Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is There A Way Out? Part Three

Continuing on in Stanislav Grof's Beyond The Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy on page 32-33: "Many psychedelic experiences appear to have a general quality similar to everyday life, with the sequences occurring in three-dimensional space and unfolding along a linear time continuum. However, quite typically, additional dimensions and experiential alternatives are readily available. The psychedelic state has a multilevel and multidimensional quality, and the Newtonian-Cartesian sequences, if they occur, appear to be arbitrarily teased out of a complex continuum of infinite possiblilities. At the same time, they have all the characteristics that we associate with the perception of the material world of "objective reality."

Although LSD subjects frequently talk about images, these do not have the quality of still photographs. They are in constant dynamic movement and usually convey action and drama. But again, the term "inner movie" that so frequently occurs in LSD reports does not really correctly describe their nature. In cinematography, the three-dimensionality of scenes is artificially simulated by the movement of the camera. The perception of space must be read into the two-dimensional display, and ultimately it depends on the viewers interpretation. In contrast, psychedelic visions are truly three-dimensional and have all the qualities of everyday perception, or at least they can have them in certain types of LSD experiences. They seem to occupy a specific space and can be seen from different directions and angles with a true parallax. It is possible to zoom in and selectively focus on different levels and planes of the experiential continuum, perceive or reconstruct fine texture, and see through transparent media of envisioned objects, such as a cell, an embryonic body, parts of a plant, or a precious stone. This intentional shift of focus is only one mechanism of blurring or clearing the images. The pictures can also be clarified by overcoming the distortions caused by fear, defenses and resistances, or by letting the content evolve along with the continuum of linear time.

An important characteristic of the psychedelic experience is that it transcends space and time. It disregards the linear continuum between the microcosmic world and the macrocosm that appears to be absolutely mandatory in the everyday state of consciousness. The represented objects cover the entire range of dimensions from atoms, molecules, and single cells to gigantic celestial bodies, solar systems, and galaxies. Phenomena from the "zone of middle dimensions," perceivable directly by our senses, appear on the same experiential continuum with those that ordinarily require such complicated technology as microscopes and telescopes to be accessible to human senses. From the experiential point of view, the distinction between the microcosm and macrocosm is arbitrary; they can coexist within the same experience and are readily interchangeable. An LSD subject can experience himself or herself as a simple cell, as a fetus, and as a galaxy; these three states can occur simultaneously, or in an alternating fashion by a simple shift of focus.

In a similar way, the linearity of temporal sequences is transcended in unusual states of consciousness. Scenes from different historical contexts can occur simultaneously and appear to be meaningfully connected by their experiential charactertistics. Thus a traumatic experience from childhood, a painful sequence of biological birthing and what seems to be the memory of a tragic event from a previous incarnation can all appear simultaneously as parts of one complex experiential pattern (my emphasis). And again, the individual has the choice of focusing selectively on any one of these scenes, experiencing them all simultaneously, or perceiving them in an alternating fashion, while discovering meaningful connections between them. The linear temporal distance that dominates everyday experience is disregarded, and events from different historical contexts appear in clusters when they share the same strong emotion or an intense physical sensation of a similar kind.

Psychedelic states offer many experiential alternatives to the Newtonian linear time and three-dimensional space that characterize our everyday existence. Events from recent and remote past and future can be experienced in nonordinary states with the vividness and complexity that in everyday consciousness are reserved only for the present moment. There are modes of psychedelic experience in which time appears to slow down or accelerate enormously, to flow backwards, or to be entirely transcended and cease to exist (my emphasis). It can appear to be circular and linear at the same time, can proceed along a spiral trajectory, or show specific patterns of deflection and distortion. Quite frequently time as a dimension is transcended and acquires spatial characteristics; past, present and future are essentially juxtaposed and coexist in the present moment (my emphasis). On occasion, LSD subjects experience various forms of time-travels-regressing in historical time, passing through time-loops, or stepping out of the time dimension altogether and reentering another point in history.

The perception of space can undergo similar changes: unusual states of mind clearly demonstrate the narrowness and limitations of space with only three coordinates. LSD subjects frequently report that they experience space and the universe as being curved and self-enclosed, or are able to perceive worlds that have four, five or more dimensions (my emphasis). Others have a sense fo being a dimensionless point in consciousness. It is possible to see space as an arbitrary construct and a projection of the mind that has no objective existence at all. Under certain circumstances any number of interpenetrating universes of different orders can be seen in holographic coexistence (my emphasis). As in the case of time travel, one can experience linear transfer to another place be 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.

The different modes of existence talked about by Stanislav Grof here fascinate me. They also give me hope for a better future in some ways. This is because I feel that if the reality that appears so solid to most of us and unbendable is really so effervescent and derivative (not to be mistaken for the much abused financial instrument:-) that there may just may be a way for the whole human race to survive and flourish in what would seem to be the most perilous of all times in human history coming right at us. It is so funny what a child knows. I had an intuition as a ten- year-old that poverty was created by evil people. I didn't know how to give a voice to my thoughts at the time- and in later times of my life people told me that I was very foolish for thinking that all people on the face of this planet should be happy and not want for anything. I actually gave in to the other view at some point- but no more. I really and truly believe now that poverty - the love of money- power- even sex in some ways are things that exist to keep us trapped within this Black Iron Prison. I will try to work some of these new and old insights into what I believe as I try to continue with some discoveries made by Stanislav Grof- and I would absolutely love to hear what you believe! All the best to anyone stopping by!

PS- like how I re-did the first paragraph of this article? I didn't think it looked good enough the first time around - had to perfect it ya know:-)


Alex Robinson said...

My wv says you or I are a 'roadist' - time to hit the road perhaps? :) you must have about 6400 reasons for that atm! :)

Great to see you in good spirits despite oppressive & ridiculous redtaped regimes! More excellent thoughts & ideas here & I very much liked your emphasis, asides & roadist astrides :) Oh how good 'twould be to see some of these sites & sights - I am so very tired of our one dimensional demon-tion.
hugs & silliness to you xx

Devin said...

Alex thanks for enduring my silliness -and I am glad to see you brought some of yer own:-)
yes those 6400 good reasons kinda just -well i dunno- did you ever see the Seinfeld 'kick' episode -well that is what today has been 'a read kick'
I loved your article for today -and am amazed about how well your pointing out connections in big/small, black/white, past/future etc reality fit so incredibly well with Stan Grofs work- again amazing job at too long in this place !!
all the best in the world to you my friend and i am also very sick of our one dimensional reality-
hey maybe i can invent a show called the 6400 dollar question and win eh?:=)xx

thePuck said...


Oooh, props for the PDK/VALIS reference! I just brought that up recently on the Temple of Thelema forums.

93, 93/93

Devin said...

thanks for stopping by MFM Puck!!
I am also glad you enjoyed the PKD reference - I will have to check out the Temple of Thelema when I have some extra time - all the best to you!!

X. Dell said...

(1) "However, quite typically, additional dimensions and experiential alternatives are readily available. The psychedelic state has a multilevel and multidimensional quality, and the Newtonian-Cartesian sequences, if they occur, appear to be arbitrarily teased out of a complex continuum of infinite possiblilities."

Wow. That's a bit of a presumption. I mean, how would we know we were actually experiencing different dimensions on an acid trip, when we could simply be looking through a cracked lens. Given how LSD works (it simulates a neurochemical; thus people who are ingesting it are getting bombarded by stimuli that have no external source), wouldn't it be more likely that we're seeing the same four dimensions, just through another state of awareness? After all, how could we validate dimensions five and beyond (unless your name is Billy Davis or Marilyn McCoo)? Since we're only geared for four (and one of them is shakey at best), how would we know what a fifth dimension looks/sounds/feels/taste/smells like?

(2) The type of experience one might undergo during a trip seems like it would be more rooted in the unconscious mind of the acid dropper, more than an act of conscious will. I mean, would anyone willing buy, and lick a stamp underpenalty of law for a bummer?

Okay. I guess someone migh. But not too many people. This renders he trip one in which there is minimal control.

(3) Like you, I believe that a universally happy world might be possible. One thing I'm certain of, however, is that we can definitely achieve a world in which a much higher percentage of the Earth's population is happier.

Devin said...

As always Xdell - thanks so much for you excellent comments and please accept my apologies for getting to them so late - as a matter of fact - i am wondering if i accidentally deleted one - this has only happened twice before (not that it should happen at all-but i hope i didnt!!)
I didnt catche the Davis/McCoo bit at first and once I "grokked it" I havent been able to stop giggling:-)

Grof would probably be on very shaky ground were it not for the thousands of tests run that he has been involved with him with your reaction to "how would we know" and it is still an excellent observation because of course really we dont-
I have enough trouble getting on in 3-D much less trying to visualize higher dimensions!!
Grof does make a point later -and i hope to have this part here when i get started again - and this involves reincarnational type memories and states "Does it matter if they are objectively real or not?" referring to the fact that the patient gets better after dealing with these "past-life" traumas -one thing i would like to ask him is if anyone in his care ever got worse after LSD psychotherapy?
because it seems that from what he reports =everyone who underwent the therapy completely -got better- thanks for giving me some things to think about as always= and please accept my apologies if i accidentally erased your other commnent - i thought it was under post 1 and i hit publish and then didnt see it -
all the best in the world to you my friend!!

Middle Ditch said...

Firstly, thank you for commenting on my other blog. Each time I see another comment there I am hugely surprised because I don't advertise that one. MD is more important to me.

Secondly a great read as always. I don't always follow it (pea brain me, ask X.Dell) but do enjoy going through it.

Lastly, X.Dell's comment was a wonderful read too. This guy is just soooo intelligent, it scares me sometimes.

ATB Devin. MD 42 should be online on Sunday with any luck. I'm expecting Rowena this afternoon to do her bit. Imagine, we recorded that episode in August!!

They call him James Ure said...

I attribute some of my biggest breakthroughs of insight and understanding of life to hallucinogens. Ecstasy in particular blew my mind and gave me a whole different view of life that was positive, hopeful and uplifting.

I experienced pure oneness of being with my environment, others and all of existence. It was after my ecstasy days that I began to investigate Buddhism. And of course pot has given me great spiritual insights as well.

I am Green Man but this is my screen name for my Buddhist blog.

They call him James Ure said...

I love the picture associated with this blog a lot. Have you heard of artist Vladimir Kush? He's one of my favorite artists--and my favorite artist still alive. He does surreal art like the picture you've posted. You might like it.

Devin said...

Green Man -really appreciate your input here!!
I am taking a little break from blogging right now (as if people couldn't tell:-)
but I hope to be back to it fairly soon - but before I even get back to my own stuff I would like to catch up with some friends such as you - I hadnt heard of the artist you mentioned - i will also check his work out -I think I found some of these latest images doing a google image search under "psychededelic images" or "cool psychedeclic images" - thanks so very much for stopping by and if I am online late tonight or tomorrow I will try to get by your place or places and see what you're up to- psychedelic experiences have always fascinated me and I have always wanted to try under the guidance of someone who knows the ropes -kind of like a "sitter" is described -
all the best to you my friend and I hope to chat soon!!

Devin said...

Middle Ditch thanks so much for stopping by !! for a moment i thought i had lost your comment and didnt realize it was above Green Mans - so I was relieved i didnt to say the least - yes i agree very much about Xdell - he is an all around fantastic researcher and much like commenter Anadae it scares me sometimes:-)
but I am so happy to have them both comment at my little place to say the least as well as you!!
I cant wait to hear the new episode and thanks so very much for commenting here - I often need to read some articles 2 to 4 times before i even get the gist of what some of them are saying - I think our friend Xdell should seriously think about trying to have his work published that he has done for the Xspot - maybe if we all gang up on him we can convince him :-) all the best to you and I will get by MD soon -I am taking a little break from blogging here so i should have more time to get caught up with friends in the coming weeks.

Anadæ Effro said...

A beautifully cloudless, blue sky February good mornin' to ya, lad! I cannot belieeeeeeeve that Puck stopped by, like, two weeks past. Awesome. Ya see, Devin, his father, Dragon, who is the Pen-Draig Duu Prydyn of Pictish Elven Witchcraft him(s)elf, and me Gno each other (I'm 7 mos. older 'an him) through the now dispersed & evolved Korythalian Tradition coven, Silver Wheel, which wuzz 1st founded by the late Caradoc ap Cador, née Gabriel Carillo, who passed away three years ago, caradoc was one of the few Feri witches from the Vicia current to have had a lasting affect on me, too. Puck's father's web site is right here. Small world & getting smaller, innit? LOL!

Anywho, I'm a veteran acidhead, so, I had to say (clears throat) that with all of the negativistic propaganda staining its efficacy as a chemical adjunct to positive changes in ones personality, I might've had, all total, one bummer. Suffice it to say I was a teenager in the '70s when I had begun my journey as a psychonaut. The last of these entheogenic sojourns was when I wuzz all of twenty-five years young. Funnily enough, "25" is the nick-name for acid, but acid in its purest form.

Nowadays? Don't smoke pot any longer. Heck, I don't even drink drink. No other mind altering chemicals enter my nervous system other than caffeine. And even that I've cut way back on.

Say, ever hear of the poet Frank Owen? Well then, have a look at his latest poem, right here. I feel much the sam, blessed & cursed, simultaneously, for having the P.O.V. that I do, whether it wuzz induced by the psychedelic experience itself, or it wuzz jus' the way that I wuzz to begin with. Ya Gno, that whole elf thing.

A splendiferous day to thee, my friend,
The Elfin Mage, Anadæ Quenyan Effro Von Thüringen ~ (•8-D

X. Dell said...

Okay. Gang up away.

I think the commnt on a couple of posts back is missing. I added another one, just because I like to see my name on your site.

Does it matter if what we perceive to be a past life is accurate or not?

I guess it doesn't, from one point of view. For the same reason Jung didn't distinguish daydreams from sleepytime dreams, the unconscious would be just as evident in one as th other. From a first or second-level pscyhodynamic view, the inaccurate (or false) belief could have more therapeutic value than if it were actuality.

Of course, that depends on the questions you want to ask. As some one who has had to deal with a very vibrant memory that would suggest a past life, the implications to me here and now are important. So, in that case the validity of the memory becomes extremely important.

I haven't had the resources to check it out. But right now, I'm thinking that the memory is a false one (perhaps a metaphor for something else, perhaps an interpretation of something I sawon TV in my pre-verbal days).

Devin said...

It is indeed a small world Anadae- and getting smaller all the time!!
thanks so much for your kind words and links -I hope the weather is still holding up for you back there- we are getting an actual "Arizona" winter this year which has been lovely for us- well me anyway - haha - but I gno old man winter has been a bit of a gripe this year in other places
all the best to you as always my friend!!ps sorry i was not able to respond better to your comment (or Xdells) still fighting that tired/loopy feeling - and dont want anyone to think i am being rude or dont appreciate their comments!!

Xdell thanks for your thoughts on this - really appreciate your referencing reincarnation - I remember the feeling you told me about from way back when i first blogged about this issue - i also don't have the resources - or would really know where to even start - looking into my own thoughts/feelings/memories in this regard - a trip overseas might be a start - but the more i think about my own feelings in this area i wonder if somehow i "tapped" into this incredible field of information that seems to be holographically encoded into every aspect of the universe
i dont know which thought is more comforting - the reincarnation one or the "tapping" one - or in your case where your experience could simply have come from a memory from your pre-verbal days
many think reincarnation (wrongly i think) is a comfort to some people spiritually - i sure don't feel this way unless we "graduate" off the earth plane - as i have not the slightest desire to come back ( well for the beautiful things yes) but overall i would like to take my ticket out of here when i die and have it be permanent (as long as it is not to hell or total annhilation:--)

thanks again so very much for your comments Anadae and Xdell- sorry I was not able to give them the response they deserved
all the best to you as always!!

Middle Ditch said...

Okay Devin, let's gang up on X.Dell, I'll be the first.

Ricardo said...

Where have you been my good man? You are missed!

Middle Ditch said...

Devin, are you okay? I left a comment earlier, I know I did but still don't see a reply.

Devin said...

Middle Ditch and Ricardo - thanks so very much for your comments and sorry i am so late in publishing them and your concern !!
i have been having some health problems (nothing major -but very low energy and not online much at all ) and we had a death in the family a little over a week ago- i went to Texas with my brother for the funeral and got back last Friday -and have been fighting these cold/flu/energy symptoms since then -
hopefully this will clear up soon and i can get back to visiting blogs at the very least until i have enough energy to start doing some of my own work again
i hope you both are doing great and please tell the whole cast at MD i said hi and send hugz
and i hope to be around soon
all the best to you my friends and take care!!

Middle Ditch said...

So glad to see you're okay. Sorry to read about your loss, this is always a hard time. Get better soon and I will send hugs to the cast as soon as I see them.

Devin said...

Middle Ditch - cant tell you how much i appreciate your thoughtful sympathies and concerns !!!!!!!!!!
thanks also for relaying my hugz to the cast !!!!!!!!!!!!
I simply havent been able to "kick" this cold (from hell haha) and it is wiping out almost all of my motivation
i do intend to keep blogging if i can get back to normal (or a semblance thereof)
i also want to get caught up with all blog friends who have updated - including yourself and the cast obviously - as I am "high' on cold meds and very tired i dont think this is a good night - well am =it is abotu 230 am here to do it
i intend to write a short post about what is going on with me now in a minute
and there is no need for anyone to respond to this post= just letting people know how much i appreciate their thougtfulness and concern during this month- i am also still "grieving" in a way over my aunt (even tho the last thing she would want is for anyone to be sad ) and didnt realize how badly i handle grief like this (the last time was in 1994) and to a much lesser extent the fact that Nando is no longer part of my life
love you and the rest at Middle Ditch
I hope to visit very soon
your friend forever !!!!!!!!!