top of page
  • Writer's pictureS.Portico Bowman

Jeffrey Kripal: "Reading is an altered state of consciousness."

Jeffrey Kripal says in his work Esalen:

“… a model of writing, reading and understanding that is deeply hermeneutical – a model that recognizes a truly profound engagement with a text can alter both the received meaning of the text and one’s own meaning and being (this, by the way, is also physiologically true in regards to the ‘subtle body’ of the brain’s neural pathways – reading is an embodied practice that literally changes some of the body’s most subtle processes). That is, we need to recognize that the act of reading, far from being a mechanical, disembodied exercise of vocabulary and grammar, is in fact an immeasurably complex psychophysical event in which two horizons of meaning and being (the reader and the read) are ‘fused’ and transfigured in a mysterious process that we do not, and perhaps cannot ever, truly understand … In effect, a kind of initiatory transmission sometimes occurs between the subject and object of study to the point where terms like ‘subject’ and ‘object’ or ‘reader’ and ‘read’ cease to have much meaning. And this, of course, is a classically mystical structure – a twoness becoming one, or, perhaps better, a not-two. Reading has become an altered state of consciousness.”

Jeffrey Kripal Comic



bottom of page