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Process Pop-Up: Spirituality, Psychedelics, and Process Thought

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm PDT

What is the nature of transpersonal reality? How do we access it and can doing so tell us something true?

Drawing from his own deeply moving personal journey through the early death of his father and his quest for sobriety, in this event, John Buchanan, Ph.D. will introduce topics from his 2022 book, Processing Reality: Finding Meaning in Death, Psychedelics, and Sobriety. He’ll highlight why process thought and transpersonal psychology are especially useful for understanding how psychedelics (and nonordinary states more generally) provide a mode of access to the transpersonal realm – what people may refer to as the Sacred or Divine Reality. He’ll explore how and why these experiences may reveal truthful insights into the nature of the universe and its spiritual dimensions along with the ways in which Alfred North Whitehead’s metaphysics and psychiatrist Stanislav Grof’s mapping of exceptional experience offer a powerful interpretive lens through which to view these phenomena.

“Responding to the crises we face requires, among other things, a spiritual and philosophical reenvisioning of ourselves, the nature of reality, and our place in the cosmos – for the old vision is faltering.”

“The essence of psychedelic awareness lies at the intersection between psychology, philosophy, and religion; psychedelic enlightenment is a direct experience of the hidden meaning that lies within the area shared by these three overlapping circles.”

John H. Buchanan received his master’s degree in humanistic/transpersonal psychology from West Georgia College and his doctorate from the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory University, where he first studied process thought with William Beardslee—then later with David Griffin. He has been trained and certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner by Stan and Christina Grof. His book, Processing Reality: Finding Meaning in Death, Psychedelics, and Sobriety, based upon his continuing interests in process philosophy and transpersonal psychology, was published in the fall of 2022. Buchanan has contributed a number of journal articles and book chapters on similar topics, and in 2020 was contributing co-editor for Rethinking Consciousness: Extraordinary Challenges for Contemporary Science. Dr. Buchanan also serves as president of the Helios Foundation.

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