Sunday, December 16, 2012

Synesthetic Noetics: Cognition vs. Intuition

Intuition                                  Cognition

“The Noetic Quality, as named by William James, is a feeling of insight or illumination that, on an intuitive, nonrational level and with a tremendous force of certainty, subjectively has the status of Ultimate Reality. This knowledge is not an increase of facts but is a gain in psychological, philosophical, or theological insight.” - Walter PahnkeThe Psychedelic Mystical Experience in the Human Encounter With Death

“Although contemporary neuroscientists study “synesthesia”—the overlap and blending of the senses—as though it were a rare or pathological experience to which only certain persons are prone (those who report “seeing sounds,” “hearing colors,” and the like), our primordial, preconceptual experience, as Merleau-Ponty makes evident, is inherently synesthetic. The intertwining of sensory modalities seems unusual to us only to the extent that we have become estranged from our direct experience (and hence from our primordial contact with the entities and elements that surround us.):

'…Synesthetic perception is the rule, and we are unaware of it only because scientific knowledge shifts the center of gravity of experience, so that we have unlearned how to see, hear, and generally speaking, feel, in order to deduce, from our bodily organization and the world as the physicist conceives it, what we are to see, hear, and feel.' (Merleau-Ponty)" - David AbramThe Spell of the Sensuous

"Hallucinogenic discourse, both of scientific and “recreational” nature, faces a similar rhetorical dilemma as the rest of the ecstatic traditions it responds to: It must report on an event which is in principle impossible to communicate. Writers of mystic experience from St Teresa to William James have treated the unrepresentable character of mystic events to be the very hallmark of ecstasies. Hallucinogenic discourse faced a similar struggle in the effort to report on the knowledge beyond what Aldous Huxley (and Jim Morrison…) described as the “doors of perception.” - Richard Doyle, "Consciousness Expansion and the Emergence of Biotechnology" in In Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body

Note: Volume II of my "Synesthetic Landscape" series is now available for purchase (softcover, hardbound with wrap-around cover, and pdf versions).

1 comment:

Gary Nylander said...

Love all of your abstracts, Andy, I was looking over your father's art work, just beautiful!