Showing posts from February, 2016

How militant atheists stole your sense of meaning to enhance theirs

This is the amazing story of how militant atheo-materialists—those who doggedly promote the twin narratives of atheism and materialism—have managed to rob many of us of meaning in life so to safeguard and nurture their own sense of meaning. Like greedy capitalists, they enrich themselves with life's most valuable currency at the expense of the majority. You are about to be amazed at how cleverly they've pulled this off, for the secret behind their exquisitely disguised maneuver has never—as far as I am aware—been laid bare before. The disclosure that follows has more than a few controversial twists, but it is also well-substantiated at both theoretical and empirical levels. To make this clear, I've put in the effort to document this essay with all the relevant references and footnotes. So take a deep breath and follow me down this never-talked-about but sobering rabbit hole.

Meaning—in the sense of significance and purpose—is probably the greatest asset any human being can…

Religion, reason, time and space: introducing More Than Allegory

The video below introduces and discusses my new book More Than Allegory: On religious myth, truth and belief. It argues that religious mythology is an extraordinary psychosocial phenomenon that cannot be simply dismissed under the label of delusion. Its appeal throughout the ages arises from the fact that religious myths do convey truth, but truth that is neither literal nor merely allegorical. Religious myths embody, instead, a transcendent form of truth that cannot be captured in conceptual schemas or language narratives. The video also discusses the three key roles religious myths can, and must, play in contemporary society. Finally, it touches on the delicate challenge -- addressed head-on in the book -- of hinting at a worldview according to which time and space are constructs generated by the intellect, having no autonomous reality of their own. This is a challenge I have carefully avoided in my earlier five books, but whose time has now come.

More Than Allegory can be purchased…

Fasnacht, Carl Jung, the Trickster Archetype and Altered States of Consciousness

[Updated 21 February 2016]
I have just spent four wonderful days and nights in the Swiss town of Basel (anglicized as 'Basle,' but I prefer to stick to the original, as do the locals), taking part in the traditional Fasnachtfestival. For a general impression, have a look at the first video below. You might then ask: What does a carnival have to do with philosophy? Well, actually much more than you'd think!

As many of you know, my philosophical ideas have been largely influenced by the thought of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, who developed the theory of the Collective Unconscious and the Archetypes. According to Jung, our thoughts, emotions and behaviors are subliminally influenced—even determined—by shared psychic templates he called Archetypes. There is an Archetype that is particularly repressed and dismissed in contemporary culture: that of the Trickster, an anti-intellect figure, entertaining and mischievous at the same time, who reminds us of our connection to …

Predictions that aren't baloney

In Chapter 2 of my book Why Materialism Is Baloney—my best-seller thus far—I elaborate on the notion that the brain is the extrinsic image of a process of localization of universal consciousness. As such, individual people are like whirlpools in a universal stream of transpersonal experiences. If this is the case, one would expect that disruption of the right types of brain activity should induce a de-localization—an expansion—of consciousness. In the book, I substantiate this prediction with a number of studies and known examples of cases in which reductions of brain activity do, indeed, correlate with an expansion or de-localization of experience, which physicalism cannot explain.

There is a tricky balance involved in showing this empirically, in a controlled and statistically significant way: not all brain activity should relate to the mechanism of localization itself; much of it should consist instead of already localized contents of experience. Returning to our analogy, both a l…