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

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 holodecks 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. Holodecks are probabilities of the many doors in the corridor; they are no more than "holographic simulations."

Grof's BPM perinatal matrices, like holodecks, 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 ( Basic 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 holodeck. 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 holodeck, 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 man's unconscious from the cosmic holodeck (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 individuation. These enable us to access the Sacred and a journey into the holodeck, a new unconscious.

Diego Pignatelli.

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