A New Paradigm Emerging—Bridging the Barriers Between Species, Biological Transcendence: This Is the Place Where Even Hard Core “Realists” Learn How Little They Know
Biologically Constituted Realities, Part Six
Wonder of wonders, finally in our evolution—in this very time of ours—there may be more people who are focusing on those keys to possible biological transcendence than ever before…. All of this despite the fact that within the “real rules” of the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm those anomalies have absolutely no possibility of existing or being able to happen . . . . Yet they do. Similarly, within the “real world” of “brute facts” related to biological survivability they seemingly find no place . . . . Yet we stumble over them.
Preface and Summary: It is the so called “anomalies” of science that hold the keys to the reality that lies beyond science. Looking at them we see a pattern upon which to stand in bringing together the different viewpoints or paradigms that are not reconcilable otherwise. These different viewpoints are the different scientific ones and the different cultural ones as well as the different biological ones—that is, the perspectives or views of different species… the different planetmate views.
The anomalies that we have found to have the most potential for aiding us in this venture to a greater paradigm or framework within which to comprehend all these smaller views are those that have come out of consciousness research. This comes from scientific as well as spiritual sources. It is often experientially based, though it is hardly just anecdotal since these reports are replicatable and verifiable and they are often and can easily be collected and collated scientifically.
These scientific approaches to what were once in the realm of just the spiritual or religious are going on more now than ever before in the history of the world. Whether from fields of the new physics, the new biology, or the consciousness branches of psychology and anthropology, they are uncovering more new formerly inexplicable data of events that have heretofore been beyond the views of our sciences and beyond our common sense materialism—our world of “brute facts,” which we have found are not incontestable at all but are only solidly true in relation to the fact that we are of the species of humans.
We have found that these new facts are not as biologically irrelevant as was assumed by us, however. In fact, the survival of our species and indeed of the life on our planet probably depend upon us incorporating this information into a newer and more comprehensive understanding of reality. Fortunately the construction of this new framework is being carried out. And it and its implications are astounding, revelatory, and revolutionary in all respects imaginable. This new revolutionary model is unveiled in more detail in this article.
A New Paradigm Emerging
For unless we do this, unless we keep in mind the limitations of our reality constructions—including our “scientific” ones—we have absolutely no way of understanding certain incorrigible and “biologically useless” facts that intrude upon our “real world” and that are scared into the light of our biological parameters by our scientific rummaging through the bushes. These “useless” side effects of our scientific enterprise may indeed contain the keys to our venturing forth, to at least some small degree, beyond the biological real-world confines of our predecessors. For just as we have seen that standing on a deeper, more encompassing paradigm than the cultural makes transcultural discourse and understanding possible, so also standing on one deeper than the biological may bring trans-biological understanding closer.
Following the reasoning I have been presenting, one can speculate that the prospects for bridging the boundaries between species (of both the known and “unknown” variety) as well as between our physical reality and other possible “non-physical” ones are good if we can find a way to look at that physical/biological (Newtonian-Cartesian) level from a deeper grounding in spiritual (or transpersonal) reality. In fact, the evidence from LSD research, some spiritual literature, and various aspects of “new age” phenomena that are washing up on the shore of a variety of disciplines is exactly to that effect.
Indeed, wonder of wonders, finally in our evolution—in this very time of ours—there may be more people who are focusing on those keys to possible biological transcendence than ever before. Additionally, these researchers and seekers are scientifically, empirically, and experientially researching, eliciting, and perceiving many such incorrigible and “useless” phenomena and events. Most importantly of all, they are finding that these events can be intersubjectively validated—can be intertemporally and, indeed, empirically confirmed, demonstrated, and/or significantly correlated so that they can be proven to have intersubjective and/or replicatable validity. All of this despite the fact that within the “real rules” of the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm they have absolutely no possibility of existing or being able to happen . . . . Yet they do. Similarly, within the “real world” of “brute facts” related to biological survivability they seemingly find no place . . . . Yet we stumble over them.
If all of this were not enough, we find that these incorrigible facts provide more than a pathway to a glimpse outside our biological blinders, more than a puncture in our epistemological seal, and more than a transcendence of our biological paradigm. We find that this information from “outside” the table of our biological board game is less biologically useless than was thought from within the borders of that board game. We find, indeed, that our species’s assessment through natural selection of that which exists beyond it was less than perfect. We find that we are on the verge of re-evaluating that assessment and—to the extent it is possible and driven (once again) by biological survivability—of expanding our biological-cultural constructions to admit and give meaning to some of them.
Stanislav Grof (1970, 1975, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1988a, 1988b; Grof and Grof 1980, 1989, 1990; Grof and Halifax 1977) is one such pioneer in this sort of “useless” research. Though he is by no means alone, I mention him in that he has achieved far more than simply demonstrating the validity of particular incorrigible facts that turn our familiar, comfy, Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm on its ear. Additionally, Grof (1985) puts forth a model, a framework for a new paradigm. Bringing together the physicist Bohm’s (1980) model of the universe and the neurosurgeon Pribram’s (1971, 1976) model of the brain, he presents a holonomic “perspective” or “theory” based upon the idea of a hologram. The important aspect of this perspective is that it allows the inclusion and understanding of these new existential facts, yet does not contradict the Newtonian-Cartesian view of the world. The model includes the older paradigm, interpenetrating it thoroughly with something approaching a “field model” (my terms) of the universe.
The combined model explains the phenomena of everyday life, of “normal” science, and of a huge and increasingly accumulating body of unexplainable data and evidence that is continually erupting out of the “new” natural sciences (in physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, anthropology, and psychology, especially transpersonal psychology); out of the human potential phenomenon and new, experiential psychotherapeutic and growth techniques, such as Primal; out of psychedelic, consciousness, and brain (especially brain waves) research; out of a decades-long now Western fascination with and intense engagement with Eastern world-view, philosophy, and spiritual practice; and out of an equally long and parallel interest in the paranormal and the occult.
The holonomic (combined) model is explanatory and predictive. Yet it does so without having to exclude known, observable, empirically validated facts and evidence—without undeservedly casting upon them the light of nonexistence or, worse still, ignoring them, simply because their validity gives rise to a very human “uncomfortableness.” Such data trigger a certain insecurity in that they undermine a familiar, habitual, and thoroughly ego-invested commitment to a view of reality.5 The purposes of this article do not here allow an elaboration of either the new evidence or the new paradigm that I have discussed.6 Suffice it to say that the recent and rapid emergence of the field of transpersonal psychology itself is pushed by an inability to continually disregard the evidence of our own senses that does not fit with the mechanical paradigms we were taught.
This new evidence, which is pouring forth on the cutting edges of our modern sciences, has made the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm as obsolete as the flat earth one.
Continue with Why We Know Not and A Call to Know Instead: Beyond “Flat Earth” Materialism—Scientific Awakening Is as Crucial for Paradigm Shift as is the Social and Political Awakenings
Return to How We Might Come to Know: In Tossing Away Our Species Blinders, We Relearn That Consciousness Is Infinite, Yes … but Fantastic as Well.
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