posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 02:52 PM
Is anyone here remotely interested in subjecting the claims or phenomena of occultism (i.e. ceremonial magic, channeling, etc) to reasoned i.e.
objective, scientific inquiry?
In the worldview of Charles Sanders Peirce, reality is understood as "objective idealism", which is to say, the external (objective) and internal
(subjective) world form one continuum, with the 'internal' subjective perspective being formed by interactions with the external 'objective' world
outside of us.
With complex adaptive systems theory, general systems theory, chaos theory, dissipative structure theory and non-linear mathematics, it's become more
and more apparent to scientists and philosophers that the existing reductionistic paradigm simply can't make sense of how the "top", or the
emergent property of a system, itself constitutes a real higher level property that functions as an "interface" with something else. For example,
dogs look to pee where other dogs have pee'd, as part of a general communication system between dogs. The 'higher level' is the dogs behavior, but
that doesn't at all imply that basic-systems in the dogs brain aren't tracking and then "filtering upwards" important and significant info to the
dogs perceptual and cognitive systems. Indeed, knowing things from just the "top" can be just as reductive as knowing things from just the bottom
(physics). One could argue that materialist scientists and occultists are guilty of the same offense: trying to make sense of reality from a single
perspective - the bottom, or the top, and not the "bottom-top" continuum.
Of course, primitive civilizations simply lack the means to know "what" the bottom even means, or of what ultimate significance, ontologically, and
epistemologically, bottom-up processes can have for human understanding. This is why, as you look at and study the history of philosophy through each
successive generation of human beings, ideas become modified by what has 'emerged' within a culture as a function of the laborious efforts of human
scientific inquiry. Comtes "positivism", especially in the way he imagined it to exist, is no longer tenable. Similarly, Hegel's philosophizing -
or "speculative philosophy", which he imagined to be a "science", is itself an oxymoron: you can't speculate in a scientific way without
sufficient knowledge. Since the best knowledge itself derives from empirical scientific evidence, Hegel was merely indulging himself - and in the
process - spreading the fantasy to others.
Bottom up processes are dynamical: when quarks come together in 3 types, they give rise to either protons or neutrons. Protons and neutrons, when the
come together become a nucleus, and when electrons get "captured", an atom is formed. It is through dynamical processes like these which accrete in
specific ways that best describe "bottom-up" processes.
We can go further. We can see how molecules form from certain atomic arrangements; we can see how cells emerge through what Francisco Varela terms
"autopoietic' processes, where specific molecules get 'entrained' into an autocatalytic, or self-reproducing, dynamic. The biologist Lynn Margulis
and her son Dorion Sagan have similarly extended this process into a theory of symbiosis, where cells "merge" to become a larger structure.
The story gets far more interesting when reptiles emerge, because this is the beginning of the development of the amygdala, which is involved in
detecting threats coming in from the environment, or conversely, from within the organisms own system.
What is threat?
Threat is not anything that can be changed or made different. Threat is fundamentally contiguous with physics, which is to say, with maintaining those
processes that sustain the organisms "coherency" or symmetry. Symmetry is what makes the organism "real", or allows it to survive, so that
whenever the process becomes threatened, the animal, in this case, the reptile, will experience an affective-change that motivates it to pursue its
next meal. This "internal threat" is not anything the crocodile can 'recognize'; its just what it needs to do when its energy/structure begins to
deplete. This is an example of a "bottom-up" threat arrow that derives from the systems own dissipative processes.
Another bottom-up process comes from the environment, which is mostly a learning process, as the finches on the Galapagos islands, for instance, had
no reason to fear Darwin or other humans, simply because they hadn't had sufficient contact with humans to form a memory-trace within their structure
about this particular object.
In any case, the amygdala - or the neurons which make up this structure - map both internal and external processes that pose a threat to the organisms
survival, but from very different angles: when from within, its about the dissipation of the organisms structure; when from without, its about what a
particular object "means" for the wellbeing of the organisms survival. The former is mostly a chemical/structural process, whereas the latter is
mostly the mapping of a large entity, or event, which 'means' something negative for the organism.
The Amygdala and Knowledge
With the emergence of self-awareness comes knowledge of "internal objects": knowledge of self experience, knowledge of 'names' for external
processes. These knowledge's build upon earlier evolutionary developments, so that the aforementioned "inner" and "outer" modes of activating the
amygdala become refined by the brains increasing processing power. Sensitivity to the "other", or the body, or the objects of the world, increases,
so that subtler properties of external things become "real".
In developmental psychology, attachment theory has discerned three abnormal modes of relation whereby the primary caregiving adult 'entrains' the
developing infant to a mode-of-being that is basically symmetrical to the adults. So, an "anxious" child will become a 'preoccupied' adult, which
means, instead of paying attention to the needs of the experiencing child, the adult will habitually project their needs onto the child, so that the
relationship becomes bogged by a mixture of coherent and incoherent representations of reality.
While the "ambiguously" attached child tends to become nervous easily, the "avoidant" child grows up to become an emotionally withdrawn and
disconnected adult, so that when they have children, the relational interaction will be marked by chronic interruptions in "being recognized", so
that the infant begins to 'shut-down' recognition of particular cues from the other, which, in effect, structures later brain-development so that
they too become withdrawn-disconnected parents. Again: symmetry underlies the process, albeit, a suboptimal kind which results in a lifetime of
feeling "unknown", either by others, or by ones own self.
The most extreme and by far the most dangerous form of interaction is "disorganized attachment", which describes either abusive interactions between
parent and infant, or, as is also common, between a parent with unresolved trauma, chronic dissociation/derealisation, and an infant.