Visionary Art is…

Visionary Art

Net of Being By Alex Grey

Net of Being By Alex Grey


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

Albert Hoffman by Alex Grey

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



Grof, Stanislav. The Cosmic Game Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness. State University of New York Press. 1998. Rob Percival 2010





Visionary Art: H.R. Giger

Visionary Art

H.R. Giger

Spell II By H.R. Giger

H.R. Giger is an established master in the realm of sci-fi, surreal art, and visionary art and is the inventor of the Alien creatures from the famous film series Aliens. Unlike other artist focused on non ordinary states of consciousness Giger displays the hellish realms of the subconscious, or the bad trip.

The Spell I By H.R. Giger

H.R. Giger shows the incredible pain of alienation from each other and nature. Displaying humanoid figures who are deformed part alien, part machine engaged in sadomasochistic eroticism.  H.R. Giger is a master of displaying the dark side of human nature and the dark side of the inner journey.  H.R. Giger himself is not a dark and twisted person but rather intelligent, friendly and humorous. He sees his work as art therapy allowing him to come to resolution with the dark side of his psyche. His artwork often triggers emotions and reactions with-in the psyche of the viewer challenging them to understand themselves more deeply.

The Spell IV By H.R. Giger

Many of H.R. Giger’s work deal with the themes of birth, sex, violence, alienation and death, these same themes are major topics of discussion in our contemporary times. The images of Giger do seem to reflect the mentality of the 20th century. The ‘malignant violence’ of modern culture is unique to the human kingdom and shows the shadow side of the human mind emerging into the material affairs of the world. In fact, now humanity is the number one threat to human survival. Giger’s work deals directly with the deep psychological drives that may expose the core wounds afflicting human kind. Humans have become a part of the machines they have create and they alienated themselves from the natural world and from our mind and body.

Famous psychological researcher Stanislav Grof specializes in non-ordinary states of consciousness and utilizing their healing potential;  he has written a lengthy essay ( can be read here: on the psychology of the realms portrayed in Giger’s work. Grof has experienced and has heard recollections from his clients describing the states of being represented by Giger’s work. Clients in deep trace from breathwork or psychedelics will experience extreme terror, fear and anxiety along the path the healing deep psychological wounds. Many times these images of the grotesque are related to overwhelming stressful events from the past which have left a traumatic imprint upon the clients mind.  In order to help clients heal from trauma they must face the full charge of their experience in order for it to be resolved and healed.

Grof’s research has revealed that the birthing process itself causes considerable trauma for the majority of humanity. In non-ordinary states of consciousness the person will relive the biographical traumas and later, may, find them linked to the birthing process, in essence the individual was traumatized from birth and the absence of integration of these traumas has led to cultural pathology. The various phases of the birth process have traumatic impact and are associated with visions, sensations, and behavioral patterns of a certain character. The visions related to this traumatic material in the psyche and the images associated with it are coincidentally depicted by H.R. Giger.

H.R. Giger uses the symbols of inverted stars, coiling serpents and other symbols borrowed from spiritual traditions. These symbols show that he is still speaking of the spiritual journey but he is focused on processing and revealing the shadow side of the transcendent experience. As the spiritual energies increase the process of purification also intensifies and hidden secrets and unknown drives with-in our individual and collective consciousness move into our awareness. These visions of the shadow are so powerful that they often frighten people away from spiritual journey, psychedelics and their own mind leading one into a state of denial or repression. Repression of the material arising from the subconscious leads to pathology and ultimately one reaches a breaking point where these subconscious drives manifest externally . By processing the material which arises internally we can free ourselves from the need for these subconscious drives to enter our external world.

Stanley Krippner likes to speak about the shadow side of the spiritual and mystical experience when he reminds us that many are driven to kill by an experience with God. They will believe that god told them to kill a certain person or to commit suicide and they will go out and kill. H.R. Giger reminds us all of this shadow side of the spiritual realm and even shows how art therapy can help to heal these wounds and make our spiritual experiences positive transformations. He is a example of how these repressed realms of our minds can become a work of art.

Alien Monster IV By H.R. Giger

Alien Monster V By H.R. Giger

Lilith By H.R. Giger

The Shiner By H.R. Giger

Spiegelbild By H.R. Giger

ELP II By H.R. Giger

Landscape VIII By H.R. Giger

Alister Crowley By H.R. Giger

Heiroglyphs By H.R. Giger

Jericho By H.R. Giger

Li II By H.R. Giger

Landscape XIV By H.R. Giger

Necronomicon V By H.R. Giger

Witches Dance By H.R. Giger

Links to H.R. Giger


H.R. Giger’s Necronomicon, Morpheus International; First US Edition edition (January 1, 1993)

H.R. Giger’s Necronomicon II, Morpheus international; first Us edition 1993.

H.R. Giger’s Biomechanics, Morpheus International; 2nd edition (January 1, 1993)

Stanislav Grof, The Visionary world of H.R. Giger,

HR Giger Icons by H. R. Giger and Stanislav Grof M.D. Ph.D. (Jun 1, 2002).

Stanley Krippner, audio interview at the institute of noetic sciences.



Autumn Skye Remembering Eternity

Parapsychology is the study of extended mind, esp, telepathy, clairvoyance, remote viewing, psi, the seventh sense, and psychic abilities. Parapsychology currently is being researched by credentialed scientists with the strictest of controls to insure accuracy. The results show statistical support that many forms of psychic phenomena happen. The results have been repeated in scientific research carried out over the last 150 years.  There is so much evidence for the existence of these extended mind abilities that many skeptics and intellectuals are beings forced to take a look at ingrained assumptions in the scientific community and look at the results of the research.

Human beings continuously score above chance, statistically, in numerous tests to study the wide variety of psychic abilities. How is it possible that one can repeatedly guess above chance in situations like guessing the image before it shows up on a screen, synchronizing brain waves with someone thousands of miles away, or faster healing for patients being prayed for? These types of studies are forcing us all to question whether humanity has the ability to access information using channels unknown to standard science.

Psychologist Stanislav Grof comments on parapsychology because he has encountered it repeatedly in clients during therapies which induce non-ordinary states of consciousness.  He says,

“Traditional scientists consider psychic phenomena impossible because they imply transfer of information or even influence on material processes without the mediation of known channels and energies. The common denominator of the experiences and events belonging to this category is that they transcend the usual limitations of space and time. Psychic phenomena can manifest under ordinary circumstances and do not necessarily require a change in consciousness. However, holotropic states (a category of non-ordinary states) greatly increase their incidence… Telepathy is direct access to the thought process of another person without using words, non -verbal clues, signs, or other conventional means of communication. Out-Of-Body Experiences are episodes during which disembodied consciousness is capable of moving in space and accurately perceiving the environment. When such perception involves remote locations, it is referred to as astral projection. … precognition is accurate anticipation of future events without any objective clues. Clairvoyance is the capacity anticipation of future events without using the ordinary channels; it involves transcendence of spatial barriers, temporal barriers or both. Psychometrics is a process of obtaining information about the history of an object, facts and impressions about a person to whom this object belonged by extended tactile contact with that object. The term psychokinesis refers to situations in which material objects or processes are influenced by psychological means.”  (Grof 2006 pg 169 – 170).

Robert Morris studied the effects of thought on random number generators concluding that thoughts effect the sequence of numbers in random number generators.

“Until his death in 2004, for 19 years Robert Morris and his parapsychological colleagues around the world conducted experiments that showed statistical evidence for the existence of psi abilities with odds against chance of millions to one….And the results obtained by Morris and his team at the Koestler Institute and other centers of such research, such as Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Laboratory in the US, are tens of thousands of times more significant then the evidence required by the governments to allow pharmaceutical companies to market a new drug!” (Laszlo, Currivan 2008 Pg 95).

Remote viewing is seeing a place in the present time which is far way through closing the eyes and imagining. Many organizations began a series of studies starting in the 1970’s; the CIA, Stanford Research Institute (SRI) from 1973 to 1988, a government funded think tank called Science Applications International Corporation from 1989 to 1993 all found positive results supporting the existence of remote viewing these studies where then replicated at Princeton University showing statistical odds against chance to 100 billion to one. (Laszlo, Currivan 2008, Sheldrake 2003).

Well documented cases of precognition have been collected since the 1880’s up to the present and taken all together the results show that there are precognitive events occurring in humans. In a total of over 2 million individual trials the combined results of these studies produced odds against chance of 10000000000000000000000000 to 1. (Sheldrake 2003).

These statistical numbers such as a billion to one, mean that the odds of a person guessing as documented in the studies by mere chance is a billion to one. It suggests that people have the ability to produce results that are contrary to what should occur by chance. For example, the odds of guessing the top card in a deck of cards in 1 out of 52, however, humans get the card correct more often than 1 out of 52. The compiled results prove that humans in precognitive tests guess above chance to such a significant degree that the odds of it being pure luck or chance are a billion to one. The deeper meaning of this statistic is that humans have the ability to guess better then chance in precognitive tests and no one knows how or why.

Randolph C. Byrd (1988) conducted a double blind experiment on distant prayer healing. This occurred in The San Francisco Hospital. The patients and physicians had no idea what patients were being prayed for at a distance by a prayer group. The group which was prayed for had decreased recovery time and thus healed faster. (Laszlo, Currivan 2008, Sheldrake 2003).  Astronaut Edgar Mitchell believes he was healed by a distance healer from Toronto and that inspired the creation of IONS. These results have been tested repeatedly since that time by organizations like IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences) with similar results.

By Android Jones

The idea of psi abilities is paradigm shattering and is in stark contrast to the Newtonian and Cartesian worldview of many atomistic scientists. However, many brilliant scientists are embracing the psychic research.  Ervin Lazslo and other quantum physicists see psi phenomena as an experiential component of the quantum level of reality.

In quantum physics space and time are non-existent, information is non-local in nature, the information in the universe is holographic and everything is interconnected.  This suggests that all information in the history of the universe is within each piece at all times. In this level of physics all information is theoretically available to anyone at all times. These theories are developed with complex mathematics and are accepted by the scientific community yet the actually experience of these quantum realities in modern humans is very controversial.

Laszlo suggests in his books that psychic phenomena and accessing information through unknown channels is simply the experiential component of quantum physics at play. When humans guess above chance repeatedly they may be utilizing a quantum information system which gives them the ability to guess above chance. Likewise, when one is healed from a distance or senses a loved one has died or is in danger they too maybe accessing this quantum reality.

In-depth psychology, individuals experiencing non-ordinary states of consciousness report gaining insight into their birthing process, past lives and divine realities. This is often related to the collective unconscious of humanity coined by Carl Jung. This kind of information is obtained through channels which are unknown to science. In recent times, many of the states involving the collective unconscious have been called transpersonal experiences by psychologists and represent the variety of phenomena which occur when one can transcend the spacial limitations of the ego encapsulated self. When this occurs individuals experience what is thought impossible, ESP, precognition, clairvoyance, telepathy and access to detailed and verifiable non-local information among them.

Psychic phenomena is not just a creation of myth, superstition and fantasy, but is a controversial field of science which is fast gaining credibility. Thousands of tests have been conducted which point to the existence of psi phenomena as a reality. Quantum physics has put forth a view of the universe which can serve as an explanation for how it is possible with in the laws of mathematical science and theory. Multiple branches of psychology have observed these phenomena in therapies which trigger access to the depths of the psyche. Once the depths are reached people transpersonalize, or leave their limited self and enter into the collective unconscious and experience the quantum realities first hand. It gives us a glimpse into the miracles performed by the great saints of India and insight into experiences which emerge from spiritual practices.

Stanislav Grof states, “Once we accept the existence of transpersonal experiences, we realize that all or most of them can mediate access to new information through channels unknown to present science, whether they involve other people, other life forms, archetypical figures and realms, or various episodes from human history. Once the ability of the human psyche to access new information without the mediation of senses is generally accepted, there will be no need for a disincline specializing in the study of a relatively narrow selection of specific psychic phenomena. What in the past was considered “paranormal” will be seen as a normal capacity of the human psyche.” (Grof 2006 pg 173).

By Transpersonal Spirit

By Amanda Sage


Amit Goswami, Quantum Doctor A Quantum Physicists Explains the Healing Power of Intergrative Medicine.  Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc. VA. 2004, 2011.

Emoto, Masaru. The Hidden Messages In Water. Beyond Words Publishing Inc. Hillsboro, OR. 2004.

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

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

Grof, Stanislav, Joan Halifax, Smith, Huston, David Jay Brown and Peter Gasser. The Ultimate Journey. MAPS CA 2006, 2010.

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

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

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

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

Depression: A Transpersonal and Archetypal Perspective

Depression: A Transpersonal and Archetypal Perspective

By: Transpersonal Spirit

Alex Grey Despair

Depression is extremely common in the USA today. Pharmaceutical companies are making millions on anti-depressants and at the same time making millions on pain killers which put one in a depressed state.  We live in a manic society where the pace of life is very rapid and many are whipped up into incredible stress with little time to sleep and nearly no time to relax. Depression seems to be the antithesis to the fast paced life style of America, and I believe that many of us could use a little more time to relax and unwind. However, if we spend too much time unwinding we are labeled as depressed.

Often times fatigue and depressed states can be an indicator that our body wants to slow down and recharge, however, our cultural upbringing tells us that this time to relax is lazy and should be medicated with a stimulant. This approach to life leads to many dangers including increased accidents from tired drivers, and a long list of health issues related to unmanageable stress.

There are many forms of depression to consider, in extreme situations a person will be unable to function and stay in bed for months at a time, other times people become suicidal depressed, and others become agitated, angry and anxious.  In these cases medical intervention can provide great relief but not for everyone, in fact, the side effects of depression medication include suicidal thoughts, insomnia, chemical addiction to the anti-depressant and decreased ability to experience pleasure and sensation.  Many of the medications on the market have proven to be less or as effective as a placebo. This all indicates that there is a misunderstanding about the nature of depression and a misapplication of treatments.  Let’s take a look at depression from a fresh perspective using transpersonal and archetypal psychology to get a better understanding of what this “depression” is.

In archetypal psychology depression is associated with the archetype of Saturn. Saturn represents heavy material states of being and is associated with hard work, sowing seeds, plowing the land, cycles of time and endings. The density of Saturn combined with the hard work necessary gives way to confusion, fatigue, hopeless, depression and the need for inner strength.

Saturn Devouring his Son, 1636 (oil on canvas) by Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640)

Richard Tarnas states, “It governs the material world, time, tradition, the past, aging, death, and the endings of things. The Saturn archetype is associated with the Greek mythic figure of Kronos, the stern father of the gods, the Roman Saturn. Called the Great Malefic in traditional astrology, it is associated with such archetypal figures as Fate, Father Time, Death, and the Grim Reaper. In Jungian and archetypal psychology, Saturn is often called the senex.

Saturn represents the hard structure of things, the reality principle, the bottom line. It is in many ways the opposite of Jupiter in nature: where Jupiter expands and grants success, Saturn contracts and inhibits; where Jupiter is liberal and magnanimous, Saturn is conservative and strict; where Jupiter uplifts, Saturn oppresses. Indeed, Saturn can well seem to be an one-sidedly negative planet in the astrological pantheon, though in fact the situation is much more complicated. Saturn opposes and limits, but in doing so, it strengthens, grounds, forges, gives our soul substance and gravitas, makes us real.” (

Many psychologists today talk about overcoming depression or curing depression; however, in transpersonal and archetypal psychology depression is associated with Saturn and is just one archetype in a polytheistic universe of being. Rather than overcome the depression perhaps one should learn to use depression and integrate depression into their lives in a positive way in order to gain many benefits such as grounding, strength, and inner resolve. Many people have wondered what would have happened to artists like Van Gogh or Michelangelo if they had been given anti-depressants. Would they have still had the artistic vision and sensitivity to create some of the world’s most cherished artistic accomplishments? Even American Blues pioneers Robert Johnson and Lead Belly changed music forever with their music which was inspired by this archetype of Saturn.

In many ways this archetype can provide us with many gifts including creativity, compassion, empathy, and can even allow us to learn about the depths of our psyche. Depression often times causes individuals to isolate themselves from others and to do nothing for long periods of time. Culturally, in American we view this as being counterproductive and demonize it as laziness. This leads the person in these states to feel they are fundamentally flawed and even useless to society. Furthermore, since the state of depression is often involuntary they feel they have lost control, are diseased, psychotic and can never amount to anything in the future because of their current condition. This feeling is compounded by the fact that it can last for many years at a time with little to no break.

Vincent van Gogh – Skull with Burning Cigarette

This time of isolation and doing nothing can be a sign from our bodies that we need to recharge or even that we need to expand the understanding of our psyche. In Eastern traditions for example, extended periods of isolation and contemplation of one’s inner being are used for spiritual development. Also in Western science studies of voluntary isolation such as in sensory deprivation tanks and meditation can reduce depression, anxiety and self-judgments as well as introduce individuals to transcendent states of consciousness which can aid a person in healthy spiritual development. It is possible that by attempting to suppress the depression we are preventing it from teaching us its lessons and thus the depression knocks with increasing volume at our conscious door. It is also possible that the anxious, angry form of depression is increased in intensity by the continuous attempt to suppress and prevent its full expression.

Depression can be very serious and can lead to death through suicide; however, it can function as a rite of passage into a deeper understanding of the self and give empathy for others. Many who go through this experience can reach rock bottom and plunge into despair so profound and existentially nihilistic that they must end their old way and start over by seeking support.  If one survives this ordeal they can become “the wounded healer” helping others to overcome their trails.

Alex Grey Journey of the Wounded Healer

This dominance of Saturn in one’s life can lead to a healthy integration of the archetype of Saturn and depression can become a great teacher and initiator. Through the trials of depression one begins to slowly open to the possibility of other archetypal energies being of primary influence in their life and they can live in a pluralistic universe expanding beyond their current limitations and reaching toward wholeness. Depression is a harsh teacher and its lessons are hard to swallow but by re-framing our situation and opening to the potential benefits it holds one may be able to find healthy integration for this force in their lives.

By: Transpersonal Spirit


Bache, Christopher. Dark Night, Early Dawn: Steps to a Deep Ecology of Mind. State University of New York Press. 2000.

Estrin, Jesse. “Depression, Soul and Growing Down in a Manic Culture.” Lecture at on 4/13/12.

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

Tarnas, Richard. Cosmos and Psyche.

Tarnas, Richard. “An Introduction to Archetypal Astrology Analysis.”

Reincarnation: Research For Its Existance


The Unmistaken Child is a documentary about a young monk whose teacher is a great Rinpoche. His teacher dies and this young disciple is assigned the task of find his masters reincarnation so the teacher can return to the monastery. They begin by looking for signs in the ashes and in the smoke at his incineration. They have a system of divination which could point to where the Rinpoche will reincarnate as a new born baby. It is said that Buddhist lamas can choose their reincarnation. The monk draws a map based on the ashes and smoke. He later has a dream where he sees the Rinpoche dead and the new young Rinpoche coming out of the corpse. They then consult an astrologer, who determines the father’s name will begin with “A” and there is a “th” in the location the Rinpoche was reborn. The astrologer narrows it to a specific valley where the Rinpoche has a retreat hut. This valley was also the young disciple monk’s birth place. After a long search he finds a child who shows signs of being the Rinpoche. Later the child identifies all the Rinpoche’s prayer tools correctly and claims the items to be his. The small child shows many signs of being a Rinpoche and thus is brought into the monastery as a Rinpoche and his disciples are happy to see him again.

This story is a common occurrence in Buddhism in Asia. This same type of scenario was documented in the popular film created by Martin Scorsese called Kundun which tells of finding the current Dali Lama’s reincarnation. There are many cultures around the world which believe in reincarnation for example the Hindus,  Buddhists, Sufi, Native Americans, Amazonian shaman,  Taoism and aborigines to name a few. There is accumulating evidence being collected by western scientists, psychologist and anthropologists that seem to suggest the possibility of reincarnation being a legitimate phenomenon happening universally across humanity. Many highly respected westerners have said they believe in reincarnation. Examples include Plato, Aristotle, Benjamin Franklin, William James, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Henry Ford, Carl Jung.  Here I will present some examples of western evidence for reincarnation.

It seems there is a phenomena of children remembering previous life times. These past life memories fade in time. Much of the research accumulated comes from studying children who remember past lives.  Above is an example from the Buddhist tradition where the reincarnated child was sought out. It was revealed that the child remembered the objects from his past life and the final approval of his identity was confirmed.  But here is an example from the USA straight from Christopher Bache’s book Life Cycles.

“Romy Crees was born in 1977 to Barry and Bonnie Crees of Des Moines, Iowa.  Romy was charming little girl, a typical whirlwind of curiosity and mischief. Her parents were devout Christ Catholics and so were completely unprepared for what happened when Romy began to talk. Mixed in with the usual childhood chatter were details about her previous life as Joe Williams. She had grown up, she insisted, in a red brick house in Charles City a town 140 miles from Des Moines. She said that she had married a woman named Sheila and that they had three children together. Both Joe and Sheila had been killed in a motorcycle accident that Romy described in considerable detail. “I’m afraid of motorcycles,” she said. Among many incidents she recalled from Joe’s life was a time Joe had started a fire in his home; Mother Williams had burned her hand throwing water on the flames. “Mother has a pain in her leg-here,” she pointed to her right leg. “Mother Williams’ name is Louise. I haven’t seen her for a long time.” She often asked to be taken back to Charles City because she wanted to reassure Mother Williams that “Everything was OK.”……..When Romy was brought to Charles City to meet her previous mother the woman exclaimed. “Where did this girl get all this information?” she asked. “I don’t know you or no one else in Des Moines.” She explained that she and Joe had lived in a red brick house, as Romy has said, but this house had been destroyed by a tornado that had damaged much of Charles City ten years ago.” Joe helped us build this house and insisted we keep the front door shut during the winter.”…””Mrs. Williams was able to confirm many details of Romy’s narrative about Joe, including his marriage to Sheila, their three children, the names of other relatives, and the fire in her home in which she had burned her hand. She was also able to verify Romy’s precise description of the motorcycle accident in 1975, two years before Romy was born. Despite this confirmation, neither she nor Romy parents were prepared to accept the possibility that their daughter was the reincarnation of Joe Williams. “I don’t know how to explain it,” observed Romy’s mothers, “but I do know my daughter isn’t lying. “

There are many other stories which are similar to the one above. These stories happen all over the world and in some cultures such as Buddhism it is integrated into their traditions. A researcher Ian Stevenson has compiled amazing amount of evidence involving children and past life memories. The truly remarkable thing is that he was able to verify the factuality of the information given by the child in many cases. Also he was able to trace down the autopsies and find a direct correlation between cause of death and birthmarks and aliments in the children. For example if someone drowned in a past life they may have incurable asthma in this life or if one was stabbed in the chest they will have strange makings where they were stabbed in a previous life.

Here is an example from the case files of Stanislav Grof where the re-experiencing of a past life death cured a lifelong symptom which was resistant to all medical treatment. She had LSD psychotherapy with Stanislav Grof and all symptoms were inexplicably healed. Here is the Case study:

“Tanya, 34 year old teacher and divorced mother of two children, was undergoing LSD psychotherapy for depressions, anxiety states, and a proneness to fatigue. One of her LSD sessions brought an unexpected solution to a severe physical problem which had been considered purely organic in nature.  For the previous twelve years she has been suffering flare ups because of allergies. The sinus troubles had started shortly after her wedding and represented a severe inconvenience in her life. The major manifestations were headaches and strong pains in the cheeks and teeth, low grade fevers, heavy nasal discharge, and bouts of sneezing and wheezing. On many occasions she was awakened by a coughing attack; some mornings these symptoms lasted three to four hours. Tanya has numerous tests for allergies and was treated by many specialists with anti-histamines, antibiotics, and flushing of the sinuses with disinfectant solutions. When all this failed to bring any therapeutic results, the doctors suggested an operation of the sinuses, which Tanya declined.

In one of her LSD sessions, Tanya was experiencing suffocation, congestion and pressure on her head in the context of the birth experience. She recognized that some of these sensations bore a close resemblance to the symptoms associated with her sinus problems; however, they were greatly amplified. After many sequences that were clearly of a perinatal nature, the experience opened fully into a reliving of what appeared to be a past incarnation memory. In this context, the experiences of oppression, choking and congestion that had earlier been part of the birth trauma became symptoms of drowning. Tanya felt that she was tied to a slanted board and was experiencing emotional abreaction associated with screaming, violent choking, coughing, and profuse secretion of enormous amounts of thick greenish nasal discharge, she was able to recognize the place, circumstances and protagonists.

She was a young girl in a New England village who has been accused by her neighbors of witchcraft, because she was having unusual experiences of a spiritual nature. A group of villagers dragged her one night to a nearby birch grove, fixed her to a board, and drowned her head first in a cold pond. In the bright moonlight, she was able to recognize among her executioners the faces of her father and husband in her present life time. At this point, Tanya could see many elements of her current existence as approximate replicas of the original karmic scene. Certain aspects of her life, in suddenly appeared to make sense, down to the most specific detail.

This experience of the New England drama and all the intricate connections Tanya made, convincing though they were on the subjective level obviously did not constitute proof of the historical validity of the episode and of a causal link between the event and her sinus problem. Nor could her conviction that she was dealing with a karmic pattern be considered evidence for the existence of reincarnation. However, to the astonishment of everybody concerned, this experience cleared the chronic sinus condition that had plagued Tanya for a period of twelve years and had proven completely refractory to conventional medical treatment.”

Another psychologist Brain Weiss has done extensive work with hypnosis and took an interest in past life remembrance.  His books One Soul Many Bodies, Messages From the MastersMany Lives Many Masters; Weiss creates a picture of reincarnation based on the hypnotic regression sessions he conducted. He believes, past life experiences are important for healing trauma. He paints a picture of reincarnation where the person is reborn many times and has a certain choice about where they are born. He also states that it seems that souls come together life after life. For example, a lover in one life could be your mother in another life. In Tanya’s LSD session described above her murders in one life were Father and Brother in the next. It seems that true love, in Weiss’s view, does transcend death as lovers come together again and again throughout the cycle of death and rebirth.

If we take reincarnation as fact then it opens up a whole new worldview for many societies.  In a worldview that includes reincarnation a piece of our consciousness travels through many lifetimes and dies many times. It also seems that what occurs in previous life times has an effect psychologically and physically on one’s current life. Past incarnations could also affect what we do in life, who we know and what we accomplish.  It opens up to possibility of having numerous life times to complete our personal evolution. We would have a great deal of time to heal our wounds and to experience the relationship on Earth.

Whitton’s research is showing that trauma can be from intense experiences in previous lives.  He states, “Physical and psychological tragedies of all kinds can be attributed to karma…. Moral deficiency and unresolved and repressed emotions are conferred on future incarnations in the form of disease, trauma, phobias, and various other manifestations of difficulty. “

It is reasonable to conclude that knowledge of our previous lifetimes and knowledge of what occurred in those previous lives can be a great asset in our understanding of who we are.  If lifelong problems  are psychosomatic (taking place in our mind) and the initiating event was in a past life there will be a number of defenses, behaviors, illness, tendencies which originated due to trauma in previous life times.   It is amazing also that people can remember previous life times in such great detail in non-ordinary states of consciousness. However, those same people have little access to those memories in normal waking consciousness. This could be explained as a separation created culturally between our current life and previous lives.

Between our reincarnations

We may have a choice about our reincarnation at some point in or between lives. Bach summarizes the in his book lifecycles. “Dr. Helen Wambach reported in life before life, published in 1979. In this book Dr. Wambach summarizes information gathered from 750 subjects who had been hypnotically regressed to explore the conditions leading up to their present life. She reports that 81 percent of her subjects were conscious of having chosen to reincarnate, although 67 percent were apparently reluctant to do so. Most of the 81 percent reported being helped in planning their life, though they tended to report a broader range of figures who advised them than Whitton’s subjects. They describe an assortment of beings variously referred to as councilors, guides, teachers, soul guardians, and personal friends. …approximately ten percent of  Wambache‘s subjects report planning lives in concert with significant persons from their present life- parents, children, husbands and wives, relatives and friends.”

This seems to suggest many of us plan our reincarnations and sometimes we plan using multiple lifetimes with guidance from other beings who are alive in this space between life and death. Many reports have been made about the space between life and death. In near death experiences people travel through tunnels toward the light or see ancestors and deceased loved ones. Many people report a life review where they see and re-experience all the actions and emotions of their life.  In this review they can feel the reactions of the people they affected in their life time. They report feeling all the pain and suffering they had caused people in their life. Many times they come to a place of peace. People describe the space between lives as being blissful. A place where everything is realized the reasons for all the conflicts and the reasons for all the suffering become clear. They feel untied with the ultimate state of being and feel liberated from their suffering and have all knowingness. From there it seems many people are given the choice to reincarnate and if they choose to do so. They even can choose their reincarnation to some degree.  In the hypnotic regressions they find people remain in the in between space for varying lengths of earth time. The longest time recorded being 800 years and the shortest 40 days.

In Hank Wesselman’s books he goes through a spontaneous initiation into healing when he had a long and detailed vision of a man in the future.  Over time these visions come to him and he was able to view a narrative of this future man’s quest through the future landscape of America.  The future man came from Hawaii. Hank begins to learn a great deal about Polynesian world through visions and connections with the future man. He realizes this man is Hank Wesselman’s descendant.   Hank goes on to be recognized by the last Kahuna and receives teachings.  Wesselman opens to experiences with this teacher and wrote the book Bowl of Light to describe his insights.

The Kahuna discusses with Hank the relationship the Polynesian people have with their ancestors. The Kahuna himself communicates with the ancestors regularly in conversation for advice about what to say.  The Kahuna also reveals that the past and the future are intertwined, although we experience time as happening at different times it is all occurring in a timeless continuum. He discusses the idea of an oversoul located in the spiritual heart. Our current embodiment is just one part of this oversoul the whole of all our lives together make up a part of the oversoul.  We are part of a soul which exists in eternity beyond time and space. We even are existing in that space between life and death. The Khuna states the gateway to the oversoul is through the heart.

Many conclusions can be drawn about the validity of subjective data and reliability of material gained through hypnosis. Many of the cases above occurred spontaneously against the beliefs of the researchers. Many of these studies have been reproduced by other researchers adding to the need for further investigation. Spiritual leaders all over the world have said past lives exist. It is possible in the course of life to have memories or dreams related to past lives. We even have tendencies and phobias related to past lives. There is also some evidence to suggest that it is possible to re-obtain skills from a previous lifetime. The path we choose in this life is heavily influenced by past and even possibly future lives as well.

The integration of reincarnation into our worldview could lead to a greater potential for wholeness. It could also lead to an expanded understanding of ourselves and what it means to be human. Although this topic seems far out, it is a topic which has gathered enough evidence to prove that complete dismissal of the possibility of reincarnation is based purely on a priori beliefs and or ignorance of the evidence gathered. Even the evidence doesn’t prove the existence of reincarnation but considering the nature of the topic it would be difficult to prove beyond doubt.  The inclusion of reincarnation to our worldview can add greatly expanded vision of humanity and can open the way to a better future, perhaps this is the new mystery which is forming in the world today. A human that lives many life times would need to be more conscious about their current actions. The relationship with the Earth and others held during our lives impacts the future lives. This awareness could lead to a more respectful approach to all life.

By Transpersonal Spirit


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

Baratz, Nati, Unmistaken Child A Tibetian monk’s Search fot the Reincarnation of His Beloved Teacher. DVD Oscilloscope. 2009

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.

Weiss, Brian L. Regression through Mirrors of Time (Audio CD). Hay House Inc. 1994, 2008.

Wesselman, Hank PH.D, The Bowl of Light: Ancestral wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman, Sounds True, Boulder Colorado, 2011.

Woogler, Roger. PH. D., Healing Your Past Lives Exploring the Many Lives of the Soul (with Audio CD). Sounds True Co. 2004.

Yogi Bhajan. Kundalini yoga sadhana guidelines 2nd edition creating your daily spiritual practice kundalini as aught by yogi bhajan.  Kundalini research insititue. 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1996, 2007.

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

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


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 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

Inner Dimensions of Global Crisis

Inner Dimensions of Global Crisis

By: Transpersonal Spirit

Palabras de Gaia Devorah a La Madre Afrodita

There has been criticism about the exploration and study of the inner worlds because it does not seem to help the external crisis occurring in the world today. Many people deeply engaged in inner healing through extended daily meditation seem to be escapists avoiding the troubles that are in the world around us. I believe that this view is flawed and the exact opposite is true. Through the process of inner transformation we become healthier and happier individuals.  This change that occurs with-in us will be noticed by those whom we are close to and will have an effect on them as well. Inner explorations also bring us face to face with the suffering in ourselves and in the collective consciousness of humanity.  Through experiencing our own deepest wounds we empathize with the wounds of others and can understand aspects of their process. This often leads to the desire to be of service in some way to others who suffer.

The process of inner transformation becomes the process of external transformation as we change our lives and the world around us to match the new sense of who and what we are. Inner transformation also brings encounters the web of life and we begin to understand that all life is alive and conscious.  We begin to understand that we cannot survive without the help of mother earth. We are dependent on a clean environment for personal health and survival. This all leads one to develop a natural instinct for what is good for ourselves and those around us.

It is hard to believe that the drama unfolding in the world today looks so bleek with the destructive power of nuclear technologies, increasing natural disasters, war, and mass extinction. It is as though the world is stuck in a cycle of endless suffering and destruction and there is seemingly no escape.  This coupled with prophecy from indigenous peoples such as the Hopi and the Mayan’s calendar. These prophecies predict a dramatic shift from one age to another for humanity and earth as a whole.   There are also dramatic and powerful astrological influences which are activating another phase of upheaval, destruction of old forms, radical creativity, innovation and replacement of outdated systems. This powerful transit is primarily being driven by the Uranus Pluto square which is in effect from 2008 to 2020. The last major alignment between these two planets was in the 1960 and 1970 and we are currently going through another phase of that cycle.

This crisis presents an amazing opportunity for growth and for establishing a new paradigm on earth that respects life. There are striking similarities between the events unfolding in the external world such as war, violence, destruction of the environment and the experiences people have in experiential therapies using alter states of consciousness. When people are reliving deep traumas from the birthing process they often will have internalized images and sensations of tremendous suffering, violence, sexual perversion and witnessing firsthand the atrocities committed in the past. These internal experiences of suffering and violence related to our psychological wounds can bring us into an experience of compassion for ourselves and the world around us. It is very possible that as a species our collective consciousness has reached a point in the journey where we are all experiencing the images and suffering related to the death rebirth process and to the collective karma of human history.  It’s as though we are as a species we are going through a physical and psychic manifestation of these destructive forces. If the non-ordinary states of consciousness are a creative aspect of our external realities then one could assume that after this phase the world will enter into the phase of rebirth evoking ecological and humanitarian awakening.

The collective nature of human consciousness is being explained by many fields of scientific thought. Quantum physics has its theories of quantum entanglement, universal fields of information, multidimensional realities. Ervin Laszlo developed the theory of the Akashic field and the connectivity theory which state that the entire universe is a field of information. The field of information is beyond the limits of time and space and is holographic in nature. This means that all information in the universe is available in at all times. This is contrary to our experience of reality which suggests that we are in a single place at a single time and that the information available to us comes from memories and the external senses. With the consideration of the Akashic field and findings in quantum physics it suggests a radically different view of reality from materialist western science of the previous 300 years.

This new view of the universe suggests that the entire cosmos is one living consciousness.   The whole universe from the smallest atom to the human being to galaxies far away is a conscious and alive part of the greater being. The whole universe has eyes and is aware of us because we are the universe on the most fundamental levels of reality. With this in mind we can imagine that humans would then be able to affect the world through awareness of the information in the Akashic field. I also could imagine that we would be able to obtain verifiable information from the Akashic field if we developed the skills.

Human beings are already connected by this field and many psychologists today are very excited about these theories because they verify mathematically what many people experience internally in spiritual experiences and in non-ordinary states of consciousness.  These finding are in direct agreement with the basic cosmology of the Buddhists, Hindus, various Native American tribes. Many people dedicated to their spiritual path will at some point will experience mystical union with the source of creation and perhaps with the new paradigm of quantum physics and transpersonal psychology these experience can become accepted as experiencing the deeper levels of what we are.

Planet Earth is facing a crisis and the influences of the heavens, the consequences of the actions of humanity are challenging the survival of the species. We could be entering the process of global death and rebirth experience where the destruction of old forms, systems and concepts is coupled with intense experiences of suffering, violence, hopelessness, and sense of doom and no escape.  In experiential therapies where individuals experience the internal ego death and rebirth process they experience incredible unimaginable suffering on par with Nazi Germany, genocides, nuclear fallout and then after some time they suddenly are lifted from destruction and experience the divine blissful realities and feel reborn.

The technologies have already been created to save our planet from destruction and humanity has suppressed these technologies for profit and power. This self-destructive repression of these technologies has led to an arms race with the potential to destroy the entire planet in moments. The problem does not seem to be humanities inability to adapt to the challenges we face but rather lack the willingness to do so. This could be caused by traumas that are deep in our collective psyche and once we heal those traumas the destruction of the Earth seems much less appealing. Research has shown that people with deep internal practices develop more compassion toward all life. If the entire planet was involved in conscious internal exploration with the help of experienced guides the entire planet would develop stronger social and ecological conscience which would lead to dramatic changes in the global policies. We may recognize as the Hindus and Buddhist did many thousands of years ago that we are all one. Even though most of the time we experience ourselves as separate and divided in reality that is the play of illusion and our true nature is the nature of a universal consciousness.

Studies in reincarnation are showing that many people have convincing internal experiences where they remember or relive some aspects of a past life. There have also been studies using hypnosis investigating the space between lives. People going through this hypnosis process repeated expressed that they were working with beings in that other reality to plan and plot out their next incarnation. In other words, we choose to come to the planet at this time for a reason that is cosmic in nature. We have all decided with the help of these guides beyond the veil of death to be here now and to experience what we are experiencing. The destiny of humanity is not fixed, we can easily create new technologies, worldviews and philosophical understandings that could not only save humanity from destruction but also encourage humanity to emerge from the crisis more whole and compassionate. If we are all interconnected it is not difficult to imagine that when we cause harm to others that is harms the collective as well. When we overcome our fears and anxieties we tap into the collective consciousness of humanity and heal some of the fears and anxieties in the collective.

By Transpersonal Spirit


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Stanislav Grof by Alex Grey