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The Ethno-Epistemology Of Transpersonal Experience: The View From Transpersonal Anthropology, Charles D. Laughlin Jan 2013

The Ethno-Epistemology Of Transpersonal Experience: The View From Transpersonal Anthropology, Charles D. Laughlin

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This paper introduces the topic of ethno-epistemology with regards to transpersonal experiences. The distinction between polyphasic and monophasic cultures is introduced and the interaction between a society’s world view and individual transpersonal experience is explained using the cycle of meaning model. A link to philosophical work on “natural epistemology” is made and the importance of the “projectability” of cultural theories of experience is discussed. The individual contributions to this special section of the journal are introduced.


Dreamscapes: Topography, Mind, And The Power Of Simulacra In Ancient And Traditional Societies, Paul Devereux Jan 2013

Dreamscapes: Topography, Mind, And The Power Of Simulacra In Ancient And Traditional Societies, Paul Devereux

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Dream content can be influenced by external sounds, smells, touch, objects glimpsed with half-open eyes during REM sleep, and somatic signals. This paper suggests that this individual, neurologically-driven process parallels that experienced collectively by pre-industrial tribal and traditional peoples in which the land itself entered into the mental lives of whole societies, forming mythic geographies—dreamscapes. This dreamtime perception was particularly evident in the use of simulacra, in which the shapes of certain topographical features allowed them to be presented in anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, or iconic guise to both the individual and the culturally-reinforced gaze of society members. This paper further ...


Belief Is Not Experience: Transformation As A Tool For Bridging The Ontological Divide In Anthropological Research And Reporting, Bonnie Glass-Coffin Jan 2013

Belief Is Not Experience: Transformation As A Tool For Bridging The Ontological Divide In Anthropological Research And Reporting, Bonnie Glass-Coffin

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

For more than a hundred years, anthropologists have recorded stories of beliefs in other-than-human sentience and consciousness, yet we have most frequently insisted on contextualizing these stories in terms of cultural, epistemological, or ontological relativism. In this paper, I ask why we have had such a hard time taking reports of unseen realms seriously and describe the transformative role of personal experience as a catalyst for change in anthropological research and reporting.


Dream-Spirits And Innovation In Aboriginal Australia’S Western Desert, Robert Tonkinson Jan 2013

Dream-Spirits And Innovation In Aboriginal Australia’S Western Desert, Robert Tonkinson

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Among the Mardu Aborigines, dreams (kapukurri; jukurrpa) may carry at least the same weight as the events of waking life. ‘Travelling’ in dream-spirit form enhances the possibility of revelations both dangerous and enlightening. In the Australian case, a major cultural dilemma is to accommodate and rationalize an inevitable dynamism when the dominant ideology is one of timelessness and stasis. Two key cultural symbols, the Dreaming and the Law, still substantially shape worldviews and behaviour of the Martu people, who live in the remote Western Desert region. Much of my focus is on a category of popular, largely public contemporary ritual ...


Understanding Bohm’S Holoflux: Clearing Up A Conceptual Misunderstanding Of The Holographic Paradigm And Clarifying Its Signifigance To Transpersonal Studies Of Consciousness, Mark A. Schroll Jan 2013

Understanding Bohm’S Holoflux: Clearing Up A Conceptual Misunderstanding Of The Holographic Paradigm And Clarifying Its Signifigance To Transpersonal Studies Of Consciousness, Mark A. Schroll

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Throughout the past 31 years transpersonal anthropologists and transpersonal psychologists seeking a scientific language to discuss anomalous phenomena and the farther reaches of human nature (or to invoke a discussion of ultimate reality, universal mind or cosmic consciousness) have referred to the holographic paradigm, the conceptual origin of which is directly related to David Bohm’s implicate order theory. In 1982 and 1984 Bohm discussed the holographic paradigm’s limitations (and more specifically his concept of holomovement) to accurately represent his implicate order theory, suggesting instead the more precise conceptual reference holoflux; yet the limited publication of this correction has ...


Dreaming And Reality: A Neuroanthropological Account, Charles D. Laughlin Jan 2013

Dreaming And Reality: A Neuroanthropological Account, Charles D. Laughlin

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

In what sense is dreaming real to people of different cultures? How do they come to conclude that dreaming is real, and how do they use dreams to expand their knowledge and control of real events? The reader is introduced to dream anthropology and shown that there are universal patterns to how dreams are experienced, expressed, and used by societies. The distinction between monophasic and polyphasic cultures is described, the latter being the majority of societies that consider dreaming as being in some sense real. Neuroscience supports the notion that there is a natural realism behind the experience of reality ...


Shamanic Cosmology As An Evolutionary Neurocognitive Epistemology, Michael Winkelman Jan 2013

Shamanic Cosmology As An Evolutionary Neurocognitive Epistemology, Michael Winkelman

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The biological foundation for a shamanic epistemology is indicated by the cross-cultural distribution of a shamanic cosmology derived from knowledge obtained during altered consciousness. These special forms of consciousness involve integrative brain conditions that access ancient ways of knowing, expressive systems which have evolutionary roots in the communicative and social processes involved in animal displays or rituals. These were augmented over the course of hominid evolution into expressive and mimetic activities that provided a basis for significant epistemological expansions of consciousness exemplified in shamanic out-of-body (OBE) experiences. These manifestations of consciousness involved new modes of self and processes of knowing ...


The Self: A Transpersonal Neuroanthropological Account, Charles D. Laughlin Jan 2013

The Self: A Transpersonal Neuroanthropological Account, Charles D. Laughlin

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The anthropology of the self has gained momentum recently and has produced a significant body of research relevant to interdisciplinary transpersonal studies. The notion of self has broadened from the narrow focus on cultural and linguistic labels for self-related terms, such as person, ego, identity, soul, and so forth, to a realization that the self is a vast system that mediates all the aspects of personality. This shift in emphasis has brought anthropological notions of the self into closer accord with what is known about how the brain mediates self-as-psyche. Numerous examples from the ethnography of the self are given ...