and Geisha: Esalen with Stan Grof
really getting worried. People became hysterical during the
breathing sessions. I hardly could believe my eyes. My sitter
started crying and praying like a Muslim. He was lost from his
tribe in another life. It's all just cultural reincarnation.
Recycling, patterns repeating themselves. Only the context is
Stan make sense? He's leaving the old psychological models behind.
Freudian biography just isn't enough. Karma and past lives seem
to be just as important. Is science getting mystical? Is mysticism
getting scientific? Are these the right questions? It's my Newtonian
mind! I want to be a detached observer. As long as I am detached,
I can really get into the experience. If I can't get into the
felt totally paralyzed by the heavy breathing. After only a
little of it, I started crying. The Sufi music was loud. My
arms and legs could barely move and then I started hearing some
screaming and barking coming from the other side of the room.
Everyone sounded like they were having convulsions.
subtle sense of claustrophobia is beginning to settle into my
bodymind. Like a lead weight, this feeling hangs over me. What
time is it? Time seems to be weirding up. I'm losing my orientation.
Shut your eyes now and open them again....
talked to Stan today and he explained to me that the holistic
discoveries in science today are different from the earlier
holistic perceptions of ancient cultures. But he claimed that
the spirit was the same. If not the actual technique. He likened
it to a spiral....it just expanded and expanded as time "
the morning lecture, the idea of a finite vessel that can only
hold so much information was discussed. Limits to channel capacity
seemed to imply the need for recycling. Recycling implied some
information pool. An information pool implied some archetypical
forms possibly coming from an infinite source. So what was it?
started to day-dream. I saw spirals and waves. I thought about
Oswald Spengler's historical cycles. Could they all be based
on simple psychological recycling? Gregory Bateson may have
been right. The mind is indeed an ecology. Our minds recycle
information just like nature recycles material waste. This information
is a murky form of inter-connecting patterns, that ultimately
generate these meta-patterns. A big gestalt so to speak. A field
and recycling changed the field.
science says that information is recycled. Bits of meaning float
in and out of our psychic fields. Are souls recycled too? This
is no longer the realm of science. But the metaphor is powerful
and convincing. Stan is ready now for a karmic interpretation
of all this stuff. Certain psycho-pathologies may just be these
self-healing processes. Letting go of the demons by deep breathing
possibly accelerates this self-healing process. Drugs and other
forms of clinical " therapy " may simply arrest this