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LSD: Doorway to the Numinous: The Groundbreaking Psychedelic Research into Realms of the Human Unconscious Paperback – February 12, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1955, psychiatrist Grof (The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness and the Mystery of Death), then a Czech medical student, began studying the effects of LSD on human subjects (including himself) in pioneering experiments focused on schizophrenia symptoms. Over time, Grof's interest shifted to diagnostic and therapeutic use of psychedelics, in part because of his first visit to the U.S. (where he now lives) in 1965, when "the American psychedelic movement was profoundly influencing contemporary culture." First published in 1975, this book foresees the psychedelic experience causing a "radical revision of the current scientific worldview" comparable to the 20th century "conceptual cataclysm" in Newtonian physics-a view Grof appears to hold still. Though the LSD experience can encompass virtually "any perceptual, emotional or psychosomatic manifestations," and varies wildly among individuals and individual trips, Grof finds subjects' reported experience entirely credible, and indicative of complex mental processes at work: some subjects relive childhood and "perinatal" experiences, some "regress" to previous lives and non-human life forms. Whether or not one accepts his case studies at face value, Grof's engrossing state-of-the-science overview argues convincingly that continued LSD research will help patients, parents, policymakers and even spiritual seekers.
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" . . . Grof's engrossing state-of-the-science overview argues convincingly that continued LSD reserach will help patients, parents, policymakers, and even spiritual seekers." (Publishers Weekly, Feb 2009)
"Dr. Grof's efforts should be lauded and highly commended in the scientific and medical community. His clinical research is courageous and luminous to anyone who is conscious of the body's metaphysiology and higher energy dynamics. This field of research is as important to the human animal as molecular scientific inquiry into the etiology of neoplasias." (Dr. Ron Shane, reviewer, April 2009)
"Dr. Grof has helped to give us new ways of seeing the world . . . He has opened a link between the psyche and the spirit." (Nexus New Times Magazine, Sept/Oct 2009)
"For any serious student of psychedelics or psychology, this is an important read that should not be ignored. In terms of building a foundation for the future of the psychedelic movement and finding a place for psychedelics in society, LSD:Doorway to the Numinous is without question the text. Authoritative, insightful, and self-aware." (Psychedelic Press, UK, Feb 2010)
“The most significant development in the recent history of depth psychology, and the most important advance in the field since Freud and Jung themselves, has been the work of Stanislav Grof.” (Richard Tarnas, Ph.D., author of The Passion of the Western Mind)
“A breakthrough work.” (Jean Houston, Ph.D., coauthor of The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience)
“Dr. Stanislav Grof's LSD: Doorway to the Numinous is an extraordinary alchemical text that overturns many commonly held beliefs about the nature of individual identity and consciousness. Based on his 2,500 clinical sessions using LSD as a therapeutic tool before the substance was interdicted, Grof's book explores the vast dimensions of inner experience that have been ignored and marginalized by the mainstream. He also provides a theoretical framework for understanding these amazing experiences that synthesizes Freudian and Jungian insights into the dark matter of the unconscious and the primal drives that secretly impel us to act. A must-read for all serious students of consciousness.” (Daniel Pinchbeck, author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and Breaking Open the Head)
“Stanislav Grof is the undisputed world authority on LSD and the human psyche, and this book provides the best cartography of consciousness for understanding the profound impact of entheogens on the mind.” (Alex Grey, artist and author of Sacred Mirrors and Transfigurations)
“I know of no work that so well incorporates the findings of Freud, Jung, and Rank, adding fresh insights that the methods of these psychotherapists could never have achieved. It certainly goes beyond Freud. It brings new clarification to Jung. It throws new light on the topic of death and resurrection symbolism, as well as on religious imagery. I do not doubt that others working in this field will find Dr. Grof's discoveries a basis for a whole new strategy of research.” (Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, The Masks of God, and Myths to Live By)
“Stanislav Grof ’s research is the most important contribution to personality theory in several decades.” (Abraham Maslow, Ph.D., psychologist, cofounder of Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology, and autho)
“An exceptionally clear and readable introduction to the evolving psychology of the spirit--transpersonal psychology--that is one of the most exciting developments of our times. Grof is far and away one of the leading scientists exploring this field.” (Charles Tart, Ph.D., psychologist and author of States of Consciousness, PSI: Scientific Studies of)
“Dr. Grof's studies of the mystical experience in LSD therapy represent an extremely valuable scientific approach to consciousness research from which many people can benefit.” (Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Tibetan lama and author of Born in Tibet, Spiritual Materialism, and Medit)
“Grof has had far and away more experience in psychedelic research than anyone else and has come up with the most comprehensive and helpful framework for interpreting the data in this bewildering area.” (Huston Smith, Ph.D., author of The World’s Religions and Beyond the Post-Modern Mind)
“Grof marshals an impressive array of data and speculation in support of the timely demand that Western science acknowledge consciousness and its many nonordinary states.” (Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), Ph.D., psychologist, spiritual teacher, and author of Be Here Now, Grist)
“A fascinating journey through previously uncharted realms of the psyche guided by one of the world’s foremost consciousness researchers. A remarkable account of the extraordinary depths of the human psyche.” (Frances Vaughan, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Awakening Intuition and The Inward Arc)
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Top Customer Reviews
The original book itself is without doubt remarkable and groundbreaking; everything suggested by the professional reviewers 35 years ago and cited in the Amazon spruiking is true. It is just a pity that the Park Street Press (a division of Inner Traditions - from whom I would have expected more) and Amazon, failed to disclose that this text is in fact not new material(other than its brief epilogue [a short research review] from Grof's 2008 "LSD Psychtherapy" ), but "mutton dressed as lamb" almost 35 years on. The failure of disclosure in this instance is frankly appalling and disappointing. As a long-time customer of both companies I expect more. In this era of international book purchases via the web, truthful representation of an item is critical to ensure trust in the marketplace.
If you want to learn more about LSD - read this book.
If you're a psychology major or just someone interested in psychology, the mind, and consciousness - most definitely read this book.
If you want a mind-blowing, eye-opening experience - read this book.
I also enjoyed the journy back through the sixties and seventies that sumed up how LSD became a class one drug.
Dr. Grof's efforts should be lauded and highly commended in the scientific and medical community. His clinical research is courageous and luminous to anyone who is conscious of the body's meta-physiology and higher energy dynamics. This field of research is as important to the human animal as molecular scientific inquiry into the etiology of neoplasias. Furthermore, this text would be inspiring to anyone who has not yet felt the body's numinous essence. Pathogenic materialism is certainly not the way to unleash the etheric impassionment of the human psyche. Dr. Grof's book "LSD: Doorway to the Numinous" and Dr. Rick Strassmans' Books "The DMT Molecule" and "The Inner Paths to Outerspace" all published by Inner Tradition, would certainly benefit the harrowing consciousness of all homosapiens.
Mescaline, psilocybin, ayahuasca and LSD are exquisite protocols in the words of Dr. Grof to ameliorate perturbations of personality and psyche. However, the U.S. government has mandated that board certified psychiatrists cannot utilize these agents in a clinical medical setting. Dr. Grof purports that 21st century humans do not have a prodigious way to experience the brain's mystical circuitry in most cases other than psychedelic agents. It is well documented by anthropologists that indigenous humans have been spiritually employing these naturalistic substances for thousands of years. Furthermore, this medical doctor implicitly suggests that it is retrograde to the heuristic maturation of the human psyche for us not to utilize these substances for mystical genesis. According to Carl Jung modern humans will continue to inwardly degenerate in a cultural context, which stultifies the activation of the numinous sphere of self.