So, if you’re interested, you can start with this review of Chris Bache’s book.
LSD and the Mind of the Universe: Diamonds from Heaven (2019) by Christopher M. Bache is an exploration of the author’s 73 LSD experiences undertaken between 1979 and 1999. Bache is currently professor emeritus in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University, a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and on the adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is also on the advisory board of the Grof Foundation, and has written several other books, including Dark Night, Early Dawn (2000) and The Living Classroom (2008).
Though these experiences were extraordinary in their own right, the most poignant part of today’s session was not the dimensions of the universe I was witnessing but what my seeing them meant to the Creative Consciousness I was with. It seemed so pleased to have someone to show Its work to (Bache 2019: 115)
The core vision of our future that has emerged in my sessions is that humanity is coming in a time of Great Awakening, a profound shift in the fundamental condition of the human psyche. But for there to be a Great Awakening, there must first take place a Great Death (Bache 2019: 209)
The core vision of our future that has emerged in my sessions is that humanity is coming into a time of Great Awakening, a profound shift in the fundamental condition of the human psyche. But for there to be a Great Awakening, there must first be a Great Death….I have come to believe the twenty-first century will be such a time….But through this hard labor, we will give birth to something extraordinary. More than just a new civilization, what is emerging is nothing less than a new order of human being. I believe that through the global system crisis, our planet is giving birth to the Future Human.
The horrific vision of world destruction is part and parcel of the mythic imagery of rapid cultural change and world views in transition….Beholding the world coming to its end amid storm, earthquake, flood and fire, we have found to be a typical experience of a prophet whose psyche is registering the emotional impact of the end of an era. The ensuing world regeneration is then the picture of the ushering in of a new age, meaning by this an innovative cultural effort whose configuration is outlined in a fresh myth….This pattern of transformation is basic to… revitalization movements throughout history.
- Do my experiences reflect my academic training? My karmic propensities.
- Would a different person with a different cultural background who followed the same protocol have the same experiences?
- Are my visions of the birth of the future human encounters with an archetypal idea or current in the collective unconscious?
- Might the intense music I used in my sessions have itself caused my experiences to take an extreme or violent emotional turn?
This is a chapter I have not wanted to write. I’ve resisted it strenuously, postponing its beginning many times….I fear asking my reader to follow me beyond what even a liberally inclined audience can tolerate in good conscience. There is so much irresponsible apocalyptic hype in print as we approach the next millennium, or what many consider the even more fateful year 2012, that this is an area from which I would have preferred to keep some distance.
Ken Ring, it will be remembered, demonstrated in Heading Toward Omega that many persons who experienced unusually deep NDEs have had visions of the imminent death and rebirth of industrial civilization. These visions are generally consistent with one another, even though the persons involved had no knowledge of each other. In them, various geological catastrophes and global disruptions signal the complete collapse of life as we know it, to be followed by the spiritual rebirth of our species and an era of unprecedented global integration.
…drawing on Jorge Ferrer’s insights in Revisioning Transpersonal Theory, I hold that all visionary experience is participatory. That is, our being evokes in complex ways the portion of the universe we experience in these states. But the corollary of the participatory view is this: the more conditioning we have let go of when this communion takes place, the more open-ended and far-reaching are the experiences that can arise. Our historical conditioning is the starting point of this conversation, not its end point. From chapter one [of LSD and the Mind of the Universe]:
“As I have experienced it, consciousness is an infinite ocean of experiential possibilities. When we take these amplifying medicines, the mind we drop into this ocean acts as a seed crystal that catalyzes a certain set of experiences from its infinite potential. As we are gradually healed, purified, and transformed by these encounters, the seed crystal of our mind is changed. In subsequent sessions, it catalyzes still deeper experiences from this ocean. If we repeat this process many times in a sustained fashion, a sequence of initiations into successively deeper levels of consciousness takes place, and a deepening visionary communion unfolds.”