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1 The mind-body connection

1 Some of the arguments presented in this chapter were published as a lecture series in O. Corazza (2008) The Japanese Philosophy of the Body, University of Wales, Lampeter, and discussed at the international workshop 'Rethinking Embodiment', which she organized for the Centre for the Study of Japanese Religion (CSJR) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, in June 2006.

2 This dictum first appeared in the fourth section of the Discourse on the Method (1637) and later in the first part of the Principles of Philosophy (1644).

3 Discourse, 1637, in R. Descartes (1979), The Philosophical Works of Descartes, vol. 1, trans. Elizabeth S. Haldane and G.R.T. Ross, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 101.

4 Even today, very little is known about the functions of the pineal gland. As Rick Strassman has pointed out:

The pineal gland of evolutionarily older animals, such as lizards and amphibians, is also called the 'third eye'. Just like the two seeing eyes, the third eye possesses a lens, corneas, and a retina. It is light sensitive and helps to regulate body temperature and skin coloration. Melatonin, the primary pineal hormone, is present in primitive pineal glands. As animals climbed the evolutionary ladder, the pineal moved inward, deeper into the brain, more hidden from outside influences. While the bird pineal no longer sits on top of the skull, it remains sensitive to outside light because of the paper-thin surrounding bones. The mammalian, including human, pineal is buried even deeper in the brain's recesses and it is not directly sensitive to light, at least in adults.

Interestingly, the human pineal gland becomes visible in the developing fetus at seven weeks, or 49 days, after conception. As Strassman observed: 'This is nearly exactly the moment in which one can clearly see the first indication of male or female gender. Before this time the sex of the fetus is indeterminate' (ibid.: 61).

5 Kami in Japanese Shinto religion is a divine force of nature. These are anthropomorphic with human forms and actions (rather than being referred to a location, a rock, a mountain). According to some calculations, there are more than eight million gods in the Japanese tradition. As gods, they often appear - to borrow Nietzsche's phrase - 'human, all too human'. In fact, Japanese kami were thought to be once humans. Divinized ancestors have, in a sense, the prerogative of being

'all too human' simply because they still are. Sometimes they resemble the gods of the ancient Greeks - not only are they many but also because they can be vain, angry, passionate, resentful, and so on (LaFleur 1992: 55).

6 In a way, Watsuji's interest in space is a response to Martin Heidegger's emphasis on temporality, which he well expressed in his Being and Time. As Watsuji commented: 'His attempt to grasp the structure of man's existence as temporality was extremely interesting, but my concern was this: while temporality is presented as the subject's (shutaiteki) structure of being, why is not spatiality equally well presented as a fundamental structure of human being?'

7 This refers to the phenomenon in which a limb is lost but feels as if it is still there. The limb is a phantom, but it feels real.

8 Francisco Varela, from a videotape recorded on January 7, 2001, from RAI Educational, Italy.

2 Journeys in the afterlife

1 From personal correspondence with Yoshi Honda, Assistant Director of the Yoko Civilization Research Institute in Japan.

2 The Kojiki was completed in 712 ad. Until then, the ancient Shinto beliefs were not recorded in writing, but rather transmitted by an oral tradition. The idea of writing down the religious beliefs, the property of the ancient Chinese system, was probably introduced to Japan by Buddhist missionaries sent by the King of Korea from 522 ad.

3 Kojiki, trans. Philippi (1968: 61).

7 Albert Heim, in a paper given at the Swiss Alpine Club in 1892, 'Remarks on fatal falls', trans. R. Noyes and R. Kletti, Omega 3.

8 The Myth of Er, narrated in Plato's Republic, Book 10.

9 Karl Jansen, personal communication, April 2006.

10 The Church of England Doctrine Commission (1995) has recently rejected the idea of hell as a place of fire, pitchforks and screams of unending agony, describing it as essentially a point of complete isolation (i.e. as a non-place, devoid of coordinates) for those who reject the love of God.

11 According to Varela:

[The term] bardo (Sanskrit antarabhava) refers generally to the intermediate state between death and rebirth, where the mindstream wanders in the form of a 'mental body' while seeking a new embodiment. The bardo is considered to be an important opportunity for tantric practice, for it is at the point of transition from death into the bardo that the clear light nature of consciousness becomes manifest. Likewise, during the bardo, the mind experiences numerous appearances, said to be in the form of peaceful and wrathful deities. If the practitioner can realize these appearances as the nature of the mind itself, he or she can attain liberation.

12 This is the period of time of the Bardo of becoming. A particular emphasis on spiritual practice is given to the first 21 days.

13 See W.Y. Evans-Wentz (ed.), The Tibetan Book of the Dead, or the After-Death Experiences on the Bardo Plane, according to Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup's English Rendering (1927, 3rd edn, London: Oxford University Press, 1957).

14 Interestingly, this is never from below.

15 An exception is found in the work of Johann Christophe Hampe, who in his To Die Is Gain (1979), argues that the return to the body takes place via a reversal of the process by which they left. For instance, if subjects journeyed along a tunnel, they return though a tunnel. As he wrote about a case in his study: 'once more he experiences night, the black tunnel, and then what we call waking up' (Hampe 1979: 90).

16 The occasion was a panel discussion entitled 'Spirituality, Life and the Body' at Professor Motoyama's Institute in Tokyo in October 2004.

17 In this regard, Motoyama observed:

Although it is not the customary practice in academic scholarship to cite personal experience in order to illustrate a point which an author wishes to make, I will cite my own experiences because I believe they are unique and valuable for learning about the nature of mystical experience and what it means for the academic investigation on this topic.

(Motoyama 2008)

3 The river of no return

1 Part of this chapter has been published as 'The Spirit of Place: Visions of the Afterlife in Japan', in F. Cariglia (ed.) (2007) Sopravvivere: Il velato destino della personality. Proceedings of the 11th International Congress on Borderland Experiences, San Marino, pp. 23-8.

2 The full form of this account was published in their article, 'Near-Death Experiences in India: a preliminary report', Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 174 (1986): 165-70.

3 See Chapter 2, note 2.

4 Kojiki, trans. Philippi (1968: 61).

8 Interestingly, Professor Shigetoshi Osano made a parallel with the Hell in The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri (Osano 2003: 19).

9 Anime is a word commonly used to describe Japanese animation.

10 For instance, the deep emotional affinity between persons and nature is well expressed in the classic texts of ancient Japan such as Man'yoshu, Kojiki and Tale of Genji.

11 An example is given by divination, which involves offerings of natural goods such as fruits and eggs.

12 Etymologically, there are several doubts about the origin of the world Sai. The most likely hypothesis is that it may originally have been written with a Chinese ideograph meaning 'boundary' (LaFleur 1992: 230).

13 Basho literally means 'place' (Platz in German).

14 At the center of temporal consciousness lies the self-consciousness of the individual. This consciousness of self-identity remains present during the passage of time and it exists from birth to death of the self. The idea of self-consciousness is viewed as inauthentic in Eastern philosophies as well as in Buddhism. More specifically, Eastern mind and body theories say that we should rather note the relationship between the body and space which underlies and substantially restricts the time-consciousness appearing on the surface of consciousness within the field of ordinary experience.

15 As Nishida wrote:

The logic of place, which is Absolute Nothingness, neither confronts objective logic nor excludes it. Place reflects all individuals and their mutually determining way of being within itself and realizes them as its own self-determination . . . The logic of place is not the form of thinking of the subjective self. Rather, it is the form of the self-expression of Reality.

For him, only a logic of place allows transcendence because it connects us with what is prior to, and source of, both seeing and knowing and that which is seen and known. At the basis of Nishida's notion of place is that the individual is the self-determination of the universal (place or Absolute Nothingness) and as such transcends generic concepts. Such a view is in radical contrast to Western 'objective logic', which, strictly speaking, never fully transcends the individual structure.

16 The terms 'container' and 'envelope' were often used by Edward Casey in order to describe place (Casey 1982; 1988).

17 This is a common argument in Zen in order to emphasize the pre-reflective experience, rather than being a statement about the nature of the universe (Kasulis 1981: 86).

18 Zazen literally means 'seated meditation'. In Zen, this practice aims to calm the body and the mind in order to achieve a state of 'without-thinking'.

19 Dögen Kigen, Dogen zenji zenshu [Complete Works of Zen Master Dögen], vol. 1, p. 90.

20 At that time, there was a trend in philosophy based on 'pure positivity' starting with the emergence of a new philosophy represented by Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) and William James (1842-1910) in the United States, as well as Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801-1887) and Ernst Mach (1838-1916). They all advocated a new form of empiricism, which Wilhelm Wundt called 'pure experience', James 'radical empiricism', and Mach 'empirico-criticism'. Their attempts were to reduce experience to its pure and direct form. In this context, Nishida wrote his first book called An Inquiry into the Good (1990).

21 In order to grasp the essence of the subjective existence, and to drop into the core of pure experience, Nishida looked at Greek philosophy, and took up Aristotle's hypokeimenon, where reality is perceived not in the direction of consciousness, but in the direction of objects. Aristotle's notion of the individual is a seen individual, not an active one and thus based on the logic of objective thinking. Nishida went beyond this view, which for him was insufficient. An individual is not only a single individual, but has to be understood in the dynamic interaction between two or a myriad of acting individuals. He argued that the individual is characterized by the place where it lies, and this place must be sought in the field consciousness of 'transcendental predicates'.

4 Meeting God in a nightclub?

1 The pharmaceutical company, which was previously a subsidiary of WarnerLambert, was absorbed into Pfizer in 2000 and other licensed companies such as Fort Dodge.

2 As mentioned in Jansen (2001) Ketamine: Dreams and Realities, p. 98.

3 Mixmag, February 2006.

4 DrugScope is the UK's leading centre of expertise on drugs. The aim of the organization is to inform policy and reduce drug-related risk. It mainly provides quality information, promotes responses to drug taking and undertakes research at local, national and international level.

5 Interview, 'Special K, the horse pill taking over from ecstasy among clubbers', The Guardian, Tuesday, 6 September 2005.

6 Interview, 'Government moves to control ketamine', The Guardian, Monday, 30 May 2005.

7 Ibid.

8 For additional information, see Decreto Ministeriale 8/2/2001, http://gazzette.

9 For instance, when injected intramuscularly (IM) (50-100 mg), the first effects start quickly in less than two minutes and they will last for about an hour. When taken intranasally (the most common route of consumption among recreational users, in 'lines' of 20-50mg each), the effects commence within 5-10 minutes and last for about 30 minutes. They last much longer when taken orally, but the first awareness of the effects begins in 15-20 minutes. Intravenous injection is relatively uncommon (recreationally). It is essentially identical in effect to IM injection, but leads to a much quicker onset - usually within 10-15 seconds of dosing.

10 The Guardian, Tuesday, 6 September 2005.

11 The web-site was

12 Susan Blackmore, 'I take illegal drugs for inspiration', Daily Telegraph, 21 May 2005, pp. 17-18.

13 'Nobel Prize genius Crick was high on LSD when he discovered the secret of life', Mail on Sunday, 8 August 2004.

14 She made a buzzing sound to help her description.

15 Matryoshka doll, or a Russian nested doll, is a set of dolls of decreasing sizes placed one inside another. Its name is a diminutive form of a Russian female name 'Matryona'. A set of Matryoshka dolls consists of a wooden figure which can be pulled apart to reveal another figure of the same sort inside. It has in turn another figure inside, and so on. The number of nested figures is usually six or more. The shape is mostly cylindrical, rounded at the top for the head and tapered towards the bottom, but little else; the dolls have no hands (except those that are painted). The artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be extremely elaborate. Matryoshka dolls are often designed to follow a particular theme, for instance, peasant girls in traditional dress, but the theme can be almost anything, ranging from fairy tale characters to Soviet leaders (from 'Matryoshka Doll', Wikipedia).

16 There is some evidence that women are more likely to have a more significant experience than men when given ketamine (reviewed by Jansen 2001: 55).

5 Gaining new insights

1 RERC (formerly RERU, the Religious Experience Research Unit) was founded in 1966 by Sir Alister Hardy. Its aim was to contribute to the understanding of transcendental, spiritual or religious experiences, their role in the evolution of consciousness and religious reflection, and their impact upon individual lives and on society. He initially collected and classified around 4,000 accounts of contemporary religious experiences (Franklin 2006). Today the RERC Archive contains over 6,000 accounts.

2 A few preliminary remarks about this terminology are in order here. Although the idea may seem strange at first glance, the concept of 'being-in-a-place' can be framed within the context of the Western phenomenological tradition. Thus, Martin Heidegger (1962) proposed 'being-in-the-world' (In-der-Welt-sein) as a fundamental mode of our existence. A major difference between the state of 'being-in-the-world'

and the state of 'being-in-a-place' concerns directionality. While 'being-in-the-world' refers to an outer space, 'being-in-a-place' refers to an inner space: the ability to function in the outer world by those who report the experiences under study here is drastically reduced (e.g. by a heart attack or anesthetic). In phenomenological terms, the Dasein's activity of Verstehen (the German word for 'understanding' -in rational terms) is no longer functioning. In a sense, the 'being-in-a-place' forms a lower stratum on which the 'being-in-the world' takes place. Similarly, Japanese phenomenologist Hiroshi Ichikawa spoke about the phenomenon of 'being-in-an-ambience' (Ichikawa 1979).

3 A 1982 Gallup poll found that the belief in an afterlife is synonymous with belief in heaven. It was also found that in the United States 77 per cent of those who believe in the afterlife believe in heaven and 64 per cent thought they had a good possibility of going there; 34 per cent of doctors and 8 per cent of scientists were found to believe in the existence of heaven (Gallup 1982).

4 The term feng-shui literally means 'wind and water' and symbolizes the subtle energies that flow through the environment.

5 Anthropologist Edward Hall made a distinction between fast and slow forms of communication (Hall 1959). He classified as 'fast messages' those received from a cartoon, a headline, a TV commercial, propaganda, and so on, while 'slow messages' are those received from a book, poetry, art, TV documentary, and so on. He also observed that 'a fast message sent to people who are geared to slow format will usually miss the target' (ibid.: 5).

6 Glutamate is responsible for nerve signalling, passing messages in a chain from one neuron to another. As a signal reaches the end of one neuron, a neurotrans-mitter is released. The neurotransmitter then attaches to the receptors, the proteins located on the surface of the next neuron, in the same way that a key fits a lock. Glutamate promotes the firing of neurons.

7 Personal correspondence with Dr Karl Jansen.

6 Where have you been?

1 The term 'lavender' comes from the Latin root lavare, which means to 'to wash'.

2 Thursday, 10 July 2003, 'The Roots of Human Violence and Greed', Stanislav Grof, Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Road, London NW1.

3 See Fantz and Miranda (1975).

4 Some of the other situations that can result in reports of NDE are: in people who were extremely tired; during rapid acceleration during training of fighter pilots (Whinnery and Whinnery 1990); after prolonged isolation and sensory deprivation (Cromer et al. 1967); occasionally while carrying out their everyday activities; while dreaming; or after the administration of other drugs such as DMT (Strassman 2001).

5 I discussed this matter with Professor Yuasa at a meeting in Tokyo in October 2004.

7 Rethinking embodiment

1 In surveys carried out in Europe and North America, between 70-97 per cent of the participants reported that they were familiar with the feeling of 'being stared at' (Sheldrake 2003: 10).

2 See Chapter 1, note 7.

3 Merleau-Ponty's concept of the body-scheme was not influenced by Asian theories of the body. Such an intuition is given by the fact that he paid no attention to the somesthesis or to the third circuit of emotion-instinct. In contrast, Yuasa's theory of the body places importance on these two circuits. Merleau-Ponty was led to postulate the body-scheme through the investigation of epistemology, an area that has interested philosophers greatly, that is, through the investigation of cognitive functions (Yuasa 1993: 121).

4 The meridian system is fundamental to the viewpoint of Eastern medicine. According to the Chinese medical system, every human body has eight or twelve 'lines' (keiraku) beneath the skin that connect with numerous points (tsubo) on the surface of the skin. It is assumed that 'qi' is always flowing through these lines and is closely related to human health and the life force. In Chinese medicine, therefore, a system of healing was developed that was aimed at controlling the flow of 'qi'. This is done by stimulating the various points (tsubo) and lines (keiraku) on the skin by acupuncture or moxibustion. This form of Chinese medicine has been practiced by many in Japan, even after the introduction of modern Western medicine (Shimazono 2004: 287).

5 For details of the AMI system and its data assessment, see Hiroshi Motoyama: How to Measure and Diagnose the Functions of the Meridians and Their Corresponding Internal Organs, Tokyo: The Institute for Religious Psychology, 1975; 'Electro-physiological and Preliminary Biochemical Studies of Skin Properties in Relation to the Acupuncture Meridian', Research for Religion and Parapsychology, June 1980, pp. 1-37; 'A Biophysical Elucidation of the Meridian and Ki-Energy', Research for Religion and Parapsychology, August, 1981; and 'Meridian and Ki\ Research for Religion and Parapsychology, December 1986.

6 As a consequence of this belief, acupuncture therapy has been practiced for more than a thousand years, but has been largely ignored by Western medicine where it is regarded as unscientific.

7 This interview was held in Tokyo in April 2004.

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