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Stanley Krippner Interview pt. 3 - June 24, 2010

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We know that some of the most prominent researchers in the field of altered states of consciousness such as Charles Tart and yourself are paying a lot of attention to parapsychology Could you please elaborate the connection between this field and the field of academic studies of consciousness and its states? Yes, I said that transpersonal psychology has very little status, very little visibility in the American psychology Parapsychology has even less! Parapsychology is down at the bottom in terms of academic psychology It has almost no recognition And I have personally attempted to change this a little bit I have put together a book called Debating Psychic Experiences with some of the leading critics of parapsychology debating some of the leading proponents of parapsychology And so this is being published by a major American publisher and there is a great deal of mentioning of altered states of consciousness in this book Now, let me tell you what the direct links are Parapsychological experiences in Western countries are not a part of ordinary, everyday life because there is no time for that Ordinary consciousness is too busy too preoccupied So, when they occur they sort of have to sneak in the back door if we use an English idiom and come in dreams, come in spontaneous visions, even come when people have taken drugs or when people are doing meditation Well, the link here is that some of these are exactly the ways that shamans and yogis had psychic experiences thousands of years ago They used mushrooms in Siberia, they used yogic postures in India and other countries in Asia, they used drumming... Even when altered states of consciousness were part of the general culture shamans and yogis had to accentuate very probably to have telepathy, clairvoyance, premonitions, out-of-body experiences with a little help from outside agents such as drugs and drumming and dancing We have, in this dialogue, criticized such religions as Buddhism and Christianity for being a little bit harsh on shamanism but of itself does Christianity —of course, we know about Buddhism— but does Christianity have something valuable to offer to transpersonal studies in terms of mystical experiences What is your opinion on this? Well, I think that every religion has something to offer in terms of transpersonal experiences For me religious institution is a human institution Not an institution set up by God —that's ridiculous to think about it that way Even though most religions claim that they are the one religion or one true religion Religions are human institutions They are going to have their positive sides and they're going to have their negative sides When Christians came to the United States one of the things they did was to kill the Shamans not only suppress shamanism But we have photographs of shamans having their skin stripped off because the Christian missionaries thought they were doing the work of the Devil Also, some of the Shamans had different points of view on homosexuality They would have sex with members of their own gender This was terrible for the Catholics who were very homophobic very much afraid of homosexuality They were heretics! So they were punished severely So Christianity does not have a good record in terms of helping Native American shamans and probably sent the Shamans back a couple of hundred years Now shamanism is coming again to Native American settlements Now, on the positive side, there are many Christian traditions that used prayer, that used contemplation, that used music to alter consciousness and put them in a receptive mood to hear what they think are the voice of God and messages from the Holy Spirit So yes, this could be studied and this is where Christianity and Christian practices could make valuable contributions to transpersonal studies We have talked to many undergraduate and graduate students who want to pursue career in consciousness studies and altered states of consciousness studies and as a leading expert in this field what would you say to those who are about to begin their path as altered states researchers? Well, what I tell people in the United States is if you're interested in studying altered states of consciousness you have to find an institution which would allow you to study In Saybrook University we have many students who pursue studying altered states Very few universities in the United States are And many of them are in California that are very favorable Not only Saybrook University, Californian Institute of Integral Studies, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, John F. Kennedy University are schools of this nature So I tell them "Yes, you can study altered states of consciousness but also make sure that you know enough psychology so that you can get a job in mainstream psychology and psychotherapy if there's nothing available on altered states research So I have students who know a lot about altered states and they are at universities teaching educational psychology, clinical psychology, physiological psychology, and other mainstream courses There maybe one course on altered states if they're lucky So you have to be practical you have to protect your future you have to know how you're going to be able to make a living once you have finished your studies on altered states and research on altered states because there are very few jobs available very few jobs available in the altered states field I suppose that the best way to get a job is to try to get a job in the field of altered states that has some connection with mental health or physical health like the use of meditation for hypertension or the use of prayer to facilitate the immune system and this is where you can get grants The use of relaxation to fight insomnia so there are many medical conditions that can be helped by altered states so that people don't have to rely on doing completely by taking drugs many of which have serious side effects I think this is important frontier for transpersonal psychology and for altered states and that's the field of what we call "mind-body medicine" At Saybrook it's possible to get certificates in mind-body medicine We have a whole college of mind-body medicine We teach hypnosis, biofeedback and other areas where people can get practical skills that will eventually help them get jobs where they can put their interest in altered states of consciousness research to practical use Thank you! Thank you very much for the interview! Thank you! And good luck with your website, it's very important to do...

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 5 seconds
Country: Russia
Language: English
Views: 90
Posted by: on Aug 6, 2010

Part 3 of the Interview with Dr. Stanley Krippner. Filmed at the International Transpersonal Conference (Moscow, Russia) on June 24, 2010. States of Consciousness web portal

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