Episode 12 - Higher States of Consciousness, Part 2


Key Ideas

  • Wisdom should be cultivated in the context of a tradition and a community.
  • Love is mutually accelerating disclosure. “Two people are mutually disclosing from each other in a coupled fashion. I honestly disclose something about myself, and then you disclose in response. We get a reciprocal, enhanced, mutual conforming, which engenders love. You know love by participating in it, like your culture and your language.”
  • “In higher states of consciousness the brain is optimizing for processing, finding a nexus of systematic error for a personal development, complexification of processing and new emergent functions. […] This isn’t about propositional knowing, this is about participatory transformation. “


Welcome back to awakening from the meaning crisis. So we have been engaged in a very long discussion because we’re talking about a topic that is central, about, the possibility of. Enlightenment and to try and make that something plausibly accessible to us rather than something wrapped and shrouded in mesmeric mystique.

Instead, we’ve been trying to understand this from a cognitive science perspective that could tell us why these higher States of consciousness, it might in fact provide. A means for the radical self-transformation South transcendence, enhanced inner peace and connectedness to reality that are the central legacy of the axial age revolution, and that are still needed today. Even if we no longer believe in the mythology of the axial age, religions and philosophies, how do we. Find a place to vouch safe, the value, the precious value that these States can confer on lives in terms of meaning and transcendence. When we no longer can understand and articulate and legitimate that in terms of a two world’s mythology. So, if you remember, we had been discussing the properties of these higher States of consciousness we had discussed what it’s the world is like.

It’s a bright, both comprehensive and detailed, intricate, and interesting the world in a grain of sand. It’s highly intelligible. It’s beautiful. And behind it is a pervasive sense of oneness. The self that is resonating with that world in the higher state of consciousness is a self deeply at peace. I can play those description of Anna Gaga.

It’s experiencing joy. That’s experiencing a kind of deep remembrance society of the being mode. Its true and authentic self. It is losing its egocentrism. We talked about the connectedness between the self and the world as one. So intimate, so flowing. So Anna Gaga, that the sense of participation and conformity is achieving a sense of identity deep and profound being at one with the oneness, but that it is so profound that it is almost always described as ineffable.

We then took a look at what might be going on in these States. Cause we’re trying to remember, we’re trying to give a descriptively adequate and a prescriptively adequate account. We took a look at the continuity hypothesis that they’re the same machinery that’s at work in our everyday experience of the fluency of reading.

Into the moments of insight into the insight cascades of flow, and then being exempted, even more into mystical experience. And then some of those mystical experiences bring about a quantum change, right? They bring about a deep transformative experience. And I suggested to you, I proposed to you that what’s going on in these higher States of consciousness is. Something like a state of flow, but that the skill, the expertise that is flowing is not this particular skill of rock climbing or being a martial artist or playing jazz. It’s the skill, the domain general skill of getting an optimal grip on the world. And so what’s happening is people are getting a flow state in their ability to optimally grip on the world.

This connection to the machinery of insight helps to explain why disruptive strategies are used in order to try and bring about the higher States of consciousness, because disruptive strategies are so central two, trying to create insight. They’re both naturally disruptive strategies and you can acquire them through mindfulness cycle technologies.

We were examining what these disruptive strategies do. They massively increased variation in your processing, and that reveals in variants, both good and variants. You get to see more of the real patterns that are remaining unchanged through all the variation. That’s what science does across all of their variations.

We try to find the real patterns that are invariant. And what science does is increase the variation. We run experience experiments. We increase the variation. We do all kinds of manipulations and increased variations to try and find what remains invariant, because we take that to point to us, right.

Point out to us, what is more real? That’s what you’re doing, but it also, right. So it’s opening up the invariants of the world. And you’re using the flow States capacity for enhanced implicit processing, implicit learning of complex patterns, tracking of causal patterns to do that. But it’s also picking up on the bat and variants it’s picking up on, right.

It’s helping to reveal all the ways in which you are systematically misframing so that like a child going through a developmental stage. And I would point to you to the work of my former student and friend of colleague Jensen Kim, for this idea of development as a systematic form of insight, it’s something that he and I are working on together, like a child, like a child going through a developmental stage, realizing not just this era or that era, but a systematicity in the way that they’re misframing reality and finding a nexus, a point of where the insight.

Right is not just an intervention in this problem, but in a whole class and type of problems that developmental change of seeing through illusion and into reality, that is so central to wisdom is also being afforded by these higher States of consciousness. What about the, the centering that’s so central to both flow.

Mystical experiences. And then ultimately to higher States of consciousness, my colleague, you go, Grossman has produced quite a bit of good experimental evidence that sets de-centering strategies. Although this was prefigured in earlier work by the Berlin paradigm, you go to Grossman has done some excellent work on showing that such de-centering strategies are very relevant for bringing about.

Wisdom. He has work on what he calls the Solomon effect. Let me describe it to you and you’ll see why these disruptive, the centering strategies can be so powerful. Get people to find a problem that’s very messy, problematic, and that they’re stuck in. Usually it’s an interpersonal problem because as SART said, hell is other people.

So it was happened by the way. He didn’t say that, but right. Our deepest and most pervasive problems are generally problems with other people. Why? Because the thing that is, I’ve mentioned this before, that is most predictive of how meaningful your life is, is your meaningful relationships to others. The problem is human beings are endlessly complex. Okay. So you’re describing this interpersonal problem. And when people describe it, They are of course, mesmerized by the Mirage of their own egocentric perspective. They describe it without thought default from the first person perspective and they remain stuck. Remember this notion of stuckness we’ll come back to it again.

When we talk about Narcis and Gnosticism, Dan, you get the person to read. Describe the same problem from the third person perspective. You get them to the center. What will often happen is they will break frame. They will realize the way in which they have been blocked, systematically locked and not solving their problem.

They’ll often have a central insight into how to resolve their problem. This is why it’s called the Solomon effect because it tends to make you more wise. Think about the radical de-centering that’s going on in these awakening experiences and these higher States of consciousness, notice the systematicity of the error of egocentrism.

It’s not an error in this problem or this problem or this problem. It’s a systematic error.

That’s why it’s often described with metaphors of like being asleep. Because when you wake up, you have a systematic change in your consciousness. So what’s happening in these higher States of consciousness in these awakening experiences, you’re getting a transformation, an intervention and systematic error.

You’re seeing through illusion precisely because of the powerful de-centering that they are affording for. You. Now that of course can be a powerfully traumatic experience.

It can be a terrifying experience pursuing this in an autodidactic fashion. Like all autodidactic being completely self-taught right. Is very, very dangerous. Autodidacts tend to get into echo chambers, vicious circles of their own egocentric in to mint and entrapment. The Buddha gives a wonderful parable about this.

It says, this is how you catch a monkey. You put some pitch on a piece of wood and it looks like. Something very shiny and tasty. It’s, it’s salient, it’s attractive. And so the monkey grabs it with his hand and it gets stuck and then it uses its other hand to try and free itself and it gets stuck. So it uses its right foot and then its left foot and then it puts its head and smelled on and then it’s completely trapped.And then the Hunter comes and kills it. Okay. But these century can alleviate. That. But if you are still pursuing this as an isolated individual, as an autodidact, then think about how ill prepared unskilled, untutored and egocentrically. You are trying to confront this radical transformation.

That is why I think it is a very poor idea for people to take psychedelics without having them placed within a wisdom tradition in which they have a committed community that can give outside. The centering and wise advice for how to process and handle these transformations. But once again, I point to you to an aspect of the meaning crisis. We have institutions of information. We have institutions of knowledge. We have traditions and we have respected experts who give us guidance. We do not have this before wisdom.

Now, what is amazing of course, is that some individuals like Siddhartha are able to do it as individuals. I want to point out two things about that. They deserve our admiration for successfully doing it as individuals, even though the Buddha had training from other people all along the way, but we should not take from that. So I’m kind of promotion of our North American individualism because the Buddha made it very clear that the Sanger or the community was necessary for the cultivation of these transformative States.

So you’ve got this radical de-centering. It can afford wisdom. And I want to try and show you how it’s not just a perspectival knowing it’s not just a radical transformation in our salients landscape. This is a participatory change. This involves not just the machinery of cognition or the machinery of consciousness.

This alters the machinery of the self. And therefore it’s also fundamentally a transformation of character. Never participatory knowing is knowing by conforming. Well, the radical oneness of these brings about a radical kind of participatory knowing, alright, we’ll come back to this when we return and talk about platonic, but right. It’s so beautiful. Precisely because the coupling is so profound and. Think about you’re getting reciprocal rev revelation to river world is revealing itself more deeply and more adepts of yourself are being revealed in a couple of fashion. Well, yeah, that’s that that’s love. Love is mutually accelerating disclosure. If you want somebody, if you want to fall in love with somebody. Although, although you shouldn’t, you can never sort of pursue it that way, I think. But what, what happens is if you get two people mutually disclosing from each other, in a coupled fashion, I disclose, I honestly disclose something about myself and then you in response to disclose, and then I pick that up and disclose more. And then you disclose that reciprocal enhanced mutual conforming. Gender is love and love is something, you know, by participating in it like your culture and your language. This is knowing by loving.

Now, what I want to suggest to you is that some recent cognitive science research can give us some understanding about why this de-centering. And this transformation of the sense of self might be functional here. There’s a lot of work I would recommend to you the work of Sui and Humphrey from 2015, for example, showing that one of the functions of yourself, right? Not, not your mind, but yourself is to act as glue. This is a term they use. It’s a metaphor. By making things relevant to myself, I can make them relevant to each other and glue them together. So, and I’m always doing that right. I’m simultaneously gluing things together as I’m gluing myself together. What the self is, is a powerful set of functions for integrating actually complexifying processing. To say your, you have a self is to say you have a systematic set of functions that are integrating, not homogenizing, complexifying things together.

Now, if you remember, we talked about the work of Michael Anderson acceptation except tasting at the tongue. Here’s a proposal to you, this powerful machinery that is central to your cognitive agency, your ability to make sense of the world, but by gluing the world together, as you’re gluing yourself together, this powerful machinery of complexification of information and information processing can be exempted.

What if you were to take all that machinery? integration that you’re using to integrate yourself and you turned it onto the world. What if you took all of that capacity to glue things together and you exempted it on the world? Well, that would mean that machinery that was normally self-focused about integrating the self and integrating its processing could be used to achieve a deeper integration of the world to reveal deeper underlying patterns.

No bark in 96 clocks and in 2000 both suggest with argumentation and with phenomenological evidence. How many reports from people who undergoing mystical experiences seem to corroborate this, that what seems to happen is all of the energy and machinery that has been bound up in ourself has been turned onto the world. That’s where the world comes alive to us. And we see so deeply into it.

Imagine the intimacy. You have in your self knowledge being turned on to the world. So all of that energy that’s stored up in your egocentric processing all the time and the resource and all, who am I? What up? What’s going on? How’s it? Oh, how’s this relevant, all that, all that. I imagine. If you could take that machine and say, forget about John just for awhile, even. Turn it on turn all that massive machine onto the world.

Radical, radical decentering. I propose to you is doing exactly that all of the time and effort and processing and skill and memory and structures that we’ve built into our ego could be exempted. To disclose the world. And that of course would be coupled with a radical sense of moving into the being mode and a radical sense of remembering who and what we really are. So what I’ve tried to show you is we can understand the higher cognitive process at the psychological level. In terms of this decentering, the expectation of the self machinery flowing optimal grip, right? Enhanced awareness of invariance both in the positive sense. And then the ability that allows us to pick up on systematic error, we can see why this machinery is operating and producing the experiential profile.

It is producing. What about at the information processing level? I don’t want to get very technical here. But this is the level at which we turn to work. That’s being done in machine learning, artificial intelligence, where people are actually trying to make machines that make sense of the world. And what kind of strategies do they come up with for trying to get the machines to be better learners? Well, one interesting thing is precisely the use of disruptive strategies. So Woodward at Al in 2014, this, this is a direct quote from them, right? They, they entered, I’ll give you the quote in a sec, they introduce randomization into a neural network and neural network. Cause they’re very powerful and cutting edge form of artificial intelligence that in some important ways mimics how brains work and when you’re training these neural net, you don’t program them.

You train them to learn for themselves, right? But very often what you have to do is you have to introduce noise entropy randomness into these networks. In fact, he goes on to say that such randomness quote is essential aspect and essential aspect of the self optimization process you have to give. So what, these are not people doing psychology. These are not people trying to understand higher States of consciousness. What they’re trying to do is they’re trying to make neural networks that learn better. That can self optimize and what they do, what they say is essential. That’s the word he used to. This is disruption disruptive strategies.

See the problem with powerful machines is they pick up on patterns. And you say, well, John, that’s good. Isn’t picking up patterns. Good. Well, remember all this stuff we’ve talked about, about when we talked about implicit learning and picking up on only correlational patterns, I’ll pick you, come on real patterns. See the problem you face is you’re always sampling from the world. So here’s your experience. And then here’s the world. And there’s some pattern in your experience. And what you want to know is that, is that pattern. In the world or not, this is, we invented a whole discipline to deal with this. It’s called statistics. All the statistics is basically this problem. How do I know if the patterns in my sample are the same as the patterns in the world? How do I know that? Right. So for example, if I was in class at UFT and I. Let’s say it’s even a huge class, 500 students, the psych 100. I say, how many people here think that student tuition should be reduced or school should be free. And they all put up their hands. Should I then conclude luck? The overwhelming majority of people think that student tuition should be reduced. You’d say that’s ridiculous. And this is what you should say, because that is not a representative sample. The pattern there is all students. You need the sample to have the same patterns as the environment. So why is that relevant to disruption?

Very often? What will happen with these neural networks is they will over-fit to the data. They will too tightly pick up on the pattern in the sample, a pattern that does not generalize to the rest of the world. So let me give me a way of understanding this graphically. So very often, right where we’re like, you’ve been probably taught this, right? You do a scatter plot. You point your point, right.

And then you. Don’t typically draw a line like this to try and capture the data. Instead, what we typically do is a line of best fit, which might not patch any of the data points. This is called data compression, the line of best fit. Why do we do that? We do that in science, because what we’re trying to find is the function that will generalize, that will go to all kinds of different contexts. That will not be true just of this sample, but will be true of the population. But what the networks do is they do this, they over-fit to the data, they track a function that perfectly describes the sample, but does not generalize to the population precisely because they are so powerful. They over-fit. So what do you do? Well, you can, you can throw some noise into the system. You can turn off. You can do dropout. You can turn off half of the nodes. You basically disrupt the processing a lot because what the disruption does is it prevents you from over-fitting the data and it actually allows you to compress. And what does the compression do? It allows you to find the real, invariants the real patterns that will generalize across all the varying contexts. Now, of course, right. You don’t want to under fit. If you under fit, then you’re not picking up on any patterns at all. So noticed again, these systems have to toggle, they have to toggle back and forth.

They have to disrupt right. Very analogous to breaking frame in order so they can make a better frame. And they’re trying to find that sweet spot, the put between disruptive variation. And compression to detect wheel patterns that allows them to become good learners. So yeah, what we know is that again, you have to have disruptive strategies set within powerful pattern detection. That’s exactly what we’re seeing at work. As I mentioned to you in these people that are pursuing these higher States of consciousness, it’s also, again, why belonging to a tradition that can afford how powerful pattern detection introduce disruption when needed and guide you to help toggle to find the sweet spot is very, very important.

If you want to be really good at jamming and you, right. You have to have the requisite skill jamming without jazz. Just like, sorry. Jamming without skill. Just gives you junk it. Doesn’t give you jazz.

So what’s going on in the brain. So notice, notice what I’m showing you here. The machines are doing right. The compression that compression is right. That toggling of attention that you see going on in the higher state of con they’re open, they’re disrupting, and then compressing. And they’re trying to find the huge invariance patterns, but they’re trying to break frame and they’re doing stuff that seems, I think plausible to say is analogous to what we see going on at a psychological level within people. What about at the brain level? Well, this is where we have to turn to Newburgh cause he’s done most of the work on tracking brains as people are having these kinds of experiences. And what you see is right. Initially you get increased activity in the frontal area and the parietal area. These are the two areas, the frontal parietal connection that is most associated with your general intelligence. Your ability to make sense and get an optimal grip on the world. Cause that’s what your general intelligence is. So the initially you see these areas get hyperactive and then you see the opposite. You see them. Hypoactive so huge. Increase followed by a huge decrease. now throughout you have throughout all of this, this is the frontal parietal. You have enhanced activity and the thalamus. This is the area of the brain that tries to integrate all kinds of different information together. The greater the shift, the greater, the disruptive shift, the more powerful the awakening experience is.

It’s just like what’s going on in insight. You initially bring all this machinery to bear to frame it, and then you have to massively disrupted and break it. And then the system re self organizes. And that is precisely what’s going on. I would suggest to you in these experiences,

So what is happening in the brain, for example, in psychedelic experiences is you’ll often see this kind of shift what’s important, and there’s a bunch of people doing work on this. Meta stability. So what for example, psilocybin does, according to recent work done by Lord Adele is he increases Metta stability in the brain. So if you look at the work of Kelso technoly and others, what Medis stability is, is a state in the brain. That’s doing this complexification I talked about. So normally your brain is integrating things or segregating integrating, differentiating, but in psilocybin, what you get. It’s a state called Metta stability where, and this is a state in which the brain is simultaneously integrating and segregating.

It is massively complexifying. Please remember complexification is with us. When a system is both integrating and differentiating. When you went from being a zygote to being a biologically complex organism yourselves, we’re differentiating into different types of cells, liver cells, eye cells, et cetera.

But they were also integrating you are complex because you’re both highly integrated and highly differentiated. Complexification gives you emergent functions. It gives you new abilities. You can do things as a person, right? A biological human being that you couldn’t do as a zygote, precisely because your complex look, emergent functions come to attack because I’m highly differentiated. I can do many different things. But because I’m highly integrated, I don’t fall apart as a system by doing these many different things. I get new emergent abilities. The way you grow and self transcend as a system is by complexifying psilocybin by putting you into Mehta stability, right? Helps your brain complexify and come up with immersion to abilities.

It allows you. To see the world massive integration in a grain of sand, massive differentiation.

So I think what we can see here is at least highly plausible, then I’ll come back to what I mean by that in just a minute, the account at the psychological level, at the machine processing level. And at the brain level of what is going on in these higher States of consciousness and why they are so powerfully optimizing your cognitive functionality once again, not to repeat this, but that of course has to be placed within the proper sappy essential context.

You need a tradition and institutions, a committed community. Of cultivating wisdom. And what about the prescriptive argument? I’ve laid a lot of the groundwork for this. Why should we listen to people who have been in this state? Why should this state serve as the justification for a transformation of your life?

If someone comes up to you and says, I want to transform you, I want you to transform your life according to X, Y, Z, right? You need that claim justified, not just described. And explain you need to justify what would make it a good thing to do? Are these States actually good guides for transformation? Well, in order to do that, I need to introduce a notion to you first. We’re going to come back to this notion again, when we talk about the nature of cognitive science, although I’ve been exemplifying a lot of cognitive science to you throughout these previous videos. This is the notion of plausibility. We need to talk about this because plausibility is central to your notion of how real things are now.

There’s two senses of the word. Plausible. One is a synonym for highly probable. That’s not the sense I’m using, I’m using it in the sense that Russia and other made famous, where this means makes good sense.

stands to reason it should be taken seriously most of the time. And I’ll make this point in detail in a few minutes, you cannot base your actions on certainty, but you have to rely on plausibility. Now there’s a lot of work on plausibility and I’m just going to try to sketch to you what I think will work. I’m doing with Leo Ferraro and Anderson Todd about trying to integrate work by, Lombardi and, Nashman and Sinatra from 2015 Kyle, 2006 milligram, 1997.

Kitcher wrestler. A fresher, I should say. There’s just a lot of different work going into this. Here’s what I think it is to make something plausible.

First of all, it involves what Russia calls trustworthiness. I think there’s an important way in which trust worthiness it comes about. You can see this in some of the work that Kyle has done on explanations. We prefer. We regard a particular proposal or a construct or some way of trying to model the world as trustworthy.

If it’s been produced by many independent, but converging lines of evidence. Let me give you a clear concrete example. You will regard as more real information that comes through multiple senses, as opposed to one sense. If I’m only seeing something there’s a good chance that it’s an illusion or a delusion caused by the subjectivity of my sin, but if I can see it and touch it and hear it and smell it, then the chances that each one of those independent senses. Are right. Producing an illusion is radically diminished. The fact that they all are telling me that same thing. Now that doesn’t give me certainty, but it gives me trustworthiness. It reduces the probability. That’s what trustworthiness is, right. It reduces the probability that I’m self deceit.

no, that’s not the same thing as certainty because unfortunately, for example, there is a form of schizophrenia in which people not only hear voices, but they see people attached to those voices. And when they reach out to touch the person, they get a tactile illusion. And it’s very hard to convince those people that their illusions aren’t real precisely because. This is highly trustworthy. This is why science likes numbers. We like numbers because they allow us to converge the census. Look, you can see three, you can touch three, one, two, three. You can hear three. We like numbers, not because we’re fascist or something in science, we like numbers because numbers quantification help us to increase the trustworthiness of our information gathering. They allow us to reduce the chance that what we’re getting, what we’re measuring, what we’re modeling is being produced by self deception.

Is that enough for plausibility? I don’t think so. So we’re converging to some processing state here, but we also want something to be the case because we’re not just looking backwards into how we got there. We’re also looking forward, what we can do with it, what we want. Right is we want a model that we can now apply to many new domains that will open up the world for us. That’s multi apt. This is like, again, taking a martial arts style. I don’t use this. But I taking this stance because I can quickly adapt it to many different situations. It’s multi opt. It’s highly functional. So why do I want this right? When I can use the same model in many different places. This is, I would argue what people mean when they say a theory or a model that’s elegant. You can use the same model, right? It’s adaptive enough. It’s multi app that you can use it in many different places and apply it. So you have convergence four trustworthiness, but you have elegance for power for for multi apt application. Is that enough? No. Right. I think this state has to be highly fluent to you. Remember we talked about this. This has to be one that you can use readily powerfully for yourself that you could internalize when you have this, when you have fluency, convergence elegance, right? You need one more thing. You need a balance between the convergence.

And the elegance.

If I have a lot of convergence without much elegance, that’s triviality, the dealer trivial statements is not that they’re false. They’re true, but they’re not powerful. They don’t transform many times we reject things. We don’t take them seriously. They don’t make good sense to us precisely because they’re trivial. What’s the opposite. Very little convergence with a lot of promise of power. This is when things are farfetched, conspiracy theories have this feature. If they were true, they would explain so much. If we would just accept that the British Royal family were lizard beings from outer space. We could explain so much of their behavior, but the problem is, although that would be a very powerful explanation. We have very little trustworthy evidence that that is in fact, the case. So what we want is we want that are, as Milgrim says, our backward commitments. And our forward commitment map. We only commit powerfully forward. If we’ve got a lot of trust in the model that we’ve produced, when all of this is in place, right? I think we find what we’re processing, not only fluent, we find it highly plausible when we have very deep convergence and very deep elegance and very. Right. Efficient fluency. I think we then find the proposal profound. So you’re saying, why are you going on about this? Because what I’m trying to show you is what the brain is doing is a, that is performing a kind of evaluation of its the plausibility of its processing. When it’s in a higher state of consciousness, see this model, what did we see? What did we see? We saw lots of things going into the higher state of consciousness. We saw the automatization, right? Okay.

We saw the centering. All of these things are strategies for reducing bias, reducing bias. These are all strategies for reducing bias, right? The automatization, the centering fluency and processing. The state that you’re in is a state of flowing optimal grip. It’s intrinsically valued. It’s optimizing for processing. And what’s this affording this state? Well, you’re finding a nexus for development. You’re finding that’s systematic error.

You’re getting that complexification of your processing. So you’re getting emergent new functions. You’re getting the acceptation of machinery, the insight machinery, and the self machinery into new abilities. you see what I’m arguing your brain is in a state in which it’s getting information that saying this processing is deeply trustworthy, deeply powerful, deeply fluent, therefore profoundly plausible. A plausibility is not certainty, but plausibility is what we have to rely on. So what do I mean by that? You can’t get certainty for almost all of your processing.

You have to rely on plausibility. All the time when you say, but I could turn to science. Science will give me a certainty for first of all, pay attention to the history of science. When is it ever done that? Almost all of the theories that have been proposed in science? Well, ultimately it turned out to be false in some significant or an important way. Science isn’t believed in because it gives us certainty or facts. Science has believed in because it gives us self-correcting plausibility. Look, this is what I, how do I decide what hypothesis to test? I don’t test any hypothesis I come up with. I wonder if clipping my toenails will reduce famine in the Sahara. Let’s test it out. I wonder if I gather enough frogs together? Can I influence the Australian election? Let’s test it out. Do you, no matter how many hypotheses and you say to me, that’s what ridiculous.

That’s absurd. What you’re saying to me is those hypotheses don’t make sense. They don’t deserve to be taken seriously. What you’re saying to me is I reject them because they’re implausible. Now I go into my experiment, I’m going to run an experiment in science. What do I have to do? I have to control for alternative explanations. What we’re always doing in science is inference to the best explanation. Let’s go to the work of Peter Lipton and others. Right? Here’s some phenomena. What I do is I, I have some candidate explanations for what’s causing the phenomenon. And then what I do is I put them into competition with each other, which one of my hypotheses best explains it. And the one that best explains it right. Is chosen as what’s real.

but this, how do you make, how would you make this certain the way you would make this deductively? Certain is you would have to check all possible explanations. How many possible explanations are there an infinite number? You can’t ever make science certain, because you’re always doing this. This explanation is only as good as the competition. It beats in science, you advance by coming up with plausible alternative explanations that you beat with yours. Science depends on plausibility judgments. It depends on plausibility judgments. When we choose our hypothesis, if the on plausibility judgments, when we choose what variables we’re going to control for an experiments, it depends on plausibility judgments. Once we’re done and we have the data and we have to interpret it. What is the number of interpretations I can give for any data infinite and number? What do I do? I generate the most plausible interpretation before the experiment, during the experiment and after the experiment. I’m relying on plausibility plausibility is indispensable. That’s why your brain looks for it. So notice what we’ve got this higher state of consciousness is an optimization of your processing. It brings about a state of high plausibility and it’s relying on processes that are fundamental. Right because optimization has priority. I have to get my optimal grip before I can judge what it is. I have to zero in on the relevant information and have the right formulation of my problem before I can try and answer it.

These higher States of consciousness. No, that’s what I’m saying is that they have. Indispensability because they run in terms of your plausibility machinery, they are optimal in terms of getting the best possible functioning for you. They are prior because they are fundamental to any and all of your cognitive processing, getting this optimal grip, toggling between tradeoffs, getting the best. Relationship between generalizing and discriminating. All of these have priority. These are why these States are such good guides. Again, if they’re set within a set of soppy essential practices set within a South central tradition.

Now, what, what I’m saying isthese. Higher States of consciousness are great guides on how to transform yourself, how to cultivate wisdom, how to see through self-deception. But sometimes people come back from these States and they make pronouncements about the nature of the world. Sometimes these are bizarre. People will come back from DMT and tell them their hyperspace selves have told them that they should remain and forever inside their head or some bizarre stuff. Here’s the thing you should know about the propositions that people generate from. This are largely useless. Look, you can read these reports.

People will have these higher States of consciousness and one group of people will come out and say, I know there’s a God other people have these experiences and they come out and they’re, they’re filled with joy and they say, I know there’s no God diametrically opposite because this isn’t about propositional knowing. This is about participatory transformation. This isn’t about getting secret metaphysical knowledge. This is about getting wise practices wise transformation.

Ultimately, what we need to do is to take the wisdom from these higher States of consciousness and get it into rational discourse with an independently established via. Our best science metaphysics by science and philosophy. When we can put those two together, then we will have properly salvaged what these higher States of consciousness can afford for us. Do not confuse the rationality of wisdom with the rationality of knowledge. So the next time, what I want to do is now that we’ve got a preliminary account of what these higher States of consciousness, what these awakening, the, what the awakening of the Buddha might have been plausibly, like we can return to, what did he propose specifically, thereby finishing off the axial revolution, our discussion, I should say, of the actual revolution in India.

And then we will return back to the Mediterranean world. And look at what was happening there after Aristotle. Thank you very much for your time.