More apparent how he is linking deliberately learned meditative states with other altered brain states achieved by other physical and chemical abnormalities.
Two amazing items in one. Looking at the classic view of left- and right-brain caricatures (see up to date McGilchrist work), he points out that there are really only tendencies for certain functions to predominate in one or other half, but that at any time the way each half functions can be distinctly different and asynchronous, due to the special way limited types of cortical and sub-cortical cross communications have evolved between the two halves. This allows each half to have different processing strategies. It is perfectly possibly for one half to be processing holistic conceptual pre-cognitive ideas before assigning individual lingusitic tokens to the concept, then recognised by the other half. Quite possible to “experience” pain, for example, without recognising that it hurts and causes suffering. Both meditative and opiate analgesic effects can be explained by the same physiology.
A key aspect of the Brian Josephson paper I linked to here is that using an object oriented programming metaphor for the brain, is that OO involves processing “classes”, conceptual objects where we have as yet not given any name to the individual experienced. The rose before the name.
Experiencing pain without hurting is the classic bed-of-nails / walk-on-red-hot-coals idea (can’t stop the physical damage of course – flesh punctures and burns). Reminds me of David Lean’s introductory caricature of Ned in Lawrence of Arabia, putting out the match with his finger. “Oh yes it still hurts, the [learned] trick is not minding.”
“Minding” – This is coming together.
Also published on Medium.