The Cosmic Game

 

The Cosmic GameExplorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness, New York: New York State University Press, 1998.

The Cosmic Game is perhaps Stanislav Grof’s best book. It is written in fluent style, summarizes the most important of his LSD research and his research with holotropic states, and is not grappling with conceptual issues as the ones reviewed before.

It is a book that every intelligent person can read, written in normal and descriptive language; it is clearly the book of an expert, a man who also has a clear literary talent and an incredible knowledge of mythology, besides his sharp scientific perception and reasoning that is always empirical first and conceptual second.

The book is clearly structured and an overview of the contents shows that it’s not a ‘research report’ of experiments but a sublimation of any such research, a retrospective that is contemplative and basically spiritual. I would even use the word ‘religious’ in the sense that the book talks about our true ‘religio’, the link with our source, our inner divinity. Continue reading

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The Holotropic Mind

 

The Holotropic MindThe Three Levels of Human Consciousness, With Hal Zina Bennett, New York: HarperCollins, 1993.

In The Holotropic Mind Stanislav Grof exposes his vision of a holographic universe, and he summons convincing amounts of data and evidence for his view. Grof’s contribution is important especially right now as the holographic view of the universe is one of several ‘theories of everything’ or integrative visions that actually link back to ancient holistic science traditions.

Grof further references current research, thus blending ancient and new cutting-edge science into something like a total synthesis.

With good reason and convincing arguments, he refers to David Bohm’s theory of a constantly unfolding universe as one of the first holistic science concepts in modern times:

For Bohm, holographic theory illustrates his idea that energy, light, and matter are composed of interference patterns that carry information about all of the other waves of light, energy, and matter that they have directly or indirectly contacted. Thus, each part of energy and matter represents a microcosm that enfolds the whole./10

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Beyond the Brain

 

Birth, Death and Transcendence in Psychotherapy, New York: State University of New York, 1985.

Beyond the BrainBeyond the Brain by Stanislav Grof seriously challenges the existing neurophysiological models of the brain. After three decades of extensive research on non-ordinary states of consciousness induced by psychedelic drugs and by other means, Grof concludes that our present scientific worldview is as inadequate as many of its historical predecessors.

In this pioneering work, Stanislav Grof proposes a new model of the human psyche that takes account of his findings. Grof includes in his model the recollective level, or the reliving of emotionally relevant memories, a level at which the Freudian framework can be useful.

Beyond that is the perinatal level in which the human unconscious may be activated to a reliving of biological birth and confrontation with death. Beyond this level, again, is the transpersonal level. Continue reading