The Roots of Human Violence and Greed:
Observations from Psychedelic Research
Psychonautica Mp3 download: PART ONE, PART TWO
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Google video: PART ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR
Stanislav Grof's presentation at the World Psychedelic Froum 2008.
Since time immemorial, violence and greed have been among the most important forces driving human history. Due to technological progress and exponential population growth in the twentieth century, they have become a threat for survival of life on our planet. It has become imperative to gain a deeper understanding of the roots of these forces in the human psyche and to find ways of reducing their impact in the world.
In this lecture, we will explore the observations from psychedelic research that offer new insights into extreme forms of human violence and social pathology, such as wars, bloody revolutions, terrorism, suicide bombing, concentration camps, and genocide. In a series of slides, we will demonstrate the astonishing similarities between the symbolism of posters and cartoons from the time of wars and the visions accompanying the reliving of birth and the experience of psychospiritual death and rebirth.
Stanislav Grof’s professional career has covered a period of over 50 years in which his primary interest has been research of the heuristic and therapeutic potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. This included initially four years of laboratory research of psychedelics - LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and tryptamine derivatives - (1956-1960) and fourteen years of research of psychedelic psychotherapy. He spent seven of these years (1960-1967) as Principal Investigator of the psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia. This was followed by seven years of research of psychedelic psychotherapy in the United States.