Kisses Krosses Kurses Krashes
– Archival 280gsm Giclee Fiber-Prints
“That humanity at large will ever be able to dispense with Artificial Paradises seems very unlikely. ... the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul.”
The Doors of Perception, 1954
The idea of a spiritual realm, the basis for all religious practice, is borne from the way human beings inevitably rationalise their experience of altered states of consciousness. In sleep, in dreams, in the climax of orgasm, the engulfment of intoxication and the ecstasy of (so-called) religious experience we seem to travel to a different world, one that is not part of our physical reality. This experience, where we silence our self-consciousness and shutout the reality around us, is thought to have enshrined the basic idea of substance dualism (*splitting everything that exists into either physical or non-physical categories) among the earliest human beings, forming the original nucleus of their animistic proto-religious system. It still drives our persistent belief in the Soul, as distinct from the Body, which in turn is linked to our variegated beliefs in an afterlife.
Most of modern science refutes the idea of immortality. Death, then, is not a threshold to paradise of eternal bliss but an end of the process we call life. Furthermore, there is evidence that, the ecstatic experiences we explain as the traveling of the incorporeal soul can be reduced to the psycho-chemical workings of the brain. The claim would entail that there is no Mind/Brain division just as there is no Soul/Body or Natural/Supernatural divisions. But the idea of dualism, the Transcendental Temptation, continues to grip human beings despite the facts of science.
© Copyright Givan Lötz 2011