Reviewed by Winafred Lucas
(as included in the The Journal of Regression Therapy Volume I, No. 2, Fall 1986)
From the vantage point of a past-life therapist, Grof’s impactful book needs to be evaluated on three parameters. The first of these addresses his breathtaking perception and integration of the multi-dimensional aspects of our changing paradigm. For those of us who have suffered lack of credibility because we felt forced to fit our thinking and therapeutic modalities into the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm which could not contain them, it is a relief to understand that it is no longer necessary to apologize because we have moved into a different way of conceptualizing the universe. Grof, drawing heavily on new trends in physics and biology, demonstrates in what way we are leaving this Newtonian-Cartesian model, which has no room for transpersonal material, and moving into the quantum-relativity model in which transpersonal happenings and spiritual seeking are at home.
Synthesizing the contributions of such innovative thinkers as David Bohm, Prigogene, Karl Pribram, and Rupert Sheldrake, Grof demonstrates that we are steadily moving into a paradigm where the world is seen in terms of energy patterns instead of solid matter, a conception which opens up unlimited possibilities for transpersonal conceptualization. This shift from substance and object to form, pattern, and process gives credibility to experiential insights from unusual states of consciousness. These, in turn, suggest the existence of intangible and unfathomable creative intelligence, aware of itself and permeating all realms of reality. Extending Bohm’s concept of the implicate order, from which our space-time world is unfolded, Grof suggests a creative matrix for our transpersonal experiences.