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Beyond the brain : birth, death, and transcendence in by Stanislav Grof

By Stanislav Grof

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Occasionally the changes in consciousness associated with neurological disorders are so specific that they can contribute to correct diagnosis. Moreover, successful neurosurgery or other medical interventions can be followed by distinct clinical improvement.  It is interesting in this connection that Wilder Penfield (the world­famous neurosurgeon who has conducted ground­breaking brain research and has made fundamental contributions to modern neurophysiology) expressed in his last book, The Mystery of the Mind (1976), which summarizes his life work, a deep doubt that consciousness is a product of the brain and can be explained in terms of cerebral anatomy and physiology.

The present medical model recognizes the possibility of such transmission for the information concerning the mechanics of embryological development, constitutional factors, hereditary dispositions, parental characteristics or talents, and similar phenomena, but certainly not for complex memories of specific events preceding the individual's conception.  The only prenatal influences generally recognized in developmental speculations of psychiatrists and psychologists are heredity, vague constitutional factors, physical damage to the organism, and, possibly, differences in the relative strength of various instincts.

The present medical model recognizes the possibility of such transmission for the information concerning the mechanics of embryological development, constitutional factors, hereditary dispositions, parental characteristics or talents, and similar phenomena, but certainly not for complex memories of specific events preceding the individual's conception.  The only prenatal influences generally recognized in developmental speculations of psychiatrists and psychologists are heredity, vague constitutional factors, physical damage to the organism, and, possibly, differences in the relative strength of various instincts.

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