Art vs Algorithm
4 months ago
Those of the outer world will be like drowned men as regards my discourse; but men of the inner world will understand its secrets.
Like my predecessors I have revealed the bird of my soul to those who are asleep. Perhaps the sleep which fills your life has deprived you of this discourse; but, having met it, your soul will be awakened by the secret which it reveals.
From Farid 'The Logic of Birds'
“The Noetic Quality, as named by William James, is a feeling of insight or illumination that, on an intuitive, nonrational level and with a tremendous force of certainty, subjectively has the status of Ultimate Reality. This knowledge is not an increase of facts but is a gain in psychological, philosophical, or theological insight. "
The attitude of the Bible toward divination is on the whole distinctly hostile and is fairly represented by Deuteronomy 18:10, where the prophet of God is contrasted with diviners of all kinds as the only authorized medium of supernatural revelation. Divination is seen as an abomination but there are some notable exceptions where some forms are apparently sanctioned such as in the New Testament when Matthias is chosen as the replacement for Judas by casting lots. (Acts of the Apostles 1:26 ) LOL How convenient that some forms of divination have been / are SANCTIONED ?
In the Quran, divination is described in Surah V (The Table) as an abomination: "O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination; of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper)
People with a form of synesthesia in which they see colors when viewing letters and numbers really do see colors, researchers, led by Edward M. Hubbard of the University of California San Diego, have found. What's more, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of their brains reveals that they show activation of color-perception areas.
David Abram, following Merleau-Ponty, finds this synesthetic unity in the very nature of perception itself.
Although contemporary neuroscientists study synaesthesia the overlap and blending of the senses as though it were a rare or pathological experience to which only certain persons are prone (those who report “seeing sounds,” “hearing colors,” and the like), our primordial, preconceptual experience, as Merleau-Ponty makes evident, is inherently synaesthetic. The intertwining of sensory modalities seems unusual to us only to the extent that we have become estranged from our direct experience (and hence from our primordial contact with the entities and elements that surround us.):
…Synaesthetic perception is the rule, and we are unaware of it only because scientific knowledge shifts the center of gravity of experience, so that we have unlearned how to see, hear, and generally speaking, feel, in order to deduce, from our bodily organization and the world as the physicist conceives it, what we are to see, hear, and feel.” (Merleau-Ponty)
“History is the result of an over elaboration and separation of the senses - Blake’s vision of man’s natural condition and the condition man shall return to following the apocalyptic disclosure of the present era—is that of a psycho-sensory unity in which each sense is not a “narrow chink walled off from the other senses but in a state of communication with them. This state of sensory interfusion, often referred to as synesthesia, is presupposed by a consciousness in which body and soul are realized to be one, and in turn presupposes a social order so totally different from the present one that its closest approximation is to be found in the remnant of so-called primitive societies.” (Arguelles)
Jose Arguelles in his analysis of William Blake quotes the famous lines of Blake’s adopted by Huxley to describe the psychedelic visionary state:
“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.”
Hallucinogenic discourse, both of scientific and “recreational” nature, faces a similar rhetorical dilemma as the rest of the ecstatic traditions it responds to: It must report on an event which is in principle impossible to communicate. Writers of mystic experience from St Teresa to William James have treated the unrepresentable character of mystic events to be the very hallmark of ecstasies. Hallucinogenic discourse faced a similar struggle in the effort to report on the knowledge beyond what Aldous Huxley (and Jim Morrison…) described as the “doors of perception.” (Doyle)
All language is psychedelic by definition, functioning to make manifest the mind, to bring thoughts, feelings, information, from the interior of one mind and make them available to be interiorized in another. David Porush calls this “Technologically Mediated Telepathy.” And Porush, Abram, and Erik Davis all relate the story of how this psychedelic, originally synesthetic, oral language-making connected us deeply and reciprocally to our natural environment, a mutual be-speaking that was progressively lost when writing, and most particularly alphabetic writing, froze knowledge-making into eternal signs in rows on flat surfaces, signs you could come back to—and they hadn’t changed. These signs deployed progressively deeper disconnections—among the senses, between time and space, between reason and emotion. The alphabet: the cybernetic technology that changed everything. Synesthesia, in this light, comes to stand for the promise of reconnection, of noesis, of recovery of some long lost unity, within ourselves, among ourselves, within the world. McKenna himself comes back to these language experiences time and again in his books and lectures: new forms of language perceived, theories of the evolution of language and consciousness catalyzed by psychedelics are proposed: