How can experience design offer new methodologies for introducing individuals to spiritual practice as mind expansion?
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
This written thesis has been developed in tandem with its practical counterpart: Entrance Not For Everybody. Together the practical and theoretical work make use of virtually every interesting experience I have had.
In essence it explores how ancient spiritual practices may be the most developed
tools we have for experiential mind expansion - regardless of how these practices are viewed by the scientific community. In addition this text question science's relevance for the personal experience of reality - in comparison to individual exploration of the same by whatever means. The prime strength of the sciences is its consistent, empirical development through logic. Mostly aided by external (as in not belonging to one's own body and mind) resources and tools and the development thereof. So far, science largely concern a material evolution - even if it is of an immaterial nature such as software or intellect.
What I propose is the Human Individual Experience - optional means for
experiencing the world as alternative ways of knowing.
The work's main intention is to awaken an interest in spiritual practice in individuals who have no such experience or did not know to value such experiences that could be perceived as being of spiritual magnitude. This is important because regardless of the nature of spiritual content - seen from a scientific perspective of any kind - spiritual experiences are mind blowing, mind altering and most of all mind expansion in its purest form - at least on an experiential level - which naturally is key - given the context this text is being written in.
For someone who already have a personal relationship to spiritual practices of an
experiential nature - of any sort - there is a place, community or method to expand within their field of choice - if not locally then certainly globally. Therefore the target audience is not the experienced spiritual seeker for whom endless paths lay ahead.
What is being proposed here is an approach which put the individual's experience in
the centre of all - using more or less traditional spiritual practices as they have been
constructed or discovered to offer great paths into higher consciousness experientially. In its practical manifestation, Entrance Not For Everybody, these have been gift wrapped in - as well as accompanied by - layers of fiction, cultural references and very detailed physical props, much because the individual of no spiritual background who is the main target group for this introductory experience, is likely used to a material world based in tools, entertainment, storytelling etc. Therefore this redressing and recontextualizing of practices is just a means to target and introduce a new crowd to old and useful methods - in a smooth and memorable manner. The idea is to offer this experience as a starting point and to be continued as a forum or hub for future explorations of more advanced experiences focusing on expansion of consciousness.
Material complexity is bound to develop further in both it's tangible and intangible
realms but it is here questioned whether this will really lead to an expansion of
consciousness or just offer products to reach realms that are already accessible within - at no cost.
The aim of this work is not to clarify the lack of consistency in what is commonly
referred to as reality - although this might be a direct consequence. It is rather taken for granted that reality is subjectively understood. Therefore the thesis only investigates if and explains how a composition of experiential practices which are strung together thoughtfully may work as a door-opener for further inquiries into the realm of spiritual practice as a means of expanding mind and consciousness. In this respect the exhibition itself is the most important research ground for the thesis - which naturally cannot be incorporated in advance.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 50 p.
Subjectivity, experience, mind, consciousness, future technology, spiritual practice
Arts Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-3663OAI: oai:DiVA.org:konstfack-3663DiVA: diva2:530975
Experience Design (Master)
2012-05-22, Svarta Havet, Konstfack, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
Althoff, Jenny, MFAJones, Ronald, Prof.