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Grof, Dr Stanislav - Exploring the tree of life and what it feels like to be a fish

Identifier

011073

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

LSD Doorway to the Numinous – Professor Stanislav Grof

As in the case of ancestral experiences, it is accompanied by a sense of regression in historical time; the subject has a very vivid and convincing feeling that the animal specimens he identifies with are part of phylogenetic history and that he is exploring the evolution of the species in nature. 

The objects of identification are most frequently other mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and various forms of fish.  Occasionally, they can be much less differentiated forms of life, such as insects, gastropods (various snails), brachiopods (shellfish), cephalopods (octopus and squid) and coelenterates (sea anemones and jellyfish).  The subjective identification process occurring in phylogenetic experiences is rather complex and authentic; it can include size; body image, a variety of specific physiological sensations, particular emotions, and instinctive drives, as well as unusual perceptions of the environment…..

The individual can have, for example, an illuminating insight into what it feels like when a snake is hungry, when a turtle is sexually excited, when a hummingbird is feeding its young, or when a shark breathes through its gills.  Subjects have reported that they have experienced the drive that sustains an eel or a sockeye salmon on its heroic journey against a river’s flow, the sensations of a spider spinning its web or the mysterious process of metamorphosis from an egg through caterpillar and chrysalis to a butterfly.

The source of the experience

Grof, Dr Stanislav

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Tree of life

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

LSD

Commonsteps

References