In this episode, Kyle interviews John H. Buchanan, Ph.D.: certified Holotropic Breathwork practitioner; contributing co-editor for Rethinking Consciousness: Extraordinary Challenges for Contemporary Science; and author of the new book, Processing Reality: Finding Meaning in Death, Psychedelics, and Sobriety.
Recorded shortly after a week-long philosophy and breathwork conference which they both attended, they mostly dig into the challenging philosophical concepts of Alfred North Whitehead: how everything is made up of a feeling; how everything is relational and we all feel each other’s experiences; how Whitehead defined occasions and how moments of experience are accessing the totality of the past; and how neurology and the mind-brain interaction impacts human experience. This analysis leads to a lot of questions: Is the past constantly present, in that it is an active influencer on all our actions? When we relive a past event, where does that live in our minds vs. bodies? Are we tapping into a universal storehouse of past events, or are we tapping into past lives (or into others past lives)? When we sense that someone is looking at us, what is that?
He also discusses his realization that the experiential element of non-ordinary states of consciousness was the most important; his entry point into breathwork; why breathwork creates a perfect atmosphere for conversation; reincarnation and the idea of being reincarnated into other dimensions; the concept of objective immortality and how ripple effects from a single moment continue onward; and the fallacy of misplaced concreteness and psychoid experiences: Are they real beyond our psyche?
“One of the key moments for my studies was [when] I was tripping, walking through this room. Suddenly, I had this vision of three overlapping circles of psychology, philosophy, and religion, and in the middle was an experiential center that was all of them, where the experience of these questions and mysticism and psychological insight were sort of all flooding in there. And I thought: Wow, this is the insight people are talking about. I’ve got to find out what this is about.”
“Whitehead has a book called Religion in the Making and he says religious experience, a mystical experience is interesting and part of the picture, but you can’t build an entire religion or philosophy based on extraordinary experience of a few great men. But I think with psychedelics, opening up these realms to millions of people; it creates a much better foundation for doing something like that.”
“Everything’s alive, and I think we need to feel that again and to feel the depth dimensions that psychedelics reveal. …I think when we don’t feel the aliveness around us, we don’t feel alive.”