On Separateness and Oneness - Roland Fischer

Varieties of conscious states mapped on a perceptionhallucination continuum of increasing ergotropic arousal (left) and a perception-mediation continuum of increasing trophotropic arousal (right). The loop connecting ecstasy and samadhi represents the rebound from ecstasy to samadhi, which is observed in response to intense ergotropic excitation.

Varieties of conscious states mapped on a perceptionhallucination continuum of increasing ergotropic arousal (left) and a perception-mediation continuum of increasing trophotropic arousal (right). The loop connecting ecstasy and samadhi represents the rebound from ecstasy to samadhi, which is observed in response to intense ergotropic excitation.

Confinia Psychiatrica
Editores: H. Heimann, Lausanne — Th. SPOERRI, Bern
S. KARGER — BASEL/NEW YORK (Printed in Switzerland) SEPARATUM
Conlin. psychiat. I5: 165-194 (1972)

On Separateness and Oneness
An I-Self Dialogue

Department of Psychiatry, Division of Behavioral Sciences, and Department of Pharmacology, The Ohio State University, Upham Hall, Columbus, Ohio

Abstract. We postulate that the varieties of states of mind, or levels of self-awareness, are but experiences along a perception-hallucination or perception-me­ditation continuum of (drug-induced or 'natural') hyper- and hypoarousal. In ecsta­sy and samadhi, the most hyper- and hypoaroused states of this continuum, man may experience him-Self, i.e. the universe, 'inside' in the mental dimension; during the normal, rational waking state, however, he refers to himself as 'I' in an object­ive world 'beyond' the boundaries of his body, in physical space-time.

The 'Self', the knower and image-maker most fully aware of itself during ecstasy and samadhi, projects the 'I', a re-presentation or model of known images and events, 'out there'. It is postulated that optimal communication between the ‘Self’, or program, and its gradually learned projection, the worldly 'I', is possible during the dreaming and hallucinatory states. Communication during these states is interpreted as a striving for consistency between the 'I' and the 'Self': the creations of art, science, literature, religion and religious conversion experiences, result from this striving for consistency.

During the 'I'-state of daily routine, the outside world is experienced as separate from oneself, reflecting the greater freedom, i.e. separateness or independence, of the cortical (perceptual-behavioral) interpretation from subcortical activity. With in­creasing hyper- and hypoarousal, however, this separateness gradually disappears ('loss of freedom'), apparently because, in the 'Self’-state of ecstasy and samadhi, cortical and subcortical activity become indistinguishably enmeshed. This enmesh­ment or unity is reflected in the experience of Oneness with everything, a Oneness with the universe that is oneself.

Our credo affirms that there is nothing but the universe becoming aware of itself through little islands of I's-and-Selves, which are experienced in, and recognized as, normal and exalted states. Man, the self-referential micro-cosmos, is conscious of himself, although his I-and-Self awareness is but a re-presentation of the universe (which it creates).

The brain, therefore, you speak of,
being a sensible thing, exists only in the mind

When constructing a model of human consciousness, we assume that the universe of our discourse - all that is thought of and experienced - represents itself in one or another state of consciousness. Such a model will invariably reflect the Zeitgeist and its scientific and mythological preoccupations with self-reference, feedback and general systems theory. It is surely no coincidence, then, that RUSSELL [1967], EDDINGTON [1953], WITTGENSTEIN [1961] and GODEL [1931] all remind us of the circularity of our conceptualization. Such circularity is implicit in the very fact that the universe which we perceive-conceive is but a re-presentation (or re­flection) of our own organization. According to EDDINGTON [1953]: 'All our results are derived from the condition that the conceptual interpreta­tion which we place upon the results of measurement must be consistent with our conceptual interpretation of the process of measurement.' And WITTGENSTEIN'S [1961] formulation is that: 'Propositions cannot repre­sent the logical form: this mirrors itself in the propositions. That which mirrors itself in language, language cannot represent. That which express­es itself in language we cannot represent.' And GODELS [1931] verdict: 'It is impossible to establish the logical consistency of any complex de­ductive system except by assuming principles of reasoning whose own in­ternal consistency is as open to question as that of the system itself.' In fact, GÔDEL has shown that it is impossible to prove the consistency of a formal system within the system. And TURING [1936], CHURCH [1956] and TARSKI [1936] each describe further limitations on a logical system, all having a common root: the language and logic used to describe a sys­tem can also be used to describe part of the language itself [BROWNOWSKI, 1966].

It is not usually recognized that GODEL's theorem refers only to the consistency of the normal state of daily routine associated with low levels of ergotropic arousal or, in other words, to physical space-time, with its constancies [FISCHER, 1970a] and 'Aristotelian' (yes-no, true-false) logic and language. The exalted states associated with the highest levels of arousel, as well as the meditative states at lowest arousal levels, are the vantage points of a different dimension, with its symbolic (multivalued) logic, from which the subject literally 'looks down' upon the 'object-iv& normal state. Our point is to emphasize that the limitations established by GODEL, TURING, CHURCH and TARSKI are inherent in man's self-referen­tial nature and may refer only to the internal consistency of a particular state of consciousness.

[Ergotropic arousal, a concept of HESS [Beckman, 1961], denotes behavior pat­terns preparatory for positive action, and is characterized by increased sympathetic activity and an activated psychic state. These states can be induced either naturally or through psychodysleptic (hallucinogenic) drugs, and will be examined in more detail below]

But what is the stuff of consciousness? Does man have a body and a soul? Is he both matter and mind, psyche and soma?

Aristotle clearly distinguishes between the body and the actual organi­zation of the body: our soul. We now recognize that organization (struc­ture or order), and purpose and control, as well, are but reflections of our own nature. Order is thus in the eye of the beholder.

... the system appears to the observer to be under control in proportion to the amount of self-awareness - that is, information about itself - that it exhibits. These conclusions may be tested in the cases of the bees that have to be programmed to build a hexagonal honeycomb, and the cloud of hot gas that has to be programmed to maintain a high temperature. Each of these systems is in fact self-organizing, its 'control' being founded in entropic drift They do not have to be programmed, in fact: only recognized for what they really are' (BEER, 1966)

Aristotle's soul, then, is in the eye of the beholder who, in turn, is Ein­stein's outside observer.

Descartes and Locke cast longer shadows than 20th century scientists often suppose. The modern conceptions of brain and behavior research, learning theory, and even psychoanalysis are largely based on the theories which attempt to explain mind and brain in terms of categories derived by analogy from the mechanical, corpuscular paradigm of 17th century sci­ence [YOUNG, 1970]. Most of us in this 'cybernetic forest' [BRAUTIGAN, 1968] are Cartesian dualists, always asking the question, 'How?' - and never 'Why?' - still dividing the world into object and subject, body and soul, matter and mind. This distinction endures despite the findings of 20th century physics, which have dissolved the 'substance' of matter into a web of abstract relations. But the traditional concept of mind is equally untenable. Witness, for instance, the verdict of 'not guilty by reason of in­sanity', which reflects the dualism upon which our jurisprudence rests, not to mention our theology and metaphysics. The hidden metaphor is this:

'It is as if there is a body and a mind normally functioning in harmony. The body performs actions under the governance of the immaterial invisible mind.’ Where the acts of the body and the intent of the mind are not in harmony in meet­ing normative standards of conduct, explanations in terms of rule-following models are inadequate. Under these conditions a causal explanation is required: The mind is not properly controlling the body. Therefore, the body is declared "not guilty" and the mind becomes the object of punishment or retribution. The aim of such ac­tions is to exorcise the evil influences or mental states that guided the body to per­form improper or sinful acts' [SARBIN, 1967).

And GUNTHER [1962], the multi-valued logician, complains that:

... we have not yet been able to develop a mathematical theory of awareness and of communication between systems that show the behavioral traits of self-awareness, because the whole development of western mathematics since the times of the Renaissance was aimed at the establishment of a theory of objects and of ob­jective events. We forget too easily that the concept of the isolated object was meaningless in the eyes of the thinkers who developed the Gnostic and Kabbalistic theo­ries. For them the whole objective physical world was nothing but (an experience) of self-awareness.'

The modem scientist relegates experience to the twilight zone between object and subject. By objectively asking 'How?' and expecting an answer in terms of mechanism, he is apt to forget GODEL'S theorem which shows that there exists in the system P (if it is consistent) an undecidable statement G, whose arithmetical interpretation, GA, can be shown to be true on grounds that cannot be formalized within P itself [LACEY and JO­SEPH, 1968]. What GODEL has shown is that, in a consistent system, a statement about the consistency of the system cannot be proved in that system [LUCAS, 1963]. Of course, his theorem is an elaboration of Rus­sell's earlier statement that thought cannot be discussed independently of the language system in which the thought was expressed [BRAITHWAITE, 1970]. The essence of RUSSELL'S, GODELS, EDDINGTON'S and WITTGEN­STEIN'S statements is that all are self-referring, and thus model our own self-referential awareness. One cannot ask a self-referential system, there­fore, questions about its own processes. For instance: 'A well-informed heat engine could never discover its own origin, except in a restricted sense (e.g. tracing its evolution, in part, by examining a junk pile of scrapped preliminary models)' [ROTHSTEIN, 1964].

Indeed, all efforts to construct a scientific theory which views our uni­verse as an unbroken context of (one-valued) objective existence have failed because of the 'unavoidable contradictions' [GUNTHER, 1962] which follow from our stubbornly treating the universe in terms of 'Aris­totelian' logic and language. Instead of an understanding of experience, therefore, we content ourselves with accumulating objective and quantita­tive data about the organ of experience, our brain. It is of course most impressive that a brain

'contains more than ten billion nerve cells, each of which averages about ten thou­sand connections with others; each cell, in turn, contains at a minimum ten thou­sand complex macromolecules, not only in constant agitation but being renewed about ten thousand times in a lifespan. Thus, looking at it from the worm's-eye view of the macromolecule, brain action must deal in a lifetime with at least 1022 (10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) macromolecular constellations in various degrees of instability and impermanence' [WEISS, 1970].

No wonder, then, that, when it comes to the study of experience, it is impossible to unambiguously draw the line between, for example, a psy­chopathological hallucinatory experience and a genuine religious experi­ence; such an endeavor is as futile as attempting to answer the medieval scholastic question, 'What size pinhole can an angel pass through?'

'Who is Speaking, and to Whom?' The I-Self Dialogue

But where is the model of the universe which can accommodate experi­ence? Let us regard the 'layers' of self-awareness as symbolic (perceptual-behavioral) or cortical interpretations of subcortical activity, that is, states of mind which are experienced along a continuum made up of the perception-hallucination and perception-meditation continua (to the left and right, respectively, in fig. 1). In ecstasy and samadhi, the most hy­per- and hypoaroused states on these continua, man may experience him-Self, i.e. the universe, 'inside' in the mental dimension; during the normal, rational waking state, however, he refers to himself as 'I' in an objective world 'beyond' the boundaries of his body, in physical space-time. That man, the self-referential system, can be divided into two subsystems, the ‘I’ and the 'Self', can be postulated on purely logical grounds. Listen, for instance, to BROWN'S [1969] reasoning that the universe is apparently

'... constructed in order (and thus in such a way as to be able) to see itself. But in order to do so, evidently it must first cut itself up into at least one state which sees, and at least one other state which is seen. In this severed and mutilated condition, whatever it sees is only partially itself. We may take it that the world undoubtedly is itself (i.e. is indistinct from itself), but, in any attempt to see itself as an object, it must, equally undoubtedly, act so as to make itself distinct from and, therefore, false to itself. In this condition it will always partially elude itself.’

The distinction between a genuine religious and a psychotic religious interpre­tation of hyperaroused states may be answered by WEITBRECHT [1948]. His four schizophrenics experienced a religious conversion during their psychoses. Although after remission they had insight into the diseased nature of their psychoses, they continued to regard their conversion experiences as valid turning points. We con­ceptualize conversion experiences as confrontation and dialogue between a man's worldly '1' and his ecstatic (or meditative) 'Self, resulting in the creation of a more consistent personality — one that has found its style' [FISCHER, 1970a]. Since, in our age, science has taken over the role of religion, it may be intriguing to speculate upon the differences between a 'genuine' scientific and a 'pathological' scientific ap­proach. Unlimited faith in either religion or science will interfere (as it has) with the 'consistency' of the species.


Fig. I.

Varieties of conscious states mapped on the perception-hallucination continuum of increasing ergotropic arousal (to the left) and the perception-meditation contin­uum of increasing trophotropic arousal (to the right). Man, the self-referential sys­tem, may interpret these levels of hyper- and hypoarousal as normal, creative, psy­chotic and ecstatic states (to the left), and as zazen and samadhi (to the right). The loop connecting ecstasy and samãdhi stands for the rebound from ecstasy to sam­ãdhi which is observed in response to intense ergotropic excitation.
The numbers (35-7) on the perception-hallucination continuum are those of GOLDSTEIN'S at al. [1963] coefficient of variation, specifying the decrease in variabili­ty of the EEG amplitude with increasing ergotropic arousal. The numbers (26-4) on the perception-meditation continuum, on the other hand, refer to those B, a and 9 EEG waves, in Hz cps, which predominate during, but are not specific to, these states (GREEN et at, 1970].
In man, the self-referential system, that which sees and knows is the 'Self, and that which is seen and known is the ‘I’. The 'Self, i.e. the knower and image-maker, projects the 'I', a re-presentation of what is known and imagined, 'out there' as the world of the normal state.
If the reflecting surface of a lake in this figure embraced both ecstasy and samãdhi, and the waterline were gradually raised, it would always intersect pairs of corresponding hyper- and hypoaroused states of gradually diminishing subjectivity (less 'Self’) and increasing objectivity (more ‘I’), until, finally, the most objective 'I'-state of the world is reached. Thus, each level of the waterline connects a hyper-and hypoaroused state of the same subjectivity/objectivity (or 'Self'-to-'I') ratio. This similarity between two corresponding hyper- and hypoaroused states can be exemplified by the narcoanalytic abreaction of a traumatic experience of a hyper-aroused nature in a nembutal-induced hypoaroused state having a similar 'Self'-to-”I’ ratio.

In our own terminology, the ‘Self’ is the knower or image-maker, and the 'I' that which is seen and known: the world. The 'I'-world and the ‘Self' are mutually exclusive - you cannot be (in) the world and by your-'Self' at the same time - another way of saying that amnesia prevails be­tween these markedly discontinuous states of self-awareness. The inability to simultaneously experience both 'I'- and `Self'-awareness was felt by ANGELUS SILESIUS [1949]: 'Ich weiss nicht, was ich bin, ich bin nicht, was ich weiss.' (I don't know what I am, I am not what I know.)

Communication between the program of the 'Self' and its gradually learned projection, the worldly ‘I’, seems possible only during the halluci­natory or dream states where the 'I' and 'Self' meet (see numbers 10-13 on the perception-hallucination continuum, left side of figure 1, and the a-EEG wave range on the perception-meditation continuum, right side of figure 1. We interpret the communication during these states as a striving for consistency between the 'I' and the 'Self'.

Such a teleological interpretation answers LACAN'S [1968] central question, 'Who is speaking, and to whom?' The 'Self' and ‘I’ are speaking - and to each other. The creative act is a luxurious byproduct of this dia­logue and is the very source of art, science, literature and religion. Most great artists and scientists in fact have, at some point in their lives, a de­cisive conversion experience (not conversion-hysteria) of a hallucinato­ry-religious nature, which results in the creation of a more consistent personality - one that has 'found its style'. Many examples could be related to substantiate the point that great discoveries, and creative performance in general, are invariably preceded by hallucinatory experience.

Compare this with the statement in the Vedanta: that which does the knowing cannot be known; that which does the seeing cannot be seen.
For specific examples of conversion experiences, 'natural' and hallucinogenic drug-induced, see FISCHER (1970a]. A more systematic collection of such experi­ences will be found in KRIPPNER and HUGHES [1970].

Most of us have heard of Kekule's dream of a snake biting its tail, inspiring his conception of the benzene ring [MEIER, 1968]. Mendeleev's periodic org­anization of the elements [MEIER, 1968], and Niels Bohr's concept of the atom as a miniature planetary system [KRIPPNER and HUGHES, 1970], also originated in dreams, and Mozart describes his inspirational state as a 'schonstarker Traum', or 'beautiful-powerful dream' [MEIER, 1968].

But the ‘i’-’Self’ dialogue on the perception-hallucination continuum is not the only creative experience. A comparable dialogue is initiated during that classical follie a deux we call 'being in love', but it is between the 'Selves' of Lover and Beloved, and LACAN's question, 'Who is speak­ing, and to whom?' is transmuted to Ibn Arabi's question: 'Who is the Beloved, and who the Lover?' [CORBIN, 1969]. For the SufI, however, they are not two heterogeneous, but one being encountering himself.

But the `I'-`Self' dialogue is not concerned solely with the creative emergence of art, science, literature and religion; Conversion experiences of the `Saul-to-St. Paul' type (not Conversion-hysteria) are also hallucina­tory in nature, and also involve communication between the I and the Self. Listen, for instance, to such an experience in RUSSELL'S [1967] words:

'Suddenly the ground seemed to give way beneath me, and I found myself in quite another region. Within five minutes I went through some such reflections as the following: the loneliness of the human soul is unendurable; nothing can pene­trate it except the highest intensity of the sort of love that religious teachers have preached; whatever does not spring from this motive is harmful, or at best useless; it follows that war is wrong, that a public school education is abominable, that the use of force is to be deprecated, and that in human relations one should penetrate to the core of loneliness in each person and speak to that. At the end of those five minutes, I had become a completely different person. For a time, a sort of mystic illumina­tion possessed me. I felt that I knew the inmost thoughts of everybody that I met in the street, and though this was, no doubt, a delusion, I did in actual fact find myself in far closer touch than previously with all my friends, and many of my acquaint­ances'

But creative conversion experiences may also be observed under the impact of psychodysleptic drug-induced arousal, when a non-creative, normal volunteer's life situation demands greater consistency between his I and Self. We have recorded a few such conversion experiences as in­cidental side-effects during our experimentation with psilocybin and am­phetamine. The following is an example of a conversion experience ap­parently induced by 160 pg/kg psilocybin in a 22-year-old female medical student volunteer. The similarities between this drug-induced and RUSSELL'S natural conversion experience are striking.

'My last experience under psilocybin was one of intense introspection as if I were outside my body peering into my memory center with a time-reversal machine. This retracing of important events in my life was carried back through the fetal stage even until conception! All of these events, however, were not viewed simply as events, but in relation to a former postulate of my life that had now been thrown off. Contrary to a former experience, this was a very pleasant one, even though mo­ments of sadness were recalled. I then acted out bodily and verbally some of the im­perfections of man that I had recently encountered - paralysis, deformity. My mind underwent the agony that persons actually thus afflicted most certainly undergo. I felt a oneness with them! To attach a duration to these events is impossible. I looked out of the window as someone from another planet might gaze down upon earthlings busy about their tasks of living and there formulated some very satisfying concepts regarding life's purpose and the way people live it. I slept for a while feel­ing intensely tired after this very exhausting ordeal which all occurred intermittently while answering questions on the 'Ideal Self' test. Auditory and visual stimuli were intense: letters on the cards flowing and melting into each other, air-conditioning noise becoming so intense as to almost deafen me. I cried and I laughed but never was I sad. There were tears of intense emotion - an unavoidable accompaniment. I realized I must have been gone quite a while, but it no longer mattered. When I came down, I felt like a new person - the old Yvonne with a heavy garment removed, permanently hung out of the way, never again to be donned. I wanted to test my discoveries immediately to see if I imagined it all or if I was really permanently changed. I passed.'

On the Perception-Hallucination and Perception-Meditation Continuum

In this age so concerned with travel in outer as well as inner space, it is strange that, while we have detailed charts of the moon, we have no cartography of the varieties of human experience. In order to prepare a 'cartography' of inner space, I am ready to be your travel guide and take you for two voyages: one along the perception-hallucination continuum of increasing ergotropic arousal, which includes creative, psychotic and ec­static experiences; and another voyage along the perception-meditation continuum of increasing trophotropic arousal, encompassing the hypo-aroused states of zazen and Yoga samadhi.

Ergotropic arousal denotes behavior patterns preparatory for positive action, and is characterized by increased sympathetic activity and an activated psychic state. These states can be induced either naturally or through psychodysleptic (hallucino­genic) drugs. Tropliotropic arousal results from an integration of parasympathetic with somatomotor activities to produce behavioral patterns which conserve and re­store energy, producing decreased sensitivity to external stimuli, and sedation. Dur­ing ergotropic and trophotropic arousal, 'alterations in autonomic activity are not confined to the visceral organs, but induces changes in cortical activity' [Huss, 1925]. Also see HESS (1938,1949].

Along the perception-hallucination continuum of increasing central sympathetic or ergotropic arousal, man — the self-referential system — per­ceptually-behaviorally or cortically interprets the change (drug-induced or `natural') in his subcortical activity as creative, psychotic and ecstatic ex­periences [FISCHER, 1969a]. These states are marked by a gradual turning inward to a mental dimension, at the expense of the physical. The 'nor­mal' state of daily routine, our point-of-departure, is followed by the aroused 'creative' state, which can be characterized by an increase in both data content (a description of space), and rate of data processing (or time) [FISCHER, 1967; FISCHER, 1970b]. But in the next higher aroused state on the continuum, the acute psychotic state, the further increase in data con­tent is not matched by a corresponding increase in the rate of data proc­essing ('flood of inner sensation') [GELPKE, 1964]. While the creative state is conducive to the evolution of novel relations and new meaning, the psychotic 'jammed computer' state interferes with a creative interpre­tation by the individual of his own central nervous system (CNS) activity. At the peak of ecstatic (hyperaroused) rapture, the outside (physical) world 'retreats to the fringe of consciousness' [SAINT TERESA, 1957], and the individual reflects himself in his own 'program'. One can conceptual­ize the normal, creative, psychotic and ecstatic interpretations of increas­ing ergotropic arousal along the perception-hallucination continuum as the ledges of a homeostatic stepfunction [ASHBY, 1960].

The mutually exclusive or reciprocal relationship between the ergotrop­ic and trophotropic systems [GELLHORN, 1970] justifies a separate percep­tion-meditation continuum of increasing trophotropic (or hypo-) arousal that is continuous with, and to the right of, the perception-hallucination continuum (fig. 1). The course for our second trip, therefore, will take us in the opposite direction, along the tranquil perception-meditation contin­uum, where man may symbolically interpret his gradually increasing tro­photropic arousal as zazen and, ultimately, samadhi.

The hallucinatory states along both the perception-hallucination and perception-meditation continua can best be described as increasingly in­tense sensations with a concomitant loss of intention and ability to verify them through voluntary motor activity. Thus, verifiable perceptions can be characterized by low sensory-to-motor (or S/M) ratios [FISCHER et al., 1970b; THATCHER et at, 1970b], while hallucinations are high S/M ratio states. The perception-hallucination and perception-meditation continua, therefore, can be characterized by increasing S/M ratios as one moves along them toward ecstasy or samadhi, the two most hallucinatory states [FISCHER, 1969b] (on the extreme left and right sides of figure 1). While moderate doses of the hallucinogenic drugs LSD, psilocybin and mesca­line can get you 'moving' along the perception-hallucination continuum, minor tranquilizers and some muscle relaxants may initiate travel along the perception-meditation continuum.

The farther we depart on the perception-hallucination continuum of higher and higher levels of ergotropic arousal, from the normal through the creative, psychotic and, ultimately, to the ecstatic state (see left side of figure 1), the more complete is the transformation, or 'unlearning', of the perceptual and conceptual constancies of physical space and time.

On the Transition from Perception to Hallucination

We have studied the transformation of certain perceptual constancies along the perception-hallucination continuum, and find, for example, that the ability to readapt to optically induced spatial distortions, in order to maintain the constancy of the visual world, gradually diminishes as the subject turns inward under the influence of psilocybin. As we have mea­sured with a phorometer, the just-noticeable bending of a straight line, or 'spatial distortion threshold', is raised under ergotropic arousal [HILL et al., 1966]. Another finding revealed that the preferred level of (the con­stancy of) brightness increases under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs [FISCHER et al., 1969], but only in 'variable' subjects [FISCHER et al., 1968, 1970b; THATCHER et al., 1970b] — i.e. those whose large standard deviations on a variety of perceptual and behavioral tasks indicate a large and varied interpretive repertoire. In 'stable' subjects, however, who are characterized by small standard deviations, and thus by smaller and more predictable interpretive repertoires, the level of preferred brightness de­creases under hallucinogenic drug influence. Thirdly, nearby visual space was found to gradually close in, as subjects, under the influence of moder­ate doses of psilocybin, moved along the perception-hallucination continuum. This contraction of nearby visual space was observed with two dif­ferent techniques: apparent fronto-parallel (AFP) plane monitoring [FISCHER et al., 1970a], and handwriting area measurements [HILL, and FISCHER, 1970].

The cross-tolerance between LSD, psilocybin and mescaline [IMAT et al, 1961; WOLBACH et al, 1962], as well as the characteristic square-wave pattern of saccadic eye-movement they elicit [HOMAN and FISCHER, 1966], mark these drugs as the 'classical' psychotomimetic, psychodelic, psychodysleptic or hallucinogenic drugs. It is implied, therefore, that any state which can be induced by one of these drugs can be induced by the others as well.

But the transformation of constancies under ergotropic arousal - spe­cifically, as manifested in the psilocybin-induced contraction of nearby visual space - can also be observed in acute schizophrenics under `natu­ral' ergotropic arousal (without hallucinogenic drugs). Apparently, during acute psychotic episodes the transformation of constanoies gives rise to a `vertical displacement of the visual angle’ which is implicit in a contraction of visual space and results in an elevation of the horizon [RENNERT, 1969]. RENNERT, who for years has studied the angle of perspective in the drawings of schizophrenic patients, finds acuteness of a schizophrenic episode to be significantly related to the height of the horizon in his patients' drawings. In fact, using a ruler, he can predict remission or relapse from the position of the horizon in a drawing: the more severe the schizophrenic episode, the higher the position of the horizon, until it ultimately may even disappear. At the same time, a map-like perspective or 'bird's-eye view' of the landscape results, with houses and other significant figures appearing in the foreground [FISCHER, 1971].

We have also observed that the gustatory just-noticeable difference, expressed as Weber fraction, becomes smaller with increasing ergotropic arousal, i.e. subjects need fewer molecules of a sapid substance (like sucrose, quinine, etc.) to taste a just-noticeable difference in sweetness or bit­terness. On the other hand, under the influence of phenothiazine tranquilizers, the Weber fraction becomes larger, i.e. more molecules are needed to taste a just-noticeable difference [FISCHER and KAELBLING, 1967]. Since the Weber fraction is constant (within the customary middle range of taste sensitivity) at levels of arousal associated with daily routine [FISCHER a at, 1971], we interpret the above phenomena as another ex­ample of arousal-induced transformation of constancies. Because the number of molecules necessary to elicit the sensation of a just-noticeable difference gradually decreases during a voyage from the physical to the mental dimension along the perception-hallucination continuum, it might be extrapolated that no sapid molecules at all are needed for the experi­ence of taste during ecstasy, the most hyperaroused hallucinatory state.

It should be emphasized that the projection of our central nervous sys­tem activity as location in the physical dimension of space and time 'out there', was learned at and is hence bound to the lower levels of arousal characteristic of our daily survival routines. That this projection is grad­ually learned can be supported by BENDER'S [1969] observation that schizophrenic children ‘do not experience hallucinations of the projected type like adults, but only of the introjected type. They hear voices inside their head or other parts of the body, feel that they originate inside them­selves and do not feel persecuted by them’.

‘Constancies' of the Hallucinatory States

We have seen that in the sensory, specifically the visual, realm, the perceptual and conceptual constancies of the 'I’-state undergo progres­sively increasing transformation on both the perception-hallucination and perception-meditation continua. This is a transformation of sign to sym­bol, a transformation to visual metaphors. The constancies of physical space and time are replaced by geometric-ornamental-rhythmic struc­tures, the ‘hallucinatory form constants’ of KLUVER [1966], which we consider the constancies or `metaphors' of the dream and waking-dream states. KLUVER classified the form constants of his own mescaline experi­ences into four categories: ‘(a) grating, lattice, fretwork, filigree, honey­comb, or chessboard; (b) cobweb; (c) tunnel, funnel, alley, cone, or ves­sel; (d) spiral’, and assumed that any other varieties are but modifications of these basic designs. In the light of over two decades of experience with my own and others' research in hallucinatory phenomena - drug-induced and ‘natural’ - I would extend Kluver's observations to cover hyper-and hypoaroused hallucinatory experiences in general, whether induced by drugs, electrically [KNOLL et al, 1963] or 'naturally' [KEUP, 1970]. The hallucinatory constancies are ‘magical symbols’, visible or audible metaphors within a structure of symbolic logic and language, the language of hyper- and hypoaroused hallucinatory states, and are at the base of the general tendency toward geometric-rhythmic ornamentalization. For ex­ample, both the rose windows of Gothic cathedrals and the mandalas of Tantric religious art [MOOKERJEE, 1967] are ritualized hallucinatory form constants. The tendency toward omamentalization, however, is not re­served to visual imagery, but also governs the poetic order of linguistic and musical rhythm, imposing an all-pervading metrum and harmony on the hallucinatory/creative-religious states [FISCHER, 1970a]; the rhythm of music, poetry and language corresponds to the geometric-ornamental of the visual realm. We regard, therefore, the manneristic [NAVRATIL, 1965, 1966], hallucinatory-creative style of art and literature as a projection and elaboration of the geometric-rhythmic-ornamental fabric of hyper-and hypoaroused states.

In the beginning, therefore, the newborn's only 'reality' is his CNS ac­tivity, but the child soon learns - by bumping into things - to erect a model 'out there' which corresponds to his CNS activity. This model that we gradually learn to project is the re-presentation of a world ordered and stabilized by constancies - perceptual constancies such as size, brightness and hue, and conceptual constancies including the constancy of the self [FISCHER et al., 1969, 1970a; HILL et al, 1969; FISCHER It, 1969c, 1970a]. The adult interprets his CNS activity within this structure of constancies, and thus experience can be said to consist of two processes: the pro­grammed (subcortical) CNS activity, and the symbolic or perceptual-be­havioral (cortical) interpretation - or the metaprograms - of that CNS ac­tivity.

Input, or outside in-formation in general, is gradually reduced along this continuum. SAINT TERESA of AVILA (1957) tells us in her autobiogra­phy that, at the peak of a mystical experience, ‘... the soul neither hears nor sees nor feels. While it lasts, none of the senses perceives or knows what is taking place.’ Space and time, then, which were gradually estab­lished in ever-widening circles during childhood, gradually contract with increasing arousal and ultimately disappear.

Some Wills are Freer than Others

If we assume that man, the self-referential system, creates experience through the cortical (i.e. perceptual-behavioral) interpretation of his sub-cortical activity, we may ask about the extent of freedom, or relative inde­pendence, of the mind (cortex) from the biological substratum (subcor­tex). We may deduce from the ‘schizophysiology’ of the limbic and neo­cortical systems, as reported by MACLEAN [1954, 1958], that man is to a large extent free to interpret his subcortical activity in a variety of ways at levels of arousal associated with daily routine.

According to GROF [1970], ‘hallucinatory form constants’ of Kluver appear only during the first few LSD sessions. We surmise that GROF'S experimental condi­tions are conducive to producing stateboundness, and, therefore, his patients contin­ue in each session where they left off during the last one. This particular point may thus be farther along on the perception-hallucination continuum than the segment at which the form constants are usually experienced. ‘Stateboundness' will be dis­cussed below.

In our own psilocybin experiments involving moderate doses of the drug and college-age volun­teers, we, too, find no relation between the extent of drug-induced percep­tual and behavioral or cortical charge and drug-induced increase in pupil-lag diameter, a drug-dose dependent parameter of autonomic activity [THATCHER et al., 1970b; FISCHER and WARSHAY, 1968; FISCHER, 1969c]. This lack of a relation implies a large degree of freedom of interpretive vs. interpreted activities. Such cortical-subcortical independence at daily routine and even moderate levels of arousal is also implicit in MARANON'S [1967], as well as SCHACTER’S [1964] experimental results, in which the set and setting determine the variety of cortical interpretation - ‘good trip' or 'bad trip’ - of each subject when his subcortical activity has been altered by an 0.5-ml injection of a 1:1,000 solution of epinephrine.

With rising levels of ergotropic and trophotropic arousal, perception-behavior becomes increasingly dependent upon (or less free from) the subcortical biological substratum which generates it. A cat responds to er­gotropic hyperarousal with rage while, at the peak of trophotropic arous­al, the animal always yawns, curls up and falls asleep. Man, however, may be compelled to interpret these two extreme states of hyper- and hy­poarousal as ecstasy or samadhi This increasing stereotypy with in­creasing ergotropic arousal can be observed, for example, as a decrease in the variability of the EEG amplitude, as GOLDSTEIN and others have mea­sured it using a Drohocki integrator. This decrease in variability is ex­pressed as the coefficient of variation or CV (see GOLDSTEIN'S CV values, for states ranging from relaxation to catatonia in figure 1) [GOLDSTEIN et al, 1963; MARJERRISON et al, 1967; THATCHER et al., 1970a]. The in­creasing stereotypy or loss of freedom also manifests itself in an increased S/M ratio [FISCHER et al., 1970b; THATCHER et al., 19701)] indicating an intensification of inner sensations accompanied by a loss in ability for motor verification. Such high S/M ratios are implicit in the statements ut­tered during both drug-induced hallucinations and the hallucinations of schizophrenics: ‘of being hypnotized’, ‘of being not free’, ‘of being over­powered’, ‘of being paralyzed', etc., and in the mystic's loss of freedom to experience the subject-object dichotomy of daily routine in the physical dimension.

Apparently, then, an increase in ergotropic arousal is parallelled by a restriction in the individual's repertoire of available perceptual-behavioral interpretations. This loss of freedom implies that certain levels can only be interpreted as creative (artistic, scientific, religious) or psy­chotic experiences. Although a religious interpretation is a common feature of catatonia (see footnote number 2), ecstasy, the mystical experience of the Oneness of everything, results from a creative breakthrough out of catatonic hyperarousal. With the maximum loss of freedom during the ec­static state, there is neither capacity nor necessity for motor verification of the intense sensations. In the mental dimension, in contrast to the physical, the all-pervasive experience of absolute certainty does not re­quire further verification, and will be structured according to current mythology or the belief system of a St. Francis, Pascal or Ramakrishna. What is one man's loss of freedom, therefore, may be another's gain in creativity.

An increasing stereotypy can also be observed along the perception-meditation continuum of increasing trophotropic arousal (see right side of figure 1); this loss of freedom enables one to gradually exclude stimula­tion from without and turn attention inward. Continuous trains of a-rhythm accompany these changes, and the dominant frequency of the a-pattern decreases towards the a-0 border region, until some subjects, in a state of reverie, produce long trains of 0-waves" [KASAMATSU and HIRAI, 1969] (see the /3, a and 0-waves in Hz cps on the right side of fig­ure 1). According to GREEN et al. [1970], the ‘alert inner-focused state is associated with the production of a-rhythm’, and in this state, Zen mas­ters show an a-blocking response to auditory clicks but, in contrast to normal controls, do not habitude to these stimuli [KASAMATSU and HIRAI, 1969]. Since the a-rhythm is not altered or blocked by flashing lights, sounding gongs or the touch of a hot test tube during the deep meditation of Indian Yoga masters [ANAND et al., 1961], Yoga samadhi apparently represents a more intense state of trophotropic arousal than Zen satori, and must also express a state of greater loss of freedom in physical space-time than Zen satori. In fact, a yogi denies noticing any outside stimuli during deep meditation, whereas control subjects show a-blocking with as little stimulus as a flashing light (as do the masters, themselves, when not meditating).

Pascal recorded, at the peak of his decisive religious illumination: 'Fire./ God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob/ not of the philosophers and the scien­tists./ Certainty. Certainty [ARLAND, 1946]. The more contemporary agnostic-exis­tential hallucinatory experience of René Daumal (under the toxic influence of car­bon tetrachloride) also refers to this certainty: 'I have the absolute certainty - I need a word meaning certainties ... I have evidence, simple and indisputable, that I am the only being irrevocably lost' [DAUMAL, 1968].
These parietal, low-frequency EEG waves are likely related to dendritic field-potential charges.

That the two continua in figure 1 represent two mutually exclusive states of arousal has been well-documented by HESS [1925, 1938, 1949] and GELLHORN [1968, 1970]. The reciprocity of the ergotropic and tro­photropic systems can also be illustrated by characteristic changes in the saccadic frequency of the small, involuntary, micronystagmoid eye move­ments. These rapid, flick-like movements with a mean frequency of 1/sec and an amplitude of 5-10 min arc are regarded as a prerequisite for the fixation of an object in physical space-time [HEBBARD and FISCHER, 1966]. The saccadic frequency is increased five to eightfold in response to the ergotropic arousal induced in volunteers by moderate doses of mescaline, psilocybin or LSD [HEBBARD and FISCHER, 1966]. This increase is also present without drugs in acute schizophrenics [SILVERMAN and GAAR­DER, 1967], i.e. patients in a state of ergotropic arousal (the ‘alarm reac­tion’ stage of SELYE'S [1946] general adaptation syndrome - FISCHER [1954].

On the other hand, moderate doses of the minor tranquilizer diazepam (Valium®) reduce the gaze velocity by up to one fourth its normal value [ASCHOFF, 1968], implying that such a gradual decrease may be a characteristic feature of trophotropic arousal along the perception-meditation continuum. That the EEG a-rhythm appears to be phase-locked relative to the onset of saccades [GAARDER et at, 1966] may also be of significance, since states of greater and greater trophotropic arousal along the perception-meditation continuum are characterized by EEG waves of lower and lower Hertz frequencies [GREEN et al., 1970] (see right side of figure 1). Moreover, since a complete arrest of the saccadic frequency, e.g. by optical immobilization of the retinal image, results in periodic fading, disintegration and fragmented reconstruction of the image, we may postulate that a reduced saccadic frequency may be linked with the yogi's comment that, at the peak of a meditative experience, he can still see ‘objects’, but they have no predicative properties [BEHANAN, 1937].

Immobilization is accomplished by attaching a tiny mirror to a contact lens so that the image follows the micronystagmoid eye movements [DITCHBURN and FENDER, 1955; PRITCHARD et al., 1960].
The cobra has fixed eyes to begin with, and therefore, to compensate for the lack of scanning eye movements, must sway its head rhythmically to fixate the im­age of a victim. If nothing else, one practical application of this paper may be the following: whenever you meet a cobra, swing along with it and it won't be able to locate you.

In spite of the mutually exclusive relation between the ergotropie and trophotropiC systems, however, there is a phenomenon called ‘rebound to super-activity’, or trophotropic rebound, which occurs in response to in­tense sympathetic excitation [GELLHORN, 1959], i.e. at the ecstatic peak of ergotropic arousal.  A rebound into samadhi at this point can be con­ceived as a physiological protective mechanism, and GELLHORN was among the first to notice that the rebound of the trophotropic system is not confined to the autonomic branches, but also causes significant changes in behavior. Thus, repetitive stimulation of the mid-brain reticu­lar formation increases the arousal level in awake cats, but this phase is followed by one in which the animal yawns, lies clown, and finally falls asleep. This rebound phase is associated with the appearance of 0-potentials in the hippocampus [PARMEGGIANI, 1968], just as the correspond­ing human trophotropic rebound — samädhi — is also characterized by 0-potentials [GREEN et al., 1970] (see right side of figure 1). These re­bound or reversal phenomena between ecstasy and samadhi GELLHORN, 1968, 1970] are illustrated by the loop connecting the two ex­treme exalted states in figure 1.

On Stateboundness

The 'Self' of ecstasy and samädhi are one and the same, as if the reflecting surface of a lake in figure 1 embraced both exalted states. If the waterline of such a lake were gradually raised, it would intersect succes­sive and corresponding hyper- and hypoaroused states. The intersected states of self-awareness represent levels of gradually diminishing subjec­tivity (less 'Self') and increasing objectivity (more 'I'), until eventually the objective 'I'-state of the world is reached. Thus, each level of a water­line would connect a hyper- and hypoaroused state with a specific subjec­tivity/objectivity (or 'Self'-to-'I') ratio, implying a similarity between pairs of hyper- and hypoaroused states connected by gradually raised 'wa­terlines'. This similarity might, then, be used, e.g. to account for the suc­cess of the widely practiced narcoanalytic technique of abreacting (or re-enacting) a traumatic hyperaroused experience in a hypoaroused state of similar `Self'-to 'I' ratio.

Note that this 'rebound to superactivity' is but an example of WILDER’S [1962] 'Law of initial values'.
The 'loop' in figure 1 has also been independently suggested to me (on ex­periential grounds alone) by both Prof. J. H. M. WHITEMAN, University of Cape Town, South Africa, and by MARILYN DELPHINIUM RUTGERS, USA.

Each water level, with its own ‘Self’/’I’ ratio, represents a particular (‘sub'-conscious) level of self-awareness at which an experience occurs. We have seen that an experience can be said to arise from the coupling of (1) a particular level of (subcortical) arousal with (2) a specific symbolic (perceptual-behavioral or cortical) interpretation of that arousal. A past experience might, then, be evoked in two ways: by inducing — ‘naturally’, hypnotically or with the aid of drugs — either the particular level of arous­al; or by presenting some symbol (such as an image, melody or taste) which stands for the interpretation of that arousal. The following passage from JUAN LUIS VIVES (written in 1538) is one of the oldest descriptions of stateboundness:

‘When I was a boy at Valencia, I was ill of a fever; while my taste was deranged I ate cherries; for many years afterwards, whenever I tasted the fruit I not only re­called the fever, but also seemed to experience it again’ [VP/Es, 1941].

An important aspect of such state-bound experiences is the amnesia observed between experiences associated with ‘normal’ arousal levels of daily routine, and states of ergotropic or trophotropic arousal. Although this amnesia between different levels of self-awareness is commonly re­ferred to as ‘the subconscious’, there are as many layers of self-awareness as there are ‘water levels’ with a particular ‘Self’/’I’ ratio. Like the cap­tain with girl friends in many ports, each girl unaware of the other and existing only from visit to visit (that is, from state to state), we all live multi­ple existences: from one waking state to another; from one dream to the next; from one (Maslowian) peak experience to another; one sodium amy­tal session to the next, from LSD to LSD, from epileptic aura to aura, from one creative, artistic, religious or psychotic experience to another, from trance to trance and from reverie to reverie.

Primarius Dr. RAOUL SCHINDLER [1969] Vienna, informed us (Linz, Austria, 1969] that a patient's thread of thought in narco-analysis resumes upon injection of sodium amytal exactly where it left off at the end of the previous session.
Professor HANSCARL LEUNER [1970], Gottingen, also confirms that his pa­tients in LSD-supplemented or psycholytic therapy regard each LSD experience as a continuation of the last.
HOROWITZ et al. [1968] report from the case-history of an epileptic girl that the imagery of every aura consisted of ‘pigs walking upright like people.’ In early grade school the girl would rip open her blouse during a seizure, but of course she would not remember this after the seizure. Nevertheless, her class-mates called her a pig and it was this pig which she saw ‘walking upright' in each aura.
Moreover, we are told by F. G., mother of four, that even the particular state associated with each of her deliveries was experienced as a resumption of the last, all four constituting a distinct, continuous state-of-being.

It follows from the state-bound nature of experience, and from the fact that amnesia exists between the state of normal daily existence and all other states of hyper- and hypoarousal, that what is called the 'subcon­scious' is but another name for this amnesia. Instead of postulating one subconscious, therefore, we recognize as many layers of self-awareness as there are arousal levels and corresponding symbolic interpretations in the individual's repertoire.

Stateboundness, then, implies (1) that the re-experiencing of an event is bound to and can be 're-enacted' at that particular state (of ergotropic arousal, for example) at which the original experience occurred, and (2) that such state-bound experience can also be 're-enacted' at another (e.g. trophotropic) level of arousal of the same ‘Self’/’I’ ratio. Amnesia be­tween two levels of self-awareness is greater the more their respective 'Self'/'I' ratios are dissimilar. The more the 'water levels' intersecting cor­responding states of ergotropic and trophotropic arousal are widely sepa­rated, the greater is the amnesia.

During the 'I'-state of daily routine, the outside world is experienced as separate from oneself, and this may be a reflection of the greater free­dom, i.e. separateness or independence, of the cortical interpretation from subcortical activity. With increasing ergotropic or trophotropic arousal, however, this separateness gradually disappears ('loss of freedom'), ap­parently because, in the 'Self'-state of ecstasy and samadhi, cortical and subcortical activity are indistinguishably enmeshed. This enmeshment or unity is reflected in the experience of Oneness with everything, a Oneness with the universe that is oneself.

Our credo affirms, then, that there is nothing but the universe becom­ing aware of itself through little islands of 'I's'-and-'Selves', which are ex­perienced in, and recognized as, 'normal' and exalted states. Man, the self-referential micro-cosmos, is conscious of himself, although his 'l'-and­ 'Self' awareness is but a re-presentation of the universe (which it creates).

On the Role of Set, Setting and Expectation in the Interpretation of Central Nervous System (CNS) Activity

If we define experience as the perceptual-behavioral interpretation of CNS activity, the question arises, 'What is the nature of the relation be­tween this symbolic interpretation and the central nervous system activity — the biological substratum — it interprets?' We have seen that, at the ar­ousal levels of daily routine, and even during moderately aroused states, the perceptual-behavioral (cortical) interpretation is to a great extent independent of, or dissociated from, the (subcortical) central nervous sys­tem activity.

If this is true, then one would expect that the same dose of a drug would produce a variety of widely differing perception-behavior, and this is indeed the case: many years ago MARANON [1967] injected several hundreds of his patients with epinephrine and asked them to 'introspect'. Some of them simply described their physical symptoms and reported no emotional effects at all; others described their feelings in a fashion that MARANON labelled 'cold', or 'as-if emotion', making statements such as 'I feel as if I were afraid', or 'as if I were awaiting a great happiness'. Still other subjects described themselves as feeling genuine emotions. Of those who noted emotional effects, some described themselves as feeling anx­ious, some as angry, some as euphoric. In short, epinephrine, producing almost identical physiological effects in most of these subjects, produced a wide diversity of perceptual-behavioral interpretations.

In another study, SCHACHTER [1964] told sophomore College students he was studying a new vitamin preparation, and asked them to wait in a private room for 20 min, explaining that then a series of perceptual tests would be done. Actually, SCHACHTER injected 0.5 ml of a 1:1,000 solu­tion of epinephrine, and the real experiment took place during the 20-min 'waiting period'. Epinephrine in this amount increases the heart rate, the rate of breathing, and in general produces autonomic system changes mimicking anxiety. SCHACHTER then had a stooge enter the private room of these students, with some of whom he was friendly and humorous, behaving in a clownish fashion, while with others he was nasty and irritable, asking obnoxious and embarrassing questions about themselves and their parents. The effect of the drug and the two settings was described by the students on a series of rating scales and augmented by observing the stu­dents through a one-way mirror. The subjects with whom the stooge clowned described themselves as feeling pleasant, high, or slightly man­icky after the 20 min, and observers noted manicky behavior, while those subjects irritated by the obnoxious stooge were angry and depressed. Thus, the same drug in two different settings resulted in almost opposite perceptual-behavioral interpretations, or, in a more contemporary lan­guage, in 'good' and `bad' trips.

In another study, LEVI [1967] presented 20 young female office clerks, acting as their own controls, with two different 90-min films. During Stanley Kubriek's tragic and agitating Paths of Glory, they reported feelings of anger and excitement, with a resulting rise in catecholamine excretion. On the next evening, Hans Quest's charming comic film Char­ley's Aunt was shown, evoking considerable laughter. Despite the absence of any obvious anxiety- or agression-provoking elements in this film and the pleasant feelings it evoked, catecholamine excretion again rose signifi­cantly, reflecting (we believe) the intensity of arousal, and not the quality of the experience.

The studies of MARANON, SCHACHTER and LEVI show that epinephri­ne-induced changes in subcortical activity may be subject to every variety of cortical (perceptual-behavioral) interpretation lying between a 'good trip' and a bad one. In fact, since it is believed that one of the two impor­tant factors which underly the action of the 'classical' hallucinogenic drugs LSD, mescaline and psilocybin is the enhancement of norepine­phrine systems, possibly at post-synaptic receptor sites [HENDLEY and SNYDER, 1971], the findings of MARANON, SCHACHTER and LEVI can be applied to these drugs as well.

It is becoming increasingly clear that, during the normal states of daily routine, the dualistic approach — with its object-subject separateness, 'Ar­istotelian' or two-valued logic, cause-effect relationships and reduction­ism — has a physiological counterpart in the relative independence or sep­arateness, during these states, of cortical interpretive activity from the subcortical substratum. The dualistic world-view, therefore, can be scien­tifically validated and is operational only during these states. At raised levels of ergotropic or trophotropic arousal, however, dualism, objectivi­ty, etc., become non-operational, and are replaced by non-dualism, the experience of certainty and subjective-intuitive insight. Non-dualism is the main characteristic of 'closed logical systems which include the refer­ee in the reference, the descriptor in the description, and the axiom in the explanation' [VON FOERSTER, 1970], and which have a physiological counterpart in the increasing enmeshment of cortical and subcortical activities.

Of course, there is an inherent circularity in our argument, but independent verification by an outside observer is impossible, since the very same cortical and subcortical structures and processes of man, the self-re­ferential system which creates inner experience, are also involved in the 'verification' of that experience as external projection.

The non-dualistic nature of experience as a counterpart of the partial en­meshment of cortical and subcortical activity is a routine event for all of us during the ergotropic arousal associated with the REM stage of our dreams.

 That there is 'something ‘rotten’ about verification is also implied by LACAN [1968], according to whom the question seems always subjectively to include its own reply, a statement echoing Pascal's          ‘Tu ne me cher-cherais pas si to ne m'avais trouvé’ [LACAN, 1968], 'You wouldn't have looked for me if you hadn't already found me'. Koyrés intuitive interpre­tation of science is analogous: 'Good physics is made a priori. Theory precedes fact. Experience is useless because before any experience we are already in possession of the knowledge we are seeking' [SCHMITT, 1968]. Indeed, science provides a special method for those research problems in which the answer or outcome is predictable when the question is posed: in nonparametric statistics, when the predicted direction of difference re­quires a 'one-tailed test', as against the two-tailed test used if the outcome is not predictable. It may be not too far-fetched to say that the set, setting and expectations of a particular historical time and location determine to a great extent the theory, model or paradigm to be verified according to the catechism of the scientific method. But this verification is itself, then, little more than a ritual.

Another example of an at least partially predictable outcome concerns the 'placebo reactors' in a population; that 33% of subjects who, during the Clinical trial of a new drug, will improve in spite of not being exposed to any drug. We may regard these 'placebo reactors', after LACAN, as therapeutical ‘questions which subjectively include their own reply’. Or, in the words of HAYEK [1969], ‘... the formation of a new abstraction seems never to be the outcome of a conscious process, not something at which the mind can deliberately aim, but always a discovery of something which already guides its operation’.

On the Program and Limits of the Human Interpretive Repertoire

The propositions that what we are seeking is indeed already 'there', expresses the limitation of the human cortical repertoire for the interpre­tation of subcortical activity. This limitation is inherent in the dual na­ture of our self-reference: that the source of everything is experienced 'in­side', while its projection, if verified through voluntary motor activity, be­comes 'real' and 'true' out there'. Or, with a slight twist: 'The province of the mind is the only area of science in which what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true within limits to be determined experimentally' [LILLY, 1956]. These limits are, of course, the limits of the hu­man cortical interpretive repertoire.

Indeed, BREMERMAN [1962] argues that, 'No data processing system can proc­ess more than (2 X 10 47) bits/sec/g of its mass,' although, as the system is made larger, a new simplicity appears [GARDNER and ASHBY, 1970].

We believe that these limits can be unveiled when subjects are forced to unfold their perceptual-behavioral repertoire as they travel along the perception-hallucination continuum in response to the repeated psychothe­rapeutic administration of LSD. GROF [1970] gave his neurotic patients, after several weeks of drug-free psychotherapy, 100-400 mg LSD, 15-80 times at 7- to 14-day intervals (the dose and number of sessions varying from patient to patient) in the course of his psycholytic therapy. To his greatest astonishment, the initial sessions proceeded by and large within a Freudian framework, involving regression into childhood, reliving of traumatic infantile experiences, solving Oedipus and Electra problems, dealing with castration anxiety, etc. According to GROF, many of the ex­periences from this stage could almost be considered a 'laboratory' proof of the basic Freudian Concepts.

Beyond the first period, the sessions unveiled problems of dying and death, decrepitude and physical pain. These 'Dark Night of the Soul' ex­periences had a definite biological component, with visions and physical sensations which were independently reported by many of the patients as a reliving of their own biological birth. All of these phenomena were clearly beyond the Freudian framework and GROF refers to this second stage of LSD treatment as the Rankian phase of death and rebirth [RANK, 1929].

The most typical characteristIcs of the third phase were archetypal re­ligious and mystical experiences of an ecstatic as well as demonic nature. Even naive subjects, who had never read anything by Jung or even heard of him, gave very accurate descriptions of the archetypes of the 'Great Mother, Terrible Mother, Cosmic Man, Cosmic Age' and other elements of the Jungian collective and racial unconscious. Also surprisingly fre­quent were references to one of the ancient cultures and past incarna­tions. GROF refers to this third stage of the LSD treatment as the Jungian stage.

This Freudian, Rankian and Jungian sequence is a Faustian trip through all possible adventures of the human species, showing the limita­tions of its perceptual-behavioral, cortical or symbolic repertoire. If a subject, for example, correctly describes in the third stage of psycholytic therapy an Egyptian embalming Ceremony, we can only say that this or any other event implicit in the human interpretive repertoire on our pre­sent evolutionary level is actually or potentially 'there'.

It is tempting for child as well as adult to probe forbidden limitations, and so the question arises: What is beyond the limits of the human in­terpretive repertoire? FEUCHTWANGER's [1933] rendering of Josephus Flavius' history of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem may answer our question. As the conquering troops rushed into the burning Temple, the Roman emperor Titus

'Slowly and hesitatingly advanced to the veil behind which lay the mystery, the Holy of Holies. What was behind the veil? With his broad short-fingered hand Titus seized the veil. Behind him the faces of his officers grew intent and eager... Titus tore it aside. A shadowy room, square, not very large, revealed itself, and Titus en­tered. There was a smell of earth and very old wood. The bare hewn rock, the top­most peak of the hill on which the Temple stood, rose there; the room was filled with a great and oppressive isolation; and that was all.'

The contrast between the great expectation of Titus and the void of the room symbolizes for us that which lies beyond the limits of the human interpretive repertoire. We can only say that these limits can only be trans­cended by the ongoing evolution of the species.

We have perhaps overemphasized the relative independence of 'mind' (cortical interpretation) from the 'body' (subcortical activity) not only to counter the fashionable dualistic prejudice which hopes ultimately to ex­plain everything in terms of physics and chemistry, but also because the independence of the mind from matter is the basis of creative imagina­tion. Didn't God create man in his own. image? And man the next man, also in his own image? This eternal cosmogony [Psalm, 1967] is beauti­fully expressed by the Sufi(-sticated) master Ibn 'Arabi: ‘I was a hidden treasure, I yearned to be known. That is why I produced crea­tures, in order to be known in them’ [CORBIN, 1969]. We re-enact this self-referential creation of the primordial imagination by partaking in the evolution-learning-perception-hallucination [FISCHER, 1966] of new living species, art, religion and scientific discoveries.

There is a correspondence between natural evolution and the creative scien­tific method: 'In nature, individual organisms serve as hypotheses concerning the logical properties of their environment. Their generation is a process of induction. Their behavior is an inductive inference concerning the anticipated properties of their environment. Their survival to the point of procreation is a demonstration of their suitability. Their offspring include the heredity of reasonableness, which is sci­ence, as well as additional information resulting from mutation and recombination' [FOGEL, 1969].

This imagination operates through the 'Self', the knower and image-maker most fully aware of itself in samädhi and ecstasy, which projects `out there' the I, the world, as a re-presentation or model of its own pro­gram. Since the interaction of the 'Self' with the 'I' is continuously incor­porated into the program of the Self, a consistency between the program and its projection (the world) is demanded. This consistency between the I and the Self is maintained by art, science, religion, conversion experiences and other hallucinatory and dream states.

But man does not live by consistency alone. Islands of individual Self­ and-I awarenesses establish con-scientia, or consensual validation of ex­perience (consciousness). The consciousness of an era is its life-style or Zeitgeist, a common milieu evolving with the species that creates it in im­agination. The products of this imagination reflect our sensitivity and preoccupations which emerge from our cosmic boredom and loneliness born of affluence.

We are evolving toward a feedback-conscious age of mutual causality [MARUYAMA, 1968], a biocybernetic age of gradually fading emphasis on hierarchical (unidirectional or Aristotelian) logic. Dualistic categories such as mind and matter are becoming obsolete historical relics, and we no longer have faith in man modeled in the image of Gods, but in man modelling his own Gods in his own image.

I like to think (and the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers live together
in mutually programming harmony
like pure water touching clear sky
(Brautigan; 1968)


I thank JAMES SCHEIR, BA, for his enthusiasm and devoted competence, and PA­MELA FURNEY for her patient and reliable cooperation during the preparation of this manuscript.


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Author's address: Prof. ROLAND FISCHER, Veterans Administration Hospital, Drug Treatment and Research Center, 50 Irving Street NW, Washington, DC 20422 (USA)