Statue of the Buddha, Wat Mahathat Temple, Ayutthaya, Thailand

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.

William Blake

There are things known and things unknown and in between are The Doors.

Jim Morrison

Are We Limited by Science?

Whether we realize it or not, our concept of reality – of what is real and believable – is largely defined, unconsciously, by what we directly perceive through our senses. If we cannot directly perceive it, we tend to believe it that much less – even if we are presented with scientific or logical arguments about what to believe.

As the saying goes, “Seeing is believing.” To that extent, we tend to be limited by our senses when it comes to what we believe – what we consider to be real, verifiable and factual. Even scientific theory must be verified by experiment – with empirical evidence – before it can be accepted as “scientific fact.” Otherwise, it remains in the domain of abstract speculation, abstract theory and ideas. It is less “real” by virtue of it not being verifiable with empirical, sensorially verifiable, evidence.

We accept, today, that the world is spherical because we have tangible photographs in hand, taken from space, to prove it – even though the circumference of the earth was calculated by the Greek philosopher Eratosthenes circa 240 B.C. It took us that long generally to accept that the earth is a sphere because it took us that long to get the “hard evidence” that directly appeals to our senses (in this case, our sense of sight). In this vein, while we may conceptually accept that Einstein’s theories and the claims of quantum mechanics, for instance, are academically sound and true – and only because we actually have measurable empirical validation of these obscure scientific ideas – such as the famous double-slit experiment proving the wave/particle duality of light photons, and the splitting of the atom demonstrating Einstein’s famous mass-energy equivalence equation – for the most part, in our thinking, we are conceptually living in a Newtonian universe. This is the case because Newtonian physics is familiar to us – it is directly perceptible to our senses. Everyday objects falling to the ground and interacting with each other all the time continually demonstrate the principles of gravity and the laws of motion. It does not take a leap in imagination to accept Newtonian physics as real because the empirical validation is so easy and direct – so immediately accessible to our senses and instantaneously tangible.

Our concept of reality is largely defined by our senses.

The bottom line is that our concept of reality – of what is real – is defined and limited by our sensory perception of reality.

A person with one or more of his senses missing has a very different concept of reality than most of us would have. You can tell a blind man that there is a giant, silent hologram of a pink elephant two feet in front of him and you will have a hard time convincing him of that. Even if, eventually, he comes to believe you, after hours of meticulous rational argument, he will still not be entirely convinced of it, because he cannot immediately perceive it. It remains abstract and unreal to him – a concept rather than a direct fact – simply because he cannot directly perceive it. If, however, his sight is miraculously restored and he opens his eyes to see the holographic pachyderm two feet in front of his face, he will now have no trouble believing it’s existence to be a true, tangible fact.

The same principle applies to anything that may exist beyond our capacity to perceive with our senses. Our concept of the universe is defined by our five-sensory perception of it. Does that necessarily mean that nothing exists beyond our capacity to perceive it with our senses? To hold to that assumption seriously would surely be the height of arrogance.

A bat, for example, is blind – it has no sense of vision. Rather, it has a highly developed auditory sense (of hearing) that interprets high frequency sound echoes to form a sort of sonar image of its surrounding habitat. In this way, its image of the universe – its concept of reality – is largely defined by its sense of hearing, which differs significantly in range and sensitivity from human senses. Similarly, some big cats enjoy night vision, while certain canine breeds, like the bloodhound, have a highly developed sense of smell.

For these animals as well, their concept of reality is defined by their sensory experiences and apparatus, and differs considerably from the human understanding of reality. The world appears very different to a bat, a cat, a dog, or any other animal, than it does to a human being.

It clearly follows, therefore, that the supposition that nothing exists beyond our capacity to perceive it with our senses is patently erroneous. The universe demonstrably exists far beyond our five-sensory capacity to perceive and experience it, even if the human concept of what is real remains, for the most part, largely defined and determined by what we human beings perceive through our five senses. Our senses are our window into reality and enable us to construct a (partial, imperfect, incomplete) image of the reality we inhabit.

The Post-Modern Dogma of Scientific Materialism

The premise of “scientific materialism” – the prevailing school of thought of our time – which, I would argue, may best be described as being the illegitimate offspring of the 17th Century Age of Reason – is that if it cannot be perceived by the senses – or at least experimentally verified and made measurable, deterministic and accessible to sensory perception in some way – it is not real and should be dismissed outright. The premise underlying this attitude remains that something is real only if it can be perceived by the senses – that only “seeing is believing.”

A blindly mechanistic view of reality arising out of the dogma of scientific materialism

The idea that for something to be acceptable as real, it must be measurable and deterministic – somehow accessible to our five senses – either directly or by virtue of its effects – is the basis of all experimental science. Even with this extended definition of reality, the core underlying supposition remains – it is only real if we can perceive it – “seeing is believing.” In other words, our concept of reality is defined by our senses – by our sensory perception of reality.

But what about something that can in no way be sensorially perceived either directly or by effect – like the silent hologram of the giant pink elephant to a blind man? Does our inability to perceive it mean that it is not real or that it does not exist? Not if one applies some basic, common sense logic to the equation. Is it, by extension, reasonable to suppose the reality and existence of an entire universe beyond our ability directly to perceive it – even though we may, at times, have a limited perception of its effects?

Expanding Consciousness and Perception

A question that seems, naturally, to arise from this discussion is whether we can ever acquire or develop the sensory apparatus needed to perceive that which may exist beyond our five-sensory experience of reality. The only way we could possibly be convinced of a reality beyond our immediate senses is if we could develop either the additional senses or the technological adjuncts to our current five senses that would be required to perceive that reality.

In truth, the human organism is already capable of so much more than we give it credit for. We have lost many of our innate, natural abilities through attrition and attenuation, presumably from lack of use and an over-dependence on technology. Examples of such lost abilities include the innate sense of direction demonstrated by many “primitive” tribes who live in the wilderness, apart from technology, and also, in the broader animal kingdom, by birds like homing pigeons and migratory swallows. The swarm behavior exhibited by certain schools of fish as they move in perfect synchronization underwater is another example of animal behavior that appears to be parasensory.

A fish-eye vortex created by a massive school of underwater sardines

The pineal gland has become an almost vestigial organ in the human endocrine system – heavily calcified and deactivated in most modern, urban-dwelling people – primarily due to fluoridated water supplies in modern urban centers. One has to wonder, though – what would it be like to experience a fully active, fully functioning, fully decalcified pineal gland – as some of our remote ancestors may have experienced?

We know that if the pineal gland becomes completely calcified, it may lead to schizophrenia or even death. On the other hand, a fully decalcified, functioning pineal gland, producing the melatonin we need to manage our circadian rhythms, under certain conditions, produces DMT, to give one a psychic or psychedelic perception/experience of reality – one that some of our remote ancestors may have taken for granted, as part of the natural human experience, but which has largely been lost to us.

The pineal gland — the seat of human extrasensory perception?

Is it possible that the natural functioning of the fully primed pineal gland is a means for the expansion of human consciousness and perception, enabling human beings to access the otherwise imperceptible through direct perception? It may well be the case.

I am not one to advocate the use of psychedelic substances, which may be hazardous to ones health. However, healthful practices such as avoiding the intake of halogen compounds like fluorides and limiting ones intake of refined sugar, along with meditation, breathwork and exercise, can enhance ones extrasensory abilities through a highly functioning pineal gland, while also raising one’s IQ and enhancing brain function, especially by strengthening the corpus callosum and improving synchronization between the cerebral hemispheres. Perhaps this is the way forward to expanding human consciousness and accessing higher, deeper, more expansive levels of thought and perception.

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