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Observations placeholder

Grof, Dr Stanislav - Reliving the hurt done to others



Type of Spiritual Experience


Another feature that appears to be common in the exploration of perceptions and also in ‘spiritual purification’ both before and after death is that a person may be made to relive or experience an event from the point of view of all the participants in order that he/she does understand it properly.

Quite clearly, this particular feature of purification is likely to be extremely unpleasant for all those who have perpetrated great hurt upon others, and there seems to be an indication, that every hurtful acts is turned back on themselves.  So torture ten thousand butterflies and you in turn will be forced to experience the torture that you inflicted upon those ten thousand.

Dr Grof found that this form of ‘purification’ was particularly prevalent when the sessions of purification were undertaken via LSD or a similar hallucinogen. A person is prevented from escaping the process once the session with the drug has started, because once you have taken LSD there is no going back, you are there for several hours..................

Whenever the traumatic event involves an interpersonal situation, it seems that the subject, while reliving it under LSD, has to experience and work through the roles of all the persons involved.  Thus, if the basic theme represents an aggressive assault against him, he must relive both the role of the victim, with all the emotional and physical feelings involved and that of the aggressor.  If the subject happened to be the observer of such a scene, he would eventually experience all three roles involved.  So for example, full reliving of the typical Freudian ‘primal scene’ – that is, the situation of a child witnessing [unwanted ] sexual intercourse between his parents – involves successive identification with the role of the aggressive male, the victimised female and the observer.

A description of the experience

LSD Doorway to the Numinous – Professor Stanislav Grof

Such a karmic fixation occurring in LSD sessions cannot be worked through by the mere full reliving of all the painful emotions associated with a destructive karmic scene.  To reach a satisfying completion, the experiencer has to transcend the event emotionally, ethically, and spiritually, rise above it, and finally forgive and be forgiven.

LSD subjects have repeatedly stated that it does not seem to make a difference whether they were the oppressor or the victim in a negative karmic situation; it appears as though it is the dyadic traumatic pattern that is imprinted.  On a deep level, the emotional state of the sadistic torturer is similar to that of the tortured, and the raging drive of the murderer fuses with the anguish of his dying victim.

The inability to forgive and transcend one’s suffering appears to be as conducive to karmic imprinting as actively performed injustice or violence.......................

The source of the experience

Grof, Dr Stanislav

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps





Suppressing memory