The Choreography of the Soul: A Psychedelic Philosophy of Consciousness


This is a 2020 revision of my 1988 dissertation "The Choreography of the Soul" with a new Foreword, a new Conclusion, a substantially revised Preface and Introduction, and many improvements to the body of the work. However, the thesis remains the same. A theory of consciousness and trance states--including psychedelic experience--is developed. Consciousness can be analyzed into two distinct but generally interrelated systems, which I call System X and System Y. System X is the emotional-visceral-kinaesthetic body. System X is a harmonic system of "endokinetic" (internal bodily) and "ectokinetic" (emotionally expressive) movement. System Y is a "teleokinetic" (goal directed) system that includes language, cognition, perception, voluntary motor control, manipulation of the environment, etc. Contrary to theories of consciousness prevalent in the Western philosophical traditions that begin with Plato, I argue that System Y is secondary to and dependent upon System X, not the reverse. In building my thesis I draw upon the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, psychoanalysis, Jungian depth psychology, political anthropology, modern neuroscience, Pythagorean music theory, and the mathematical theory of harmonic systems.

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Ed D'Angelo
State University of New York, Stony Brook (PhD)


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