Informace o publikaci

Sensing the Darkness : Dark therapy, authority, and spiritual experience



Rok publikování 2022
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis Subjective religious experiences are important in many traditions. However, to what extent is their content purely subjective and free, and to what extent is it bound to cultural learning and the influence of other people? The cognitive science of religion currently studies religious experience as a composite product of several underlying cognitive mechanisms under the cognitive-computational theory of predictive processing (PPT). I am presently focusing on qualitative field research of religious experiences related to the “alternative spirituality” cultural context (i.e., on spiritual experiences), specifically experiences induced by the alternative-spiritual technique “Dark therapy” (DT). DT combines the prolonged effect of sensory deprivation – participants are usually one week in complete darkness – and probably also authority priming, represented here as a DT guide, who usually consult a participant’s experiences, feelings, and needs once a day. Sensory deprivation and authority priming were previously identified as variables crucial for successful induction of religious experience even outside the DT context. Therefore, during my talk, I want to introduce my innovative theoretical framework for studying religious/spiritual experiences, which combines PPT with evolutionary theories on social dynamics and authority and supplements it with examples of preliminarily gathered field data.
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