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Idealist ontology, philosophy of science, cognition, reality, psychological Now, collective conscious experience, egoless experience, philosophy of mind,

mind-brain relations, mindmatter relations, collective consciousness, egolessness, spirituality, shamanism, science and religion, God.

Idealist Philosophy:

hat is !eal "

#onscious $xperience %een as &asic to 'll (ntology. 'n (verview

&y 'xel !andrup arandrup)mobilixnet.d* International #enter for Interdisciplinary Psychiatric !esearch, #I!IP ritten +,,,-+,,-. $lectronic publication only.

'bstract Introduction #ontent and .emporal $xtension of the Psychological Now .he (ntology of #onsciousness .he (ntology of Nature Including /ind - &rain !elations Individual and #ollective #onscious $xperience. .he (ntology of Intersub0ectivity #ollective #onscious $xperience 'cross .ime. .he (ntology of 1istory $goless $xperience. .he (ntology of .he (ntology of %hamanism !eligion. God, !ationality, %pirituality Note !eferences orlds ithout an $go

orlds #omprising %piritual $xperiences

.he idealist attitude followed in this paper is based on the assumption that only conscious experience in the Now is real. #onscious experience in the Now is supposed to be *nown directly or intuitively, it can not be explained. I thin* it constitutes the basis of all ontology. #onsciousness is conceived as the total of conscious experience in the Now, the ontology of consciousness is thus derived directly from the basis. .he ontology of nature is derived more indirectly from the basis. %cience is regarded as a catalog of selected conscious experiences 2observations3, ac*nowledged to be scientific and structured by means of concepts and theories 2also regarded as conscious experiences3. /aterial ob0ects are regarded as heuristic concepts constructed from the immediate experiences in the Now and useful for expressing observations within a certain domain with some of their mutual relations. 1istory is also regarded as a construct from conscious experiences in the Now. #oncepts of worlds without an ego are seen to be in harmony with immediate egoless experiences. orlds including spirituality are conceived as based on immediate spiritual experiences together with other immediate experiences. Idealist or immaterial philosophies have been critici4ed for implying solipsism or 5solipsism of the present moment5. .his criti6ue is countered by emphasi4ing the importance of intersub0ectivity for science and by introducing the more precise concepts of collective conscious experience and collective conscious experience across time. #omprehensive evidence supporting the heuristic value of these concepts is related. I conclude that the idealist approach leads to a coherent comprehension of natural science including mind-brain relations, while the mainstream materialist approach entails contradictions and other problems for a coherent understanding. .he idealist approach and the notion of collective conscious experience also facilitates cross-cultural studies and the understanding of intersub0ectivity.

Key-words : Idealist ontology7 philosophy of science7 cognition7 reality7 psychological Now7 collective conscious experience7 collective consciousness7 egoless experience7 egolessness7 philosophy of mind7 mind-brain relations7 mindmatter relations7 spirituality7 shamanism7 science and religion7 God. Introduction
In preceding papers the author has tried to expound an idealist ontology stating that only conscious experience in the Now is real. .his challenges the currently dominant materialist ontology in the natural sciences, nevertheless it does maintain the methodological presupposition that all scientific research - materialist, idealist, or dualist - rests on empirical observations from which concepts and theories are derived 2!andrup 899:, 8999, +,,+3. In this ontology, or philosophy the immediate conscious experience in the psychological Now is fundamental, and I shall therefore begin with this topic and from that develop the ontology of consciousness, nature, intersub0ectivity, history. worlds without an ego, and worlds comprising spiritual experiences.

Content and Temporal Extension of the Psychological ow

' number of time studies and psychological experiments indicate that the psychological Now is experienced with a certain temporal extension and therefore differs from the physical moment or point of time, which is regarded as infinitesimal with 4ero duration. .hus the psychologist !ubin 289-;3 performed experiments with 5 two very short sound stimuli in the outer physical world succeeding one another.5 hen the interval between the two sound stimuli was short, a fifth of a second 2in physical time3, !ubin<s immediate experience was: =uite contrary to our general notion of time, the experience does not occur that one of the sounds is present and that the other belongs either to the 0ust expected future or to the immediate past. $ither both of them are past or both of them are future or both of them have the character of being present, although they are experienced as a succession. I find that !ubin<s results stand out for their clarity and significance. %earching the literature I have found no direct replication, continuation or criti6ue of !ubins wor*, but there are several authors who concur with !ubin in assuming that the perceptual or experiential Now possesses extension. >raisse 289:?3 has, li*e !ubin performed many phenomenological observations and experiments on the psychology of time, and he thin*s that our perception of change is characteri4ed by the integration of successive stimuli in such a way that they can be perceived with relative simultaneity 2p. 8+3. 1e also states that when he hears the tic*-toc* from a cloc*, the tic* is not yet part of his past, when he hears the toc*, so the order of the tic* and the toc* is perceived directly 2pp. :+-:-, 88:3. hitehead 289+,, p. @93 thin*s that 5the ultimate terminus of awareness is a duration with temporal thic*ness5 and that 5the present is a wavering breadth of boundary5 between the extremes of memory and anticipation. Aenbigh 289B8, p. 8:3 thin*s that the 5specious present5 2or 5perceptual present53 gives to temporal awareness a certain degree of 5spread5, and he 6uotes illiam Cames for asserting that the perceptual present is not li*e a *nife edge, but more li*e a saddle-bac*. /ore recently Darela 28999, p. 8893 has stated that 5the very mode of appearance of nowness is in the form of extension, and to spea* of a now-point obscures this fact5. 1ayward 289B:3 writes about relations between the sciences and &uddhism, and he states that conscious experience occurs as series of moments of finite duration 2p. 8@B3. ithin the extension of the Now there is room for a rich content including both memories and anticipations, which can be seen as special modes of experience in the Now. /emories and anticipations in the Now can of course, together with the eperience of succession, form a basis for construction of concepts of time. .hese concepts 2also conscious experiences3 can then become part of the psychological Now. .he philosopher 1enri &ergson 289B,3 studied the immediate experience of successions, and found that such experiences, for instance the notes of a melody penetrate each other and form a whole 2pp. :;-:93. 1e contended that the

time of science and of daily life is an abstraction from these immediate experiences. I find that &ergson<s views correspond well with the description of the content of the Now by Gurwitsch and 'rvidson, which is related below. 'lso &uddhist and other Indian psychology have found that physical time is an 5abstraction5, a 5construction5 or a 5conceptual fabrication5 21ayward 89B:, pp. 8@@,8@9, Inada 8998, pp. ;:,-;:8, /ahadevan, 899+, p. ?:B3. Nicholas of #usa 28?th century3 held similar views of the Now: 5'll time is comprised in the present or <now<..... time is only a methodological arrangement of the present. .he past and the future, in conse6uence, are the development of the present5 26uoted in Perry 89:8, p. B;,3. I thin* that other concepts, theories and observations of science are li*ewise abstracted, abducted or constructed from the whole of the psychological Now. .he reading of a measuring instrumant can serve as an example: usually only the position of the pointer is recorded, while its color and shape together with many other features of the perceptual whole are ignored 2/archais and !andrup 8998, p. +3. .he rich content and the structure of the Now has been studied extensively by Gurwitsch 289B?3 followed by 'rvidson 2+,,,3. 'rvidson states: 5't each and every moment of experience, with few exceptions, there is a figure and a ground, a focus of attention and a context for that focus5. 't the periphery of this 5thematic field5 'rvidson thin*s that there is the contents of 5marginal consciousness5 2p. -3. In the succession of moments a marginal item may move into the thematic field 2p. 8;3. I concur with these views, and I thin* they help to understand the way concepts and theories are constructed from the whole of the psychological Now. %trictly spea*ing the conscious content of the Now constitutes the only sure basis of all our *nowledge, and if we accept that the Now contains both successions, memories, anticipations and focal or marginal awareness of many items, this basis will be sufficient for construction of concepts and theories, including theories about ontology. #oncepts and theories are also experienced in the Now, in the focus or the margin. .he central importance of the Now in the idealist position developed here indicates that further scientific studies of the psychology of the Now will yield information of fundamental significance. %tudies by %orenson 2899B3 of indigenous people living in isolated enclaves around the world have revealed a *ind of consciousness focussed within a flux of sentient immediacy, where experience is not clearly subdivided into separable components. I expect that further studies of this *ind of consciousness, 5precon6uest consciousness5 will contribute significantly to the *nowledge of immediate experience in the Now. .he change of precon6uest consciousness under foreign influence may yield material for understanding the process of extraction of separable components from the immediate experience in the Now and the formation of concepts and theories.

The !ntology of Consciousness

In the $nglish scientific and philosophic literature the term 5consciousness5 is used with several very different meanings. 1ere are some examples showing the span of the variation: 5#onsciousness is a neurological system li*e any other, with functions such as the longterm direction of behavior ... 5 2&ridgeman 89B,3 5#onsciousness ... is best regarded as an aspect of the system<s behaviour, the latter admitting of both overt and covert dimensions.5 2#otterill +,,8, p. 8-3 5#onsciousness is information5 2Goldberg 899@, pp. 8+, -+3 .he universe is fundamentally a great mind. #onsciousness is seen as primary, and matter as a pro0ection of consciousness 2(rme-Cohnson, Eimmerman and 1aw*ins 899:3. uthnow 289:@, p. @,3 proposes that consciousness may be defined 5as the ongoing process of constructing reality out of symbols and experience.5 .his is an example of functionalism which in general views consciousness as a brain process or mode of functioning 2Delmans 899,, p. :93. uthnow 2p. @?3 also thin*s that consciousness 5needs to be recogni4ed as not simply a psychological phenomenon, but as a process lin*ed in important ways to the functioning of society.5 5...the most important thing about consciousness is that it<s a social attribute5 2>reeman and &urns 899@, p. 8B,3. &rown 289::, p. 8?,3 thin*s that 5consciousness is a manifestation of both the achieved cognitive level and the full series of cognitive levels at a given moment in psychological time.5 't a study wee* on brain and conscious experience the Datican 'cademy of %cience expressed this view: 5's to the further meaning of the term 5consciousness5 the %tudy ee* intends that it strictly designates the psychophysiological concept of perceptual capacity, of awareness of perception, and the ability to act and react accordingly.5 26uoted in Fttal 89:B, p. :3. 5'n awareness of awareness of self and environment in time5 is suggested as a definition of consciousness by %trehler 28998, p. ;?3. 5..... by focusing the attention on the sheer clarity and the sheer cogni4ance Gthe event of *nowingH of experience, one attends to the defining characteristics of consciousness alone, as opposed to the 6ualities of other ob"ects of consciousness. 2 allace 8999, p. 8B-3. 'ntony 2+,,8, p. -;3 relates a view of consciousness from the beginning of the twentieth century. 5'ny contents of consciousness ... are not parts or features of consciousness, but simply what consciousness is conscious of .5 oodhouse 2899:, p. +?@3 writes: 5.he sense of consciousness with which I will begin and

subse6uently develop is that of awareness per se, irrespective of the ob0ects or contents of awareness ... this fundamental sense is at bottom simple and indefinable, and we are forced to rely, in part, on each person<s intuitive underdstanding of what it means to be conscious.5 #onsciousness is a private perceptual space-time system, manifested as an orderly manifold of percepts. 2Iuhlenbec* 89@8, p. -:3. #ere I will understand consciousness as the total of conscious experience in the ow 2individual, collective or egoless, see below3, immediate experience as well as constructs, concepts and theories. #onscious experience 2or 0ust experience3 is supposed to be *nown directly or intuitively, it can not be explained. I thin* it constitutes the given basis of all ontology. .he ontology of consciousness is then derived directly from this basis. I believe that the word 5consciousness5 is today often used in the sense of awareness per se separated from its content 2as described by allace, by 'ntony, and by oodhouse above3. In this sense consciousness is a partition or construction from the direct experience. .he ontology of consciousness understood in this way is derived from the immediate experience too, but less directly. .his also applies to the ontology of consciousness understood in all the other ways reported above. hen we go to other cultures and languages the ambiguities in the understanding of consciousness become still greater. .hus in >rench the word 5conscience5 can often be translated ade6uately by 5consciousness5, but in certain contexts it corresponds to $nglish 5conscience5. >urther, the >rench word 5connaissance5 corresponds to $nglish 5consciousness5 in certain contexts, while it most often corresponds to 5*nowledge5. In Aanish the term 5bevidsthed5 corresponds 6uite well with $nglish 5consciousness5. il*es 289BB3 writes about the history of the $nglish term 5conscious2ness35 and states that it arrives late in its present 2range of3 sense2s3. .he term 5consciousness5 with a recogni4abble modern meaning did not appear until 8@:B. $arlier 5conscious5 referred to5shared *nowledge5, while the term 5inwit5 had some overlap with today<s term 5consciousness5 il*es also writes about the 'ncient Gree*, the #hinese, and the #roatian languages. %he thin*s that there is no generally ade6uate translation for 5consciousness5 or 5mind5 in these languages, but is not denying that there are specific contexts in which the $nglish terms are translated perfectly by terms such as psyche, sophia, nous, metanoia, or aistesis in Gree*, yishi in #hinese, and duh or um in #roatian. >rom Israel I have been informed that it is difficult to give a good translation of the $nglish word 5mind5 in 1ebrew, since there are ? - @ possible words, each of them with a special shade 2/iriam %chwar4 89B+, personal communication, 3. It thus seems that it is not impossible to learn from other cultures about concepts of consciousnes and the ontology of consciousness, but great care will be necessary, because of the linguistic and general cultural differences. .his applies to what I write in the following sections about #hinese, &uddhist, Capanese and other foreign views. I rely on texts written in $nglish or Aanish by authors with insight in the respective cultures.

The !ntology of ature Including $ind- %rain &elations

.he dominant ontology of the estern scientific culture is materialist realism which assumes that what scientific theories describe is a material world existing independent of human consciousness and cognition. .his view has proved useful and productive within a certain, large domain of the study of nature, but it has been contested by many philosophers 2Inight +,,87 !andrup 899:, with references3, and a number of scientific findings made in the +,th century have been difficult to accomodate in this ontology. .hus cognitive neuropsychology assumed from the beginning, li*e all biology, the existence of an external world independent of the human observer. .he studies in this discipline led, however, to the conflicting result, that all our cognitions, including the assumption of an external world, must depend on the cognitive apparatus in our brain. .he same contradiction has emerged in the discipline evolutionary epistemology 2the study of cognition in the context of biological evolution3 and has been discussed within this discipline, during later years in the 0ournal $volution and #ognition. (ther examples of contradictions and problems conse6uential to the assumption of a material world 5out there5 are found within the disciplines second order cybernetics, statistics, and physics. 2!andrup 899: and submitted3. Aoubts about the materialist ontology 2or realism3 have been expressed by various physicists. .hus Jas4lo 2899@, p. -+3 writes: 5's of today the mainstream theorists of the 6uantum world have not succeeded in giving an unambigous answer to the 6uestion, <what is matter"< 5. 'nd &arrow 289BB, p.8@3 states: 5It appears that science is best done by believing that realism is true, even if in fact it isn<t5 . .he newer theories involving superstrings and supermembranes have made the doubts still more disturbing. .hese theoretical entities, extremely small, are believed to be fundamental constituents of matter, but direct effects of them can not be assessed experimentally, and the belief in their existence rests on the usefulness of the theories in which they are embedded. .hey may therefore be conceived as heuristic theoretical concepts rather than pieces of matter, and the superstring theories have been regarded as mathematical philosophy rather than physics 2&rown 8998, Nathan +,,,3. ' clear and radical position was ta*en by Jindsay and /argenau 289;9, p. 83 who begin their boo* 5>oundations of Physics5 with the statement: 5Physics is concerned with a certain portion of human experience5. .his expresses an idealist conception of physics, and at the same time an extension of the usual conceptions of consciousness to embrace also the domain of physics. .hese authors find that the belief in a real material world behind our senseperceptions may tend to encourage too close adherence to reasonably successful physical theories with too small allowance for their necessary revision to meet the demands of new experience 2p. -3. In the idealist ontology proposed here, science is regarded as a catalog of selected conscious experiences 2observations3 ac*nowledged to be scientific and structured by means of concepts and theories which are regarded as conscious experiences too. /aterial ob0ects

are thus regarded as heuristic concepts useful for expressing observations within a certain domain with some of their mutual relations. .his reinterpretation of materialist ob0ects allows a direct understanding and use of traditional scientific theories without accepting their ontology 2/arshall +,,8, p. @,, !andrup 899:, section ;3. .he idealist ontology emphasi4es the role of the evidence in science and is particularly open to new theories and to the application of more than one theory and set of concepts to a domain of observations 2Jindsay and /argenau 89;9, pp. 8--, !andrup 899+, 899;, 899:b, allace 899@, pp. +?+:, 88--88;,8;B-8?,, 89,3. .he idealist ontology of nature also readily accomodates the intense nature experiences *nown as nature spirituality 2!andrup 899:3. .hese intense, direct nature-experiences are felt by the experient to be essential and important, indicating that they must be real and that nature primarily is an experience. .hese experiences are thus felt to be in conflict with the materialist view that nature exists separated from and independent of the 5observer5. 'lso on more secular ground many people resist the alienation from nature entailed by strict materialist realism, and tend to retain naive 2or direct3 realism, where material nature is believed to be as perceived. .he mind-body or mind-brain problem is now often called 5the hard problem5, meaning that it is hard to understand how a material brain can produce consciousness. I believe that the hardness of the problem is a direct implication of the materialist ontology, and that therefore the problem cannot be 5solved5 as long as this ontology is applied. /aterialist realism is the problem. 2Dery recently /arshall 2+,,8, p. @,3 has expressed similar views on the hardness of the mind-brain problem3. ith the idealist ontology the mind-brain relations are relations between conscious experiences 2observations3 constituting the material brain 2here seen as a heuristic concept3 and other conscious experiences. It is readily understood that such relations are possible, and they can be studied in detail by comparing the results from neurophysiology and from attention to conscious experiences. In a number of non- estern cultures and belief systems we encounter conceptions of the world and the human which are very different from the dominant conceptions of contemporary estern science. #learly those cultures have made different extractions and constructions from their immediate experiences in the psychological Now. riting on $ast 'sian thought .u 289B,3 gives a clear account of such differences. 1e states that according to $ast 'sian thought it is fallacious to define human nature merely in terms of biological, psychological or sociological structures and functions because, viewed holistically a more comprehensive grasp of its many-sidedness is re6uired. .he uni6ueness of being human is an ethicoreligious 6uestion7 #h<an re0ects the artificial dichotomy between the body and the enlightened mind 2pp. 8@:, 8:+ and 8:-3. .u also states that human beings are thought to have the potential power and insight to penetrate the thingsin-themselves 2this is in direct opposition to the Iantian view of the un*nowable 5Aing an sich53 and that humanity forms an inseparable unity with heaven, earth and the myriad things 2in contrast to the view of a material world separate from the human mind3 2p.8@93. 't the Bth orld #ongress of Psychiatry ig 2899,3 emphasi4ed the need for a truly

international diagnostic system in psychiatry, acceptable also in the developing countries. 's one of the obstacles he mentioned conceptual bias, i.a. the body-mind dichotomy. %tanner 289:83 gives an account of 'boriginal 'ustralian beliefs and conceptions. 1e states that our contrast of body versus spirit is not there and the whole notion of the person is enlarged. .he 'ustralians 5enfold into some *ind of oneness the notions of body, spirit, ghost, shadow, spirit-site, and totem5. .he 'ustralians can also conceive that 5man, society and nature and past, present, and future are at one5. erblows*y 289:8, p. -:3 writes about Cewish thin*ing. Aistinction between body and soul2s3 occurs, but the essential feature of rabbinic anthropology was not the opposition body-soul, but the doctrine of the two inclinations, the good yeser and the evil yeser. .his dichotomy is still fundamental in contemporary Cewish thin*ing. Purely idealist ontologies have been developed by schools within &uddhism. .hus ayman 289:8, p. ;+@3 writes about 5the idealistic standpoint of the Di0naptimatra school by which there is no external ob0ect independent of consciousness5. 'nd 1su 2899,3 has written a boo* about the 5theory of Pure #onsciousness considered one of the sub0ective and <uncompromising< doctrines of idealism5 2p.8+83. .he teory of Pure #onsciousness belonged to the Ja*sana school, otherwise also called the Kogacara school 2p. B83, and it was transmitted by Luan Eang to #hina where it flourished 2p. 8883. (*uyama 2899;, p. @93 has written about the 5/ind-(nly5 doctrine of the Kogacara school: 5.he name /ind- (nly came from their strong belief that all is mind and there is no real world.....outside world is thought as our illusion created inside of our mind5. Jindtner 2899B, p.8,3 write in a similar way about the ontology of the Kogacara school: 5'll the universe consists of consciousness only5 2translated from Aanish by the present author3. 1ollenbac* 2899@, pp.8,;-8,?3 refers to the .ibetan treatise 5.he Koga of Inowing the /ind, the %eeing of !eality5 inspired by Kogacara teachings. In this treatise it is claimed that the phenomenal world is only a mental construct, a creation of our minds. .he only reality is mind - all else is an illusory fabrication of mind. 'ccording to allace 28999, p. 8:@3 the following declaration is attributed to the &uddha himself: 5'll phenomena are preceded by the mind. hen the mind is comprehended, all phenomena are comprehended.5 It is interesting to compare this declaration with the intent of contemporary physicists to construct a 5theory of everything5 on a materialist basis. .his &uddhist idealism accords with more ancient traditions of the $ast which assert 5that the universe is fundamentally a great mind, an infinite field of consciousness at the basis of our mind, far from being a metaphysical notion lying outside the range of human experience..he great mind is also seen as the basis of our bodies and all of material existence5 2(rme-Cohnson, Eimmerman and 1aw*ins 899:3. .he idealist ontology proposed here will therefore facilitate cross-cultural studies of nature, including mind-brain relations.

Indi'idual and Collecti'e Conscious Experience( The !ntology of Intersub"ecti'ity

Immaterialist views such as the idealism proposed here, phenomenalism, and radical constructivism have been met with the ob0ection that they are based entirely on private 2individual3 experiences. .hus 1irst 289?9, pp.9;-9?3 states that material ob0ects are public, while sense data are private to the percipient, and he as*s how sets of statements about these private sense data can give the meaning of a statement about a public ob0ect.. Ji*ewise it has been critici4ed that the immaterialist views are *inds of solipsism 2the idea that the world has no existence outside the thin*er<s sub0ective mind3 or may lead to solipsism 2(lsen 89B@, p. -@;, !ussell 89?-, p. @+-, Don >oerster 89B;, pp. ?9-@,, Don Glasersfeld 89BB, p. B@, at4lawic* 89B;, p. 8?3. hitehead 289:B, p. 8?+3 states that if experience be not based upon an ob0ective content, there can be no escape from a solipsist sub0ectivism, and he critici4es the philosophers 1ume and Joc*e for failing to provide experience with an ob0ective content. 1e also states that with Iant<s 5apparent5 ob0ective content there can be no real escape from a solipsist sub0ectivism. It seems to me, however, that this criti6ue is untenable. It is based on the presumption that conscious experiences are always individual, but it can be contended that this presumption is far from sure. It ignores the phenomenon of intersub0ectivity which is important in science, also in mainstream science, as well as the logically possible more precise concept collective conscious experience. In order to be recogni4ed as scientific, an observation has to be confirmed by several scientists - become intersub0ective. ' new observation or concept may originate with one person, then the scientific community will wor* to test, if intersub0ectivity can be obtained. In accordance with the assumption that consciousness is always individual, each person having his own experiences separated from those of other persons, an intersub0ective observation is often conceived of as the same observation or experience distributed over different individual minds or consciousnesses. If, for instance, two persons together are reading a meter with digital display, it is assumed in scientific wor* that they read exactly the same value, :.@ for example. I thin*, however, that it is also possible to regard an intersub0ective observation or concept as one collective experience with the whole group of persons involved as the sub0ect, the e. Jogically both interpretations seem e6ually possible. .hey both contradict solipsism, but I prefer the notion of collective consciousness finding that in several contexts it has the greater heuristic value. In the following I shall write in more detail about collective conscious experience and give evidence for the heuristic value of this notion. #ollective conscious experiences will of course be related to neurophysiologic processes in all the brains of the persons involved 2 brains and persons, including the 5I5 are of course here seen as heuristic structures in the catalog of scientific observations3, while neurophysiology usually studies conscious experiences in association with one brain only. 1ere I believe there is an extended domain for further experimental research. I thin* it will

be possible to study relations between changes in two or more brains associated with collective experiences and with processes leading to collective experiences. %ome conscious experiences, such as intersub0ective scientific observations and concepts, are readily seen to be shared with a collective of persons, while other experiences appear to be more individual7 sometimes I feel that experiences I have are not shared or only partly shared by persons with whom I communicate. .his feeling may be reciprocal and even shared, so it forms a *nown and directly experienced part of a common collective consciousness. .his feeling may also give rise to a belief that the other person has individual experiences different from mine, and even give rise to thoughts about the nature of these experiences. %uch thoughts are, however, only con0ectural, we cannot *now the contents of other individual minds, but I thin* we *now and experience directly the collective experiences. .his I regard as an answer to the much discussed problem of 5other minds5, thoughts about the complete content of another mind remain con0ectural, but what we share collectively we can and do *now by direct experience. I also regard this view as the beginning of an approach to another much discussed problem, that of animal mind 2!andrup submitted a3. .he boundary between individual and collective consciousness is, however, blurred. If we tal* together about our experiences, the intersub0ective or collective part will be expanded. .his aspect of intersub0ectivity has been studied thoroughly by the phenomenological school of psychology at #openhagen Fniversity 2!ubin, .rane*0Mr !asmussen, >rom3. .rane*0Mr !asmussen 289@B, chapter -, with references3 writes that through communication it is possible to ma*e certain conscious experiences 5intersub0ectively transportable5 within a group of people. ' set of intersub0ectively transportable experiences he calls a recursive basis. %uch recursive bases are established within scientific disciplines 2technical languages3, but .rane*0Mr !asmussen thin*s that within the disciplines little has been done to state the recursive bases explicitly, and he thin*s that wor*ing to accomplish this will be an important tas* for both epistemology and pedagogics. (btaining intersub0ectivity in psychologyNpsychiatry aided by communication between scientists has been described recently by /archais 2+,,,, pp. 8+;-8+?3 and by /archais, Gri4e, and !andrup 2899?, p. -:83. I thin* that carefully established recursive bases can be regarded as collective consciousness within a group of persons. %ince recursive bases in science can be 6uite comprehensive, we may envisage that scientists, particularly scientists within one discipline, have a significant part of their consciousness in common, a collective consciousness. Indeed, *nowledge generally and many concepts such as 5eleven,5 5energy,5 and even 5solipsism5 cannot be individual at all, because from the beginning they are shaped by communication and education. .his view is supported by several reflections in the literature. .hus COrgensen 289@-, p. 8:@3 describes in detail how two persons can arrive at common names of certain phenomena such as 5head5, 5arm5, 5green5 etc. by ma*ing observations together and communicate about the names. 1e contends that originally we have all learned the names of things and their properties in this way7 in science further education and communication has lead to the technical terms. In a personal letter of /arch +,, 8999 Pierre /archais asserted that the number ? is an educational, not a sub0ective

phenomenon, an example of collective *nowledge. 1e told me that the ? exists in me only because I have been taught arithmetic. autischer 2899B, p. 8+3 maintains that in most cultures *nowledge is seen as belonging to a group of people rather than being the result of individual effort. Ji*ewise Jut4 2899+, p. :+3 regards psychological and anthropological thought systems as developing in a sociocultural context and as constructed in interaction with that context. %he also finds an essential similarity between the cultural processes which structure academic psychology and anthropology and those which structure other forms of ethnopsychology and ethnoanthropology. .hornton 2899@3 states that language is an irreducibly public form of life which is encountered in specifically social contexts, and since a solipsist re6uires a language, .hornton sees solipsism as an inherently incoherent theory. 'llwood 2899:3 writes in a similar vein7 he regards dialogue as collective thin*ing and contends that 5language is an instrument for 2collective3 activation of information 2or thin*ing35. 'rtigiani 2899@3 proposes an hypothesis defining mind as an emergent attribute of complex social systems. 1e thin*s that mind becomes the experience of brains in social networ*ing 5computing5 environmental flows released by cooperative actions. Cung has written comprehensively about the collective unconscious. .his might be regarded as something different from collective conscious experience, but the Cungian analyst &ernstein writes 5....the collective unconscious which clearly implies a collective conscious5 2&ernstein 899+, p. +?3. 'nd &ernstein 2+,,,3 has reported examples of directly felt collective conscious experiences. Ji*ewiseKoung-$isendrath and 1ill 2899+3 thin* that Cung<s later theory of archetypes and self is a constructivist model of sub0ectivity that accounts for the collective or shared organi4ation of affective-imaginal life. #onstructivism they thin* reveals the impossibility of mental separatism and recogni4es the shared nature of mental processes that arise within an interpersonal field. In the literature several authors have discussed collective memory. .hus &ryld and arring 2899B3 have written a boo* about the Aanish collective memory of the German occupation 89;,-89;?. .hey describe the formation of this collective memory during the years after the war, influenced by the need of the the Aanish people to regard themselves as resistance heroes and not as collaborators. 1albwachs 289:?3 has written a comprehensive general treatise about the social frames of memory. 1e argues that the notion of individual memory is insufficient and needs to be supplemented by group memory. 1albwachs employs terms such as 5collective perception5, 5collective representations5, 5collective experience5, 5collective reflections5, 5collective thought5, and 5collective memories5. I thin* that this can be seen as something li*e the collective conscious experience, I am describing here. Jiving and acting together can enhance intersub0ectivity and collective experience. .he Aanish philosopher and psychologist COrgensen has discussed this in some detail 289@-, chapter :3. 1e writes about 5person-identification,5 i.e., identification with another person, and distinguishes between emotive and conative forms. .he former refers to the catching effect of emotional states and expressions, and the latter refers to situations where persons act together to reach the same goal. /ore recently Daughan 2899?3 wrote in a similar way about emotive identification:

.he soul that empathetically identifies with both the pain and the 0oy of others begins to see that in the inner world we are not separated from each other. Peace and 0oy, no less than pain and sorrow, are shared, collective experiences. 2p. ?3. 'nd in a recent special issue of the 0ournal &e)ision 2!othberg and /asters, 899B3 several authors have given examples of collective and egoless consciousness in couples living and acting together in intimate relationships. %ome excerpts from this special issue follow: ..... they felt they were ..... one soul residing in two bodies. 2p. B3. 'lso, a deep spiritual bond - which may be felt during the most routine activities and even far away - may develop. !obert &ly uses the metaphor of the 5third body5 as a way of describing the transpersonal dimension that unites a couple. It is the 5soul5 of the couple as one respondent expressed it 2p. +-3. 1olding to a sense of self and to the bond feels at times to be overwhelming. !epeated dancing bac* and forth - now self, now disappearing, wave to particle and bac*..... separateness and union..... 2p.93. .hese examples show directly experienced, lived collective consciousness7 it is also possible to understand collective conscious experience conceptually as described above in this section. .he last example given shows difficulties with reconciling the individual and the collective. Personally I have experienced such difficulties too, a temporary fear of losing myself. &ut these difficulties have not been serious for me, after all the collective experience is or becomes as familiar as the individual experience. hen an experience moves from individual to collective 2by communication for example3, my immediate feeling is that the sub0ect changes from I to e, while the rest of the experience remains the same. In certain cases the sub0ect 2I as well as e3 vanishes altogether as described below in the section on egoless experience. ' sudden change from experienced sub0ect to no sub0ect is particularly clearly described in the report by 'ustin 6uoted in that section. It seems probable that living and acting closely together in smaller family and other groups has contributed to the experience and concepts of collective consciousness encountered in various non- estern cultures. In these cultures collective and relational features of humans and their minds are emphasi4ed at least as much as individual features. I thin* this yields significant evidence supporting the heuristic value of the concept of collective consciousness for cross-cultural studies, and I shall relate some examples of this evidence. I have had some contact with *apanese psychiatry and shall 6uote psychiatrist (*uyama, who has practiced both in Capan and in the Fnited %tates. %he writes about the three senses of self among the Capanese: the collective, the social, and the individual sense. (f these, the collective sense is seen as the most important and fundamental one. (*uyama states explicitly: Capanese people commonly thin* that the self exists only in relationships with others... our mind is thought to exist in a field of relationships. .he self

cannot be considered separate from the relationship field nor having as clear a boundary, as estern people of the conditions to be an adult is the ability to feel somebody else<s or the group<s feelings. 2(*uyama 899-, p. +93. 'risa*a 2+,,83 writes in the same vein describing the Capanese philosopher atsu0i<s views: what is primary in human relation is not the atomically separated 5individuals5, but rather what is generated 5in-between5 such individuals as a result of interaction. 5/y being conscious of you is intertwined with your being conscious of me.... in the relation of &eing-between the consciousness of the participants are mutually permeated through one another<s5 26uote from atsu0i 899@ given by 'risa*a +,,8, p +,,3. !oland 289BB3 has written a comprehensive treatise on the self in India and *apan( 1e emphasi4es the sense of we-ness or we-self and partial merger between individuals in these cultures, and he stresses the contrast with the 5individualistic I-self - the predominant experiential self of esterners.5 2pp. 89@, ++;-++?, +B?3. (rme-Cohnson, Eimmerman and 1aw*ins 2899:3 describe /aharishi<s Dedic psychology which is based on the ancient Dedic tradition of India and related to other ancient traditions in the East( 'ccording to this psychology, collective consciousness is the wholeness of consciousness of an entire group that arises from the individuals that comprise the group. $ach level of society - family, community, city, state or province, nation, and the world - has a corresponding collective consciousness. u 2899B3 writes about togetherness which he regards as fundamental. 5'ctuality is first organic togetherness.....before being analy4ed into units and indviduals5 2p.883. 1e finds that this view agrees with Chinese philosophy but not with estern analytic thin*ing. .he %enegalese philosopher Ndaw 289B-3 has written a comprehensive doctoral thesis about African thought. 1e emphasi4es that in 'frican cultures such as the &ambara and the Aogon the conception of the person is more social than individual. .he individual is conceived as a center of relations..he person in 'frica is not defined in opposition to society, but society is seen as constitutive of the person. /an is conceived as indissociable from the group and in exact correspondence with the universe. 2Ndaw 89B-, chapter -3. In agreement with this 1arris 2899:3 writes about competing core values in 'frican 'merican communities, individualism rooted in $uropean and $uro-'merican conceptions and 'frican-centered value rooted in collective consciousness. &uilding on American Indian cultures !Pser 2899B3 states that humans and other peoples including plants, minerals, fire, winds, and animals - share a common consciousness, a common consciousness in the universe. %ingleness of consciousness he regards as always temporary and fleeting while collective consciousness is the permanent and perpetual condition of things. !Pser<s text is written in $nglish and he uses the word 5consciousness5, probably with a meaning which has something to do with the concept of consciousness

followed by me 2see the section on consciousness above3. %orenson 2899B3 has studied indigenous people living in isolated enclaves around the world more or less 5untouched5 by dominant, con6uering cultures. In these people he found a state of mind which he calls Precon+uest Consciousness( (ne of the characteristics of this consciousness is an empathetic, integrative, intuitive rapport between individuals. %orenson found their way of life to be simultaneously individualistic and collective. each person constantly enlivening the others by a ceaseless, spirited, individualistic input into a unified at-oneness. 1e felt strongly that this way of life was very different from the ways of estern cultures, he was used to, and even difficult to describe in the $nglish language. .he difference was also clearly seen in some cases where a rapid collapse of precon6uest consciousness 2sometimes within one wee*3 occurred after contact with dominant cultures. .hese non- estern views are difficult or rather impossible to understand on the bac*ground of a strictly individual concept of conscious experience. If on the other hand collective consciousness is conceived intellectually and experienced directly on the basis of scientific activity as described above, this will open opportunities for understanding the non- estern views and thus be helpful in cross-cultural studies. !osenstand<s views on collective and individual self provides further help for cross-cultural understanding. %he thin*s that 5 e all *now that 5I am me5, even if we don<t use words such as 5self5 or 5I5. &ut some cultures consider this *nowledge of minor importance5 2!osenstand +,,+, p +?83. In the literature there are many other descriptions of collective features in a number of cultures, indeed it seems that estern individualism is an exceptional or uni6ue phenomenon among the world<s cultures, past and present 2/orris 89:+, !osenstand +,,+, pp. +;,-+?83. In recent years, however, experiences with networ*s of computers and of neurons 2biological, artificial3 have suggested also to some estern authors a more collective concept of brain, mind and conscious experiences. .hus >reeman, author of the boo* 5%ocieties of &rains5 2899?3 concludes that 5brains are preeminently social in nature5 and that 5the most important thing about consciousness is thst it<s a social attribute.5 2>reeman and &urns 899@, pp. 8:B, 8B,3. Ji*ewise 1uberman 289B93 in his paper entitled 5.he #ollective &rain5 states that intelligence is not restricted to the single brain, but also appears in the wor*ings of many human organi4ations and scientific communities. 1e describes distributed intelligence and computational ecosystems, the agents of which operate concurrently with no central control, incomplete and sometimes inconsistent and delayed information, and with a high degree of communication. 1e finds many of these features also in networ*s of computers. Personally I find that there is comprehensive communication inside each brain as well as between brains. Inside a brain the communication between neurons is mediated by transmitter substances such as dopamine, actylcholine etc., and between brains it is mediated mainly by sound and light waves. &ut I thin* that it is not the nature of the mediating substances, but rather the information content of the communication that is important for the wor*ing of brains and for the relations between brains and consciousness. 'nd the information content can be

very large in the communication between brains as well as in communications within a brain. $xperiences with the Internet have given rise to new thoughts about interaction and collectivity. .hus Gac*enbach, Guthrie and Iarpen 2899B3 find that the most important characteristic of the Internet is its emergent collective properties, and de Ierc*hove 2899?3 contends that the real nature of the Internet is to act as a forum for collective memory and imagination. 1e also thin*s that on-line communications have created a new *ind of permanence, a new stability of mind, a collective mind, in which one plugs in or from which one pulls out, but without affecting the integrity of the structure other than by direct contribution. %urfing, e-mailing and chatting on the Internet have given rise to new psychological phenomena. Particularly %uler 289993 who created the word 5cyberpsychology5 has published comprehensive studies of these phenomena. 'mong other results he reports that .....users often describe how their computer is an extension of their mind and personality - a 5space5 that reflects their tastes, attitudes, and interests. In psychoanalytic terms, computers and cyberspace may become a type of 5transitional space5 that is an extension of the individual<s intrapsychic world. It may be experienced as an intermediate 4one between self and other that is part self and part other. 's they read on their screen the e-mail, newsgroup, or chat message written by an internet comrade, some people feel as if their mind is merged or blended with that of the other. I conclude that the notion of collecti'e consciousness is well founded in the a'ailable e'idence( Its heuristic value is that it admits of a more precise account of the ontology of intersub0ectivity, facilitates cross cultural studies, and strongly contradicts that solipsism should be a conse6uence of immaterial world views. hitehead 289:B, p. B83, however, also writes about 5solipsism of the present moment5 which would mean that only present experience exists. 1e thin*s that this type of solipsism can only be avoided if something more than presentational immediacy is included in direct perception. .he Aanish philosopher Iversen 2898:, pp. -@9--:+3 gave up, when he contemplated the solipsism of the present moment. 1e believed that he had then reached 5roc* bottom5 and that there was nothing further to say. .his he illustrated by ma*ing a hole of about ten lines in his text, before he continued on other, less stringent conditions. Iversen made a strong impression on me when I read his treatise in high school, but now I thin*, Iversen<s problem has been solved. .he solution is given above in the section on the psychological Now and in the following section about collective conscious experience across time: the past and the future with their content are constructs from the immediate experience in the Now. .hese constructs are also experienced in the Now.

Collecti'e Conscious Experience Across Time( The !ntology of #istory

In estern cultures time is usually conceived as linear, the past and the future separated from the present. &ut the conception of time and the attitude to the past and the future is and was different in many other cultures, past and present. .here exists a comprehensive literature on this, for recent reviews reference can be made to Gell 2899+3, /unn 2899+3, Datsyayan 2899@3 and ithrow 289BB3. In the following some specific examples of time concepts will be given.. Na*amura 289983 emphasi4es that the Indian conception of time is very different from that in the est. .ime is conceived statically rather than dynamically. It is recogni4ed in India that the things of this world are always movng and changing, but the substance of things is seen as basically unchanging, its underlying reality unaffected by the ceaseless flux. .he Indian directs our attention not to the flow of water but to the river itself, the unchanging universal. Na*amura thin*s that the static conception of time permeates Indian thought. (ther authors use the word ,timelessness, instead of 5static time5, for example /ahadevan 2899+3 who writes that timeless &rahman is the source of all orders of creation and that time is the channel through which it is possible to return to this source. .hrough meditation on time, one gets beyond time to the eternal 'bsolute 2p. ?;93. Gell 2899+, pp. :8-:+3 6uoting Geert4 describe &alinese time as 5a motionless present, a vectorless now5. 1e thin*s that this does not mean that the &alinese are living in a different *ind of time from ourselves, but that they refuse to regard as salient certain aspects of temporal reality which we regard as much more important, such as the cumulative effects of historical time. 1all and 1all 2899,3 write about monochronic and polychronic time. /onochronic time corresponds with paying attention to and doing only one thing at a time, while polychronic time corresponds with being involved in many things at once. .he cultures of the Fnited %tates, %wit4erland Germany, and %candinavia adhere to monochronic time, while the /editerranian peoples follow polychronic time. Ji*e oil and water the two systems do not mix, so for performing international business it is essential to *now about the difference. Cyclic concepts of time are found in various cultures, for instance in the ancient Gree* culture. !Pser 2899B3 describes this view: 5's time proceeds around the circle, one encounters the past and repeats the transactions and events as the present.5 !Pser also thin*s that this cyclical reality proved 6uite ade6uate for the social, economical, and political life in anti6uity around the /editerranean and throughout 'frica. illiams 289B@, p. -,3 0udges that the Kolngu 2Northern .erritory of 'ustralia3 perceive time as circular, so that from any particular time, what is past may be future, and what is future may be past. 'nd she 6uotes a personal communication by von %turmer: 5'borigines read life bac*wards and forwards. e read it forward.5 %he also states that for the Kolngu time is in some contexts both cyclical and circular, though this does not preclude a certain *ind of lineal causality 2 illiams 289B@,p. +B3. In the Cewish way of thin*ing, as described by %teinsalt4 289B,, chapter ;3, time is seen li*e a spiral or a helix rising up from creation. .ime is seen as a process, in which past, present,

and future are bound to each other as a harmoni4ation of two motions: progress forward and a countermotion bac*ward, encircling and returning. .here is always a certain return to the past, a constant reversion to basic patterns of the past, although it is never possible to have a precise counterpart of any moment of the time. 'lso in the &antu culture time is conceived li*e a spiral. $ach season and each new generation return on the same vertical of the spiral, but at a higher level 2Iagame 89:@3. .he /ayan concept of time is often described as cyclical, but !Pser 2899B3 finds it more correct to shift the symbolism from a circle to a spiral. &erndt 289:;, p. B3 reports that with the 'boroginal 'ustralians mythological or sacred time exists alongside secular time but not identical with it. .he 'borigines recogni4e both *inds of time as e6ually real, as applying in different, although overlapping, sociocultural situations. &erndt and &erndt 289@;, pp. 8B:-8BB3 write that for the 'borigines the beings said to have been present at the beginning of things still continue to exist. In one sense the past is still here, in the present, and is part of the future as well. &ut the 'borigines also recogni4e various time categories in connection with their everyday activities: days and nights, moons, the se6uence or cycle of seasons. /owal0arlai 2/owal0arlai and /alnic 899-, pp. @:-@B3 explains that when you are in an ancient state of mind, time stands still, because your mind is in a state where time does not count. 'ncient time is no time. /ore, comprehensive evidence for experience being regarded as existing in both past and present has emerged from several studies of the 'ustralian 'boriginal culture. .hus $l*in 289@;, p. +8,3 states: In those rituals we were 5in the Areaming5. e were not 0ust commemorating or re-enacting the past. hatever happened in the mythic past was happening now, and there is no doubt that the men were 5carried away5 by the experience. .his statement by $l*in is particularly clear and explicit, but it is substantiated by several other reports about past events reoccurring in the present during rituals and ceremonies in the 'ustralian culture 2&erndt 89:;, pp. +:-+B, &erndt and &erndt 89@;, pp. ++@-++:, 1ume 8999, pp. 9 -8,, Isaacs 899+, p. -;, %trehlow 89@B, pp. +9--, and 89:8, p. @883 . 'lso in other cultures than the 'ustralian ritual time may differ from secular time. .hus %ilverman 2899:3 writes about the $astern Iatmul, New Guinea: 'lthough $astern Iatmul time can be incremental and linear, the naming system and totemic identifications seem to merge the present and the past. .o some degree, so does the cyclical temporality of the *inship system. .his form of time is also present in $astern Iatmul rituals such as curing rites which often enact primordial events as if they were occuring in the present. 'nd Jancaster 2 899-, p. +3 writes about the Cewish culture that time for sacred history is not the everyday passing time of literal history, but that mysterious dimension of time which is eternally present. 1e thin*s that while literal history may satisfy the rational mind

there are deeper dimensions to the psyche for which sacred history can provide an e6ually satisfying picture of the way things really are. Ji*e some other people the 'ustralians believe in reincarnation.. It is the soul or spirit 2which would include what is here called consciousness3 of the deceased which is believed to reappear in a person living in the present. .his can of course be seen as an example of the past appearing in the present and as an extreme example of consciousness shared across time. 'ustralian conceptions of reincarnation are described by several authors. %trehlow 289:8, pp. @8?-@8:3 relates how an ancestral supernatural being can become reincarnated into the unborn child of a pregnant woman. .his may happen while she 2or, in some areas, her husband3 is experiencing a dream-vision of the future child brought on by the supernatural being who is see*ing rebirth. %trehlow also reports that in sacred ritual totemic ancestors are represented by their human reincarnations 289:8, pp. @88 and @89@+,3. &erndt 289:;, p. +B3 states that during the process of initiation, a father could ta*e his son away to a secret place and sing into him the spirit-double of his own assistant totem. In this way that totem spirit merges with the youth<s own spirit. Isaacs 2899+, p. +-,3 relates that the albiri people of the central desert believe that there are secret caves containing hidden <Areaming< stones which are storehouses of disembodied spirits who may enter a woman again and so be reborn. 'fter death the spirit returns to the cave and remains there until the same process is repeated, but this time the spirit becomes a child of the opposite sex to its previous incarnation. illiams 289B@, p. -,3 writes in a similar way about reincarnation of the souls of the Kolngu who live in the Northern .erritory of 'ustralia. In a more general way it has been stated by several anthropologists that for the 'ustralians the past underlies and is within the present( .hus %tanner 289:8, p. +B93 writes that 'lthough the Areaming con0ures up the notion of a sacred heroic time of the infinitely remote past, such a time is also, in a sense, still part of the present. (ne cannot 5fix5 .he Areaming in time: it was , and is, everywhen. $l*in 289@;, pp. +-8-+-@3 maintains that for the 'borigines the past is present, here and now. .he present is the past latent and potential now. .hrough ritual and behaviour it is reali4ed. 1istory there is, but it is the myth of that which is behind or within, rather than before the present. $xperiences and conceptions of the past in the present are also reported from other cultures, particularly in connection with ritual. (verviews have been published by &loch 289::3 and 1vidtfeldt 289@83. 1vidtfeldt thin*s that our own conception of events is li*e pearls on a string, while in many other cultures events are seen as a heap of pearls from which one can draw now one pearl and now another, view it closely, and put it bac*. 1istory is in the past but also present, it is lived and relived in the cult. 1istory is future too, it will be relived as long as the world exists. In spite of the est<s assumed separation of the past from the present, parts of the past are believed to exist in the present, also in the est. .his applies to material ob0ects7 in particular more abstract ob0ects of physics such as electrons and 6uar*s are believed to be exactly the same as they were fifty years ago and even billions of years ago. 'lso artefacts such as stone tools uncovered by archeology are supposed to be the same as when they were

used in the past. ith the idealist ontology the materialist entities and events in history may be regarded as heuristic concepts, 0ust li*e the material things in the present. .ime itself may also be regarded as a heuristic concept useful for further ordering of our conscious experiences in the Now. I suppose that the different conceptions of time in various cultures are and have been useful in this way. .his goes for the concepts of time in physics too7 thus in modern physics the idea of static time is sometimes entertained and regarded as useful, in particular in association with relativity theory and cosmology 2 $instein and Infeld 89@-, chapter -, section on space time continuum, 1aw*ing 89BB, chapter B3. 1aw*ing describes the theory of imaginary time, a spatial and therefore static dimension, and states that li*e other theories in physics, it is a mathematical model for describing our observations. 1e finds that it is meaningless to as* whether the usual or the imaginary time is the correct or real one, the 6uestion is, which description is the most useful 21aw*ing 89BB, chapter B3. It may be added here that both of these concepts of time express structures in the catalog of scientific observations useful in different domains. e are aware of this catalog in the Now, in the focus and in the margin. 1aw*ing<s views are of course in complete agreement with the idealist ontology of matter and time advocated here and in a previous paper 2!andrup +,,+3. It is also in agreement with this ontology that in historical science history has often been altered with the advent of new evidence. .hus the conception of the electron has changed during this century, and in each period it has been assumed that electrons existed in the past exactly as they were in the actual conception. 'nother example: very recently the age of #openhagen city has been raised due to new archeological finds7 according to what the historians now state, the one mile long coffee table, which was arranged in 89@: to celebrate the B,, th anniversary of #openhagen, was held about 8,, years too late 2Gautier, %*aarup, Gabrielsen, Iristiansen, and $0lersen 89993. .hese historians also say that until 6uite recently the historical topography of #openhagen was built on learned constructions which over the years had ac6uired almost mythical character7 data were not separated from interpretations 2p. -B3. Jowenthal 289B?, chapter @3 has written more generally about changing the past. .he historian #ollingwood 2899-3 thin*s that also thoughts from history can appear in the present. 1e sees the tas* of history as re-enactment of past experience, more specifically rethin*ing of past thought. 1e thin*s that he can re-enact in his own mind the very same thoughts that were thought by persons in the past. .his can of course be regarded as collective conscious experiences across time. #ollingwood gives examples and arguments to support his idea of history. In order to be sure that he really thin*s the same thought that occurred in the past, he considers all the evidence relevant to the past thin*er and the specific thought in 6uestion. 's an elaborate example he scrutini4es the thin*ing of a certain emperor about an edict in the .heodosian #ode 2p.+B-3. #ollingwood<s idea of history has aroused much interest among historians and has been widely discussed since its first publications in 89+B and 89;@ 2#ollingwood 899-, editor<s introduction, Aray 899?, /ann 899B3. In religious or artistic context a few other estern authors have written about sharing experiences with historical persons 2#si*s4entmihalyi and #si*s4entmihalyi 89BB, pp. +-:-+-9, Jans*y 8999, %chut4 89@;, pp.8:8-8:?3.

(n a biological and evolutionary bac*ground %heets-Cohnstone 2899,, p.-?+--@+3 also considers re-enactment of past experience. %he uses a method called hermeneutical phenomenology and thin*s that by this means 5we might accede, and in the closest possible way, to the actual experiences of the ancestral hominids.5 &y writing about re-enactment of past thought #ollingwood 2and %heets-Cohnstone3 seem to regard the thoughts in history as fixed facts that existed in the past. .his is in agreement with the usual estern linear conception of time. &ut it is also possible to assume that the historian gradually develops thoughts, about the emperor and the edict mentioned above for example, that fit the historical evidence 2here seen as conscious experiences in the Now3 and therefore may be seen as shared with a historical person such as the emperor 2here seen as a construct based on historical evidence3. %uch sharing would be parallel to the development of collective consciousness with contemporaries by communication as described in the preceding section. .his interpretaton of #ollingwood<s wor* has much in common with some newer trends in the methodology of historical science. .hus van Deuren 2+,,,3 writes that the postmodernist view of history is anti-realist and s*epticist: history is non-referential. e can never 5really *now5 the past. hen we study the past we move in a closed circuit of storiesNreadingsNaccounts out of which we cannot get to chec* if they correspond to the past 5as such5.

Egoless Experience(The !ntology of -orlds -ithout an Ego

$goless consciousness differs from both individual and collective consciousness. In egoless experiences the sub0ect, the I as well as the e, is ignored or forgotten. In the literature there are many descriptions of egoless experiences occurring in both secular and spiritual states of mind. #si*s4entmihalyi 2899:, #si*s4entmihalyi and #si*s4entmihalyi 89BB3 has made psychological studies of engagement with everyday life. 1e has heard artists, athletes, composers, dancers, scientists, and people from all wal*s of life describe how it feels when they are doing things that are worth doing for their own sa*e, and he reports that in these descriptions his informants used terms that are interchangeable in their minutest details. .his unanimity suggested to #si*s4entmihalyi that the descriptions are of a very specific experiential state to which he has given the name 5flow5. .he main dimensions of flow are described as intense involvement, deep concentration, clarity of goals and feedbac*, loss of a sense of time, lac* of self-consciousness and transcendence of a sense of self 2#si*s4entmihalyi and #si*s4entmihalyi 89BB, p. -@?3. .he egoless feature of the flow state is described in more detail several times in the boo* edited by #si*s4entmihalyi and #si*s4entmihalyi 289BB3: 5&ecause of the deep concentration on the activity at hand, the person in flow ... loses temporarily the awareness

of self that in normal life often intrudes in consciousness ... In flow the self is fully functioning, but not aware of itself doing it ... 5 2p. --3. 5'n activity that fosters a merging of action and awareness with a centering of attention on a limited stimulus field will lead inevitably to a loss of the ego construct, a loss of awareness of the <I< as actor.5 2p.++-3. !eferring to cruising in a sailboat: 5... the oneness with the natural environment allows for a loss of ego boundaries ... (ccasionally, especially in storm conditions, a total loss of ego occurs ... 5 2p. +-83. In agreement with this the physicist /ach 2898;, chapter I, section 8+3 wrote that during absorption in some idea the ego may be partially or wholly absent. Personally I remember a clearly egoless secular experience: the process of finishing a manuscript was experienced as that which existed, and when this process was finally completed, an experience li*e throwing up occurred as the beginning of the reappearance and separation of the manuscript and I as two entities. I thin* this was an example of the flow experience. 'nother detailed description of a secular egoless experience is reported by the gestalt psychologist Ioff*a 289@-, pp. -+- f3. In reports of experiences regarded as spiritual or mystical dissolution of all ego boundaries and forgetfulness of the ego are often mentioned, and also a general feeling of unity including fading or complete disappearance of the boundary between sub0ect and ob0ect 2!andrup 8999, with references3. 'ustin 2+,,,, p. +8?, +,,, a3 reports a personal experience which appeared suddenly and unexpectedly, when he was on the surface platform of the Jondon subway: 'nd despite the other 6ualities infusing it, the purely optical aspects of the scene are no different from the way they were a split second before. .he pale- gray s*y, no bluer7 the light, no brighter7 the detail, no finer-grained ... &ut there is no 'iewer. .he scene is utterly empty, stripped of every last extension of an I-$e- $ine( Danished in one split second is the familiar sense thatthis person is viewing an ordinary city scene. .he new viewing proceeds impersonally, no pausing to register the ... paradox that no human sub0ect is 5doing5 it. .his experience continued for a few seconds. .hen followed a second wave where a distant 6uasi-person was being ever so remotely inferred. .his second wave lasted another three to five seconds followed by a third wave. In this some *ind of diminutive sub0ective I seemed to exist off in the bac*ground, because something vague was responding with faint discriminations. 'fter another three to five seconds a growing, self-referent awareness entered. It discovered that it had a physical center inside the bodily self of that vaguely familiar person who was now standing on the platform. ' little later a thoughtful I boarded the next subway train. 'ustin<s detailed report shows the complete disappearance of the ego and its gradual return. (ther reports emphasi4e unity with environment . .hus %mith reports an incidence

of 5cosmic consciousness5 2##3: 't this point I merged with the light and everything, including myself, became one unified whole. .here was no separation between myself and the rest of the universe. In fact to say that there was a universe, a self, or any 5thing5 would be misleading - it would be an e6ually correct description to say that there was 5nothing5 as to say that there was 5everything5. .o say that sub0ect merged with ob0ect might be almost ade6uate as a description of the entrance into ##, but during ## there was neither 5sub0ect5 nor 5ob0ect5...... 0ust a timeless unitary state of being 2%mith and .art 899B, p. 8,,3. .hese are direct experiences of the environment or the universe without the ego in the usual central position. It is, however, also possible to thin. of the world decentered from the ego or even with another ego as the center. .he change from the Ptolemaic to the #opernican view of the planetary system is an example of such decentering. %ince then, science has continued the decentering process and developed an 5ob0ective5 world view. .he decentered world of science is, however, as mentioned above, most often considered as a material world pro0ected 5out there5 and separate from the human mind. .his ma*es it difficult to place consciousness in the scientific picture. In contrast, an egoless experience of the world 2perceived or conceived3 is still a conscious experience and avoids the dichotomy between the material and the mental. (n such a monistic bac*ground, worldviews centered on an ego, centered on a collective, or completely decentered 2egoless3 are not in conflict, but can be seen as different structures in the same catalog of conscious experiences. It is *nown that there can be more than one structure in a system of elements, for example, in ambiguous figures. .hese are perceived in two or more alternating gestalts, only one at a time, but in thought it can be conceived that the two or more structures or gestalts exist simultaneously in the figure 2&urling 89@;, Gregory 899B, chapter 8,, !andrup 899+3. .his point is also illustrated by the following anecdote 6uoted from !andrup, /un*vad and >og 289B+3: ' visitor to >lorida wanted to mail a baby turtle to his son at camp. .he cler* in the Post (ffice read the regulations aloud: 5 ell5, he said 5Aogs is dogs and cats is dogs, s6uirrels in cages is birds - - and baby turtles is insects5 >or postal purposes this alternative structure was preferred to the usual Jinnean structure in 4oology. In some cases egoless experiences are not only without ego but also without other content such as perceptions, thoughts etc. .his is called pure consciousness, contentless consciousness, experience of nothingness, emptiness or void etc.. .here are many descriptions of this type of experience in the literature from Indian, Cewish and other sources. .he descriptions differ to some extent, the nothingness seems to be more or less complete, but surely these experiences lac* many details *nown from ordinary, daily experiences7 see further below. Jancaster 2+,,,, p. +-:3 6uoting %ullivan gives a clear example of a contentless experience which followed a road accident:

.here was something, and the something was not the nothing 2of total unconsciousness3. .he nearest label for the something might possibly be <awareness<, but that could be misleading, since any awareness I<d ever had before the accident was my awareness, my awareness of one thing or another. In contrast, this something ((((( had no I as its sub"ect and no content as its ob"ect( It 0ust was. Jancaster adds that he sees no reason to contradict the direct evidence of such experiences and that seemingly contentless conscious states need to be incorporated within a meaningful psychology of consciousness. .his egoless experience of %ullivan clearly differs from the expereience of 'ustin reported above, where the optical details of the scene he saw were unchanged, only the ego, the viewer was lac*ing. /uch information on pure consciousness is collected in a boo* on the topic edited by >orman 2899,3. In this boo* Griffiths 2899,3 writes on pure consciousness in Indian &uddhism. 1e describes the ascent through a series of altered states of consciousness or spheres with varying degrees of nothingness. .hese spheres are thought of as both cosmic realms, locatable in space, and as psychological conditions 2p. B83. .he immediate conscious experience and the world view are thus harmoni4ed or unified. 'lso 1ayward 289B:3 has written about emptiness in &uddhism. 1is exposition is based on the term shunyata from the /ahayana school of &uddhism 2p. +,-3. .his term has been variously translated as emptiness, void, nothingness and openness. 'ccording to 1ayward shunyata means empty of concept, of mental fabrication or pro0ection, it means what is, free from concept. $mptiness can not be elucidated in words and concepts, it can be pointed to only as direct experience. $mptiness is also seen as a mar* or characteristic of every phenomenon, the ground of all phenomena. It is therefore both a direct experience and a world view. .he full experience of shunyata is said to be one of great 0oy, because at the same time as reali4ing emptiness of conceptions, there is awareness of complete purity 2p. +8:3. .o me this means that shunyata is not completely empty, since it contains the experience of both 0oy and purity. allace 28999, p. 8B-3 writes about attainment of the samatha state in &uddhist tradition by means of a certain techni6ue: 5&ringing no thoughts to mind, one lets the mind remain li*e a cloudless s*y, clear, empty, and evenly devoid of grasping onto any *ind of ob0ect.5 %amatha is characteri4ed by 0oy, clarity and non-conceptuality. (rme-Cohnson, Eimmerman and 1aw*ins 2899:3 have given a very clear account of /aharishi<s Dedic psychology which is based on the ancient Dedic tradition of India.. &y means of a special meditation techni6ue it is possible to reach a state of pure awareness or transcendental consciousness. In this state consciousness is all by itself, without any ob0ect other than itself to be aware of. .he mind settles down to a state of no activity, but with full awareness. In the Dedic psychology consciousness is seen as primary, and matter as a pro0ection of consciousness. .he cosmic psyche, a field of pure consciousness, is described as an undifferentiated wholeness which gives rise to the infinite diversity of creation. .he

cosmic psyche is regarded as the source of all existence, the ultimate reality. It is also seen as the basis of the individual mind. 't the pinnacle of human development, unity consciousness, the individual is regarded as a fully integrated expression of the cosmic psyche. .hus the world view and the direct experience is harmoni4ed in Dedic psychology. $golessness and nothingness are also important elements of Cewish mysticism, both as direct experience and in the conception of the world.. .here is a tradition of gradual contemplative ascent to higher planes. 't a high plane the mystic no longer differentiates one thing from another. #onceptual thought, with all its distinctions and connections, dissolves7 awareness of the self disappears. >ortune 2899?, p. 8,:3 reports that at the one occasion, when she touched the edge of the highest level, *eter, of the tree of life, it appeared as a glaring white light in which all thought vanished completely. Ieter is also seen as the totality of all existence. %ince God<s being or essence is believed to be incomprehensible and ineffable, 1e is described as nothing. God is greater than any thing one can imagine, li*e no thing. .o many mystics creation of the world out of nothing means 0ust creation out of God. .his nothing from which everything has sprung is not a mere negation7 only to us does it present no attributes, because it is beyond the reach of intellectual *nowledge. In truth, however, this nothing is infinitely more real than all other reality. %o in Cewish mysticism the direct experience and the world view are united. hile ascending to higher planes of consciousness the mystic strives to get close to God or nothingness. %ome believe it is possible for man to ascend to absorption in God with complete elimination of individuality and with no possibility for returning, but on this point opinions are divided among Cewish scholars. 'mong a number of important sources describing egolessness and nothingness in Cewish mysticism are >ortune 2899?3, Idel 289BB3, /att 2899,3, %cholem 289??3, and inther 289B@, +,,83.

The !ntology of -orlds Comprising /piritual Experiences

In the international discourse the word 5spirituality5 is used with many different meanings. /y personal understanding of nature-spirituality appears from a private letter written Culy :, 899;: 5.his morning, when I went into my garden 2about 8, minutes ago3, I had what I now call a spiritual experience. I experienced the garden 2the trees, the grass etc.3 clearly more intensely than at other occasions, when I also loved the garden. .his time I experienced 5the eternal now5 as well, and immediately after I thought that the felt importance and intensity of my experience was more essential than its duration and its position in the ordinary time.5 I also remember having experienced entropy, a more abstract, theoretical entity of nature, in this spiritual way. .his description accords with two other descriptions from the literature, which seem to report immediate experiences, independent of any structured religious or philosophical conviction. (ne is from the autobiography 5.he %tory of my 1eart5 by !ichard Cefferies 28B;B - 8BB:3 who was a writer, in his own time regarded as an atheist. ith all the intensity of feeling which exalted me,all the intense communion I held with the earth, the sun and the s*y, the stars hidden by the light, with the

ocean - in no manner can the thrilling depth of these feelings be written - with these I prayed.... 2Cefferies 898,, p. @3 .he second description is from the partially autobiographic boo* 5 here the %pirits !ide the ind5 by >elicitas Goodman. Dery soon I discovered all on my own what being an adult apparently meant, and confided it to my diary: 5.he magic time is over5. >or all of a sudden and without the slightest warning, I reali4ed that I could no longer effortlessly call up what in my terms was magic: that change in me that was so deliciously exciting and as if I were opening a door, imparting a special hue to whatever I chose. I noticed the curious impediment first with the fresh, crunchy snow which fell right after my birthday. It was nice, but I could not ma*e it glow 2 Goodman 899,, p. -3 Jater in life >elicitas Goodman regained her 5magic5, when she studied shamanism both by anthropological methods and by own experiences. I regard these three experiences as examples of nature spirituality, but Pierre /archais 2899:, 8999, +,,,, personal communications 899;-89993 while recogni4ing the occurrence of this *ind of experiences prefers to name them 5exceptional intuitive experiences5. >or /archais 5authentic spirituality5 is an act of faith, a part of religion, particularly the Cudeo-#hristian religions. 1e characteri4es the former type of experiences, and also $ast 'sian mysticism and transcendence with the >rench word 5supranaturel5, while the 5authentic spirituality5 is characteri4ed by the word 5surnaturel5. .his distinction between supranaturel and surnaturel is fundamental in his view. $velyn Fnderhill 289??, p. 8983 distinguishes less sharply between nature experiences and religious faith: %uch use of visible nature as the stuff of ontological perceptions the medium whereby the self reaches out to the 'bsolute, is not rare in the history of mysticism. .he mysterious vitality of trees, the silent magic of the forest, the strange and steady cycle of its life, possess in a peculiar degree this power of unleashing the human soul ..... .he flowery garment of the world is for some mystics a medium of ineffable perception, a source of exalted 0oy, the veritable clothing of God. .his view is supported by 6uotations from several $uropean mystics 2pp. 89,-89@3. >or Pierre /archais the meaning of the word 5spirituality5 is therefore more restricted than it is for me 2and for Fnderhill3. /archais and I have had prolonged exchange on these issues and have come to agree on much, also that even though the terms may differ 25nature spirituality5 versus 5exceptional intuitive experiences5 for instance3 it is possible to agree on the phenomena. &ut /archais and I still differ with respect to the Perennial Philosophy. .his philosophy is based on a broad sense of the word spirituality comprising both nature spirituality, $ast

'sian mysticism, shamanistic transcendence, and experiences embedded in Cudeo#hristian religions. It assumes that there is a similarity or common core to all experiences of spirituality 2understood in this broad sense3 across cultures and across the ages. It does not regard the distinction of /archais between the supranaturel and the surnaturel as important and is therefore not accepted by him. I, on the other hand, tend to agree with the perennialists, although I admit that since spiritual experiences are often felt as ineffable, transverbal, it is difficult to discuss the idea of the Perennial Philosophy in words. /y positive attitude to this philosophy therefore rests on intuition more than on reason 2!andrup 899B3. In the special integration group %pirituality and %ystems within the International %ociety for the %ystems %ciences the Perennial Philosophy is widely accepted, and on this basis it seems possible that some intersub0ectivity might be obtained through communication. %ince 8998 such communication has been performed at annual meetings in this group 2!andrup 899:a3. .he exchange has lead to better understanding of both differences and similarities between the participants, and the exchange is still going on. >or me personally the direct communication with colleagues from other cultures 2Capanese, Indian, 'merican Indian, 'boriginal 'ustralian etc.3 has been particularly illuminating. In the group we have abstained from attempts to define spirituality, but rather try to understand it by means of the examples presented at our meetings. &ased on all these experiences and exchanges I thin* that the immediate spiritual experience is the foundation of all spiritual beliefs and their ontology( .his applies to occidental and oriental religions, 'boriginal 'ustralian belief systems, shamanism etc.

%hamanism is described in various ways, but autischer 289B93 finds that shamanic experiences are intersub0ectively accessible. .hese experiences often involve a certain state of mind in which a 0ourney to another world or reality may be experienced. 'nthropologist /ichael 1arner, a pioneer of neo-shamanism has written about the ontology of this other world: In shamanic experience, when one is in non-ordinary reality things will seem 6uite as material as they are here. (ne feels the coldness or warmth of the air, the hardness or smoothness of a roc*7 one perceives colors, sounds, odors and so forth. 'll the phenomena that characteri4e the so-called material world will appear 0ust as real and material there as they do here if it is an extremely clear shamanic 0ourney 21arner 89B:, p. ;3. 1arner goes on stating that the shaman does not regard these non-ordinary phenomena as a pro0ection of his own mind, but rather as another reality which exists independently of that mind. 1arner<s own view on the ontology of this 5other reality5 is more cautious as

expressed later in the same paper 2p. 8?3: 5's a person who has followed the path of shamanism for a long time, I am inclined to thin. that there is more to the universe than the human mind5. 2Italics by the present author3. .hese two views, the alternate world as an independent external reality or as a mental pro0ection are described and discussed in the literature by several authors 2Peters 89B9, p. 88B, Peters and Price- illiams 89B,, pp. ;,?-;,@, .urner 899+, Daughan 899?, p. :, alsh 89B9, pp. -,--8, autischer 89B9, iebe +,,,3. .his problem is completely parallel to the problem about the ontology of the material world in modern science: does it exist independentally 5out there5, or is it rather a mental pro0ection or heuristic concept based on regularities in the occurrence of the immediate experiences " In science the view of an external material reality has run into contradictions as described above. 'n idealist ontology based on conscious experiences seems to be a more viable alternative, but this does not mean that we can control the processes of sense experiences at will 2&erger and Juc*man 89@@, Introduction, p. 8, Aiettrich Q99?, pp. 9@, 8,--8,?, !andrup submitted3 and the same seems to be true for shamanic experiences. .he shamanic world view as well as the scientific can be seen as mental constructs useful for structuring the immediate experiences in the Now.

&eligion( 0od, &ationality, /pirituality

.urning to the religions more familiar in the est we may say, rationally that God can be seen as a something 2or a nothing3 which brings coherence to both sensory and spiritual experiences and to the felt urges to behave ethically. $ven fear of God may be seen as fear of performing something unethical which may harm family, society, nature, and oneself. 'll this is a rational account, but religion is rather experienced or *nown in an intuitivespiritual mode. %piritual experiences are usually regarded as mainly ineffable, beyond words, but it may be said that spiritually God is imagined either as li*e a person or in a more abstract way. It seems to me that my rational account above agrees with the abstract spiritual imagination of God, as well as rationality can ever agree with spirituality. .his suggests that there is a difference but no principal conflict between science and religion. hen these things dawned to me, it was felt as a great relief.

.he content of this paper is influenced by prolonged exchange in the %pirituality and %ystems group of the International %ociety for the %ystems %ciences 2!andrup 899:a3 and in the #enter for Interdisciplinary !esearch, #I!IP 2/archais and !andrup 899-, !andrup 899; a3, in particular with Pierre /archais, $laine %mith, %Oren &rier, Grethe %Orensen, and Jin addell.


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