Monday, November 14, 2011

summary of a Jeffrey Kripal lecture

Jeffrey Kripal wrote some of the notes on Dick's Exegesis from the point of view of comparative religion. One important point he makes is to emphasize the influence of Eliade on Dick. Here are a few quotes from this article summarizing one of his lectures that I think are useful for thinking about the study of Philip K. Dick as a religious thinker. But do check out the link because it mentions his discussion of William James' "filter theory" which plays a role in the Exegesis.

Rice prof speaks on paranormal, consciousness in lecture

Kripal said the study of religion is usually practiced in the humanities, which he described as "the study of consciousness coded in culture." The world human beings experience is made up by words and symbols, and in order to investigate the unknown, one must look closely at extreme or unusual states of consciousness, he said.
When a student questioned how paranormal activities can be scientifically analyzed, Kripal said there is no way for parapsychologists to test and experiment on the aspects of paranormal experiences.

"Science proceeds by excluding things," he said. "Some scientists will try to say it doesn't exist because we can't study it in a laboratory. I just don't think these things can be squeezed into a scientific method."