On Autopoiesis & free will

*Autopoietic Noumenon* 

(An Argument in Generation)

Varela & Maturna’s Notion of Autopoiesis w/ the Kantian Noumenon (i.e., the transcesental immersion)as opposed to the Heideggerian Dasein (i.e., the purest essence of being) is the Autopoietic Noumenon i.e., inherently complex self-regulating living cells/systems function upon the discontinuous awareness of the Metaphysical which allows for the Novelty induced artistic communications. 

This will be the core point of the upcoming blog post/essay on & around Autopoietic Noumenon wherein I’ll sketch out its phenomenological structure which is essentially a broader argument for autopoietically induced creativity.

“[Humberto] Maturana and [Francisco] Varela’s revolutionary theory of cognition became the centerpiece of a larger overall explanation of how all organisms gunction and evolve, which they call “Autopoiesis,” from the Greek word “self-making.” “Autopoiesis” refers to the unique ability of living systems to remake themselves by means of their eown internal dynamics. Or put differently, living systems are autopoietic because, through their internal interactions with their component parts and their external interactions with the environment, they continually maintain themselves and generate their own organization. Autopoietic systems are also autonomous and have individuality, meaning that they maintain an identity that is independent of their interactions with an observer.

[. . .]

What does any of this have to do with education? If, as Maturana writes, “learning is not a process of accumulating representations of the environment; it is a continuous process of transformation of behavior through continuous change in the capacity of the nervous system to synthesize it”and if “man[woman/child] changes and lives in a changing frame of reference in a world continuously created and transformed by him[her],” then the fixed body of knowledge we hold up as the goal of education might not even exist.”

—Chris Mercogliano (In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids’ Inner Wildness; pp. 30/32)

“Autopoiesis attempts to define the uniqueness of the emergence that produces life in its fundamental cellular form. It’s specific to the cellular level. There’s a circular or network process that engenders a paradox: a self-organizing network of biochemical reactions produces molecules, which do something specific and unique: they create a boundary, a membrane, which constrains a network that has produces the constituents of the membrane. This is a logical bootstrap, a loop: a network produces entities that create a boundary, which constrains the network that produces the boundary. This bootstrap is precisely what is unique about cells. A self-distinguishing entity exists when the bootstrap is completed. This entity has produced its own boundary. It doesn’t require an external agent to notice it, or to say “I’m here”. It is, by itself, a self-distinction. It bootstraps itself out of a soup of chemistry and physics.”

—Francisco Varela, ‘The Emergent Self’

On ‘Free Will

We enter the concept or totalise the concept of free-will when we enter into a social contract (Jacques Rousseau) with the society or our immediate external environment. One could argue that the peak of this free will is realised at its maximum during the sensorimotor stages of childhood development (Jean Piaget)— when the individual is around 0-3yrs old and totally relies on his mother and his/her senses for support and care. During this stage, the individual is incapable of entering a social contract with its environment because it hasn’t developed any sense of shred values and communal ethics- it is after this very stage of development that the individual enters into a social contract wherein he/she fulfils their own moral and ethical duty. One can also argue, that the core of this idea lies within the arguments of facticity (by Jean-Paul Sartre & Simone de Beauvoir)— that ‘facticity’ signifies all of the concrete details against the background of which human freedom exists and is therefore, limited i.e., human freedom or ‘free will’ is essentially contextual- that it only exists in the need for it to contrast well with the social contract. 

Sartrean cogitations – V


(Jean-Paul Sartre, 1962)

The classical theories that investigate the theory of emotions more or less lets us understand emotions within the boundaries of our conscious experience, at least according to the early theories devised by William James. Hence, devising a model wherein the states of consciousness can be divided as physiological and psychological phenomenon.

(i) It is within the very physiological phenomenon that holds the capacity to produce psychosomatic conscious states, as the consciousness is struck by the physiological projections. It is the very extension of the relatedness and associative elements of consciousness that combines the psychic world and the external reality. Hence, this peripheric theory of William James exerts that the physiological disturbances are either directly or indirectly discernible.

The individual can therefore can sum up their conscious states, in objective terms as their systems of behaviour.

(ii) One must recognise and analyse their emotions in a functional order of comprehending emotion via its significance. Gestalt psychologists, like Janet & Wallen would emphasise that the synthetic arrangement of behaviour would evoke elements of the unconscious or consciousness within the realms of psychoanalysis and hence offer a psychoanalytic theory of emotional finality.

However, emotional manifestations are an intrinsic combination of the psychic and behavioural aspects of the human condition. And therefore, negative emotional manifestations like that of anger or fear usually arise from the human sub-conscious and unconscious as a powerful urge towards attaining the symbolic satisfaction for the release of the intentional and insufferable tension.

(iii) Consciousness generated via the symbolic realisations only offers what it deems to offer as a desire. Within the psychoanalytic interpretations, there’s an established notion that the conscious phenomenon is presented with the symbolic realisation of a particular desire which is furthermore repressed by the censor within the different realms and depths of human consciousness.

Yet the desire is not intrinsically connected with the symbolic realisations as the very presence of the symbolic realisation further delicately fabricates the rise of emotions through the physilogical imperatives of human desires.

(iv) The symbolic realisations requires the renunciation of the Cartesian Cogito and conducting the consciousness as a passive and secondary phenomenon. It is the very acknowledgement that consciousness comprises itself into a meaning whilst being unaware of its very constitution of the meaning derived.

However, if the Cartesian Cogito is possible, then the consciousness itself becomes the very fact, the signification as well as the signified.

(v) The conscious fact of the consciousness becomes symbolical of the desire it expresses i.e., of the expressed complex, in Sartrean notions. Hence, the symbolic character is constitutive of the expressed complex of the symbolical.

Therefore, the innate desire for an inner signification is the precursor for the consciousness that makes itself known (or conscious).

(vi) In Sartrean terms, emotional consciousness is the introductory consciousness of the world. We can construct a meaning of this emotional consciousness initially through its non-reflective structure, and upon its very plane it should be noted that it cannot be aware of its own consciousness, hence, it requires the non-positional reflective mode in order to act as the precursor to the consciousness of the external reality.

Therefore, it is the very perception that connects the emotion to its representative signal. It becomes easy to view the action as the non-reflective consciousness of the constructed instrumental world and the emotive anger as the non-reflective consciousness directed towards the cruel essence of the world as action transforms into anger in psychosomatic-emotive consciousness.

(vii) The nature and structure of my writing is always and forever a product of my conscious state of consciousness as opposed to my unconscious state because an activity comprises a succession of particular objects in this probable world. The probable world is only considered probable due to futuristic realities, yet is also deemed certain as the Sartrean potentialities of the world.

Therefore, like Sartre, my writing is always and forever exigently remnant due to the decisive manner I procure my thoughts in my creative headspace. These thoughts are indeed realised potentialities that generate its exigence objectively through the subjective creative art forms.

(viii) There is an inherent distinction between unreflective activity and unconscious activity as they are non-thetically conscious of the self and the very process of being conscious of the same allows for the transcendence and apprehension onto the external reality posing as the qualia of objects. Therefore, in Sartrean notions, intellect here would be the very noetic correlate of the activity undertaken or conceived by the individual.

However, fear as an emotion has a consciousness whose target is the very negation of the external reality by means of what Sartre would call a magical behaviour. This would further allow the annihilation of the emotive-consciousness as a preliminary step towards the annihilation of the objects present in external reality. This emotional catastrophe allows for the exile of responsibility as the magical exaggeration and sufferings of the world excruciate the consciousness.

Therefore, negative conscious emotions like that of fear and sadness are irreducible to this Sartrean constitution of a magical world wherein the objects that are bodies act as instruments of enchantment. In every possible situation, the subject matter might differ and so would the human behaviour, however, in order to trust this Sartrean magical behaviour, one must manifest physical perturbation.

-Sanjana Singh//19.12.2020

Sartrean cogitations iv


(i) Transcendence, a meta-ontological phenomenon- wherein the metaphysics and ontology are bound by the phenomenological study of its very essence and being.

Sartre here attempts to bend transcendence as a meta-ontological phenomenon i.e., within the boundaries of Husserl’s transcendent phenomenology and Sartrean line of thought i.e., as an apodictic and intuitive experience of the immersive arrival of the perceptive other.

The Sartrean idea of Consciousness is that “consciousness cannot be limited but by itself”.

(ii) Intuition is the mode of inquiry for the transcendental and meta-ontological phenomenon that evokes the realization of the presence of the other (consciousness).

Hence, the Husserlian idea is ruled out in the presence of the Sartrean transcendental I as the epochē or apodictic experience wherein the phenomenon appears and manifests itself.

(iii) Consciousness is always conscious of the other, it finds itself as another part of itself i.e., consciousness discovers its ‘child’ in the other part of the consciousness. The perceptual experience attempts to scrutinize the conscious object, therefore reducing it to representations that are experienced as the reality of the ‘I think’. Hence, providing consciousness its unique unity and individuality while also forming a Husserlian constitutive consciousness.

Consciousness can therefore be understood as a phenomenological experience wherein the appearance and existence are coincident.

(iv) A transcendent object qualifies so because it reflects the consciousness of a transcendent object as consciousness manifests as an absolute inwardness. This Sartrean reflected consciousness is a medium of a consciousness directed towards consciousness. In contrast, the unreflected consciousness manifests as a non-thetic consciousness. The ‘I’ is manifested through its reflected consciousness.

(v) The French aristocrat, Duc François de la Rochefoucauld’s psychological aphorisms in Maxims, explores psychological reflection which reflects on the ego. So, I think consciousness can also be described as a cosmic series of our reflected consciousness as a whole through the integration of the noematic and its incidental unity.

The ego can therefore be understood as the union of the transcendental states and the actions that remain innate.

(vi) The psychology of the inert can be understood in terms of its relation to the psychical states and spontaneities of the inert within the transcendent unity of the infinity of consciousness. Hence, here within the domains of certainty and doubt, this effusion merely links together the consciousness to its psychical passivities.

This noematic unity of spontaneities and its unity of objective passivities, therefore, manifests a potentiality in the relation of actualization or a kind of virtuality that may transform into actuality. Hence, a psychical element within the transcendental object is the very reflective consciousness- as Sartre would establish that reflections have de-facto & de-jure limits.

(vii) The ego is a psychical element as opposed to a psycho-physical element that rests in psychical objects of consciousness. The ego correlates to a sense of poiein, or creation. Therefore, as the creator of its own psychical states sustaining conserving spontaneity, the ego is affected by its approaching passivities while remaining a poetic production wherein the subtlety of creation varies.

Hence, the ego also relates to its irrational synthesis of transcendence and inwardness (or the inert).

-Sanjana Singh // 09,11.2020

Sartrean Cogitations – III



(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



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.


(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. 


  • 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.


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














Hypnagogia & the Study of Psychoactive Psychopharmacology – I


I’ve been talking about researching Hypnagogia and the wonderful visual field it presents to the individual experiencing this hallucinatory state, as a part of one of my prospective PhD thesis subjects for a while now. Therefore, I’ve decided to keep on updating here on my blog page some hypotheses as I keep researching the phenomenon and its effects under certain psychoactive compounds both natural and chemical in essence present in medical academic literature. In the coming months, I will be posting a brief literature review covering the hallucinatory phenomenon, and later some more papers on the same till I reach a conclusion or derive a clear Ph.D hypotheses. This would be a series, hence, this particular piece would include the very basic arguments and definitions of the hypnagogic phenomenon that I have been speculating and reading since February of 2020.

Hypnagogia is the transcendental state from consciousness to sleep/dream state, which unveils itself in the closed eyes of humans during their first part of the sleeping stage, in terms of subtle to intense visual, auditory and sometimes even synesthetic hallucinations. Salvador Dali, Mary Shelley, Thomas Edison are some of the artists known in history who have used their hypnagogic hallucinatory stages for creativity in their professional fields.

Although there have been quite a few researches on the essential nature of Hypnagogia/Hynapompic States of Consciousness, there is still no well-researched academic source for hypnagogia under the influence of psychoactive substances. A few of the most informative texts available today on this subject include a thesis paper published in 1983 by Andreas Mavromatis and several other subjective accounts that have either been published as books or short thesis papers. There was also research done in Japan on the “Topographic mapping of EEG spectral power and coherence in delta activity during the transition from wakefulness to sleep”, which offered interesting results like the onset of the hypnagogic state develops rapidly from the vertex shrapnels waves which further proved a suggestion previously made by Broughton, that the ‘appearance of the vertex sharp wave is related to behavioral sleep onset’. The EEG (Electroencephalography) study concluded that the ‘dominant synchronous component of slow-wave activities during the transition from wakefulness to sleep increased as a function of EEG stages in the anterior-central areas and increased clearly after the appearance of vertex sharp waves’.

Another research done by Sirley Marques Bonham, a physicist at the University of Texas (Centre for Theoretical Physics) in her published work, “Self-Experiments with Consciousness and Hypnagogia: A scientist’s personal exploration of consciousness at the threshold of sleep and beyond” had explored her hallucinatory experiences with a scientific perspective, also expanding on the phenomenon or lucidity of sleep. Moreover, another academic, George Gillespie defined the visual geometrical imagery (during Hypnagogia/Hypnapompic Hallucinations) as Lattice Patterns in his work “Stable intense lights: A distinct class of light imagery seen in lucid dreaming”. I find it absolutely accurate, as I see these patterns most nights during my Hypnagogic experiences. Although sometimes bizarre in their nature, these patterns seemed to be an infinite number of stars (or Star of David symbol) emerging in a manner wherein they ascend in their shape size every time. I’m still exploring this and trying to find a better way to describe the emergence of these lattice patterns. Also, I found Gillespie’s term ‘Pressed-Eye Imagery’ again very accurate, as through the act of pressing my eye I’m always consciously able to induce myself with some kind of hypnagogic imagery. In addition, his term ‘Elementary Imagery’ is also very accurate in defining the stage wherein the individual witnesses an intrinsic combination of geometric and non-visual perception forms.

Dr. Rick Strassman, an American clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, clinical psychopharmacology researcher and the author of the famous book DMT: The Spirit Molecule & DMT and the Soul of Prophecy had also suggested to me in our email dialogue that when non-drug states resemble the ones brought on by administering DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine), it would make an absolute sense that elevated brain DMT levels may be a common underlying mechanism. Moreover, he suggested administering his DMT rating scale to those who experience hypnagogia to more objectively measure the degree of resemblance. If the resemblances were strong, he says, that would support the argument that endogenous DMT may play a role. After reading the present literature on Hypnagogia/Hypnapompic states of consciousness, I’m quite certain that these states are intrinsically connected to memory and the unconscious realm of the mind and body. And when experienced under the influence of Psychoactive substances like LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), psilocybin, peyote, etc., it produces the same geometrical patterns (Lattice patterns; Non-perceptual Visual Imagery; Tetris Effects; Animal Imagery; Mathematical like equations hallucinations).

The reason I want to academically explore the psychopharmacology behind these altered states of consciousness and naturally emerging hallucinatory states is that most humans in the present world consume a various number of psychoactive substances (caffeine; marijuana; alcohol; prescription medications, being the most consumed) either once a day, throughout the day or at the end of the day before their sleeping time or indulge in some kind of meditational exercises. And when hypnagogia is encountered during these altered states of consciousness or even in rigorous meditative states, the hallucinations become more intense in nature- the visual geometrical hallucinatory field is quite clearly visible, the Tetris effect is also heightened and animal imagery is also quite identifiable. Tetris effects are the visual imageries of the repetitive activity that an individual commonly does on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, under the hypnagogic trance state these visual imageries gets replayed i.e., for example, if I was moving around and clearing my desk about two or three times a day, under hypnagogic state I would find myself viewing the same activity.

I came across this peculiar phenomenon, under the influence of cannabis at first, and for five or six months now, I’ve been really trying to derive meaning out of the hypnagogia induced geometrical visuals, Tetris effects (which opens more questions about the relation of the unconscious with episodic or semantic memories), and even synesthetic state of hallucinations before the REM sleep stage as they appear also in sober states. In February, I had collected some subjective accounts of people who have experienced the same phenomenon and I had noticed some similarities in the symbolism that emerges during stages i.e., geometric patterns, spiders (or other animal imageries), and memories or Tetris effects. I’ve also noticed that the geometrical component of these hallucinatory stages is also quite similar to closed-eye visuals that one experiences in a psychedelic state.

The question which baffles me the most is whether these symbols are the Objective symbols of the world i.e., whether they are part of the omnipresent unconscious psyche or the Jungian collective unconscious. It has already been well established by many philosophers including Descartes and Alan Badiou, even as early as Pythagoreans or Aristotle, that geometry and arithmetics is all there is, in terms of ‘Objectivity’ in the world. And with the emergence and recent popularisation of psychoactive substances, this ‘Objectivity’ I.e., geometry has been vividly perceived and acknowledged. I relate these ‘objective’ symbols to the ‘Otherly’ as these often perceived as mystical elements. I think enough emphasis should now be given to the Otherly and our consciousness. Especially with the contemporary psychedelic renaissance, now most of the subjective psychedelic experiences are recorded for the examination into the hallucinogenic characteristics. One of my research plans involves cross-examination of different subjects, under the influence of different compounds with hallucinogenic properties to see whether the hypnagogic visuals are distorted or intensified under their influence, and moreover, what ‘symbols’ remain the constant throughout the experiment or experience i.e., ofcourse if my research gets a FDA approval.

The development of recent technologies like MRI etc. has made it easier to examine the intrinsic connection between the unconscious mind and our perception or behavior. For example, Leonard Mlodinow, a physicist, had also emphasized and described these recent developments or tools in his book “Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior” that let us understand our automatic unconscious behavior by examining the brain under modern advanced technology, MRI/CT Scan.

With the help of recent technologies, I believe that it would indeed be possible to deeply examine the intrinsic connections between the symbols, memory and behavior and maybe also, consciousness. As Sirley Bonham Marques had stated in her book, “Hypnagogia is the shortest path for communication from our subconscious”. The subconscious mind usually encodes everyday memory into symbols that emerge during the hypnagogia or even the dream state, as witnessed through the Tetris effect.



Bonham Marques, S., 2017. Self-Experiments With Consciousness And Hypnagogia: A Scientist’S Personal Exploration Of Consciousness At The Threshold Of Sleep And Beyond.

Gillespie, G., 2009. Stable intense lights: A distinct class of light imagery seen in lucid dreaming. Dream Time: A publication of the Association for the Study of Dreams, [online] 26(1), pp.14-15. Available at: <https://www.academia.edu/11536447/Stable_intense_lights_A_distinct_class_of_light_imagery_seen_in_lucid_dreaming&gt; [Accessed 18 July 2020].

Jung, C., 1968. Aion. 2nd ed. Bollingen Series / Princeton, pp.3-7.

Mavromatis, A., 1983. Hypnagogia: The Nature And Function Of The Hypnagogic State. Ph.D. School of Social Sciences Theses, Brunel University.

Mlodinow, L., 2012. Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior. Pantheon Books.

Strassman, R., 2001. The Spirit Molecule. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.

Strassman, R., 2014. DMT And The Soul Of Prophecy. Rochester: Inner Traditions International, Limited.

Tanaka H, Hayashi M, Hori T. Topographic mapping of EEG spectral power and coherence in delta activity during the transition from wakefulness to sleep. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1999;53(2):155-157. doi:10.1046/j.1440-1819.1999.00509.x


-Sanjana Singh | 18/07/2020

Academia: https://telaviv.academia.edu/SanjanaSingh

Vision 3.0

Down the Rabbit Hole - @realisrealart
Down the Rabbit Hole – @realisrealart (Instagram)

(A) Ego death in the research or act of conscious-exploration cannot be defined as the death of self or individuality, as the ego is merely ancillary to self. Therefore, ego death can be described as per Jungian notions the death of the personal extra-conscious ego while the omnipresent extra-conscious ego remains in partial correspondence with the unknown inside i.e., the unconscious of the endosomatic self. Individuality adheres to the ego as the predominant characteristic, while the ego is the reaction of the conflict between the somatic self and the environment. Hence, the interim loss of personal extra-conscious ego in a conscious exploration is the reduction of the conglomerate ego within the self.

(B) The ego-consciousness perceives the enigmatic essence of the kaleidoscopic apparatus of trance during the alchemical conscious-explorations. The mandalas attempt to seize the self from the Hegelian notion of being-in-itself towards being-for-itself, as Jung places the center of Maya i.e., being and not-being not in ego but as a part of the self. Therefore, in the kaleidoscopic entrance, one loses the instinctive psyche while the vast endosomatic ego struggles as the experience bridges its duality like Isthmus of Suez

(C) The Hermetic principle of rhythm accordant with its gnostic principle of polarity, in the probing of conscious-exploration, allows the vibrant kaleidoscopic mandalas to pose as the neutralizing agent for the chaotic egoistic states of the psyche. Hence, stretching the limits within the subjective inner world while subtly exposing the self to the omnipresent aspects within the psyche. Thus, when asked “Nan yar?“, the consciousness explorer exclaims, “I am the transformation”.

(D) Aliquem alium internum, a climacteric period within the transformation of self as a road towards individuation lets the pneumatikos travel through the temptations or obstacles of sarkikos just like the alchemists desired spiritual metamorphosis in obscurities of matter. Hence, opus contra naturam, a perpetual journey till the eschatology requires a M’tu-ya-kitabu to locate the cave within the Khidr, while stepping on the faustian hybris to ascend to filius sapientiae. 

(E) Summun Bonum as part of the tantalizing experience of conscious-exploration makes the euphoric state cut through the bridge of the subjective and objective individualistic perspective of the human experience of the world. Thus, allowing a cosmic unity wherein the union between Atman-Brahman lets the consciousness and beyond explorer to step on the pathways of spiritual planes all the way from Ajna to Saharsana.








The ‘Psi-Phenomenon’ of Psychic Energy- From Hans Berger to Carl Gustav Jung

Hans Berger
Hans Berger (1873 – 1941) – German Psychiatrist; Inventor of the Electroencephalogram (EEG)


Psychic Energy, according to Carl Gustav Jung, can be expressed as a form which performs psychological work either by actual or potential forces. The distinction between psychological and physical activities can be understood through these examples- psychological activities include perception, memory, sensory inputs and outputs, thinking, etc., while physical activities include the process of breathing, digestion, perspiration, etc. The invention of EEG i.e., Electroencephalogram in the broad field of clinical neurology was done by a German psychiatrist named Hans Berger in 1921. Before the late 1980s when his main clinical researches began, he pursued mathematics and astronomy and was also a disguised spiritualist and sort of a psychophysical fanatic throughout most of his life. Here I will attempt to associate and draw parallels between the lives and inventions of Hans Bergers electroencephalogram with Carl Gustav Jungs theoretical developments in the field of psychology along with their respective encounters with the ‘psi-phenomena’ or ‘psychic energy’. 

In 1892, Hans Berger encountered a strange phenomenon during his training exercise in the military. He was thrown off of the horse he was riding onto a cannon drawn horse’s path wherein he automatically inspected the end of his life but thankfully for him, the horses had halted just in time. Miles away from the incident his sister had sensed a feeling that his brother, Hans might be in some kind of danger and hence requested their father to make an instant telegram to check with Berger. After this incident, Berger was left in contemplation as he pondered whether this coincidence was perhaps mental telepathy and somehow based on the principles of natural science. Therefore, right after the completion of his military service, he returned home to Jena in order to study medicine with the sole goal of finding out the physiological basis of this psychic energyhe had encountered.

In general terms, mental telepathy can be understood as a phenomenon that extends in spatial and temporal planes wherein there is a limitation set in the consciousness for the psychicevent to be proven as the annulled space-time barrier. In Jungian notions, synchronicity is a notion that occurs in archetypal situations wherein the corresponding points are related to danger, risks, fate, etc., and are harnessed through the forms of precognition, or telepathy. An innate archetype can be defined as a pattern, wherein emotions arise in terms of sensations of fear, danger, or risk which become universally recognizable human patterns that invoke the same notions or sensations in everyone. Just like Hans Berger whose study inspired by the telepathic psychic energyled him to discover the brain mirrorfrom the brains recording of electrical currents and eventually to the human EEG, Carl Gustav Jung who had also grown up questioning the validity of telepathy later found himself developing his own unique theoretical systems that further explained to him his, and often his patients’ ‘para-psychologicaloccurrences.

In the psi-phenomenon or para-psychological phenomenon, which is often used as the terminology to describe instances like telepathic occurrences within and by the psyche i.e., the mind’s sudden awareness of impressions via the common channels of the senses like for example, the ability to perceive, to hear, to touch and of intuition. Hence, the psychicevent is not a mere result of the course of perception instead- the event perceived i.e., the perception is channeled through sensations while the focus or the object of the perception itself is the psychicevent. However, it is an event that is incomprehensible by essence as within the limitations of our physical or physiological processes, the occurrences of such events cannot be anticipated. In the case of Hans Berger, after the incidents occurrence in 1892, there seemed to be absolutely no going back from the sensations that arose in Berger that led to his instant assumption of mental telepathy which further led him to the gate of his starting point in psychophysics career. In the psychotherapeutic treatment of neuroses and psychoses, the electrical impulses were observed by Berger as occasions of heightened emotional tensions that dont necessitate from the conscious part of the mind.

Another way to explain this phenomenon, perhaps could be expanding and laying emphasis on the ‘acausal parallelism’ which in Jungian notion can be seen as an idea emerging after his use of I Ching (The Book of Changes)- a Chinese esoteric exploration into divination that is represented by the symbol of yin and yang and led Gustav Jung to further question the connection between the internal ‘psychic event’ and the external ‘outer event’. ‘Acausal Parallelism’ emphasises that A and B are independent variables yet connected in time and space i.e., they happen simultaneously without being a cause of one another, as illustrated in the I Ching of the Eastern esoteric philosophy. This is where Jung’s idea of synchronicity is formulated with his suggestion that coincidences worked in this ‘acausal’ manner. However, I would argue that a great deal of synchronicity is also rooted in ‘psychophysics’, as Jung was looking for connections between his ideas and physics- i.e., a meeting point which became clear and came to light after one of the dinner table discussions delivered from Albert Einstein at Jung’s about his theory of relativity. It was after this discussion, that Jung was convinced that both relativity of time as well as space ould be possible, which he later expanded on his work of The Interpretation of Nature and Psyche with the help of physicist Wolfgang Pauli. This collaboration was possible at the time due to the accepting nature of Wolfgang Pauli and Modern Quantum Mechanics that was emerging during 1950s. The community was ready to accept acasual effects in physical phenomena with an increasing emphasis on number of possibilities in the universe as opposed to concentration on just ‘facts’. Therefore, physicists had proposed this notion acausal events where possible based on the idea that there could also be no exchange of energy between the two physical bodies. Also, a contrasting idea was also noted by Carl Jung during his exploration of Astrology that at times an individual’s unique personal expectations were mirrored in the results- a notion that again the contemporary modern quantum physics community is starting to take as an actual possibility i.e., that an observer can have effects on an experiment merely just by the act of observing- a subjective bias. I Ching could be argued as the esoteric precursor to the idea of synchronicity whilst the nature of accepting quantum mechanics after Einstein or ‘psychophysics’ could be the reason why Jung was certain there could exist several ‘connections’ across theories when it came to ‘synchronicity’.

To conclude, the psychic energyinevitably results in the conscious realization of a psychicand peculiar event within the structure of the physical premises of the human body. While the idea was empirically approached by Hans Berger, the same idea was theoretically approached by psychoanalysts like Carl Gustav Jung, while others like Alfred Adler from Depth Psychology completely rejected the existence as well as the notion of telepathy itself based upon an assertion that the psi-phenomena is nothing except an atonement of neurotic apparatus. However, it is noted that even philosophers and polymaths, like Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Arnold Geulincx, explored the “anomalous phenomenon” of telepathy, spiritual ecstasy, and visions in depth. 


C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages108-109.

Millett, D., 2001. Hans Berger: From Psychic Energy to the EEG. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 44(4), pp.522-542.

Lacanian Nucleus of Repression & The Élaboration of the ‘Prägung’

Art by Fucile Shreber Baja

Jacques Lacan, in his seminal work of The Nucleus of Repression, discusses the moment in the élaboration which is always present in an enigmatic way in analysis i.e., wherein the positive effect of interpretation in the transference episode is truly possible. Once this imaginary element becomes “non-integrated”, then the “suppressed, repressed” image arises followed by the appearance of anxiety which the subject witnesses. Lacan emphasizes the decisive or mutative value of this “fertile moment” because a right interpretation is required at that precise moment during the analysis. The subject’s desires at that particular moment fluctuate between being present and inconceivable and hence, it is the only occasion where the subject can make sense of the interpretation effectively.

Lacan illustrates the Wolfman case, wherein the subject has a character or narcissistic neurosis which makes the subject develop resistance to treatment. This theoretical dilemma was initially raised by Freud in Infantile Neurosis which is the title of the Wolfman in German. After-all, Lacan was known for interpreting Freud’s textual work in order to convey its inherent meanings and implications. The Wolfman case seems crucial in understanding the theory of trauma which Lacan uses as an example to unfold the theory of repression. He identifies the specter of repression in a traumatic event i.e., the event where the subject as a child accidentally catches the parents in a copulatory position. This issue of locating this “fertile moment” is also famously known as the topographical problem in Freudian terms. Lacan cleverly uses Freud’s estimated date of copulation, to reveal the dual symbolism of the subject’s birthday which also falls on Christmas Day. He locates the prägung i.e., the striking of repression in the subject’s anticipation of the Christmas day and the Birthday to further assert that “this anxiety-dream is the first manifestation of the traumatic significance of what a moment ago I called the imaginary break-in”. According to Freud, this prägung is located in the non-repressed unconscious. The prägung is the originating traumatic event that occurs within a non-repressed unconscious which is strictly limited to the domain of the imaginary. It reemerges during the course of the patient’s progress into a symbolic world. This first symbolic integration i.e., the prägung lets the “trauma” come right after the retroactive effect and induces a repressing action which is the detachment of the real world and the integration into the symbolic world.

Lacan states that repression only occurs to the extent that the events of the early years of the subject are in history sufficiently turbulent which in Freud’s words “it is in as much the subjective drama is integrated into a myth which has an extended, almost universal value, that the subject brings himself into being.” And that is why Infantile Neurosis is exactly the same as Psychoanalysis i.e., it plays the same role as psychoanalysis, namely, it accomplishes the reintegration of the past, and it brings into the play of symbols i.e., the prägung itself, which here only is attained through an effect that is retroactive. As a result of the development of the primary symbolic integration, the imaginary plane takes on its status as trauma. Hence, there lies no difference between this moment and the symbolic repression, except the only one which is that the subject has no one around to give him his cue, and that is how the “repression begins, having constituted its original nucleus”.

In the second part of the seminal article, Jacques Lacan asserts that the return of the repressed and repressed is one and the same thing. Repression occurs in an individualistic manner when the thought is separated from the feeling. It is the signifier that is repressed, as “nothing is ever, nothing can ever be repressed, except signifying elements. It is in Freud, the word signifier is all that is missing” (Lacan, Book VI). When the intellectual function is separated from the affective process, the signifier arises. The signifier is the primary organizing element of the unconscious. He states that every successful symbolic integration involves a sort of normal forgetting i.e., a forgetting without the return of the repressed. He connects Heideggerian notions to the “successful repression” which he claims is to be taken as a therapist’s term for “the most profound forgetting”. Lacan refers to Balint’s claim on the subject’s ego and further asserts that the ego achieves more feats when it is made to compete with itself i.e., through exercise or analysis, the analyst and the subject hold the power to “structure the ego” which will through practice become more strengthened over time and would be able to tolerate “greater excitations” because this exercise or analysis highly facilitates the subject to self-master his own ego. According to Lacan, this ego is an imaginary function of the “speaking subject” i.e., the subject succeeds the objective analysis as a result of verbal communication within the analysis- which will make the subject present itself distinctly. An example could be that of a scientist who is only a mirror image or support to the objectal scientific world, “the ego acquires the status of a mirage, as the residue, it is only one element in the objectal relations of the subject”.

In the third part of the Seminal Article, Lacan examines the procedure of therapy and the source of therapeutic action in the analysis. He identifies the essential function (which is the process of symbolic integration of the subject’s past history) as a function that relates to the super-ego wherein the analyst occupies a significant position. Lacan proceeds to trace the origins of the super-ego in the Freudian theory and illustrates that the super-ego emerged as a form of censorship, whose aim is to deceive through lying. The subject’s symbolic world is split by this agency into two parts, a) the accessible part i.e., which is recognized and as b) the inaccessible part i.e., which is forbidden. Lacan puts the super-ego within a tension which can be reduced down to what Freud explained as “purely instinctual principles”. In contrast, Lacan also entertains the idea where the unconscious of the subject is just “a schism of the symbolic system” i.e., a restriction or alienation which is influenced by the symbolic system and where the super-ego is an analogous schism as it occurs “for the subject”. He illustrates this with an example of his patient whose aversion of the Koranic law becomes lodged in his symptoms. The subject discovers the most significant relationship to the universe of symbolism when it is organized. Hence, it is when the traumatic elements are compressed in an image that has previously never been integrated- when the synthesis of the subject’s history appears, “his history is unified by the law, by his symbolic universe”, which is subjective and therefore, distinct for everyone. Lacan recognizes this trait of reducing the law as “inadmissible, unintegrable character” with this “blind, repetitive agency” as the definition of the term super-ego. Lacan also highlights Freud’s work of the Oedipus complex and claims that it is the most uniform point of intersection i.e., it is the minimum requirement in the existential sense of the term (i.e., of the individual’s personal education and tradition).

In conclusion, the moment when all the significant objects of the subject’s cycle have appeared and all his imaginary history is completed i.e., when the anxiety-provoking desires of the subject have been identified and reintegrated or when the desires which were initially present in O (innocence period) shifts to Ó (after integration into the imaginary period) and again to O (through analysis) represents a completed web of symbols – is the fundamental outcome most required by the analysis itself. Lacan ends this seminal article by suggesting that there is enigma around the adjournment of the analysis itself i.e., it is unknown when the analysis is supposed to be adjourned because it depends on “the analyst’s education in humanity”. A man usually tends to resolve conflicts in accordance with conduct or group morale which makes the man incapable of “broaching these grand themes”.


Lacan, J. (1988). The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book I, Freud’s Papers on Techniques 1953-1954. W.W. Norton & Company, pp.187-199.

Lacan, J. (1988). The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VI, Desire and its Interpretation. W.W. Norton & Company.