“In order to come to your senses, Alan Watts often said, you sometimes need to go out of your mind. Perhaps more than any other teacher in the West, this celebrated author, former Anglican priest, and self-described spiritual entertainer was responsible for igniting the passion of countless wisdom seekers to the spiritual and philosophical delights of Asia and India.
Now, with Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening from the Alan Watts Audio Archives, you are invited to immerse yourself in 12 of this legendary thinker’s pinnacle teaching sessions about how to break through the limits of the rational mind and begin expanding your awareness and appreciation for the Great Game unfolding all around us.”
“‘Once formed,’ the researchers observed dryly, ‘impressions are remarkably perseverant.'”
—Elizabeth Kolbert, “Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds.” The New Yorker. February 19, 2017.
Be careful what you believe.
Cutting concepts, time, our perspective into fragments can help us understand some things. But, even so, the life of the frog cannot be fully explained with the dissection scalpel.
“…stupidity is the cost of intelligence operating in a complex environment…
[Stupidity:] overlooking or dismissing conspicuously crucial information…
When it comes to overloading our cognitive brains, the seven factors are: being outside of your circle of competence, stress, rushing or urgency, fixation on an outcome, information overload, and being in the presence of an “authority.” Acting alone any of these are powerful enough, but together they dramatically increase the odds you are unaware that you’ve been cognitively compromised.
…if these factors are present, don’t make any important decisions.”Interview with Adam Robertson in “How Not to Be Stupid.” Farnam Street. January 2, 2019.
To really read any discursive text, whether a philosophical tract or a legal contract, is a disturbing and cognitively disorienting experience, because it means allowing another person’s thoughts to intrude into your own and rearrange your beliefs and assumptions — often not in ways to which you would consent if warned in advance. Even when you deliberately decide to learn something new by reading, you put yourself, your thoughts and your most cherished suppositions in the hands of the author and trust her or him not to reorganize your mind so thoroughly that you no longer recognize where or who you are. It’s very scary; hard, painstaking work of determined concentration under the best of circumstances. So particularly with philosophical texts, the whole point of which is to reorganize your thinking, people often don’t really read them at all; they merely take a mental snapshot of the passage that enables them to form a Gestalt impression of its content, without scrutinizing it too closely.”
—Adrian Piper. Interview with Lauren O’Neill-Butler. “Adrian Piper Speaks! (for Herself).” The New York Times. July 5, 2018.
Excellent interview throughout. For this part, I think you could extend the point to any kind of lived experience. Authentic experience is breaking from the automatic, the prejudicial mental models that we have created to navigate the world and experiencing the world in a way that might fundamentally change us rather than limiting our vision to our existing worldview that renders anything outside of it invisible.