A Formal Mental Science

Builds Upon: Loopholes in Evolution

A club is a physical technology. It lengthens the lever of the human limb and provides a much harder, heavier striking object at the end.

Sparring practice or a system of martial arts is a mental technology. It allows a person to use the club more effectively in more situations.
However, just as a club was not invented by scientists, nor was sparring or martial arts.

Many mental and physical technologies were invented long before modern science.

However, with the invention of modern physical science, there came an exponential explosion in the development of physical technology.

To date, there has not yet been any modern science of the mind, nor an industrial revolution of the spirit.

There’s people who’ve studied the nature of consciousness for thousands of years such as Buddhist monks and yogis. Their systems contain great accumulated knowledge yet they remain a form of pre-science. These mystics have clearly discovered advanced mental technologies through intuition and trial and error but nowhere does there seem to be a rigorous system of testing hypotheses and recording results. Nowhere does anyone seem to deliberately extrapolate the next advance based on what is already known. Around the world mystic studies have always been limited to a talented, curious, dedicated few. Few people have seriously studied the potential to harness and spread mental technologies in ways that could advance an entire civilization.

There are, of course, already cognitive scientists, but as of yet they are firmly within the physical school. Their work begins and ends with empirically observable physical phenomena. Where their scope reaches its limits, the realm of the mystic begins.

A formal mental science is not cognitive science. Nor is it a physical science. Its business is to treat perception as essentially true rather than as a pale, flawed reflection of an objective reality.
The mind becomes a playground, a laboratory open for systematic testing and development. It is a vast frontier only a few people ever explore in depth.

Setting out with the deliberate goals of
-exploring all implications of the known
-testing the boundaries of the unknown

is precisely the sort of questioning that resulted in an explosion of new physical technologies that could never have arisen from a less focused, pre-scientific system.

What would happen if the mental world were approached with a similar mentality?

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4 responses to “A Formal Mental Science

  1. ‘There’s people who’ve studied the nature of consciousness for thousands of years such as Buddhist monks and yogis. Their systems contain great accumulated knowledge yet they remain a form of pre-science. These mystics have clearly discovered advanced mental technologies through intuition and trial and error but nowhere does there seem to be a rigorous system of testing hypotheses and recording results.’

    I’d like to take issue with this, but I would need many hours to comb through a lot of books and try to marshal evidence.

    • I can’t even begin to pretend I have a definitive understanding of these people.

      If you discover some more insights at some point I’d be interested to hear about them.

      I’ve tried reading about these guys myself, but good information for the layman is hard to come by.

      • I hesitate to just say, “Read Idries Shah,” because he wrote more than a dozen books.

        If you have the spare time and cash to read through all of his major works, you might find the effort to be worthwhile. Right now I don’t have access to Shah’s corpus of works, so I can’t comb through them and find the passages that I vaguely recall as relevant.

      • I’ll check out Idries Shah. I’ve got a couple of his books on hold at my local library now.

        I haven’t read his stuff before, but Gurdjieff has had a big influence on my views.

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