By Stephen Russell-Lacy. Question – How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer – one, but the light bulb has got to want to change. According to award winning professor of psychiatry Irvin Yalom, this idea of free choice (also called free-will) presents a problem to many psychological therapists. Their goal … Continue reading Free choice – An illusion?
The idea that science has replaced religion has become popular these days. Some put religion to one side as now of date. People are noticing a huge development in research into the working of the human brain which seems to support this view. New imaging technologies allow science to measure blood flow and neural activity … Continue reading Science – Does it invalidate religion?
The brain, is a soft, mass of gray and white matter. It has been estimated that there are more connections between the nerve cells within each one than all the particles in the universe! But how on earth can a piece of mere biological tissue – albeit an incredibly complex one – have consciousness? How … Continue reading Consciousness: can brain matter have it?
by Stanislav Grof, Suny Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology, State University of New York Press. 2000. ISBN 0 7914 4622
This book is about modern consciousness research. It is written by one of the founders of transpersonal psychology and covers his ideas regarding non-ordinary states of consciousness. His term for these is ‘holotropic’ experience which signifies ‘moving towards wholeness.’ His discussion draws on for example such fascinating human states of consciousness as past-life experiences, peak experiences, communication with spirit guides and channelling, near-death experiences, crises of shamans like witch-doctors, states of possession, and awakening of Kundalini. He also reports findings from his original research into ‘psychedelic therapy’ and ‘holotropic breathwork’.
One critic has commented ‘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 … about the nature of personhood.’