Repressed traumatic memories that had disabled the patient for many years were brought to the surface and the terrible hold they had over the patient was diminished or banished completely. Sometimes such crippling disorders of the mind were even cured including one of the most terrible of them all-schizophrenia. More incredible was the fact that many patients moved beyond personal issues into transpersonal areas that had never before been explored by Western psychology. One common experience was the reliving of what it was like to be in the womb. The following is from page 67 of Michael Talbot's, The Holographic Universe: "At first Grof thought these were just imagined experiences, but as the evidence continued to amass he realized that the knowledge of embryology inherent in the descriptions was often far superior to the patient's previous education in the area. Patients accurately described certain characterisitics of the heart sounds of their mother, the nature of the acoustic phenomena in the peritoneal cavity, specific details about the various cellular and biochemical processes taking place. They also described important thoughts and feelings their mother had during pregnancy and events such as physical trauma she had experienced." There were occasions that Grof could directly question the mother and other people involved in the experience the patient was reporting and was able to verify them.
Even more astonishing, patients began reporting experiences that extended far beyond the boundaries of the ego. They would report what it was like to be other living creatures and even inanimate objects. Patients were also able to explore ancestral memories. Again from page 68 of Talbot's book: "One woman experienced what it was like to be her mother at the age of three and accurately described a frightening event that had befallen her mother at the time. The woman also gave a precise description of the house her mother had lived in as well as the white pinafore she had been wearing-all details her mother later confirmed and admitted she had never talked about before.. Other patients gave equally accurate descriptions of events that had befallen ancestors who had lived decades and even centuries before." Racial and collective memories could also be accessed by the patients. Patients of Slavic descent relived the experience of what it was like to participate in the conquests of Genghis Khan, to undergo tribal initiation rites, and even to die as a human sacrifice of the Aztecs. Once again both the quality and quantity of the historical facts they reported contained a degree of information that was totally at odds with the patient's education, race, and previous exposure to the subject. An uneducated patient gave a very insightful and detailed account of Egyptian embalming and mummification procedures-all the way down to what certain amulets symbolized, the materials used, the sizes of those materials and other esoteric data about Egyptian funeral services. Certain patients with no knowledge or connection to the Far East and other areas of the world were able to describe what it was like to have an Asian psyche and also had esoteric knowledge of Hindu, Taoist and Buddhist teachings.
There didn't seem to be a limit to whatever source the patients were acquring there knowledge from. The patients described so many different aspects of reality that the whole array of existence seemed to be with their grasp-knowing what it was like to be a plant, animal, a blood cell, an atom, a star-even the consciousness of the entire planet and even the cosmos itself. The patients would gain eerily accurate precognitive information. At times they also encountered many different types of nonhuman intelligences. Every now and then subjects would seem tto transcend "our" level of reality and perceive other universes and levels of reality. From page 69 of The Holographic Universe, "In one session a young man suffering from depression found himself in what seemed to be another dimension. It had an eerie luminescence, and although he could not see anyone he sensed that it was crowded with discarnate beings. Suddenly he sensed a prescence very close to him, and to his surprise it began to communicate with him telepathically. It asked him to please contact a couple who lived in the Moravian city of Kromeriz and let them know that their son Ladislav was well taken care of and doing all right. It gave him the couple's name, street address, and telephone number. The information meant nothing to either Grof or the young man and seemed totally unrelated to the young man's treatment. Still, Grof could not put it out of his mind. "After some hesitation and with mixed feelings, I finally decided to do what certainly would have made me the target of my colleagues jokes, had they found out," says Grof. "I went to the telephone, dialed the number in Kromeriz and asked if I could speak to Ladislav. To my astonishment, the woman on the other side of the line started to cry. When she calmed down, she told me with a broken voice: 'Our son is not with us anymore; he passed away, we lost him three weeks ago.' " I am calling this a rough draft because as someone whose dance card isn't what you would call full-I forgot a social engagement this afternoon-so I need to get off the puter. When I am back on tomorrow I want to check and make sure the post "reads" right and that I have credited Michael Talbot's book properly. I used to own two books by Stanislav and Christina Grof that had a huge variety of experiences in them in regards to psychotropic and holotropic breathwork therapy-sadly I don't anymore, but I would like to see if any of these experiences are mentioned on the net. I haven't done anything new here in a while and I hope to start a new series soon about many different theories and experiences of the mind and reality. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments! http://www.stanislavgrof.com/