Our dominant culture’s fragmented worldview is contrasted with emerging “new paradigm” sciences that point to the unbroken wholeness of a total existence. David Bohm suggests consciousness and matter are of one order, where “the movements of both are the outcome of related projections of a common higher-dimensional ground.” (Bohm 1980, pg. 209) Here, time is conceived as the manifestation of this ground into a sequence of movements that connect matter and consciousness in a living process. As cell assemblies form neural circuits, cognitive processes manifest “a synchronization of diverse, rhythmically oscillating neural circuits” to provide for the primary conscious experience. (Capra 1996, pg. 293) Ken Wilber proposes mind is thus not reducible to the brain, but rather is the interiority of awareness, phenomenally experienced “from within.” (Wilber 1996 pg. 127)
In a similar fashion, Gregory Bateson indicates that patterns of configuration emerge in those units whose completed circuits “show mental characteristics,” where mind is “immanent in the circuitry.” (Bateson 1991, pg. 261) He emphasizes the circuitry extends past the limitations of the isolated individual, depending instead upon a larger ecological network. Conscious systems, therefore, can be understood as organized (meta) patterns of living communication. As the quantum vacuum generates the reality from which life (as embodied mind) emerges, the patterns of neural connectivity project processes of a deeper order, perceiving from within the cosmic energy circuits that exist in the evolution of an original primeval fireball– what we might call the “Big Bang,” or “Great Flaring Forth.” Put otherwise, mind and material are entangled aspects connected a-causally as the phylogenetic “tree of life” becomes consciously self-aware in its human form.
Ervin Laszlo articulates this cosmology as a self-referential process in which we interpret the frequencies of a deeper order. As the quantum vacuum generates a holographic field accessible to the human mind—what he calls the Akashic Field (A-Field)—information is recorded in the ensuing interference patterns and act as the memory of the universe.
“The waves propagate in the vacuum and interfere with the waves created by the bodies and brains of other people, giving rise to complex holograms. Generations after generations of humans have left their holographic traces in the A-field. These individual holograms integrate in a superhologram, which is the encompassing hologram of a tribe, community, or culture. The collective holograms interface and integrate in turn with the super-superhologram of all people. This is the collective information pool of humankind.” (Laszlo 2004, pg. 150)
By registering these patterns as they emerge from a primordial energy, supersensitive living organisms embedded in the dynamic creativity of the universe activate and bring these archetypal energies into conscious self-awareness. Moreover, the identification of individual consciousness with the greater “cosmic consciousness” underpins the experience of each great spiritual tradition, in which one becomes Self-conscious of the “mysterious and primordial emptiness and nothingness that is conscious of itself and is the ultimate cradle of all existence.” (Grof 2006b, pg. 139) The whole universal co-creative process thus incarnates in the human in this way, expressing its fractal nature in the subtle reflection of a deeper order that remains self-similar across scale.
“Our true nature is divine—God, Cosmic Christ, Allah, Buddha, Brahma, the Tao, Great Spirit. Although the process of creation separates and alienates us from our source and our true identity, our awareness of this fact is never completely lost. The psyche’s deepest motivating force on all levels of consciousness evolution is the drive to return to the experience of divinity. However, the constraining conditions of the consecutive stages of development prevent a full experience of our own divinity and force us to search for various surrogates that are ultimately inadequate and unsatisfactory.” (Grof 2006a, pg. 296)
Such scientific developments point to the transformative power of non-ordinary states of consciousness in mobilizing healing potential to resolve spiritual crisis through energetic healing. Rick Tarnas writes, “Spirituality is now recognized as not only an important focus of psychological theory and research but an essential foundation of psychological health and healing.” (Tarnas 2001, pg. 65) Given as a major source of spiritual experience then, this “healing potential of ecstatic states suggests new orientation in psychiatric therapy.” (Stan Grof 2008, pg. 289)
For instance, Grof recognizes the psychological effects of LSD can “induce transpersonal experiences in which there is access to accurate new information about the universe through extrasensory channels[, making] it difficult to accept that such experiences are stored in the brain.” (Grof 2012, pg. 116) Rather than assuming the manifestation of consciousness to be the product of an individual human brain, we might more accurately describe “subconscious domains [to] extend far beyond the confines of the subject’s brain and organism.” (Laszlo undated, pg. 27) Considering the universe holographically then, the brain as its holographic expression projects reality by participating in a deeper whole, “permanently recorded in an immaterial field to which each of us has under certain circumstances experiential access.” (Grof 2012, pg. 236)
By transcending personal boundaries and experiencing the healing field of an unconscious ordering principle, individuals can amplify their connection to a collective unconscious, catalyzing through spiritual attunement the mental process needed for conscious integration. Grof writes, “Only the experience of one’s divinity in a holotropic state of consciousness can ever fulfill our deepest needs.” (Grof 2012, pg. 188) The experience of divinity offers archetypal awareness of the psyche’s embedded nature, establishing a cellular awareness of an underlying unity that our true nature is divine. As archetypes resonate like strange attractors in a common field, new patterns in consciousness can emerge to effect new paradigms to institutionalize and systematize a renewed and intended reality.
From entheogenic tribes to today’s entheogenic raves, the morphic resonance of a divine essence is reflected experientially into the whole of human history, each world containing this divinity within its own unique self. The movement toward wholeness is facilitated through thoughts and feelings held intensely over time, fulfilling the desire to imaginally grasp an essential and sensual beauty that provides ecstatic experiences through new forms of artistry. As each person more fully radiates such divinity, emanating and reverberating with the deeper order, we are each able to perceive, interact, and respond to a seamlessly omnipresent energy in cultural displays of archetypal resonance. Those rituals that positively reflect the sacred event of moral freedom catalyze participation in wise relations needed to heal ourselves and overcome separation by actualizing the telesomatic effects of a sympathetic force. In this way do we become conscious of time as a living process of universal communion, enacting the sensual experiences necessary to become self-aware; and in doing so, address energy blockages (traumas) through conscious integration.
It is this inner exploration of human systems that is in synchrony with the conscious evolution of cosmic transformation, where external occurrences and internal states can be recognized as manifestations of the same archetypal complex. Stan Grof suggests confrontation of archetypal stages of consciousness regularly occurs during important transits of corresponding planets, offering a method in experiential psychotherapy able to clarify the archetypal nature and timing of nonordinary states of consciousness:
“While the correlations concerning past experiences are primarily of theoretical interest, examining current transits can be extremely useful in the work with individuals undergoing “spiritual emergencies,” and the possibility of making remarkably accurate predictions of the archetypal character of nonordinary states based on future transits is an invaluable tool in the planning of psychedelic and holotropic sessions.” (Grof 2009, pg. 61)
Here, finally, are we offered a way to resolve the crisis of our day, looking inside ourselves for the causal forces that initiate our own collective suffering. As the inner is reflected into the outer, we might more consciously assume the world before us to be the illusion we have constructed for ourselves. This gives us impetus to reconsider our own relations, to ourselves and each other, so we can in turn be called to manifest our most cherished experiences, realizing what was formerly left unconscious.
“The subtle signals are there to be heard. The Universe is singing all the time. If we learn how to listen, we can probably hear something new, like a harmony that resonates within our own Beings. If we then feel for the upbeat and breathe with the music, we have only to lift our arms like the dancing Shiva, stamp out a rhythm with our feet, and dance.” (North 1994, pg. 28)
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