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A mind blowing interview: Stan Grof – Lessons from ~ 4,500 LSD Sessions and Beyond
Stanislav Grof is a Czech psychiatrist who has worked extensively with LSD as a therapeutic agent. After his work with the drug, he went on to develop a technique known as Holotropic Breathwork, which can allegedly generate effects similar to experienced on psychedelics, without the ingestion of any foreign substance. He has written over a dozen books, which are available on Amazon, and is a recipient of the VISION 97 Prize.
Grof’s ideas might strike some as being a little out there. To me however, they all seem fairly logical, and are undeniably based on an extensive amount of evidence. Unlike the many armchair professors in the field of psychology, Grof has spent thousands of hours in the trenches. If you listen to the episode below, you’ll soon realize that these hours have led to some astounding insights into the nature of the mind.
To avoid the ads, skip to 4:27
Although I haven’t yet tried Grof’s method of Holotropic Breathing (I’m planning on doing a session in July) I have heard two firsthand accounts of its effects from trusted sources. Both said the experience was equal in potency to that of an ayahuasca ceremony.
Update (Written 9/19/2019): Since writing the above material, I have participated in several breathwork sessions and wrote about my experience in this post.
I’d highly recommend the above podcast (The Tim Ferriss Show) to pretty much everyone. Its episodes general consist of the host, Tim, interviewing world class performers, and attempting to deconstruct how they have achieved their success. Guests include chess prodigies, microbiologists, Navy SEALs, business titans (Such as Richard Branson) and athletes (Such as LeBron James). Episodes can be found on YouTube, as well as iTunes and Spotify. However, as with pretty much all podcasts, I listen to them using the app Overcast. It’s the best podcast app I’ve been able to find.
Some new intriguing data on the link between autism and the gut
- Autism symptoms replicated in mice after faecal transplants
- Long-term benefit of Microbiota Transfer Therapy on autism symptoms and gut microbiota
Debates about the causes of autism have been stirring up controversy for quite some time. Although a good amount of misinformation on the topic is currently being circulated, solid evidence for a potential factor contributing to the syndrome has been piling up over recent years. That factor is gut health, and the ecosystem of microorganisms that live inside our digestive systems.
A few articles pointing to the link between gut health and autism are attached above. The first describes an experiment in which healthy mice began to exhibit autistic symptoms after being given a fecal transplant from a human patient with autism. The second goes over the results of a two year study in which humans with autism showed significant improvement in their symptoms after undergoing a bowel cleanse and receiving fecal transplants from non-autistic donors.
Another strange example of the mind gut connection – Schizophrenia’s surprising link to the gut
Excerpt: “…During the study, Peng Zheng and colleagues examined the fecal matter from a sample of schizophrenics and compared them with those from healthy controls. They found that schizophrenics had strikingly low diversity of bacterial species from the Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae families, species that are normally found in abundance. In contrast, species from the Veillonellaceae family were increased in schizophrenic patients. This difference is so stark, in fact, that the fecal matter samples alone could be used to predict whether a person was schizophrenic or not…”
- Key Fact from the article: Mice that are inoculated with the fecal matter of people suffering from schizophrenia from also begin to show symptoms of the disease, just like mice inoculated with the fecal matter from those with autism.
“Secretly we’re all a little more absurd than we make ourselves out to be.”
– J.K Rowling
A fascinating overview of Jeff Bezos and Amazon
“…According to Business Insider calculations, spending $88 thousand dollars to him is similar to an average American spending 1 dollar.”