© Edouard Levé, 2006. Amérique.
Nonhuman religious behavior

Humanity’s closest living relatives are common chimpanzees and bonobos. These primates share a common ancestor with humans who lived between four and six million years ago. It is for this reason that chimpanzees and bonobos are viewed as the best available surrogate for this common ancestor. Barbara King argues that while non-human primates are not religious, they do exhibit some traits that would have been necessary for the evolution of religion. These traits include high intelligence, a capacity for symbolic communication, a sense of social norms, realization of “self” and a concept of continuity.[1][2][3] There is inconclusive evidence that Homo neanderthalensis may have buried their dead which is evidence of the use of ritual. The use of burial rituals is evidence of religious activity, but there is no other evidence that religion existed in human culture before humans reachedbehavioral modernity.[4]

Elephants are the only other species known to have any recognizable ritual surrounding death.

Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, argues that many species grieve death and loss.[5



The Biology of Religious Behavior: The Evolutionary Origins of Faith and Religion,

Religious behavior in animals and man: Drug-induced effects. Siegel, Ronald K.,

Journal of Drug Issues, Vol 7(3), 1977, 219-236.Compares hallucinogen-induced behavior in humans with analogous natural and drug-induced behavior in animals, as a suggested basis for experimental analysis of operant religious behavior in humans. Historical and prehistorical indications for human use of psychotropic plants are briefly reviewed, noting evidence for ubiquitous use and similar behavioral response, including the ecstatic states interpreted as mystical or religious, and differing only in culturally determined symbolic content. According to contemporary experimental observations, the predictability of a religious experience following ingestion of psychedelic drugs ranges from 32–90%, depending on expectation, preparation, and setting. Ethnological and ethological studies are surveyed for behavioral congruence between human and nonhuman species regarding religious-type responses, and are related to citations from folklore and mythology. The design for experimental induction of “religious” behavior in a pigeon, using a standard operant conditioning Skinner box, is given, with analysis of S’s behavior following various doses of LSD. Studies across species indicate religious behaviors are released and strengthened by psychedelic drugs, related to the induced states of CNS excitation and sympathetic nervous system arousal. (49 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

A Fractal Theory of the Origin and Meaning of the Universe,

Change Blindness and Lucid Dreaming

Change blindness is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when a change in a visual stimulus goes unnoticed by the observer. 

Lucid dreaming occurs when one realizes that the events experienced within a dream are bizarre or would not occur in one’s waking life. As such, the inability to notice the bizarre nature of the dream has been coined as an example of change blindness, also known as individuals who are non-lucid dreamers. However, a recent study found that lucid dreamers did not perform better on a change blindness task than non-lucid dreamers. Therefore, the relation between lucid dreamers and change blindness has been discredited to some degree.
Inattentional blindness

visual attention, visual perception, visual memory, inattentional blindness, visual awareness, preattentive perceptual processing. 

is art


© Rita Delille. Self-portraits, 2012.

a religious experience. how can art be considered this way. and in what way does religion and memory connect. is making and being in contact with art a religious experience. what is the meaning of religion. how can memory connect with subjectivity/objectivity. what answers can art provide since man are always looking for them. and what is the connection between religion and spirituality. 

quick find on the very great wikipedia:

"Religion is a collection of cultural systemsbelief systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.[note 1] Many religions have narrativessymbolstraditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to lifeor to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive moralityethicsreligious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature.”.


"The sociologist Durkheim, in his seminal book The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, defined religion as a “unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things”.[20]By sacred things he meant things “set apart and forbidden — beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them”. Sacred things are not, however, limited to gods or spirits.[note 2] On the contrary, a sacred thing can be “a rock, a tree, a spring, a pebble, a piece of wood, a house, in a word, anything can be sacred”.[21] Religious beliefs, myths, dogmas and legends are the representations that express the nature of these sacred things, and the virtues and powers which are attributed to them.[22]

* we should ‘give’ concepts to art, create some concepts around it and build a discourse that makes sense. at least art is a process, and all processes could be considered a religious, spiritual pursuit. or not. 

"   The strangeness of signs is that, while they are purely physical, in order for them to act as signs they must stand in relation to other physical things, and that relation is not physical, but intelligible. This state, in which the suprasensible exists in the sensible, is the commonplace, but seldom noticed, origin of our experience.   "
-Joseph Brent, “The Life and Thought of Charles Sanders Peirce” in Peirce, Semiotics, and Psychoanalysis  (via poeticsofdeath)
"   I visualize the funeral after I kill myself, there are lots of friends there, lots of sadness and beauty, the event is so moving that it makes me want to live through it, so it makes me want to live.   "
-Edouard Levé, Autoportrait  (via poeticsofdeath)
Herbert List - Untitled, c.1937.
… from The Body: Photographs of the Human Form by William A. Ewing, Chronicle Books, 1994.
dreams, fragmented memory and consolidation of memory

It is worth noting the similarities between the nature of dreams and the kind of memories created during stress or trauma. Clinical evidence suggests that memory for stressful experience lacks coherence, context, and episodic detail and thus is experienced as “fragmented”.


→ Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

under image ©Michael Maggs, Digitalized Feather of Dendrocopos Major

© Michael Maggs, Digitalized Feather of Dendrocopos Major
→ Intuition
Creative Nonfiction

"In this memoir, the author Patricia Hampl is trying to define how writers create memoirs. The author begins with a story about an experience as a child, which we learn was false in some ways. Hampl explains that she filled in details for the story in many parts that were not true, but only did it to make the story sound as great as she wanted. She makes a distinction about memory and reality, saying that all people recount history with lies because they really don’t remember everything that happened, but they create a memory of what happened based on what they wanted to happen. Rather than the actual writer creating a memoir about what happened, the memoirist wrties what their heart feels, and they usually do this by writing a first draft. When writing a first draft, everything they know they get on paper, and then they come back to edit to change the story the way they want it to sound to readers, including lies and superfluous facts to the acual story. Imagination is key in the memoirist’s writing because they have to fill in the blanks of memory with stuff they wished was true in ordert to give the reader a good story. The writer concludes with the realization that memoirists in general are just people searching for meaning and truth in life by describing their past in a new light." Allen Rohr


memoir is not about what happened, but why you remembered it the way you did. That’s where the story is. That’s what we talk about.

–Kim Barnes

 The “aesthetic” truth that Fern Kupfer refers to. Is it an emotional truth, as opposed to The truth?

Interview of Patricia Hampl: “Memoir rightly does belong to the imaginative world…once writers and readers make their peace with this fact there will be less argument over the ethical question about the memoir’s relation to ‘facts’ and ‘truth.’ But as long as we try and nudge memoir into the same confines of nonfiction that we expect for example, from journalism, we’ll have these battles with people taking rigid positions. Meanwhile people will continue to write their first person tales, trying to make sense of their lives in one context or another.”


Memory and Imagination, written by Patricia Hampl.

In The Anatomy of Memory: An Anthology, edited by James Hofstadter (1996).’s-hybrid-personality/