The "Akashic Experience"

"Weavers" (2009) (Detail)

I've been reading THE AKASHIC EXPERIENCE by Ervin Laszlo, systems theorist once nominated for the Nobel Prize.  He is a founder of the newly formed GlobalShift University, author of 83 books, and president of the international think tank called the Club of Budapest.  Laszlo is an amazing visionary.  His term for non-local consciousness, the integral field, as it manifests in human consciousness is "the Akashic Experience". In this collection of essays, he invited articles from colleagues in science, psychology and the arts to write about their "akashic experiences", within their research or their personal lives.

I guess my own term would be "Spider Woman's Web"  for this concept which is also an experience - Spider Woman's threads have inspired so much of my artwork. 

One of the articles I particularly found interesting was by  Stanislaf Grof,  who with his wife Christina Grof has been on the leading edge of consciousness research for 35 years, beginning with research into psychotropic states and LSD.  He's developed something called Holotropic Breathwork to help people enter into altered states.  I myself did some breathwork (not with Dr. Grof) years ago.

In my own experience (in 1993) I encountered what I called the "Mask Deva".....I saw a mask face becoming hundreds of colorful, fantastic faces, shifting and opening like a flower in fast forward.  I can honestly say that I've made hundreds of colorful, evocative masks since, including the Masks of the Goddess,  and my students and apprentices have gone on to continue the perhaps the Mask Deva is pleased with me.

Dr. Grof numerous times encountered past life memories in his work, although he didn't call them that at first.**  In his article, he recounts the past life Christina returned to numerous times, a life in Salem, Mass. where as a young girl she was drowned for "witchcraft".  (Dr. Grof notes that historically there was a female slave from Barbados, Tituba,  living in Salem at that time, who probably influenced some of the girls by introducing her indigenous shamanic ideas - an experimentation that led to altered states, with disastrous results in that violently repressed community.

Later, the Grofs decided to make  a trip to Salem, where Christina was able to identify the pond she saw herself being drowned in, a former grove of trees, and other significant details.  But what was especially striking about this trip was that Stanislaf Grof learned that the original site of  old Salem, where the historical events occurred, was now called Danvers.

"That came as a shock to us" he writes.  "Danvers was the place where we had held a large conference of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) in 1978.  There we presented for the first time our concept of spiritual emergency, implying that many episodes of non-ordinary states of consciousness that mainstream psychiatrists diagnose as psychoses and often treat with drastic methods, such as insulin coma and electroshock, are actually psychospiritual crises."

 "In our lecture in Danvers, we had suggested that - properly understood and supported - these crises of spiritual opening can actually be healing, transformative, and even evolutionary.  We had given the talk in a hall from which we could see, on the other side of the valley, an old-time psychiatric hospital that had one of the worst reputations in the country.  They were still using shock methods, which bore great similarity to the practices of the Inquisition and similar witch hunts."

"We were stunned" Dr. Grof continues, "by this incredible synchronicity.  Of all the possible locations, we presented our modern plea for a radical change of attitude toward non-ordinary states of consciousness in a place that, unbeknownst to Christina, had been the site of her past life memory in which her suffering and death has been caused by misunderstanding and misinterpretation of non ordinary states of consciousness."

The Circle Returns!

*The Akashic Experience, edited by Ervin Laszlo -  with contributions by Stanislof Grof, Stanley Krippner, Edgar Mitchel, Alex Grey, others. (2008) Inner Traditions Publishing

**I myself have done past life regression, in particular to a lifetime in 17th century France as a nanny.  It's interesting to note that, although I lack vocabulary, I can speak what French I do know easily, without much in the way of an accent.  And I've never had the desire to raise children, which is kind of odd.  Couldn't stand even baby dolls!