The Great God Pan is Not Dead: Alfred North Whitehead and the Psychedelic Mode of Perception

This article was first published in the Psychedelic Press Journal: Volume XX. Peter Sjöstedt-H is the author of numerous articles dealing with philosophy and psychedelic experience, and has written the book Noumenautics. More info about Peter can be found on his website here.

pan-by-arnold-bocklin

Wherefore the current of my soul hath broken

The bounds of sensual life,

And I am grown a god, a sinewy token

Of Pan’s most ardent strife;

I am his own; I seem           

The shadow of his dream,

As he is spinning thoughts of form and sense

Out of the formless void, stark, cold and dense.[i]

                                         —Victor B. Neuburg

Preamble

Through A. N. Whitehead’s metaphysics, the Philosophy of Organism, it will be argued that psychedelic experience is a vertical, lateral and temporal integration of sentience:

  1. Vertical Integration:
    1. Superordinate—upward—partial apotheosis (panentheist postulate)
    2. Subordinate—downward—partial enmerosis (panexperientialist postulate)
  2. Lateral Integration—sideward:
  • Enhancement of Perception in the Mode of Causal Efficacy
  • Antithesis of Solipsism

3. Temporal Integration—backward

  • Mnemonic Enhancement

— — —

  1. a. Partial Apotheosis

Apotheosis, elevation to divinity, is preconditioned by the being of that deific entity. Whitehead’s god is both immanent and transcendent, in the traditional senses—but Whitehead’s god is not the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The god’s being is not based on faith but, in part, on the logical necessity of Eternal Objects which constitute His transcendent nature.

Eternal Objects are Whitehead’s variant of Plato’s Forms, of Russell’s Universals, and of Santayana’s Essences. They are every potential form of mentality: ideas (numbers, classes, etc.), emotions (fear, joy, etc.), sensations (colours, tastes, etc.), and other human and inhuman forms. One must be careful to distinguish these potential forms of mentality from actual forms of mentality.  The latter exist in time as the subjective phases of an organism, for instance as the thoughts we harbour during the day. The former, the Eternal Objects, can exist in time when they so ingress into actuality; but they mostly subsist out of timeeternally—in their unprehended totality.

Viewed thus the objects of our mentality are eternal, though our mentality is temporal. As the reality of such metaphysical objects may seem dubious to many, let us take an example to demonstrate the reasoning. Consider the sensation whiteness as an Eternal Object, or as a Universal as Whitehead’s student, collaborator and friend Bertrand Russell calls such objects. Russell writes:

‘In the strict sense, it is not whiteness that is in our mind, but the act of thinking of whiteness. … [If] whiteness were the thought as opposed to its object, no two different men could think of it, and no one man could think of it twice. … Thus universals are not thoughts, though when known they are the objects of thoughts. … [Universals] subsist or have being, where “being” is opposed to “existence” as being timeless [eternal].’[ii]

More succinctly yet poetically, Whitehead claims the same point:

‘The mountain endures. But when after ages it has worn away, it has gone. If a replica arises, it is yet a new mountain. A colour is eternal. It haunts time like a spirit. It comes and it goes. But where it comes, it is the same colour. It neither survives nor does it live.’[iii]

Thus whiteness, colours, and all other objects of mentality are deemed metaphysical. Let us delve into the physical to examine the point. A man is seeing a patch of white. Where is this whiteness?

(1) We cannot say it is in the physical object as such, say a cloud. Here there exist the molecules constituting the cloud, which themselves are not white (akin to Berkeley’s emphasis[iv]).

(2) Further we cannot say that whiteness is in the certain reflected electromagnetic wave as

  • (a) the wave without a perceiver will not be white,
  • (b) the same wave can be perceived as different colours (inverted spectrum, synaesthesia), and
  • (c) the same perceived colour can have different waves (metamerism).

(3) The whiteness is not actually in the anatomy of the percipient nor in its functioning. It is not in the eyes, nerves, brain: within the skull pervades darkness. The brain does not turn white when intuiting whiteness, as it does not turn triangular when intuiting a triangle.

(4) Though the object that is whiteness is correlated with activity in the brain, with the electromagnetic light wave, and with the cloud, this correlate is not thereby determined as identical to any of these. Whiteness is neither an emergent property of the brain, as such a notion commits the Emergence Category Mistake,[v] erroneously presupposing brute emergence and an analogy between nature’s otherwise physical-to-physical acts of emergence (e.g. liquidity from molecules) and a purported physical-to-mental emergence. Emergence is the magic with which materialism is spellbound.

 (5) Whiteness is thus not identical (1—–3) to its various correlates, it is not an emergent property (4) of those subvenient correlates, but nor is it simply the abstracted common feature of white objects as this would entail that those objects had the whiteness from which one could abstract it as such. As Santayana puts it,

‘Having never been parts of any perceived object, it is impossible that given essences should be abstracted from it.’[vi]

Thus, the object of a thought, feeling, sensation is, as Russell concludes, ‘neither in space nor in time, neither material nor mental; yet it is something.’[vii] Eternal Objects are real, transcendent, and the condition of shared experiences—thus they are a condition of language, a condition of knowledge, and for Whitehead a condition for the creative advance of the universe. As Russell put it in Mysticism and Logic:

‘A truer image of the world … is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside … . Both in thought and in feeling, even though time be real, to realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.’[viii]

The realm in which all Eternal Objects subsist is named by Whitehead the Primordial Nature of God. This is the transcendent aspect of Whitehead’s deity, an insentient dimension as sentience requires the ingression of the Eternal Objects into physical temporal actuality to be objects of prehension. As physical organisms, the incessant selection of Eternal Objects is conditioned by our physical needs, and thus only a fraction are positively prehended, the rest rejected through negative prehensions, to use Whitehead’s terminology. It is my contention that these negative prehensions can be eliminated in degree by the impairment of practical physiological functioning via the intake of psychedelic chemicals. Such elimination entails the integration, nay elevation, of one’s consciousness into the primordial nature of this god: apotheosis. This is a mysticism without mystical groundings. As Russell foresaw:

‘We may hope, in a mystic illumination, to see the [eternal] ideas as we see objects of sense; and we may imagine that the ideas exist in heaven. These mystical developments are very natural, but the basis of the theory is in logic, and it is as based in logic that we have to consider it.’[ix]

George Santayana considered the same spectacle, in horror:

‘If I aspired to be a disembodied spirit, I ought to envisage all essences equally and at once—a monstrous requirement.’[x]

Such upward integration into the primordial nature of the deity verily may not be joyful, it may evoke intense empyreal dread of the kind Rudoph Otto calls the mysterium tremendum, aspects of which include ‘“daemonic dread” (cf. the horror of Pan)’,[xi] culminating in the literal awfulness that is the original sense of the idea of the holy. As certain Eternal Objects have a being which would usually be ingressed in epochs existing beyond our spatio-temporal, electromagnetic epoch (as Whitehead has it), the alienness of such objects could further the sense of a dread-inducing sublime. Such experiences cannot therefore be categorized as recreation but rather as ‘the inmost aim and highest achievement of cognition’,[xii] as Santayana calls entrance into this realm of Essence ab aeterno.

Bertrand Russell

The other aspect of Whitehead’s deity is named the Consequent Nature of God. This is the immanent and sentient side. God’s function is to initially lure entities into self-formation, then to partake in the intense sentient experiences of them, which, as a panexperientialist, as we shall see, includes the autopoetic ‘inorganic’—the whole of nature. As Whitehead writes:

‘God’s purpose in the creative advance is the evocation of intensities. The evocation of societies [higher organisms] is purely subsidiary to this absolute end.’[xiii]

Thus, through psychedelic intake we satisfy the god’s purpose, in a league beyond the ordinary mode of mankind. Further still, by allowing upward integration into the hitherto unactualised, thus hitherto insentient, realm of Eternal Objects, we actualize and activate as sentient aspects of the god for the god. Thus through psychedelic ingestion, we increase the self-consciousness of the god. There is no greater divine activity we can pursue than journeying through the psychedelic mindscape—the psychonaut is the pilgrim par excellence. Contrariwise, prohibition of psychedelics is the most cardinal of sins.

I say ‘the god’. Whitehead came purportedly to regret his use of the word ‘God’ to designate his deity.[xiv] His metaphysics is in part a panentheism—that god is actuality (as the consequent nature of god) and more (the primordial nature of god transcending actuality). This is already far removed from the theism of the Judeo-Christian lineage, the Abrahamic god. Furthermore, as we shall examine, Whitehead’s metaphysics is also a panpsychism, or panexperientialism (as his version is now designated[xv]): that all autopoetic entities from man to molecule and below have sentience (though not necessarily consciousness). Whitehead even writes that the

‘…function of God is analogous to the remorseless working of things in Greek and Buddhist thought … the ruthlessness of God can be personified as Atè, the goddess of mischief.’[xvi]

Whitehead further identified his God with Eros, the ‘Universe as one’,[xvii] and even, when opposing the Semitic god to Plato’s, Satan.[xviii] Thus, with its panentheism, panexperientialism, divine mischief and intense hedonism, kinship to pagan animism and its Romantic nature worship, we are better to re-designate the god of Whitehead’s philosophy of organism, as Pan. We thereby paganize Whitehead under the symbol of this seducer goat-god, a god whose desire for the evocation of intense experiences is instanced in his boast of coupling with each of Dionysus’ intoxicated Maenads.[xix] The lure of Pan is better befitted to the philosophy of organism than the canons of Christ; the latter referring to the attempted Christian hijack of Whitehead’s metaphysics under the name process theology.

Plutarch relates the story of a sailor who, during the reign of Tiberius concurrent to the lifetime of Jesus Christ, receives over the seas an arcane vocal declaration to propagate the news that “The great god Pan is dead.”[xx] G. K. Chesterton’s pronouncement that ‘It is said truly in a sense that Pan died because Christ was born’[xxi] we now invert across a Nietzschean line. The decline in Christian belief and its offspring, modern cosmology, allows for a revival of a truly naturalistic ontology. God is dead; Pan returns.

  1. b. Partial Enmerosis

Enmerosis derives from the prefix –en: within, and from méros: part or component. The term denotes a downward fusion of sentience into the subordinate entities of the human body.

Before examining the possibility of amplified enmerosis through the psychedelic mode of perception, we must examine the condition for its possibility: panexperientialism.

Panexperientialism is the notion that every self-organised entity has sentience: man, mole, molecule and more. There are overwhelming reasons to adopt such a view in the literature,[xxii] a view espoused by such eminent thinkers as Bruno, Spinoza, Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Fechner, Nietzsche, William James, and later still, scientists such as the Whiteheadian biologist C. H. Waddington, who founded the new science of epigenetics. But let us appeal to reason rather than to these authorities.

The so-named ‘Hard Problem of Consciousness’[xxiii] signals the old problem of understanding how mind can emerge from or be identical to ‘matter’. Regardless of the complexity of neural activation, why this should be correlated to mental activity remains unexplained. This is because it is unexplainable in the paradigm that reduces explanation to insentient matter moving according to known forces of nature—i.e. to materialism.  Sufficiently explaining mind by matter is as successful as sufficiently explaining a squid by the correlated ripples in the sea surface above it. Why?

Whitehead’s response to this problem is to state that our idea of ‘matter’ is an abstraction rather than a concrete reality. In reality, what we call ‘matter’ already includes sentience, feeling. Thus in vain do we attempt to reconstitute mind from an abstraction that omits it, just as it would be vain to attempt to reconstitute the taste of calamari by the totality of colours which we have abstracted from the creature. An omitted reality cannot be recreated by the abstractions that omitted it. This is the cause of the Hard Problem of Consciousness, which is not a problem for the panpsychist.

If one concedes that all of nature, in its organized entities, has sentience, then mind emerges in degrees of complexity rather than the problematic emergence in kind requisite of materialism. The brain is necessary for complex human consciousness, but the cells of which it is composed are also sentient, as are their components. For Whitehead, the final components are named actual entities, or drops of experience. Of these sentient drops all actual things are constituted.

The objects of these drops of experience are the Eternal Objects of course, but the actualization of these potential eternal forms is the intrinsic sentient aspect of all that we call matter. Each actual entity in made concrescent by prehending other actual entities which become part of it: the perception becomes part of the perceiver. As the actual entities evolve into more complex structures, or so-called societies, such as a molecule, the prehended actual entities and the Eternal Objects which determined their form combine to create more complex forms of mentality accordingly: emotions may be augmented by visual qualia, for instance. Feeling, or sentience, is the foundation of all perception however. Perception always includes the transferred internalized feelings of the entity perceived. This transfer, viewed objectively, from the outside, is efficient causality. So perception is causality. The transfer, viewed subjectively, from the inside, includes final causality: each actual entity has a subjective aim to achieve the satisfaction of a concrescence by uniting former actual entities so as to create itself. Thus the determinism we observe is the shell of the teleology of nature—a determinism informed by the mistake of considering observed past regularities as universal constants. For Whitehead the prime tenet that prevails in the universe, above Pan, is creativity. The future can never be determined.

In the highly complex type of actuality that is the human, Whitehead attributes two main forms of perception, which are in actuality fused. There is the classic and commonly accepted Perception in the Mode of Presentational Immediacy which is essentially the sensation types from the five senses. David Hume said that all our ideas are copies of these impressions. Hume further argued that with these sensations we can never perceive causality in itself, only the constant conjunction of events. Whitehead, in contradistinction, asserts that we humans do perceive causality (as perception is causality). As well as this Perception in the Mode of Presentational Immediacy, Whitehead argues that we have Perception in the Mode of Causal Efficacy. This is the more primitive form of perception, shared by all organisms—which for him meant all entities of nature, as described above—which is a mode broader and more vague than the former mode, but nonetheless extant. An entity does not need ‘sense organs’ to sense: all action upon something involves an internal perception in at least the primitive mode of causal efficacy. Sense organs befit larger organisms, bequeathing them with greater means for incorporating their environments. An eye grasps light, a leaf also grasps light sans the fine distinctions made possible by the eye, a molecule also grasps light but in a more primitive sentient causal mode, and reacts accordingly as does the plant and animal. Consciousness is an aspect of the more complex organisms, a blind sentience is the lot of the micro-world. Yet this blindness is not the nothingness of non-panpsychists.

We are never fully conscious of the ceaseless activities of our bodies: the healing of our livers, the battles fought by our leukocytes, etc. Yet the imminences of these bodily cells are vaguely felt by the person, contributing to a sense of health, joy, melancholy, or whatnot. The brain, the dominant organ of control, channels sentience for the overall benefit of the organism, thereby detracting from focus on relatively inessential cellular activity. Psychedelic molecules, which trespass through the blood-brain barrier, wreak havoc on the brain and let slip anarchy into this otherwise ordered channel. As well as the upward integration into alien exogenous Eternal Objects, this may also allow downward integration into the endogenous subjectivities of the subordinate entities of one’s body: enmerosis.

As stated, Whitehead already allows for enmerosis via perception in the mode of causal efficacy. As this perception is mostly suppressed by our higher form of perception (presentational immediacy) via standard brain functioning, the physical psychedelic breakdown of that functioning will allow the emancipation of those causally efficacious perceptions. Of course, the feelings of these subordinate entities will be foreign in their amplification, perhaps explaining in part the ineffability William James stakes as criterion for the mystical state.[xxiv] Naturally the type of psychedelic chemical and the dose will greatly affect the level of cerebral breakdown. A small dose will not let slip the dogs of war.

 

II. Lateral Integration

‘For the external observer the aspects of shape and sense-objects are dominant … But we must also allow for the possibility that we can detect in ourselves direct aspects of the mentalities of higher organisms. The claim that the cognition of alien mentalities must necessarily be by means of indirect inferences from aspects of shape and of sense-objects is wholly unwarranted by this philosophy of organism. The fundamental principle is that whatever merges into actuality, implants its aspects in every individual event.’[xxv] – A. N. Whitehead

The Problem of Other Minds refers to the problem of knowing how other people and creatures have sentience, as we can only perceive their physical behaviour. It is commonly responded to by claiming inference: I know that I look and behave in a certain way, and I know that other humans look and behave similarly, so I infer that those others also have similar minds.  We can infer it to other creatures of similar ilk to us: chimps, dogs, goats—but what of insects or plants? We cannot infer it here by analogy, but neither can we simply assume those less-resembling organisms are without mind. To stress the point, consider Thomas Nagel’s case:

‘[If] things emerged from a spaceship which we could not be sure were machines or conscious beings, what we were wondering about [whether they had sentience] would have an answer even if the things were so different from anything we were familiar with that we could never discover it. It would depend on whether there was something it was like to be them, not on whether behavioral similarities warranted our saying so.’[xxvi]

To respond by claiming we could know whether an entity had sentience by whether it had a brain would simply be to postpone the question: how do we know that a brain is requisite for sentience? Is this not blatant anthropomorphism? Gustav Fechner, the founder of psychophysics, illustrates the point with elegance when arguing for the sentience of plants:

‘If I remove or destroy all the strings of a piano, a violin, a lute, then there will be no tone to the instrument … so obviously the strings are the essential means for producing tones; they are so to say the nerves of these instruments …

But now when I hear that the flute after all does actually produce tones, in spite of my pretty argument, I cannot see why plants might not be able to produce subjective sensations without having nerves. The animals might be the string instruments of sensation, and the plants the wind instruments.’[xxvii]

Though such an analysis of the problem of other minds here leads to further substantiation of the panexperientialism required for downward integration, are we to rest content with such a mere logical, inferential response to the problem? Whitehead states in the quotation above that the cognition of alien mentalities rests not merely on such indirect inference. The belief that this inference is the highest understanding we can acquire rests on the assumption that all perception is perception in the mode of presentational immediacy. When we augment that capability with perception in the mode of causal efficacy, our acknowledged understanding expands.

The prehension of another entity does not merely stand in the relation representation-to-object but rather in the relation part-to-whole. The prehension of another is the inclusion of that other as a constituent part of oneself. Perception, like ingestion, is assimilation. You are what you eat and you are what you perceive. As Whitehead writes, ‘no individual subject can have independent reality, since it is a prehension of limited aspects of subjects other than itself.’[xxviii]

In our standard physiological functioning the welter of perception in the mode of causal efficacy is symbolized by the presentational mode. The sun’s rays causally hit our eyes and the causal line continues in our nerves, all perceived; the Eternal Object of yellow and others ingress for the presentational mode, also thus perceived. Hence even the classic understanding of perception involves causal efficacy, so feeling is always imbued into all sense qualia, and as such the common form of human perception is actually this mixed form of Perception in the Mode of Symbolic Reference. Illusions occur when this mix is mismatched.

Now, if such standard physiological functioning is impaired through the transgression of psychedelic substances, the symbolic mode of reference is wrecked. Upward integration can follow, as argued above, especially when one’s environment is scarce of common sense data: in dark, quiet settings. Lateral integration can follow in contrary bright open settings where common incoming data are abundant. Now, instead of immediately abstracting away an object due to humanly practical exigencies, named transmutation—as is the evolved remit of the brain and body—that is, instead of referring to the object symbolically, the mode of causal efficacy is freed from such symbolic bondage. Now the ‘object’ is prehended more physically than conceptually, that is more of the object, which has a sentient immanence, enters into the constitution of the ‘subject’, thereby further fusing the subject-object bifurcation.

Psychedelic reports do include such lateral integration, the advanced form of general vectorisation, as Whitehead calls the infusion of prehended objects into the subject. Henri Bergson, a further influence on Whitehead, calls such fusion sympathy, the aspect of intuition to which Bergson contrasts the conceptual intellect.[xxix] Aldous Huxley made use of Bergson in explaining his mescaline experience, and Huxley’s report of becoming one with the legs of the table before him is well-known.[xxx] Table legs are aggregates of subjectivities as they are not self-organising systems. Of perhaps greater interest lies lateral integration of single, more complex subjectivities. Author Paul Devereux offers this experience on LSD:

‘I found my awareness slipping inside that of the daffodil. While still being conscious of sitting in a chair, I could also sense my petals! Then an exquisite sensation cascaded through me, and I knew I was experiencing light falling on those petals. It was virtually orgasmic, the haptic equivalent of an angelic choir … A mythic atmosphere hung like the most delicate gossamer in the air.’[xxxi]

For the Philosophy of Organism, all perception involves the actual integration of the object into the subject, yet this is always limited by the subject’s practical considerations, abstract considerations which led to the supposed solipsism of subject from object. But a Whiteheadian analysis renders solipsism obsolete by highlighting its mistaken assumption: that a perception is distinct from the perceived. In the psychedelic mode of perception, we thus can move so far from solipsism that we enter the subject of the object.

 Pan

III. Temporal Integration

Hence, in the psychedelic mode of perception we push our identity with Pan through our integrated panentheism and panexperientialism. We thereby touch the eternal and the present, but what of the past? The past is not actual, potential but neither is it nothing. For Whitehead, all actualities pass into objective immortality: they are no longer subjectivities but their physical and mental forms enter into the composition of actual entities and their nexūs, forms of togetherness.

All perception involves perception of the past, memory. But again, those aspects commonly selected are those that are conducive to the practicalities of the organism. Furthermore, a memory is immortalized as an Eternal Object in the empyrean realm that is Pan. Thus these objects are never absolutely lost. Analogous to the emancipation from transmutation offered in lateral integration, the psychedelic mode of perception can allow for a backward integration. This is part of the basis for contemporary studies into the value of psychedelic therapy.[xxxii] Thus, psychedelic intake enhances access to distant memories, access to the objective immortality, emphasizing Whitehead’s words that:

‘What is done in the world is transformed into a reality in heaven, and the reality in heaven passes back into the world.’[xxxiii]

This heaven is often a hell, which is the bane of the sufferer and the object of the therapist. Pan is not omnibenevolent. So it is not ‘morally necessary to assume the existence of God’, as Kant argued,[xxxiv] but it is logically necessary to assume Eternal Objects which can be named after a less Christian god. Through this god backward integration can occur—also to an extent inversely related to practicality—as one of the first English commentators on Kant, Thomas de Quincey, recounted for an opium-induced experience:

‘The minutest incidents of childhood, or forgotten scenes of later years, were often revived … placed as they were before me, in dreams like intuitions, and clothed in all their evanescent circumstances and accompanying feelings, I recognized them instantaneously. … I feel assured, that there is no such thing as forgetting[;] traces once impressed upon the memory are indestructible.’[xxxv]

We have thus vertical, horizontal and backward integration in the psychedelic experience. The question concerning forward integration remains: actual foresight. In the Philosophy of Organism this is not possible as the future is not determined and thus does not exist in its entirety. Creativity primes the advance of the universe, with its free teleology of entities—thus the future is not yet existent, it is not yet created. Therefore it cannot be foreseen. However, in upward integration, Eternal Objects can be experienced which would otherwise have their common ingression in future epochs—including non-electromagnetic epochs. Thus a slight foresight of potential mentalities can be made manifest, though not a foresight of actual events.

Summary

The psychedelic mode of perception allows for a three-dimensional integration of experience: the vertical dimension upward to primordial Pan and downward into endogenous primitive pieces of perception, understood through panexperientialism. The lateral dimension is that along which we can integrate sideward into the other exogenous entities constituting our environment. The temporal dimension can push us backward to memories otherwise lost, and fragmentarily forward in terms of glimpses of future types of sentience. These dimensions offer a panopticon of Pan, nature Himself—experiences of nature otherwise masked by our practical needs. Psychedelic perception is the essence of great experience, ultimately the object of philosophy itself:

‘[T]he essence of great experience is penetration into the unknown, the unexperienced […] If you like to phrase it so, philosophy is mystical. For mysticism is direct insight into depths as yet unspoken. But the purpose of philosophy is to rationalize mysticism: not by explaining it away, but by the introduction of novel verbal characterizations, rationally coördinated.’[xxxvi] —A. N. Whitehead

visual-aid

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Notes

[i] Neuburg, V. B. The Triumph of Pan, §VI

[ii] Russell, B. The Problems of Philosophy, ch. 9

[iii] Whitehead, A. N. Science and the Modern World, ch. V, pp. 86–87

[iv] Consider George Berkeley’s words: ‘all the colours we see with our naked eyes are only apparent—like those on the clouds—since they vanish when one looks more closely and accurately, as one can with a microscope.’ (Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, in opposition to Sceptics and Atheists, First Dialogue)

[v] See Griffin, D. R. Unsnarling the World-Knot, ch. 6, §III, p. 65

[vi] Santayana, G. Scepticism and Animal Faith, ch. X, p. 94

[vii] Russell, B. The Problems of Philosophy, ch. 9

[viii] Russell, B. Mysticism and Logic, §III

[ix] Ibid. I have argued elsewhere that Plato’s theories of Forms and of Dualism were probably inspired by such a deific vision induced by psychoactive substances taken in the Eleusinian Mysteries – an inspiration which itself inspired western philosophy. See my public lecture given at the University of Exeter (10th March 2016): youtu.be/X2eY4n37FC0

[x] Santayana, G. Scepticism and Animal Faith, ch XIV, p.132

[xi] Otto, R. The Idea of the Holy, ch.  IV, p. 14

[xii] Santayana, G. Scepticism and Animal Faith, ch XIV, p.128

[xiii] Process and Reality, Part V, ch. III, §X, p. 105

[xiv] See Griffin, D. R. Unsnarling the World-Knot, ch. 9, §IV, p. 204

[xv] ‘Panexperientialism’ was coined for Whitehead’s version of panpsychism by David Ray Griffin in Mind in Nature: Essays on the Interface of Science and Philosophy (co-edited with John B. Cobb), 97–98 (1978)

[xvi] Process and Reality, Part III, ch. III, §I, p. 244

[xvii] Whitehead, A. N. Adventures of Ideas, 11, 295

[xviii] Process and Reality, Part II, ch. III, §III, p. 96

[xix] See Robert Graves’ The Greek Myths, Vol. 1, ch. 2, p.102

[xx] Plutarch. De Defectu Oraculorum, §17

[xxi] The Everlasting Man (1925), Part I, ch. VIII.

[xxii] Access www.philosopher.eu/panpsychism for a list of live texts.

[xxiii] Coined by David Chalmers in 1995 in ‘Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness’. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3): 200–219

[xxiv] The Varieties of Religious Experience, ch. XVIII

[xxv] Science and the Modern World, ch. IX

[xxvi] Nagel, T. Mortal Questions, ch. 13 (Panpsychism)

[xxvii] Fechner, G. (1848) Nanna oder Über das Seelenleben der Pflanzen

[xxviii] Science and the Modern World, ch. IX

[xxix] Bergson, H. Creative Evolution, ch. Ch. II , p. 176. William James expands upon this notion in A Pluralistic Universe.

[xxx] Huxley, A. The Doors of Perception

[xxxi] Devereaux, P. The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia, Introduction, p.27

[xxxii] See, for instance, Carhart-Harris, R. L. et al. Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: an open-label feasibility study, The Lancet Psychiatry (Published Online May 17, 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30065-7). Or Sessa, B. (2016) Towards and Integration of Psychopharmacology and Psychotherapy: Using Psychedelic Drug-Assisted Psychotherapy. Psychedelic Press Journal. Volume 15. Psychedelic Press, UK.

[xxxiii] Whitehead, A. N. Process and Reality, Pt. V, ch. II, §VII, p. 351 [532]

[xxxiv] Critique of Practical Reason, book 2,§1-2

[xxxv] de Quincey, T. Confessions of an English Opium Eater, pp.236–238

[xxxvi] Whitehead, A. N. Modes of Thought, ch.s III […] IX.

Peter Sjöstedt-H

Peter Sjöstedt-H is an Anglo-Scandinavian philosopher who specialises in the thought of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Whitehead within the fields of Philosophy of Mind and Metaphysics – especially with regard to panpsychism and altered states of sentience. Peter received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Continental Philosophy from the University of Warwick, where he was awarded a first-class distinction for his dissertation on Kant and Schelling in relation to ‘intellectual intuition’. He subsequently became a Philosophy Lecturer in London for six years but is now engaged in his PhD at Exeter University where he also teaches philosophy modules and writing skills. Peter is the author of Noumenautics and an inspiration behind the new inhuman philosopher Marvel Superhero, Karnak.

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