Lightmind Extract 044
Hi all, greatly enjoying the discussions here.
Picked up this book recently, and am curious if anyone else here has read it. It’s part of the SUNY series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology. “Dark Night, Early Dawn: Steps to a Deep Ecology of Mind” by Christopher M. Bache. The author draws on his personal experiences with Grof’s psychedelic work (“psychedelic” is the author’s terminology– he’s kinda ambiguous as to whether his experiences were with holotropic breathwork or entheogens…I suspect it was both) and compares the experiences of those using Grof’s techniques to the inner landscapes described by OBE godfather Robert Monroe (a name I hadn’t paid a whole lot of attention to previous to reading this book.)
description from the back cover: “Combining philosophical reflections with deep self-exploration to delve into the ancient mystery of death and rebirth, this book emphasizes collective rather than individual transformation. Drawing upon twenty years of experience working with non-ordinary states, Bache argues that when the deep psyche is hyper-stimulated using Stanislav Grof’s powerful therapeutic methods, the healing that results sometimes extends beyond the individual to the collective unconscious of humanity itself.”
Provocative stuff in the book– one chapter is called “Beyond Personal Karma”…another attempts to wrestle with why the negative “hell” states are so intense in Grof’s work, compared with the paucity/mildness of negative states encountered by Monroe in his journeys. His basic thesis is in large part contained in these sentences: “In psychotherapy, therapy heals the patient present. Following this simple logic, we must speculate that if the patient in these intense states of awareness has expanded beyond the individual person, then the healing being realized through these exercises also reaches beyond the individual person.”
The author’s accounts of his sessions, which were excerpted from his journals, make for some good reading. Certainly not your average tedious “trip report”. Interestingly, one reminded me very much of an account by Robert Hunter (Greatful Dead lyricist) of his DMT experiences in the sixties…
Bache, the author, writes of an experience where during a session he was in communication with a “vast, surrounding Consciousness” which “took me on an extraordinary tour of the universe”…following the description of this tour he writes “…the most poignant aspect of today’s session was not the discovered dimensions of the universe themselves but what my seeing and understanding them meant to the Consciousness I was with. It seemed to be so pleased to have someone to show Its work to. I felt that It had been waiting for billions of years for embodied consciousness to evolve to the point where we could at long last begin to see, understand, and appreciate what had been accomplished. I felt the loneliness of this Intelligence having created such a masterpiece and having no one to appreciate Its work, and I wept. I wept for its isolation and in awe of the profound love which had accepted this isolation as part of a larger plan. Behind creation lies a LOVE of extraordinary proportions, and all of existence is an expression of this love. The intelligence of the universe’s design is equally matched by the depth of love that inspired it.”
and now the Robert Hunter bit that was brought to mind by that passage:
“My personal take on the “secret” of DMT: it was long, hard work making this world real. It was, and is, done for a purpose. To have others. To believe in them fullly in order to experience love. It goes against common sense to try and see through it. Ignorance is the primary condition of Eden. But entropy is at work and a world made for love is not satisfied with the transformational edict “eat and be eaten” but kills and does not eat. A sense of ultimate unity is lost and the delusion of fundamental diversity breeds alienation. This is not Eden. Yet the monad doesn’t face itself and subsume Its creation. The failing would be eternal. Therefore, doors are opened and enought of the plot is “made flesh” to allow orientation regarding the surface gist of the matter. Collectivism is a wrong approach to nostalgia for the purity of the monad. Healthy diversity perpetuates the rationale of the creation, such as it is. Healthy men, women, races and nations evolving gladly to a recognition of the source, rejoining it in a gradual and rejoicing manner, “bringing in the sheaves,” would be a better solution ot the human aspect of this work, and is the substance of sacred ceremonial.
My take could be way off base but anything more Gnostic is off-putting. Phil Dick fell down that sink. And Lovecraft, I wouldn’t doubt, though he professed no belief in what he wrote.”
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