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View Diary: The Forgotten Mythos of Reason (15 comments)

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  •  no such thing as "higher." (0+ / 0-)

    At some point in the early 70s, the term "higher states of consciousness" was popular to describe states that arose from meditation and various other methods of internal exploration.  Psychologist Charles Tart (who had coined the term "altered states of consciousness") criticized this roughly as follows:

    Higher for what purpose?  For driving?  For playing the violin?  For making love?  For doing abstract math?  

    This was a scathing critique in Tart's typically understated language (he started out as an electrical engineer before switching to psychology).  

    Yet the lesson hasn't stuck with us.  Religious fundamentalists and irreligious fundamentalists each claim that their particularly-valued states of consciousness (faith on one hand, and rationality on the other) are "higher" for all purposes.  This is absurd on its face, like asserting that one tool is best for all tasks.  

    It does us no good to be stuck in one frame of reference or state of consciousness all the time (with whatever minimal variations are necessary to merely survive, such as sleeping as little as one can get away with).  

    The goal of making peace between mythos and logos, is a subset of a larger goal wherein humans learn to use all of their capabilities productively.  

    •  I agree that the term "higher" is problematic... (1+ / 0-)
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      because it implies, ranking, a value judgment.  The point is the difference, not one being superior to the other.  

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles

      by leftyparent on Sun Jan 02, 2011 at 09:21:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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