Exploring the Human Psyche

The question of who we are and why we exist has plagued mankind for centuries. Millions of theories have been forwarded in an attempt to answer this question. One of the most recent in this barrage of intellectual thought comes from the mind of Dr. Ron Shane, a postdoctoral visiting scholar at UCSD.

Shane will be presenting his ideas at a lecture titled “”Revealing the Mystique of the Human Psyche”” Thursday March 8, at 5:15 p.m. in Cognitive Science Building Room 002, here at UCSD. All are welcome to attend this four-part lecture that promises to be stimulating and highly interactive.

“”The whole focus is to bring to light that today’s science in neurobiology can begin to give some indication as to how the brain is affected by culture,”” Shane said. “”The brain is a highly complex, ever-changing milieu that is constantly putting up different matrices to different stimuli. In other words, the brain is highly affected by the environment that surrounds it.””

The evening will open with a lecture on “”Man’s Ontological Stultification.”” This lecture will discuss how culture affects us in our everyday lives and how it shapes us as people.

According to Shane, the overcrowding of our society, coupled with a government that is making decisions for us, is causing human beings to become more stressed and unhappy.

Shane cites studies of rats that showed that, while they are an adaptive species like human beings, they still showed more anxiety and stress when put in an overpopulated environment. He likens this to the current overcrowding situation in the human population.

“”The current stance for most people in society is to just go with the flow and not question things,”” Shane said. “”We have to find ways to change and make the environment more adaptive to the natural architecture of our brains.””

Shane will lecture for about 50 minutes before opening up for questions and discussion. During the discussion, he will also read from some of his scholarly works on these topics to spurn questions and debate.

After the discussion, Shane will switch gears for a lecture on “”Classical Theosophy and Metaphysics Incensing the Essence of Today’s Artist.”” This lecture will focus on how art should go beyond the naturalism of everyday life and needs to be both stimulating and intoxicating.

“”Art can’t be scanty with respect to how it activates the self,”” Shane said. “”In our current society, art is almost baneful. It no longer rejoices in being happy.””

A discussion will again follow the approximately 50-minute lecture.

Throughout the evening, Shane wants the audience to be relaxed and to have a good time. He encourages the audience to bring in food and drinks to enjoy during the lectures.

Shane, a former English professor at SDSU and UCSD, originally received his doctoral degree from UC Santa Barbara in the social psychology of literature. His doctoral thesis was centered on the Romantic poetry of Blake. He went on to do postdoctoral work on Renaissance literature and theater at UCLA. He is now a postdoctoral visiting scholar at UCSD in the cognitive science department.

In addition to his scholarly achievements, Shane is a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He has also studied yoga, Taoism and Indian philosophy. He said that his diverse combination of knowledge gives him a keen insight into the nature of human beings.

“”I want the evening to be a mental party,”” Shane said. “”My goal is to make this into a liberating, creative experience. I am going to combine the stuff that I am currently studying with the knowledge that I have previously gathered to come up with what I hope is an interesting insight into the human psyche.””

Though Shane promises that he can talk for hours and will stay as long as there are people willing to listen, the room is only reserved until 9 p.m.

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