Whitehead’s metaphysics as a cosmological framework for transpersonal psychology.

While it is tempting to eschew metaphysics in our postmodern and poststructuralist milieu, one of the reasons given for the founding of transpersonal psychology was a dissatisfaction with existing “person-centered” psychologies that “ignored placing human beings within a cosmic perspective” (Hartelius, Friedman, & Pappas, 2015, p. 44). Even more significantly, Grof (2015) sharply critiques those scientific approaches that take “leading paradigms for an accurate and definitive description of reality” and whose materialistic explanations of reality cannot account for recent observations in consciousness research. This paper argues that the philosophy of organism of Alfred North Whitehead provides an effective metaphysical framework for transpersonal psychology because of his integration of subjective, objective, and transpersonal experience within one integrated cosmos, his argument that existence is made up of dynamic events that are both mental and physical, his unification of body and mind, his refusal to bifurcate subject and object within a relational reality, his validation of nonsensory perception as the basis for internal relations, and his description of a participatory cosmos of creativity and freedom where novelty, value, purpose, and transformation are universally available realities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)