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← Jonathan Haidt: Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence

phil rimmer's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by phil rimmer

Spiritual means going "Whoa!" on a mountaintop and "Ahhhhh!!" at the prettier sleeping babies and not saying much for a bit afterwards.

Haidt's staircase experiences are those occasions, common amongst schizophrenics and mushroom eaters where a mass of formerly un made associations are made. Most of the population have these fun schizoid events once or twice in their lives. The schizophrenic brain is hypothesised to have a deficiency of the usual linkages (at least temporary non access to them- schizophrenics can lose a lot of cultural and personal knowledge during "bouts"). The brain then appears to compensate, filling in with new wild and grand explanations. (Sometimes the invisible is all that is to hand.) A "bit schizo" can be a very creative mode when couched in a stable mostly non-schizo society. That may be why its there.

So, a bit schizo breaks down earlier knowledge to let new and potentially better solutions evolve. Mirror neurons in super abundance make the rest copy them faithully until the next useful breakdown.

So many interesting hypotheses he could have pursued....

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 08:53:37 UTC | #928874