weird naturalism

30 Jan 2022 05:14 - 04 Oct 2023 02:59
Open in Logseq
    • In cobbling my network of concepts together, I am driven by my dissatisfaction with the idealism of religious and mystical thinking, on the one hand, and the stinginess of the usual reductionism on the other. I want, perhaps impossibly, a middle way, a hybrid path that concepts can both clarify and craft on the fly. It is a path of radical empiricism, as well as a version of what I will be calling weird naturalism. To really engage the problems and possibilities of extreme experience, we must deal not only with representations, but with what William James called the “thickness of reality.” And I want to begin by sticking our toes into the murky, mist-shrouded mire of culture and consciousness that we can call the weird.
    • I emphasize the twisting immanence of the weird here because, though we will be meeting some wild visions ahead, including gnostic downloads and alien beings, I want to understand these extraordinary experiences not as signs of a “separate reality” but as manifestations or mutations of this one.
    • Contrast with the common way of thinking which contrasts nature (mechanical and mindless) with a supernatural mind that somehow creates, animates, and inhabits it. Weird naturalism is completely different; it posits one reality
      much like Gregory Bateson 's slogan: "Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity"
      that includes both the simple mechanisms of physics, the astonishing complexity of life, and the utterly weird pheonomena of consciousness.