Visionary Art is…

Visionary Art

Net of Being By Alex Grey

Net of Being By Alex Grey
http://www.alexgrey.com

 

Visionary art is an artistic style which pays homage to the mystical experience and the transcendent spiritual wisdom of humanity.  The art emerges out of the artist’s inner journey into the realms of collective vision and their personal insights and experiences. The vision is then used as inspiration for the work of art and for self-realization. Once completed the art is an expression of the inner journey, a catalyst to trigger transformative experiences in the viewer. It is a form of prayer and surrendering to a mystical state of consciousness.  Robert Venosa put it simply by referred to his art as “the transcendental mirror”; the transcendent images reflect the transcendent aspects of the viewer and leave the residue of this visionary reality in the mind of the beholder.

The visionary artists are making a powerful statement about the value of the inner reality and the power of mystical experiences to transform and uplift the world. The visionary community sees the primary mystical experience as being the core of all spiritual traditions. As time progresses and cultures change new archetypes are created to express transcendent experience.  The new archetypes reflect the contemporary expedition into this other inner dimension of being through contemporary means. Visionary artists, like the ones featured in this blog, are making a statement about the positive and challenging aspects of visionary experiences and validating the reality of this internal experience. This artistic and visual validation of the transcendant is in agreement with new medical research showing the healing power of extra-ordinary states of consciousness especially with psilocybin or MDMA guided psychotherapy.

This visionary artwork is truly a product of an emerging spiritual movement based on direct experience; many of the symbols used to describe the indescribable mystical reality are often inspired by spiritual traditions of the whole Earth. The ability to experience global spiritual culture is a radical shift from 40 years ago, this phenomenon is shaping the way spiritualism is approached and is changing the dialogue about the fundamental nature of reality.

Essential Love by Anderson Debernardi

Essential Love by Anderson Debernardi

The core of spiritualism in visionary art is in the direct experience of the infinite reality, where all is one, space-time and self are transcended. This is in agreement with the teachings of Tantra, Buddhism, indigenous leaders, and parallels theories emerging from quantum physicists. Today many have created their own religions or spiritual path by drawing inspiration from ancient traditions. This spiritualism based on the inner journey is expressed in visionary art. The experience of creating the artwork is similar to prayer as it connects the artist to the inner consciousness and can evoke powerful non-ordinary states of consciousness in the viewer and or creator of the art.

The creative vision of this community goes far beyond the flat surface of the canvas. Interactive festivals like Burning Man, Boom Festival, Envision, symbiosis are intentional electronic music driven festivals; Desert Daze for psych rockers and other intentional gatherings are an outcropping of this new dynamic and creative arts community. These artists are looking to create installation art, video art, architecture, music, light shows, dance, festivals and other forms of expression. Short intentional gatherings create a visionary space and become a place in which personal transformation, spiritual journey, enthogenic inspired dance and performance can combine with a supportive community. Once the gathering is over they leave no physical trace all that remains are the images, memories and the art.

Albert Hoffman by Alex Grey www.alexgrey.com

Albert Hoffman by Alex Grey
http://www.alexgrey.com

To achieve these inspirational experiences of personal transformation and mystical revelry  a combination of means are utilized by visionary artists including art, dance, music, prayer, meditation, yoga, psychedelics and other ‘technologies of the scared’. These experiences are often evoked through an entheogenic state of mind, many people refer to entheogens as being psychedelic substances but truly, Entheogen is a term meaning god seeking or evoking the mystical reality. Therefore, a visionary work of art is created in an entheogenic state of mind wheather induced by consumation of plants and substances or through inner means.  The difference between ingesting a psychedelic substance and taking an entheogen is in the intention; if one is using an entheogen they are seeking unity and spiritual communion with the divine but if one is using a psychedelic they are simply consuming a substance without the intention of inner exploration.  Ironically, the casual psychedelic user will still often enter entheogenic states of consciousness especially when exposed to visionary or healing arts.

Burning man

Many people when viewing visionary art recognize the landscapes the artists are rendering for their own experiences, this suggesting that realms of this other dimension can be similar for people around the world and this similarity of world creative vision is called archetype and has been the subject of intense academic study. Visionary art validates a parallel dimension of being known in western psychology as the transpersonal, this is literally another world different from our material reality which is found by traveling inward. Visionary art suggest that this otherworld really exists because the artist can go there and render its archetypal image and others recognize and relate to the art. The art validates this reality and the artist produces data for the scientists and others exploring this other dimension of human consciousness.

Visionary arts is inseparable from the healing arts, prayer, meditation, yoga and shamanism; they all encourage the movement toward wholeness. All the world’s religions have utilized sacred arts to uplift and inspire the best parts of ourselves.  The Earth is rapidly transforming into a place which may not be habitable by humans because of our ignorance about the interconnection of all life. The religious and mystical experience reveals in heart shattering glory, the oneness of existence.  The great yogis and shaman of the world all affirm that we are all united on this earth and in the web of life. The recognition of this primal truth has powerful healing and transformative potential. Visionary art plays a powerful role exposing the public to a contemporary expression of this mystic interrelatedness through arts which mirror the transcendent.

Unicornio Dorado By Pablo Amaringo

Unicornio Dorado By Pablo Amaringo

Unicornio Dorado By Pablo Amaringo.  Featured in the book ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo’ by Howard G Charing; Peter Cloudsley

Unicornio Dorado By Pablo Amaringo. Featured in the book ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo’ by Howard G Charing; Peter Cloudsley

 

By: Transpersonal Spirit

 

Biblography:

Transpersonalspirit.wordpress.com

http://www.realitysandwich.com/slideshow/robert_venosa).

Grof, Stanislav. The Cosmic Game Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness. State University of New York Press. 1998.

http://beinart.org/info/essays/maura-holden-tsunami.php

http://lila.info/on-visionary-art-and-on-drawing/ Rob Percival 2010

http://www.lcaruana.com/webtext/shop.text/first.man.eng.text/first.man.eng.sample.pages.html

http://www.alexgrey.com

 

 

 

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Personal Spiritual Quest: Psychedelic Spirituality, Shamanism and Yoga

Personal Spiritual Quest: Psychedelic Spirituality, Shamanism and Yoga.

Alpha Centauri By Luke Brown. Multi-media.

Alpha Centauri By Luke Brown. Multi-media.

The spiritual quest has been at the core of everything I have done in my life. Spirituality is the examination of who we are personally and expansively and why we are on Earth and what we can do about it. Although I have only reached 31 years of life on Earth I have continuously followed my own spiritual path. I have spent time with many spiritually wise persons from many cultures around the world and studied hundreds of books and resources on world religions. There is a universal message between the teacher’s and that is respect for all life, humility and the conversation between you and the divine is a personal conversation.

In my experience there is no need to cling hard and fast to one branch of a specific tradition and stick with it for life. This kind of specificity is common in many spiritual and religious individuals but this kind of commitment may not be required to develop profound respect for life, humility and to remember our connection with infinity.   Each person has an individual path which only they can traverse. That path can include in-depth commitment to some particular teaching, study or community. The path can also be creative and highly individualized mixing and blending the wise words from cultures and intellectuals around the world into our own personal context.

The important thing is that whatever practice is important and meaningful to you is the thing to do. The power in any practice is our focus and intention. The personal connection to what you are doing and the reason for doing it is what gives it the power to transform our body, mind and open our spiritual reality. Our destiny is a field of possibility which is affected by our past, present and future and the choices we make. There are many practices which can help to develop personal control over our mind and this can increase the potency of our practice. The shamans of Peru remind us that we dream reality into being in every moment. The master Yogis say we must learn to control the mind and body to find stillness and transcend into infinity. Rolling Thunder a North American indigenous medicine man says that the preliminary step to study become a medicine person is the ability to recognize any bad thought and put it out like the flame of a candle.

There is certainly a connection between the body, mind and spirit. In advanced yoga they are instructed to withdraw all the senses into the body, then to withdraw the mind into the heart to still all thought then in that heart cave we can hear the voice of the divine. This kind of bodily control extends into the extraordinary feats like being able to change heart rate, brain wave pattern, body temperature and to stop the breath all together for extended times (do not try at home). However, these accomplishments are but dangers along the path as they distract us anyway from the deepest reality and stir our thoughts. The way these yogic masters accomplish such feats is through a systematic practice which revolves around understanding and affecting the flow of life force or prana which is behind everything in existence.

The life-force concept is seen in cultures around the world and it is said to be the transcendent force which is also the fabric of existence. This force flows through the body as blood, oxygen, lymph, energy, the nervous system electrical current, the DNA, the whole vibrational spectrum of human existence. The shaman, yogis and mystics each use the life force as a way to deepen their awareness linking the body and mind into the realms of spirit. This life force can bring us into another dimension far beyond what is familiar in normal waking consciousness. The universe imagined and unimagined is united in life force and we are intrinsically linked to all existence through this ever present stream of life.

Alex_Grey-Psychic_Energy_Sy

The mystical visions of the transcendent realms are not common in literature produced by European culture in the last 1000 years or so, perhaps due to religious fundamentalism which lead to the death of millions. Even with-in that context saints with-in the Catholic Church still experienced divine ecstasy. In recent history American and European cultures have begun integrating these kinds of transcendent experiences back into their lives. Through the practice of meditation, yoga, shamanism, creativity and sometimes spontaneously people will slip into the realms beyond material reality and gain an overwhelming ecstasy they describe as sacred. Psychedelics are a major player in this shift in perspective as these ancient medicines link us back to the prophetic visions of paradise.

Parallel to those stories is the unbroken lineage of indigenous communities around the world who have long held traditions which evoke spiritual ecstasy through nature, community and ingestion of plants. Nature is the gospel to these communities and many hold a long tradition of using sacred plants. All life is sacred but there are some plants which are particularly helpful to human spiritual well-being. These plants have been called entheogens (‘invokes the divine’) and psychedelics (Mind manifesting) in the West. These entheogen plants are sacraments in a spiritual tradition which is cross cultural and goes back to the beginning of human kind and even involves the Neanderthals. This cross cultural shamanic tradition holds the spirits of the plants to be their primary teachers. The plants show them what to do and the spirits do the doctoring when healing. One could say there is an intelligent life force associated with the plant and through honoring it we gain access to the worlds of consciousness inhabited by the plant spirit or intelligence. This other realm is known as the otherworld, spirit world and the realm beyond death.

This shamanic tradition is at the root of all religions as it predates organized religion by thousands of years. Nature is been the living presence of the divine and through nature humanity can gain great knowledge and wisdom which is applicable to holistic well-being. In ancient India the spiritual culture which one can call shamanic yoga or pre-hindu religion is at the root of current spiritualism. This ancient shamanic tradition also spoke of the devis or spirits with-in each plants, rock, and drop of water (from the Rig Veda oldest known spiritual text in human history). It also used ritual, trance and plants to transcend.

There is a foundation in human consciousness which is drawn to this world of spirit and this ancient imprint is left from millions of years of evolution and is still present and active in humans. The shaman, the yogis, the Buddhists all utilize practices which focus intention, bring greater awareness to the unseen forces in life and utilize states of extraordinary consciousness.

Today in the scientific community psychedelic plants like marijuana, MDMA, LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), DMT and Ayahuasca are showing tremendous promise as healing medicine in the right setting. These studies started in the 1940’s stopped in 1970’s and started again in the 1990’s. These studies show that these psychedelic substances which have been taboo and illegal are the most effective treatment known for certain “untreatable” kinds of PTSD. The interesting thing about these studies is that many subjects who gain extraordinary healing do so by going through a mystical experience of the sacred. They describe transcending into the hands of god, being united with all life, all is light, or communicating with divine intelligences like angels, aliens or other spirit beings.

The direct spiritual experience or the mystical experience is the basis of most spiritual traditions. In many cultures around the world the demonization of psychedelics never occurred and they have a long history of using these plants as healing tools and as spiritual teachers in the context of their medicine ways and community. The beautiful thing that is occurring now in Peru for example is the communication between Westerners and Indigenous medicine people because of the sacred plant medicines especially Ayahuasca. Many of these shaman are not able to continue their lineage of knowledge as in the old days with modern transportation and children looking for lives beyond the fast disappearing jungles. This pressure is allowing much of this body of knowledge to be brought to scientifically minded contemporary peoples with jobs and lives outside the ancient forests.

Jehua Supai  - Featured in the book 'The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo' by Howard G Charing &; Peter Cloudsley

Jehua Supai – Featured in the book ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo’ by Howard G Charing &; Peter Cloudsley

Ayahuasca is important for another reason because DMT is one of the primary psychoactive neurotransmitter in the brew. DMT is produced in the human body naturally as well. This important link is highlighted by the fact that pure DMT causes people to go into a kind of lucid dream state where they go to parallel dimensions of existence. These explorations into these parallel dimensions often involve connection with infinity, spirt beings, crystal cities and more. For more on this Pablo Amaringo’s artwork and Rick Strassman’s book DMT Spirit Molecule are great resources.

Spirituality is now developing a new language through which to understand these most dynamic and ethereal questions. Rick Strassman PH.D has put forth the term Theoneurology meaning, “The brain is the agent through which God communicates with humans (Strassman 2014).” Research into psychedelics is revealing what happens in the brain during mystical states of consciousness. The term psychointegrator has been proposed by Luis Edwuardo Luna and others to describe psychedelic plants because studes and brain scans show psilocybin causes nearly 100 times more interconnection between various regions of the brain. Furthermore, under the influence many regions of the brain become less active leading to the theory that the brain is a filter for the overwhelming stimulus around us and when it is calmed the brain integrates and can experience the divine.

We are headed toward a new understanding of spiritualism and to a great degree we can see how racism and religious persecution continues to hinder spiritual development to this day. Does using a non-harming plant medicine in a ritual setting for spiritual or religious reasons constitute and illegal act or should it be protected citing the constitution. The answer is for some its legal for others it is illegal. This paradigm is going to have to change in order to uphold the constitution and to live in a democratic society which accepts diversity and cross cultural communication. Freedom of religion cannot exist without protecting sacred land and without free access to plant medicines.

hasam hisim - 1

hasam hisim – 1

 

In all this we are to find our own way to the spiritual heights we seek. This can only be done by following that which supports our lives and is meaningful to us. When a prayer or a practice feels meaningless it is not worth doing because the passion of your soul is not in it. Do not however fall into the trap that says the spiritual path should be easy because it is not. Many times when we are closest to god we are in fact suffering. Many people deprive themselves of enjoyable things simply to suffer to come closer to god like fasting, sundance or a psychedelic ceremony.

Alex Grey is an example of a spiritualist who has followed his vision to become one of the world’s most well-known painters. He has gone as far as to say that he honors the direct spiritual experience and mystical visions by making art; thus his art is sacredly inspired and is his deepest prayer to humanity and the divine. Others have found they can share their teaching through mediation, offering the healing arts, music, raising a family, pursuing a spiritual life and bettering the world.

There is no model upon which to build our personal inner temple but rather we have to build it and explore the territory with our own determination. With practice, concentration and non-judgment we can learn anything in life and develop a personal spiritual tradition informed by what inspires and moves us. The mystical union with the divine is not always the focus of our practice, however, the ever flowing divine life force is inseparable from who we truly are.

 

Tantric Marriage By: George Atherton

Tantric Marriage By: George Atherton

By: Transpersonal Spirit

 

Bibliography:

Strassman, Rick,   DMT Spirit Molecule: A Doctors Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences. Park Street Press. Rochester, Vermont. 2001.

Strassman, Rick, Slawek Wojtowicz, Luis Eduardo Luna and Ede Frecska. Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys to Alien Worlds Though Psychedelics and Other Spiritual Technologies. Park Street Press Rochester, Vermont. 2008.

Strassman, Rick. DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: Anew Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible. Park Street Press. 2014.

Grey, Alex. Net of Being. Cosm press. 2012.

Rolling Thunder. Rolling Thunder Speaks A Message for Turtle Island. Clear light Publishers Santa Fe NM, 1999.

Swami satyananda Saraswati. Kundalini tantra. Yoga publication trust, Meunger, Bihar, India. 1984, 2007.

Transpersonalspirit.wordpress.com all writing by Nathan P Rose. 2011 – 2015.

Plant Spirit Communication

The spiritual and healing power of plants cannot be denied. How could any human live without the help of the plants? They give us food, medicine, oxygen and so much more. Plants have the power to heal the body, mind and spirit. The study of plant medicine has been ongoing since prehistory and highly developed in the medical systems in India (Ayurveda), China (TCM) and in the western world. Indigenous communities throughout history have developed holistic sciences of botanical healing cross culturally using local plants. We now know many of the chemical constituents of the healing plants and can use many varieties of preparations to aid in healing. Many of these plants have been the foundation for development of pharmaceutical medications.

Juan Carlos Taminchi

Juan Carlos Taminchi

In many indigenous communities plants can play a central role in their traditional and contemporary religious practices. The Native American Church (N.A.C.) uses the sacred sacrament peyote internally and the religion itself could not exist without this central plant teacher. There are many examples of societies using other plant medicines as a sacred sacrament in their spiritual traditions such as ayahuasca, san pedro, datura, marijuana and other lesser known plants. In these cultures the physical plant itself is not the focus but rather the plant is integrated into a complex ritual and spiritual structure. The view of plant medicines as a packet of chemicals which have a certain effect on human chemistry is a contemporary idea which is just now influencing some of the medicine people around the world. Traditional medicine inside indigenous communities focuses on a holistic framework which involves communing with the sacred plant spirits in a special set and setting.

In these indigenous communities the focus is not the material plant but rather on the spirit world. The concept of spirits is difficult to understand in western society because there are no equivalent concepts in modern western worldviews. Every plant has a spirit associated with it, these spirits are not a metaphor but rather they are real intelligences within the plants and all things. The spirits are many and the sacramental use of plants is based in ceremony, ritual, song and communication with the spirit world. These various elements of the ceremony all bring in certain spirits whom are called by the medicine people through the songs, ritual objects and plants. These spirits hear the prayers of the participants and work in the spiritual dimension to bring about the desired healing.

Caught in the Web By Martina Hoffman

Caught in the Web By Martina Hoffman

The plants spirits often remind us that we are just humans and have limited influence but the spirits are powerful and can make magic and miracles happen. Healing in this way comes in the form of psychological, spiritual, physical healing as well as helping with anything in life. If one has no job and asks for a job in these ceremonies they will honor and pray to the spirits to help them get a job. This is part of the healing medicine and is essential to balance the health of the community and the individual. Some wish to see the future or to find happiness and love; others are there to gain power to help others heal or to make peace with a deceased relation. Plants are used to determine the future, to find the cause of disease, to find lost objects, to bring wealth, health and spiritual well-being amongst many other attainments. The central power of the healing medicine is not in the hands of the medicine people who guide the healing rites but is determined by the spirits.

In Plant Spirit Shamanism by Ross Heaven and Howard G. Charing they quote a Santeria priest saying, “As long as the diviner is in good standing with the gods and at one with the plants, he will find the answer his client needs (35).” This clearly illustrates the point that the person leading the healing needs to be connected with the intelligence of the plant and with the various spirits and gods. The plant and the spirits are not mythological beings, archetypes or fantasies but rather they are living creatures with intelligent who can communicate with those who develop an honorable relationship with the plants.

The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird goes into great detail about many researchers who use biofeedback machines to study the reactions of plants to their surroundings. Clive Backster began to use polygraph equipment to study plants while he worked as an expert in police investigation. By attaching the electrodes to plants he measured the surface tension of the leaves and determined how the plant responded to the stimulus in the same way that a polygraph is used in police interrogation for lie detection. When he would bring a burning match close to a plant it would have a dramatic response with the needle dramatically spiking and waving. Backster began to notice that the response on the polygraph machine occurred when he thought of harming the plant before any physical action was taken. This was repeatedly found in many different plants and all seemed to respond to human thought. The plants also showed reactions to the environment such as the movement of spiders in the room.

Yvonne McGillivary

Yvonne McGillivary

The plants also responded to human emotion. For example, Backster cut his finger and the plant responded as though shocked by the appearance of distress and blood. Later, he discovered that plants developed a connection to their owner and could sense their distress even when they were far away. When Backster walked several blocks away and thought lovingly of the plants they would respond. He repeated the test with friends and their plants would respond much the same way even at a distance of 700 miles. In this test the plants were placed inside a lead container which blocked all electromagnetic energy. He concluded that plants have tremendous awareness and intelligence and they were detecting some force which was outside the electromagnetic spectrum.

Alfred Vogal conducted similar experiments and ultimately came to this conclusion, “Man can and does communicate with plant life…Plants…may be blind deaf and dumb in the human sense, but there is no doubt in my mind that they are extremely sensitive…they radiate energy forces that are beneficial to man. One can feel those forces! They feed into one’s own force-field, which in turn feeds energy back to the plant (43).”

This extreme sensitivity of plants has been further explored by a group of Italians in a unique community known as Damanhur. They have conducted research on plants by attaching electrodes to leaves and routing the signals into a synthesizer instead of the standard polygraph which uses needles which draw lines on paper. They have been perfecting this technology since 1976 and have come to similar conclusions. The observed the plants becoming aware that they are producing the music in the room and begin to make it more harmonious and musical. If multiple plants are hooked up to these machines in the same space they will begin to make music in harmony with one another. If a human preforms music in the room the plants will respond to the human as well. The Damanhurians have videos of humans making music with the plants. When the machine is attached to wild plants in their natural environment they respond to what is around them the weather, animals ect. For example when a storm is approaching the music of the plants will be more chaotic and frantic then it is on a sunny day. (http://www.damanhur.org/philosophy-a-research/research/1429-the-music-of-the-plants)

Damanhur Temples of Humankind. Hall of Earth

Damanhur Temples of Humankind. Hall of Earth

All this suggests that plant have a great deal of intelligence, creativity and psychic powers as well. In other words, the spirit of the plant is very sensitive to humans and their intentions. The medicine people working with sacred plants develop the knowledge of how to communicate with the plants through their traditions, rituals and personal experiences. Ways of honoring the spirits of the plant are developed over millennium and passed down generation to generation. A strong line of communication between the medicine person and the plant spirit develops into a complex ceremonial and ritual structure which is used for greater connection to the universal life force or the Great Spirit. The connection to the supreme life force and its various messengers allows one to become more complete and integrated with the larger universe. This connection to the whole of existence brings about spiritual realization and healing. A medicine man once told me, “Healing is the remembrance of our divinity.”

By: Transpersonal Spirit

Bibliography

Heaven, Ross; Charing, Howard G. Forward by Pablo Amaringo. Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul. Destiny Books . Rochester, VT. 2006.

http://www.damanhur.org/philosophy-a-research/research/1429-the-music-of-the-plants

http://www.damanhur.org/philosophy-a-research/research/1807-plant-research-and-experiments

 

Psychedelic Research Past and Present

Psychedelic Research

Albert Hofmann by Alex Grey

Visionary plants have been use since prehistory by human beings. Consciousness expanding compounds were used all over the world in ritual, and spiritual contexts to induce a non-ordinary states of consciousness. These plants were very important to shamanic practices, healing ceremonies, rites of passage and the mystery of death and rebirth. These ancient cultures considered these plants to be sacred sacraments. In these contexts the sacred plants would bring the participant into the realms of the gods and spirits where they encountered non-physical beings and obtained information for healing. These visionary plants also have been reported to enhance intuition, extrasensory perception, and to receive other forms of non-local information. These groups of peoples also produced works of art which were depictions of the landscapes of the unseen world filled with spirits and colorful patterns. (Grof 2012).

Huichol art

Throughout history there has been written knowledge of these plants. In China there were reports of psychedelic substances as much as 3,000 years ago. There are ancient stories which involve substance many believe to be psychoactive such as the SOMA of the Vedas. There is a well know and long historical use of marijuana in diverse religious groups such as in Hinduism, Rastafarianism, Scythians. There were many different substances used worldwide. In Mexico there was the use of peyote (Anhalonium lewinii) sacred mushrooms (Psilocybe mexicana) and morning glory seeds (Rivea corymbosa). In South America the use of Ayahuasca. In Africa many substances were used such as Iboga And many more.

The spiritual lives of these peoples were dramatically influenced by the introduction of Christianity, the cruelty and religious suppression of these rituals and plants forced the traditional spiritual practices of these peoples to move underground.  Despite the influence and cruelty of colonialism many peoples have maintained their spiritual practices through the centuries. Examples include the use of peyote in the Native American Church, the use of ayahuasca in the UDV (Unita De vegetal) and the Santo Domingo Church. These practices became legal in the USA through long legal battles despite the evidence showing thousands of years of use and despite the “freedom of religion” in the USA.

Mescaline was the first substance to be isolated in the west and was the first psychoactive substance people in the United States encountered. This occurred in the late 1800’s when there was incredible cruelty and lack of respect toward indigenous populations.  This lack of respect led to total dismissal of the wisdom held by the indigenous Americans which could have opened the door to realization of the incredible healing potential of these substances. Kurt Beringer, author of the influential book Der Meskalin rausch (Mescaline Inebriation) published in 1927, concluded that mescaline induced a toxic psychosis (Grof 2012). This idea of toxic psychosis was the predominant view of these psychoactive substances in the western world and left their healing potential undiscovered.

Psychedelic research began in the West with Albert Hofmann’s discovery of LSD at Sandoz Laboratory in Switzerland in the year 1942. Hofmann discovered LSD when he was making derivative of ergot. Hofmann himself states that he was drawn to the substance for mysterious reasons and he believes it called out to him. When working with this new compound he accidentally ingested the substance through unknown means and he became the first person to experience LSD.

Albert Hofmann Blotter paper

Never before in science had a single substance provided such a wide variety of uses across scientific fields. It influenced psychology, neuroscience, neuropharamacologists. This substance created unprecedented wave of enthusiasm in the world of science.  This discovery was a golden era of research that could lead to major advances in understanding consciousness, neuroreceptors, and intricate biochemical processes in the brain.  It also created the field of consciousness research.

At first LSD was thought to produce experimental psychosis and could be used as a valuable learning tool for psychologist. The idea was they could get a taste of the state of mind of the patients. They believed it would provide unparalleled information about psychosis and would lead to revolutionary new treatments. Researchers hoped LSD could provide the information to determine what chemicals or transmitters in the brain produce psychosis. It turned out however, that psychosis was not completely chemical in nature and we have yet to find a chemical treatment for schizophrenia.

Stanislav Grof the world’s most experienced and influential psychedelic therapist and researcher was introduced to LSD through this kind training program in the 1950’s. He experienced the mystical union with the source of creation and knew that there was more to this amazing substance then just psychosis. Grof developed a way in which to conduct psychotherapy with the use of LSD. Over many years of research he developed protocol for LSD assisted psychotherapy. He made incredible observations and positive results in treating clients. This treatment was a powerful tool for psychotherapists because of its ability to bring material from the subconscious level to awareness. It was also good for reaching patients who had been unresponsive to other forms of treatments such as sexual deviance, addiction and in easing the anxiety of terminal cancer patients.

LSD provided incredible new insights into art such as abstract arts, expressionism, fantastic art, visionary arts and provided insight in the artwork of other cultures. Many professional painters who were in the early LSD and creativity research made leaps in creative expression and their style became freer. They created new forms and could more easily tap into the collective archetypes.  LSD was found to produce profound mystical and spiritual experiences which gave us insight into the spiritual cultures of the world. It gave us a new understanding of the shamanism, religion, the eastern spiritual philosophies and the mystical sects of world religions. LSD was also used by the military circles who explored the destructive potential of LSD. The worlds military researchers wanted to know if it could be used as a chemical weapon, a truth serum, to poison diplomats, brainwashing and much more. This led to incidents where the governments would even put LSD in the water supply of citizens without their knowledge to see how they would respond.

Grof was so influenced by the power and potential uses of LSD that he compares it to a microscope for psychology because it allowed psychologists to see deep into the subconscious and explore previously unavailable domains of the psyche. LSD is one of the ultimate tools for studying consciousness. LSD research was all going very well until the wide spread self-experimentation in combination with the use of LSD at Harvard triggered mass hysteria. The political system responded with total prohibition of psychedelic research and effectively stopped all research while illegal street use continued unimpeded.  This stopped research for four decades.  Rumors were going around that one dose of LSD could make a person go crazy for life in profound ways.

Before the mass hysteria Grof was able to do over a decade of research along with other researchers. New forms of therapy were developed most notably psychedelic therapy and LSD assisted psychotherapy. This research had led to profound expansion of the cartography of the human psyche beyond the biographical life. The extraordinary states of consciousness experienced by clients in LSD studies were beyond the explanation of conventional psychological theories at the time. This research also was the principal catalyst for the development of consciousness studies. Observation of these states of consciousness forced Grof to create new categories of consciousness which were directly contrary to his training and personal beliefs. These expanded realms of consciousness were reached out of necessity based on the observation of his clients.  These new realms were the transpersonal and the perinatal.

Perinatal was found because many of Grof clients were experiencing images of birth and reliving trauma related to birth.  The transpersonal realms are the indescribable realms which are beyond the self. This includes but is not limited to mystical union, past life memories, ESP, telepathy, receiving verifiable information about different time periods or about their bodies, ancestral karma. These are the realms spoken about by mystics, shaman and in various sects of Eastern religions.

Following this criminalizing of psychedelics and psychedelic research in the early 1970’s there was a new wave of experiential therapies which moved to the forefront in order to continue exploring consciousness without drugs. This took the form of holotropic breathwork, meditation, yoga, ritual, ceremony, sensory deprivation and other techniques. These approaches were each unique and held their own risks and strengths. This created a cultural and societal need to understand and contextualize these types of profound human experiences. Researchers hoped that these non-drug therapies would make psychedelic unnecessary and there would emerge therapies as effective as psychedelics which were legal and help people to grow in different ways. It became apparent at the end of the 70s that these non-drug techniques were very valuable; however, they did not make psychedelics unnecessary. These approaches were complimentary to psychedelic therapy in the eyes of many researchers. Many clients responded well to meditation and breath work but there were still significant portions of the population which were unresponsive to these therapies.

The Shulgins by Alex Grey

During this time and after, there was a strong underground movement for use of known and sanctioned drugs of psychotherapy and also there were new chemicals coming into existence. There were a number of chemists prominent among them was Alexander Shulgin. Alexander Shulgin was developing hundreds of new psychedelic compounds and was distributing them to psychotherapists. He was connected to this network of therapists by Leo Zeff. Leo Zeff and his activities were released in the publication The Secret Chief. This led to the discovery of the therapeutic potential of MDMA. Leo was impressed with MDMA and its power as a therapeutic tool. Zeff came out of retirement and began to train therapists to use this substance to help clients.

From mid 1970’s to 1984 about a half million doses of MDMA were given by psychotherapist in assisted MDMA psychotherapy context under the code name ADAM. This had never attracted the attention of the police. Then in the mid 1980’s a patient who had a session with ADAM realized that this would be a great money making drug. They changed the name to ecstasy and introduced it to recreational settings.  This coincided with Nancy Regean and the drug war and MDMA was predictably suppressed and made illegal. This recreational use, just as in the 1960’s, led to the termination of therapeutic use of MDMA with trained psychotherapist but did not stop the illegal black market.

At Esalen there was an effort among therapists to protect the therapeutic use of MDMA. They conducted a safety study with MDMA so they could use it as evidence for its safety and therapeutic benefit. The study effectively proved the safety of the substance. This group of therapists and researchers were organized by Dick Price in an organization called ORUPA, The Organization for the Responsible Use of Psychoactive Agents. They were also working with Robert Muller who was with the UN. Muller believed that peace could not happen until we developed a global spirituality and could view others as beings like ourselves. He dreamed of a humanity that could view the whole Earth as being one organism. To sense the connection with all of life and we could find a shared humanity and shared spirituality and create peace. Mueller believed that the use of psychoactive therapies could cultivate a new spiritual awareness on Earth.

Through Robert Muller they sent out MDMA to monasteries and to other spiritual and religious based communities and spiritual leaders.  These people found these substances to be very valuable and stood up to express the value of MDMA in court once it became illegal. In 1984 the Earth Metabolic Design Lab was the legal vehicle to protect the use of MDMA. The day MDMA was made illegal Rick Doblin walked into the DEA with a huge packet of information about the therapeutic use of MDMA. They had assembled psychologist, psychiatrists, religious leaders, lobbyists, legal professionals to protect the therapeutic use.  The DEA was shocked that anyone would defend the use of this drug. They had no idea that it was being used therapeutically. EMDL won a hearing with a DEA administrative law judge who ruled that MDMA should be available as a therapeutic tool but it was only a recommendation which was rejected. EMDL sued several times and won several cases until they lost the final ruling and MDMA was made totally illegal and unavailable for therapeutic use.

In 1986 Maps was founded because there was no support for research from pharmaceutical companies or the federal government, only individuals or families would support this research. MAPS then became a psychedelic non-profit pharmaceutical company involved in research of psychedelic substances.  The goal was to legalize the therapeutic use of MDMA and marijuana. They developed five protocols which were rejected by the FDA. In 1990 the group at the FDA shifted to a new group of people who put science over politics resulting in the first approval of research for psychedelics.

Today there is a renaissance of psychedelic research and is taking place all over the world. MAPS and the Heffter Research Institute in Santa Fe are the primary research organizations propelling this new wave of research.  The head of MAPS is Rick Doblin a long time therapist who worked with clients using MDMA through the eighties. He has been creating a legal context for the legalization of MDMA and marijuana as sanctioned medicines. MAPS was founded to promote psychedelic therapy and is developing a strategy to pace psychedelic research and it’s reintroduction into the public awareness. The key according to Doblin is to get research going all over the world and have an image presented to the media through the lens of medical research. This approach was designed to avoid public backlash and has thus far been very successful.  Charles Grob is leading researcher for the Heffter Research Institute and he did the first study on MDMA as well as studying ayahusca, and psilocybin.

This first study was pioneered by Rick Strassman and was measuring the physiological effects of DMT on the human body.  This study was the first in four decades and ended the total repression of all medical research.  Strassman wrote a book at the end of the study describing the experiences of the clients and the conclusions he drew from the research called, DMT Spirit Molecule. This study opened the door for a renaissance of psychedelic research which is currently underway.

available at MAPS.org

Grob and Doblin organized a presentation for the FDA to do research with MDMA for cancer patients with anxiety. In 1992 the FDA convened and they opened the door for psychedelic research. The researches needed to do a phase 1 safety study and effectively proved it was sufficiently safe for therapeutic use which initiated a Phase 2 study.

The Heffter Research Institute was founded in 1993 and they began to study psilocybin for terminal cancer patients with anxiety. The HRI has begun to focus on the study of psilocybin. MAPS began to focus on MDMA therapy for PTSD based on a suggestion by the Mithoefers. Since that time there is now more research on psychedelics taking place around the world than ever before. They are focused on three areas. One is MDMA for PTSD. Second is psilocybin, LSD, MDMA for terminal patients with anxiety at the end of life. Three is ayahuasca, ibogane, psilocybin, MDMA, LSD for the treatment of addiction.

These illnesses were chosen because they are problems which have not been effectively treated by therapies currently available. The research is showing initial results suggesting that the psychedelic assisted therapy is effective for treating these disorders. The way these drugs are used in assisted therapy is different from the model of prescription medication because the client does not take the drug home, it can only be used with a therapist.

There are two area of science looking into these drugs. One is neuroscience the other is spirituality and meditation.  There have been studies at John Hopkins studying whether the psychedelics assisted therapy can produce mystical experience. This replicated the experiments from the 1960s such as the Good Friday experiment with Walter Pahnke sponsored by Timothy Leary.

They were able to get psychedelic research to happen again at Harvard with terminal cancer patients symbolically showing that they had departed from the hysteria of the past. The other symbolic victory was to have a study with LSD because it was the most highly stigmatized psychedelic and this occurred in Switzerland for near death psychotherapy and Albert Hofmann was able to see his wonder child back in research.

Albert Hofmann by Brummbaer

Psychedelic studies are happening all over the world with MDMA there are studies in USA, Switzerland, Israel and study near approval in Canada,  teams are seeking approval Jordan, Australia and England.  There are end of life studies using LSD in Switzerland, Studies in the USA. For addiction there are studies in Canada with ayahuasca. There are ibogaine studies for opiate addition in Mexico and New Zeland. Neuroscience research on psychedelics is taking place in Switzerland, Barcelona with ayahusaca in capsule form and 2CB. There is a spirituality and mediation study in 2013 in Switzerland with Zen meditators who in the middle of a 10 day retreat with receive psilocybin and they will measure neurochemistry, levels of compassion and to see the effect of the ingestion is spiritual setting. There are safety studies in Germany and in the 1980s Russians were using ketamine but is now out of access for research because of street use.

MAPS estimates that we are about 10 years away from making MDMA or psilocybin and medicine for PTSD and anxiety related to end of life.  There are still a series of scientific questions to be researched first issue is the double blind. The double blind study with psychedelics is very complicated because it’s easy to know if you have the placebo so instead they are doing dose response. In this there are 3 groups and they each get a different dose and the results will determine the effectiveness of a variety of doses.

Second, researchers need to do a series of small phase 2 pilot studies where they gather evidence for the design of larger phase 3 studies. The phase 2 studies will take 2 years and cost 2 million dollars and look at the treatment method and determine cultural differences. They are also investigating if MDMA more effective for a certain type of PTSD to find the ideal therapies for different clients. For example if MDMA is more effective for those with sexual abuse or for those with experience in war.  Once this is complete MAPS will present the evidence to the FDA in order to gain approval for a phase 3 studies.

This presentation involves describing what you plan to do for the phase 3 study which will involve 600 patients in two studies and will take 5 years and 10 to 15 million dollar to complete. Then MAPS submits the information to the FDA and argue that it should be made legally available this takes an addition 2 years. Thus MAPS is 15 million dollars and ten years away from getting MDMA approved as a medicine.

In terms of marijuana, the research is obstructed by the federal government which has a monopoly on the supply of Marijuana for research. With MDMA there is no monopoly and thus MAPS is able to receive high quality substances for their studies. This is different with Marijuana because the supply has to come from one facility and the quality is very low and thus does not help in the study of Marijuana which is usually of much higher quality when distributed at legal dispensaries. Thus MAPS is not able to do the work through the FDA with marijuana and is involved in legal proceedings to sue the FDA. Psychedelic research is flourishing and the media has been supportive. It seems with the increase of medical information about these substances the public opinion is slowly changing.

By Transpersonal spirit

Bibliography

Cortright, Brant. Psychotherapy and spirit: Theory and practice in transpersonal psychology. SUNY Press. 1997.

Grof Stanislav, Albert Hoffman, Andrew Weil. LSD Psychotherapy, Maps Publishing CA. 1980, 1994, 2001, 2008.

Grof, Stanislav. Healing Our Deepest Wounds The Holotropic Paradigm Shift. Stream of experience Productions, New Castle Washington 2012.

Grof, Stanislav, 2012 and Global Consiouness, www.HealingourDeepest wounds.com Teleseminar aired, May 8 2012, Wisdom University Virtual Seminar.

Grof, Stanislav with Richard Tarnas, How Deep is Deep: Depth Psychology, Consciouness Research and Archetypal Astrology. Wisdom University tele seminar May 15 2012

Grof, Stanislav with Rick Doblin, Charles Grob, Micheal and Annie Mithoefer. The Psychedelic Renaissance: What the New Wave Of Psychedelic Research Can Contribute to Us Individually and Collectively. Wisdom University May 22 2012 tele seminar.

Grof, Stanislav and Grof, Christina. Spiritual Emergency: Breakdown or Breakthough. Wisomd University teleseminar may 29 2012.

Grof, Stanislav, With Erin Laszlo and Duane Elgin. New Frontiers for Science and Healing: Is Science Ready to Welcome Spirit? Wisdome University teleseminar june 5 2012

Grof, Stanislav with Bache, Chris and Jim Garrison. Healing Our Deepest Wounds teleseminar week 5  Dark Night, Early Dawn: Psychospiritual Perspective on the Global Crisis. Wisdom University June 12 2012.

Pahnke, Walter N. and Richard, William A., “implications of LSD and experimental mysticism.” Journal of religion and health No. 5, 1966, 175-208.

Strassman, Rick,   DMT Spirit molecule

Healing Our Deepest Wounds

Stan Grof and Healing Our Deepest Wounds

By Transpersonal spirit

Net of Being By Alex Grey

How Deep is Deep: Depth Psychology, Consciousness Research, and Archetypal Astrology.

In this teleseminar, Rick Tarnas and Stan Grof will explore how psychedelic research has revealed the cosmic dimensions of the human psyche-by shifting the emphasis in psychology from postnatal life to the birth trauma, and deeper still to the transpersonal and archetypal realms. This deeper understanding of the human psyche gives us new insights into the roots of emotional and psychosomatic disorders. Rick and Stan will also discuss how the extraordinary predictive power of archetypal astrology gives us an invaluable tool (a “Rosetta Stone”) for understanding the mind, and how archetypal astrology can help in healing, enhance our work with psychedelics and Holotropic Breathwork, and help us to support people experiencing psychospiritual crisis (“spiritual emergency”).

Stanislav Grof is one of the world’s leading researchers and theorists in the field of psychology has a specialty in understanding non-ordinary states of consciousness the importance of spiritual health for overall psychological wellbeing. He has created a new series of lectures through Wisdom University called healing our deepest wounds at http://www.healingourdeepestwounds.com.

Stanislav Grof by Alex Grey

In this series Grof and others talk about the global crisis and the emerging paradigm shift discussing the deeper psychological implications of our current time. These deeper psychological concerns include topics generally ridiculed by science such as spiritual journey, mystical experiences, ESP, past lives, quantum physics and astrology. After over 50 years of research into consciousness Grof and others are making it clear that the boundaries between the internal and the external world are dissolving and may not exist at all.

In traditional psychological a dissolution of the boundaries between internal and external realities would be a diagnosis for a mental illness and could lead to medications, shock therapy and institutionalization in extreme cases. Grof and his wife Christina took a very close look at non-ordinary states of consciousness creating a framework for understanding the deeper meaning of non-ordinary states and have been able to distinguish between mental illness and normal or spiritually based non ordinary experiences referred to as holotropic states.

The Grofs developed what is called the spiritual emergency, this is when a person is going through difficult existential revolution marked by many possible symptoms including but not limited to depression, anxiety, hallucinations, mystical experiences, past life memories, powerful and unusual psychosomatic (mentally created) sensations. The spiritual emergency can happen at any time in one’s life and occurs in all kinds of people regardless of their beliefs. Spiritual Emergency was once thought to be psychosis and still is by those who are behind on their research, but now it is recognized as similar to the kundalini awakening described by mystics of India. Spiritual emergence is the introduction to the deepest parts of who we are. This inner world begins to manifest in our experience of life and our inner life becomes deeper and more intense, without a contextual basis to understand these experiences and without guidance the spiritual emergence can become a dangerous spiritual emergency. This has been a great contribution to the field of psychology and has helped many people avoid misdiagnosis and to move gracefully through their journey of self-discovery.

Grof also dramatically expanded the cartography of the human psyche and human consciousness in general. In this therapy sessions using LSD or using holotropic breathwork Grof’s clients would travel deep into their psyche and many traumatic memories and sensations would emerge often with powerful charge. The client was reliving various memories and experiences of the past and also experiencing the physical sensations of the dramatic event. He found that many times a person would experience multiple traumas which were similar in character either one at a time or all together at once. Observing this he created a theory known as COEX systems which mean Constellations of Condensed Experiences which linked certain emotional and psychosomatic symptoms both in life and in therapy.

Constellations of Condensed Experience is easy to understand by breaking it down word by word. Constellations meaning a series of experiences emerging from various layers in the psyche, perhaps an experience of chocking from early childhood, then near drowning as an adult and chocking on food at a restaurant these all have a similar feeling to them and thus are linked together in constellations. Condensed means summation, a conglomerate of experiences all summed up together. In the chocking example these various layers of similar traumatic experiences are link and in our mind they are condensed and begin to have a greater psychic charge because the client has merged all the chocking experiences into a singular psychosomatic gestalt. When moving deeper into the psyche people were experiencing traumatic convincing memories from the birthing process which Grof called Perinatal birth trauma.

by: HR Giger

Grof found that the COEX systems where often anchored in the experience of birth and that the client had completed birth physically, however, was still in the birthing process emotionally. He broke the perinatal into four stages which represent the four stages of birth. In the chocking example it is possible that they were chocked by the umbilical cord in the womb and the pattern of chocking experiences was set in motion from birth. Grof’s clients resolved these traumas through re-experiencing the trauma. After fully experiencing the event or events many of the defenses and behaviors began to dissolve and in some cases spontaneous recovery from treatment resistance lifelong symptoms occurred.

Trauma is the experience of stress so overwhelming that we cannot experience it fully and thus trauma is the most dissociated, hidden and defended parts of ourselves. Hiding the traumatic experience makes sense, for example, if sexual abuse happens at a young age it will be easier to process later in life when we have better understanding of the world in which we live. The trouble arises when we never go back to process those traumas, the psyche then begins to unconsciously recreate scenarios with resemble the original trauma, theoretically, in an attempt by the subconscious to bring forth the original memory so it can be resolved. Resolving the deepest wounds often led Grof and his clients beyond what they had imagined and propelled them into the transpersonal realms.

Transpersonal is a term meaning beyond the self, these are experiences which are beyond our normal experience of life such as mystical visions, past life memories, out of body experience, telepathy, experiencing scenes from the lives of our ancestors, the death and rebirth experience and many more examples. Grof found that often once the birth trauma was experienced often the client would go through psychospiritual death and rebirth and emerge in another dimension of being. In mystical experiences one would have a convincing experience of union with god and the oneness of the universe. In holotropic states of consciousness people moved beyond the known universe of Cartesian Newtonian science and emerged into the realities of the mystic. The clients enter the underworld and move through Hades to emerge a new and help society, the classic myth of the hero’s journey. There were many cases where the root trauma was linked through the COEX systems to past lives, ancestral karma, dead relatives. Some could not be helped until they experienced mystical union or encountered certain nonphysical entities. The transpersonal world was the realm of the mystic, visionary, shaman and the soul. Transpersonal realms defy many of the assumptions of science; however, it is becoming recognized as a part of the psyche.

By: Ernst Fuchs

In psychedelic therapy and holotropic breathwork, Grof has found the experiences of the clients was best predicted by astrology, specifically planetary transits related to a client’s birth chart. Research acquired over the last thirty years with assistance from Richard Tarnas, author of Cosmos and Psyche, shows a powerful correlation between planetary transits and the character of experience in holotropic states of consciousness.   In Holotopic Breathwork retreats there can be as many as 200 people using breath work to reach holotropic states of consciousness. Grof observed in one session that 20 percent of the people experienced the archetype of crucifixion followed by a psychosomatic death and rebirth experience this date happened to be a major holiday in Christian tradition and a powerful planetary alignment linked to death and rebirth. The outer planets have a powerful effect on the nature holotropic states of consciousness but manifest in ways which are diverse and multivalent. This great variety of experiences are all linked together by a familiar resonance known as archetype. Grof suggests we can learn astrology and be able to predict the best dates for certain therapies to be applied and even use this information for spiritual practice.

When Grof was asked to go in more detail about the findings in his early career he stated that he is not interested in that stuff anymore, what he is teaching now is archetypal perspective. Grof stated, “The archetypal prospective is the supraordinating principal of all of it, the birth, the biography and selective experiences from the various layers of the transpersonal all under control of the archetypal dynamic.” Archetype is a powerful idea related to the collective unconscious and fundamental motifs that pervade all cultures and times such as the spiritual journey, the lover, myth and archetype even informs our own inner and outer experiences. Archetype could be the formative energies that can burst forth into outer existence so it can be experienced externally. Do we have the choice of how these archetypes manifest in our lives and the world? If the archetype is effect by the planetary transits and our birth chart can we have free will?

Tarnas explores these questions by reminding us that the archetype is not just a god that lies in the transcendent realms of the universe but it is a concept with many layers which are multivalent. Many of those layers are informed not just by our birth chart and the planets but also by the choices we make and what part of the archetype is ready to be expressed through our experiences and actions. The current world crisis reminds us of the archetype of the apocalypse and the end of the 24,920 year long count of the Mayan calendar. Tarnas explained how we are moving into influence with a Uranus Pluto square which will last from 2008 to 2020 which marks a time of Promethean revolution, innovation, rapid change, destruction of social orders, emergence of progressive reforms. This Pluto Uranus square alignment has a powerful effect on people in the holotropic states of consciousness indicating major breakthroughs and destruction of old systems replaced by intense creativity and innovation.  Tarnas believes it will be a time of revolution and great change and that there is a possibility that as a planet we are going to create a better system and replace or modify the current structures.  Synchronicity and meaning full coincidences between astrology , holotropic states, dreams, waking life and many other forms of synchronic events were presented by Carl Jung in his late career. Synchronic events seem to be a way in which the inner world and the outer world affect one another

Grof began to talk about his interest in the Mayans and in their use of holotropic states of consciousness and their deep understanding of astrology. Using the various visionary plants and other techniques for inducing holotropic states the Mayans gained an experiential understanding of astrology as well as a scientific understanding.  The Mayans seem to indicate that this is an important time in history due to the powerful astrological alignments and since it’s the end of the long count many say it could be the end of the world. Grof and many others are much more hopeful about the meaning of the date 12/21/2012 and see it as a turning point which people can rally around to push for a new prospective in our social systems and ourselves.

Grof shared his vision of the archetype of the apocalypse in a recent teleseminar with Wisdom University. He explains that the apocalypse originally meant lifting of the veil and that it doesn’t only mean destruction it’s about revelation of the greater realities.

“I had a very powerful psychedelic session in which I experience the apocalypse as an archetype. so I will say a few words about it. At the beginning there was a tremendous mobilization of energy it became a kind of streaming whirling energy whirling cosmic vortex of creation and destruction. And I saw these four major muscular figures with shaved heads and kind of a pig tails and they were brandishing “L” shaped scimitars in a way it looked like a swastika.  If you can imagine, you know the “L” shaped scimitar and they were dancing this dance.  It looked like the blades of a Cuisinart and I began to see it was related to two things. I always was interested in the swastika because I experience 6 years of Nazi Germany when this was such a destructive symbol. And then when I started studying Tantra I saw the other side of the swastika. What was happening, there, was if the swastika was turned one way it seemed to be related to chopping the whole the unified whole, into individual pieces and related to creation where we go from one to the many. And the other direction was the spiritual journey and when we go from world of many and we dissolve boundaries and ultimately everything comes together and we become one again. So, I was getting this kind of archetypal image of creation and the spiritual journey. And then the scene changed and I saw unbelievable destruction which involved natural disasters volcanic eruption and tidal waves, volcanoes, tornadoes and so on. But also destruction created by humans, destroyed cities and  breaking down bridges and sort of wars and explosions.Basically destruction of the physical world. And, I actually saw the archetypal image of the four horse man of the apocalypse. And, after experiencing this for some time it suddenly changed and I was in a cave that was like the cave Plato describes in the republic. We are prisoners in a cave and we are looking at the wall and all we see is shadows of what is happening behind us. And it’s the shadows they are created by the source of light. He describes the philosopher as one who can get up and turn around and you get the sense that what we experience in the world are these shadows. And, I suddenly understood that the apocalypse was an archetype, a powerful archetype that you can certainly experience internally the way it happened to St. John, but like any archetype it could also manifest. We have the archetype of crucifixion but crucifixion also happened historically and we have the experience of hell, the Buddhist hot hell, and then it’s enacted and you get the same kind of experience in Hiroshima when that archetypal energy sort of breaks into the physical  world.  So, the idea  was that it’s conceivable that at some point archetype can manifest in some kind of physical destruction but then I understood the spiritual meaning of you will experience the archetype of the apocalypse in your inner world when your spiritual quest leads you to the point where stop believing the world is physical and material you see it more like the hindus in terms of maya and lila. It’s a way of consciousness what we experience as the material world is an orchestration of experience. So when you reach that point, your concept of the material world is being destroyed and that’s when the be archetype of the apocalypse kicks in. So, it’s an indication that you have reached a certain point in spiritual development and it will be possible to experience the apocalypse in the inner world to prevent it from happening in the physical world.  The was a great sort of ending to this particular session where I saw this beautiful scene, kinda like a theater very ornate stage and I saw archetypal figures coming and they were bowing like they participated in the creation of this experience of the material world. And, so I saw an archetype of the warrior, I saw it as one figure but to was holographically opening to scenes of war. And the archetype of lovers and it was opening to scenes of love making and romance and I saw the trickster figure and they were coming and bowing like they expected appreciation of the good performance they did in creating this incredible show of the physical world. So that was the my own experience of the apocalypse and the understanding I got from it. It’s an archetype that occurs at a certain stage of your spiritual quest, although, it’s not impossible it would manifest in the world in the way that others have in history.”

The talks from healing our deepest wounds are pushing the envelope of consciousness taking the realities for the internal and external world merging their influences into a meaningful whole and connecting our existence back to unity with the cosmos. Grof at one point goes as far as to express his belief that we live in a virtual reality created by collective archetypes. When considering this presentation I got this incredible image of the archetype looking much like an Alex Grey painting where at certain times we make psychic soul connections to all other beings experiencing the same archetype. The collection of all these various diverse consciousness united to form this amazing image of an extra dimensional being who was a collective of united souls. We all are united at some level and live in a holographic universe of consciousness. In the west we are moving ever more quickly toward a new understanding of the universe informed by both the inner and outer channels of information. As we move deeper into the psyche we reach a point where all is connected and we realize the emotional consequences of our actions may last over multiple lifetimes if unresolved. Science is more clearly understanding the ways in which our inner world effects the outer world in both small and profound ways.  It is possible that all who do deep inner work are not just healing themselves but are healing the collective in some way. By experiencing and resolving trauma we open to deeper spiritual awareness and move toward wholeness with all creation.

By: Transpersonal Spirit

Net of Being By Alex Grey

Stanislav Grof received his MD from Charles University, Prague, and his PhD in Philosophy of Medicine from the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology, and founding president of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA). For the past 50 years he has conducted research on therapeutic and heuristic aspects of non-ordinary states of consciousness using psychedelics and various nondrug techniques and exploring the implications of consciousness studies for psychiatric theory and the emerging scientific paradigm. In 2007, he was granted the prestigious Award >Vision 97< from the Václav and Dagmar Havel Foundation in Prague and in 2010, the Thomas R. Verny Award from the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) for his pivotal contributions to this field. He is the author of Realms of the Human Unconscious, Beyond the Brain, LSD Psychotherapy, The Adventure of Self-Discovery, The Cosmic Game, Psychology of the Future, When the Impossible Happens, The Ultimate Journey, The Stormy Search for the Self, and Holotropic Breathwork; the last two with Christina Grof.

Richard Tarnas, PhD, is a cultural historian and professor of philosophy and depth psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco and is the founding director of its graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. His first book, The Passion of the Western Mind, became both a bestseller and required reading at many universities. His book Cosmos and Psyche is a ground-breaking work that represents a serious conceptual challenge to the current scientific worldview. Rick played a pivotal role in laying foundations for archetypal astrology, a discipline that explores significant correlations between cyclical alignments of the planets and the archetypal patterns of human experience—world history, culture, art, and individual biography.

Bibliogrpahy

Amit Goswami, Quantum Doctor A Quantum Physicists Explains the Healing Power of Integrative Medicine.  Hampton roads publishing company, inc. VA. 2004, 2011.

Bache, Christopher m. Life cycles reincarnation and the web of life. Paragon house New York. 1990.

Cortright, Brant. Psychotherapy and spirit: Theory and practice in transpersonal psychology. SUNY Press. 1997.

Grey, Alex. Wilber, Ken. McCormick. Sacred mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey. Inner traditions international Rochester, Vermont. 1990.

Grey, Alex. Hofman, Albert. Larsen, Stephen. Kuspit, Donald, Wilber, Ken. Transfigurations. Inner Traditions Rochester, Vermont. 2001.

Grof Stanislav, albert Hoffman, Andrew Weil. LSD Psychotherapy, Maps Publishing CA. 1980, 1994, 2001, 2008.

Grof, Stanislav. When the Impossible Happens, 2006 True Sounds Inc. Boulder co 80306.

Grof, Stanilav, Grof Christina; Assagioli, Roberto; R.D. Laing; KJohnweir Perry, Holger Kalweit, Lee Sannella, Anne Armstrong, Keith Thompson, Jack kornfeild, Ram Das, Bruce greyson and barabara harris, Paul Rebillot, Jeneane Prevatt and Russ Park, Spiritual Emergency when personal tranmsformation becomes a crisis. Jeremy p tarcher / Putnam new York. 1989.

Grof, stanislav, grof, Christina, jack kornfeild. Holotropic breathwork a new approach to self-exploration and therapy.  Excelsior editions new York. 2010

Grof, Stanislav, Joan Halifax, forward by smith Huston preface by, david jay brown and peter gasser. The ultimate journey. MAPS ca 2006, 2010.

Grof, Stanislav, 2012 and Global Consciousness, http://www.HealingourDeepest wounds.com Teleseminar aired, May 8 2012, Wisdom University Virtual Seminar.

Grof, Stanislav with Richard Tarnas, How Deep is Deep: Depth Psychology, Consciousness Research and Archetypal Astrology. Wisdom University teleseminar May 15 2012

Huxley, Aldous,  The Perennial Philosophy, Harper Perennial Modern Classics; New York; 2009.

Laszlo, Ervin, Currivan, Jude. CosMos: A co-creator’s guide to the whole-world. Hay House Inc. Carlsbad, ca. 2008.

Levine, Peter A. Healing Trauma (book with CD) Sounds True CO. 2005, 2008.

Metzner, Ralph. The unfolding self: varieties of transformative experience. Orinin press  Novato, CA 1986, 1998.

Metzner, Ralph. Green Psychology transforming our relationship to the earth. Park st press. Rochester Vermont 1999.

Sheldrake, Rupert. The Sense of Being stared at and Other Aspects of Extended Mind. Crown Publishers New York. 2003.