Reflections on Aesthetic Phenomenology, Shamanism & A Sketch for Elements of objective psychedelic states

(I was incredibly honoured to interview Dr. Rick Strassman on my podcast- The Naked Dialogue. Here are some reflections that arose in my psyche during our conversation.)

I. Aesthetic Appreciation & Eye-Consciousness

Human Eyes are psychic in nature as such that they continuously are driven towards satisfying those aesthetic needs- which they procure after scanning their immediate external environment. The drive nature permeates the eye-consciousness, hence allowing the eyes to focus on the aesthetics of the environment as opposed to the environment itself.

II. Morality & Ethics: The Sophists, Shamans & Mystical Prophets

The Sophists, from the pre-socratic traditions, were deemed *un-virtuous* on the basis of delivering the knowledge of art of persuasion and rhetorics for a fee. So, what is even a true shaman? Who is a true Guru or a teacher? The Shamans traditionally deliver the healing and guidance for the very virtue in healing others- those who seek spiritual assistance. However, contemporary shamanism is a return to the sophist tradition- as the Shaman becomes *un-virtuous* in delivering the mystical experience with the rightful and moral intent. Therefore, a false Guru figure, its very archetype, implies delivering the false message (the *impure-unvirtuous* message) to their students and spiritual-patients.

III. Bardo Resemblances in Higher Psychedelic States

To what degree does higher LSD & Psilocybin States resemble the DMT-Hyperspace Realm? The Tibetan Book of Dead, as per Timothy Leary- the Bardo Thodol, explains the common different states of a psychedelic experience. The very stage of the loss of ego-consciousness- the peak- the rise of the emergence of the white light signifying the three Bardos, seems to translate into the highest self-actualised realisation possible. And if often times within subjective accounts these higher-potent or higher-dose LSD, Psilocybin & Mescaline (along with other phenethylamines) are said to induce this white-light transcendental state, then what gives N, N-Dimethyltryptamine & 5-MeO-DMT its own unique hyperspace dimension? My speculations from an outsider-perspective (non-experiential) rests upon the hypothesis that this hyperspace dimension is rather an alternate visual dimension that exists within the compounds of the same reality the body resides in. One way to explain this maybe by imagining the continual replication of the hallucinated OEVs & CEVs (Open-Eye Visuals & Closed-Eye Visuals)- this could possibly induce a sense of existing within an alternate dimension from a perceptual view-point.

IV. Jacques Lacan’s Borromean Knot & the Psychedelic State

Jacques Lacan’s conceptualisation of the Borromean Knot between the Imaginary, the Symbolic and the Real can be translated into the sketch of the objectives components of the Psychedelic State. The psychonaut existing within the compounds of the Real, witnesses the assimilation of the Imaginary and the Symbolic through the ethnopharmacologic effects of the Psychedelic State- thereby, inducing the hallucinatory states. As these hallucinatory states, alongside several other effects like distortion of time, from a pharmacological viewpoint can be thus concluded as the objective components of a Psychedelic trip- as they are shared, and hence, collective in essence.

V. On Jungian Unconscious & its significance within a Psychedelic Experience

Through the lens of Jungian Analytical Psychology, the significance of the Unconscious can be roughly bifurcated, pertaining to its respective affects within a Common Psychedelic Experience. The Jungian Personal Unconscious can be identified in the emotive aspects of the psychedelic experience, through a close examination of the personal archetypes and their distinction from the psychedelic experience itself. Archetypes, in as much as they are collective, can also have a personal significance to them- i.e., the projection of the personal significance onto the archetypal pattern. In contrast, the Jungian Collective Unconscious can be recognised within the objective components of the psychedelic experience i.e., the common and shared ethnopharmacologic effects (distinct from affects)- in forms of cultural, religious and geometric archetypal patterns.

-Sanjana Singh//14.02.2021

Sartrean Cogitations – III

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(i) Knowledge constitutes the framework of the rendition of image produced through signification via imaging knowledge in the consciousness. Sartrean intentionality lies in recognizing the consciousness of the image which manifests from gnosis- hence, consciousness is key characteristic and an extension of knowledge of an imaged object x. Knowledge of imaged object x extends and manifests consciousness which further assists in constituting a mental image of x. Thus, extension of knowledge as consciousness is an essential element in structuring an image in the imaging-consciousness.

(ii) Through desire in reflection, an affective consciousness is invoked wherein the passion is posited in the affective structure of the imaged object. However, the absence within the very presence of the imaged object is realized only on the terms of its affectivity in cognition i.e., an imaged object x will produce its affectivity only because it extends in space and time with desire. Thus, affectivity manifests in the consciousness of an imaged object based on the value of its knowledge in affective form as transcendence.

(iii) Figurative-Motor Awareness in kinaesthetic or mnemonic movements begin with Husserl’s protention-retention synthesis of the impression, and end in the birth of an imaging consciousness. The visual structure manifested through kinaesthetic movement constitutes the analogon of the imaged object in reality. Although, this analogon doesn’t posit the exact knowledge of the imaged object. For example, mathematical calculations through kinaesthetic movements wherein the knowledge, as well as the image consciousness, is derived in time through the movements and cognition itself i.e., it doesn’t render an instataneous image in the imaging consciousness.

(iv) The comprehension, in Sartrean Imaginary, is realized through the assembling of schema in the imaging consciousness which further results in the manifestation of the imaged object. However, comprehension consciousness is only essential when the image is symbolic as it the verys symbolic that is comprehended through its traits. Thus, the barrier between the comprehension consciousness and imaging consciouness is the symbol.

(v) Perception induces the principle of infinity on the very condition of the disintegration of perception, wherein an object perceived within a series of objects is isolated in imaging consiousness as an independent object. Through these very acts of disintegration in perception, and manifestation in the imaginary, these elements of consciousness actuate psychic activity.

-Sanjana Singh // 12.08.2020

 

 

 

Sartrean Cogitations – II

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In Sartrean terms, the intention evokes the object of the image-consciousness, a representation of the very absence of the object which is an accumulation of matter of worldly things and of the mental-world i.e., external and psychic elements of matter.

REFLECTIONS

(i) It is the coming together of the imaginary and real-world with intentionality of the object that posits creation for an artist. Through imagination of the aesthetic psychic elements, the artist gives its creation the uniqueness, as the external element of the creation simply posits where the creation was positioned.

(ii) The absence of the physical object is harnessed as a quasi-matter of absence in an artists’ imaging-attitude. However, a quasi-matter is different from a ‘sign-consciousness’ even though they both render the matter as absent. A quasi-matter renders the physical-object as absent but also as present when summoned, hence, eliminating the illusion of immanence through quasi-phenomenon dependent on its non-thetic emanation into the image-consciousness of the artist.

(iii) A critique of arts, in time, would examine the imitation-consciousness of a given portrait at a museum wherein the imitated-image consciousness would induce its affectivity through the physiognomy of the imaged-synthesis i.e., a product of the whole of image-consciousness. This combination of the signified and imaged consciousness through the imitated-consciousness allows the critique to possess the object of the portrait in order to assess and critique it.

(iv) A structure’s study requires a certain knowledge of its vectorial essence within the symbolic movement wherein it evolves as consciousness. The knowledge of this structure evokes a corrupt image-consciousness of this structure’s vectorial aspects through the reflexive eye-movements of the observer.

(v) A look at the I-Ching symbol on wall tapestry, allows the sensory manoeuver to subsume the knowledge of yin-yang’s continual cosmic changes of polarity. Therefore, it is the very symbolic-manoeuvrism that posits knowledge of the tapestry’s structure which further fabricates its image-consciousness.

(vi) Hypnagogic imageries are essentially non-thetic phantasmic images that posit imprecision in details of the Tetris effects exhibiting spontaneous knowledge. The temporal aspect allows the manifestation of the knowledge of the object-focus of the image-consciousness, which ceases to exist in hypnagogic imagery as hypnagogia propounds knowledge of its very ontological phenomenon. 

(vii) The symbolic movement is born from a signified-intuition and ideational form of knowledge. Hence, it is the gap between the image-consciousness and perceptual-consciousness that entitles the object with knowledge as the imitation (signs) symbolically transcend into intuitive-matter of uniformity for the quasi-observation.

(viii) A mental image exhibits no worldliness or spatial relations, rather only its object-matter posits Sartrean transcendence of the representative. A mental-image’s reflective and representative element differ just like solid and gaseous states of camphor in alchemy i.e., no remnants are left behind during the course of transcendence, therefore, exposing the presence of quasi-matter in psychic data-point particularity. 

-Sanjana Singh|28.07.2020

 

Sartrean Cogitations – I

 

We may therefore conclude that imagination is not an empirical power added to consciousness, but it is the whole of consciousness as it realizes freedom.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sarte’s The Imaginary: A Phenomenological Psychology of the Imagination (1940), outlines the mandatory stage i.e., the inquiry into imagination which carefully discerns nothingness that consciousness fabricates and the consciousness itself i.e., distinguishing being-in-itself from being-for-itself and hence, constituting its ontological phenomenon. When one asks what is imagination? The imagination can be understood as our experience as a whole authorised by consciousness. 

PRELIMINARY REFLECTIONS: PHENOMENOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY

  • On Aesthetics: The aesthetic appreciation excites our sensory experience of the imaginary object. When an object is presented with distinctive properties like its color, shape, size, etc., its aesthetic comfort excites and captivates our senses while further being appreciated in imagination. So, a great deal of our daily-imaginary acts are a result of the recognition of the aesthetic appeals in our immediate environment for sensory excitement or satisfaction.
  • On Perceptual-Imaginative Model: The perpetual experience vastly differs from the imaginative experience, as perception requires the scrutiny of the object while imagination demands the confluence of the imaged object’s sketch through conceptual reflection. Therefore, it is our imagination that carefully integrates the sketch of a perceived experience according to our will to alter the original perceptual experience into an appealing one.
  • On Hallucinations: Hallucinations posits an imaginary stance to the world that designates the discovery of the essence of objects as opposed to aiming to do the same. However, hallucinations differ from perception as it the very imaginary stance that deceives the experiencer regarding the essence of experience itself. Therefore, drug-induced hallucinations alongside dream phenomenon gives the experiencer the will to embrace the imaginary stance.    

(i) Accordig to Sartre, the initial goal of phenomenological psychology of imagination is making explicit the act of reflection which is uniform for all while promising an observer the absolute essence of an image. When an observer observes an object, lets say object x, he perceives and reflects on its properties and therefore gains definite knowledge about its essence. The dilemma present amongst thinkers about the ‘variety’ of principles the act of reflection elucidates seem correctly insignificant, as it is quite logical to conclude that the act of reflection guarantees the essence of object x when perceived and reflected upon i.e., the data derived would be certain and absolute as opposed to probable because probability corresponds to the immediate data perceived from the experience while the certainty corresponds to absolute data. 

(ii) An illusion emanates via the habitual act of thinking in space and on the conditions of the space i.e., Sartrean ‘Illusion of Immanence’. Originating from Hume’s distinction of impressions and ideas, Sartre concludes that ideas are nothing but images itself i.e., just like imaged-object x might have its different characteristics, the same will be true for its ideas. Following the chain of thought, an idea is a product of reflection that comprises attributes that are its determinants, and therefore, while ideas might be mental images of a said object, they can also be a mental conceptualisation of abstraction, in which it is also an abstract conceptual image. 

(iii) The extrinsic-perceived image is when one perceives the photograph of person x through their consciousness obliquely then, person x is what photograph represents, while an intrinsic-perceived image is when the person is comprehended as the matter of the photograph implicitly. Therefore, a synthetic union i.e., synthetic acts of consciousness lies in relating the explicit with the implicit image wherein the nature of the implicit image perceived through consciousness is the very relation of its explicit image. Hence, the image signifies this relation of consciousness to the object, which in this case is the photograph of the person x. 

(iv) An object as imaged is inclusive of the knowledge of its essence. So, the realization of object occurs at the same moment as the object’s intention wherein the intention is the focus of the consciousness which exposes the essence of the object thus revealing and realizing itself simultaneously. Therefore, “the consciousness never precedes the object”. The synthetic act, in the act of consciousness here, is between representative and knowledge elements of the object whereas the unifying aspect is the correlation of the object as absolute and of constituting knowledge at the same time. The realization aspect also plays an essential role in identifying the ‘clear-light’ during an ego-dissolution phase in a hallucinatory-state, as the ‘clear-light’ can only be realized when it is revealed. However, without the intention, the significance of the ‘clear-light’ will remain unrealized and hence, unrevealed. 

(v) An intentional object of the imaging consciousness could be understood as an object x imaged, however an imaged-object x doesn’t necessitate that it exists in the perceived consciousness, and therefore, imaged-object x ceases to exist and thus, is non-existent. Hence, imaged-object x doesn’t occupy our spatial-perception, rather its determinations amalgamation can be posited as ‘intuitive-absent’ i.e., imaged-object x is non-existent to the intuition itself. An object’s nothingness of being is the consequence of quasi-observation, in such that the imaged-object manifests a belief within the observer through intuition but the observer’s immediate consciousness renounces the imaged-object as non-existent by recognising its nothingness. Therefore, the essence of imaged-objects from immediate surroundings constitute of nothingness because of its non-thetic consciousness which implies that imaged-objects are non-existent and only a consequence of a creative-thought process. 

(vi) It is the aspect of nothingness i.e., the non-thetic consciousness of the imaged-object that produces a spontaneous feeble presence of the perpetuated object as a synthesized transversal imaging consciousness as a creative appearance that doesn’t postulate its creative essence. So, when say an artist has an imaging consciousness of mountain scenery that the artist has perceived couple of times, and now wants to make a painting out of the imaging consciousness of the painting as a creative act- the artist would imagine the imaged object in consciousness as an amalgamation of all the times the artist hs perceived the mountain scenery, and now with the pen and brush, the artist would merely draw and paint the exact same object. The painting would be a product of creative imaging consciousness of the perpetuated mountain-scenery and simultaneously would exhibit the nothingness of imaged scenery as the creative alteration would signify. Therfore, creative pursuits of imaged-objects are always an amalgam of creative uniqueness and nothingness.

CONCLUSION 

An image is not an element of consciousness, rather it is consciousness itself as the image when imaged. It posits a restructuring which renders it as a sui-generis consciousness. It is only a product of a mental-temporal synthetic act i.e., the imaged consciousness aligns itself in association with the imaged-object, wherein the association posits the inertia of the consciousness as part of creative-will. Hence, the object is nothing rather than the consciousness one owns of it i.e., the Satrean phenomenon of quasi-observation. This vagueness of the relation between the object and its image propounds that an imaged-object presents an image’s statics and not its synthetic temporal and spatial locus when imagined at any random given point of time.

-Sanjana Singh/26.07.2020