both/and

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the excluded middle way

“we are nothing but a loom of electricity and enzymes”

And yet… from the inside… “we feel like the ghost, not like the machine”.

This is a great summary of the two fundamental perspectives in psychology. Thank you c4chaos for a great spot from the LA Times.

C4CHAOS wrote:

Jonah Lehrer has an insightful article on the LA Times urging neuroscientists to go beyond reductionism. Below is a key quote.

“The mind is like music. While neuroscience accurately describes our brain in terms of its material facts — we are nothing but a loom of electricity and enzymes — this isn’t how we experience the world. Our consciousness, at least when felt from the inside, feels like more than the sum of its cells. The truth of the matter is that we feel like the ghost, not like the machine.

“If neuroscience is going to solve its grandest questions, such as the mystery of consciousness, it needs to adopt new methods that are able to construct complex representations of the mind that aren’t built from the bottom up. Sometimes, the whole is best understood in terms of the whole. William James, as usual, realized this first. The eight chapters that begin his 1890 textbook, “The Principles of Psychology,” describe the mind in the conventional third-person terms of the experimental psychologist. Everything changes, however, with Chapter 9. James starts this section, “The Stream of Thought,” with a warning: “We now begin our study of the mind from within.”
Title Page

“With that single sentence, James tried to shift the subject of psychology. He disavowed any scientific method that tried to dissect the mind into a set of elemental units, be it sensations or synapses. Modern science, however, didn’t follow James’ lead. In the years after his textbook was published, a “New Psychology” was born, and this rigorous science had no use for Jamesian vagueness. Measurement was now in vogue. Psychologists were busy trying to calculate all sorts of inane things, such as the time it takes for a single sensation to travel from your finger to your head. By quantifying our consciousness, they hoped to make the mind fit for science. Unfortunately, this meant that the mind was defined in very narrow terms. The study of experience was banished from the laboratory.”


Read more.

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Filed under: AQAL, both/and, Brain, conceptual mind, gross mind, Integral, Mind, Science, , , , , , , , , ,

A chance to study ‘A Brief History of Everything’

A Brief History of Everything

Evening at Emory – Humanities and Cultural Studies

American philosopher Ken Wilber writes books that combine eastern and western spirituality, psychology, biology, cultural theory, and other strands of contemporary thought to create what the author calls “integral psychology.” Wilber seeks to bridge the divide between science and religion, explain the dynamics of human consciousness and moral development, and speculate on the future evolution of our species. Despite the complexity of his thought, many of Wilber’s books are surprisingly accessible, including the textbook for this class, “A Brief History of Everything.” In this class we’ll read the book, discuss its merits, and consider how Wilber’s ideas can impact both the scientific and spiritual communities. Tuition includes textbook.

5 session(s): $110 Learn more…
Wed: Feb 6-Mar 5 / 7:00-9:00 pm Register now!

Instructor: Carl McColman, MA in Professional Writing and Editing, author of The Aspiring Mystic

Blogged with Flock

Filed under: AQAL, Integral, Wilber

Why I am “Integral”

This morning I’ve been asked whether I’m a card carrying ‘Bright’. I’m not. Neither am I ‘a Buddhist’ (despite the constant references to Buddhadharma and, in particular, the writings of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso).

Yesterday one of my housemates (I live in a Buddhist centre) said that she wasn’t a Buddhist either and I was happy to join her in a place outside of those labels and boxes. Another housemate seemed a little dismayed that she hadn’t taken refuge but I wonder how much of that was my projection.

I’ve been thinking about the best definition of me for a long time now. In the past week I’ve changed my Religion tag in Facebook from Zetetic, to Athiest, to Antitheist – and it’s sparked some nice conversations with some of my friends.

But today I’m calling myself “Integral”.

I’ve resisted the Integral tag for so long… prefering to use it as a generic umbrella term rather than anything else, but this morning, after reading a great blog piece by Robert Agustus Masters I  feel that, yes, Integral is where I’m at and what I want to be.

If you want to know what that meanss then check out Robert’s piece as it’s the best answer to the question WHAT IS “INTEGRAL”? that I’ve read to date.

Filed under: AQAL, inspiration, Integral

The Evolution of Consciousness


If you’re in any doubt about my current views and interests then this video is about the quickest intro to the kind of developmental, evolutionary, non-Dogmatic, post-post-modern, integral methodological pluralist view that I hold.

Watch it, it’s simpler than it sounds   😀

Filed under: AQAL, both/and, Darwin, Evolution, Integral, Spiral Dynamics, Video

Dan Dennett: Can we know our own minds?

"Scientists, using their from-the-outside, 3rd person methods, can tell you things about your own consciousness that you'd ever dream of. And the fact that you are not the authority on your own consciousness that you thought you were.

Filed under: AQAL, Atheism, both/and, Dennett, Integral, Mind, Video





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