Drawing on observations from more than fifty years of research into an important subgroup of non-ordinary states of consciousness that he calls “holotropic,” the presenter suggests a radical revision of some basic assumptions of modern psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy. These observations come from a wide range of disciplines – psychedelic research, powerful forms of experiential psychotherapy, work with spontaneous episodes of non-ordinary states of consciousness (“spiritual emergencies”),.thanatology, parapsychology, field anthropology, and quantum-relativistic physics. The proposed changes involve the nature of consciousness and its relationship to matter, dimensions of the human psyche, the roots of emotional and psychosomatic disorders, and therapeutic strategy.
These changes resemble in their nature and scope the conceptual cataclysm that appeared in physics in the first three decades of the twentieth century in the understanding of the material world and – in a certain sense – are even complementary to the new physics. We will explore these observations and their implications for the philosophy science. While the new findings do not support the dogmas of organized religion, they show that spirituality is an essential attribute of the human psyche.
Stan Grof is a psychiatrist with more than 50 years of experience researching the healing and transformative potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. One of the founders and chief theoreticians of Transpersonal Psychology, he received an Honorary Award for major contributions to, and development of the field, from the Association for Transpersonal Psychology in 1993. Dr. Grof is the founder and president of the International Transpersonal Association. He continues to lecture and teach training programs in Holotropic Breathwork and Transpersonal Psychology. Dr. Grof is Professor of Psychology at CIIS and teaches at Pacifica Graduate Institute.