An Autonomous Agent

exploring the noosphere

Category: philosophy (Page 1 of 4)

Philosophical Overdose YouTube Channel

Philosophical Overdose is an excellent source of material for watching/listening!

Description from channel:

Collection of Academic Philosophy Videos (both Analytic Philosophy & Continental Philosophy): Logic, Epistemology, History of Ideas, Consciousness, Skepticism, Science, Ontology, Political Theory, Ethics, Religion, etc.

Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds (2012)

Compilation of various ideas on mysticism and science.

The Adventure of Self-Discovery – Stanislav Grof

The Adventure of Self-Discovery by Stanislav Grof is a fascinating book which introduces readers to the inner healing potential of their sub-conscious. The first half of the book builds on themes from Realms of the Human Unconscious. In the second half of the book, Grof explains the rather profound, yet simple, exercise of holotropic breathing. Holotropic breathing allows people access to the ancient tradition of entering non-ordinary states of consciousness without any recourse to the ingestion or smoking of plant material. Please read the entire book if you are interested in performing the breathing without the aid of an experienced holotropic guide. Do not attempt without a sitter.

I put together a music playlist based on Grof’s recommendations for your benefit. The songs are in random order. Let me know if I should add/remove any:

Holotropic Breathing – Beginning

Holotropic Breathing – Middle

Holotropic Breathing – End

Also, informative interview with Grof:

Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research – Dr. Stanislav Grof

Dr. Stanislav Grof’s book Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research surpassed any expectations I had when I purchased it. It truly takes the reader on a trip into the most remote depths of the human psyche. Grof’s model of the unconscious, based on more than 30 years of experience, provides incredible insight into a realm beyond anything you thought you knew. The model involves what Grof calls “Systems of Condensed Experience” (COEX Systems). In addition to these experiences,  patients typically encounter experiences classified by Grof as either perinatal or transpersonal. I suggest reading the book to learn more about this topic and the models.

In a suitable analogy, Grof declares LSD to be psychiatry’s fundamental tool; it is like the astronomer’s telescope or the biologist’s microscope.  Grof refers to the powerful ability of LSD to facilitate the revealing of deep unconscious systems like that of sonar or radar, revealing the largest and most relevant emotional disturbances beneath the surface of the unconscious ocean. It allows therapists to have a direct reading of a patient’s relevant thought systems and important experiences. Readers begin to realize how incredibly important this molecule is for the well-being of the psyche and the spiritual and mental development of humanity.

For a simple introduction, I would suggest The Holotropic Mind rather than this book. Or if you prefer an audio book, Audible has The Transpersonal Vision. I would also recommend joining the email list for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

Killing Time – Paul Feyerabend

Paul Feyerabend’s autobiography, Killing Time, is a nice summary of the life of a very interesting person. Very brief snapshot:

Growing up in Austria he eventually participated (drafted) in World War II and became a Nazi officer. Shot in the spine and disabled for life he went back to university where he studied music, theatre, and science. He became an important intellectual in the philosophy of science. After the war he participated and became a key member of the yearly meetings in Alpbach. His ideas were influenced by Karl Popper (initially), Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Felix Ehrenhaft. He eventually found his way to Berkeley, California where he became a professor. He taught mostly at Berkeley and ETH Zürich.

His life and ideas were intimately connected with many great thinkers of the 20th century: including Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, and Imre Lakatos. The autobiography is a good introduction to Feyerabend. Getting to know the background and personal experiences of the great thinker helps gain perspective while reading his philosophical works.

I wonder what, if anything, Feyerabend had to say about Alan Watts? In some ways I feel that Feyerabend has helped to add elements of Eastern Philosophy to Western Philosophy. For instance, Feyerabend’s principal that anything goes and his scientific anarchy seem to have a Zen or Taoist connection. His continual insistence that reality fails to be objectively expressed by language also suggests a connection, but I believe this was also expressed by Wittgenstein?

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