• synthesis
    99
    I don’t distinguish between words and experience. Words are not ‘tools’ that represent thought. Language IS thought, and thought IS experiencing. So the ‘serious limitations’ of language are a reflection of the serious limitations of experiencing.Joshs

    Experience takes place then words attempt to capture the experience. The difficulty lies in the idea that the intellect is simply incapable of accessing reality, i.e., what takes place between the experience, the perception of the experience, the processing of the experience, and then transferring such information into language in order to express ideas or feelings creates multiple barriers and filters and opportunities to render the actual experience unrecognizable (and that's only one facet of the issue).

    All communicating is mediate and interpretive.Joshs

    How do you know that?

    .
  • Joshs
    933
    some of the most "profound and intense" experiences were some of the last. IJanus

    What made them profound? What did you learn from them, and what made them different from the psychedelic experiences that weren’t as profound( assuming the same
    drug and dosage)?

    the experiences with meditation, when I was able to 'breakthrough', were also more intense later rather than earlier.Janus

    What made for the change from the earlier to the later? What accounts for the undependability of the experience?

    the altered state") is paradoxical; always new and yet always the same; it is not subject to the ordinary logic you seem to be wanting to apply to it.Janus

    It seems to be subject to some kind of logic in your mind:you said it can come or not come , depending on certain variables, and there is something the same about all the experiences.

    If you achieve ‘breakthrough’, to use your words,
    is the experience from that point on like a plateau ? Is it monolithic? If it gives feelings of love or peace or bliss, is does this feeling persist as exactly the same homogenous tone of feeling thoughout the experience, or does it have modulations and textures?
  • Joshs
    933
    How do you know that?synthesis

    Look up ‘Alva Noe’ or Shaun Gallagher’. Your characterization of such terms
    as language , perception and information seem to point to a rather outdated view of cognition.
  • Janus
    9.7k
    What made them profound? What did you learn from them, and what made them different from the psychedelic experiences that weren’t as profound( assuming the same
    drug and dosage)?
    Joshs

    Profundity in this context is a matter of feeling, not intellectual complexity and conceptual density or depth.

    What accounts for the undependability of the experience?Joshs

    The inability to "let go". Being stuck in the cycle of ordinary associations, no matter how intellectually sophisticated they might be. I think that's fairly obvious.

    It seems to be subject to some kind of logic in your mind:you said it can come or not come , depending on certain variables, and there is something the same about all the experiences.

    If you achieve ‘breakthrough’, to use your words,
    is the experience from that point on like a plateau ? Is it monolithic? If it gives feelings of love or peace or bliss, is does this feeling persist as exactly the same homogenous tone of feeling thoughout the experience, or does it have modulations and textures?
    Joshs

    It can be any number of shades of feeling associated with bliss, love, beauty, awe, reverence and insight. You are trying to reduce it to analysis; cannot be done. IF you had these experiences yourself you would know that.
  • Ansiktsburk
    113
    Scrolling through this thread briefly, friday nightish. Suppose it spins down to new ways attack the present, as opposed to the ways of mindfulness(to observe, describe, avoid judgements, act)
  • Joshs
    933
    You are trying to reduce it to analysis; cannot be done. IF you had these experiences yourself you would know that.Janus

    Maybe I have had these experiences myself but have a way of dipping into them and extracting sayable sense from them, not to analyze or reduce them , but to expand and enrich them. Eugene Gendlin‘s focusing provides one such method.

    Profundity in this context is a matter of feeling, not intellectual complexity and conceptual density or depth.Janus

    Feeling is a kind of knowing or understanding.
    I do know that any feeling, no matter how profound, is an ineffective guide to life if one cannot find a way to articulate it further, to carry it forward into expanded senses of knowing. Putting it into words doesn’t destroy it , it is richer than the words , but the words are based on it and can point back into it.
  • Janus
    9.7k
    Maybe I have had these experiences myself but have a way of dipping into them and extracting sayable sense from them. Eugene Gendlin‘s focusing provides one such method. I do know that any feeling, no matter how profound, is an ineffective guide to life if one cannot find a way to articulate it further.Joshs

    Maybe you have. As I said it may well be different for each of us, so better not to generalize. I do doubt that "sayable sense" could mean anything like a determinate analysis; but you are free to provide one if you can. If "sayable sense" is meant to be more akin to poetry, then I would agree.

    I think one's own feelings are very often, even mostly, if they are not negative, effective (precisely because affective :wink: ) guides to life; although obviously one cannot expect one's own feelings to be an effective guide for others unless some way to communicate them (make affective by exemplification rather than explication) can be found.

    Literature, employing metaphor, parable and profoundly affective depictions of human life, is most effective for this; much more effective than philosophy. That's probably why there is a Nobel prize for literature and not for philosophy. Philosophy is limited to exposing and correcting errors of reasoning and creating schematic worldviews, with the former function being more useful in my opinion. (Although the latter is not without artistic interest). That's my two cents anyway.
  • Pop
    515
    My experience is that the unexpected connections are precisely not made in the "normal" way, they don't feel 'normal' at all. Having said that I'm not sure what your conception of "being made in the normal way" is. It may be different for each person, so if you say it is like that for you, I can only accept your word on it.Janus

    I take your point. It may well be that we construe differently, but consistent with constructivist theory and phenomenology we would each have only one way to do it with. So if something is construed - it was done in our normal way. We could not have invented a whole different system of comprehension on the spot and used that to understand something about our situation - according t the theory. Joshs described the theory very well previously, but basically we can only construct upon what has already been constructed, or we can only understand that which we are familiar with already - that can e understood in terms of our already established understanding. When something falls partially outside our established understanding, then we have to reorganize our understanding to account for it. But when something falls totally outside our established understanding, then we are blind to it, which might be the case when mindfulness is close to or ineffable.
    You may be describing a situation close to ineffable and somehow an impression stuck, so I have to take your word for it. I would be hesitant to take Varela and Thompson's word for it as they, as originators of the theory have a vested interest, and they seem to describe a fairly superficial situation, that can be variously accounted for.

    It is ineffable only insofar as nothing propositional or determinate can be said about, or on the basis of, the experience. For me this is what poesis (making) is all about; evoking (showing) what cannot be literally said.Janus

    You previously mentioned psychedelics, and perhaps this is the cause of our dissonance. I was really only referring to mindfulness. I have not tried them ( but I'm curious :smile: ). According to the theory, perhaps in this case, it is I who am blind!

    This whole area is pretty fuzzy in my mind. The problem seems to lie in the first person vs third person view. The OP is from a third person phenomenological "objective" high ground view, arguing that
    phenomenology deems the first person view to be subjective, as if the phenomenological view is somehow itself immune to subjectivity. If we understand self organization is the central mechanism of everything, then all views are biased towards the viewer, indeed can only be seen from their perspective / knowledge / construct system, and we know that all views are deeply subjective, given the weight of beliefs that they are based on.

    So what to make of this? I would say that all views are experientially valid, but some are supported by theory whilst others are not. So theory cannot invalidate the first person experience. It remains a valid first person experience despite being theoretically unsound, and it must be so to maintain the integrity of the self in question - according to the theory, as I understand it.
  • Ansiktsburk
    113
    So to enhance the present we are supposed to eat stuff like Psilocybe semilanceata?
  • Ansiktsburk
    113
    Literature, employing metaphor, parable and profoundly affective depictions of human life, is most effective for this; much more effective than philosophy. That's probably why there is a Nobel prize for literature and not for philosophy. Philosophy is limited to exposing and correcting errors of reasoning and creating schematic worldviews, with the former function being more useful in my opinion. (Although the latter is not without artistic interest). That's my two cents anyway.Janus

    When i read stuff like Hägglund’s This Life, Pinker’s Enlightenment Now, Peterson’s 12 rules, Spinoza’s ethics (as well as Hayes Get out of your mind and Nilsonnes Vem är det som bestämmer i ditt liv, great CBT psychologist books on mindfulness) -

    Do I only read stuff, and reflect upon it , do I not sharpen my philosophical knives, do I not do Philosophy?
  • Janus
    9.7k
    I take your point. It may well be that we construe differently, but consistent with constructivist theory and phenomenology we would each have only one way to do it with. So if something is construed - it was done in our normal way.Pop

    Why would "we each only have one way to do it with, though" ? I am not aware of any compelling argument for that conclusion.

    but basically we can only construct upon what has already been constructed, or we can only understand that which we are familiar with already - that can e understood in terms of our already established understanding.Pop

    I think novel constructions are possible; indeed commonplace. Actually I prefer to think in terms of associations rather than constructions, and the possibilities for association are infinite as far I can see.

    I would be hesitant to take Varela and Thompson's word for it as they, as originators of the theory have a vested interest, and they seem to describe a fairly superficial situation, that can be variously accounted for.Pop

    I am not super familiar with Varela and Thompson; I was responding only to Joshs claim that altered states where the feeling is of universal inter-connectedness would not naturally give rise to expansive positive emotions such as love, compassion, empathy and so on as opposed to hate, indifference and antipathy. I still haven't seen any compelling to support that claim. If you reject a theory on the basis that its originators have a vested interest in it, you would be rejecting most, if not all, theories it seems.

    You previously mentioned psychedelics, and perhaps this is the cause of our dissonance. I was really only referring to mindfulness. I have not tried them ( but I'm curious :smile: ). According to the theory, perhaps in this case, it is I who am blind!Pop

    I think the same kinds of altered states may be realized with meditation as with psychedelics, but perhaps not as reliably :wink: .

    So what to make of this? I would say that all views are experientially valid, but some are supported by theory whilst others are not. So theory cannot invalidate the first person experience. It remains a valid first person experience despite being theoretically unsound, and it must be so to maintain the integrity of the self in question - according to the theory, as I understand it.Pop

    I wouldn't say that first person experience is "theoretically unsound". All theories that are couched in terms of causation are theories form the third person perspective. Theories from the first person perspective are given in terms of reasons if they are attempting to explain acts in terms of volition or purposes.

    Our so-called normal experience is replete with purpose and desire I would say, so that is its logic, whereas the altered states are more or less free of purpose and desire; so that is a good reason to think the logics are definitely not the same in my view. Of course it is a continuum of experience rather than a neat divide between different states of experience, so I am not advocating any idea or ideal of purity.
  • Janus
    9.7k
    I think you may sharpen your critical knives when you read (some) philosophical works (that is if the works you read sharpen their critical knives). To sharpen your critical knives just is to do philosophy; which is to say pursue wisdom (clarity). But philosophy by itself does not tell you how to live; for that you need affective cultivation and development, as Hume asserted.

    And I believe this is aided more by great literature (and music and art study and practice, meditation and psychedelics) than by philosophy. Both are desirable though; sharpening of the critical faculties and cultivation of the affections. However one can live a good life, ethically speaking; while holding central beliefs that from a philosophical point of view, are absurd, just as one can have the sharpest critical intellect, hold few absurd beliefs, and yet be a total arsehole.
  • Pop
    515
    Why would "we each only have one way to do it with, though" ? I am not aware of any compelling argument for that conclusion.Janus

    According to Piaget's constructivism, knowledge is accumulated piece by piece, where the next piece is constructed upon the previous piece. The theory is rock solid in my mind. It has been extensively studied since the sixties. I would put it on par with E=mc2. The theory implies that there is only one system of knowledge accumulation and interpretation at play, so when we say we perceive something, we have only one way of doing it. This is consistent with being a singular self, which psychedelic's may indeed challenge?

    I think novel constructions are possible; indeed commonplace.Janus

    I agree, but they always have to be constructions, so an addition to previous knowledge, constructed in accordance to the already existing structure / system of understanding in place. The information has to be integrated to the whole of knowledge, and in order to do this it must use the whole of knowledge to interpret the information.

    where the feeling is of universal inter-connectednessJanus

    I don' get a feeling of universal connectedness from mindfulness at all. I get that feeling from a knowledge that self organization is a singularity everything is involved in and everything arises out of.

    If you reject a theory on the basis that its originators have a vested interest in it, you would be rejecting most, if not all, theories it seems.Janus

    I try to scrutinize everything to the nth degree, as much as I'm able to. There is more to it, but its a bit much to unload here.

    I think the same kinds of altered states may be realized with meditation as with psychedelics, but perhaps not as reliably :wink: .Janus

    That may be so. I tend to think that headspace is limitless. I think meditation can be practiced in many different ways and with many different results. I tend to use it more for personal mind control ( to turn off thinking ), rather then for exploring altered states.

    I'm glad you have found something that gives you a feeling of universal interconnectedness. I feel sad that we should have to look to altered states for such a feeling. :cry:
  • Janus
    9.7k
    The theory implies that there is only one system of knowledge accumulation and interpretation at play, so when we say we perceive something, we have only one way of doing it. This is consistent with being a singular self, which psychedelic's may indeed challenge?Pop

    I still don't know what you mean by "only one way of doing it" or why only one way follows from knowledge being cumulative. The theory implies that knowledge is cumulative, which seems intuitively obvious. But why only one way of accumulation?
  • Ansiktsburk
    113
    And I believe this is aided more by great literature (and music and art study and practice, meditation and psychedelics) than by philosophy. Both are desirable though; sharpening of the critical faculties and cultivation of the affections. However one can live a good life, ethically speaking; while holding central beliefs that from a philosophical point of view, are absurd, just as one can have the sharpest critical intellect, hold few absurd beliefs, and yet be a total arsehole.Janus

    So what good does listening to music and eating magic mushrooms do?
  • Xtrix
    1.3k


    It's preferable if you cite your source: https://philarchive.org/rec/SOFAPC

    If you're not the author of this, that's plagiarism.
  • Janus
    9.7k
    They may cultivate your emotions, for example empathy, or not. Depends on the person, I guess.
  • Joshs
    933
    I am the author. Did you enjoy the paper?
  • Janus
    9.7k
    I'm glad you have found something that gives you a feeling of universal interconnectedness. I feel sad that we should have to look to altered states for such a feeling.Pop

    I said it was one thing that can give that feeling, not that it is the only thing. And I don't believe it's the same for everyone anyway; for some people altered states may be states of paranoia and feelings of isolation. So no need to feel sad. :smile:
  • Pop
    515
    :up: I wasn't referring to you specifically but to the world in general. I feel it would be a better world if universal interconnectedness was an all pervasive foundational notion, rather then just something a few fringe dwellers latch upon.

    But why only one way of accumulation?Janus

    Its the knowledge accumulated that constructs the system, The constructed system then becomes the prism through which we interpret the world. It becomes a world view. Every self only has one world view through which to see the world. No?

    Further, the constructed system is not just a world view, it is everything we know about the world, so effectively is the world. This explains why there are different interpretations of reality, because there are different constructions of it.
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