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Innerworlds and Integral Websites - Case Study Example

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Innerworlds and Integral Websites

The assertion that Todd Murphy is truly convinced that he is not altogether closed to psychic or mystic experiences is suspect. If Murphy accepts those states as real, it is clearly in the light of a neurobehaviourist bias that precludes any truly impartial openness to a Level 4 enquiry into the psychosomatic unity of conscious experience. At first it was unclear exactly what type of cerebral consciousness, beyond the artificial neural awareness passively generated by a Shakti device, Todd Murphy would be willing to identify as a feasible validation for the global transpersonal phenomenon in question. Further research into his thought suggests that Murphy, echoing his mentor Dr. Persinger, proposes to reduce all vindication for any such psychic phenomena to the a priori existence of an internal epileptic propensity or to an external environment of unusually strong magnetic activity. The operative assumption implies that intuitive or mystic experiences can easily be reduced scientifically to subjectively generated responses due to the action of environmental electromagnetic energy. The cross-cultural understanding of intuitive insight experienced in the responsible human subject through a transpersonal consciousness is basically reduced to a behavioral response to a stimulus. 2
Shakti works on the principle of manipulating the magnetic fields that carry signals from the human brain to stimulate specific brain structures considered to be active in spiritual experience in order to induce an altered state of consciousness. Though there are disclaimers, in reference to feedback from its limited clientele, as to the range of levels of consciousness that can be roused by the contrivance, the advertisement of versions of the Shakti device pictured haphazardly on the home page of the site appears to imply that a suitably-susceptible person can be intrinsically and remarkably manipulated by artificial technical means into an authentic altered state of consciousness. In several of the many articles found in links to successive pages of the site, the principle of cerebral stimulation is touted further as capable of generating the experiential equivalent of Level 4 processes of consciousness. It should follow by default that certain gifted individuals could expect to be passively stimulated through frequent recourse to the Shakti helmet to the very zenith of mature personhood and ultimate well-being.3
Though the person using the Shakti may be in quest of stimuli from outside the body-spirit entity of the self, the individual under the helmet would hardly be truly transcending self through a synthetically induced altered state of consciousness. Hallucinogenic drugs most likely do a similar job of producing artificial highs by supplanting the chemical receptors in the synapse between the nerve cells. The human subject experiences only the disembodied neural reaction, passively receiving signals rather than actively participating in any meaningful content. There is nothing essentially transpersonal involved in an introverted event produced by the empty initiative of an inert ...Show more


By comparison with the clear-cut precise motif of Ken Wilber's Integral website, the visual presentation of Todd Murphy's Innerworlds website is confused, eclectic, and patently busy. The choice of typeface in ill-assorted sizes and the haphazard nature of the overall design, easily epitomizes the scattered deductive thinking in the articles presented, as well as in the pseudo-scientific details describing the Shakti magnetic field contrivance as spiritual technology…
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