The Flip, Jeffrey Kripal

24 Nov 2021 03:11 - 05 Aug 2023 09:59
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    • book
    • The subject is materialistic scientists who undergo a kind of conversion experience, and do a hard shift (flip) to becoming Believers in Something Else, a cosmic mind, God to not be cute about it.
    • I found it annoying for some reason, even though I'm very much interested in the relationship between matter and spirit – AMMDI is sort of my personal exploration of this area. In some ways I'm exactly like these scientists being forced to acknowledge that there are other forms of being and other forms of knowledge not dreamt of in our shiny scientific philosophies.
    • Only I don't think of it as a Flip, a transition from one hard belief system to another. Maybe it's just me, my background after all is not in real science but in computer hacking, which is culturally close to science but not quite the same thing. So my materialism has never been the dumb kind (eliminativism), and I've never felt a need to flip it, I just want to extend it.
    • I don't think my POV is that unique; it's basically the same as that of Gregory Bateson and other cybernetics types: mind and nature are one, not separate, and you don't have to choose one side or the other of the false dichotomy.
    • In other words: I'm happy to entertain weird naturalism, but supernaturalism really is right out for me, that kind of thing really triggers my science reflexes. But there's a very fine line between these two things, and I wonder if I'm trying to preserve some boundary that has already collapsed, just to preserve my credentials as a science guy.
    • To be fair: on listening to him on Weird Studies/Jeffrey Kripal he says that mind and material are two sides of the same coin (a nice extension of the "flip" metaphor), so I'm probably not going to have any deep disagreement with him.
    • Notes

      • In the end, though, it is mostly an inappropriately hopeful, if not wildly optimistic, essay about a tipping point, about the future—be it near or far—of a new worldview, a new real that is presently forming around the epiphany of mind as an irreducible dimension or substrate of the natural world, indeed of the entire cosmos, before and beyond any present scientific, ethnic, political, or religious story that one happens to find oneself (caught) in at the moment.
      • As these stories dramatically demonstrate, a radically new real can appear with the simplest of “flips,” or reversals of perspective, roughly, from “the outside” of things to “the inside” of things, from “the object” to “the subject.” And this can occur without surrendering an iota of our remarkable scientific and medical knowledge about the material world and the human body. The general materialistic framework of the sciences at the moment is not wrong. It is simply half-right.
        • Actually that sounds 100% unobjectionable
      • We know that mind is mattered. What these stories suggest is that matter is also minded, that this mindedness is fundamental to the cosmos, not some tangential, accidental, or recent emergent property of matter. Some of the stories go even further and suggest that matter may, in fact, be an expression of some kind of cosmic Mind
        • This goes too far in the theistic direction for me. There is a difference between saying that mind is fundamental to the cosmos and saying that there is a unitary Mind (that's what the capital letter is implying) that "expressed" the natural world.
        • Not really making an argument here; I guess what I'm really doing is figuring out how far into the woo-woo I am willing to go. Maybe not all that far despite all my efforts; maybe I haven't had my real flip yet.