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The LSD Experience: A Whiteheadian Interpretation

by Leonard Gibson

Dr. Leonard Gibson is studying for a second degree in counseling psychology at the university of Texas. The following article appeared in Process Studies, pp. 97-107, Vol. 7, Number 2, Summer, 1977. Process Studies is published quarterly by the Center for Process Studies, 1325 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711. Used by permission. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.


"Speculative Philosophy" Whitehead defines at the outset of Process and Reality as "the endeavor to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted" (PR 4). Our experience includes both elements ordinary and elements extraordinary. I want to examine in Whiteheadian terms some extraordinary elements as they are manifest in psychedelic experiences, particularly those consequent upon ingestion of the psychoactive chemical diethylamide of lysergic acid (LSD). I have two main reasons:

First, a description of the LSD experience may illuminate some of Whitehead’s notions about the becoming of an actual entity. If this is the case, examination of the LSD experience in Whitehead’s terms serves both to test and extend the scope of his scheme, in accordance with his ideal that speculative philosophy should interpret "every element of our experience." We can be sure that Whitehead would not try to explain away the LSD experience as a "delusion,"1 for he says, "The word ‘delusive’ is all very well as a technical term; but it must not he misconstrued to mean that what we have directly perceived, we have not directly perceived" (PR 99). In the case that "we may have been taking drugs, [it may simply be] that the chair-image we see has no familiar counterpart in any historical route of a corpuscular society" (PR 100). Many of the perceptions in the LSD experience may have no familiar counterparts, but I believe that the very unfamiliarity casts light on the relation of our mind to ordinary experience by amplifying features that become dim through familiarity.

Secondly, interpretation of the LSD experience in Whiteheadian terms shows the experience to be useful for promoting the intuition which is ultimately necessary to understanding the relation of God and the World. Also, providing a Whiteheadian scheme of interpretation for the LSD experience places its psychological aspects in a philosophical perspective and thereby helps to elucidate the relationship in general between ordinary and extraordinary experience. Otherwise there is the danger of an arbitrary disjunction. This disjunction is evident, for instance, in the controversy over whether LSD is a source of religious and mystical enlightenment or whether it is a "psychotomimetic," a drug that induces a state simulating psychosis.2

I will not provide a detailed account here of any particular psychedelic experience because there is ample literature in this regard)3 Also, there is great variety in regard to the specifics of even one individual’s repeated experiences. To give some point of reference, however, for the discussion to follow, let me briefly characterize some occurrences one might experience under the influence of LSD.

At the outset there is an enhancement of visual perception; for instance, colors look more vivid, more intense than usual. While this enhancement is most apparent with visual perception, it may also occur with auditory, and to a lesser extent, tactile and olfactory perception. As the experience develops, perception becomes infused with ideation, even to the point where it becomes impossible to separate one from the other. It is a commonplace, of course, that all sensory perception is involved with ideation. Ordinarily, however, this involvement is so habitual and conventional as to be utterly beneath notice. Usually, a tree is a tree; only occasionally is it an inspiration. Under the influence of LSD, one might first focus on how incredibly green the leaves are, then the green gradually becomes more an evidence of vitality, then living, breathing nature itself. The tree no longer a tree, but quintessential tree itself; form, idea, perfection; its movement that of universe itself. Wind, tree, self all one -- swirling, universal dance.

Everything seems to take on deeper significance, a myriad of meaning unlock in each individual thing. Events brim over with significance. A paper cup becomes a chalice, printed flower jewels, then a grail. Momentarily it is lost; and battles must be fought for it, seas crossed, terrors braved -- but then the cup-grail reappears as just another piece of trash. In the tangle of ideas and perception a pattern will seem to appear in, say, the way gravel is strewn on a driveway, a pattern that becomes the fine pattern of atomic structure underlying universe; and driveway is road, way, truth. Meaning unlocks new aspects of old things; patterns form, grow, fade into the cosmic swirl. Through it all runs heightened emotion, heightened to awe.

But just as one candle may become light itself and illuminate the entire universe, a glimpse of uncertainty may unlock menace on the face of every passerby, ultimate evil in the particular way the door over there stands ajar. Metaphor shifts, but it remains universal and suddenly everything, all the patterns read fear, death -- no escape. At this point the reassurance that "it’s all in your mind" becomes a terrifying sentence to eternal damnation.

Meaning and pattern may point up beauty or terror, shifting one to the other for reasons beyond comprehension, but always the feeling is endless, depth unfathomable, and this very infinity makes beauty perfection and terror absolute. Constantly perception flows into itself and into ideas, and ideas into perception, as do ideas flow into each other, better than the best poetry, the best philosophy. In the ceaseless flow old ideas break down to reveal new. Old categories become inadequate, any category becomes inadequate. At the height of inadequacy, not only do ideas fail, categories fail, but even the possibility of category, even self as category, even universe fails: No me, no it, everything, nothing is anything is . . .

I

LSD has been called a consciousness-expanding agent (RHU, chapter 5). This term is inaccurate for several reasons. First, the LSD experience does not exhibit widened consciousness as a constant characteristic. On the contrary, it can become difficult during the experience to concentrate on just the ordinary range of things: attention may even narrow to a single object. Second, there can be attained in the experience a peak feeling of universe/void that is all pervasive and nonobjective. As such this feeling completely contradicts the feature of discrimination that ordinarily characterizes consciousness. This feeling does not always occur during the experience, but it is more apt to occur the more the experience is repeated, and when it does occur it is clearly the most significant aspect of the experience. Third, the notion of direct action on consciousness does not readily admit physiological explanation, especially given the variation of result LSD engenders.

We can trace the problems of describing LSD as consciousness-expanding to the Cartesian tradition, which conceives consciousness (and its modern partner, the unconscious) as a substance that contains our thoughts, perceptions, and feelings. There is, at least, a logical difficulty here. Consciousness, as a substance, must contain either a finite or an infinite number of things. If we say it can only contain a finite number, then we must adopt one psychological theory or another to provide a description of consciousness as some sort of finite entity. This opens the door to all the problems of solipsism. If we adopt the other alternative that there is no limit to what consciousness can encompass, then we have made it in some sense coextensive with universe. On this account, consciousness cannot belong entirely to individuals. Rather, we should have to differentiate between an ordinary, objective, finite consciousness and a transcendent, nonobjective state that is the utter opposite of ordinary consciousness. This involves a disjunction, whereas "expansion" would imply a continuum.

The description of consciousness as a function, which Whitehead adopts from James, fits the situation better. It makes consciousness a derivative, not a primary, fact of experience. It saves us from having to explain how LSD works directly on consciousness, and it leaves room for the great variety of effects that LSD can produce. I contend that LSD works to promote mental functioning,4 and that what is in turn promoted in the functioning of consciousness is not expansion, but rather depth -- in the sense of intensity.

In order to support my contention, let me begin by summarizing the way Whitehead explains consciousness as a function, deriving from prior modes of experience. His explanation rests on the basic tenet that, "Rather than experience depending on consciousness, consciousness presupposes experience" (PR 83).

Instinct is a primitive component of experience. Long before man is conscious of the feeling of hunger, e.g., he has a hungry feeling, and he eats. After instinctual procedure there is intelligence. "The intellectual operations consist in the coordination of notions derived from the primary facts of instinctive experience into a logically coherent system" (AI 59f). Intellectual feelings involve a focus of attention which makes certain aspects of experience more important than others.

This concentration of attention also introduces the criticism of physical purposes, which is the intellectual judgment of truth or falsehood. But intellectual feelings are not to be understood unless it be remembered that they already find at work ‘physical purposes more primitive than themselves. (PR 416)

We have physical and mental activity, but we do not yet have consciousness. Whitehead is working against the assumption that mental phenomena and consciousness are one and the same. Pure mental feelings and pure physical feelings are exactly parallel in that their origination does not involve consciousness. When consciousness does arrive, however, it does so "peculiarly in connection with the mental functions, and has primarily to do with their product" (AI 271).

The origin of consciousness is in the feeling of contrast. The contrast is between the physical and the mental aspects of experience, between concrete fact and the abstract element that we conceptualize out of experience. In other words, consciousness awakens in the comparison of an immediate feeling with the conceptual prehension of that feeling, which treats only certain aspects of the feeling.

This interpretation of consciousness provides a way to explain how it is that consciousness seems sometimes to widen and other times to narrow during the LSD experience. Increased mental activity can, on the one hand, provide a wider than ordinary range of experience for consciousness to work on. On the other hand, the increase in mental activity may be so drastic that consciousness is practically overwhelmed and unable to integrate all the quantity of experience that is provided)5

II

In his discussion of the "Higher Phases of Experience," Whitehead says, "An intense experience is an aesthetic fact" (PR 426). Furthermore, "All aesthetic experience is feeling arising out of the realization of contrast under identity" (PR 427).

Identity depends on the continuity of physical feeling; the contrast is provided by mentality. The simplest example of contrast under identity is the phenomenon of vibration that characterizes subatomic occasions (wave-particles). The most complex example is God’s experience. In between we find human experience.

In normal human experience mentality promotes a selective inattention that drops physical feeling mostly below notice. We more often feel ourselves as individuals apart from the rest of the world, for instance, than as part of it. Those moments when we do feel ourselves in closer relation to the world tend to be more intense than normal experience. They often come with some shift of attention that heightens the activity of mind. I contend that it is this heightened activity that brings back into attention the physical feeling that normally drops below our notice. It is not, for example, that the red we see in the beautiful sunset is different from the color we have already seen several times before in the day. Rather, our attention to it is heightened, and we feel more our relation to this particular instance of it.

Our attention is heightened because there is an increase of mental feeling, and this in turn procures a greater depth of feeling in general by virtue of the fact that the contrast with physical feeling is increased. Not only does this greater depth of feeling attach to the particular object on which our attention is focused, but also the physical feeling that is always there becomes dramatized generally by the contrast. Thus, physical feeling wells up into our attention as a companion of our increase in emotion toward the object, and we feel both heightened attention to the object and a strengthened sense of relationship to the world and the object as part of the world. 6

This phenomenon from ordinary experience develops substantially under the influence of LSD. This development explains the enhancement of perception that occurs in the experience, first, in the greater vividness and intensity of colors and sounds, and second in the fusion of ideas into perception. Every event, in Whitehead’s description, prehends the entire universe, with gradations of relevance. In our ordinary perception of events we take into account only those aspects with high grades of relevance, but as our attention deepens the lower grades come into notice, and in attending to these lower grades we discover the endless patterns of relationships that bind that event to the rest of the universe. Not only do we make this discovery in regard to the occasions of the world, but the same deepening takes place in ourselves. That is to say, the enhancement of physical feeling not only brings into attention our relationship with the external world, it also reveals the internal world of the "unconscious." If we interpret the unconscious in terms of Whitehead’s doctrine of physical feeling, it is easy to understand why amplification of mental processes elicits strong feelings of relationship to the world around us as well as it reveals elements of the unconscious: both are elements of our physical inheritance.7

III

The deepening or intensification of feeling that is characteristic of initial and low level LSD experience attains full import in the more significant peak experience. It is difficult to explain the peak experience in terms of a simple expansion of consciousness because the type of consciousness exhibited in this experience seems to represent a transcendent disconnection from the ordinary, discriminate modes of consciousness:

The illusions of matter, space, and time, as well as an infinite number of other subjective realities, have been completely transcended. . . . What we call usual states of consciousness appear in this context to be only very limited, idiosyncratic, and partial aspects of the over-all consciousness of the Universal Mind. (RHU 203)

From the perspective of this peak experience one feels not so much that he is in an expanded state, but rather that ordinary consciousness is only a partial, incomplete aspect of true consciousness. The problem with taking the variation of consciousness as the primary effect of LSD is that there is a discontinuity here between ordinary and transcendent consciousness that has no ready explanation. If, instead, we use the notion of LSD as an amplifier of mental processes, which in turn results in intensification of feeling due to the development of contrast, we can provide an explanation of peak experience as a logical extension of the lower level phenomena.

The ultimate contrast in the Whiteheadian scheme is that between the physical and mental poles of an actual occasion. Physical feeling is a constant. It is massive, total, and undifferentiated. In it there are no contradictions. Mentality introduces discrimination. But mentality can discriminate either by ruling out, contradiction, or including, contrast, As mentality broadens, what were initially contradictions become contrasts.8 Mentality grows by the transmutation of contradiction into contrast, The increase in mental functioning begets in turn greater depth of contrast, which in its own turn further promotes mental functioning.9 This explains to some extent why it is not necessary to increase LSD dosage on subsequent occasions to promote greater effects. More Importantly, it illustrates the exponential character of the experience that contributes to the feeling of peak experience as ultimate and climactic.

The transcendental nature of peak experience results from transmutation such that the polarities felt in ordinary experience as oppositions or contradictions come to be felt rather as contrasts within the Void,

which is the ultimate source and cradle of all existence and the ‘uncreated and ineffable Supreme’. . . At is beyond time and space, beyond form or any experiential differentiation, and beyond polarities such as good and evil, light and darkness, stability and motion, and agony and ecstasy. (RHU 205)10

From this perspective it appears that the ostensible opposition of these dualities is underlain by a more fundamental unity, the manifestation of which is to be found precisely in the contrast provided by duality.

The most fundamental opposition transmuted into contrast in the peak experience is the object/subject differentiation. Because of this transmutation the experience is sometimes said to be devoid of object, but it is more proper to say that it is an experience of object as subject and subject as object, in which the two are felt as a contrast within oneness, each the manifestation of the other.

This interpretation avoids the type of disjunction that arises from the description of LSD as consciousness-expanding. What appears in the description "consciousness-expanding" as a fundamental disconnection between ordinary and transcendental consciousness is replaced by the notion of exponentially developing contrast. The feeling of ultimacy in the peak experience derives from the transmutation into contrast of the subject/object polarity that one feels ordinarily as an opposition. This contrast is felt as ultimate because it sets the limit to human experience. At the point of this transmutation a person becomes one with God, but it is impossible for a person to go any further and become God: at this point a person would no longer be human. Because of this fact human experience cannot truly transcend itself, nor can ordinary and extraordinary modes of consciousness be utterly disjoined.

IV

The feeling of oneness with the universe that grows during the LSD experience and culminates at its peak finds explanation in Whitehead’s doctrine of physical feeling. The universe, according to Whitehead, is comprised of atoms of experience, events whose happening each is a moment. Describing the happening of an event as the "coalescence of many feelings" is the best language can do, but in actuality the manyness is not. Only the unity is. We can analyze an event into various diversities, but the analysis destroys the being of the event. The event is the only being; the products of analysis are abstractions that are less than shadows, This statement expresses what Whitehead calls the "ontological principle."

Each event feels most immediately only those events which are illustrated by a selection of eternal objects as definite factors involved in their objectifications. Each event, however, feels less immediately all other events in its past. This feeling is less discriminate. The discriminate feeling is mentality, the indiscriminate physicality. (These two feelings are, of course, only one. We are merely looking at feeling in two different ways.) Mentality ferrets out only a portion of eternal objects from the welter of physical feeling.

For Whitehead, feeling is what holds the universe together. It is the most primitive form of experience: the present feels the past, and the future will feel a past that includes our present. Physical feeling, which is the inheritance of the past by the present, manifests itself on a low level as the causal influence of the past on the present. This feeling of the past loses dominance as we progress up the evolutionary ladder. For the electron, causality is all-important. Man enters evolution at a point where novelty has begun to play an important role (PR 516). The feeling of the past is to a large extent submerged below man’s immediate attention.

Because it promotes depth of feeling, LSD brings into attention aspects of feeling that, in terms of evolution, have long been lost to us. LSD lets us delve into physical feeling. As the developing of contrast sinks us into deeper and deeper awareness of physical feeling, we become progressively aware of how the universe is manifest in the oneness of feeling that constitutes each event, especially the event that is oneself. In Whitehead’s words, "the concrescence is an individualization of the whole universe incarnating itself as one" (PR 250). Also, "Each creative act is the universe incarnating itself as one" (PR 375). It is the awareness of this phenomenon that might lead a person to say that he sees (feels) the world in a grain of sand.

V

In this paper I have tried mainly to show how Whitehead’s notions about the origin and role of consciousness as a function in experience can provide a framework for a theoretical explanation of the LSD experience. The reason this approach works, I would contend, is both because Whitehead’s scheme is adequate in its endeavor to frame a system for interpreting experience in its diversity, and because LSD is a powerful tool for amplifying the subtle processes of the mind, the seat of human experience. Pertinent to this latter point, Stanislav Grof comments, "It does not seem inappropriate and exaggerated to compare [the] potential significance [of LSD] for psychiatry and psychology to that of the microscope for medicine or the telescope for astronomy" (RHU 32f). The significance obviously extends to philosophy, at least to the extent that the discipline represents the study of human experience. The metaphor suits the contention that the LSD experience magnifies the process of becoming in one’s own experience. More importantly, specific results of clinical investigation provide empirical support. At this point I would like to depart from the larger theoretical scheme of this paper to deal with some of these specifics, particularly as they serve to indicate directions philosophical research might pursue. It should be mentioned, of course, that the material of the LSD experience is as raw as the data of the microscope and needs a great deal of reflection to get it into a shape valuable for research.

Subjects report that in the LSD experience, "minutes can be experienced as centuries or millennia, or, conversely, a long time [as] seconds. [Time even] can stop completely, so that the sequential nature of events disappears; past, present, and future are experienced as juxtaposed" (RHU 10). I interpret this report according to Whitehead’s doctrine that an act of becoming "itself is not extensive, in the sense that it is divisible into earlier and later acts of becoming which correspond to the extensive divisibility of what has become" (PR 107). By virtue of the magnification in experience of the present moment of becoming, a subject appreciates the lack of extension in the becoming of the event more than the succession of other events: without time’s ticking, millennia are indistinct from minutes, and conversely. Subjects also report experience of spacelessness (RHU 11), to which similar analysis on the basis of Whitehead’s doctrine of extension applies.

Another phenomenon: "Many LSD subjects reported in their sessions unusual aesthetic experiences and insights into the nature of the creative process" (RHU 3). This report endorses, on the one hand, Whitehead’s notion (see section II, above) that "an intense experience is an aesthetic fact" (PR 426). On the other hand, it satisfies the expectation, given Whitehead’s claim of creativity to be the ultimate principle of becoming (PR 31), that a magnification of the process of becoming ought to afford insight in this respect.

Other reports of the LSD experience illustrate the microcosmic quality of the actual entity in support of Whitehead’s description of concrescence (see section IV, above) as "an individualization of the whole universe" (PR 250). For example, what is seen "in the LSD experiences and in various situations surrounding them appears to be basically an exteriorization and magnification of the conflicts intrinsic to human nature and civilization" (RHU 6). The fullest extension of this phenomenon occurs in the peak experience of being one with the universe, which is the discovery that the individual act of becoming is "the universe incarnating itself as one" (PR 375). The effect of the peak experience is to promote what Whitehead calls "Peace," which is "a broadening of feeling due to the emergence of some deep metaphysical insight, unverbalized, and yet momentous in its co-ordination of values" (AI 367).11

Finally, we need to consider whether to apply the term "mystical" to the LSD experience. Descriptions of the mystical state as a transcendence of duality (SC 249f) and an apprehension of ultimate unity (CEW 105) agree with the peak phenomena reported by LSD subjects (RHU 13f.) . On the other hand, the description of mysticism as a process in which the peak state is simply a phase (CEW 1055 ff.) might deny that LSD produces mystical experience. Grof’s work shows, however, that the peak experience usually follows successive sessions of working up through lower-level material and that it can lead to the integration of spiritual values into one’s way of life (RHU 154, 208). The only respect in which the LSD experience might fail to qualify as mystical would be in terms of the definition of mysticism as a process; and then the failure would not be a failure of the experience itself, but a failure by a subject to integrate the peak experience into the greater whole of experience. This is particularly apt to happen with random self-experimentation of the sort that has taken place often in the immediate past in this country. In this respect, however, the LSD phenomenon compares with various frenzies of religious awakening in both the past and present of this country. The point of similarity in both cases is frequent failure to integrate ultimate experience into a way of living. This failure of integration can be understood partially in terms of Whitehead’s doctrine of causal efficacy and presentational immediacy.

We attribute primacy ordinarily to those aspects of experience made most clear by consciousness, and we neglect those elements which consciousness only dimly illuminates. Causal efficacy is one of the prime modes of experience, but consciousness leads us to interpretation on the basis of the mode of presentational immediacy. As consciousness deepens, the mode of causal efficacy comes more into awareness, expressed ultimately as the feeling that I am one with the universe -- which, of course, I am. In the mode of causal efficacy I feel the entire universe: I am the entire universe felt as one occasion, myself, right now. This is the reason mystics and LSD subjects say all is one. What tends to be neglected in the light of this experience is the mode of presentational immediacy. This explains, for instance, why the mystic may be characterized as out of touch with the rest of humanity, for whom presentational immediacy is the dominant mode of functioning.

The converse difficulty, which LSD can also produce, is that the increase in mental functioning can overwhelm physical functioning and result in insanity. In this instance, causal efficacy is the neglected mode of functioning. Though humanity in general neglects this mode of functioning, persons manifesting psychosis neglect it to a far greater degree, and become out of touch, albeit in the other direction from the mystic. Cases of insanity exhibiting the phenomena of alienation and hallucination evidence excessive domination of presentational immediacy. Alienation represents a disruption of felt relation to the world; hallucination is delusion in the technical sense mentioned at the outset of this paper.

The conflict over whether LSD is a psychotomimetic or an instrument of enlightenment comes to resolution in the understanding that mystical experience and insanity are both possible results of the heightened mental functioning that LSD produces. This understanding also provides a basis for distinguishing between mysticism and insanity, which are prone to being confused.

There is no question that LSD can be dangerous to mental health under conditions of unsupervised self-experimentation. On the other hand, it has enormous potential for use as an intellectual tool, even as an evolutionary agent. It might be a valuable means to combat the alienation in modern society that emerges from the gulf between intellectual and emotional experience.13 Certainly, one of the best safeguards for the use of LSD is a systematic intellectual account of its functioning. I think Whitehead provides a system that can serve as a firm base for such an account, just as Buddhist philosophy has provided systems for integrating extreme experience with ordinary experience.14 Whitehead’s advantage for us is that he has incorporated into his system the scientific principles that inform our age.

 

References

CEW -- Kenneth R. Pelletier and Charles Garfield. Consciousness: East and West. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.

RHU -- Stanislav Grof, M. D. Realms of the Human Unconscious. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1976.

SC -- Charles Tart. States of Consciousness. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1975.

 

Notes:

1A dismissal would parallel "a tendency among many professionals to discard the experiences in LSD sessions as manifestations of a toxic alternation of the brain function (toxic psychosis) that have little, if any, relevance for the understanding of the human mind as it functions under more normal circumstances" (RHU 25).

2A good, brief account of this controversy appears in RHU 1-6.

3 Particularly good philosophically oriented accounts include Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception (New York: Harper & Row, 1970) and Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology (New York: Random House, 1965).

4 Crof supports this contention: "careful analysis of the LSD data strongly indicates that this substance is an unspecific amplifier of mental processes," but he continues on to say "that brings to the surface various elements from the depth of the unconscious" (RHU 6). The latter part of this statement unfortunately obscures the earlier in Grof’s RHU because the book is opaque as to the relation between (Un)consciousness and mentality.

5 Huxley’s speculation in The Doors of Perception that the brain functions as a "reducing valve" serves the point here, as does the "jammed computer" analogy in CEW 93.

6 "The main function of (intellectual feelings] is to heighten the emotional intensity accompanying the valuations in the conceptual feeling involved, and in the more physical purposes which are more primitive than any intellectual feelings" (PR 416).

7 Interpretation of the unconscious in terms of Whitehead’s doctrine of physical feeling affords a means whereby one might reconcile the apparent conflict between the Freudian individual unconscious and the Jungian collective unconscious: the inheritance ingredient in the human event comprises both idiosyncratic elements immediately relevant to the thread of personal identity and universal elements which have lower grades of relevance.

8 "The heightening of intensity arises from order such that the multiplicity of components can enter explicit feeling as contrasts, and are not dismissed into negative prehensions as incompatibilities" (PR 128).

9 This is especially notable in successive Sessions: "the experiential content seemed to represent a successive unfolding of deeper and deeper levels of the unconscious" (RHU 20).

10 Cf. AI 171f.

11 "In my experience, everyone who has reached these levels develops convincing insights into the utmost relevance of the spiritual and religious dimensions in the universal scheme of things" (RHU 95).

12 "The two sides of the [higher] organism require a reconciliation in which emotional experiences illustrate a conceptual justification, and conceptual experiences find an emotional illustration" (PR 23).

13 This provision of Buddhism helps explain why there has been an appropriation of Oriental ideas into psychedelic culture. It also indicates further possibilities for comparing Whitehead’s thought with Buddhism: cf. Ryusei Takeda and John B. Cobb, Jr., "Mosa-Dharma and Prehension: Nagarjuna and Whitehead Compared" (PS 4:26-36).


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