Source – thewayofthepsychonaut.com
- “…If I am the father of LSD. Stan Grof is the godfather. Nobody has contributed as much as Stan for the development of my problem child – Albert Hofmann, discoverer of LSD“
The Way of the Psychonaut Vol. 1: Encyclopedia for Inner Journeys
The Way of the PsychonautÂ is one of the most important books ever written about the human psyche and the spiritual quest. The new understandings were made possible thanks to Albert Hofmann’s discovery of LSD—the microscope and telescope of the human psyche—as well as other psychedelic substances. This comprehensive work is a tour de force through the worlds of psychology and psychotherapy, Holotropic Breathwork, maps of the psyche, birth, sex, and death, psychospiritual rebirth,the roots of trauma, spiritual emergency and transpersonal experiences, karma and reincarnation, higher creativity, great art, and archetypes.
Written in his late eighties, at the height of his magnificent career, The Way of the Psychonaut is possibly Grof’s greatest contribution. The commanding breadth and depth of his knowledge is astounding, the tone of his writing easy and accessible, and his narratives brightened with amusing anecdotes, intriguing personal accounts, and brilliant case studies. Grof reviews the history of depth psychotherapy, the important revisions that are needed to make it more effective, and why the inner quest is such an essential pursuit As one of the fathers of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, its most experienced practitioner, and deeply deserving of a Nobel Prize in medicine, in these two volumes Grof has successfully unveiled a new and sweeping paradigm in self-exploration and healing. The vast and practical knowledge in this book is sure to be an invaluable and treasured resource for all serious seekers.
The Way of the Psychonaut explores the life and work of Stanislav Grof, Czech-born psychiatrist and psychedelic psychotherapy pioneer. Stan’s quest for knowledge and insights into the healing power of non-ordinary states of consciousness, influenced the discipline of psychology and profoundly changed many individual lives. One of those transformed by Stan is filmmaker Susan Hess Logeais. The documentary utilizes Susan’s personal existential crisis as a gateway to Grof’s impact, from the micro to the macro.
Susan and Stan begin with a series of interviews that reveal his journey from material scientist to a spiritually aware explorer of the deep psyche. Interviews combined with re-enactments of Stan’s most remarkable therapeutic sessions bring to life the development of his theories. Additionally, a multi-layered visual story provides a framework of meaning to Susan’s personal exploration of Stan’s techniques and discoveries. The result is a powerful glimpse of what is possible for all of us.
Through his experiences, Stan gained a profound trust in the wisdom of the higher self, and discovered the lasting impact of unconscious memories from the birth process to influence a person’s life. In the process, Stan unlocked a way for renegotiating these experiences and liberating people from their traumas.
As the story expands, interviews with luminaries create a conversation between Stan and those most pivotal in his life; Michael Murphy, who invited him to Esalen as Scholar in Residence; Fritjof Capra, who introduced Stan to Quantum Mechanics and recognizes him as the only one to offer an experiential approach to understanding those concepts; Richard Tarnas who co-founded archetypal astrology with Stan during his ten years at Esalen; And Rupert Sheldrake, who remembers how Stan introduced him to a world where he could freely explore ideas without fear of retribution.
But when the focus turns to the present moment, Stan laments society’s desire to shun the shadow and embrace the positive. Only when we learn to work out our conflicts within, will we co-exist peacefully with each other and the planet. The film ends with Stan’s rebirth after the death of his wife Christina. After her death, Stan wonders if his time has come as well. But instead, he reconnects with Brigitte – a former student – revealing their deep love and the joy they have experienced together since.