When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.– Rumi
Is anyone familiar with the cognitive psychology literature (even terminology would be a good start!) on how we ascribe particular levels of significance to things?
That is to say, in everyday consciousness, objects, events, and agents feel significant/meaningful to varying degrees. These differences in significance tend to be stable across time, and seem to follow an intuitive evolutionary logic.
Is the answer in the serotonin system, then?
“To fathom hell or soar angelic / take a pinch of psychedelic,” wrote Humphry Osmond. But rarely does the psychonaut brush up against classical, embodied celestial beings. Hell, most generically, is the significance dial at 0; to soar angelic is to take in reality at significance-level infinity.*
*There are also experiences of pleasant meaninglessness and agonizing hyper-significance out there, so take my heaven/hell framing with a grain of salt.