Beyond the brain : birth, death, and transcendence in by Stanislav Grof

By Stanislav Grof

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Sample text

Such statements as, "All existing things are of a material nature and there is no spiritual world," or, "Consciousness is a product of matter," clearly belong to this category, no matter how self­evident they might appear to common sense or to a mechanistic scientist.  The Copernican revolution and other essential developments in modern science have survived only because reason was frequently overruled in the past.  Facts and theories are more intimately connected than conventional science has assumed, and certain facts cannot be unearthed without the help of alternatives to the established theories.

The perception of space can undergo similar changes: unusual states of mind clearly demonstrate the narrowness and limitation of space with only three coordinates.  As in the case of time travel, one can experience linear transfer to another place by mental space travel, direct and immediate transport through a space loop, or by stepping out of the space dimension altogether and reentering at another place.

However, in the course of later development, the conceptual frameworks derived from the Newtonian­Cartesian paradigm lost their revolutionary power and became serious obstacles for scientific research and progress.  Parapsychology, alternative approaches to healing, psychedelic research, thanatology, and certain areas of anthropological fieldwork are salient examples.  In psychology, psychiatry, and anthropology, the conceptual schisms have reached such a degree that these disciplines seem to be facing a deep crisis, comparable in scope to the crisis physics was facing at the time of the Michelson­Morley experiment.

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