Friday, June 18, 2010
Stanislov Grof documents decades' worth of paranormal or synchronistic phenomenon observed over the years in his clinical practice as a psychoanalyst and therapist. Of course you have to understand that Grof's technique is to put his patients into alternate states of consciousness in order to heal them; often this is done via high doses of psychedelics, or through Rolfing or breathwork or shamanic drumming or combinations of all of these. At any rate, I'm sure the incidence of ESP and past-life and out-of-body experiences are higher when the therapists and patients are zapped on LSD and rolling around the floor at Esalan listening to Bruckner.
I mean the snark good-naturedly, of course. I love books about psychonalytic theory, drugs, aliens, the paranormal, and synchronicity, and Grof always delivers a rousing entertainment, straddling as he does the dividing line between scientist and mystic. We know next to nothing about how consciousness works, and Grof asks interesting questions about the data he's collected over the years.