Expanding and Reenchanting the Psyche: The Pioneering Thought of Stanislav Grof


John Buchanan

Document Type


Publication Date



Due to the materialist bias lurking behind most modern scientific thought, spiritual experience has been marginalized and generally left out of any scientific cosmological speculation. Stanislav Grof’s work with extraordinary modes of experience provides a detailed cartography of these transpersonal realms and challenges the notion that our understanding of reality can be adequate without their inclusion. The speculative philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead provides a metaphysical basis for just such a enspirited cosmology, one that is also congruent with quantum and relativistic physics and most scientific findings, if not their materialistic justifications. Grof’s transpersonal phenomenology, on the other hand, offers enriching possibilities of spiritual experience to flesh out Whitehead’s cosmological scheme.



John Buchanan received his Masters degree in humanistic/transpersonal psychology from West Georgia College, and his doctorate from the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory University. He has been trained and certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner by Stan and Christina Grof. Dr. Buchanan also serves as president of the Helios Foundation.