PERCEPTION, PSYCHOLOGY, & EVOLUTION – The triune brain and religion


The triune mind [actually it’s five] from fish to reptile to, mammal, to ape, to human

The archaic levels of the human brain and psyche cannot understand the rational/modern/scientific truth of nature, reality, and our own psyches – because they are pre-rational structures – therefore, it is essential to retain pre-logical, pre-rational mythological stories about reality, nature, and cosmos so that the primordial, primal, and evolutionarily more primitive structures of our psyche, both subconscious and conscious, can communicate with our more sophisticated, rational, and scientific minds in a language that is mutually intelligible.

If this were not so, there would be no need for science as a way of knowing to compensate for our deeply irrational, superstitious, and biased thinking that constitutes the vast preponderance of our thinking.
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Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground – the significance of the non-semantic in the spiritual experience


I was visiting The Pointman at his blog recently, when I picked up on an older post which I had previously passed over entitled, “William Johnson; echoes of an unimportant life”, not recognizing at the time the eponymous William Johnson as  Blind Willie Johnson, the legendary Texas blues man, and one of the very rare human artists honored by having a recording of his music sent to the stars aboard the Voyager spacecraft in the 1970’s.  Time to correct that.

The Pointman in his own inimitable way gives a pithy précis of William Johnson’s life, some of the significance of his musical legacy, with an added discourse on the history of the Voyager program, and how Gary Flandro invented the orbital mechanics that made ‘The Grand Tour’ of the solar system of the Voyager program possible.  I highly recommend this post, you won’t get much of what follows if you don’t, and The Pointman in general.

What made this particular article stand out in my mind, and which opened a door to my particular [peculiar?] mind was this paragraph here.

But there’s a piece on it by another musician of interest though. It’s called “Dark was the night, cold was the ground” and it’s by William Johnson. It’s a curious piece of music. I first heard it when I was in a bad situation and was hurting. There was something eerie about it. It was as if I was listening in stillness to someone else who was there with me, but we were both somehow listening together. It isn’t quite blues or gospel but something else altogether; Ry Cooder called it the basis of all slide guitar and “the most soulful, transcendent piece in all American music”, which is a lot of responsibility for any one song to bear. The technical merits of the song I’ll leave to Ry, because he’s a knowledgeable and gifted guitarist, but I do know that it is important in terms of its impact on me and others I’ve spoken to.

It has been a long, long time since I have listened to ol’ Blind Willie, so I had to go have a relisten.  You can have a listen here.

Naturally I have some thoughts on the subject.

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