipulation (69) MAPS (1) Mark Weber (10) Mass immigration_Multiculturalism (20) Mass_Media (3) Mass-Psychology (3) Massacres (1) May-June 2017 London Jihadist attacks (4) Medjugorje apparitions (3) METEMPSYCHOSIS (17) MEXICO (1) MH370 (2) MIDDLE EAST (44) Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (10) MIND CONTROL (23) MONEY-Banking (8) Monsanto (9) Morality (1) Mormonism (1) Mortacracy (6) MUSIC MAFIA (2) Muslim Brotherhood (5) Muslim Honor Killings (1) Muslim Persecution of Christians (2) MUSLIMS IN EUROPE (71) Mussolini (3) Mysterious (69) Mysterious_SKY (1) Nathuram Godse (3) National Memorial and Arboretum (1) Native Americans (1) Neapolis (1) NESSIE (17) Netherlands (10) New World Order (4) NEW_ZEALAND (1) NGOs (2) Nicolai Sennels (1) no-go zones (2) NOAM CHOMSKY (4) Nonie Darwish (12) North Africa (3) NORWAY (1) Norway massacre (5) NUCLEAR (11) Nutrition (20) Obama (2) Occult Symbols (21) Oklahoma City bombing (7) OLYMPIC_GAMES (13) OPINION (9) Orel_Yiftachel (5) Organized Jewry (6) P. Buchanan (26) PACIFISM (1) PAEDOPHILIA (15) Paganism (2) PAKISTAN (2) PALESTINE 1944-1948 (1) Palestinians (18) PARIS (1) Patrice Lumumba (1) PATRICIA HEARST (2) Patton (2) Paul Craig Roberts (1) Paul Weston (9) PEARL HARBOR (1) Persecuted Christians (7) PERSONALITIES (1) Philosophy of Civilization (1) Photographic_Archive (1) Photography (2) Physics (9) POLAND (5) POLAR REGIONS (30) Poliomyelitis (8) Political Thought (52) Pollution (3) Polynesia (25) Pope Benedict (1) Pornography (2) PORTUGAL (6) PREHISTORY (28) propaganda (3) Prophecies (14) Psychedelics (64) PSYCHIATRY (10) Psychical Research (124) Psychology (6) QATAR (2) QUEBEC (1) Queen Victoria (1) R.R.Rife (10) Race (126) Racism (4) RED_Alert (4) Religion (27) René Guénon (1) Revilo Oliver (16) Richard Dawkins (1) Riyadh address to the Muslim world (1) Robert Faurisson (1) Rockefellers (1) Roger Garaudy (6) Roman Catholic Church (12) Ron Paul (7) Rudolph Hess (1) Ruling_by_CORRUPTION (14) RUSSIA (8) RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (1) RWANDA (31) S. H. Pearson (1) Sabra-Shatila massacre (10) Sandy Hook (1) Sanskrit (1) SAUDI ARABIA (6) Savitri Devi (27) Scandinavia (1) SCIENCE (45) Secret Military Technology (14) Secret weapons (10) Sedition Trial (1) SERBIA (1) sexual freedom (6) Sexualization of Culture (5) Sinister sites (11) Skepticism (1) Slave trade (1) SOUTH AFRICA (4) Space/Apollo_Hoax (54) SPAIN (2) Spengler (6) Spirituality (1) Srebrenica (1) STALINISM (1) State_criminality (8) Steganography (16) Steven Yates (7) STRANGE SOUNDS (4) Subterranean_world (10) SUDAN (2) SUPERNATURAL (16) Surveillance (1) SWASTIKA (33) SWEDEN (11) Switzerland (1) SYRIA (8) Taj Mahal (13) Ted Kaczynski (1) Terrorism (42) TESLA (6) The 1001 Club (1) The Celts (1) The Cultural Integration Initiative (1) The Frankfurt School (1) The Great Flood (8) The Irish Savant (9) The Mass Rape of German Women by the Red Army (1) The Nuremberg Trials (4) The plutonium injections (4) Theo van Gogh (1) Thought of the Right (63) TITANIC (72) Tommy Robinson (1) Torture (1) Tradition (5) Transatlantic Slave Trade (1) Transcendent Experience (6) Tunguska (1) Tunisia (2) TURKEY (7) TWA flight 800 (1) U.S.A. (143) U.S.A. ARMY CRIMINALITY (18) U.S.A. Foreign policy (13) U.S.A. Military (2) U.S.A._HISTORY (2) U.S.A._POLITICS (8) U.S.A._SOCIETY (6) U.S.A.-CIA (12) U.S.A.-Power Structure (6) U.S.S. Liberty (7) UFOs (166) Ukraine (15) United Church of Christ (1) United Nations (3) UNKNOWN_EARTH (2) USA (3) USA_Press (2) USA/USSR_relations (2) USS San Francisco (1) USSR (54) Vaccination (1) VATICAN (12) Vatican II (3) VELIKOVSKY (2) Vernon Coleman (14) Voynich_manuscript (15) WAFA SULTAN (1) War Crimes (35) water (2) Wayne MADSEN (2) WEST (14) WEST viz. ISLAM (10) WEST/ISLAM Relations (22) WESTERN_ELITES (3) White Guilt (1) White phosphorous (1) White Race (2) WILD_LIFE (1) Wilhelm Reich (4) William Gough (10) wind farms (1) Wm F. Koch (8) Women in Islam (7) World Wildlife Fund (8) WORLD_ORDER (57) WWI (6) WWII (98) WWII Aftermath (42) WWIII (1) Younger Dryas Ice Age (4) Yugoslavia (8) ZIONISM (11)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Charles T. Tart - States of Consciousness (D)


 States of Consciousness

    Charles T. Tart

        18.   As Above, So Below: Five Basic Principles
                  Underlying Physics and Psychology



I consider the material in this chapter speculative and thus appropriate for introducing this section on speculation about consciousness. The ideas presented are not basic to the applications of the systems approach to the investigation of states of consciousness but are extensions of the approach that intrigue me. They are speculative also in that I am by no means a physicist and do not really understand mathematics, the language in which so much of physics is expressed. I intend this chapter primarily as a stimulus to prompt both physicists and psychologists to think further about some of the ideas expressed here.[1]
    Most psychologists accept the idea that reality is ultimately material, composed basically of matter and energy operating within the physical framework of space and time. This is a useful set of intellectual constructs for dealing with experiences, but most psychologists think of it as an understanding of reality rather than a philosophy. Psychologists who implicitly or explicitly accept this position (which means most psychologists) thus in effect define psychology as a derivative science, one dealing with phenomena much removed from the ultimate bases of reality. A corollary is that to be really "scientific" (to be fashionable in terms of the prevailing physicalistic philosophy), psychology must ultimately reduce psychological data to physical data. 
    Figure 18-1 depicts the world-view of philosophical physicalism. The ultimate structures or components of reality (top) are subatomic particles. When I was a high school student, only a few such particles were known and many scientists thought that electrons, protons, and neutrons were the basics whose arrangement in patterns accounted for the way the world was. Now literally hundreds of subatomic particles have been "discovered." The word is enclosed in quotation marks because, of course, no one has actually ever seen a subatomic particle. They are assumed to exist because their presence enables sensible interpretation of various kinds of instrumental readings. Thus modern physicists picture the universe as composed of hundreds of subatomic particles being influenced by three basic types of forces: (1) the nuclear binding forces, which operate only at the extremely tiny distances inside atomic nuclei; (2) the so-called weak forces, which determine particle interaction at extremely close distances; and (3) electromagnetic forces. These forces act on the subatomic particles within a matrix of space and time, which is still largely taken for granted as simply being "space" and "time." Physics, then, is the study of this most basic level of reality.
    From this most basic level this world-view builds toward life and consciousness. From subatomic particles, it moves to atoms, primarily influenced by electromagnetic forces and studied by physics and chemistry. From atoms it moves to molecules, primarily governed by chemical forces (which are electromagnetic forces) and studied most appropriately by chemistry. Next come large molecules, which to some extent are self-sustaining, hold their molecular configuration in spite of fairly large changes in their environment. Some of these cross the mysterious dividing line into the simplest forms of life, complex molecular assemblies capable of sustaining themselves and reproducing themselves in spite of environmental changes. Chemical, electromagnetic, and now gravitational forces affect things at this level, and chemistry and biology are the sciences for studying them.
    Next comes the evolutionary chain of increasingly complex organisms, which soon develop specialized nervous systems, which themselves increase greatly in complexity. Chemical, electromagnetic, and gravitational forces are active here, and chemistry, biology, and physiology are the important sciences for studying them.
    The human brain is considered the epitome of development of nervous systems. I suspect that this is an unduly egocentric view, for animals such as dolphins and whales certainly have larger brains than man. But, perhaps because they do not build weapons to attack each other or us, practically no one seriously considers the idea that they may be as intelligent as we—the notable exception is John Lilly {34}. The human brain is also affected by chemical, electromagnetic, and gravitational forces. Physiology and probably information theory are appropriate sciences for dealing with the human brain.
    Finally, there is consciousness, thought of as a by-product or property of the human brain, and psychology is the science for studying it. The forces affecting consciousness are not shown because, in terms of the physicalistic philosophy, social or psychological forces are derivative, not the "real" forces that actually control the universe.
    This is the conservative or orthodox view of the mind discussed briefly at the beginning of this book. It does not really explain what consciousness is, but, citing good evidence that physically affecting the brain alters consciousness, asks not further questions and simply believes that consciousness itself is a product of brain functioning. The consequence of this view is that for an ultimate explanation of consciousness, the phenomena of consciousness must be reduced to those of brain functioning; brain functioning must be reduced to basic properties of nervous systems, which must be reduced to basic properties of live molecules, which in turn must be reduced to basic properties of molecules per se, which must be reduced to properties of atoms, which must finally be reduced to properties of subatomic particles.
    In practice, of course, this would be extremely tedious. Certain relatively simple phenomena can be reduced one or two levels, but if I want to predict what you are next going to do, the amount of information I must deal with, starting with the knowledge of subatomic particles and various forces and building all the way up to consciousness, is simply impossible to handle.
    There is no doubt that reductionism to more basic physical levels has been extremely useful in the physical sciences; and, to a certain extent, reductionism to simpler psychological events has been useful in psychology. Finding the physiological bases of psychological events or perhaps more accurately, the physiological parallels or interactions with psychological events, has also been useful. But, by and large, the attempt to reduce psychological events to physiological events is neither the only nor the best activity for psychology.
    In the radical view of the mind, discussed earlier, a person's belief about the nature of reality may actually alter the reality, not just his interpretation of it. A fundamental part of the radical view is that basic awareness may have an independently real status itself, rather than being just a derivative of physical processes. 
    Figure 18-2 shows the scheme I propose for understanding human consciousness. Human consciousness is shown as the result of the interaction of six dimensions, each one just as real in some ultimate sense as any of the others. The dimensions are matter, energy, space, time, awareness, and an unknown factor that may be life itself. Science, guided by a physicalistic, reductionistic philosophy, investigates finer and finer levels of the matter and energy dimensions, within a certain space-time framework; but these dimensions constitute only two of the six or more dimensions that must be examined for full understanding of human consciousness.
    I have added space and time as two independent dimensions more on intuition than on a basis I can cogently argue. We tend to assume that space is some uniform thing that is just there and that time is some uniform thing that is just passing. But experiences in d-ASCs (see discussion of the Space/Time subsystem, in Chapter 8) indicate that there may be other kinds of spaces and other kinds of times. I predict that some day our procedure of simply taking space and time for granted as unitary phenomena will seem quite crude.
    In the systems approach, awareness is given a real and separate status. Recall the distinction between awareness and consciousness. Awareness is that basic, obviously there but hard-to-define property that makes us cognizant of things; consciousnessis awareness as it is modified by and embedded in the structure of the mind. Consciousness is awareness transformed by the brain-body machine so that awareness loses some of its own innate properties, gains certain properties from the structure (probably largely brain structure) it merges with (or arises from in the conservative view), and leads to certain gestalt properties that cannot be predicted from a knowledge of either. The unknown factor dimension is added to remind us of our ignorance and because I feel intuitively that symmetry is called for in this diagram.
    The first phrase of this chapter's title, "As Above, So Below," expresses my hypotheses that there is a uniform set of basic laws running the universe. I speculate that whatever fundamental principles or laws run the universe manifest themselves similarly in one area we call psychology and in another we call physics. The idea can be extended to other areas also, but I am not expert enough to do so. Thus the laws of physics, as we currently understand them, are manifestations (of an unknown degree of directness) of the basic principles running the universe; laws and principles affecting consciousness are manifestations (of an unknown degree of directness) of these same principles. Neither manifestation may be any more basic than the other. If this hypothesis is correct, parallels to the five basic principles that seem to underlie physics should be clearly discernible in the psychological area.

First Principle: Duality

    Physics distinguishes between a pure energy state and a matter state, with both energy and matter operating within the framework of space and time. A convenient abbreviation for this quaternity is MEST (matter, energy, space, time). The first principle is that whenever pure energy is converted into matter , it generally (universally?) creates a pair of particles whose properties are, in some important way, opposite. An electron and a positron may be created, for example, with opposite electrical charges, or a pair of particles may be created that spin in opposite directions. Conversely, the proper interaction of a pair of such opposite particles results in their annihilation as particles and their transformation back into pure energy. Thus the transformation of energy into matter is generally done in a dualistic manner. The principle seems so general that whenever a new particle is discovered, its exact opposite is looked for as a matter of course.
    Assuming that a resulting duality in a transition from an energy state to a matter state is a general universal principle, a parallel manifestation at the psychological level is seen in a phenomenon encountered in some d-ASCs, the mystical experience of unity. This is a direct experience of a condition of consciousness in which all duality is transcended. In contrast to ordinary existence in a world dominated by opposites, there is to up and down, good and evil, creator and created, I and thou; everything is oneness. Our language, of course, cannot express the experience adequately. The experience of what may have been consciousness of the Void (Chapter 14) in William's ultradeep hypnotic state may be an example of this kind. In Buddhist literature, the highest kind of samadhi, reached by successive refinements of concentration, is described as a state in which there is neither perception nor nonperception {20}. This state of consciousness seems analogous to the condition of pure, undifferentiated energy.
    But we do not live in such a state of consciousness. Few people ever attain it, and even to them it is a transient experience, though of supreme importance. All the spiritual systems {128} that have this realization of a transcendence of duality as an experiential basis teach that in the ordinary d-SoC (and in many d-ASCs) duality is a basic principle governing the manifestation of consciousness. Thus pleasure cannot exist without pain, hope cannot exist without despair, courage cannot exist without fear, up cannot exist without down. The state of mystical unity, of Void consciousness, seems to be the experience of pure awareness, transcending all opposites, like the pure energy state, while consciousness, the condition of awareness deeply intermeshed with and modified by the structures of the mind and brain, is a realm of duality, the analog of the matter state. This seems to be a manifestation of the principle of duality in he psychological realm.
    It is an exotic example, as most of us lack an experiential basis for understanding it. When we deal with human consciousness we do not deal with undifferentiated energy manifesting as two opposite particles, the simple, primary phenomena with which physics deals, but with complex, interacting systems made up of untold numbers of more elementary systems constituting the structures of the mind and brain, activated by awareness and construction, consciousness (as opposed to pure awareness), is the experiential area with which we are most familiar. As we shall see in considering the other basic principles, the fact that our ordinary psychological experience is almost always with the complex, ongoing structure of human consciousness makes it difficult to see how these basic principles, derived for ideally simplified situations, can be applied precisely.

Second Principle: Quantum Law, the Law of Discreteness

    The quantum principle in physics states that because of the nature of certain physical systems, most obviously that of the atom, certain transitions from one energy configuration to another can occur only in a complete, all-or-none jump. In an atom, for example, an electron can be in one or another precise energy state, but cannot occupy an energy level intermediate between these two. It must go from one to the other, given the requisite energy to bring this about, in an all-or-none fashion. Thus there is one state, a forbidden zone, and then a second state. There may be a third state, a fourth state, and so on, but the transition is always all-or-none. When dealing macroscopic objects or systems that are made up of large numbers of the more elementary components governed by quantum laws, the aggregate, the macroscopic system, may seem to show continuity over wide ranges of intermediate values, but this is statistical illusion from a gross level of observation. For example, an aggregate made up of units, many of which are in a quantum state that we can call two, and many of which are in a quantum state that we can call three, can have an average value anywhere between two and three, depending on the relative distribution of the quantum units.
    I see the quantum principle, as stated in physics, as particular manifestation of a more general principle that various components of the universe have a "shape" or "structure" or "energy configuration." On a familiar, macroscopic level, for example, water can be in three distinct states, a solid (ice), a liquid (ordinary water), or a gas (steam). There can be mechanical mixtures of the three states, as of water droplets falling or floating in the air, but the solid, liquid, and gas states are quite distinct.
    The application to consciousness of this general principle, that various components of reality have properties that therefore determine the way they can interact with other units, is outlined in Chapter 2. To recapitulate briefly, a d-SoC is a system or a pattern or an overall configuration of many psychological subsystems or structures. Each subsystem shows variation within itself within certain limits, but maintains its overall identity as a subsystem. Since identity means properties, this limits the number of possible ways a stable system can be built up from the subsystems and thus limits the number of d-SoCs possible for a human being.
    The induction of a d-ASC involves the application of disrupting forces to the b-SoC to push one or more subsystems beyond their stable limits and/or to disrupt the feedback loops between subsystems that stabilize the b-SoC. When enough feedback loops have been disrupted and/or enough subsystems pushed beyond their stable, ordinary ranges of functioning, the overall organization of the b-SoC breaks down, and a transitional period of varying duration occurs, with the subsystems having only transient, unstable relationships to each other. then, with the application of appropriate patterning forces, the subsystems are reassembled in a new configuration that is stable and that we call the d-ASC.
    This process constitutes a kind of quantum jump. albeit not the neat quantum jump of an electron from one discrete energy state to another in an atom. We are dealing with highly composite, complex structures, and even when such structures are made up of units that operate on quantum principles, the aggregate may show various degrees of continuity. Recall the earlier discussion of individual differences. For certain individuals, the transition from a b-SoC to a d-ASC definitely shows a quantum jump, with no consciousness during the transition period. The system properties of the d-ASC are quite different from those of the b-SoC.
    The quantum jump from one d-SoC to a d-ASC may be a leap along what we conceive of as a continuum or it may be the emergence of a totally new function or pattern of functioning.
    The d-ASCs of which we now have some scientific knowledge occur in human beings who have been thoroughly conditioned by enculturation processes, so the quantum jumps we have seen in investigating various d-ASCs may largely represent the results of semiarbitrary cultural conditioning. That is, in a particular culture you might have to be either straight or stoned, but in another culture you may be able to be a little of each simultaneously. However, we can postulate as a general principle that the various subsystems and structures that make up the human mind cannot be put together in just any arbitrary way: each structure has properties of its own that restrict its possible interaction with other structures into a larger structure or system. Insofar as we can learn to study the mind beyond the semiarbitrary cultural conditionings of consciousness, the study of d-ASCs may eventually tell us something about the fundamental properties of the human mind and the way in which the overall system of consciousness can thus be structured, what its basic states and forbidden zones are.

Third Principle: Relativity

    In nonmathematical terms the relativity principle in physics is that there is not such thing as a neutral observer. Rather, any observer exists within a particular MST framework, and this framework affects his observations.
    This is more profound than saying that an observer's sense organs affect his observations. We realize, for example, that we do not naturally know how the world looks in the ultraviolet spectrum of light, but we can build instruments to make a translation for us. What is here being said is that the observer is an inherent part of the MEST framework, and this gives the observer himself characteristics, over and above what can be compensated for by special instruments, which affect his observations of thins outside himself.
    The principle of relativity applies in a variety of ways in psychological work, even though most psychologists have not seriously accepted it. Indeed, it applies to you and me in our everyday lives, even though we do not always accept it. At one level, each human being, functioning in his ordinary d-SoC (or in a d-ASC), shows selective perception, selective thinking, selective action that in turn controls his perceptions. Because of his particular culture and the consensus reality to which his ordinary d-SoC has adapted him, plus his personal idiosyncrasies, he (1) is more prone to observe certain things; (2) is unlikely to observe other kinds of things at all; and (3) may have a great many transformations and distortions of what he does sense before it reaches his consciousness. This all happens unconsciously, automatically, and smoothly in the normally functioning adult. For example, the Christian missionary of the 1800s "saw" sin in the form of public display of "lust" in a native village, when the natives would have said that they were only giving polite approval to the dancers.
    This kind of relativity is becoming recognized in psychology under the topics of experimenter bias and the implicit demand characteristics of experiments. An experimenter's desire to prove the hypothesis he believes in not only can influence how he perceives his data, but also can subtly influence his subjects to cooperate in ways that will erroneously "prove" his hypothesis. Your beliefs about the nature of things around you can influence the way you see things and subtly influence others to uphold your view of reality.
    In addition to this culturally and individually conditioned relativity, the fact that each person is human and therefore born with certain basic properties in his nervous system, sensory receptors, and perhaps in the nature of the awareness that enters into or comes from the operation of his nervous system, equips him with built-in biases for seeing the universe in certain kinds of ways and not other ways. This applies not only to the external universe perceived through his senses or with instrumental aids, but to his observations of his own internal experiences.
    It is amazing how little recognized this idea is. The old concept of the "neutral observer," common in nineteenth century physics but now long abandoned by physicists, is alive and well within the ranks of psychologists, implicitly guiding almost all experiments. A wiser course is always to assume that an observer or experimenter has biases and selectivities in the way he perceives, evaluates, and acts, even when these are not obvious.
    D-ASCs are of particular interest here. The ordinary d-SoC is a complex system incorporating various selectivities for perceiving the outside world and our own internal experiences, and functioning as a tool for coping with our external and internal worlds. Transiting to a d-ASC constitutes a qualitative as well as a quantitative restructuring of the systems, which may be looked at as a new set of filters, biases, and tools for the observer/theorizer. By observing both the external and internal worlds from a variety of d-SoCs, rather than only one, we can develop a number of state-specific sciences within various d-ASCs. This enables a complementary series of views of the external and internal universes, which may partially compensate for the limits of the view found in any one d-SoC. I emphasize partially compensate, because no matter how many different d-SoCs we observe from, we are still human, and that probably implies ultimate limits on what we can do. We have not begun to approach these ultimate limits.
    Note again that the idea that we must obtain complementary (I use this term in the sense it is used in physics) views of the universe from various d-SoCs, in order to get as full as view of it as possible, collides with an implicit and pervasive assumption that the ordinary d-SoC is the optimal, most logical state of consciousness and thus the one in which ultimate understandings will occur. This powerful and implicit bias, a product of enculturation, seriously hinders our thinking. We should always be open to the possibility that there is some "higher" d-SoC of which all other d-SoCs can be seen as fully comprehensible subsets: perhaps this is what enlightenment means in some ultimate sense. The ordinary d-SoC, with all its culturally conditioned limitations, is an unlikely candidate for this high degree.
    The last two basic principles of physics do not have obvious parallels in known psychological functioning because the complexity of the human mind precludes such simple analogies. It is interesting, however, to consider them and assume that they ought to be manifest in the psychological realm if they are true. In this way, we can alert ourselves to look for parallels.

Fourth Principle: Conversation

    The basic expression of the principle of conservation in physics is that in any reaction nothing is lost. The sum total of what goes in is the sum total of what goes out, even if there are transformations in form. This was originally thought of as the conservation of mass: the amount of matter that went into a chemical reaction was exactly equal to the amount of matter that came out of it. Because of various theoretical prospective changes, as well as the development of extremely precise measurement techniques, this definition was seen to be too simple and the principle was rephrased in terms of the conservation of the sum of mass and energy. Thus mass can be traded for energy, for example, but the sum is still the same. Modifications of the exact quantities are put into this equivalence equation in various physical situations, but the basic principle that what goes in equals what comes out holds generally through physics.
    I do not see the obvious application of this to conscious experiences that we know of, because we almost never have simple, straightforward actions of consciousness that allow this kind of input-output comparison. Even apparently simple psychological reactions may consist of many separate steps that are perceived dimly or not at all due to automatization {14}. Also, experience at almost all times involves several things going on in rapid succession or even apparently simultaneously, and we know that important unconscious reactions can occur simultaneously with conscious ones. Thus we may have conscious experiences that seem to deplete or use up psychological energy or create psychological experience (the equivalent of mass?), and other kinds of experiences that seem to increase energy, but we do not know how to assess or measure these in a clear enough way to begin to measure what goes in and what goes out and see whether they are equivalent. We may be able to develop indirect indicators of unconscious reactions or make unconscious reactions more conscious by means of therapeutic or self-observational techniques.

Fifth Principle: Law of Least Action

    The physical expression of this principle is that nature is economical: when a process can occur in several alternate ways, the one requiring the least expenditure of energy is the one used. Apparent exceptions generally turn out to conform to the principle and to have seemed exceptional because they were viewed in isolation: when considered as a part of a larger system, the principle of least action is, in fact, followed.
    An initial glance at psychological experience seems to show many contradictions to this. We do all sorts of things every day in ways that, even to our own perception, are certainly not the most economical ways. An observer may detect even more wasted energy. Suppose I carry a book from here into the next room. If I observe the action carefully, I will probably find that I have not used my body in a way that requires a minimal expenditure of energy to move the book from here to there. The complicating factor in trying to apply the fifth principle to psychology is the human propensity for doing several things simultaneously, many of them not in consciousness or even available to consciousness. So while carrying the book from this room to the next I may also be thinking about what to write in this chapter an using "body English" as part of my thinking process. I may also be semiconsciously trying to improve my posture, semiconsciously rebelling against the need to try and improve myself so much of the time, and so deliberately wasting some energy, either bodily or psychological energy, in order to express my "freedom."
    A claim made in many spiritual writings, supported by some experiential data from various d-ASCs, is that, with effort, we can become more and more conscious of exactly what we are doing. Whether we can become conscious of everything we are doing psychologically at a given moment is unknown. Thus it is unclear whether we can ever be in a position adequately to assess whether the law of least action applies to psychological phenomena. But it may be profitable to postulate that the fifth principle does apply and then proceed to look for manifestations.
    In the history of science it has often been fruitful to postulate some principle as true before there is good evidence for it, and then to examine the subject matter of the particular science with the postulate in mind. It may be profitable to follow this plan for the fourth and fifth principles. They may be true; if they are not, the need to develop more precise ways of measuring many psychological phenomena simultaneously in order to test the truth of the principles will be a major advance in itself.
    As above, so below?

Footnote

    [1] I In the spring of 1973, my colleagues at the Institute for the Study of Human Consciousness and I heard an exceptionally lucid presentation by Dean Brown, Stanford Research Institute, of the basic principles of physics, general principles that seem to emerge repeatedly in all areas of physics and that may represent fundamental principles underlying the universe, Brown suggested that these same principles may have parallels in the study of the mind, although he did not expound on this idea. The suggestion took firm root in my mind and has resulted in this chapter. I am also indebted to Andrew Dienes for helping me to understand and express some of the physics ideas in this chapter.




 19.   Ordinary Consciousness as a State of Illusion



A belief common to almost all spiritual disciplines is that the human being is ordinarily in a state of consciousness described by such words as illusion, waking dreaming, waking hypnosis, ignorance, maya (Indian), or samsara (Buddhist). The realization of this unsatisfactorily nature of one's ordinary d-SoC serves as the impetus for purifying it and/or attaining d-ASCs that are considered clearer and more valuable. This chapter considers the nature of samsara[1] (illusion) form the viewpoint of a Western psychologist. This interpretation does not present a full understanding of the concept of samsara or related concepts, but is simply a way of expressing it that should be useful to other Westerners. This understanding flows partly from the systems approach developed in previous chapters.
    Consciousness, as we ordinarily know it in the West, is not pure awareness but rather awareness as it is embodied in the psychological structure of the mind or the brain. Ordinary experience is of neither pure awareness nor pure psychological structure, but of awareness embedded in and modified by the structure of the mind/brain, and of the structure of the mind/brain embedded in and modified by awareness. These two components, awareness and psychological structures constitute a gestalt, an overall interacting, dynamic system that makes up consciousness.
    To most orthodox Western psychologists awareness is a by-product of the brain. This primarily reflects a commitment to certain physicalistic concepts rather than any real understanding of what awareness is. In most spiritual disciplines, awareness is considered to exist, or have potential to exist, independently of brain structure {128}.
    Let us now take a Western, psychological look at how ordinary consciousness can be a state of illusion, samsara. Figure 19-1 represents the psychological processes of a person we shall call Sam at six succeeding instants of time, labeled T1 through T6. The vertical axis represents stimuli from the external world received in the six succeeding instants of time; the horizontal axis represents internal, psychological processes occurring through these six succeeding instants of time. The ovals represent the main psychological contents that are in the focus of consciousness, what Sam is mainly conscious of, where almost all the attention/awareness (energy) is. The arrows represent information flow; labels along the arrows indicate the nature of that information flow. The small circles containing the letter A represent internal psychological associations provoked by the external stimuli or by other internal associations: they are structures, the machinery of the mind.
    Figure 19-1 is a flow diagram of what happens in Sam's mind, how information comes in to him and how this information is reacted to. Some of the effects are deliberately exaggerated to make points, so Sam appears psychotic in rather paranoid way. As is discussed later, this example is not really so very different from our own ordinary consciousness.
    In terms of the external world, a stranger walks up to Sam and says, "Hi, my name is Bill." For simplicity, we assume that this is all that happens of consequence in the external world, even though in everyday life such a message usually accompanied by other messages expressed in gestures and bodily postures, modified by the setting in which they occur, etc. But the defined reality here is that they stranger says, "Hi, my name is Bill." This utterance occupies the first five sequential units of time.
    At time T1 the oval contains the label Primary Meaning, indicating that the focus of conscious awareness is the word Hi. Although this is shown as a simple perception it is not a simple act. The word Hi would be a meaningless pattern of sounds except for the fact that Sam has already learned to understand the English language and thus perceives not only the sound qualities of the word Hi, but also its agreed-upon meaning. Already we are dealing not only with awareness per se, but with relatively permanent psychological structures that automatically give conventional meaning to language. Sam is an enculturated person.
    The straightforward perception of the meaning of this word in its agreed-upon form is an instance of clear or relatively enlightened consciousness within the given consensus reality. Someone says Hi to you and you understand that this is a greeting synonymous with words like hello and greetings.
    We can hypothesize that a relatively clear state of mind in the period T1 through T5 consists of the following. At each instant in time, the stimulus word being received is clearly perceived in the primary focus of consciousness with its agreed-upon meaning, and there is a sufficient memory continuity across these instants of time to understand the sequence. Information from each previous moment of consciousness is passed clearly on to the next, so that the meaning of the overall sequence of worlds is understood. For example, at time T2 not only is the word my perceived clearly but the word Hi has been passed on internally from time T1 as a memory, so Sam perceives that the sequence is Hi, my. Similarly by time T5, there is primary perception of the agreed-upon meaning of the word Bill, coupled with a clear memory of Hi, my name is from the preceding four instants of time. This simple message of the speaker is thus perceived for exactly what it is.
    Figure 19-1, however, shows a much more complex process than this clear perception of primary stimulus information. my own psychological observations have convinced me that this more complex process takes place all the time, and the straightforward, relatively clear perception described above is a rarity, especially for any prolonged period of time. So, let us look at this diagram of samsara in detail.
    Again, we start with the primary meaning reception of the word Hi at time T1. At the T2, however, not only is there a primary, undistorted reception of the word my, but internally an association has taken place to the word Hi. This association is that PRICES ARE HIGH. This is deliberately an illogical (by consensus reality standards) association, based on the sound of the word and involving some departure from the primary meaning of the word Hi used as a greeting. In spite of our culture's veneration of logic, most of our psychological processes are not logical.
    (Ignore the label DEROPP'S "WATCHMAN AT THE GATE" ENTERS HERE for the time being.)
    The association PRICES ARE HIGH is not obviously pathological or nonadaptive at this point. Since prices on so many commodities have risen greatly, it is a likely association to hearing the word Hi, even though it does not strictly follow from the context of the actual stimulus situation. The pathology begins, the mechanism of samsara begins operating, in the fact that this association is not made in the full focus of consciousness but on the fringes of or even outside consciousness. Most attention/ awareness energy is focused on the perception of my and the memory of Hi, so they are perceived clearly, but some attention/ awareness energy, too little for clear consciousness, started "leaking" at T1 and activated an association structure. The primary focus of consciousness at time T2 is on the stimulus word my. The association PRICES ARE HIGH, operating on the fringes of consciousness, is shown as sending some informational content or feeling about money in general into the primary focus of consciousness at time T2, but it is secondary content, with too little energy to be clear.
    If associational activities decay or die out at this simple level, the state of samsara will not occur. But psychological processes that operate outside the clear focus of consciousness tend to get out of hand, acting much the same as implicit you are totally controlled by it as it does not occur to you to question it.
    Let us assume that the association PRICES ARE HIGH triggers a further association during time T2 because of the word HIGH, and this is an association of the sort I NEVER GET HIGH. This second association then connects up at time T3 with emotionally charged concerns of Sam's, represented by the arrow as PREPOTENT NEED/DRIVE #1. Given the particular personality and concerns of this person (he worries because he never gets high), this is a constant, dynamically meaningful preoccupation with him and carries much psychical energy. In colloquial terms, Sam has had "one of his buttons pushed," even though there was no "good" reason for it to be pushed. Uncontrolled attention/awareness energy activated a structure to which other psychological/emotional energy was connected. Now we begin t o deal not just with simple information but with information that is emotionally important. In this particular example, this information is activating and has a negative, depressed quality. At time T3, when this prepotent need is activated, psychical energy flows into the main focus of consciousness. Also, the activation of this prepotent need/drive activates, by habit, a particular chain of associations centered around the idea that PEOPLE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME. This kind of associational content also begins to flow into the main focus of consciousness at time T3.
    Now let us look closely at time T3 in terms of the primary focus of consciousness. In terms of how we have defined relatively clear functioning of this system of consciousness, the information Hi, my should be and is being delivered from the previous moment of consciousness at time T2 to provide continuity. However, the relatively irrelevant association of money and the price of things, represented by the dollar sign, is also being delivered as if it were primary meaning, coming from the preceding primary focus of consciousness, even though it actually represents associational meaning that has slipped in. Because it was not clearly perceived as an association in the first place, it gets mixed up with the primary perceptions as memory transfers it from T2 to T3. A general activation energy of negative tone is flowing in from the prepotent need that is active at this time as well as the associational contents that PEOPLE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME. Because of the highly charged energy that goes with these associational contents, the primary focus of consciousness at time T3 is labeled semidelusion; the primary focus of Sam's consciousness now begins to center around associational material while under the mistaken impression that it is centering around actual information coming in from the world. By identification with this associational material and the prepotent need activated, Sam begins to live in his associations, in a kind of (day) dream rather than in a clear perception of the world.
    Psychologists are well aware of the phenomenon known as perceptual defense, of the selectivity of perception, of the fact that we more readily see what we want to see, tend not to see what we do not want to see, and/or distort what we do perceive into what we would to perceive. What we would "like to" perceive may often seem unpleasant, yet it has secondary advantages insofar as it is supportive of the ego structure.
    To indicate distortion of perception, a partial misperception of the actual stimulus is shown (the word name at time T3) in that the gets dropped out of name as it enters primary consciousness. While much of the original stimulus gets through and provides materials (in this case the other letters) for later processing, some of it drops out. This process of filtering perceptions, rejecting some things, distorting others, is a major characteristic of samsara. We tend to perceive selectively those elements of situations that support our preexisting beliefs and feelings.
    Having reached a state of semidelusion, we now see that instead of the real information Hi, my name, a distorted mixture is being transmitted, consisting of some of the actual information hat came in plus some of the associations and emotional energy that have come via the associations. Some fragments of stimuli coming in are being distorted to fit in with the beginnings of delusion brought about by the prepotent need and associational chains. Thus the quality of the dollar sign becomes more an S, and the Hi turns into a HIS,and the my then becomes opposed to the HIS in a classic dichotomy. The letters and from name now stand in isolation, affected by the emotional charge of the dichotomy HIS and my, so it becomes HIS and ME. Because of the intensity added by the flow of energy at time T3, all the components of stimuli may be arranged to spell the word ENEMY, further reinforcing the HIS-my dichotomy. Elements of the situation are automatically reworked by the Input-Processing subsystem to fit the emerging theme of consciousness.
    Thus at time T4 the primary focus of consciousness may be considered fully delusional in the sense that the internal, charged processes, the associational and emotional processes, distort perception so greatly that we can truly speak of Sam as being deluded or out of contact with the world. We now not only have selective perception in the sense of filtering and rejection, shown as the fourth stimulus word is being totally rejected here, but we now begin to get the psychological process known as projection, where internal processes become so strong that they are projected onto the environment and wrongly perceived as actual perceptions. Internal processes and memories are fed back into Input-Processing and reemerge in awareness with the quality of perception added. In this case the feelings about the conflict between HIS and my and about ENEMY and about PEOPLE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME now begin to be experienced as stimuli coming in from the environment, rather than as internal associations. Other associational chains dealing with DANGER are triggered by this process, including one, discussed later, that keeps out competing associations that do not fit it with the delusional scheme.
    By the time the stage of projection of delusions with the negative content of ENEMY and PEOPLE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME is reached, we tap into Sam's general energy sources and get an overall activation. It is not only that he has some specific need to think that people take advantage of him, he has now become so convinced that someone is actually taking advantage of him that he gets generally activated, generally uptight, in order to deal with this danger! this general up-tightness not only pours a great deal of energy into the specific focus of consciousness, it also acts as positive feedback, reinforcing the prepotent need to blame others for not getting high that started the whole chain in the first place. The fact that Sam now clearly feels himself getting up-tight as this general energy flows into him acts as a justification for the need to worry about people taking advantage of him in the first place, further reinforcing the whole delusion. He would not feel so up-tight unless something were wrong, would he?
    Thus by time T5, when the real stimulus is simply the name Bill, Sam's primary conscious awareness is more a picture of a dangerous warrior attacking, with the whole dichotomy of HIM versus ME in the fore. This is not a simple "cognitive" content, but is charged with energy and emotion, as represented by the spikes on his shield and helmet. Further rejection and distortion of actual input occur to enhance the delusional system. This is shown as t he B being rejected from Bill and the internal processes adding a K, so that Sam in real sense hears this stranger say the word KILL. This again is projection of a delusion that is mistaken for actual sensory input.
    The same DANGER associational chains triggered off in time T4 continue to be triggered off. A pair of associational chains that were separate are shown linked up to represent a tendency for the delusion to further draw together internal structures and so consolidate itself.
    Now at this point we would certainly be tempted to say that Sam is a paranoid psychotic, so out of touch with reality that he should be institutionalized (unless is particular culture values that sort of thing and instead makes him president). But this might not actually true in social terms: there might be strong, built-in inhibitions in the structure of his mind against expressing hostility, and/or such strong conditionings to act nicely, that Sam would make some sort of socially appropriate response even though he was internally seething with fear and anger and hatred.
    At this point Sam is clearly in a state that can well be called samsara or waking dream.
    The fact that conditioned inhibitions may keep a person from acting in a socially inappropriate way should remind us that this process is not an exaggeration that has no application to you and me. Some of our own processes may be just as distorted and intense. Although processes have been intensified to a paranoid, psychotic level in this illustration to make points clearer, my own studies of psychological data, plus my own observation of myself, have convinced me that this is the basic nature of much of our ordinary consciousness.
    The presentation of samsara so far has been oversimplified by assuming there is only one prepotent need or drive that motivates us. Most of us have many such drives. Let us add a second drive to produce a state of conflict and further show the nature of samsara. Suppose after the activation of the prepotent need to blame others at time T3, these associations themselves activate further associations to the effect YOU'RE BEING PARANOID, and this in turn activates a need not to be paranoid. This latter need might arise from a healthy understanding of oneself, or it might arise from the same kind of mechanical, social conditioning that governs the rest of the process. We need not consider the source of this need at the moment, but can simply say that it activates some further associations on the order of DON'T TAKE PARANOIA SERIOUSLY, along with energy from the second prepotent need.
    Figure 19-1 shows these associations of not taking paranoia seriously trying to affect the primary content of consciousness in time T4, but, because Sam is already in a highly delusional state and his consciousness is completely filled with highly energetic paranoid associations, this conflicting associational message cannot influence his consciousness. The particular route by which it tries to enter is blocked by the associations triggered off by the primary, delusional consciousness. There is no conscious conflict.[2]
    The same association DON'T TAKE PARANOIA SERIOUSLY continues to be put out at time T5 and, by coming into the focus of consciousness by a different route, actually gains some awareness. There is now a conflict situation: Sam "know" that this very dangerous person may be threatening to kill him, and another part of him is saying that he is being paranoid and should not take this kind of paranoia seriously.
    Time T6 is shown as a question mark because we do not know what the resolution of this conflict will be. If the bulk of energy and contents of consciousness are taken up by the paranoid delusion, the thought DON'T TAKE PARANOIA SERIOUSLY may simply be wiped out or repressed for lack of energy to compete with the delusion.
    This, then, is a picture of samsara in six consecutive instants of time. The process, of course, does not stop with six instants of time; it continues through one's lifetime. The consensus reality in which a person lives limits the reality that impinges on him: the physical world is generally known; people generally act toward him in "normal" ways. The internalization of consensus reality he learned during enculturation, his "normal" d-SoC, matches the socially maintained consensus reality. so culturally valued experiences continue to happen to him. This is shown schematically in Figure 19-2.
    The horizontal axis represents the flow of time, bringing an ever-changing succession of events, people, interactions, things. The wheel rolling along the axis of time is you. The culturally conditioned selectivity of your perceptions and logics and actions is like a set of selective filters around the periphery of the wheel. If the right filter is activated (perceptual readiness) when a corresponding event occurs, you perceive, experience, and react to it in accordance with your ordinary d-SoC structure (which includes your personality structure). If the current interplay of your prepotent needs and associated structures does not produce a perceptual readiness to notice and respond to the way reality is stimulating you at the moment, you may not perceive an event at all, or perceive it in distorted form, as in the example of what can happen to "Hi, my name is Bill." In terms of Figure 19-2, you have the appropriate perceptual category built in, but the dynamic configuration of your mind, the position of that category on the wheel, is not right.
    Some kinds of experiences are actively blocked by enculturation, not simply passively neglected: these are represented by a pair of bars between some categories within the wheel and the rim of the wheel. You will not experience certain kinds of things, even if they are happening, unless you are subjected to drastic pressures, internal or external.
    Similar structures inside the wheel are shown is interconnected. Recall from the earlier discussion of loading and other kind of stabilization that attention/awareness energy is constantly flowing back and forth, around and around in familiar, habitual paths. This means that much of the variety and richness of life is filtered out. An actual event, triggering off a certain category of experience, activating a certain structure, is rapidly lost as the internal processes connected with that structure and its associated structures and prepotent needs take over the energy of the system. Thus, the word Hi triggers such processes in our hypothetical person, Sam, as do similar words like HIGH whenever they occur. His dynamically interacting, energy-consuming network of structures and needs insulates him from the real world.
    Similarly, if your cultural conditioning has not given you any categories as part of the Input-Processing subsystem to recognize certain events, you may simply not perceive them. Thus real events are shown on the time axis that have no corresponding categories in the person; so the wheel of your life rolls over these events hardly noticing them, perhaps with only a moment of puzzlement before your more "important' internal needs and preoccupations cause you to dismiss the unusual.
    Figure 19-2 depicts cracks in the continuum, following Pearce's analogy of looking for cracks—ways out—in the cosmic egg of your culture. A crack may be a totally uncanny event, something for which you have no conditioned categories, a chance to see in don Juan's sense. If you experience such an event, though, the cultural pressures, both from others and from the enculturated structures built up within you, will probably force you to forget it, to explain away its significance. If you experience something everybody knows cannot happen, you must be crazy; but if you do not tell anyone and forget about it yourself, you will be okay.
    Shah {56, pp. 21-23} records a Sufi story, "When the Waters Were Changed," that illustrates this:
    Once upon a time Khidr, the Teacher of Moses, called upon mankind with a warning. At a certain date, he said, all the water in the world which had not been specially hoarded, would disappear. it would then be renewed, with different water, which would drive men mad.
    Only one man listened to the meaning of this advice. He collected water and went to a secure place where he stored it, and waited for the water to change its character.
    On the appointed date the streams stopped running, the wells went dry, and the man who had listened, seeing this happening, went to his retreat and drank his preserved water.
    When he saw, from his security, the waterfalls again beginning to flow, this man descended among the other sons of men. He found that they were thinking and talking an entirely different way from before; yet they had no memory of what had happened, nor of having been warned. When he tried to talk to them, he realized that they thought he was mad, and they showed hostility or compassion, not understanding.
    At first he drank none of the new water, but went back to his concealment, to draw on his supplies, every day. Finally, however, he took the decision to drink the new water because he could not bear the loneliness of living, behaving and thinking in a different way from everyone else. He drank the new water, and became like the rest. Then he forgot all about his own store of special water, and his fellows began to look upon him as a madman who had miraculously been restored to sanity.
    Finally, in Figure 19-2 time's arrow is shown as turned back upon itself to form a closed loop. This illustrates the conservative character of culture, the social pressure to keep things within the known. Events from outside the consensus reality are shown as deflected from entering it. This does not mean that no change is tolerated; it indicates that while outward forms of some things may change there is immense resistance to radical change. Fundamental assumptions of the consensus reality are strongly defended.
    Fortunately we do make contact with reality at times. There are forces for real change in culture so the conservative forces do not always succeed. I have great faith in science as a unique force for constantly questioning the limits of consensus reality (at least in the long run), for deliberately looking for cracks in the cosmic egg that open on to vast new vistas. But, far more than we would like to admit, our lives can be mainly or completely tightly bounded wheels, rolling mechanically along the track of consensus reality.
    This is a brief sketch of the way one's whole lifetime in a "normal" d-SoC can be a state of samsara. I cannot yet write more about it. I recommend Pearce's book, Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg {50}, for a brilliant analysis of the way our culture can trap us in its consensus reality, even when we believe we are rebelling.

Footnotes

    [1] I use the Buddhist term samsara in a general sense to indicate a d-SoC (ordinary or nonordinary) dominated by illusion, as detailed throughout this chapter, rather than in a technically strict Buddhist sense. I express my appreciation to Tarthong Tulku, Rinpoche, for helping me understand the Buddhist view. (back)
    [2] Note an implicit, quantitative assumption here that in the competition of two processes, whichever has the greater energy (both attention/awareness energy and other kinds of energies) wins, subject to modification by the particulars of the structures involved. Certain structures may use energy more effectively than others. This line of thought needs development. (back)

Figure 19-1. Development of samsaric consciousness. (back)

Figure 19-2. The wheel of an individual's life rolling through consensus reality. (back)


    

========================



    A major function of a culture is to provide a consensus reality that not only deals adequately with the physical world about it but also produces a psychologically satisfactory life for the majority of its members. Each of us needs to feel that he belongs and that his life has meaning in terms of some valued, larger scheme of things. So every society has a mythos, a set of explicit and implicit beliefs and myths about the nature of reality and the society's place in it, that makes the activities of the people in that society meaningful. The mythos that has sustained dour society for so long, largely the Judeo-Christian ethic, is no longer a very satisfactory mythos for many people. Similarly, the rationalism or scientism or materialism that tried to replace the religious mythos of our society has also turned out to be unsatisfactory for a large number of people. So we are faced with disruptions and conflicts in our society has also turned out to be unsatisfactory for a large number of people. So we are faced with disruptions and conflicts in our society as people search consciously or unconsciously for more satisfying values. Our wheels of life, to continue the analogy of Figure 19-2, are not rolling along smoothly through our consensus reality. There are too many flat spots on the wheel that produce unpleasant jolts, and too many pieces of broken glass and potholes in the road of our consensus reality. So the ride is no longer comfortable.
    Personal reason for desiring a way out may involve initial poor enculturation, so we don't fit in well, knowledge of other cultural systems that seem advantageous in certain ways, and/or hope that a more satisfactory substitute can be found for our faulty culture. Various kinds of personal discontent make it difficult or impossible for an individual to find meaning in his life within the consensus reality of the culture. If he acts out these discontents, he may be classified as neurotic or psychotic, as a criminal, or as a rebel, depending on his particular style. If he acts out in a way that capitalizes on widespread cultural discontent, he may be seen as a reformer or pioneer. Or, he may outwardly conform to the mores of contemporary society but be inwardly alienated.
    Finally, a person may want to escape for what I call growth/curiosity reasons, a healthy curiosity or desire to know. He may be able to tolerate the limitations and dissatisfactions of the culture around him and cope satisfactorily with it, and yet really want to know what lies outside that consensus reality, what other possibilities exist. He may see the limitations of the current worldview and want to know what worldviews could replace it or whether it can be modified.
    I emphasize scientific curiosity in this book, the desire to understand coupled with realization that science is an excellent tool for gaining understanding. But even those of us who seek larger scientific understanding are also motivated by cultural and personal forces.

Are There Ways Out?

    A major intellectual theme in the Western world lately has been that there are no ways out. Seeing the irrationality and horror, the samsaric nature of much of the world about us, some philosophers have concluded that this simply is human nature and that the best we can hope to do is tolerate it in existential despair or try, without much hope, to do the best we can. Indeed, a person can use such despair as a prop for the ego by priding himself on his "realism" and courage in facing such a dismal situation. While I respect these philosophies of despair for their honest recognition that there is no easy way out, I am of an optimistic nature myself and cannot accept despair as an end goal.
    More importantly, my studies of people's experiences in various d-ASCs have convinced me that people can and do have vital, living experiences that are ways out. People have what Maslow {36} called peak experiences of openness, freedom, and belonging in which they feel they transcend, at least temporarily, the samsaric condition of ordinary consciousness. It can be argued that these experiences are just other illusions, that there is no freedom. But the belief that a way out does not exist may be just as illusory.
    When the search for a way out is triggered by discontent with the ordinary d-SoC, a common reaction is to blame your discontent on some particular aspect of yourself or your society and look for ready-made solutions. There are thousands of leaders and groups who have ready-made solutions to sell you or give you—a multitudes of-isms and-ologies. Give yourself to Jesus, join this commune, join political party X and remake the world, support the revolution, the truth is now revealed through yogi Z, eat your way to enlightenment with organic foods, find health and happiness with a low-cholesterol (or a high-cholesterol) diet, live in foreign country K where nobody hassles you.
    This is not meant to imply a blanket criticism of all communities, political and social ideas, or spiritual systems: indeed, in Transpersonal Psychologies {128} I attempt to promote the psychologies inherent in spiritual disciplines because of their great value. Most of the-isms and-ologies being offered contain valuable techniques for personal growth, ideas and techniques that can help you get out. But, when you motive for escape stems from a momentary discomfort with your present consensus reality, from a feeling that your wheel of life has too many flat spots and is hitting too many bumps, you may be seeking not radical change in your self as the root cause of your problems, but simply a more satisfactory belief system, a rounder wheel, and a nicely protected consensus reality that has no bumps. Any tool for personal or spiritual growth that humanity has ever devised can be perverted from its original function and used for simply making a person feel comfortable. Too often, a person is not really interested in looking more directly at reality, he simply wants his current samsaric wheel of life, the structures of his mind, overhauled or replaced with a new set that provides many good feeling sand hardly any bad feelings.
    Figure 20-1 is a revision of Figure 19-1, used to illustrate the concept of samsara. The content of the associational chains that are activated is altered, and the tone of the emotional energies is changed from negative to positive, and so the person's experience is positive. The labels on the figure make it self-explanatory. Still, all that happens in reality is that a stranger walks up and says, "Hi, my name is Bill." But this time the person, who we can call Sara, becomes extremely happy as a result and feels very good about herself. Yet she is as much in a state of illusion, samsara, as she was before. She has a set of internal structures, internal machinery, that make her feel good, but she is no more in touch with reality than before.

D-ASCs as Ways Out

    Since the ordinary d-SoC is the creator and maintainer of consensus reality on a personal level, and since the sharing of similar, ordinary, "normal" d-SoCs by others is the maintainer of the consensus reality on a social level, one way out of samsara is to enter a d-ASC, spend as much time there as possible, and get all your friends into that d-ASC too. You would choose a d-ASC or d-ASCs you valued, where you felt "high." To many people today the solution to the discomfort of current reality seems to be to get high and stay high.
    Many of us are currently fascinated with the possibilities of being happy or solving our problem by entering into various d-ASCs, using chemical or nonchemical means. We have not yet learned to estimate realistically the costs of this route. We know the costs of chronic alcohol use, but seem willing to tolerate them. We do not know the costs of other d-ASCs very well. Consensus realities can exist and be created in various d-ASCs. The explanation of ordinary consciousness as samsara may well apply in d-ASCs such as drunkenness or marijuana intoxication. In other d-ASCs, such as meditative states, samsaric illusion may be less common, but this has not yet been shown scientifically.
    We tend to get into what John Lilly {35} calls "overvaluation spaces"; we tend to be carried away by the contrast between our experience of the d-ASC and the ordinary d-SoC, and so overvalue the d-ASC. I think this is largely a function of novelty or need motivated blindness. Especially if we have taken a risk, such as using illegal drugs, to attain a d-ASC, we have a need to convince ourselves that the experience was worthwhile.
    Further discussion of the costs of various d-ASCs seems to me premature. The immense amount of cultural hysteria and propaganda in this area gives us distorted and mostly false views of what the costs are, and we must work through this and build up some scientific knowledge before we can talk adequately about costs and benefits of d-ASCs.
    The values of experiencing and working in d-ASCs can b exceptionally high. But, as is true of all the many tools that have been devised for human growth, a d-ASC's value depends on how well it is used. Experiencing a d-ASC carries no guarantee of personal betterment. Achieving a valuable d-ASC experience depends on what we want, how deeply and sincerely we want it, what conflicting desires we have, how much insight we have into ourselves, and how well prepared we are to make use of what we get in the d-ASC. There is a saying in many spiritual traditions: "He who tastes, knows." The process is not that automatic. A truer saying is: "He who tastes has an opportunity to know."
    In the d-ASCs we know much about scientifically, the experiencer can be in a samsaric condition, involved in a personal or a consensus reality that is cut off from reality, even though its style is different, interesting, or productive of greater happiness than the ordinary d-SoC.
    Techniques exist, however, that are intended to free a person's awareness from the dominance of the structure, of the machinery that has been culturally programmed into him. In terms of the radical view of awareness, whatever basic awareness ultimately is, there are techniques that at least produce the experience of freeing awareness partially or wholly from the continual dominance of structure, of moving toward a freer, more wide-ranging awareness rather than a consciousness that is primarily a function of the automated structure pattern of consensus reality. Let us consider the general categories into which these techniques fall, remembering that any discussion of their ultimate usefulness is beyond current science.
    The first step in using any of these techniques is to recognize that there is a problem. Assume, therefore, that an individual, through self-observation, has acquired enough experiential knowledge of his samsaric condition to know that he needs to and want to do something. Although there are many religious definitions of what a clear or higher state of consciousness simply as one in which external reality is recognized more for what it is, less distorted by internal processes.

Discriminative Awareness

    One way to begin to escape from the samsaric condition is to pay enough directed attention to your mental processes so that you can distinguish between primary perception coming in from the external world and associational reaction to it. We tend to assume that we do this naturally, but I believe it is rare. This may be done by understanding how your associational structures are built and how they generally operate, thus distinguishing associational reactions on a content basis, and/or by getting a general experiential "feel" for a quality that distinguishes associational reactions. If you can keep your primary perception and your reactions to it clearly distinguished in your consciousness, you are less likely to project your reactions to stimuli onto the environment and others or to distort incoming perception to make your perceptions consistent with internal reactions.
    I have found, from both personal observation and indications in the psychological literature that making this discrimination, putting a fairly high degree of awareness on thebeginnings of the associational process, tend to undercut their ability to automatically stimulate other associational chains and thus activate emotions. You need not do anything in particular to the association, just be clearly aware that it is an associational reaction. The situation is analogous to being on your good behavior when you know others are watching, whether or not those others are doing anything in particular to influence your behavior.

A Watchman at the Gate

    If you refer to Figure 19-1 and 20-1, you will notice the label, DEROPP'S "WATCHMAN AT THE GATE" ENTERS HERE. The analogy taken from DeRopp's book {15}, is to a watchman at the city gate (the senses) who knows that certain slums in the city of the mind have outbursts of rioting when certain mischievous characters (stimulus patterns) are allowed into the city. The watchman scrutinizes each traveler who comes up and does not admit those he knows will cause rioting. If you have a good understanding of your associational and reaction patterns, your prepotent needs, and the particular kinds of stimuli that set them off, you can maintain an attentive watchfulness on your primary perception. When you realize that an incoming stimulus is the sort that will trigger an undesirable reaction, you can inhibit the reaction. It is easier to become self-conscious, and thus remove some of the energy from incoming stimuli before they have activated associational chains and prepotent needs, than to stop the reactions once they have been activated.
    To a certain extent the practice of discriminative awareness, described above, performs this function. Setting up the watchman, however, provides a more specialized discrimination, paying special attention to certain troublesome kinds of stimuli and taking more active measure when undesirable stimuli are perceived. The watchman robs the reaction of its power early enough to prevent it from gaining any appreciable momentum; discriminative awareness allows the reaction to tap into various prepotent needs, even though the continuous observation of it lessens identification and so takes away some of its power.

Nonattachment

    A classical technique in the spiritual psychologies for escaping from samsara is the cultivation of nonattachment, learning to "look neutrally" on whatever happens, learning to pay full attention to stimuli and reactions but not to identify with them. The identification process, the quality added by the operation of the Sense of Identity subsystem discussed in Chapter 8, adds a great deal of energy to any psychological process. Without it, these processes have less energy and therefore make less mischief.
    Vipassana meditation is a specific practice of nonattachment performed in the technically restricted meditative setting. Recall that the instructions (Chapter 7) are to pay attention to whatever happens, but not to try to make anything in particular happen or to try to prevent anything in particular from happening. The idea is neither to welcome nor reject any particular stimulus or experience. This is quite different from the ordinary stance toward events, where a person seeks out and tries to pleasant ones. Meditation, as Naranjo {39} points out, is a technically simplified situation: a person removes himself from the bustle of the world to make learning easier. But it is also designed to teach nonattachment so the practice can be transferred to everyday life.
    If one is successful in practicing nonattachment, the machinery of the mind runs when stimulated, but does not automatically grab attention/awareness so readily; reactions and perceptions do not become indiscriminately fused together; and attention/awareness energy remains available for volitional use.
    These are two clear ways in which the practice of nonattachment can be flawed. Often a person believes that he is unaffected by certain things, that he just is not interested in them or that they do not bother him. This apparent indifference, however, actually comes from an active inhibitory process that takes place outside that focus of awareness. So he is really up-tight even if he does not feel it. Self-observation and/feedback from others is a corrective for this. Effective growth practices can thus promote unhappiness and upset by breaking through an inhibitory layer before being able to work on the disturbances themselves.
    The other flaw is that while nonattachment may free a person from the habitual loss of attention/awareness energy to the machinery of the mind, the machinery is still there. He no longer automatically identifies with the machinery; it no longer forcibly grabs his attention/awareness, but the machinery itself, while dormant, has not been dismantled. What happens if he is put in totally new circumstances in which he has not practiced nonattachment?
    Recall that once the machinery of the mind is activated, it grabs attention/awareness energy, and after this, control may be difficult or impossible. Totally new circumstances may activate the previously inactive structures in novel ways so that they cannot be stopped. A person may be unaware that the machinery has begun operating, so it can grab his attention/awareness energy and plunge him into a samsaric state again. This appears to have happened, for example, to some Indian yogis who began living in the West. Their practice of nonattachment as a principal discipline in India had enabled them to achieve a special serenity of mind, but this was under particular cultural circumstances. As one example, yogis and holy men are treated as nonsexual beings in India. Thus women may worship them, but in a completely nonsexual way. When they come to the West and are besieged in a sexual way by beautiful young girls, the yogis, lacking practice in handling this, are subject to strongly activated samsaric mechanisms.

Dismantling Structures

    The above techniques are mindfulness techniques, involving an increase in awareness of what is happening and how one is reacting to it, usually with some discipline, such as nonattachment, practiced in conjunction with this increased awareness. To some extent, these mindfulness techniques can actually dismantle some of the structures of the mind. This happens in two ways. First, some structures seem to need to operate in the dark; they cannot continue to operate when one is fully conscious of what is happening. Thus, insight into the nature of a structure results in its partial or full dissolution. Second, some structures and combinations of structures seem to need to be activated periodically to maintain their integrity. By practices like the watchman at the gate or nonattachment, which do not allow energy to flow freely into them, they are starved and gradually lose their integrity, Gurdjieff's {48} technique of self-observation, for example, involves paying full attention to one's reactions without making any attempt to change them. Many people practicing self-observation have had the experience of watching an undesirable reaction occur repeatedly, then weakly and later not at all, even though the requisite stimulus occurs.
    Many structures and subsystems are an intimate part of a person's enculturated personality, however, and are not only highly resistant to change by insight, but may be incapable of being perceived well at all. They are so connected to prepotent needs and defense mechanisms that they cannot be observed clearly, or else they are so implicit that they are outside awareness. They are never observed, so observation and mindfulness techniques do not work.
    Here is where Western-developed psychotherapy becomes exceptionally valuable. Through feedback and pressure provided by others, whether a single therapist or a group, ordinarily invisible aspects a person's self may be so surcharged with emotional energy that he is forced to confront them, and this insight may change them. If insight alone is not sufficient, a variety of techniques are available, ranging from operant-conditioning to guided imagery techniques {3}, which can deliberately change specific structures.
    Western-style psychotherapy is limited because it is likely to be used not on structures that are basic to the samsaric condition, but only on structures that produce experiences and behaviors that are not acceptable in the particular consensus reality. Thus many psychotherapists are not growth agents in a general sense, but rather work to readjust a deviant person to the consensus reality of his culture. This is not a conscious manipulation on the part of these psychotherapists, but simply a reflection of the power and implicitness of their own enculturation processes. Psychotherapy can be a subversive tool in some practitioners' hands, for some of the assumptions of the consensus reality can be questioned in it, and the patient can grow beyond his culture in some ways. All too often, however, the implicit assumptions are not even questioned.
    In stating that most patients do not learn to go beyond consensus reality, I do not want to imply that they should learn to behave in a way that is clearly at odds with consensus reality. To behave in "crazy" ways is no sure sign of escape from samsara. Knowing how to use effectively the consensus reality in which one lives in essential for survival. In terms of cultural, personal, and scientific goals of transcending samsaric limitations of the ordinary state, however, we should be aware of the limits of conventional psychotherapy.
    I suspect, as Naranjo {39} has suggested, that the synthesis of the psychotherapy techniques of the West and the spiritual disciplines of the East will form one of the most powerful tools for understanding ourselves that has ever existed. The various kinds mindfulness and nonattachment techniques are the ultimate tools because of their generality, but there may be some psychological structures in the personality that have so much energy, are so implicit, or are so heavily defended that they must be dealt with using specific psychotherapeutic techniques to dismantle them.

How Far Can We Go?

    If we assume, for the purpose of this discussion, the 9at least partial) validity of the radical view of the mind, then what are the limits to human consciousness and awareness? Figure 20-2 presents some speculation along this line.
    Consider reality as divided into two realms: MEST, the physical world, of which we know many of the basic laws and are discovering more, and the realm of awareness, whose basic laws are essentially unknown to us at this time. The ordinary d-SoC, then, is the gestalt product of awareness and structure, determined and limited by whatever laws inherently govern each realm, and yet is also an emergent synthesis not fully predictable from the laws of either realm.
    In some ways the composite system is even more limited, for both the MEST structure and awareness have been further restricted in the enculturation process. Thus the ordinary d-SoC is capable of considerable expansion: we can change existing structures and build new ones, and we can cultivate the ability to control awareness more freely within these structures and to pay attention to things other than what the culture has defined as important. 
    Judging from experiential reports, some d-ASCs seem to be much less mechanical, much less controlled by structures and allowing more free range of awareness. This is represented in Figure 20-2 by the oval just to the left of the ordinary d-SoC penetrating more into the realm of awareness and less into the realm of MEST. Similarly, experiential reports from some d-ASCs—those caused by sedatives, for example—suggest that there is less awareness and far more mechanicalness, that consciousness is far more restricted by structure than ordinarily. Thus another oval, further to the left, shown as more into the MEST realm and less into the awareness realm. The extreme case of this, of course, is mechanical intelligence, the computer, which (as far as we know) has no awareness at all but processes information in a totally mechanical way, a way totally controlled by the laws of the MEST realm. Present computers are also partially limited by cultural structuring; it only occurs to us to program them to do certain "sensible" things, giving them a range that is probably less than their total capability.
    Up to this point the discussion is still compatible with the orthodox view of the mind, which sees awareness as a function of the brain. The circle to the far right in Figure 20-2, however, is compatible only with the radical view that awareness can operate partially or totally independently of the brain structure. In some mystical experiences, and in states called out-of-they-body experiences, people report existing at space/time locations different from that of their physical bodies, or being outside of space/time altogether. I believe that parapsychological data require us to consider this kind of statement as more than interesting experiential data, as possibly being valid rather than simply being nonsense. The reader interested in the implications of parapsychology for the study of consciousness should consult other writings of mine {128, 129, 131}. Let me note here that to the extent that this may be true, awareness may potentially become partially or wholly free of the patterning influence of MEST structure.
    An awareness of how structures and systems of structures tend automatically to grab attention/awareness and other psychological energies makes it easy to form a picture of structure as bad and to see d-SoCs that are less involved with structure as automatically better or higher. This is a mistake. Structures perform valuable functions as well as confining ones. A d-SoC is not just a way of limiting awareness; it is also a way of focusing attention/awareness and other psychological energies to make effective tools, to enable us to cope in particular ways.
    I have observed people in d-ASCs where they seem less caught in structures, more inclined toward the unstructured awareness dimension of mind. My impression is that it was both a gain and a loss: new insights were gained, but there was often an inability to hold to anything and change it in a desired direction. Certainly there are times when not attempting to change anything, just observing, is the best course, but the ability to move between activity and passivity as appropriate is optimal. The structures of d-SoCs aid us by restricting awareness and facilitating focusing. Perhaps as meditative and similar exercises teach us to control attention/awareness more precisely, we may have less need for structures.
    As a scientist, I have tried to keep the speculation in these last three chapters compatible with the scientific worldview and the scientific method as I know them. I have often drawn on data not generally accepted in orthodox scientific circles, but they are data that I would be willing to argue are good enough to deserve closer examination. Because I have set myself that restriction in writing this book, I now end speculation on how far human awareness might be able to go, for to continue would take me further from my scientific data base than I am comfortable in going at this time.
    Let me conclude with what may seem a curious observation: Western psychology has collected an immense amount of data supporting the concept in the first place. We have studied some aspects of samsara in far more detail than Eastern traditions that originated the concept of samsara. Yet almost no psychologists apply this idea to themselves! They apply all this knowledge of human compulsiveness and mechanicalness to other people, who are labeled "abnormal" or "neurotic," and assume that their own states of consciousness basically logical and clear. Western psychology now has a challenge to recognize this detailed evidence that our "normal" state is a state of samsara and to apply the immense power of science and our other spiritual traditions, East and West, to the search for a way out.
Figure 20-1. Development of samsaric consciousness with positive rather than negative emotional tone. As in Figure 19-1, internal processes soon overwhelm perception and are mistaken for perception. (back)
=======================

  Bibliography


1. Aaronson, B. The Hypnotic Induction of the Void. Paper presented to American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, San Francisco, 1969.
2. Annis, R., and Frost, B. Human visual ecology and orientation anisotropies in acuity. Science, 1974, 182, 729-731.
3. Assagioli, R. Psychosynthesis: A Manual of Principles and Techniques. New York: Hobbs & Dorman, 1965.
4. Barber, T. Suggested ("Hypnotic") Behavior: The Trance Paradigm Versus an Alternative Paradigm. In E. Fromm and R. Shor (eds.). Hypnosis: Research Developments and Perspectives. Chicago: Aldine/Atherton, 1972, pp. 115-183.
5. Bennett, J. Witness. Tucson, Ariz.: Omen Press, 1974.
6. Berke, J., and Hernton, C. The Cannabis Experience. London: Peter Owen, 1974.
7. Blackburn, T. Sensuous-intellectual complementarity in science. Science, 1971, 172, 1003-1007.
8. Bohr, N. Essays, 1958-1962, on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. New York: Wiley, 1963.
9. Castaneda, C. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968.
10. ——, A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1971.
11. ——, Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973.
12. ——, Tales of Power. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974.
13. Danielou, A. The influence of sound phenomena on human consciousness. Psychedelic Rev., 1966, No. 7, 20-26.
14. Deikman, A. De-automatization and the mystic experience. Psychiatry, 1966, 29, 329-343.
15. DeRopp, R. The Master Game. New York: Delacorte Press, 1968.
16. Estabrooks, G. Hypnotism. New York: Dutton, 1943.
17. Evans-Wentz, W. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. London: Oxford University Press, 1967.
18. Ghiselin, B. The Creative Process. New York: New American Library, 1952.
19. Gill, M., and Brenman, M. Hypnosis and Related States: Psychoanalytic Studies in Regression. New York: International Universities Press, 1959.
20. Goleman, D. The Buddha on meditation and states of consciousness. I. J. Transpersonal Psychol., 1972, 4 (1) 1-44. Reprinted in C. Tart (ed.). Transpersonal Psychologies. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.
21. Goodwin, D., and Powell, B. Alcohol and recall: State-dependent effects in man. Science, 1969, 163, 1358-1360.
22. Govinda, A. Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism. New York: Dutton, 1960.
23. Green, E., Green, A., and Walters, E. Voluntary control of internal states: Psychological and physiological. J. Transpersonal Psychol., 1970, 2 (1), 1-26.
24. Gurdjieff, G. Views from the Real World. New York: Dutton, 1973.
25. Haley, J. (ed.). Advanced Techniques of Hypnosis and Therapy: Selected Papers of Milton H. Erickson, M. D. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1967.
26. Hilgard, E. A neodissociation interpretation of pain reduction in hypnosis. Psychol. Rev., 1973, 80, 396-411.
27. Honorton, C. Feedback-augmented EEG alpha, shifts in subjective state, and ESP card-guessing performance. J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 1971, 65, 308-323.
28. ——, Shifts in subjective state associated with feedback-augmented EEG alpha. Psychophysiology, 1972, 9, 269-270.
29. ——, Shifts in subjective state and ESP under conditions of partial sensory deprivation. J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 1973, 67, 191-196.
30. James, W. The Varieties of Religious Experience. New York: Longmans, 1935, p. 298.
31. Keynes, G. (ed.). Blake: Complete Writings. London: Oxford University Press, 1966.
32. Kuhn, T. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.
33. LeCron, L. (ed.). Experimental Hypnosis. New York: Macmillan, 1956.
34. Lilly, J. Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer. Miami, Fl.: Communication Research Institute, 1967. Reprinted by Whole Earth Catalog, Menlo Park, Calif., 1971.
35. ——, The Center of the Cyclone. New York: Julian Press, 1972.
36. Maslow, A. Toward a Psychology of Being. Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1962.
37. Masters, R., and Houston, J. The Altered States of Consciousness Induction Device: Some Possible Uses in Research and Psychotherapy. Pomona, N.Y.: Foundation for Mind Research, 1971.
38. Moll, A. Hypnotism. New York: Scribner, 1902.
39. Naranjo, C., and Ornstein, R. On the Psychology of Meditation. New York: Viking, 1971.
40. Needleman, J. The New Religions. New York: Doubleday, 1970.
41. Newsweek, 25, January 1971, p. 52.
42. Nicoll, M. Psychological Commentaries on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. London: Stuart & Watkins, 1970.
43. O'Neill, J. Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla. New York: Washburn, 1944.
44. Orne, M. The nature of hypnosis: Artifact and essence. J. Abnorm. Soc. Psychol., 1959, 58, 277-299.
45. ——, On the social psychology of the psychological experiment: With particular reference to demand characteristics and their implications. Am. Psychologist, 1962, 17, 776-783.
46. ——, and Scheibe, K. The contributions of nondeprivation factors in the production of sensory deprivation effects: The psychology of the "panic button." J. Abnorm. Soc.Psychol., 1964, 68, 3-12.
47. Ornstein, R. The Psychology of Consciousness. New York: Viking, 1972.
48. Ouspensky, P. In Search of the Miraculous. New York: Harcourt, 1949.
49. Pearce, J. The Crack in the Cosmic Egg. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973.
50. ——, Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg. New York: Julian Press, 1974.
51. Phillips, B. (ed.). The Essentials of Zen Buddhism: An Anthology of the Writings of Daisetz T. Suzuki. London: Rider, 1963, pp. 31-32.
52. Pribram, K. Languages of the Brain: Experimental Paradoxes and Principles in Neurophysiology. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: PrenticeHall, 1971.
53. Priestley, J. Man and Time. New York: Doubleday, 1964.
54. Rolf, I. Structural integration: Gravity, an unexplored factor in a more human use of human beings. J. Inst. Comp. Stud. Hist., Philos., Sci., 1963, 1.
55. Rosenthal, R. Experimenter Effects in Behavioral Research. New York: Appleton, 1966.
56. Shah, I. Tales of the Dervishes. London: Jonathan Cape, 1967.
57. ——, The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin. New York: Dutton, 1968.
58. ——, Tales of the Dervishes. New York: Dutton, 1970.
59. Shor, R. The accuracy of estimating the relative difficulty of typical
hypnotic phenomena. Int. J. Clin. Exp. Hypnosis, 1964, 12, 191-201.
60. Snyder, S. Uses of Marijuana. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.
61. Tart, C. A Comparison of Suggested Dreams Occurring in Hypnosis and Sleep. Unpublished MA thesis, University of North Carolina, 1962.
62. ——, Frequency of dream recall and some personality measures. J. Consult. Psychol., 1962, 26, 467-470.
63. ——, Hypnotic depth and basal skin resistance. Int. J. Clin. Exp. Hypnosis, 1963, 11, 81-92.
64. ——, Physiological correlates of psi cognition. Int. J. Parapsychol., 1963, 5, 375-386.
65. ——, A possible "psychic" dream, with some speculations on the nature of such dreams. J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 1963, 42, 283-298.
66. ——, The influence of the experimental situation in hypnosis and dream research: A case report. Am. J. Clin. Hypnosis, 1964, 7, 163-170.
67. ——, A comparison of suggested dreams occurring in hypnosis and sleep. Int. J. Clin. Exp. Hypnosis, 1964, 12, 263-289.
68. ——, The hypnotic dream: Methodological problems and a review of the literature. Psychol. Bull., 1965, 63, 87-99.
69. ——, Application of instrumentation to the investigation of "haunting" and "poltergeist" cases. J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 1965, 59, 190-201.
70. ——, Toward the experimental control of dreaming: A review of the literature. Psychol. Bull., 1965, 64, 81-92. Reprinted in W. Webb (ed.). Sleep: An Experimental Approach.New York: Macmillan, 1968, pp. 131-144. Also reprinted in C. Tart (ed.). Altered States of Consciousness: A Book of Readings. New York: Wiley, 1969, pp. 133-144.
71. ——, An inexpensive masking noise generator: Monaural or stereo. Psychophysiology, 1965, 2, 170-172.
72. ——, Models for the explanation of extrasensory perception. Int. J. Neuropsychiat., 1966, 2, 488-504.
73. ——, Card guessing tests: Learning paradigm or extinction paradigm. J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 1966, 60, 46-55.
74. ——, Some effects of posthypnotic suggestion on the process of dreaming. Int. J. Clin. Exp. Hypnosis, 1966, 14, 30-46.
75. ——, ESPATESTER: An automatic testing device for parapsychological research. J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 1966, 60, 256 269.
76. ——, Types of hypnotic dreams and their relation to hypnotic depth. J. Abnorm. Psychol., 1966, 71, 377-382.
77. ——, Review of S. Smith, The Enigma of Out-of-the-Body Travel. Theta, 1966, 13, 2-3.
78. ——, Spontaneous Thought and Imagery in the Hypnotic State: Psychophysiological Correlates. Paper presented to American Psychological Association, New York, 1966.
79. ——, Patterns of basal skin resistance during sleep. Psychophysiology, 1967, 4, 35-39.
80. ——, The control of nocturnal dreaming by means of posthypnotic suggestion. Int. J. Parapsychol., 1967, 9, 184-189.
81. ——, A second psychophysiological study of out-of-the-body experiences in a gifted subject. Int. J. Parapsychol., 1967, 9, 251-258.
82. ——, Psychedelic experiences associated with a novel hypnotic procedure, mutual hypnosis. Am. J. Clin. Hypnosis, 1967, 10, 65-78. Reprinted in C. Tart (ed.). Altered States of Consciousness: A Book of Readings. New York: Wiley, 1969, pp. 291-308.
83. ——, Random output selector for the laboratory. Psychophysiology, 1967, 3, 430-434.
84. ——, A psychophysiological study of out-of-the-body experiences in a selected subject. J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 1968, 62, 3-27.
85. ——, Ethics and psychedelic drugs. Am. Psychologist, 1968, 23, 455-456.
86. ——, Hypnosis, Psychedelics, and Psi: Conceptual Models. In R. Cavanna and M. Ullman (eds.). Psi and Altered States of Consciousness. New York: Garrett Press, 1968, pp. 24-41.
87. ——, Two token object studies with the "psychic," Peter Hurkos. J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 1968, 62, 143-157.
88. ——, Altered States of Consciousness: A Book of Readings. New York: Wiley, 1969.
89. ——, Review of C. Green, Out-of-the-Body Experiences. Theta, 1969, 25, 3-4.
90. ——, The "High" Dream: A New State of Consciousness. In C. Tart (ed.). Altered States of Consciousness: A Book of Readings. New York: Wiley, 1969, pp. 169-174. Reprinted in J. Am. Soc. Psychosom. Dent. Med., 1969, 16, 15-22.
91. ——, Approaches to the study of hypnotic dreams. Percept. Mot. Skills, 1969, 28, 864.
92. ——, The posthypnotic dream: Nature of the effect and individual differences. Psychophysiology, 1969, 6, 268.
93. ——, Influencing Dream Content: Discussion of Witkin's Paper. In M. Kramer (ed.). Dream Psychology and the New Biology of Sleep. Springfield, III.: Thomas, 1969, pp. 344-360.
94. ——, Three studies of EEG alpha feedback. Biofeedback Soc. Proc., 1969, Part 3, 14-19.
95. ——, A further psychophysiological study of out of-the-body experiences in a gifted subject. Proc. Parapsychol. Assoc., 1969, 6, 43-44.
96. ——, Self-report scales of hypnotic depth. Int. J. Clin. Exp. Hypnosis, 1970, 18, 105-125.
97. ——, Did I Really Fly? Some Methodological Notes on the Investigation of Altered States of Consciousness and Psi Phenomena. In R. Cavanna (ed.). Psi Favorable States ofConsciousness: Proceedings of an International Conference on Methodology in Psi Research. New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1970, pp. 3-10.
98. ——, Increases in hypnotizability resulting from a prolonged program for enhancing personal growth. J. Abnorm. Psychol., 1970, 75, 260-266.
99. ——, Marijuana intoxication: Reported effects on sleep. Psychophysiology, 1970, 7, 348.
100. ——, Review of Celia Green, Lucid Dreams and Out-of-the-Body Experiences. J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 1970, 64, 219-227.
101. ——, Transpersonal potentialities of deep hypnosis. J. Transpersonal Psychol., 1970, 2, 27-40. Reprinted in J. White (ed.). The Highest State of Consciousness. New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1972, pp. 344-351.
102. ——, Waking from sleep at a preselected time. J. Am. Soc. Psychosom. Dent. Med., 1970, 17, 3-16.
103. ——, Marijuana intoxication: Common experiences. Nature, 1970, 226, 701-704. Reprinted in The Pot Report. New York: Award Books, 1972. Also reprinted in E. Goode (ed.). Marijuana, 2nd ed. Chicago: Aldine/Atherton, 1972. Also reprinted in R. Evans and R. Rozelle (eds.). Social Psychology in Life, 2nd ed. 1973. Also reprinted in B. Ekstrand and L. Bourne (eds.). Principles and Meanings in Psychology. New York: Dryden Press, 1974, pp. 351-354.
104. ——, A Theoretical Model for States of Consciousness. Paper presented at Menninger Foundation Conference on Voluntary Control of Internal States, Council Grove, Kansas, 1970.
105. ——, On Being Stoned: A Psychological Study of Marijuana Intoxication. Palo Alto, Calif.: Science & Behavior Books, 1971.
106. ——, Introduction to R. Monroe, Journeys Out of the Body. New York: Doubleday, 1971, pp. 1-17.
107. ——, Work with marijuana. II. Sensations. Psychol. Today, 1971. 4, (12), 41-45, 66-68.
108. ——, Review of R. Ornstein and C. Naranjo, The Psychology of Meditation. In The Last Whole Earth Catalog, New York, Random House, 1971, 423.
109. ——, Review of R. Monroe, Journeys Out of the Body. The Last Whole Earth Catalog, New York, Random House, 1971, 415.
110. ——, Review of D. Cohen, Current research on the frequency of dream recall. Psychol. Bull., 1970, 73, 433-440. UCLA Brain Information Service Sleep Bulletin, 1971, No. 82, 8.
111. ——, ESP and pot. Psychic, 1971, 3, (2), 26-30.
112. ——, Scientific foundations for the study of altered states of consciousness. J. Transpersonal Psychol., 1972, 3 (2), 93-124.
113. ——, A psychologist's experience with transcendental meditation. J. Transpersonal Psychol., 1972, 3 (2), 135-140.
114. ——, Measuring the Depth of an Altered State of Consciousness, with Particular Reference to Self-Report Scales of Hypnotic Depth. In E. Fromm and R. Shor (eds.),Hypnosis: Research Developments and Perspectives. Chicago: Aldinel Atherton, 1972, pp. 445-477
115. ——, Altered States of Consciousness. 2nd. ed., revised. New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1972.
116. ——, Sleep EEG study of out-of-the-body experiences. Psychophysiology, 1972.
117. ——, Concerning the scientific study of the human aura. J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 1972, 46, 1-21.
118. ——, La ciena y el alma humana. (Science and the human soul.) Tribuna Medica, 1972, 9 (425), 12.
119. ——, States of consciousness and state-specific sciences. Science, 1972, 176, 1203-1210. Reprinted in R. Ornstein (ed.). The Nature of Human Consciousness. San Francisco: Freeman, 1973, pp. 41-60. Also reprinted in B. Ekstrand and L. Bourne (eds.). Principles and Meanings of Psychology. New York: Dryden Press, 1974, pp. 320-329. Also reprinted in J. Wheatley and H. Edge (eds.). Philosophical Dimension of Parapsychology, Springfield, III.: Thomas, 1974.
120. ——, The Changing Scientific Attitude in Psychology. In C. Muses and A. Young (eds.). Consciousness and Reality: The Human Pivot Point. New York: Outerbridge & Lazard, 1972, pp. 73-88.
121. ——, States of Consciousness. In L. Bourne and B. Ekstrand (eds.). Human Action: An Introduction to Psychology. New York: Dryden Press, 1973, pp. 247-279.
122. ——, State-specific Sciences. Science, 1973, 180, 1006-1008.
123. ——, Let's pretend to be rational: Review of Bloomquist's Marijuana: The Second Trip. Contemp. Psychol. 1973,18, 171-172.
124. ——, Parapsychology. Science, 1973,182, 222.
125. ——, Preliminary Notes on the Nature of Psi Processes. In R. Ornstein (ed.). The Nature of Human Consciousness. San Francisco: Freeman, 1973, pp. 468-492.
126. ——, On the Nature of Altered States of Consciousness, with Special Reference to Parapsychological Phenomena. In W. Roll, R. Morris, and J. Morris (eds.). Research in Parapsychology, 1973. Metuchen, N. J. Scarecrow Press, 1974, pp. 163-218.
127. ——, Some Methodological Problems in Research on Out-of-the-Body Experiences. In W. Roll, R. Morris, and J Morris (eds.). Research in Parapsychology, 1973. Metuchen, N. J. Scarecrow Press, 1974, pp. 116-120.
128. ——, (ed.). Transpersonal Psychologies. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.
129. ——, Out-of-the-Body Experiences. In E. Mitchell and J White (eds.). Psychic Exploration. New York: Putnam, 1974, pp. 349-374.
130. ——, Out-of-the-Body Experiences. In T. X. Barber et al (eds.). Alterations in Awareness and Human Potentialities, 1973 Annual. New York: Psychological Dimensions, 1974.
131. ——, Studies of Extrasensory Perception. New York: Dutton, in press.
132. ——, Studies of States of Consciousness, New York: Dutton, in press.
133. ——, Boisen, M., Lopez, V., and Maddock, R. Some studies of psychokinesis with a spinning silver coin. J. Soc. Psych. Res., 1972, 46, 143-153.
134. ——, Cooper, L., Banford, S., and Schubot, S. A further attempt to modify hypnotic susceptibility through repeated individualized experience. Int. J. Clin. Exp. Hypnosis,1967, 15, 118-124.
135. ——, and Creighton, J. The Bridge Mountain Community: An evolving pattern for human growth. J. Humanistic Psychol., 1966, 6, 54-67.
136. ——, and Dick, L. Conscious control of dreaming. I. The post-hypnotic dream. J. Abnorm. Psychol., 1970, 76, 304-315.
137. ——, and Fadiman, J. The case of the yellow wheat field: A dream-state explanation of a broadcast telepathic dream. Psychoanal. Rev., 1974-75, 6I, 607-618.
138. ——, and Hilgard, E. Responsiveness to suggestions under "hypnosis" and "waking-imagination" conditions: A methodological observation. Int. J. Clin. Exp. Hypnosis,1966, 14, 247-256.
139. ——, and Kvetensky, E. Marijuana intoxication: Feasibility of experiential scaling of depth. J. Altered States of Consciousness, 1973, 1, 15-21.
140. Taylor, W. "Cloze procedure": A new tool for measuring readability. Journalism Quart., 1953, 30, 415-433.
141. Timmons, B., and Kamiya, J. The psychology and physiology of meditation and related phenomena: A bibliography. J. Transpersonal Psychol., 1970, 2, 41-59.
142. Timmons, B., and Kanellakos, D. The psychology and physiology of meditation and related phenomena: Bibliography 11. J. Transpersonal Psychol., 1974, 6, 32-38.
143. Vogel, G., Foulkes D., and Trosman, H. Ego functions and dreaming during sleep onset. Arch. Gen. Psychiat., 1966, 14, 238-248. Reprinted in C. Tart (ed.). Altered States of Consciousness: A Book of Readings. New York: Wiley, 1969, pp. 75-92.
144. Weitzenhoffer, A., and Hilgard, E. Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Forms A and B. Palo Alto, Calif.: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1959.
145. Weitzenhoffer, A., and Hilgard, E. Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form. C. Palo Alto, Calif.; Consulting Psychologists Press, 1962.
146. Weitzenhoffer, A., and Hilgard, E. Stanford Profile Scales of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Forms I and II. Palo Alto, Calif.: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1963.
147. Wordsworth, W. Ode on Intimations of Immortality. In H. Darbishire (ed.), Poems in Two Volumes of 1807. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952, pp. 321-332.