This topic is addressed across numerous files on this site. It is my goal to make the concept clearer by organizing some of them this way.
Currently each file has a set of navigation aids at the bottom right, so returning here is easy but also unnecessary. If you follow some internal links and get lost, you can always get back here by clicking on "indexed."
As time goes by I may alter some files a little, and perhaps add transition files, to ease the process of reading this collection as a coherent work.
|A brief history of science and where I hope to take this.
|Justifying this project to the scientist: define the database and some possible results of careful analysis.
|Justifying this project to the mystic: analysis of the sublime does not destroy it, but adds more dimension to its subtle beauty.
|Just a sideways look at another battle the real pursuers of accuracy have to fight, over and over again...
|A Personal Side - Growing Curiosity
|A rambling essay I wrote long ago that presages later work on this subject.
|I start thinking about what the heck I mean by my attempts to codify in language certain strange experiences.
|My Damn Life:
|More background on the stimulus to wondering about this subject.
|A little bit about the push and pull of these experiences at one phase of my life.
|A warning about the difficulties of using natural language to discuss this subject.
|A description of the sort of experience that stubbornly resists "normal" scientific exploration
|A codification of what I am exploring.
|A (not finished) list of terms and how I want to use them and apply them. Must dig up some Greek/Latin roots...
|A theory about how the "reality" with which these experiences are invested is related to the reality of space and time as explored by "normal" science, presented as a pair of analogies.
|Some minor definitions, and a rule about the "truth" of transcendental experiences.
|Two possible explanations of how it is that we as physical beings can interact with some "thing" that is not physical in the ordinary sense. One theory is "purely my own" and one is derivative of my own interpretations of something I once read, at the behest of a friend, by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
|More exploration of the possible nature of the "unevolved organ" theory in the previous piece.
|Some parallel thoughts about the effects being strongly involved in these sorts of experiences has on the subject - and more importantly, on those who meet them and feel the flow of this transcendental power second hand.
|How it is possible to exchange information across the "boundary" between that which is within and that which is without "space and time."
|Some Explorations of What it Means
|Free will versus determinism - an age old question. Does a potential answer lie in these explorations?
|Some ruminations on the meaning of the speed of light relative to the existence of space and time.
|A listing of some of the sorts of experiences that fall into this realm, with links to discussions of the mechanisms of many of them.
|Some Reactions to Historic Thought
|I rant for a bit about this idea of the "immortal soul" that we have been saddled with.
|A quasi-poem trying to explain some arguments about this whole silly immortal soul thing.
|An explanation of two competing schools of thought on this subject. One (existentialism) is very modern, as as yet, pretty much misunderstood by all. It certainly has not yet developed into a fundamental structure of societal organization, as far as I can tell. The other (essentialism), while perhaps not truly becoming an organixing principle, has led to deep and pervasive social mores in the West, by its influence on the Middle Eastern religious traditions.
|Living in the Material World
|Well, which reality is the real one? There is only one, and running away from one part of it to another is not an answer to any questions worth asking.
|The first challenge: how to live with these realities. This leads to the question, how shall we organise our "secular" living so as to maximise individual freedom to experience these things?
|I struggle with arguments against solipsism while claiming that the "real" world still matters, and that is why we must pay attention to its structure while exploring this "science."
|Yes, the "real" world still matters, and its impact on the inner life must be considered.
|The Politics of Spirituality
|Well, mostly reiterating the ideals of seventeenth and eighteenth century efforts to free us from the shackles of dogmatic domination by Church and State alike, here is little list of basics that I think are vital to a useful, valid social structure.
|Addressing the limitations due to that past and possibilities for the future of "organized religion."
|Not very obvious in it's application, but this piece talks about freedom of speech, and hence freedom of thought and conscience, which are vital if there is to be any hope that people can continue to explore these realms. It also explores the limitations of language, which is a major problem in discussing this topic "scientifically."
|This may not say what I want yet, but every system we create is a machine. Let's make sure our social "machines" work for us and not against us.
|Perhaps the most difficult thing to remember is that getting to this "state" is a long pathway, and there are many steps along that way that may seem dangerous or undesirable. Yet without passing through these awkward stages, how can anyone develop a deeper understanding of life?
|A short piece of advice for those who get stuck on one of those stages and need to move on now.
|A side trip into the mind
|An analysis of the mind's architecture and how it can be improved by the occupant.
|A description of an analogy for the mind's organization I developed.
|How this analogy applies to the process of healing from a severed relationship.
|A Personal Side - the How and Why
|What do do when you find yourself engaged in this sort of experience.
|Some advice, if you will, based on my theories about these states, on what can be learned or gained from them.
|A more general piece, but perfectly applicable here, on the influence of the question on the answer.
|The challenge of keeping open minds - to never let one's personal truths become rules for other people.
|The danger of reducing your experiences to "received concepts" as opposed to living them fully for what they are.