The Materialist Creed Is Highly Political

  The way it shakes out in history, most modern critical social thinkers and progressives tend to be materialists. In the eighteenth century that made some kind of sense, but today it seems to me highly problematic, if not fatally dangerous. Materialism, moreover, has devolved into a sacred cow, as Thomas Nagel learned when he […]

Mark Twain’s Dream Artist

The dream is the greatest of all psychic phenomena. Like a god, the dreamer is a creator of worlds and spaces. But what are dreams? Shadows of the day, airy nothings? Perhaps not, say some writers who don’t mind subverting conventional worldviews. The philosophers C.D. Broad and H.H. Price arrived at a strange conclusion. Our […]

Trumping Authenticity

The master dealer seems to have lost a hand at the Iowa caucuses. But the show isn’t over yet, and the mystery of the phenomenon persists. Donald Trump has been baffling the pundits by maintaining his lead in the polls and commanding all the media attention. It doesn’t matter how crass or stupid or incendiary […]

History and Altered States of Consciousness

 In a recent post, I told the story of a young woman who suddenly realized that she was a free agent – an important shift in her consciousness. It was an episode of personal transformation, a private affair. But sometimes sudden alterations of mind can change the course of history.   I’ll give one big example, […]

Scientism: A New Religion?

The title of an essay published by Michael Shermer in the Scientific American a while back caught my eye: ‘The Shamans of Scientism”. It was faintly alarming. I could make sense of “a scientifically educated shaman”, somebody who brings a scientific attitude to (say) the healing practices of a shaman. What puzzled me was Shermer’s […]

Consciousness Gained: An Epiphany in Jersey City

    Among types of possible revolution, the one of consciousness seems key. Most likely it will come about spontaneously as economic disparities, social disequilibrium, and climate mayhem start to increase exponentially. The forms it might assume are unpredictable. It may start in silence, without noise or fanfare, at least in the beginning. Consciousness has […]

Conscious Horizons Expanding

It has gradually been dawning on people that the thing common to us all – our immediate consciousness — is a complete mystery. How do you get feelings of aesthetic appreciation, acts of spiritual love, or the thought processes that led to Einstein’s general theory of relativity — out of brain matter? The big trend […]

Frequently Unasked Questions

FUQ (Frequently Unasked Questions)   What is the aim of this blog? To log and explore the mystery of mysteries — consciousness. Most problems boil down to issues of consciousness. Something you’re not conscious of (how condescending your manner was) or something you’re too conscious of –(your fears, obsessions, prejudices.) Consciousness can be our worst […]