Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  
cover image
The Expansion of Consciousness
Rating :
Author(s) :
Ralph Metzner
Pages :
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
2008(pb,1st ed,fine,s)
Publisher :
Regent Press
This book addresses the role and significance of consciousness expansion in the psychospiritual transformations of the individual, and in the transformations of culture and society associated with the 1960s.

In the first part is a description of how the holistic transformation teachings of alchemy, originating in the sacred science of ancient Egypt, persecuted by the Church in the Middle Ages, and ridiculed by scientific modernism, were revived in the 20th century by the work of two Swiss scientists: C.G. Jung, who identified alchemical symbolism as the objective language of the psyche; and Albert Hofmann, who, with the discovery of LSD reconnected the broken link between Spirit and Matter, the mysterious link known traditionally as the Philosophers Stone.

In the second part, is a description of how the introduction of consciousness expanding substances into Western culture, synchronous with the invention of the atomic bomb at the height of World War II, was followed by the socio-cultural upheavals of the 1960s. These social transformation movements can be seen as a response of the collective psyche to the unprecedented challenges to civilization posed by nuclear war, environmental destruction and rampant population growth. Though seemingly counter-cultural in that they countered the domination agenda of the power-elites, were really the attempt to articulate an expanded consciousness and a vision of society centered around humane, ecological, creative and spiritual values.

Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. is a recognized pioneer in studies of consciousness and its transformations. He is a psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where he was also the Academic Dean for ten years in the 1980s. He collaborated with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert in the studies of psychedelic drugs at Harvard in the 1960s, and co-authored The Psychedelic Experience. His books include Maps of Consciousness, The Well of Remembrance, The Unfolding Self and Green Psychology; as well as two edited collections on the science and phenomenology of ayahuasca and the psilocybin mushrooms. He is founder and president of the Green Earth Foundation, an ecological educational organization, and teaches a training program in Alchemical Divination.