Here is a blog post I commented on:
Posted on Jun 19th, 2008 by Balder
And here is my comment:
Thanks for posting this Balder! This brings up some important issues I’m interested in.
And thanks Jim for your perspective. I think you’re right on target.
There is a difference between theory and experience. And experience can be quite messy. We don’t experience these coneptual categories because our experience is always a mix of different states and stages… and also a mix of various paradigms and memes that influence our views that are entirely outside of this model.
Even scientifically testing emprical claims is tricky when it comes to all things consciousness-related including divinatory predictions. For anyone interested in the challenges of consciousness studies, I’d recommend Lynne McTaggart’s books or The Trickster and the Paranormal by George P. Hansen.
God is in the manure. This is an idea of alchemy. The figure that represents the alchemical/individuation process is Mercurius and he is a Trickster. Tricksters are known for breaking the distinctions between things… especially between intellectual distinctions such as prerational and transrational.
Mercurius relates to Hermes. And Hermes acts as a mediary between the popular distinction of Apollonian and Dionysian. Wilber’s view (or at least the model that he has created) is very Apollonian. Whereas, Dionysus is about the transformative experience that can’t be understood or controlled. Can integral find a way to include and use the Jungian model of the Trickster/mediary to overcome this divide?
Jim, you said:
“Would it be skillful for the physician to tell Lars that he’s not being rational about the situation, and that his belief that Bianca is a real woman is a “prerational” delusion?”
To play “as if” would be an act of the imagination. The imagination is the realm of the Trickster. Can pretending that the false is real transform it into a real positive result? This depends on what is defined as real. The imagination is about what is metaphorically real and this is just as important as what is rationally real. Besides, the distinction between the two is never absolute. So, how do we rationally speak of what is or isn’t skillful means? In considering this question, I’d agree with what Jim says here:
“I would say that we can only tell in retrospect if we can tell at all if certain manure had the potential to help one develop in a transpersonal direction, and that ultimately we may not be able to tell, because we are talking about an organic rather than a mechanical process.”
“There is also a sense in which I think the PTF is like a grammatical rule that we learn to apply and then forget about.”
Also, like a grammatical rule, there are many many exceptions to the rule.