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

Photo by Bernardo Kastrup, hereby released into the public domain.

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 here:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Publisher website

Copyright © 2016 by Bernardo Kastrup. All rights are reserved.

Comments

  1. Hi Bernardo, I did a quick caricature sketch of you based on this video. If you ever want to see it for a laugh or two, or just out of curiosity, then by all means contact me through my website at comicartist.net Love your worldview. Sounds right.

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    1. If you post it publicly, would love to see it :)

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  2. Hi Bernardo, Sorry, my comments on YT don't work well sometimes. I was trying to say, Excellent. Book sounds great, especially second part about trying to "step out" of space-time assumptions about reality.

    As I get older, I find language increasingly difficult to share ideas. It's so pregnant with terms like, does it Matter? or, does that make Sense? or, as you mentioned, a moment in Time. All paradoxical statements when viewed outside traditional space-time-matter thinking.

    When someone becomes aware of this normal limitation in language it can be very difficult to accurately describe transcendental experiences and ideas.

    That's why we need people like you. You are becoming expert at this.

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  3. Bernardo, your suggestion that space and time are being constructed on a moment by moment basis is intriguing.

    Once upon a time I could not understand how anyone could suggest that time does not truly exist - or that everything is really simultaneous- because then, how could there be a story, an evolution, a gaining of experience?

    I considered that time must be in some sense fundamental - what separates one perception, or state, or choice, or focus of attention from a previous one and a later one.

    I thought that the idea of simultaneity could be encompassed by the Copenhagen interpretation where all possible alternatives (either in time or space) are in superposition until the torch of attention is shone on one of them, burning it into the fabric of existence.

    But I had not quite grasped the idea that time might actually be a by-product of our wandering focus of attention, and memory a record of it (which I think is what you are implying).

    Anyway, very much looking forward to your analysis in More Than Allegory!

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    1. It's very difficult to reconcile this notion that time is an intellectual creation with what we _think_ our experience to be. The problem is that we operate from within the intellectual model that creates time and space. For me, it was a sudden realization one day that time doesn't actually exist. It was an epiphany, a moment when I, for some reason, "jumped out of the system," as Hofstadter puts it. I found myself outside time looking into time. And it wasn't with meditation or anything... I was at a restaurant. It was just an insight of understanding. That's why I feel I could actually _talk about_ it in the book, and perhaps help people come to that vantage point I had. I try to explain -- difficult as it is -- the illusory nature of time and space, as opposed to trying to bring people to enlightenment.

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  4. Hi Bernardo - very nice video. I like the way you describe time and space, as it fits perfectly with your idealist view - with time as the movement of consciousness, and space as the extension of consciousness, and Mind ultimately as transcending time and space, which are constructs of that very mind.

    Good work!

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  5. Hi Bernardo---my friend and I had a brief discussion of your article about the thievery of the atheo-materialists, thought you might like to see---stlbl1@gmail.com

    My favorite part of his essay is, however, that in which he points out that the religious impulse is a deeply-rooted intuition intrinsic to the human condition that precedes thought and theory, therefore inescapable, however obstinately one may try to stifle it with empirical arguments.

    Yes, and this sums it up: Religion isn't wish-fulfillment, but intuitive realization. Intuition is the inner ground of being or mind that MUST resonate with sensory inputs for us to say, Eureka!! Ive found it. This is WHERE science comes from, where art comes from, The mind localized to each being is, will never be and has never been a blank slate incapable of interaction. There is some structure physically in this partial image as observed by a second person (which is sometimes the first person when recursive amplification occurs) and like all structures they vibrate, and once we are calmed down in other modes of consciousness, can resonate! This is why deep states of calm and relaxation, or modes with LESS neural activity trigger cascades of experience. the trick is to NOT allow the amplification until the signal is self sufficiently resonant itself. Else one will amplify all the noise---why trying too hard never succeeds---its how the golfer misses the 2 inch putt, so to speak...

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  6. Hi Bernado,

    I am reading with interest your discussion of truth in the second part of your book. Whilst I concur with your conclusions about subjectivity and truth, it also concerns me. Perhaps I can express this concern in the form of a question. You wrote a book called "Materialism is Baloney" (which I admit to having not read, but could agree with to a certain extent). My question: Is it true that materialism is baloney or just a story/myth that you tell yourself and the reader?

    I would genuinely love to hear how you respond to this question.

    You can check out that I am a genuine seeker of truths if you look at some of my poorly written ramblings on my home page @ waywithwords.se under Angus / Thinking allowed

    Look forward to hearing from

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