The Ultimate Journey (2nd Edition)

The Ultimate Journey (2nd Edition) : Consciousness and the Mystery of Death

4.45 (128 ratings by Goodreads)
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Based on more than a half century of research, Dr. Grof distills teachings from ancient wisdom and modern science that suggest how to face the process of death and dying. He proposes that those who come to terms with death through intense self-exploration tend to develop a reverence for life, in all its forms. Based on his own patients’ experiences of death and rebirth in psychedelic-assisted therapy, he investigates cross-cultural beliefs about death, paranormal and near-death-experience research, and LSD therapy with advanced-stage cancer patients. The ultimate journey challenges us all, and how we approach death is much more than a major personal issue. Those who come to terms with death in deep experiential self-exploration tend to develop a sense of planetary citizenship, reverence for life in all its forms, and spirituality of a universal and all-encompassing nature. Such radical inner transformation might be humanity’s only real chance for survival.The Ultimate Journey describes ancient and aboriginal ritual and spiritual practices that help us understand the experience of death, develop effective ways of making dying easier and integrate it as a meaningful part of life. This book also summarizes modern studies that shed new light on a variety of phenomena related to death and dying, including psycho-spiritual death and rebirth, near-death experiences, and the new expanded cartography of the psyche that has emerged from Grof’s fifty years of research of psychedelic therapy, Holotropic Breathwork, and spontaneous psychospiritual crisis.Grof writes that our modern industrial civilization typically gives more attention to the wardrobe, makeup, and even plastic surgery for the corpse than to counseling dying individuals and their families. This is in marked contrast to pre-industrial societies for whom death and dying were paramount in their worldviews and important inspiration for much of their art and architecture. For example, the shamans of many cultures-going back at least thirty thousand years, began their careers with a spontaneous or induced experience of death and rebirth. They explored, firsthand, territories of the psyche that transcend the boundaries of individual consciousness. Similarly, in the rites of passage, initiates were guided into non-ordinary or Holotropic ("moving toward wholeness") states of consciousness and had a direct experience of numinous realities that transcend biological death. In the ancient mysteries, neophytes participated in various mind-expanding processes or "technologies of the sacred" to move beyond individual consciousness and experience directly and firsthand the higher transpersonal dimensions of existence.
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128 ratings
4.45 out of 5 stars
5 55% (71)
4 36% (46)
3 7% (9)
2 1% (1)
1 1% (1)
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