Showing posts from 2016

Dismantling idols: the current cultural inflection point

As recent events—culminating yesterday with the US election—dramatically show, we are at a major cultural inflection point in Western civilization; one that bears relevance to how we see the world and reality itself. The US election is by no means an isolated event: the European Union has been in upheaval since the Greek debt crisis; last summer's Brexit would have been unthinkable only ten years ago or so; Brazil has impeached and removed from office a just-re-elected president; and Germany continues to wrestle with its national values and identity as it deals with the refugee crisis. These are but a few examples. The important point is that these and other events reflect a deeper dynamics: a profound shift in the ethos of the Western mindset, with significant implications for the future of our mainstream worldview. It is this shift—and the opportunities and risks it carries with it—that I want to explore in this brief essay, for it potentially bears relevance to the deepest phi…

Realities of academic publishing

As some of you know, I have been busy for a few months now writing and revising nine academic papers, which together provide what I believe to be an unprecedentedly complete and rigorous formulation of ontological Idealism. The idea is to sharpen my arguments by exposing them to thorough peer-review. Of the nine papers, three have already been accepted for publication (one of which is already published), one is going through a major revision, and other five are still in initial peer review.

I have had mixed experiences with reviewers so far. On the positive side, one of the three accepted papers has been much improved by critical and extremely thoughtful reviews at SAGE Open, a journal I now consider a prime example of high professionalism in publishing. I also had a rejection by Neuroscience of Consciousness that was worth more than an acceptance: although my submission was considered not to match the journal's focus, its editor nonetheless provided me with extraordinarily detai…

Upcoming Sages & Scientists event

I’m excited to join Deepak Chopra and 30 other experts in Los Angeles, California for a 3-day symposium where consciousness and science meet. At Sages & Scientists we will explore life’s deepest mysteries and seek answers to its biggest questions in an effort to further understand ourselves, one another, and the universe. Join me as we discover new ways of understanding consciousness and delve deeper into the true meaning of human existence. I hope to see you there!

Key quotes from Part III of More Than Allegory

And now closing the series, here are the key quotes of Part III of my newly released book More Than Allegory. I hope these quotes can give you a fair taste of the book! Have fun.

‘And there I finally was, comfortably but firmly strapped to a customized recliner made to perfectly accommodate my body shape. … I knew that the complex and rather large rig around my head was about to kick into operation. … I took a deep breath to try to relax and—as instructed—began counting down from ten. At around seven, I already knew that nothing would ever be the same again…’ (The Explorer, p. 146)  ‘The alleged headhunter’s name was Sophie. Disarmingly attractive, … she was the key recruiter of a large, massively well-funded, yet completely stealthy project initiated by an unacknowledged club of (former) corporate leaders and high-net-worth individuals. Some would call this club a secret society, but the conspiracy connotations are totally inapplicable. I will refer to it simply as “the Club.”’ (Th…

Key quotes from Part II of More Than Allegory

Continuing on from where we left it in the previous post, here are the key quotes of Part II of my new book More Than Allegory, where, amongst other things, I discuss the illusory nature of the ocean of space and time. I hope these quotes give you some healthy, wholesome food-for-thought for the weekend!

Could there really be such a thing as raw cognition without narratives? Was the mind of a newborn truly story-free, or was it simply in the process of weaving its first stories as it perceived the world for the first time? … Could anything—anything at all—be perceived without being couched in an explanatory narrative? (pp. 87-88)  ‘The intellect is an unstoppable narrative-making machine of unfathomable power. It constructs our entire world, like a cocoon that we end up inhabiting. In my search for the intellectual ideal of an “absolute,” I have only found my own limits.’ (Pollux, p. 88)  The past is a mental, intellectual construct meant to give context to your present perceptions. …

Key quotes from Part I of More Than Allegory

To give you a taste of the messages in Part I of my newly released book More Than Allegory, I've collected below some key passages lifted right out of the book. I hope you find these insightful and enjoyable!

Never before in history has a civilization been so desperately devoid of context and perspective. Who are we? Where do we come from? Where should we go? What’s the point of it all? We feel lost because we are unable to take seriously the maps that could give us directions. We can no longer take myths seriously because, after all, they are only myths. (p. 14)  Our mind needs a code to translate consensus images into thoughts and feelings. Without it, there would be no bridge or commerce between outer and inner realms. … The translation code takes the form of a mental narrative we tell ourselves; a story that implies particular correspondences between outer images and inner feelings and ideas. The translation code is thus a myth. (p. 17)  A deprived myth is not the same as an …

Interpreting Objects

By Ben Iscatus
(This is a guest essay submitted to the Metaphysical Speculations Discussion Forum, reviewed, commented on and approved for publication by Forum members. The opinions expressed in the essay are those of its author.)

The publication of More Than Allegory (MTA) gives us new permission to see the objects apparently out there in the World as sacraments, in the sense that Romantic poets understood them — signs of God's inward grace, expressions of ideas in the mind of God, symbols which we might interpret in poetry or art. Mountains, streams, oceans, waterfalls, sunsets... The inner voice of the 'Other' in MTA (p. 215) suggests, for instance, that "the sun represents an outpouring of universal love, the mental energy that moves the world."
Or, to be darker, MTA encourages us to look at things in Jungian terms — that is, as expressions of the personal unconscious or the collective unconscious (which Bernardo calls Mind-at-Large), presented as objects of…

Metaphysics from Beginning to End - The Perennial View

By Peter Jones
[This is a guest essay submitted to the Metaphysical Speculations Discussion Forum, reviewed, commented on and approved for publication by Forum members. The opinions expressed in the essay are those of its author.]
Introduction This metaphysical essay is a summary of the issues it addresses and not an attempt to properly explain or even attract the reader to the philosophy it endorses. Metaphysics is condensed into four short propositions and if the general discussion were omitted to leave just these propositions and their definitions the substance of it would be unchanged. The discussion is explanatory and hopefully lends the propositions plausibility but is not structural. The idea is to condense and simplify and has more to do with setting the agenda for a discussion than holding one. The reason for this approach is simply that few people adopt it. A sceptical philosopher approaching these issues from the outside looking for an easy and quick way to grasp what mysticism…