Way of the Psychonaut, An Invitation to Inner Space

August 6, 2019
Ian-Michael Hébert

In modern times, human beings have gone to great lengths to understand the far reaches of outer space, but for most, the knowledge and wisdom of our internal realms are still undiscovered.

Stanislav Grof, MD, PhD, a foundational luminary of transpersonal psychology, has led a life devoted to exploring, and guiding people through the interior realms of consciousness and the psyche. In his newly published book, The Way of the Psychonaut: Encyclopedia for Inner Journeys, Grof offers us a comprehensive overview of his life’s work, the legacy of transpersonal psychology, and guidelines for navigating non-ordinary states of consciousness. The Way of the Psychonaut is poised to be a seminal book in expanding people’s understanding of the human psyche and spiritual journey.

IONS founder, Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, experienced a unity with the cosmos when returning from the moon and looking back at Earth. This kind of “non-ordinary state of consciousness” is described by Grof as a Holotropic state, one that moves us towards wholeness. In our current era, astronauts have begun exploring outer space, but since the beginning of recorded history there are those who have explored the infinite expanses of inner space. To explore the depths of the psyche, to pierce through the veils of our own interiority, this is the way of the psychonaut. We all have access to these states of consciousness, and with the proper guidance and guidelines we can traverse these inner realms to bring forward new ways of being in and seeing the world. Grof is a pioneering example of someone who has devoted their life to this journey of exploring the heights and depths of what it is to be human.

In this opus, we are presented with a window into the landscapes of the sacred, and the approaches that have been used to access non-ordinary states of consciousness from ancient to modern times. He delivers a vision of what is possible for the healing of our world, with new approaches to psychotherapy through Holotropic Breathwork, psychedelics, and creative expression. These ways of accessing Holotropic states, if “practiced on a sufficiently large scale, could also significantly improve our chances of overcoming the current global crisis that threatens the survival of life on this planet.”

In the kind of world we have today, transformation of humanity might well be our only real hope for survival.Stanislav Grof

Published by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), the two volumes of Way of the Psychonaut will be available mid-August. Information about pre-ordering the books can be found here. There is also book launch and film screening in San Francisco on August 11, 2019, sponsored by MAPS.

About the Author

Ian-Michael HébertIan-Michael Hébert, MA
With a commitment to creating space for healing and the development of consciousness, Ian-Michael has worked at the intersection of psychology and architectural design. His formal education has included a BA in eco-resort design and an MA in counseling psychology from CIIS. He has facilitated the expansion of Esalen Institute, the Denali Education Center, Chena Hot Springs, the Center for Ecological Living and Learning, IONS, and many other businesses and organizations. Ian-Michael is currently the CEO of Holos Global, a company committed to the safe and legal application of plant medicine for healing, creativity, and wellness.

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