Stanislav Grof

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Stanislav Grof in 2007

Stanislav Grof (born July 1, 1931, in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology and a pioneering researcher into the use of altered states of consciousness for purposes of healing, growth, and insight.


  • It is essential that we raise the image of sex, which is currently seen as a purely biological affair and often portrayed in its worst manifestations, to that of a spiritually based activity
    • The Cosmic Game - Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness (1997), ISBN 0-7914-3876-7, p. 154.
  • In the last few decades, it has become increasingly clear that humanity is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions. Modern science has developed effective measures that could solve most of the urgent problems in today's world--combat the majority of diseases, eliminate hunger and poverty, reduce the amount of industrial waste, and replace destructive fossil fuels by renewable sources of clean energy. The problems that stand in the way are not of economical or technological nature. The deepest sources of the global crisis lie inside the human personality and reflect the level of consciousness evolution of our species.
    • The Cosmic Game - Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness (1997), ISBN 0-7914-3876-7, p. 219.
  • All the cultures in human history except the Western industrial civilization have held holotropic states of consciousness in great esteem. They induced them whenever they wanted to connect to their deities,other dimensions of reality, and with the forces of nature. They also used them for diagnosing and healing, cultivation of extrasensory perception, and artistic inspiration. They spent much time and energy to develop safe and effective ways of inducing them.
    • The Cosmic Game - Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness (1997), ISBN 0-7914-3876-7, p. 254.
  • Ritual use of psychedelic plants and substances has been a particularly effective technology for inducing holotropic states of consciousness
    • The Cosmic Game - Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness (1997), ISBN 0-7914-3876-7, p. 260.
  • LSD is a catalyst or amplifier of mental processes. If properly used it could become something like the microscope or telescope of psychiatry.
    • LSD psychotherapy (1980), MAPS 2001 edition, Epilogue, p. 299.
  • In one of my early books I suggested that the potential significance of LSD and other psychedelics for psychiatry and psychology was comparable to the value the microscope has for biology or the telescope has for astronomy. My later experience with psychedelics only confirmed this initial impression. These substances function as unspecific amplifiers that increase the cathexis (energetic charge) associated with the deep unconscious contents of the psyche and make them available for conscious processing. This unique property of psychedelics makes it possible to study psychological undercurrents that govern our experiences and behaviours to a depth that cannot be matched by any other method and tool available in modern mainstream psychiatry and psychology. In addition, it offers unique opportunities for healing of emotional and psychosomatic disorders, for positive personality transformation, and consciousness evolution.
    • Foreword to the MAPS edition of LSD: My Problem Child (October 2005) by Dr. Albert Hofmann
  • LSD is a unique and powerful tool for the exploration of the human mind and human nature. Psychedelic experiences mediate access to deep realms of the psyche that have not yet been discovered and acknowledged by mainstream psychology and psychiatry. They also reveal new possibilities and mechanisms of therapeutic change and personality transformation.
    • LSD psychotherapy (1980), MAPS 2001 edition, Epilogue, p. 299.
  • [B]y banning psychedelic research we have not only given up the study of an interesting drug or group of substances, but also abandoned one of the most promising approaches to the understanding of the human mind and consciousness.
    • LSD psychotherapy (1980), MAPS 2001 edition, Epilogue, p. 300.
  • DYING AND DEATH are the most universal and personally relevant experiences for every single individual. In the course of life, we all lose relatives, friends, teachers, and acquaintances and eventually face our own biological demise. Yet it is quite extraordinary that until the late 1960es, the Western industrial civilization showed an almost complete lack of interest in the subject of death and dying. This attitude has been displayed not only by the general public, but also by scientists and professionals for whom this subject should be of great interest - medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and theologicians. The only plausible explanation for this situation is massive denial of death and psychological repression of everything related to it. This disinterest is even more striking when we compare it to the attitude toward mortality in preindustrial societies...
    • Introduction to The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness and the Mystery of Death (2006).

Quotes about Stanislav Grof[edit]

  • If there were a list of the most influential people in the 20th century (and now a bit beyond), Stanislav Grof would be among them. The importance of altered states of consciousness is now coming to be increasingly recognized, and no one has worked this domain as productively as the author of this book.
    • Huston Smith in the foreword to The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness and the Mystery of Death (2006).

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