Re: Science, constructs, blief, drugs, core experiencese, & hypothesis
Sun, 16 Jun 1996 20:18:13 +0000

Bill Ramsay writes

>If 'unconscious construing' is possible -
>which is wehat I take Devi's end of the debate to be upholding - then surely
>the 'spiritual' dimension cannot be excluded from PCP? Spiritual
>experiences result very often, if not always, in choices being made, in
>distnctions being drawn between the 'old me' and the new, the 'old life' and
>the new. This seems pretty like the kind of arguments being developed out
>of the 'non-verabl construing' thread.

Two brief points in response. I'm not at all sure of my ground on the
"unconscious" construing notion, being concerned only to indicate the
distinction between a construct and its verbal expression, and then toying
with the idea of what pre-conscious constructs might look like. But as I
mentioned previously, I await the arrival of the Clinical Cavalry, i.e.
people who must, because of their jobs, have thought this through much more
solidly than myself, with references to boot.

Secondly, re the spiritual dimension. Bill raises a fascinating new topic
here. Without wishing to distract his development of it, here's a slightly
skewed thought.

Among the multifarious manifestations of spirituality (cor!), there's one
in particular which would explicitly _differ_ from what we mean by
construing, viz., making distinctions categorisable in terms of dualistic
extremes. And that's the experience of meditation (as distinct from
"contemplation"), where the struggle is to transcend (if only for a
fleeting moment) dualities: to stumble on what some cultures have called
"satori". And I choose "stumble" purposefully: if you try for it, you won't
experience it; though there are exercises, as I guess we all know, which
can put one into a state when it might occur.

Just what Tim Connor was referring to recently when he wrote:

> At the risk of committing PCT
>blasphemy (tounge in cheek), how is it possible to be "testing
>hypotheses" in such a state, when the "spiritual" experience is
>itself characterized as a suspension of conscious concatenation
>(there is no "if-then"; just an "is"; hypotheses must be tested
>in an "if-then" frame). In other words, if there is such a thing
>as "pure experience" then it seems that constructive
>alternativism might have some limitations as a general prinicple.

And yet... quite apart from its extreme rarity, the satori experience is so
bloody evanescent when it happens that I remain convinced that there's
something about our human mechanism which makes the usual "constructing"
state the basic and "natural" one, and constructivist analyses accurate as
statements of one's general experience.

Don't knock the dualities, friends, they're pretty well all we've got!

Kindest regards

Devi Jankowicz