[Fwd: BOOKS: Prometheus Rising (perception retraining)]

Keith Elis (hagbard@ix.netcom.com)
Fri, 31 Oct 1997 19:15:30 -0500

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This post has been disappearing into the ether for some reason. Hence, I
try again.

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Message-ID: <345A117B.5817FB6@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 12:12:34 -0500
From: "Keith Elis ('Hagbard Celine')" <hagbard@ix.netcom.com>
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To: extropians@extropy.com
Subject: BOOKS: Prometheus Rising (perception retraining)
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[I was sending this to the extropy.org address for some odd reason.
Profuse apologies to those might've seen it already.]

I just finished a re-read of Prometheus Rising -- some thoughts and a
question follow.

Some philosophers seem to think that the "hard problem" of consciousness
(how neural correlates give rise to subjective experience --
http://sol.zynet.co.uk/imprint/hardprob.html ) is unsolvable until we
know something about human perception. Perception is the mechanism that
turns an objective reality into a subjective experience. So how we
perceive a sensed event affects the internalized nature of the
experience and in a feedback loop, the internalized nature of the
experience affects our perception, and so on. In this way, (by way of a
string of certain internalized experiences) some can be conditioned to
"expect" a certain experience, and thus will perceive a sensed event as
such. I'm reminded of the adage (and Eric Watt Forste's well-considered
sign-off line) "Expectation foils perception."

Prometheus Rising offers a number of exercises to alter our perceptive
framework. Working with the eight circuit Leary-Wilson model outlined in
that book, I've long known that the majority of my early imprints have
been on the third (semantic) circuit. Accordingly, I've become prone to
excessive rationalization, and the corresponding communicative
roadblocks that can sometimes occur when dealing with first, second or
fourth circuit types. I think RAW makes a great case for balance among
the first four circuits, since such would allow more possibile
perceptive frameworks through which to experience objective reality. The
Holy Grail, of course, is the ability to switch between perceptive
frameworks at will and in their entirety, allowing conscious exploration
of reality from the standpoint of many different people. This is
attractive in the sense that different people notice and internalize
different things. If we could flip-flop between one perceptive framework
and another, we would have a more accurate picture of the universe than
any single-perspective person can have by themselves. Seems a step in
the right transhuman direction. In fact, the idea of a single
intelligence capable of synthesizing the internalized experiences of
several people seems likely to crop up in nearly any discussion of the
benefits of uploading.

Whether this is possible, I haven't the faintest. So, has anyone
attempted the perception re-training exercises in Prometheus Rising? If
so, with what results?