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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn

Eternal Return


Grof (1998a, 2000a, 2000b) also explicates the transpersonal or archetypal nature of the birth process which is seen in Eliade’s (1954/1991b) The Myth of The Eternal Return. Van Eenwyk (1997) discusses archetypes in relation to chaos theory and the notion of strange attractors. Van Eenwyk calls eternal return, “the archetype of archetypal dynamics” (p. 114). Sheldrake, McKenna, and Abraham (1998, 2001) discuss chaos, creativity, and cosmic consciousness. Jung (1950/1990) and Von Franz (1978) also write about the rebirth archetype.


Grof’s cartography (2000a) of the psyche situates the perinatal level between the personal and transpersonal levels of the unconscious. This perinatal level is influential in informing our experience, and Grof has identified four Basic Perinatal Matrices (BPMs), relating to the womb experience and the stages of biological birth, hence the name “perinatal” meaning “around birth.” These BPMs share archetypal similarities with the eternal return; I will explore this issue in greater depth in the “Cosmic Game” chapter.

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