December 1971

Bimodal Consciousness

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver. Dr. Deikman is currently with the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(6):481-489. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750180001001

The human organism has two basic modes of function: (1) the receptive mode oriented toward the intake of the environment, and (2) the action mode oriented toward manipulation of the environment. Both physiological and psychological dimensions are integrated in these modes. By utilizing this model we can understand a number of puzzling phenomena in the fields of attention, mystical perception, hallucinogenic drugs, and psychosis. Although states of consciousness associated with the receptive mode are often pejoratively labeled as "regressive" or "unreal," there is evidence for considering such modes of consciousness to be mature organismic options appropriate to particular dimensions of reality.