The imagination as an interface

…practices of attention and consciousness are almost survival necessities…

Erik Davis (Reality Liquified)

High Frequency Sytropics, a metascape for Artful Contemplation by Lanon Prigge

Reality liquified

We are experiencing a breakdown of consensus reality in the current milieu. We can no longer take for granted that we inhabit or perceive of a single reality. In part this is attributable to a transition from mass media to individualized media. A few decades ago we were more likely to receive similar data through news bulletins, cultural myths and socio-political narratives. Today we are exposed to multiple perspectives, contradictory views and diverse myths from throughout time and space. In our search to respond to the world openly and honestly, with authenticity and empathy, what strategies will support us?

The following is transcribed from the video (above), Reality Liquified, in which Erik Davis talks about the role of training the imagination in the contemporary milieu. 

“The system is very, very interested in you maintaining your personality. And, in fact, giving you exactly what you want…So if you have a nice little inner skeptic on board, who’s going like: ‘Who are you anyway? I mean really? Are you really that person? Are you really those cultural programs? Are you really that belief you have about who you are?’ 

Scepticism can be part of a meditative path, of a path of enquiry.

Well, no, actually you’re not, you’re bigger than that. You’re way bigger than that. And that’s part of the way that skepticism can be part of a meditative path, can be part of the path of what I call enquiry, which is a nicer word than skepticism. You’re always asking questions. You’re always probing…you don’t get an ‘off’, you don’t get an answer and then you can relax…you keep going into it farther and farther and farther,…don’t let that thing stop because it gets in the way of the self. 
The other way is animism. What I mean by that is basically the magical universe. A universe that is alive, not just alive as a totality, but as many specific things. Rocks, plants, animals, birds, electricity, technology, ideas…Everything is alive and everything is relational. And not only is it relational, but the world is filled with non-human persons. So this is an animist world-view [and] it’s not just a projection…Our ability to connect with the magical world – whether through psychedelics, ritual practice, through shamanic systems, through magic – is a faculty we have. 

The imagination is an interface…the imagination is a faculty that can be trained.

The way that we talk about smell is as a faculty. My nose does it. Nothing else does it. My eye system really works with visual imagery. It’s a faculty. Memory is a faculty. And related to memory is the faculty of what we could call, the imagination. And the imagination is not just a projection we put out on the world. The imagination is an interface that allows us to engage what is outside of us, what we can’t understand in our own terms; the alien, the inhuman, of the non-human.  

It’s really key to have an ability to break through your own wish fulfillment.

So the imagination is a faculty that can be trained and we train it through…intentional psychedelics, we train it through magic, we train it to a degree through meditation…And in building up the imagination, we’re not just building up our personal little reality…It’s really key to have an ability to break through your own wish fulfillment. And that is where scepticism and animism work together very beautifully.”

Who shared this with Artful Contemplation?

This talk was transcribed by Metascape Voyager and Artist, Lanon Prigge. He has always had his eyes on the horizon, asking “why?” of nearly everything he has come into contact with. Lanon’s central strategy as an Artist is to follow the open-ending, using mindful imagination, musing and meditation.

Lanon Prigge is a metascape voyager who has always had his eyes on the horizon.

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