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Sixth meeting


A Critical Appraisal of Transpersonal Psychology With the Emphasis on the Psychology of Stanislav Grof

Key points:

  • Abraham Maslow came with the benefit of “peak experiences” which he later corrected
  • Meanwhile many authors in the antipsychiatry and transpersonal psychology movement glorified various expanded states of mind, comparing them with buddhist realizations etc., often mistaking higher samsaric experience or neutral base-of-all state (both involving all 3 or one aspect of avidya) for instances of nirvana/unconditioned Absolute
  • Grof classified 10 types of spiritual emergency, pointing both potentially wholesome and harmful effects according to circumstances
  • Grof's 'descending' path (seeking some usefulness of going “back” or “deeper” in the early stages of development is delusive, but much more aligned with genuine buddhist schools than Ken Wilber's 'integral' approach of going up the samsaric ladder of fulcra



“Grof coined the concept of systems of condensed experiences or COEX systems, which he defined as “emotionally-charged memories from different periods of our life that resemble each other in the quality of emotion or physical sensation that they share,” which he called “constellations of emotionally relevant memories stored together and which he deemed determinant in the formation of individual psychology. Among these so-called COEX systems, most determinant are the four Basic Perinatal Matrices or BPMs, which according to Grof’s initial view originated in the third of the above realms: that of “birth and death” making up the “perinatal realm” (however, in 1998 Grof acknowledged that, though he continues to classify some of the experiences that manifest in nonordinary states of consciousness [NOSC] in terms of perinatal matrices, those experiences need not be seen as determined by the birth process or as replicating the later: though BPMs often accompany the reliving of birth, they can also emerge independently of such liaison, and the manifestation of BPMs in NOSC and the process of birth itself may be both determined by an archetypal dynamic, rather than the former being determined by the latter). Grof views these BPMs—within each of which different COEX systems can manifest—as conditioning human experience in all of the levels / realms into which our author divides the human psyche, and in particular as determining the experiences of the fourth of the above levels / realms, which is the transpersonal domain…”

— Beyond Mind, p.453-475

Recording of the session in CZECH LANGUAGE:

  • Capriles, E. (2011, v.3.0): “A Critical Appraisal of Transpersonal Psychology With the Emphasis on the Psychology of Stanislav Grof”. In Beyond Mind, pp. 453-475

Down on this page you can find some notes from that text. You can add your own notes and comments and share it with others.

bb-bm-bh-2012/6.txt · Last modified: 2016/05/31 02:23 (external edit)