They Shimmer Within
Cognitive-Evolutionary Perspectives on Visionary Beings
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BACK COVER #The use of psychedelic drugs and visionary plants, such as ayahuasca, DMT, salvia divinorum [sic] and 2-C.I., [sic], is rising within society, and an increasing number of mind-blowing reports are emerging which narrate encounters witho otherworldy 'elves', shadow people and visionary beings. Contemporary approaches to these experiences have tended towards and the literal and archetypal, or to dismiss them as overly bizarre.
However, the relatively new fields of the cognitive science of relition and evolutionary psychology both suggest profound, innate, but non-imagistic mental foundations for these phenomena arising from easily-triggered evolutionary functions during emotive periods of high cognitive demand. Such functions include 'agent detection', dedicated social intelligence faculties and symbolic thought.
This wide-ranging book explores how our oldest and deepest mental processes predispose us as humans to believe in invisible supernatural agents even though we live in a universe which lacks them, and presents a new hypothesis of how these same cognitions facilitate the emergence of those agents to become suddenly and dazzlingly resent when psychedelic drugs and visionary plants are ingested.
Bruce's holistic approach, in which visionary being encounters become intimately connected with many other human phenomena, leads to the conclusion that such discarnate entities shimmer within as profound and awe-inspiring, but ultimately mysterious, products of the mind, an existential paradox of simultaneously knowing and unknowing which rests at the heart of what it is to be human.
This is the third in a series of explorations towards a more holistic system of thought, perception and experience, entitled Visionary Humanism.