By Stephen Russell-Lacy. There are lots of cultural and individual differences between people, but do humans have something innately in common? According to philosopher John Locke, there is no such thing as human nature. In his view, the mind is at birth a “blank slate” without rules, so data are added, and rules for processing … Continue reading Human nature – Does it exist?
by Stephen Russell-Lacy. When on life’s path we are all likely to be blown off course by the myriad unsettling and distracting things in the world in which we live. By worries and stress to do with, for example, gaining social esteem, earning a living, keeping friends, or finding a mate. And so you may … Continue reading Spiritual practice – Which one is best?
Spiritual traditions like Buddhism speak of enlightenment as promising a state of wisdom, happiness and freedom from the troubles we usually have to deal with in life. So what actually is enlightenment? How can we understand what the term means? Physical light and well-being The word enlightenment obviously is based on the word ‘light’. So … Continue reading Enlightenment – How to think of it?
Do you feel your life is missing something? Are you interested in higher states of awareness? For example the awe and wonder you might have once felt when contemplating the world of nature. Or the sense of peace, contentment, and even joy that perhaps you had as an infant or you fleetingly glimpse in the … Continue reading Divine Source – How to think of it?
Many people believe there is a higher spiritual energy they call God that transcends the mundane material world. This for them is not a personal God but rather a higher power that ensures there is order in nature the laws of which can be discovered by science. Idea of a personal God Another view is … Continue reading A personal God for thinking about
More people in the West are becoming interested in the concept of reincarnation. They are attracted to the idea that the human spirit lives on beyond death. I suspect they have lost patience with two specific doctrines of traditional Christian religion. Instead of reincarnation, final destiny according to actions in one life The first of … Continue reading Reincarnation – How plausible is 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.’