Friday, 30 March 2018

Getting in touch with your Inner Wise Man via Virtual Reality

Thomas Metzinger finds that the astral travel (out of the body) experiences can be induced in the conscious waking state by advanced virtual reality technology. In an almost Humean way faint sensations are actually felt analogous to a phantom limb’s aches and pains. Does this indicate that our normal experience is mediate and locked into a well known interface? Joshua Rothman’s article in the The New Yorker
virtual reality
details his experiences of the induced OBE. His counselling by a virtual S. Freud who was a detached avatar of himself was a significant advance in auto-therapy; getting in touch with your inner wise man. Of course Jungian active imagination does the same thing albeit in a more strenuous way. Also some types of visionary experience may be due to breakaway psychic elements. Certain meditations in yoga involve the resident deities of the chakras. I’m also slightly apprehensive about the derealising power of this technology for the psychically frail.

Does it make Metzinger’s interface theory viable? I think not. If I had to choose between that and Platonism I would plump for the latter which at least takes the pre-theoretic reality of the given seriously.

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