Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Brain Food

I'm re-reading Stan and Christina Grof's The Stormy Search for the Self. Dr Stanislav Grof was a pioneer in the study of LSD therapy, particularly its use with psychotic patients and those with terminal illnesses. He began his medical studies as an atheistic Marxist materialist and ended up - through clinical experiment, his own experiences in the laboratory, and his scientific practice - believing in a Divine presence in the universe and a mystical worldview. (That's some schlepp.) It's interesting that many of his case studies seemed to point to past life experience. I had a fascinating discussion on this subject with a writer friend earlier this week. We began talking about genetics and the amazing amount of information - not to mention the amazing kind of information - that is apparently being passed on through the genes, not only physical attributes but talents, dispositions, tendencies, passions etc. Michael suggested that past-life memories - and, indeed, any evidence of reincarnation - is, in fact, genetic memory. This reminded me of Sri Aurobindo's proposition that the next step in the evolution of humankind is cellular consciousness; the "Work" which the Mother and her pupil, Satprem, engaged in. Here's another thought. Is this what the Buddha knew? Is this what "awakening" is? Full and conscious access to what is encoded in our genes, i.e. all the knowledge and experience of life, the universe, and everything? I feel a shamanic novel coming on ...

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