"She feels as if she's in a play. She is, anyway"
-Lennon\McCartney Penny Lane
The Biological Roots of The Intellect
The Janus mask of the two faces that bridge what is considered the normal and the paranormal is a formidable case of an identity crisis that is concealed in plain sight. The familiar as strange and the strange as familiar. If it is acknowledged that not one, but many states that comprise a single manifestation is a hybridised flux,( not one state but a combination of several) then what we have at hand is a cautionary tale of naive realism. This article describes the tight rope act and the precarious balance of self awareness and self skepticism required in any paranormal investigation.
Descriptors as self fulfilling, editorializing moats, conceptualizing platforms on which we float strictly as a means adapted to our biology. Simply put, how we label paranormal phenomenon is not only exclusionary, our labels also become substituted as strictly sensory definitions for the phenomenon itself. Again, what is described is not the object itself. Paradoxically, when we add the confounding quantum observer effect, science informs us is what we anticipate may create what we experience in a anomalous event. Consequently, our biological senses are severely limited as a sort of tunnel vision and our imagination often created the environment we inhabit as surely as the natural environment dictates outcomes. One could reduce this to a simple proposition. We imagine our existence in a very finely subtle manner.
One of the prime debates revolving around many aspects of the paranormal is the relationship of the observer to the observed, which is fundamentally entangled when one examines a anomalous event in retrospect. For all of us in the human condition, any descriptions of ourselves are not what we are describing. A subtle form of misconception becoming a empirical path of investigation. The self referential becomes a curtain that the root causation of many a anomalous event hides behind as this situation becomes a case of us chasing our own tales, our own terms.
Seemingly, the axis of the the intellect as well as it's rational logic is a lens that falls prey to it's own limiting powers driven by the senses that are a biological limitation making the plural realities of manifestations a singular reality when the case is such, the visible, the sensible is separated from the non sensate and invisible by the eye, the nose as well as the ears and the sense of touch.
In a paradox one could say the non physical mind informs the physical brain while the physical brain informs the non physical mind in terms of the strictly material nature of physicality as defined by our senses. Between the image and the mirror seems to be the least flawed imagery I can muster. Others have called this relationship analogous to an isthmus. Others have made a comparison of how islands in the worlds oceans appear to be independent of one another as defined by our sense of sight, which naturally is a heavily limited simulation in the photonic images with several layers of processing velocities. We wriggle in this web.
Dr John C Lilly seems to have bumped into this Self / Not Self conundrum certainly a paranormal aspect of "normality" as being incommensurable to any material measurement.
"The most important things to do in science is to figure out who the human is and how he operates biochemically. We're never going to understand how the brain works. I always say that my brain is a big palace, and I'm just a little rodent running around inside it. The brain owns me, I don't Own the brain. A large computer can simulate totally a smaller computer but it cannot simulate itself, because if it did there wouldn't be anything left except the simulation. Consciousness would stop there...We don't know the basis for the human brain. As Von Neumann said, it was strictly by accident that we discovered multiplication, addition and subtraction first. If we discovered the mathematics of the brain we'd be way ahead of where we are now. There's no way to tell what the hell language the brain uses. Sure, you can show digital operations of the brain, you can analyze neural impulses traveling down your axons, hut what are those? Well, as far as I can see they are just a recovery from a system that's in the middle of the axon, and that's operating at the speed of light. Neuronal impulses going down the axons are just clearing up the laser points so that it's ready for the next one, continuously. It's like sleep. Sleep is a state in which the human biocomputer integrates and analyzes what went on the previous time it was outside, throws out all the memories that aren't going to be useful tomorrow and stores only those memories which will be useful. So it's a process like a big computer in which you have to empty memory and start over. We do this all the time."
Naming The Incommensurable
It seems we fall heavily on the side of what is sensed in a way that seems like an analogy of gravity just as we are held to the ground as we spin in a circumscribed orbital rotation..One could say that the paranormal and the anomalous are never self disclosing but rather evident of entangled causation that is an effect rather than a source in of itself as a root cause. All of the above leads us to the rationality shared by the materialism of the mind as evidenced by metaphysics as well as the material sciences.
One can read hundreds of books about any specific species but until one encounters it, observes the species, we are left with the references of a referential language..which one could also term an effect of what we have yet to experience when we read these books. More is missing in our knowledge than is evidenced. by the rational logic of the intellect. The metaphysician of the 12th Century, Ibn Al Arabi attempted capturing the entangled net between the described and the descriptors using a Neo-Plantonic frame as applied to the created and the Creator in the terms of his epoch steeped in the religious crossroads of Andalusia. He attempted to bridge theology with what he termed the self disclosure of realities, through the lens of theological ruminations. To my way of thinking this is a very provocative mirror, exploring the nature of consciousness through the projected deification of He. Buried within this excerpt is an fascinating correlation between image or imaging ( as in the senses) and imagination. That linkage in of itself could be the gist of several further posts. If you substitute the theology of He with root causation that is behind the isthmus between quantum states, or the bridge between what we can configure and what cannot be measured, it makes his analysis strikingly similar to quantum physics as applied to both the senses as well as the material and non material classifications we use. Gurdjieff another metaphysical figure suggested everything is material, which means is that what we we cannot measure by sensory means is also material in nature. Absent that bridge being visible, active imagination or imaging or even manifestations as an effect are not the purview of dualism.
"By the fact that He is the coincidentia oppositorum. . . . the entire universe of worlds is at once He and not-He (huwa la huwa). The God manifested in forms is at once Himself and other than Himself, for since He is manifested, He is the limited which has no limit, the visible which cannot be seen. This manifestation is neither perceptible nor verifiable by the sensory faculties; discursive reason rejects it. It is perceptible only by the Active Imagination (Hadrat al-Khayal...) at times when it dominates man's sense perceptions, in dreams or better still in the waking state (in the state characteristic of the gnostic when he departs from the consciousness of sensuous things). In short, a mystic perception (dhawq) is required. To perceive all forms as epiphanic forms (mazahir), that is, to perceive through the figures which they manifest and which are the eternal hexeities, that they are other than the Creator and nevertheless that they are He, is precisely to effect the encounter, the coincidence, between God's descent toward the creature and the creature's ascent toward the Creator. The "place" of this encounter is not outside the Creator-Creature totality, but is the area within it which corresponds specifically to the Active Imagination, in the manner of a bridge joining the two banks of a river. The crossing itself is essentially a hermeneutics of symbols, a method of understanding which transmutes sensory data and rational concepts into symbols (mazahir) by making them effect this crossing.
The act of comparative measurement of what are entangled states is a transitory effect, a benchmark on a objectified reference as it is carried away out of sight in a invisible river current of dancing waves and molecules that, by their nature as is the nature of the universe, is a indecisive chameleon.
The house of mirrors that dwells between the Self and I, the I being called in the past, the false personality ( (personal identity as defined by the user) leads to materialism of magical spells in invocation and evocation. The binary of white magic versus black magic that utilizes emotions as a mask for the pinnacle of behaviorism which also has a corralled in the material sciences. A sort of demented master of the universe who eventually falls down the staircase whilst making it's grand entrance. The atomic bomb, the genetic manipulations, drones, "artificial" intelligence, etc. One could reasonably conjecture than the term paranormal defines the human condition and in this there is great mystery as a human being has formidable odds defining what a human being is, when the definition is supplied by the subject. Dr John Lilly's commentary is apt.
The Self As an Elusive Objectification
This strange situation is a sort of unspeakable subject of conversation in polite company, yet there are those who have these fundamental questions in mind as they seek territorial imperatives by chasing to capture UFO's, Bigfoot or ghosts as a fundamental comparison to derive their own identity beyond the falsities of personality as if this were a transcendent quest in search of a counter refutation to pose against the "alone-ness" of existentialism..It is analogous to working a problem inversely. If we cannot define ourselves using the Self, nor by external aspects of our environment ( much like Arabi's He\Not He logic which stated otherwise is neither but both in relationship) then a side excursion into mirror images of sentience as manifested in modelling ourselves into unique environments by way of these images makes sense, both in a Jungian sense as well as a matter of having no other immediate internal or external objectivity.
Yet it speaks volumes that what they seek "is as close to them as their jugular veins" while trekking through material realities and yet is more elusive than their anomalous species who walk over any definitive evidence of their material existence. Perhaps it is no coincidence that this situation of the human condition is mirrored by their quest to pin the incommensurable in their own terms. A sort of very subtle form of anthropomorphism in search of a mirror in order to view themselves. Yet what is between the mirror and the image is what dictates effects. This discernment is lost on 99% of those who beat the bushes while occupying a dream state of naive reality in search of what a human being is.