Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research

SUNY Press
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 Summarizes Grof's experiences and observations from more than forty years of research into non-ordinary states of consciousness.
This accessible and comprehensive overview of the work of Stanislav Grof, one of the founders of transpersonal psychology, was specifically written to acquaint newcomers with his work. Serving as a summation of his career and previous works, this entirely new book is the source to introduce Grof's enormous contributions to the fields of psychiatry and psychology, especially his central concept of holotropic experience, where holotropic signifies "moving toward wholeness." Grof maintains that the current basic assumptions and concepts of psychology and psychiatry require a radical revision based on the intensive and systematic research of holotropic experience. He suggests that a radical inner transformation of humanity and a rise to a higher level of consciousness might be humankind's only real hope for the future.

“It’s rare to find a textbook that is both extremely informative and enjoyable to read. Psychology of the Futurehas to be one of the first ones I’ve ever come across … Each chapter brought an entirely new concept, theory, or method that was just as engaging as the previous one.” — Dr. Tami Brady, TCM Reviews

"This book is by a pioneering genius in consciousness research. It presents the full spectrum of Grof's ideas, from his earliest mappings of using LSD psychotherapy, to his clinical work with people facing death, to his more recent work with holotropic breathing, to his latest thoughts about the cosmological implications of consciousness research and the prospects for dealing with an emerging planetary crisis. Grof has always been one of the most original thinkers in the transpersonal field, and his creativity has kept pace with the maturity of his overall vision." -- Michael Washburn, author of Transpersonal Psychology in Psychoanalytic Perspective

"Grof offers an outstanding contribution to the ever-growing debate about the nature of human consciousness and about the place of humankind in the cosmos. If more psychiatrists could be persuaded that human consciousness transcends the limitations of the physical brain, and instead is but an aspect of what may best be described as 'cosmic consciousness,' we could not only expect treatment modalities to change, but we could also anticipate the possibility of culture-wide rethinking of the basic presuppositions of modern cosmology, the cosmology that grounds Western institutions, ideologies, and beliefs about the nature of personhood." -- Michael E. Zimmerman, author of Contesting Earth's Future: Radical Ecology and Postmodernity
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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 The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration; Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy; The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness; and Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution; all published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Mar 28, 2019
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Pages
361
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ISBN
9780791492383
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Charles Siewert presents a distinctive approach to consciousness that emphasizes our first-person knowledge of experience and argues that we should grant consciousness, understood in this way, a central place in our conception of mind and intentionality. Written in an engaging manner that makes its recently controversial topic accessible to the thoughtful general reader, this book challenges theories that equate consciousness with a functional role or with the mere availability of sensory information to cognitive capacities. Siewert argues that the notion of phenomenal consciousness, slighted in some recent theories, can be made evident by noting our reliance on first-person knowledge and by considering, from the subject's point of view, the difference between having and lacking certain kinds of experience. This contrast is clarified by careful attention to cases, both actual and hypothetical, indicated by research on brain-damaged patients' ability to discriminate visually without conscious visual experience--what has become known as "blindsight." In addition, Siewert convincingly defends such approaches against objections that they make an illegitimate appeal to "introspection."

Experiences that are conscious in Siewert's sense differ from each other in ways that only what is conscious can--in phenomenal character--and having this character gives them intentionality. In Siewert's view, consciousness is involved not only in the intentionality of sense experience and imagery, but in that of nonimagistic ways of thinking as well. Consciousness is pervasively bound up with intelligent perception and conceptual thought: it is not mere sensation or "raw feel." Having thus understood consciousness, we can better recognize how, for many of us, it possesses such deep intrinsic value that life without it would be little or no better than death.

Anyone who has ever enjoyed the honor to lecture a graduate school audience will tell you that simplicity in delivery as a goal is a worthwhile pragmatic and theoretical virtue if and only the expected and appropriate cognitive content are aimed at the student and not for self indulgence, independent of the corresponding level of complexity to be communicated. There is a tacit presumption that selling/marketing an idea by a professor implies there must be a buyer student purchase for a pedagogical transaction to be completed. Unless, of course, the professor, consciously knowing (or not) is engaged in a self-serving soliloquy assuming as primitive, self-evident complex propositions and often expressed as either inspired on a radical conceptual theosophy or based on a radical empirical, probable/statistical scientific lab result as characterized by extremist pronouncements. Yet, the very complex and changing nature of the object/event, in its dynamic evolutionary progression in our Minkowsky 4-d space time existential reality, opts to reveal its complexity to human audiences in the form of the simplest possible model-poems solution that are compatible with the students undeveloped brain dynamics phenomenology and combinatorial limitations, as amply detailed in our other publications. We now expand further on the justifications for our general poem on the evolution of complexity as discussed under The Immanent Invariant and the Transcendental Transforming Horizons. We need to harmonize integrative the exotic idealistic speculations and conjectures of conceptual models with the empirical/pragmatic measurements coming out of the lab. See Ch. 12, Nurophilosophy of Consciousness., Vol. IV and Vol. V.
The Israeli analytical psychologist Erich Neumann, whom C. G. Jung regarded as one of his most gifted students, devoted much of his later writing to the theme of creativity. This is the third volume of Neumann's essays on that subject. Neumann found his examples not only in the work of writers and artists--William Blake, Goethe, Rilke, Kafka, Klee, Chagall, Picasso, Trakl--but as well in that of physicists, biologists, psychiatrists, and philosophers. Confronting the problem of portraying men and women as creative beings, Neumann expanded the concepts of Jungian psychology with a more comprehensive definition of the archetype and a new concept--"unitary reality." Whether or not humanity can be restored to health from its present situation as a self-endangered species depends, according to Neumann, on whether we can experience ourselves as truly creative, in touch with our own being and the world's being. The six essays comprising this volume--"The Psyche and the Transformation of the Reality Planes," "The Experience of the Unitary Reality," "Creative Man and the `Great Experience,'" "Man and Meaning," "Peace as the Symbol of Life," and "The Psyche as the Place of Creation"--all originated as lectures at the Eranos Conferences in the years 1952 to 1960.

Originally published in 1989.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

In this, his culminating work, the leading international figure in consciousness research masterfully synthesizes his vast findings, drawing not only upon psychedelic therapy and Holotropic Breathwork, but also from literature, cross-cultural studies, ancient mystical sources and psychological data, resulting in a profound consolidation and articulation of what is now known about nonordinary states of consciousness.

The Cosmic Game discusses the broadest philosophical, metaphysical and spiritual insights gleaned in Grof's research concerning human nature and reality, addressing the most fundamental questions human beings have asked about the nature of existence since time immemorial.

Insights from research into nonordinary states of consciousness portray existence as an astonishing play of the cosmic creative principle that transcends time, space, linear causality, and polarities of every kind and suggest an identity of the individual psyche in its furthest reaches with the universal creative principle and the totality of existence. This identity of the human being with the Divine is the ultimate secret that lies at the core of all great spiritual traditions.

"What moves this book into the status of a classic is that it is in substantial agreement with the world's great wisdom and spiritual traditions. This modern corroboration of the perennial philosophy is a stunning achievement and deserves publication to the widest audiences." -- Ken Wilber, author of Up from Eden: A Transpersonal View of Human Evoution and The Atman Project: A Transpersonal View of Human Development

"The Cosmic Game is the latest and best of Stanislav Grof's extraordinary contributions to our understanding of human consciousness. This book provides a coherent picture of how individual experience fits into universal patterns of consciousness" -- Frances Vaughan, author of Shadows of the Sacred: Seeing through Spiritual Illusions

"Perhaps the most important of all his works, representing as it does an integration of the most profound of his clients' experiences and demonstrating a remarkable convergence with the deepest spiritual experiences reported across centuries and cultures. This convergence is a finding of the greatest significance." -- Roger Walsh, author of The Spirit of Shamanism

"Grof is the world's leading authority on the deep exploration of the mind and soul... This is a wonderful gift!" -- Charles Tart, author of States of Consciousness and Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm

Stanislav Grof, MD, is a psychiatrist with more than fifty years of experience in research of nonordinary 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 The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration; Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy; Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution; and Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research; all published by SUNY Press.
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