Psyche Unbound: Essays in Honor of Stanislav Grof


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Edited by Richard Tarnas Ph.D. and Sean Kelly Ph.D.

Forward by Rick Doblin Ph.D.

From the Publisher: Psyche Unbound: Essays in Honor of Stanislav Grof is an extraordinary compilation of 22 essays that honor the path-breaking lifework of Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., the world’s leading researcher in psychedelic-assisted therapy, breathwork, and the exploration of non-ordinary states of consciousness. Psyche Unbound features contributions from thought leaders of the last five decades, including a piece from Joseph Campbell’s 1971 lecture in the Great Hall at Cooper Union and Huston Smith’s 1976 summary of Grof’s work as it relates to the study of religion and mysticism. More recent writing includes reflections by renowned psychiatrists and researchers that discuss the importance of Grof’s contributions on the current wave of interest and research into psychedelic-assisted therapies and alternative states of consciousness. Psyche Unbound, considered a festschrift for Stanislav Grof, includes essays that explore Grof’s work on numerous fronts including transpersonal sexual experiences, implications for social and cultural change, comparative studies with Asianreligious systems, the perinatal dimensions of Jean-Paul Sartre’s transformational 1935 mescaline experience, and parallel findings from quantum and relativistic physics.

Praise for the Book: “Brilliant and deep, this volume celebrates and illuminates Stan Grof’s genius. His profound vision has created a powerful new paradigm for psychology, medicine, human and social development, and for understanding the nature of consciousness. His groundbreaking research and vast experience offers us wisdom, a wise heart and whole beneficial new perspectives across multiple fields. A truly important worthy tribute.” — Jack Kornfield, PhD, Author of A Path With Heart

“It is difficult to look very far into almost any metaphysical topic in the second half the last century or the first few decades of the first and not find, somewhere, peeking through the closet, or just standing in the living room, the figure of the Czech-American psychiatrist, writer, and spiritual guide Stanislav Grof. From the culture’s human potential and now spiritual but not religious movements, through its present renaissance of psychedelic research and long-standing interest in meditation and somatic practices, to our public media fascination with UFOs, Stan is everywhere–always influential, always nuanced, always a trusted guide.” — Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Secret Body: Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions

“The courageous and catalytic vision of Stan Grof has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people all over the world….and my life as well. In the early 1970’s, I had the great privilege of working alongside Stan in his project of LSD psychotherapy with dying people. In the course of the work, I came to understand that the human mind is much vaster than I had imagined and the human heart more boundless. This extraordinary book reflects the power of Stan’s work and the great depth of his understanding.” — Rev. Joan Jiko Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center

“Stan Grof is a pioneer, a heretic, an explorer, and a changer of paradigms. His contributions to the field of psychedelic science and psychedelic therapy are comparable to those of Galileo to astronomy or Einstein to physics. His long life spans the early investigations of psychedelics for therapy, to the darkest days of their prohibition and vilification, to the current re-discovery and acknowledgement of their value, not only in therapy, but as tools for the exploration of the farthest limits of consciousness. He also deserves credit for the development of holotropic breathwork, which he developed together with his late wife, Christina.This innovative technique placed tools into the hands of therapists at a time when psychedelics were prohibited, that afforded a non-psychedelic modality that had many of the same therapeutic benefits, and was compatible with the use of psychedelics when that became possible. His life, his character, and his accomplishments give testimony to his stature as a giant in this field. Stan is a beloved mentor and inspiration to many who aspired to follow in his footsteps, as illustrated by the tributes of his many friends and colleagues that have been gathered in this wonderful festschrift on the eve of his 90th birthday. Many followed in his footsteps; none will ever fill his shoes.” — Dennis McKenna, Ethnopharmacologist and Editor-in-Chief of Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs

“What is remarkable about this book is that while each essay discusses, describes, or elaborates on a major concept or contribution of Grof’s, few of the essays overlap in any meaningful way. The result is a volume of original thinking, speculation, and elaboration that is deeply satisfying in its exploration of ways of knowing Grof encountered or created during his long career.” — James Fadiman, PhD, microdose researcher and author (with Jordan Gruber) of Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are

About The Authors: Richard Tarnas, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he founded the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He teaches courses in the history of ideas, archetypal studies, depth psychology, and religious evolution. He frequently lectures on archetypal studies and depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, and was formerly the director of programs and education at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He is the author of The Passion of the Western Mind, a history of the Western world view from the ancient Greek to the postmodern widely used in universities. His second book, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, received the Book of the Year Prize from the Scientific and Medical Network, and is the basis for the upcoming documentary series The Changing of the Gods. He is a past president of the International Transpersonal Association and served on the Board of Governors for the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco.

Sean M. Kelly, Ph.D., is Professor in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. He has published numerous articles on Jung, Hegel, transpersonal psychology, and the new science and is the author of Individuation and the Absolute: Hegel, Jung, and the Path toward Wholeness (Paulist Press, 1993). Sean is an editor (with Donald Rothberg) of Ken Wilber in Dialogue: Conversations with Leading Transpersonal Thinkers (Quest, 1998) and a translator (with Roger Lapointe) of the French thinker Edgar Morin’s book Homeland Earth: A Manifesto for the New Millennium (Hampton Press, 1999). Along with his academic work, Sean has trained intensively in the Chinese internal arts (taiji, bagua, and xingyi) and has been teaching taiji since 1990.

Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife, dog, and empty rooms from three children, one of whom is in college and two have graduated.

ISBN: 0998276529    –    EAN: 9780998276526

Additional information

Weight 32 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 0.6 in