Key quotes from Part III of More Than Allegory

Dome of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy.
Photo by Bernardo Kastrup, hereby released into the public domain.

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.”’ (The Explorer, p. 148) 
‘The Club’s assets thwarted the budget of some small nations. Through third-party investment funds they controlled, the Club financed several external projects. … Their key project, however, wasn’t external: it was supervised directly by the Club’s leaders and carried out mainly in Club-owned premises. Its codename—for reasons I never really understood—was “Trilobite.”’ (The Explorer, p. 149) 
‘Originally inspired by the psychedelic revolution of the 1960’s, the Club had set up Trilobite to find more effective and controllable methods for accessing what was described to me as ‘transcendent realms.’ I once asked the project’s Chief Scientist whether these were actual realities or just otherwise unconscious mental spaces. He replied by asking me, rather rhetorically, what the difference between the two was.’ (The Explorer, p. 150) 
‘Through exhaustive and unbelievably expensive trial and error over many years, project scientists had converged on a … technique that they called ‘the Recipe.’ It entailed three different elements: a carefully coordinated series of intra-venous infusions; … a programmed series of E.M. pulses at specific locations of the subject’s brain; … and brain function measurement technology to monitor the subject’s neural activity during the trance.’ (The Explorer, p. 153) 
‘Your confusion arises from a fundamental inversion: it is your head that is in your mind, not your mind in your head. This realm is indeed entirely within your mind. But so is your ordinary waking reality, your body included. Both realms are mental worlds unfolding within consciousness at all times. The act of focusing your attention on one particular realm obfuscates the others.’ (The Other, pp. 161-162) 
‘When you dream at night, the objects you see in your dreams do not correspond to a world outside your mind. … Yet, dreamed-up water can get you wet and make you experience cold within the dream. … Whether this is the case or not depends merely on the particular rules of cognitive association that govern the dream. … In ordinary waking reality, you call the applicable rules … the “laws of cause and effect.”’ (The Other, pp. 164-165) 
‘It’s true that all reality is in your mind, but the “your” here does not refer to you as an individual person; instead, it refers to your true nature as impersonal mind. … [So] the universe unfolds in your mind. It’s just that your mind is not only yours; it is also my mind, the neighbor’s mind, the co-worker’s mind, the cat’s mind, the ant’s mind, etc., since we all share the same instinctive “I” feeling.’ (The Other, pp. 167-169) 
‘Whatever I have never been asked about by a self-reflective cluster of mind-at-large like yourself, I know only in potentiality. Think of it as the light of a match: until you ignite the match, its light exists only in potentiality. … But when you ignite the match, its light becomes actualized. Only then can it be seen. My knowledge is like the match: it exists complete, but only in potentiality, until you or someone else asks me about it.’ (The Other, p. 172) 
‘Upon coming round in the laboratory, I found Sophie starring me in the face. Her beautiful big eyes, full of anticipation, screamed out the question: ‘So?! What has he told you this time?!’ Behind her, several nurses and technicians pretended to busy themselves with their usual chores, secretly paying attention to what I had to say.’ (The Explorer, p. 175) 
‘The belief system that governs ordinary reality is like a collective instinct: it’s an automatism unreachable by lucid reasoning. … You cannot think about the mental processes that underlie and give rise to your instincts. You can only attain lucidity of the instincts’ effects, not of their source. Likewise, humankind cannot change the rules of cognitive association whose reflection is the laws of nature.’ (The Other, p. 180) 
‘space-time allows you to mentally “spread out” simultaneous [mental contents] … thereby rendering their links … treatable by the intellect. [However,] all associative links are simultaneous, overlapping mental evocations. They do have structure, but this structure doesn’t inherently span time or space. Instead, it is determined simply by which mental contents evoke which other mental contents.’ (The Other, p. 186) 
‘To create a particular realm of mentation—which you might call a “world,” a “universe,” or even a “reality”—two steps are required: … a belief system must congeal in a first group of adjacent layers of cognition; then, in a second group above and conditioned by the first one, this belief system must be experienced from within. One experiences a belief system from within when one forgets that it is a belief system in the first place.’ (The Other, p. 189) 
‘What you call reality is a reflection of the first layer of your cognition that escapes your critical self-reflection. If you were to become lucid of the cognitive layers underlying all your beliefs—that is, if you could “look behind” all your beliefs—reality, as a standalone phenomenon, would dissolve. You would immediately realize, with a laugh, that you are making everything up.’ (The Other, p. 190) 
‘Belief, when experienced from within, generates a reality. Looking behind belief, in turn, gives away the secret and reveals the imaginary nature of this reality. Consensus reality is the belief you humans, as a species, don’t look behind.’ (The Other, p. 190) 
‘Mind-at-large has the innate predisposition to get drawn into its own imaginings. … Ideas expressing symmetry ... are particularly attractive at an intrinsic level. So as mind-at-large began conceiving of purely abstract symmetries—mathematical in essence—it became captivated by them. With the increasing commitment of mental energy that resulted, cognitive associations began to form spontaneously.’ (The Other, p. 192) 
‘It was the emergence of a self-referential loop of cognitive associations that created the first enduring reality, the first universe. In the case of your universe, your science refers to this moment as the “Big Bang.”’ (The Other, p. 193) 
‘The growing seductive power of the universe pulled mind-at-large further into it, like a child is pulled into a rich fairytale. [The] accelerating process could no longer be slowed down. … And so it was that mind-at-large punched through and entered its own imaginings with tremendous momentum. … The first entrance or protrusion of mind-at-large into your universe was what your science calls the origin of life.’ (The Other, pp. 195-197)
‘There are two singular but analogous moments in the cosmological history of any universe: the first is when surging mental energy circulating in a self-referential loop forces it to blossom out into a tangle. The second is when surging mental energy circulating in the tangle forces it to blossom out into life.’ (The Other, p. 199) 
‘When you perceive the world around you through your five senses, you witness the mental activity of what your mythology calls God from an angle that isn’t accessible to God Himself.’ (The Other, p. 202) 
‘The deeper layers of mind-at-large do not experience the world the way you do. The experience of sense perception—vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch—is unique to the inside-out perspective. As such, God cannot see or hear the sun, the planets, mountains, rainbows, thunderstorms, etc. He does experience something corresponding to the visible sun, the planets, etc., but in a way qualitatively very different from yours.’ (The Other, p. 211) 
‘If the ordinary world around us suggests its reverse side—that is, God’s perspective—then the world is a symbol of something transcendent. It points to what God thinks and feels when conceiving the universe into existence.’ (The Explorer, p. 213) 
‘The sun has rich symbolic meaning. It represents something beyond its perceivable self. It’s a window into transcendence. The same applies to everything else: the planets, moons, thunderstorms, volcanoes, rocks, even specs of dust. They are all symbols of transcendence. The romantics were right!’ (The Explorer, p. 213) 
‘The world around you is a book waiting to be deciphered. Figuring out how to do it—that is, finding a suitable hermeneutics of the universe—has been the quest of poets, artists, shamans, mystics and philosophers since time immemorial. Only modern Western science, plagued by its materialist metaphysics, has chosen to dismiss the universe’s symbolic significance.’ (The Other, pp. 213-214) 
‘The vibrations of mind-at-large are themselves symbols of its own intrinsic—but forever elusive—nature. They reflect that which vibrates, as the notes produced by a guitar string reflect the intrinsic nature of the string.’ (The Explorer, p. 214) 
‘You have never experienced your death—the end of your primary sense of being—have you? And neither have you experienced other people’s deaths from their perspective, which is the only perspective that counts. In the now there is no death. Are you dead or alive right now? This is the only question that matters. Everything else is just stories you tell yourself.’ (The Other, p. 216) 
‘The direct experience of death is akin to waking up from a dream. One realizes that one was making the whole thing up all along. Moreover, one begins to experience the universe from the reverse side: instead of the sun, one feels the corresponding outpouring of love; instead of a thunderstorm, one feels what the thunderstorm had been symbolizing all along; and so on.’ (The Other, p. 217) 
‘Eventually, I could discern a seemingly human figure. He appeared to be dressed like a nineteenth-century stage magician, complete with tailcoat, black top hat, bow tie, magic stick and all. A thin, twisted moustache provided the final touch to his bizarre looks. The grin on his face evoked a mixture of affection and mistrust at the same time: a trickster for sure, but somehow affable.’ (The Explorer, p. 222) 
‘With no warning, the magician shook his stick and turned it into a semitransparent veil. … He then took a step forward, coming within half an arm’s length of me. My apprehension level skyrocketed. … Slowly, as if not to startle me, he reached around my head with both his arms—one on each side of my neck—and stretched out the veil behind my back. His grin became accentuated, as though he were very proud of what he was about to do.’ (The Explorer, p. 223) 
‘For some reason, the experience moved me to tears. Tidal waves of emotion welled up. I felt awe, love and gratitude of an intensity orders of magnitude higher than anything I had ever experienced before. I fell to my knees in a spontaneous, irresistible manifestation of overwhelming gratefulness. I was witnessing what I could only describe as a miracle.’ (The Explorer, p. 228) 
‘At bottom, the laws of classical physics are as whimsical as the regularities of any idiosyncratic dream; as quirky as the rules governing the brick world you visited, which had just as much internal consistency as your ordinary world. The only difference is that you are used to your classical physics.’ (The Other, p. 233) 
‘Your everyday world would also look fantastic and implausible to living beings from another reality. Like theirs, your world arises from a complex tangle of circular cognitive associations. If you could traverse the tangle all the way through, you would find out that there is no essential difference between … primary causes and secondary effects. Instead, you’d find that it’s a closed, self-generating system.’ (The Other, p. 233) 
‘The truth isn’t, and has never been, a secret. It isn’t locked away in libraries of secret societies. It has been told and retold in ten thousand different ways. … The problem is that efforts to disseminate it are often drowned out by the hysterical cacophony of our media. … Or worse: … discredited by an uncritical academic establishment that has come to confuse reason and empirical honesty with the metaphysical conjectures of materialism.’ (The Explorer, pp. 236-237)

Comments

  1. 'The problem is that efforts to disseminate it are often drowned out by the hysterical cacophony of our media. … Or worse: … discredited by an uncritical academic establishment that has come to confuse reason and empirical honesty with the metaphysical conjectures of materialism.’

    Well, no one can force us to give up our own inner truth and the best way to keep it is to cherish it and keep silent. In silent meditation one always (g)knows the next step........

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  2. Dear Dr. Kastrup,
    I don't know if this is the correct means of contacting you.
    This is my second message to you. In the previous one, I referred to the fact that I had read up to page 27 of your interesting book Why Materialism is Balloney. Now I've finished reading it. I have learned lots of interesting things, but don't agree with some of your positions. If you are interested in discussing its contents personally with me, and get to know my comments and suggestions, please write me at
    setzerv@gmail.com
    As I wrote you in my first contact, in my wedb site you will find some papers on spirituality and also materialism, but using a different approach than yours.
    Sincerely,
    Valdemar W. Setzer
    Dept. of Computer Science, University of São Paulo,
    http://www.ime.usp.br/~vwsetzer

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Dr. Setzer. I will have a look at the links when time allows. I can't have personal discussions though (otherwise, I'd do nothing else in life!). I maintain a forum where you would be welcome to participate (see link at the top menu bar). Cheers, Bernardo.

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    2. Dear Bernardo (and readers)

      I would really prefer to discuss with you in private, but as this is the only means to reach you, here it goes. Concerning your book "Why Materialism is Baloney", just a few comments:
      1. I appreciate your intuition that a spiritual world exists. But I think that instead of using consciousness (which you identify with mind), I think the correct approach is to use thinking.
      2. Look at the object at the entrance of your room. What are you visually perceiving? You and everybody else will say "a door". But this is wrong. What you visually perceive are light impulses. "Door" is a concept, and nobody can visually perceive concepts. (Note that on purpose I didn't use the expression "what you see".) What happened then? (a) You had a visual perception. (b) your thinking formed an inner image, a mental representation (this is beautifully expressed through the German verb "vorstellen", literally "to put in front" -- of your consciousness). (c) From that representation, your thinking made a bridge to the concept "door".
      Interestingly enough, everybody with a healthy thinking capacity would have said that they visually perceived a door. This shows that the concept is objective! The object in front of you and the concept you associate with that object are objective, they don't depend on your subjective experience -- as long as you have a healthy optical system and a healthy thinking capacity.
      (3) Concepts don't exist physically, they exist in a Platonic world of ideas, a spiritual world. This means that thinking is an organ of perceiving the spiritual world.
      (4) The spiritual world is a world of thoughts, or of the same non-physical "substance" of thoughts, and not of minds or consciousness. That's why we can reach it with our thoughts.
      (5) Thinking is a unique activity in the universe: we can think about our thinking. In this case, the object of our action (our thoughts) is identical with the action itself (thinking).
      (6) In general, we don't think about our thinking, we think about what we perceive or what we remember. When one thinks about one's own thinking, one enters an exceptional inner state.
      (7) The material world is a "condensation" of spiritual "substances". This eliminates dualism. Note that nobody knows what a subatomic particle is. For instance, the spin of particles has no classical limit, so it is non-understandable. The same with instantaneous quantum jumps, non-locality phenomena etc. Therefore, nobody knows what matter is. Thus, materialists build a conceptual (metaphysical, as you say) skyscraper without its first floor.
      (8) Mind has more than consciousness, e.g. our memories are part of our mind. BTW, our memory is not limited -- this has been recognized by some neuroscientists. Nobody has had the experience that something had to be memorized but there was no more space to "store" it. If memory is not limited, it cannot be physical.
      (9) When we sleep, our non-physical member where our memory resides stays with our physical body. But we loose consciousness -- or most of it (if the alarm clock sounds, we awake because there was as small part of our consciousness that was still active). This means that the non-physical member responsible of our consciousness has left our physical body and the member where our memory resides. That's why we don't remember our experiences this member responsible for our consciousness had during deep sleep -- in the spiritual world!

      (Continued)

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    3. (continuation)

      (10) Animals have memory -- but they cannot access it in a conscious way the way we do. Furthermore, their memory is not conceptual as ours can be, it is more a kind of sense memory. A dog will only somewhat "remember" its owner when having hunger or smelling the owner's smell in her sleepers, or having some other impulse that leads to "remembering". We can access our memory without any inner or outer impulse or need because we have a non-physical member that animals don't have, our higher "I", our true identity. It is responsible for our self-consciousness, self-awareness, which animals don't have. (BTW, in your book you make no distinction between consciousness and self-consciousness, something of utmost importance because it is one of the distinctions between us and animals.)
      (11) Plants have no memory and no consciousness. This means that animals, being conscious, have a non-physical member that plants don't have. But plants have a non-physical member that gives them their life, organic forms and symmetries, inner growth, reproduction etc. -- which minerals don't have.
      (12) If you don't have correct concepts of the non-physical organization of humans, it is impossible to understand the spiritual world, as well as plants and animals.

      These formulations are mine, but they have been inspired by an encompassing and coherent theory of the spiritual world -- a theory with many practical successful applications, besides not contradicting any scientific fact or what we can observe outside and inside ourselves, and not requiring faith or dogmas. If you or your readers are interested, I may give some references, and digress much more on these and other concepts.
      All the best, and congratulations for you work.
      With love, Val.
      www.ime.usp.br/~vwsetzer

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    4. I agree that mentation, or thinking as the "concept" you use cannot originate from the material plane nor does it operate there. It is spiritual. To call something objective is truly a leap. Calling a door a door is just shared subjective experience---some one or a group of people gave a name to a something functional, gave it a name and we just accept the name---one could be fooled to see a well-painted depiction of an open door on a wall that is for all intent and purposes a door---until they try to run through and have the subjective experience of crashing into it! Likewise, we might call the fact that the lattice of some crystal has this or that symmetry---say salt---so every schoolboy would recount its structure---but how many have experienced x-ray crystallography---some did , subjectively, and other verified---and we take their word for it. I do agree that something whether subjective or objective is a concept in the spiritual world and the thinking/mentation we use is spiritual---nothing else is possible!!
      I wouldn't agree that we can say dogs cant access memories consciously. We have no experience of what dogs experience and whether or not plants have any conscious activity is semantics--if taking sensory input and acting on it indicates consciousness (growing towards light and water sources, a seed "knowing which direction to send roots down and stem up)---then its semantics again. Anyone that has heard a dog whimpering once put outside to come back in, would project "that dog is feeling sorry for itself"---my wife would say it has learned that whimpering is rewarded ---I forget the psychological lingo...anyway I agree with most everything---but the "light impulses" of the door is a concept too---and this is important for your case---science cant observe the subjective experience of what you call "red" (a concept)---observe the "photodetector on your mind" to say YOUR red IS 6328 or 6337 angstroms...I would like to close with the true statement: many scientists make religious statements requiring faith, who dismiss spirituality as a delusion things like: there is no consciousness after death---no one that you can talk to that has died can recount they dont have experience, by definition!!---and none of us living ones have EVER experienced no consciousness, First rule of science is that you must experience something. Also saying something that Bernardo calls promissory science like: we dont know that now but science will explain it some day is an equivalent statement to: Jesus Christ will return someday and save us from our sins...

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