leftspacer middlespacer rightspacer
Media Menu
Featured Material


MAPS BULLETIN
MAPS Bulletin Summer 2014: Research Edition
 
Media > Recent and Archival
May 25, 2007

Stan Grof: Journey into the Holo-deck of the Unconscious

By: Diego Pignatelli


"Stan Grof is the precursor of a pioneering adventure of transpersonal explorations of man's unconscious from the cosmic holo-deck (probability, location) to the whole cosmic experience. Grof has inherited this sum of archetypes which come back as ghosts in the matrix from the collective unconscious of Jung. Or, like liberating, model a priori visions of consciousness he has taken the boundaries of the unconscious threshold into the non ordinary psycho-active. The door between heaven and hell acts as an interface to the matrices and its keystone is what Grof describes as "non ordinary states of consciousness" (NOSC.) "


Stan Grof: Journey into the Holo-deck of the Unconscious:

by: Diego Pignatelli -
email: diego pignatelli

When Anthony Sutich and Abraham Maslow began Transpersonal Psychology it was already becoming clear that in the future, the potential for it would be unlocked. The pioneering discoveries of Stanislav Grof would cause a revolutionary change in the field of consciousness by moving towards a new holographic future even with the discoveries of LSD, optional aids for experimental trips into transpersonal dimensions. This future would be a decisive turning point for the holographic witness, the explorer and the traveller of the unexplored territories of the psyche.

Freud provided the first definition of metapsychology in 1896. This psychology had to go behind the conscious sphere by dealing with states of consciousness. Since then, other connotations of metapsychology have been added but looking at history from Freud to Jung we can see that Stanislav Grof preserves this technique; he is one of the latest pioneers along the path of this discipline.

The journey towards the unconscious.

Grof's back door (as defined by Ken Wilber) is a door that opens onto the phyletic corridor of human hope. The collective unconscious is the archetypal substratum that Jung theorised as a door hidden behind the inexpressible, from which, beneath the layers of human experience, pulsates this mysterious, magical and in Jung's words "numinous" quality.

Stanislav Grof, like his predecessors and Jung, heads for this archetypal corridor whose various rooms, to use an image from the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, are holo-decks or three-dimensional holographic fields. They are parallel realities of holograms in the psychic corridor which are evoked as holographic simulations of the exact desired reality. Holo-decks are probabilities of the many doors in the corridor; they are no more than "holographic simulations."

Grof's BPM perinatal matrices, like holo-decks, are very similar because coming from the great cosmic womb of undifferentiated, amniotic, foetal experience, the various matrices become claustrophobic places where the foetus is overlain BPM II and BPM III (Base I and II Perinatal Matrices.) This experience is an infernal dead end matrix. The matrices as theorised by Stan Grof culminate in transcendence or damnation.

In BPM IV, the final matrix, the afflicted foetus ends where death is reborn and turns from the hellish experience of a manic, borderline neurotic state into spiritual ecstasies where the life-death interface unhooks itself from its infernal BPM state and moves to the three-dimensional holo-deck. By unhooking oneself, through rebirth and reliving, a patient regresses into anxious one-way states ranging from catastrophic visions and scatological hells with no escape to hells from which he/she can return.

This journey through the back door of the unconscious is a regression into the conscious sphere. It's a back door to consciousness.

Stanislav Grof called this process Holotropic: a movement towards a whole. The existential field of one is the universal sphere of Everything. By losing the sense of self, man regresses into cosmic states of being and identifies himself with all things vegetable, mineral and biological. Heavenly paradises and angelic visions are accessible in these dimensions as well as universal archetypes such as the great goddess mother Kali, the sustainer of life who is also an arachnid monster with numerous limbs.

Where consciousness meets holo-deck, doors to parallel universes (Star Gates) open. For this to happen, consciousness has to project itself onto a super-hologram and identify with the internal field of experience. Holotropic experience is a journey beyond the usual confines, beyond the limits of the mind. Stan Grof is the precursor of a pioneering adventure of transpersonal explorations of human's unconscious from the cosmic holo-deck (probability, location) to the whole cosmic experience. Grof has inherited this sum of archetypes which come back as ghosts in the matrix from the collective unconscious of Jung. Or, like liberating, model a priori visions of consciousness he has taken the boundaries of the unconscious threshold into the non ordinary psycho-active. The door between heaven and hell acts as an interface to the matrices and its keystone is what Grof describes as "non ordinary states of consciousness" (NOSC.) By using quick breathing, holotropic practices and evocative music one breaks away from ordinary experience and travels in a transpersonal experience where waiting for the death-rebirth event is a holistic cosmos; a whole field of all events. The journey towards the unconscious is a conscious morphogenetic map of infinite holographic probabilities. If objective reality is nothing more than a small holographic plate, a fragment of reality, the remains of the hologram will be latent and hidden. That is why it is necessary to bring back the experiences which are concealed behind the objective universe of Everything. This is where they lie dormant and we need to bring them back to the whole. Only through immersion in the state of consciousness can we explore this whole in its parts and as a result find the whole plate in a holographic process.

The NOSC, journeys into non ordinary states of consciousness, are prerequisites for a dimension which spans the Alpha and Omega of human experience. Stanislav Grof has reached the transpersonal threshold imagining it as a bridge to the unconscious (as anticipated by Jung,) leading to a journey into a cave of monsters and demonic presences and finally coming out into the corridor of regressive, transpersonal experience - regressive being part of what is transpersonal. The condensed COEX experiences (archetypal constellations) and the BPM matrixes are indispensable stages for the great return and for transpersonal location. These enable us to access the Sacred and a journey into the holo-deck, a new unconscious.

Diego Pignatelli.


(5068 characters/85 lines)

Bohm D., The holographic paradigm, Shambhala Publ., Colorado.
Bohm D., Unfolding meaning, Ark, London, 1987.

Bohm D., Universo mente materia, Red, Como, 1996.

Bohm D., Wholeness and the implicate order, Ark, London, 1983
Bohm D. e Peat F.D., Science, order and creativity, Bantam Books, New York, 1987
Capra F.Il punto di svolta. Scienza, società e cultura emergente. Milano, Feltrinelli, 1982.
Capra F. Il tao della fisica, Milano, Adelphi, 1982.
Capra F. Verso una nuova saggezza. Milano, Feltrinelli, 1988.

Grof S. & Grof C., The Stormy Search of The Self, New York Perigee Books, ISBN, 0-87477-649-X, 1931
Grof S., Realms of Human Unconscious, New York Viking, 1976
Grof S. & Grof C., Beyond Death, Thames and Hudson, London, 1980
Grof S., The Adventure of Self Discovery, State University of New York Press, Albany NY, 1987
Grof S. & Grof C., Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation becomes a Crisis (New Consciousness Reader), Los Angeles, J.P. Tarcher, 1989
Grof, S. 1975. Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press.

Grof, S. 1980. LSD Psychotherapy. Pomona, CA: Hunter House.

Grof, S. 1985. Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, N.Y: State University New York Press.

Grof, S. 1988. The Adventure of Self-Discovery. Albany, N.Y.: State University New York Press


Grof S., Zina Bennett H., Holotropic mind, Harper Collins MAPS, San Francisco, 1992
Grof S., The Cosmic Game: Exploration of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness, SUNY Press, Albany (New York), 1998
Grof S., Psychology of the Future. Lesson from Modern Consciousness Research, by Stanislav Grof, SUNY Press, Albany (New York), 2000
Grof S. & Grof C., The Stormy Search for the Self, New York Perigee/Tarcher Los Angeles, Ca Putnam Publications 2000
Grof S., LSD Psychoterapy, by Stanislav Grof MAPS, Florida, 2001
James W. , Le varie forme della coscienza religiosa, Bocca Milano,1945.
Jung C.G., La Vita Simbolica, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 1975
Jung C.G., Gli Archetipi dell'inconscio collettivo, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 1976
Jung, C. G. 1956. Symbols of Transformation. Collected Works, vol. 5, Bollingen Series XX, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G. 1959. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Collected Works, vol. 9,1. Bollingen Series XX, Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G. 1960. A Review of the Complex Theory. Collected Works, vol. 8, Bollingen Series XX. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Talbot M. The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot 1991.
Talbot M., Beyond the quantum, Bantam Books, New York, 1988.
Talbot M., Tutto è uno, Urra, Milano, 1997.
Tarnas R., Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, by Richard Tarnas, 2006
G.Tucci, Induismo, "Hinduism" ISMEO Roma.

Wilber K., The Spectrum of Consciousness, Quest Wheaton, 1977
Wilber K., Up from Heden, Doubleday/Anchor, New York, 1981
Wilber K., A Social God, Mc Graw-Hill, New York, 1982
Wilber K., The Holografic Paradigm and other paradoxes, Shambhala, Boston, 1982.
Wilber K., Engler J., Brown D.P., , The Transformation of Consciousness, conventional and contemplative perspective on development (Shambhala Boston and London)1986 Shambhala Publications Inc.
Wilber K., A Brief History of Everything, Shambhala Publications, 2000
Wilber K., Integral Psychology, Shambhala Publications, 2000
Alan Wolf F., The Dreaming Universe: Investigations of the Middle Realm of Consciousness and Matter (New York: Summit Books, 1993).
Alan Wolf F., The Quantum Pshysics of Consciousness: Towards a New Psychology, “Integrative Psychology”, Vol. 3 (1985), pp. 236-47; On the Quantum Physical Theory of Subjective Antedating, “Journal of Theoretical Biology”, Vol. 136 (1989), pp 13-19.
Alan Wolf F., Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Nonscientists, ed. riv. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981).
Zimmer H., Campbell J., Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization ,1946 Bollingen Foundation Washington D.C., Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton New Jersey.

Back to MAPS

Back to MAPS in the Media

Give Our Veterans Hope
1 in 7 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from PTSD, in many cases leading to suicide. We owe it to our veterans to stop this epidemic.

Tell the Pentagon to fund MAPS' groundbreaking work to treat PTSD.