What in the hell is Perceptual Diversity, and why is Polyphasic Consciousness Necessary for Global Survival?
Read all about it here: http://www.izilwane.org/assets/docs/PerceptualDiversity.pdf
“development will continue to destroy perceptual diversity because it exports the dominant cognitive process of ‘developed’ nations, i.e. monophasic consciousness. Destroying perceptual diversity, in turn, leads to the destruction of cultural diversity and biocomplexity.”
” . . . perceptual diversity, the whole, and the synergistic interrelationship between parts.”
“A growing number of psychologists and anthropologists have become interested in the value of perceptual diversity, seeing the use of multiple perceptual processes as positive rather than pathological.”
“According to Walsh, Western culture is monophasic, that is, its worldview is derived from a single state: the waking state. Walsh adds that in the Western world there is a need to ‘reduce this cultural myopia and to shift society, psychology and other disciplines from monophasic to polyphasic perspectives.'”
” . . . transrational states of consciousness are statistically normal.”
Why Polyphasic Consciousness is Necessary for Global Survival:
. . . when a culture restrains perceptual diversity, that same culture reduces human adaptability, which, in turn, leads to human beings living unsustainably. Unsustainable lifestyles result in ecological destruction, including destruction of biodiversity (or biocomplexity). In a feedback loop, degraded environments offer fewer choices to human beings for adaptability, and a downward spiral commences. If, indeed, perceptual diversity promotes human adaptability and indirectly promotes healthy environments, then perceptual diversity has a practical application in everyday life. Yet the value of perceptual diversity is not acknowledged by international development experts, who insist that only a monophasic worldview is valid. In fact, one of the steps to development is for a culture to jettison its perceptual diversity in favor of a specialized approach based on the scientific method and economic progress. The scientific method only acknowledges monophasic consciousness. The method is a specialized system that focuses on studying small and distinctive parts in isolation, which results in fragmented knowledge.
. . . Systems theory emerged in the mid-twentieth century and takes a different approach from that of
the scientific method.
By contrast, the systems approach attempts to view the world in terms of irreducibly
integrated systems. It focuses attention on the whole, as well as on the complex
interrelationships among its constituent parts. This way of seeing is not an alternative,
but a complement, to the specialized way. It is more all-embracing and comprehensive, incorporating the specialized perspective as one aspect of a general conception (Lazlo and
Furthermore, systems theory posits that when studying only the parts of something, one may be missing the value of the whole.
Structurally, a system is a divisible whole, but functionally it is an indivisible unity with
emergent properties. An emergent property is marked by the appearance of novel
characteristics exhibited on the level of the whole ensemble, but not by the components in
There are two important aspects of emergent properties: First, they are lost when the
system breaks down to its components—the property of life, for example, does not
inhere in organs once they are removed from the body. Second, when a component is
removed from the whole, that component itself will lose its emergent properties—a hand
severed from the body, cannot write, nor can a severed eye see.
The notion of emergent properties leads to the concept of synergy, suggesting that, as we
say in everyday language, the system is more than the sum of its parts….(Lazlo and
In the same way, I see monophasic consciousness as one part of perceptual diversity—the part based on waking, rational thought and the scientific method. But the entire system of consciousness is far more complex and, in breaking it down and valuing only one of its parts, waking rational consciousness, one loses the value of the whole. I propose that in disavowing polyphasic consciousness (perceptual diversity), we may be losing the emergent properties of polyphasic consciousness. Coming from developed, Western cultures, which highly value monophasic
consciousness and the scientific method, we may not even be aware of what we are losing. And it is altered states of consciousness, which speak through symbols and intuition, such as dreaming,
imagining, and meditating, that often allow us to grasp the whole in a way that the scientific method can never provide.
“Many of these perceptual processes are transrational, altered state of consciousness (meditation, trance, dreams,
imagination) and are not considered valid processes for accessing knowledge by science (which is based primarily upon quantification, reductionism, and the experimental method).”
More examples of perceptual processes that are transrational, altered states of consciousness not considered valid processes for accessing knowledge by science:
rich fantasy lives, intuition, emotion,
Five different categories of induction into altered states of consciousness:
(1) reduction of external stimulation and/or motor activity
(2) increase of external stimulation and/or motor activity and/or emotion
(3) increased alertness or mental awareness
(4) decreased alertness or mental awareness
(5) the presence of somatopsychological factors
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