CITE: Grof, S. Beyond death: The gates of consciousness. Thames & Hudson. 2001.


“Beyond Death: The Gates of Consciousness” is a book written by Stanislav Grof, which explores the topic of consciousness and the afterlife. The book includes 158 images, many in color, of ancient and modern art on the theme of death and rebirth and the posthumous journey of the soul. The text makes meaning of these images in light of the Grofs’ research of non-ordinary states of consciousness induced by psychedelic substances and various non-drug means.


  • In “Beyond Death,” Grof examines the experiences of individuals who have had near-death experiences, as well as those who have used psychedelic substances or engaged in spiritual practices to explore altered states of consciousness.
  • Grof suggests that these experiences offer compelling evidence for the existence of a spiritual realm beyond physical reality, and that they can provide insight into the nature of consciousness and the afterlife.
  • He also explores the relationship between consciousness and the brain, and argues that the brain acts as a “reducing valve” that filters our experience of reality, limiting our awareness of the full scope of existence.


  • “The information that has emerged from NDEs and other phenomena associated with death and dying provides strong evidence that the brain does not produce consciousness, but merely mediates it.” (p. 8)
  • “The experience of being disconnected from the body is a common denominator of all near-death experiences, regardless of the cultural, religious, or social background of the experiencer.” (p. 24)
  • “The evidence strongly suggests that consciousness does not depend on the brain and that it is capable of existing independently of the body.” (p. 65)
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