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Open to Healing: A Safe Set and Setting

Holotropic States of Consciousness

I am in the process of editing my final draft of my Ph.D dissertation. Upon reflecting on the last 3 years of my journey through my work, I am able to return to my entire life dedicated to conscious exploration. Specifically working on myself through Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness (NOSC) and helping my clients open up to the vast healing potential of these modalities.

The purpose of any work on our consciousness, be it medicine work, meditation, yoga, conscious sex, breathwork or dream interpretation all (NOSC) is to open ourselves up to healing; however, it is these models that activate the healing potential of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness (NOSC), and the protocols of this work that establish certain conditions that create this possibility.

The following are two things that need to be present when entering into a healing environment both in therapy and in conscious exploration.


First is the willingness of the participant to understand that these states are benevolent, (their contents being artifacts of the subconscious), and to willingly surrender to them knowing that we are being shown something of value. This understanding is known as the “set”, the inner condition of the individual as he or she deliberately activates NOSC by relaxing, listening to music designed to activate the psyche and by breathing a little faster and a little deeper than normal as in breathwork is one way of connecting to this realm.


Second is the authentic presence of trained facilitators, individuals familiar with the artifacts of the subconscious and experienced in creating and maintaining a safe place within which to support them. This is known as the “setting”, the outer condition into which the NOSC experiences can emerge. It is at this point that the person finds a comfortable environment advantageous to healing.

Healing Souls

Thus, when both “set and setting” are in effect, the outcomes from these NOSC work can have considerable healing potential by moving us towards wholeness, and in this formulation are called Holotropic States of Consciousness. NOSC experiences that occur within a safe and supportive set and setting can have profound heuristic value, and it is this extraordinary effect, though largely unknown and inadequately understood, that defines the true way we can heal souls.

A further discussion of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness and Holotropic States of Consciousness can be found in my writings on Transcendence and Consciousness that is incorporated through out my up coming writing.

Ryan is the visionary for healing work through experiential exercises that engage in Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness and Holotropic States of Consciousness you can learn more about the work he is doing by visiting or email and phone 952-261-5269.

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