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When the Impossible Happens:
Adventures in Non-Ordinary Reality
- by Stanislav Groff M.D, Ph.D

360 pages.
Publisher: Sounds True.
Donated to Library by: Sounds True Publications -

Reviewed by Stephanie Merchant

From the co-founder of Transpersonal Psychology comes a book about adventures in alternative states via the use of primarily psychedelics. The substances or means used to achieve the alternative states included: LSD, Ecstasy, shamanic herbals, 5-MeO-DMT, and Holotropic Breathing. The main thrust of the book seemed to be the author's own experiences with LSD and how this helped him shift his perspective of looking at life itself.

At first I had to fight the urge to giggle when reading chapter after chapter starting with yet another story of the author going on yet another LSD trip. It seemed a bit naughty. Yet, as I read on I found myself becoming concerned with the author's message about the use of psychedelics to achieve "spiritual states".

While it is true that historically shamans have used herbals and such to enhance their visions, most shamans I know today would say ideally one should develop the skills to be able to achieve spiritual/vision states without the use of such substances. Risks such as possibility altering one's chemical balance permanently or doing something dangerous/harmful while in an altered state are very high risks to take to find a new perspective. I wish in this book Groff had talked at more length about some of the serious risks to psychedelic use. With that being said, I think I can say this is a pretty cool book!

As the author peels away his academic skin to show us his uncomfortable emergence of coming to terms with there being so much more than what can be seen or measured in life, the author moves into brave ground. The author doesn't shy away from admitting that some of his earlier views on the human psyche/soul were quite limiting and narrow minded. It is rare to encounter someone with such credential who will admit such things and take on the “burden” of stepping outside the box to find deeper meanings

Some of the stories in this book are completely off the wall. Reading this book I felt like I had taken a trip down the rabbit hole with Alice in Wonderland goes spiritual. A thought provoking read for adult audiences open to new perspectives. Don't be surprised if you read this book that just when think the author had totally gone off the deep - if something resonates within your own experiences just a story or two further in!