Western science is approaching a paradigm shift of unprecedented proportions, one that will change our concepts of reality and of human nature, bridge the gap between ancient wisdom and modern science, and reconcile the differences between Eastern spirituality and Western pragmatism.
– Stan Grof from Beyond the Brain
Stanislav Grof, MD, PhD, is a psychiatrist with almost 50 years of experience in research of nonordinary states of consciousness. He has been the principal investigator in a psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia, chief of psychiatric research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, assistant professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and scholar-in-residence at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. It was at Esalen that Stan Grof codeveloped, with his wife Christina Grof, Holotropic Breathwork, a technique that includes deep, connected breathing, music, art, and trained facilitation with the goal of wholeness, healing, and wisdom.
Dr. Grof’s extensive research includes experiential psychotherapy using psychedelics and non-drug techniques, especially the holotropic breathwork (a method he developed with his wife Christina), alternative approaches to psychoses, understanding and treatment of psychospiritual crises (“spiritual emergencies”), the implications of recent developments in quantum-relativistic physics, biology, brain research, and other avenues of the emerging scientific paradigm, for psychiatric theory and consciousness studies.
Currently, Stanislav Grof is professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California, conducts professional training programs in Holotropic Breathwork and transpersonal psychology, and gives lectures and seminars worldwide. Stan Grof is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology and the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association.
Science and Spirituality: Observations from Modern Consciousness Research
The leading philosophy of Western science has been monistic materialism. Various scientific disciplines have described the history of the universe as the history of developing matter and accept as real only what can be measured and weighed. Life, consciousness, and intelligence are seen as more or less accidental side-products of material processes. Physicists, biologists, and chemists recognize the existence of dimensions of reality that are not accessible to our senses, but only those that are physical in nature and can be revealed and explored with the use of various extensions of our senses, such as microscopes or telescopes, specially designed recording devices, and laboratory experiments.
In a universe understood this way, there is no place for spirituality of any kind. The existence of God, the idea that there are invisible dimensions of reality inhabited by nonmaterial beings, the possibility of survival of consciousness after death, and the concept of reincarnation and karma have been relegated to fairy tales and handbooks of psychiatry. From a psychiatric perspective, to take such things seriously means to be ignorant, unfamiliar with the discoveries of science, superstitious, and subject to primitive magical thinking. If the belief in God or Goddess occurs in intelligent persons, it is seen as an indication that they have not come to terms with the infantile images of their parents as omnipotent beings that they had created in their infancy and childhood. And direct experiences of spiritual realities are considered manifestations of serious mental diseases — psychoses… (Continue reading this article via the Huffington Post Here)
Watch Below: Stanislav Grof “The Opening of the Collective Unconscious”
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