The ketamine experiences were like visits to a Cosmic Disneyland; I never knew what might come, what the “ride” would be about. And the experiences covered a wide range from the most sublime and astonishing to the completely banal and trivial.
In the last few decades, Western therapists have rediscovered the healing
potential of breath and developed techniques that utilize it. Deliberate increase of the pace of breathing
typically loosens psychological defenses and leads to a release and
emergence of unconscious (and superconscious) material.
The Mayan prophecy about the end of the
cosmic cycle has been misinterpreted as predicting the physical
destruction of humanity. This is similar to the
misinterpretation of the term "apocalypse" to mean global destruction. The Mayan prophecy might imply a mass transformation of humanity — the end of a
world dominated by violence and greed.
In the early stage of my psychedelic research, I suggested that the potential significance of LSD and other psychedelics for psychiatry and psychology was comparable to the value the microscope has for biology and medicine or the telescope has for astronomy. My later experience with psychedelics only confirmed this initial impression.
The term "spiritual emergency" reflects the similarity between the words "emergency" and "emergence," suggesting both a problem and opportunity to rise to a higher level of psychological functioning and spiritual awareness.
Modern science could solve most of the urgent problems in today's world. Yet the problems that stand in the way are not economical or technological; their deepest sources lie inside the human personality. After more 50 years of intensive study of holotropic states of consciousness, I have come to the conclusion that the theoretical concepts and practical approaches developed by transpersonal psychology could help alleviate the current global crisis. These observations suggest a radical psychospiritual transformation of humanity is not only possible, but is already underway.
On October 5th, psychiatrist and consciousness researcher Stanislav Grof, M.D., was honored as this year's Vision 97 Award recipient during a ceremony in Prague. "It seems to be my destiny – or karma, if you wish – to be involved in research of areas that are subjects of great controversy in science and society."