In study after study, whether the person suffered from a psychological disorder or not, Grof found the same general levels of the unconscious were uncovered a step at a time. Again from page 70 of The Holographic Universe: "It was almost as if LSD provided the human consciousness with access to a kind of infinite subway system, a labyrinth of tunnels and byways that existed in the subterranean reaches of the unconsciousness, and one that literally connected everything in the universe with everything else." In the 1960s Grof coined the term transpersonal to describe the experiences where the person "tripping" would visit territories beyond the traditional boundaries of the personality. In the late 1960s, Grof joined with Abraham Maslow and other professionals to found a new branch of psychology called transpersonal psychology. One theory that would explain transpersonal psychology is the holographic model of the universe. A holographic image is created when a single laser beam is split into two seperate beams. The first beam is bounced off the object to be photographed. Then the second beam is made to collide with the first. The resulting interference pattern is recorded on film. The image on the film doesn't resemble anything like the original object. The image looks more like the colliding waves and troughs that are created when a handful of pebbles are thrown into a pond simultaneously. The magic happens when another laser beam (sometimes just a bright light is used) is used to illuminate the interference pattern on the film. A three dimensional image of the object will appear.
These images are so life-like that you can actually walk around them and view them from different angles. If the photographic plate with the holographic interference pattern is broken in half-either of the halves will still contain all the information to recreate the original three dimensional image when illuminated by a laser. The plate can even be broken into fourths and eighths and so on, and will still produce the image when illuminated, although the detail and clarity of the three dimensional image will be compromised. The reason this happens is that unlike normal photographs, every small portion of the holographic film contains all the information recorded in the whole. This reminds me somewhat of a bit of Hindu (I think?) mythology. There is a saying that in the heaven of Indra each pearl reflects the infinity of other pearls -the part does indeed contain the whole. I wonder if this is the way our brains, souls and universe itself are constructed-or at least encoded? The holographic model would explain a lot.
I think one of the most fascinating areas that the holographic model would explain are synchronicities-meaningful coincidences. A great example of a synchronicity that I always think of is from UFO researcher Jacques Vallee's life. In the mid-1970s he was trying to look up information on an obscure group called "The Order of Melchizedek." He hadn't been having any luck in his search. He was in downtown Los Angeles at the time and at one point needed to take a cab. The driver's name of the next cab he got into-A. Melchizedek. Surprised, Vallee later looked in the Los Angeles phone directory to see how common this last name was. There was only one Melchizedek listed in the whole directory for Los Angeles-his cab driver. It was as if Vallee had asked the universe for a Melchizedek and the universe offered him the closest one on hand!
Getting back to Stanislav Grof and transpersonal psychology, it would be a good idea to go back to Michael Talbot's, The Holographic Universe. From pages 70 and 71: "If our current way of looking at reality cannot account for transpersonal events, what new understanding might take its place? Grof believed it is the holographic model. As he points out, the essential characteristics of transpersonal experiences-the feeling that all boundaries are illusory, the lack of distinction between part and the whole, and the interconnectedness of all things-are all qualities one would expect to find in a holographic universe. In addition, he feels the enfolded nature of space and time in the holographic domain explains why transpersonal experiences are not bound by the usual spatial or temporal limitations.
Grof thinks that the almost endless capacity holograms have for information storage and retrieval also accounts for the fact that visions, fantasies, and other "psychological gestalts," all contain an enormous amount of information about an individuals personality. A single image experienced in an LSD session might contain information about a person's attitude toward life in general, a trauma he experienced during childhood, how much self-esteem he has, how he feels about his parents, and how he feels about his marriage-all embodied in the overall metaphor of the scene. Such experiences are holographic in another way, in that each small part of the scene can also contain an entire constellation of information. Thus free association and other analytical techniques performed on the scene's miniscule details can call forth an additional flood of data about the individual involved.
The composite nature of archetypal images can be modeled by the holographic idea. As Grof observes, holography makes it possible to build up a sequence of exposures, such as pictures of every member of a large family, on the same piece of film. When this is done the developed piece of film will contain the image of an individual that represents not one member of the family, but all of them at the same time. "These genuinely composite images represent an exquisite model of a certain type of transpersonal experience, such as the archetypal images of the Cosmic Man, Woman, Mother, Father, Lover, Trickster, Fool, or Martyr," says Grof. A final quote from Grof's Beyond the Brain, that is given in Talbot's book would also be good to end this post with: "Bohm's concept of the unfolded and enfolded orders and the idea that certain important aspects of reality are not accessible to experience and study under ordinary circumstances are of direct relevance for the understanding of unusual states of consciousness. Individuals who have experienced various nonordinary states of consciousness, including well-educated and sophisticated scientists from various disciplines, frequently report that they entered hidden domains of reality that seemed to be authentic and in some sense implicit in, and supraordinated to, everday reality." I didn't realize when I started this that I was going to begin a whole new series. I had actually thought of keeping this blog "lite" for awhile as I tried to get work done at my other blog. I am going to have to come up with some sort of schedule for when I do work for the two blogs-maybe two days on one-and then two days on the other? I am also not sure how soon posts will be appearing here as I am working from 4 main books and 2 others here and there and do not want to get the information and thoughts hopelessly confused. Still and all I am happy about the new series-one of the books that I will use later down the road brought up a new (to me anyway) idea of how NDEs and encounters with poltergeists and ghosts have so much variety and yet so much the same. The two books by Stanislav Grof that I used to own and wish I still did were Beyond the Brain and The Adventure of Self-Discovery if anyone reading these posts would like to look more into transpersonal psychology and the depth and the variety of the experiences people who were undergoing various forms of transpersonal therapy reported. Thanks again for your extremely intelligent and thoughtful comments! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Talbot