An email exchange:
“[We] were just talking about science and mysticism! We both agreed that since much of mysticism is based in human emotion/imagination, a connection to science will be made once we know more about the human mind. This requires more research in neuroscience. We know so little about the human brain, let alone mind.Though science is currently perceived as more advanced than mysticism, we thought that it is possible mysticism is more complicated than science. That was as best a condensed version of our discussion I could make. Sorry if it’s unclear!
But I’d love to talk with you about that”
I’ve been meaning to get back to you on this. I’ve been reading the diaries of Anais Nin, and she talks about how the people who invented LSD (Timothy Leary) and who wrote about LSD (Aldous Huxley in “Doors of Perception”) are only just beginning to perceive and give people access through drugs such as LSD other modes of perception that mystics have always-already described. Anais believes that all artists, whether they be poets, or painters, already have access to these exalted modes of perception, and that they don’t need LSD to enter into a mystical, ego-freeing state. Of course, we know that not everyone is able to have such experiences without mind-altering drugs, and I have a hunch that this is why so much of America is still unenlightened and sleeping. Americans don’t know how to dream! And they need drugs to see through the eyes of a dreamer! To even access the dream! But where do neuroscience and art connect? They connect when the artist who delves inward and pays attention carefully to life can arrive at the same conclusion as science. Take for instance, Proust’s novel, Swann’s Way. I think there’s a scene in the novel where the smell of Swann’s food triggers a memory. And now, neuroscience, almost two hundred years later, can prove that there is a correlation between smell and memory. A mystic is someone who has his eye trained on life, and the goal of the occult is to reveal what’s hidden.