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EHE Autobiographies
Record Type: Review   ID: 88

Experience and Philosophy: A Personal Record of Transformation and a Discussion of Transcendental Consciousness

Merrell-Wolff, Franklin

 This awesome book cannot be capsulized—it needs to be eaten, like the proverbial mango. Merrell-Wolff was a Stanford mathematician who had experienced enlightenment and set out, in this work, to show how his philosophy reflects and is informed by his experience. He is perhaps unique—certainly rare—in that he not only honors the noetic form of knowing produced by mystical states [what I call the Experiential Paradigm] but his aim is to reconcile it with the Western physicalistic paradigm so that he does not ignore it but answers its criticisms of the potential value to humans of noetic knowing. The first two-thirds are composed of his Pathways Through Space. This is the record of his experiences, recorded more or less as they happened, and what those experiences led to. The last third is composed of The Philosophy of Consciousness Without an Object, in which he tried to produce a purely philosophical work without reference to his experiences, but he found that the noetic form of knowing in many places directed the formation of the book. I have long felt the world need for a person who could bridge in themselves, the antinomies of empiricism and spirit, logic and intuition, art and science, sensation and feelings, feminine and masculine, introversion and extraversion. Merrell-Wolff comes close to doing that, and he leads the reader every step of the way. We learn not only what he knows but how, and as he reached many higher stages of experience along the way, he subjects what he has learned to the objections of the logico-empirical method. The first book, especially, is an EHE autobiography. Both books are expressions of the aftereffects of EHEs. An amazing work!
Publisher Information:Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994. 445p. Glossary: 415-426; Ind: 427-445
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