Council on Spiritual Practices About CSP | Site Map | ©
Search CSP:   

Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index

Beyond Death: The Gates of Consciousness.

Grof, Stanislav, and Grof, Christina. (1980).
New York: Thames and Hudson.

ISBN: 0-500-81019-2

Description: First edition, paperback, 96 pages. Art and the Imagination Series.

Contents: The gates of consciousness, plates, themes, bibliography, and acknowledgments.

Note: 158 illustrations, 17 in color.

Excerpt(s): The concepts of the afterlife in different cultures display striking parallels; their images of Heaven, Paradise, Hell and Purgatory and of the posthumous journey of the soul would appear to be archetypal, arising not from the particular cultural context but from a "death and rebirth" process inbuilt in human nature. Stanislav and Christina Grof have assembled vivid documentation from many religions and cultures: Christian, Jewish, Moslem, ancient Greek, Persian, Egyptian, East Indian, Tibetan, Pre-Columbian and various preliterate societ ies. They draw illuminating parallels with the accounts of those who have survived clinical death, and the death and rebirth episodes experienced by schizophrenic patients and by those who have passed through psychedelic states induced under controlled conditions and explored in experimental psychiatry.

The traditional depictions of the afterlife can act as guides to assist the dying, while confrontation with death during life can lead not just to loss of the fear of death but to a more satisfying way of living-an ancient wisdom that modern psychiatry is only now rediscovering. (back cover)

The most interesting aspect of psychedelic substances, from this point of view, is the fact that they can induce, without any specific programming and guidance, profound death-rebirth experiences, and facilitate spiritual opening. The human unconscious, activated chemically, actually tends to enact spontaneously a powerful confrontation with death that can result in transcendence. (page 25)

Compilation copyright © 1995 – 2001 CSP

[Error Creating Counter File -- Click for more info]