On Vision and Being Human: Exploring the Menstrual, Neurological and Symbolic Origins of Religious Experience

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Lulu.com, Jul 14, 2015 - Religion - 342 pages
Visionary and religious experiences are ubiquitous among human beings, but why do we experience them as coming from a hidden reality beyond the senses? Why should we believe in the existence of deities despite the mundane evidence of our own eyes? Why do we as intelligent primates ascribe any importance to these 'imaginary' realities at all? This creative and speculative thesis seeks to answer these questions in a new way, gazing into the content of visions themselves and exploring the various inner realities that gave rise to these transformative and meaningful aspects of our humanity. Focusing upon symbolic cognition as a fundamental organising principle of human experience, a diverse series of musings upon the nature of reality, consciousness, and our evolutionary origins seeks to transcend our modern artificial boundaries to arrive at a holistic, and delightfully playful, human image for the twenty-first century. An original visionary thesis illustrated with 30 beautiful drawings.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgements About the Author 8
8
Introduction
10
On Vision as Sacred Other
17
The Problem of Visionary Ambiguity
21
Visionary Experience in the TwentyFirst Century
25
The Classical Image of the WorldBeyondWorlds
29
Unravelling the WorldBeyondWorlds
35
Quantum Considerations
39
Contemporary Antagonisms
163
Sacred Play
173
Intimately Human
183
Definitions of Symbols and Symbolism
189
The Barasana Concept of He
191
The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
192
On Pareidolia
195
Other ThreeTier Visionary Systems
197

Emergent Objectivity and the Noumenon
45
The Neurological Foundation of Visionary Experience
51
Speculations on Consciousness as an Emergent Order
57
The Vortex as Primordial Reality
67
On Darwinism
69
Signs Symbols Language and Vision
73
On Symbolism and Symbolic Cognition
83
Menstruation and the Origins of Culture
87
Becoming Human
95
Meditations on the First Deity
107
Trance as the Link between Symbol and Vision
111
Embodying Vision
117
In The Darkness I Can See My Own Brain
125
Symbolic Projections Symbolic Cosmos
127
Speculations on Visionary Beings as Neurological Phenomena
139
Towards a Neurological Eternity
149
On Creativity
153
A New Human Image
159
Object Permanence and the Noumenon
199
On Menstrual Synchrony
200
Handaxes and PreSymbolic Cultural Behaviours
202
On Menstrual Migraines
206
On Phylogenetic and Ontogenic Archetypes
208
On Music
210
The Goddess Kamakhya and the Queen of the Night
213
Defining the ArtArtefact in a Middle Palaeolithic Context
215
On the Coopting of Menstruation and Male Power
216
Ainu Relationships Between Humans and Gods
220
Forward into the Prehistoric
221
Timeline of Relevant Features of Human Evolution
224
Notes References
227
List of Illustrations and Commentary
294
Bibliography
303
Index
326
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