The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge

The Flip by Jeffrey J Kripal is a “reversal of perspective” designed to connect the sciences and the humanities into a third perspective to understand the big questions of life.

Death, energy, consciousness, and global interconnectedness are just a few of the questions Kripal attempts to navigate. He does this not by attempting to answer these questions but by showing how our current modes of research prevent us from truly answering these questions.

The sciences refuse to accept anything that is not quantifiable and consistently proven as law. The sciences emphasis on the scientific method as being the only justifiable investigative process prevents science from delving further into things unknown.

The humanities has long suffered from a reputation of frivolity and pathos. Because of its lack of process to prove the truth of the narrative, the humanities are disregarded.

Kripal argues that human narrative is concrete proof of supernatural occurrences that desperately need to be researched. Supernatural merely means greater than the natural world that we currently understand.

The Flip uses life experiences from renowned neuroscientists and physicists that have had moments that could not be explained. Often these events occurred during moments of duress, like the loss of a loved one or a stroke.

While this seems like an argument against the credibility of their narrative, Kripal states that in science things were not proven until put under extreme conditions that revealed their true nature.

He says humans are much the same.

And it’s time to stop discrediting those who have had unique experiences in their lives. They can offer value insight into the deeper world around us.

Overall, the book The Flip showed me that the way we learn and explore things should not be fixed. We can discover new things about the world and each other if we expand our beliefs of what could be.