Post-vital prajnaparamita

Richard Doyle, Trey Conner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter stalks the posthuman as capable of post-material gnosis, an experience of such exaltation and grandeur that can and does occur as an "imperience" beyond thought, sometimes labeled the prajnaparamita in the Buddhist tradition. In this imperience-the apparent non-egoic enchanted happening of an order of consciousness beyond "I" pointed to by writers as diverse as the Gitane smoking Gilles Deleuze and the beedie burning Sri Nisargadatta-the posthuman can become uncannily post-vital, beyond the opposition of life and death, as well as post-material, beyond even the most vibrant matter, or, simply, non-dual. The chapter takes "The Hard Problem" rediscovered by philosopher David Chalmers-the apparently enigmatic "emergence of a rich inner life"-and makes it very simple through the practiced direct inspection of consciousness counseled by these traditions. That is, if the Hard Problem asks us to fathom the emergence of consciousness from matter-"Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all?"-the thinking explored herein responds quite simply: "It doesn't!" As the Kena Upanishad puts it eponymously, "Kena? Who?" Who experiences an "inner life" as "emerging from physical processing".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPalgrave Handbook of Critical Posthumanism
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783031049583
ISBN (Print)9783031049576
StatePublished - Nov 28 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences

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