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The value of a psychotic experience – Alan Watts

Published on May 28, 2016 under bipolar

In November, I went to a weekend workshop at Esalen Institute in California titled “Revisioning Madness – a compassionate approach to being with extreme states”.  It was led by Dr. Michael Cornwall and Dr. David Lukoff.  Dr. Cornwall provided handouts and in amongst them was a photocopy of an old poster for events that occured at Esalen from June 7th to August 4th 1968 called “The Value of Psychotic Experience”.  I’m guessing this is the talk that Alan Watts gave there.  Other presenters were John Weir Perry, R.D. Laing, and more.

This video is very interesting especially in light of the fact that it was talked about nearly 50 years ago.

Is there a value in psychotic experience?  I’ve read that not everyone that has bipolar disorder has experienced psychosis but I sure have.  Could it be a different form of communication?  What is trying to emerge from this process?  I wonder.  Alan Watts was such an amazing philosopher, giving no real answers but pointing out paradox in a beautifully poetic way.

For more on Alan Watts and madness see my post Alan Watts clip on Madness and Alan Watts on the Madness of Language

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