WORD: HYPERGNOSIA 08-05-2017

HYPERGNOSIS

an overwhelming sense of TRUTH

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From Ancient Greek ὑpέρ (“over”)

From Ancient Greek γνῶsις (gnósis), “‘knowledge’”)…

One’s brain is likely responsible for the sense of truth:  as reality is tested (by correspondence and coherence) throughout the nervous system and integrated into the best possible unitary belief  a portion of the brain is activated which appears to put the “seal” on truthfulness of the belief:  Competing beliefs can be suppressed and the “last belief standing” can be counted on to guide adaptive actions in a dangerous world.   This cerebral site seems responsible for “hypergnosia,” the overwhelming sense of truth that provides a vivid sense of order.

From “THE NATURAL HISTORY OF TRUTH: The Neurobiology of Belief”, Metanexus (2009) … The pursuit of truth is woven into the fabric of every organism….” :

HYPERGNOSIS.  “Two complementary cerebral processes ordinarily work in lockstep to provide us with varying degrees of confidence in the strength of ensuing beliefs: These processes involve an estimation of the validity of correspondence and coherence. Such estimations of validity guide the continuing reconciling of intentions, expectations, and actions at every level of the nervous system, invoking energetically more expensive higher levels only when lower levels are inadequate. A third cerebral area reveals itself only in extraordinary circumstances and appears to evoke “hypergnosia,” an overwhelming and sometimes ecstatic sense of truth.”

Hypergnosia, on the other hand is an extraordinarily intense confidence that an experience is true. The state of confidence is particularly informative because of its extreme nature. The pursuit and solution of mystery can be imbued with intense urgency and the ensuing stress response powerfully energizing — a pleasure that seems a heartbeat away from ecstasy. Einstein described the search for the insight that reconciles disparate ideas in terms that would credit a mystic in recalling “the years of searching in the dark for a truth that one feels but cannot express; the intense desire and the alterations of confidence and misgiving, until one breaks through to clarity and understanding, are only known to him who has himself experienced them” (in Beveridge, 1950:81). Apparently, when confidence exceeds a certain threshold, the resolution of stress can provide a remarkable “release.” Einstein echoed the great physiologist, Claude Bernard: “those who do not know the torment of the unknown cannot have the joy of discovery.” The neurologist/essayist Oliver Sacks recalled seeing the periodic table of the elements: “The actual presence of these elements reinforced the feeling that these were indeed the elemental building blocks of the universe that the whole universe was here in microcosm. I had an overwhelming sense of truth and beauty when I saw the periodic table. I felt that this was not a mere human construct, arbitrary, but an actual vision of an eternal cosmic order, and that any future discoveries and advances, whatever they might add, would only reinforce, reaffirm, the truth of its order” (1999). Dostoevsky spoke of an “eternal harmony” that he occasionally experienced: “There are moments, and it is only a matter of five or six seconds, when you feel the presence of the eternal harmony … a terrible thing is the frightful clearness with which it manifests itself and the rapture with which it fills you…” (Alajouanine 1963).”   AHA!  read on!


Triumphs and failures of KNOWING

·        GNOSIS.  “… a feminine Greek noun which means “knowledge”. It is often used for personal knowledge compared with intellectual knowledge (Wikipedia) 

  • HYPERGNOSIA, “An overwhelming sense of the validity of a belief such that it is absolutely true” (A&O on hypergnosia)
  • AGNOSIA.  “the inability to process sensory information. Often there is a loss of ability to recognize objects, persons, sounds, shapes, or smells while the specific sense is not defective nor is there any significant memory loss. It is usually associated with brain injury or neurological illness, particularly after damage to the occipitotemporal border, which is part of the ventral stream [vision and hearing: object recognition and form representation]. Agnosia only affects a single modality, such as vision or hearing. (Wikipedia)
  • ANOSOGNOSIA.  The lack of “insight” into one’s disability — adapted from the  neurology clinic  to refer to ignorance of one’s ingnorance.   (A&O on anosognosia) 

 

 

 

 

The lateralization of the complementary aspects of reality testing are plausible but not startling in the light of other remarkable asymmetries.  “Truth,” however can be startling.  The pursuit and solution of mystery can be imbued with intense urgency and the ensuing stress response powerfully energizing.   The pleasure of securing confidence in a belief seems a heartbeat away from ecstasy.  Apparently, when confidence exceeds a certain threshold, the resolution of stress can provide a remarkable “release.”  Individuals report an intense emotional response to a perceived truth.  A sense of possessing a transcendent belief that is  “truer than truth,” with an accompanying sense of peace, joy, and feeling as though they were one with the truth they sought.  As Polanyi put it, “the personal participation of the knower in the knowledge he believes himself to possess takes place within a flow of passion.”    The passion becomes the final corroboration: “We recognize intellectual beauty as a guide to discovery and as a mark of truth” (1958:300).

 

This is not merely the satisfaction of a long sought understanding, it is an uniquely explosive response in the spirit, perhaps, of d’Aquili’s  “Absolute Unitary Being” (AUB), with its “extremely strong sense of reality that is in fact said to be more real than baseline reality” (????)   In d’Aquili’s view while a baseline sense of reality needs sustained socially corroboration,  AUB can persist with out it.  (the compelling corroboration of belief in a “theory of everything?” … the urge behind holism?) (notes from my forum about holism)

 

Einstein described the search for the insight that reconciles disparate ideas in terms that would credit a mystic in recalling “the years of searching in the dark for a truth that one feels but cannot express; the intense desire and the alterations of confidence and misgiving, until one breaks through to clarity and understanding, are only known to him who has himself experienced them” (in Beveridge, 1950:81); Einstein, like Claude Bernard acknowledges the intensity and stress of the pursuit: “those who do not know the torment of the unknown cannot have the joy of discovery.”                                                                                                     

Resurrecting Hypergnosia:    As a term of art, “hypergnosia” seems a uniquely useful term, but historically, it is rarely used.  R. Walder (in the Psychoanalytic Review,1930) used “hypergnostic” to characterize some the belief state of some schizophrenics that transform an internalized experience into a transcendent abstraction that can be used as a foundation for rationalization or to convert an experience into a generalization that goes beyond ego boundaries.[report]. 

In personal coaching, hypergnosis has connections to the teachings of P.D. Ouspensky (In Search of the miraculous[note]) and involves a geometric “map” of consciousness, using 7 enneagrams to guide nine levels of training/development.   The champion of this system, Oscar Ichazo,  founded his Arica Institute in 1971.* ”  (The Institute continues to exist, though it has contracted somewhat from its heyday in the early 1990s, and now offers training in “Nine Hypergnostic Systems” and T’ai chi chuan in centers in New York and Europe.”).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visual hypergnosia

IMAGINATION:  selective emphasis or exclusion of competing alternatives streams of information (close your eyes), can sometimes make imagined scenarios more vivid

BONNET SYNDROME:. “…Charles Bonnet  hallucinations are much more vivid and the patient has no conscious control over them–they emerge completely unbidden, although like real objects they may disappear when the eyes are closed.  Some patients tell me that the images are more “real than reality” or that the colors are “supervivid.–and yet they know they bare mere figments of the imagination.” (Ramachandran & Blakeslee 1998:88)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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Truer than True, more Real than Real

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”  Dr Seuss (Theodor Geisel), “Happy Birthday to You” (1959) In the land of Katroo,  the Birthday Bird throws everyone a party on their birthday.

“Truer than True” – Brenda Lee   (Album: “Too Many Rivers” 1965)

 

Truer than true, that’s how I love you

Say you love me too, truer than true

 

Gladder than glad, I can’t believe it!

I’m never sad, I’m gladder than glad

 

You mean the world to me,

Come kiss me tenderly, oh can’t you see

 

I’m higher, than high. I touch the stars now

Way, way, way up in the sky

I’m higher, mmmmmm higher than high!

 

Truer than true, yes, yes, that’s how I love you

Say, say you love me too

Truer than true

Yeah say, you love me too

And I’ll be true, true, true, true, truer than true.

 

 

Einstein’s general theory of relativity, as it was known, described gravity as warped space-time. It had no fudge factors  no dials to twiddle. When the calculation nailed Mercury’s orbit Einstein had heart palpitations. Something inside him snapped, he later reported, and whatever doubt he had harbored about his theory was transformed into what a friend called “savage certainty.” He later told a student that it would have been “too bad for God,” if the theory had been subsequently disproved. (quoted from Dennis Overbye; essay in the NYTimes (Web edition) March 26, 2002.  The Most Seductive Equation in Science: Beauty Equals Truth <www.nytimes.com/2002/03/26/science/26MATH.html>)

Dostoyevsky wrote of moments (during preseizure auras) “when you feel the presence of the  eternal harmony … a terrible thing is the frightful clearness with  which it manifests itself “ (is this hypergnosia enabled by the enhanced activity of the epileptogenic focus … that unique cluster of neurons defined by chance or accidental circumstance and which constitutes the epicenter of a spreading seizure?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CONCEPT CLUSTER for KNOWING:

  • KNOWING and NOT KNOWING: sensation without perception?  GNOSIS and AGNOSIAS
  • KNOWING with GREATEST INTENSITY:  HYPERGNOSIA  perception without sensation
  • ALMOST KNOWING:   “feeling of knowing” (FOK) and “tip-of-the tongue” knowing (TOT) Do have a “feeling of knowing”  is it on “The tip of your tongue?”  see Koriat (2000)  MAYBE YOU DO KNOW !  but cannot “get in touch with it”
  • NOT KNOWING that you DO NOT KNOW   ANOSOGNOSIA
  • Maybe YOU KNOW IT, but don’t ” GET IT” ,,, you don’t REALIZE what you KNOW —  Oh, you know all the words, and you sung all the notes, But you never quite learned the song, she sang./ I can tell by the sadness in your eyes, That you never quite learned the song. (Mike Heron, 1967, “The Hedgehog’s Song”)  on “getting it”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan 2011/May 2013