The Cosmic Game

Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness

By Stanislav Grof

Subjects: New Age
Series: SUNY series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology
Paperback : 9780791438763, 304 pages, March 1998
Hardcover : 9780791438756, 304 pages, March 1998

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations


1. Introduction

2. Cosmos, Consciousness, and Spirit

3. The Cosmic Creative Principle

4. The Process of Creation

5. The Ways to Reunion with the Cosmic Source

6. The Problem of Good and Evil

7. Birth, Sex, and Death: The Cosmic Connection

8. The Mystery of Karma and Reincarnation

9. The Taboo against Knowing Who You Are

10. Playing the Cosmic Game

11. The Sacred and the Profane




In this, his culminating work, the leading international figure in consciousness research masterfully synthesizes his vast findings, drawing not only upon psychedelic therapy and Holotropic Breathwork, but also from literature, cross-cultural studies, ancient mystical sources and psychological data, resulting in a profound consolidation and articulation of what is now known about nonordinary states of consciousness.

The Cosmic Game discusses the broadest philosophical, metaphysical and spiritual insights gleaned in Grof's research concerning human nature and reality, addressing the most fundamental questions human beings have asked about the nature of existence since time immemorial.

Insights from research into nonordinary states of consciousness portray existence as an astonishing play of the cosmic creative principle that transcends time, space, linear causality, and polarities of every kind and suggest an identity of the individual psyche in its furthest reaches with the universal creative principle and the totality of existence. This identity of the human being with the Divine is the ultimate secret that lies at the core of all great spiritual traditions.

"What moves this book into the status of a classic is that it is in substantial agreement with the world's great wisdom and spiritual traditions. This modern corroboration of the perennial philosophy is a stunning achievement and deserves publication to the widest audiences." -- Ken Wilber, author of Up from Eden: A Transpersonal View of Human Evoution and The Atman Project: A Transpersonal View of Human Development

"The Cosmic Game is the latest and best of Stanislav Grof's extraordinary contributions to our understanding of human consciousness. This book provides a coherent picture of how individual experience fits into universal patterns of consciousness" -- Frances Vaughan, author of Shadows of the Sacred: Seeing through Spiritual Illusions

"Perhaps the most important of all his works, representing as it does an integration of the most profound of his clients' experiences and demonstrating a remarkable convergence with the deepest spiritual experiences reported across centuries and cultures. This convergence is a finding of the greatest significance." -- Roger Walsh, author of The Spirit of Shamanism

"Grof is the world's leading authority on the deep exploration of the mind and soul... This is a wonderful gift!" -- Charles Tart, author of States of Consciousness and Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm

Stanislav Grof, MD, is a psychiatrist with more than fifty years of experience in research of nonordinary states of consciousness. He has been Principal Investigator in a psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia; Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University; and Scholar-in-Residence at the Esalen Institute. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, conducts professional training programs in holotropic breathwork, and gives lectures and seminars worldwide. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology and the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA). In 2007, he was granted the prestigious Vision 97 award from the Vaclav and Dagmar Havel Foundation in Prague. He is the author and editor of many books, including The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration; Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy; Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution; and Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research; all published by SUNY Press.