A new movement has emerged in contemporary philosophy, paralleling the anti-hero in fiction. It is the vogue of the anti-mind.

Depth psychology in all its forms, including Freudianism, general semantics with its all-out war on Aristotelian logic and kindred language philosophies, the phenomenon known as “hippiedom,” Zen Buddhism, and other like movements all converge at the point of debunking the universal values of reason. The appeal of this anti-mind “philosophy” spreads in an era when multiple-media propagandists seek to produce a crowd-culture that would rob the individual of what makes him human: his freedom and responsibility.

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language defines the new word “psychedelic” as “of or noting a mental state of great calm, intensely pleasureful perception of the senses, esthetic entrancement, and creative impetus.” It also denotes “any of a group of drugs producing this effect.” Commenting on those who champion this state, Time magazine reported on the difficulty of arguing with people “who, while condemning virtually every aspect of the American scene, from its foreign policy to its moral values, offer no debatable alternatives” (“The Hippies,” July 7, 1967). All they offer, Time implied, is the syndrome of the anti-mind philosophy.

However disturbed reasonable citizens may be by this utter nonchalance over any responsibility toward society or any individual redirection toward new goals, it need not surprise us that the hippies wholly disregard other Americans’ disapproval or approval. In Zen language they are the enlightened; and logic in Zen Buddhism, as in general semantics, is held applicable only to words, never to actual “reality.” Verbal reference, involving the logical relations ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: