The Collective Conscious Consciously Collected By Jed McKenna, Or Holotropic Jed

Sorry folks, I use Jed’s full name in the title for Google’s eyes only. Otherwise:

The Collective Conscious and Holotropic Jed

Jed took and enhanced something from  Stanislav Grof, and Grof.. well, he is Grof, a typical Californian connected to the Institute of Integral Studies and concerned with death, theories of pre-birth trauma, ego death; all going back to 1960s and all quite fantastical.

He is 88 now, so will have a chance to find out soon enough.

The sort  of crowd ‘Jed’ used to dislike… or did he really? He seemingly bashed them enough, but look at his past recommendations and the same names keep cropping up.. the despised Californians who set up private institutions  in order to play with ‘consciousness’ and the connected crazy thinking around it – may be held in high esteem by Jed.

You were so not into California at one time, Jed. Hey, you New Yorker by birth… the gulf between West Coast and East Coast is strangely wide, but here you are, bridging it with gusto. Here is from Wikipedia:

“Grof distinguishes between two modes of consciousness: the hylotropic [there is no such word, except Grof’s invention] and the holotropic. The hylotropic mode relates to “the normal, everyday experience of consensus reality”. The holotropic has to do with states which aim towards wholeness and the totality of existence. The holotropic is characteristic of non-ordinary states of consciousness such as meditative, mystical, or psychedelic experiences. According to Grof, contemporary psychiatry often categorizes these non-ordinary states as psychotic. Grof connects the hylotropic to the Buddhist conception of namarupa (“name and form”), the separate, individual, illusory self. He connects the holotropic to the Hindu conception of Atman-Brahman, the divine, true nature of the self.”

Jed’s offering is a close interpretation, which shows where he gets his ideas from. This is an example of the Collective Conscious in action, the existence of such was denied by one of my readers. My reader huffed and puffed and was gone, because he did not quite understand what it represents (aside from thinking me uncivilized in discussion I suppose). But Collective Conscious is simply a fancy term for the process of borrowing the contemporary ideas from various sources and putting own spin on them.

If one does it well.. it merges with the original to look like their own thinking. Of course, it is based on the thoughts and ideas of the previous thinkers, and you have improved on those, or made it worse as the case may be. Things like entheogens, perinatal matrices, cosmic engulfment and other equally dubious, self-made terms make it worse in my mind. I will be honest with you… I read this piece of Jed on holotropic and hylotropic consciousness (from Grof’s serving) and was appalled at the mist. It is a disappointing offering from someone who (as I mentioned before) is slowly transitioning from a clear thinker to a mystic.

Ah well… don’t they all. Mysticism sells like hot cakes. It is unlikely one will receive the Nobel Prize, but it guarantees a misty-eyed, never ending supply of adoration. Look at Rumi, the Chief Mystic: eight centuries and counting. One might even get the very own marble bust.

Monkey Bust

The next clever sod (perhaps, those Youtubers spinning Jed’s spin) will embellish the spinning ideas with some mystically sounding lingo spin and hey presto! the spin process will repeat the spinning, moving forward the collectively spun ‘understandings’.

Here is Jed:

Dr. Grof distinguishes between two modes of human consciousness; hylotropic and holotropic. I, having formerly inhabited the former and currently inhabiting the latter, will try to explain these two worldviews in light of my own experience and understanding.

The hylotropic, or matter-oriented, mode of consciousness is
the term I am using for the normal, everyday experience of
consensus reality. The holotropic mode of consciousness, or
consciousness aiming toward wholeness and totality of existence,
characterizes certain nonordinary psychological states, such as
meditative, mystical, or psychedelic experiences. -ibid.Hylotropic refers to the mundane consciousness of nearly everyone nearly all of the time. In this mode, I experience myself as separate and distinct from my environment. The world seems mechanical and materialistic, matter seems solid, time seems linear, space seems fixed, duality seems universal, causality seems to govern events and reality seems real. This is a stagnant state with only room for lateral growth. In short, hylotropic consciousness is the mundane reality of the Segregated State of Human Childhood.

It goes on for some time in that same vein. Towards the end however there is this… Jed saaaayys………

|| Forget enlightenment, bliss, contentment and compassion, and focus on resuming your natural growth and development.

Finally!!!!! Jed said something relevant and true! I keep saying it is the natural process of MIND MATURATION.  Natural growth, although the word ‘growth’ reminds me of some unsightly skin condition or perhaps the brain tumor. So let’s say ‘natural evolution of the mind’.

Is Jed beginning to see this clearly now? Is he moving in the same direction? I would have believed so if it weren’t for his holotropic musings. For those of you who just can’t help but keep chewing on the intellectual bone – Jed threw the bone to you. That should keep ya busy and away from the real shit.
It is becoming clear that Holotropic Jed will never become the Deathbed Jed. There will never be the bare bones, nothing-held-back truth descending upon us. Too big a risk to take that could cost him the comfort of his current circumstance… all this flow with the universe can be so easily disrupted, innit? All one needs is… a brain tumor.

4 thoughts on “The Collective Conscious Consciously Collected By Jed McKenna, Or Holotropic Jed

  1. Hello Tano,

    You say ” …the despised Californians who set up private institutions in order to play with ‘consciousness’ and the connected crazy thinking around it – may be held in high esteem by Jed.. secretly.”

    Why do you say “secretly” ? As you know, I only read the first half of the first book. I didn’t like all those references to other people thoughts or writings. An original thinker doesn’t need what other people thought or wrote before him. And to me, that Jed Mckenna is NOT an original thinker. I couldn’t continue to read the first book, every page of that book smelled like bullshit, even when he says true stuff.

    So I only read some excerpts of others of his books, nothing more. One of those excerpts comes from the second bookof the first trilogy, that’s what he says, in the chapter titled “The american way” :

    1. “Why do you say “secretly”

      Well, Jed was very critical about California and Californians in his books. I understand the sentiment simply because I’ve met/been close to a few from both coasts, and Californian folks are really bent on New Age and all sorts of delusional tales around alternative realities, enlightenment, Eastern philosophies and so on.

      In contrast, those New Yorkers I knew had common sense, rationality and were generally more grown up.

      So Jed expresses his disdain at Cal people, but his ideas were influenced mostly by folks from the West Coast. This is where it all thrives, and this is where it all spreads from.
      So then… does he have a secret crush on California? That was said tongue-in-cheek, but he quotes enough to make it warranted.

      California has always been a magnet for all sorts of New Age philosophies. And Jed is becoming New Age too.

      If you can’t beat them…..

  2. (oups, sent my comment to soon)

    “If I could have the entire world’s mystic literature or the writings of America’s explorers of consciousness – Terence Mckenna, Stanislav Grof, Micheal Harner, Ken Kesey, John Lilly, Tim Leary, et al- I would take the later.”

    And then he goes on praising the work of Deepak Chopra in a entire paragraph.

    So to me, there is nothing “secret”, he esteems them from the beginning, already in the first books. Don’t you agree ?


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