- possibility of enlightenment, and plausibly accessible
- Higher states of consciousness might provide a means for:
* Radical self transformation
* Self transcendence
* Enhanced inner peace
* Connectedness to reality
- Still needed today even if no longer need the mythology
- How do we vouchsafe the value
* Comprehensive and detailed
* World in a grain of sand
* Highly intelligible
* Pervasive sense of oneness
* Self at peace
* Deep remembrance of deep and authentic self
* Connectedness btw self and the world as one
* Sense of achieving identity at one with the oneness
- What might be going on:
* Continuity hypothesis: same machinery in the fluency of reading, to moments of insight, flow, then quantum change, deep transformative experience
* What’s going on is something like state of flow, but expertise skill of getting optimal grip on the world
* People getting flow state in ability to optimally grip on the world
- Disruptive stategies:
* So central to insight
* Can acquire them them mindfulness psychotechonlogy
* Reveals invariants - both good (get to the see the patterns remaining unchanged through all the variation - that’s what science does) try to find the real patterns that are invariant
* Science increase the variation to find the invariant
* But also bad invariants: helping to reveal all the ways in which systematically misframing.
( Includes seeing patterns not there)
* like child going through developmental stage, systematically misframing reality, find nexus point - insight not just an intervention in the problem but of a whole class of problems.
* Igor Grossman: Decentering strategies: relevant to bringing about wisdom
* Solomon effect:
* Get ppl to find a messy problem, stuck in. Often interpersonal problem.
* Describe it from ego-centric perspective. Remain stuck
* Get the person to redescribed the problem from the 3rd person perspective: decanter: break frame. Realize the way been blocked.
* Have central insight on how to resolve problem
* Systemiticity of error of egocenticity: systematic error
* Like being asleep, wake up have systematic change in consciousness
* Getting transformation, intervention in systematic error; powerful decentering
* Can also be traumatic/terrifying
* Pursuing it in an auto-didactic fashion very dangerous: tend to get into echo chambers, vicious circles of egocentric entrapment.
* Monkey trying to get out of pitch: keeps using hands, feet getting stuck until hunter comes and kills it.
* decentering: can alleviate that: but if still pursuing this as an isolated individual, then think about how ill-prepared, unskilled, untutored and ego-centrically trying to confront this radical transformation
* Poor idea take psychedelics without a committed community to guide
* Don’t have institutions for wisdom
* Buddha did do it as individual: deserve admiration but should not take from that some kind of promotion of north american individualism, Buddha made clear that sanga necessary.
( So what does that mean? I shouldn’t pursue this on my own? I’m taking same Harris course, I’ve done some mindfulness courses, but nothing indepth. I shouldn’t continue without seeking out a whole community or instructor? Is that practical?)
- radical recentering, can afford wisdom
Participatory change: alters machinery of the self; alters character\
- Reciprocal revelation: world revealing itself
- Love is mutually accelerating disclosure
- Mutual conforming engenders love.
(Hmm, link to USvsTHEM)
16:30 Cognitive Science:
- Humphrey 2015: one of functions of self is to act as glue.
* By making things relevant to myself, make them relevant to each other and glue them together.
* Complexifying, processing
* Self = systematic set of functions that’s integrating. Complqxifying together
* Powerful machinery of complexification of information and information processing can be exacted: turn the machine whereby integrate yourself and turn it on the world
* Glue things together and exact it on the world
* Machinery that’s self-focussed could be used to achieve deeper understanding of world
* What seems to happen is all machinery bound up in ourself turned onto the world. That’s why the world comes alive
* Imagine intimacy have of self-knowledge turned on the world
(interesting: do we really know ourselves?_)
* radical decentering is doing that.
* Time, effort, processing and skill structures built into our ego can be exacted to disclose the world
* Coupled with radical sense of moving into being mode, and remembering who and what we really are.
- Can understand at psychological level
- look at machine learning, AI: trying to make machines to understand the world
- Use of disruptive strategies there.
- Woodward: 2014: introduced randomization into neural network
- Train them to learn themselves
- Have to introduce noise into these networks: essential aspect of self-optimization process
( That’s amazing)
- problem face is always sampling from the world: pattern in my experience, want to know if that pattern is in the world or not
- Statistics: how do I know if the patterns in my sample is the same as my patterns in the world
- representative sample
- Often what will happen with neural network is they will overfit for the data
(that’s what we do)
- too tightly pick up pattern in the data that doesn’t generalize to the world
- Data compression: line of best fit: trying to find the function that will generlize, tru of the population
- The networks track a function that perfectly tracks sample, butt doesn’t generalize
- Throw noise into system: disrupt the processing a lot, prevents from overfitting to the data, allows to compress and find the real invariants
( have no idea why this works)
- don’t want to underfit: won’t pick up patterns at all
( Humans naturally overfit - don’t optimize pattens)
- have to have disruptive strategies set within powerful pattern detection.
- That’s what’s seeing in people who pursuing these higher states of consciousness
( But again: how do we know they are seeing the real invariant pattern?)
The Brain: (29:00)
- what’s going on in the brain?
- See increased activity in frontal and parietal areas: most associated with general intellgence: ability to make sense and get general grip on world: see these areas get hyperactive, then hypoactive - huge increase then huge decrease
- Enhanced activity in thalamus: areas that tries to integrate all kinds of different information together
- Greater the disruptive shift, more powerful the awakening experience is
- insight: initially bring the machinery to bear to frame it, then have to massively disrupt it, and break it, then system re: self organizes
- Psychedelic experiences: Metastability state in the brain doing this complexification.
- Normally brain integrating or segregating. But with psicilibin brain is simultaneously integrating and segregating - massively complqxifying
- Integrating and differentiating
- Complexification gives emergent functions
- Can do many different things but don’t fall apart
- Way grow and self-transcend is by complying
- Allows you to see the world (massive integration) in a grain of sand (massive differentiation)
- Need to place in the proper sapiential context. Traditiion, institutions, committed community to cultivating wisdom
- Why should we listen to people who have been in this state?
- Why justification to transform life?
- Are these states actually good guides for transformation?
Plausibility: central to notion of how real things are
* Highly probable : not using this sense
* Makes good sense: using this one. Stands to reason. Should be taken seriously
- Most of the time can’t base actions on certainty but plausibility
- 26:20: He’s doing work on this.
- To make something plausible:
* trustworthiness : regard particular proposal or construct as trustworthy if produced by many independent but convergent lines of evidence.
* ex: regard as more real something that coming from multiple sense: if can only see it: illusion, but if can see it and touch it and smell it chances illusion diminished
* Not certainty but trustworthiness.
* Reduces probability that self-deceived
* But not certainty: schizophrenia - hard to convince them not real
* numbers: help us increase trustworthiness of the data
* Model Elegance: that can apply to many domains
* Like taking a martial stance, can quickly adapt it to many situations
* Elegance for power, multi-aptness
* Fluency: has to be higher fluent to me, internalized
* Balance: between convergence and elegance
- If have a lot of convergence without much elegance: trivial: not powerful, don’t transform
- Little convergence with a lot of promise of power: farfetched: conspiracy theories
- Want backward and forward commitments to match: only move powerfully forward when have a lot of trust in the model
- When have deep convergence, elegance and efficient fluency - profound
- Brain performing an evaluation of the plausibility of processing when in a HSC
- Strategies for reducing bias:
* deautomatization, de centering, fluency in processing
* State that you’re in is the state of flowing optimal grip
* Intrinsically valued
* Finding nexus for development, finding the systematic error
* Complexification of processing, emergent new functions
* New abilities
- Brain in state where getting information where saying this processing is deeply trustworthy,
- Deeply fluent, deeply powerful so profoundly plausible
( except that it’s all internal, usually we compare to outside world to check reality)
- not certainty, but plausibility is what have to rely on
( I agree, certainty is out. But again - it’s all internal. So why are we considering it plausible?)
- science doesn’t give you certainty. Gives self-correcting plausibility
- Don’t test every hypothesis - ridiculous, absurd, don’t deserve to be taken seriously - implausible
- science: control for alternative explanations: i nference to the best explanation.
- Infinite number of possible explanations - explanation only as good as the plausible alternatives that you beat
- Plausibility judgments
- HSC is optimization of processing -> brings about state of high plausibility -> relying on processes that are fundamental
- Have to get optimal grip before can judge what it is
- HSC: indispensability: optimal in terms of best possible functioning to you
- Fundamental prior to all cognitive processing
- Great guides on how to transform yourself. How to cultvate wisdom
- But sometimes come back from these states and make bizarre statements about the world: the propositions people generate from this are useless. Often contradictory.
- Isn’t about propositional knowing but participatory transformation
- About getting wise practices, wise transformations
( but how do we know we are more wise in these states? Or more optimal. Or seeing real patterns?)
- want to take the wisdom from HSCs and get it into rational discourse with an independently established metaphysics by science and philosophy
- When we can put those two together have properly salvaged what these HSC can afford for us.
- Don’t confuse the rationality of wisdom and the rationality of knowledge
(Not sure he expects us to get this yet or if that is what we nail down next lecture. I feel like I have a hint of it but it hasn’t settled in yet.)