Metamorphosis with Ralph Metzner

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The quest for meaning lies at the root of all of our ambitions, desires and dreams. Bookstores everywhere are full of self-help material on spiritual practices, psychological techniques and therapies, all pointing to the deepening of consciousness and the quest for fulfillment in life. For more than four decades, Ralph Metzner has been a pioneer in the continuing consciousness revolution. “The only way to change consciousness is to change your own consciousness,” according to Metzner. “Then, by example, it will carry over to other people.” It is not selfish to focus on our own depths of mind, body, and soul, because keeping in touch with who we really are is the only way we can keep doing what we’re here to do. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Ralph Metzner (1936 - 2019) was the Academic Dean and later professor emeritus of the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Harvard University and was involved in the study of transformation of consciousness ever after. As a graduate student, he worked with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later Ram Dass) on the Harvard Psilocybin Projects. He co-wrote The Psychedelic Experience, and was editor of The Psychedelic Review. During the 1970s, Ralph spent 10 years in the intensive study and practice of Agni Yoga, a meditative system of working with light-fire life-energies. He wrote Maps of Consciousness, one of the earliest attempts at a comparative cartography of consciousness and Know Your Type, a comparative survey of personality typologies, ancient and modern.

His many books include:

  • Well of Remembrance (Shambhala 1994)
  • The Unfolding Self: Varieties of Transformative Experience (Origin Press 1998)

To learn more about the work of Ralph Metzner and his blogs go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Methods to achieve personal transformation
  • How to move from a state of fragmentation to integration
  • Ways to heal the past and vision the future
  • How to discover your original nature
  • The consciousness of all living things
  • Ecopsychology: a different slant on the environmental crisis
  • Differences between psychedelics and narcotics
  • The nature of truly “cosmic” experiences
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 7/21/1998      Program Number: 2737