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The Adventure of Self-discovery
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Here Grof presents a useful model of the psyche-a model extended by his thirty years of studying non-ordinary states of consciousness. It is useful for understanding such phenomena as shamanism, mysticism, psychedelic states, spontaneous visionary experiences, and psychotic episodes. The model is also useful in explaining the dynamics of experiential psychotherapies and a variety of sociopolitical manifestations such as war and revolution. This book might have been entitled Beyond Drugs. The second part describes the principles and process of the non-pharmacological technique developed by the author and his wife, Christina, for self-exploration and for psychotherapy. Grof explores in detail the components of this technique. He describes its method, its effective mechanisms, as well as its goals and potential. Its practice is simple, since it utilizes the natural healing capacity of the psyche.
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Table of Contents

Introduction I. Dimensions of the Consciousness: New Cartography of the Human Psyche The Sensory Barrier and the Recollective-Biographical Level Encounter with Birth and Death: Dynamics of the Perinatal Matrices First Basic Perinatal Matrix (BPM I): The Amniotic Universe Second Basic Perinatal Matrix (BPM II): Cosmic Engulfment and No Exit Third Basic Perinatal Matrix (BPM III): The Death-Rebirth Struggle Fourth Basic Perinatal Matrix (BPM IV): The Death-Rebirth Experience Beyond the Brain: Transpersonal Dimensions of the Psyche Experiential Extensions within Consensus Reality and Space-Time 1. Transcendence of Spatial Boundaries a. Experience of Dual Unity b. Identification with Other Persons c. Group Identification and Group Consciousness d. Identification with Animals e. Identification with Plants and Botanical Processes f. Oneness with Life and All Creation g. Experience of Inanimate Matter and Inorganic Processes h. Primary Consciousness i. Extraterrestrial Experiences j. Identification with the Entire Physical Universe k. Psychic Phenomena Involving Transcendence of Space 2. Transcendence of the Boundaries of Linear Time a. Embryonal and Fetal Experiences b. Ancestral Experiences c. Racial and Collective Experiences d. Past Incarnation Experiences e. Phylogenetic Experiences f. Experiences of Planetary Evolution g. Cosmogenetic Experiences h. Psychic Phenomena Involving Transcendence of Time 3. Physical Introversion and Narrowing of Consciousness Experiential Extension Beyond Consensus Reality and Space-Time a. Spiritistic and Mediumistic Experiences b. Energetic Phenomena of the Subtle Body c. Experiences of Animal Spirits d. Encounters with Spirit Guides and Suprahuman Beings e. Visits to Other Universes and Meetings with Their Inhabitants f. Experiences of Mythological and Fairy-Tale Sequences g. Experiences of Specific Blissful and Wrathful Deities h. Experiences of Universal Archetypes i. Intuitive Understanding of Universal Symbols j. Creative Inspiration and the Promethean Impulse k. Experience of the Demiurg and Insights into Cosmic Creation l. Experience of Cosmic Consciousness m. The Supracosmic and Metacosmic Void Transpersonal Experiences of Psychoid Nature 1. Synchronistic Links between Consciousness and Matter 2. Spontaneous Psychoid Events a. Supernormal Physical Feats b. Spiritistic Phenomena and Physical Mediumship c. Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis d. Unidentified Flying Objects 3. Intentional Psychokinesis a. Ceremonial Magic b. Healing and Hexing c. Siddhis d. Laboratory Psychokinesis Philosophical Challenges from Transpersonal Experiences II. New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration Principles of Holotropic Therapy Therapeutic Effects of Intense Breathing (Pneumocatharsis) The Healing Power of Music Focused Bodywork The Procedure of Holotropic Therapy Effective Mechanisms of Healing and Personality Transformation Intensification of Conventional Therapeutic Mechanisms Dynamic Shifts in the Psyche's Governing Systems Therapeutic Potential of the Death-Rebirth Process Therapeutic Mechanisms on the Transpersonal Level Healing as a Movement toward Wholeness Potential and Goals of Experiential Self-Exploration Emotional and Psychosomatic Healing Pursuit of a More Rewarding Life Strategy Philosophical and Spiritual Quest III. Appendix A: Psychedelics in Self-Exploration and Psychotherapy Psychedelic Plants and Substances Ritual and Therapeutic Use of Psychedelics Principles of Psychedelic Therapy Appendix A: Psychedelics in Self-Exploration and Psychotherapy Bibliography Index

About the Author

Stanislav Grof, MD, is a psychiatrist with more than fifty years of experience in research of non-ordinary states of consciousness. He has been Principal Investigator in a psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia; Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University; and Scholar-in-Residence at the Esalen Institute. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, conducts professional training programs in holotropic breathwork, and gives lectures and seminars worldwide. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology and the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA). In 2007, he was granted the prestigious Vision 97 award from the Vaclav and Dagmar Havel Foundation in Prague. He is the author and editor of many books, including Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy; The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness; Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution; and Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research; all published by SUNY Press.

Reviews

"The data, much of which is precious anecdotal material from the field's most creative explorer, stirs the mind to consider new possibilities. It is a wonderfully open and inviting text." - Richard D. Mann

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