Freudian, Jungian, Grofian — Steps Toward the Psychedelic Humanities

Stanislav Grof’s map of the mind offers transpersonalists — and further, humanists and all professions working with the human phenomenon — a new kind of intellectual effort. Just as Freudian and Jungian psychologies enriched 20th Century intellectual life, Grofian is enriching the 21st. Grof’s psychedelic-derived theory promotes cultural interpretation, psychocriticism, curricular enrichment, and new methods of humanistic research. The theory’s four-level map of the human mind has received moderate attention primarily by confirming other scholars’ global findings — particularly in religion and mythology — while the theory’s third, perinatal, level offers rich psychocritical concepts to understand the history and the rhetoric of war, Sartre’s philosophy, cinema criticism, and interdisciplinary studies. This article challenges humanists to: (a) use Grof’s theory to enrich their fields, (b) view the Consciousness Explorer as a Twentieth Century face of Campbell’s hero with a thousand faces, (c) develop current leads to reignite interest in the humanities and enliven university courses, and by extension, (d) incorporate the findings of other psychedelic explorers into humanists’ intellectual tasks.

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