DrB-94 04/24/10Mr & Mrs GrofStanislav Grof”the movement of an individual to a more expanded way of being that involves enhanced emotional and psychosomatic health, greater freedom of personal choices, and a sense of deeper connection with other people, nature, and the cosmos. An important part of this development is an increasing awareness of the spiritual dimension in one’s life and in the universal scheme of things.” (Grof & Grof, 1990)
Grof distinguishes between two modes of consciousness: the hylotropic and the holotropic. The hylotropic refers to “the normal, everyday experience of consensus reality. The holotropic refers to states which aim towards wholeness and the totality of existence. The holotropic is charactistic of non-ordinary states of conscousness such as meditative, mystical, or psychedelic experiences. According to Grof, these non-ordinary states are often categorized by contemporary psychiatry as psychotic. Grof connects the hylotropic to the Hindu conception of namarupa (“name and form”), the separate, individual, illusory self. He connects the holotropic to the Hindu conception of Atman-Brahman, the divine, true nature of the self. Grof believes that the holotropic mode has been uniquely de-emphasized in the modern West:
All the cultures in human history except the Western industrial civilization have held holotropic states of consciousness in great esteem. They induced them whenever they wanted to connect to their deities, other dimensions of reality, and with the forces of nature. They also used them for diagnosing and healing, cultivation of extrasensory perception, and artistic inspiration. They spent much time and energy to develop safe and effective ways of inducing them.
Grof connects modern man’s inability to fully and honestly grapple with his psychic conflicts to the contemporary ecological crisis:
In the last few decades, it has become increasingly clear that humanity is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions. Modern science has developed effective measures that could solve most of the urgent problems in today’s world–combat the majority of diseases, eliminate hunger and poverty, reduce the amount of industrial waste, and replace destructive fossil fuels by renewable sources of clean energy. The problems that stand in the way are not of economical or technological nature. The deepest sources of the global crisis lie inside the human personality and reflect the level of consciousness evolution of our species.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPIRITUAL EMERGENCE
AND SPIRITUAL EMERGENCY
From: The Stormy Search for the Self
By Christina and Stanislav Grof
Inner experiences are fluid, mild, easy to integrate.
Inner experiences are dynamic, jarring, difficult to integrate.
New spiritual insights are welcome, desirable, expansive.
New spiritual insights may be philosophically challenging and threatening.
Gradual infusion of ideas and insights into life.
Overwhelming influx of experiences and insights.
Experiences of energy that are contained and are easily manageable.
Experiences of jolting tremors, shaking, energy disruptive to daily life.
Easy differentiation between internal and external experiences and transition from one to other.
Sometimes difficult to distinguish between internal and external experiences, or simultaneous occurrence of both.
Ease in incorporating non-ordinary states of consciousness into daily life.
Inner experiences interrupt and disturb daily life.
Slow gradual change in awareness of self and world.
Abrupt, rapid shift in perception of self and world.
Excitement about inner experiences as they arise, willingness and ability to cooperate with them.
Ambivalence toward inner experiences, but willingness and ability to cooperate with them using guidance.
Accepting attitude toward change.
Resistance to change.
Ease in giving up control.
Need to be in control.
Trust in the process.
Dislike, mistrust of process.
Difficult experiences treated as opportunities for change.
Difficult experiences are overwhelming, often unwelcome.
Positive experiences accepted as gifts.
Positive experiences are difficult to accept, seem undeserved, can be painful.