Please join me Sunday, April 7th for a dialog, entitled “Waking Up at Sunset” with consciousness pioneer Dr. Stanislav Grof, one of the world’s most respected researchers into non-ordinary states of consciousness.
Stan’s fascinating journey into non-ordinary states of consciousness began in 1956 with LSD research in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he received his medical training. His research expanded there and continued, focusing on psychedelic therapy at Johns Hopkins in Maryland after he moved to the USA in 1967. He was one of the most prominent, earliest, and most enduring serious researchers to do extensive psychedelic research and psychedelic therapy.
Out of that work he developed an extensive cartography of altered states of consciousness and became one of the founders of the field of Transpersonal Psychology. From 1973 until 1987, he was Scholar-in-Residence at Esalen Institute where he and his wife Christina developed a powerful non-drug form of self-exploration and psychotherapy called Holotropic Breathwork. And this just touches the surface of his amazing career.
Stan has written:
“After more than fifty years of intensive study of holotropic states of consciousness, I have come to the conclusion that the theoretical concepts and practical approaches developed by transpersonal psychology, a discipline that is trying to integrate spirituality with the new paradigm emerging in Western science, could help alleviate the crisis we are all facing. These observations suggest that radical psychospiritual transformation of humanity is not only possible, but is already underway. The question is only whether it can be sufficiently fast and extensive to reverse the current self-destructive trend of modern humanity.”
I recently met up and had lunch with Stan. We have connected on several occasions since we first met 25 years ago, but we hadn’t talked in years. Some of his writings and methods have been important, clarifying and influential in my personal journey. Our lunch conversation was wide-ranging, playful, informative, and a lot of fun. He has a serious understated demeanor, but he remains incisive, humorous, and full of insights and stories.
What an amazing life he’s lived! And what a contribution he’s made to the fields of conscious evolution. He shared stories of his relationships with diverse famous figures, people ranging from Carl Sagan to John Lilly to Timothy Leary to Natalie Wood.
As we chatted about the inquiry that organizes the Beyond Awakening series (how higher consciousness can enable the human species to rise to meet our current challenges) Stan responded by confessing that his way of relating to the question relates back to two profound self-validating intuitions about the nature of reality:
—On one hand, he’s concluded that he can and should simply experience and feel and trust the all-pervading wisdom of Divine Intelligence. He’s seen, directly and obviously, that the whole world is pervaded by Divine Intelligence, and that this Divine Intelligence is in control, and no human strategy can outflank that Greater Principle.
—On the other hand, in different moments he’s experienced a parallel, equally powerful vision about the nature of reality. In this alternative view of things, Divine Intelligence has set the Kosmos into motion, and pervades it, but it’s a complex pattern of causes and effects and karmas unfolding in a way that can produce ANY kind of permutation as its result. Seeing things this way, we can’t necessarily trust that things will all happen for the good. No. In fact, Divine Intelligence needs an opening to shape existence and consciousness so it can evolve in the most healthy ways possible. And thus the world, and Divine Intelligence needs us to create those openings, and to serve as vehicles for it.
I’m excited to return to this conversation and take it deeper this Sunday, and I hope you will be able to join us!
You can read a recent paper by Stan entitled “The Revision and Re-Enchantment of Psychology: Legacy of Half a Century of Consciousness Research” here.
About Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.
Stan Grof, M.D., Ph.D. is a psychiatrist with more than fifty years experience researching the healing and transformative potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. His groundbreaking theories influenced the integration of Western science with his brilliant mapping of the transpersonal dimension. On October 5, 2007 Dr. Grof received the prestigious VISION 97 award granted by the Foundation of Dagmar and Vaclav Havel in Prague.
He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of Transpersonal Psychology and received an Honorary Award for major contributions to and development of the field of Transpersonal Psychology from the Association for Transpersonal Psychology in 1993.
Currently, Dr. Grof is Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in the Department of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness in San Francisco, CA, and at Wisdom University in Oakland, CA.
Dr. Grof was born in 1931 in Prague where he received an M.D. from Charles University and a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine) from the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences. Between 1960 and 1967, he was Principal Investigator in a psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
In the United States, Dr. Grof served as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. He was also Scholar-in-Residence at Esalen Institute.
Dr. Grof’s extensive research includes experiential psychotherapy using psychedelics and non-drug techniques, especially the holotropic breathwork (a method he developed with his wife Christina), alternative approaches to psychoses, understanding and treatment of psychospiritual crises (“spiritual emergencies”), the implications of recent developments in quantum-relativistic physics, biology, brain research, and other avenues of the emerging scientific paradigm, for psychiatric theory and consciousness studies.
Among his publications are over 150 papers in professional journals and many books including Beyond the Brain, LSD Psychotherapy, Psychology of the Future, The Cosmic Game, and the newly-released When the Impossible Happens and The Ultimate Journey, as well as many more.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Sunday, April 7th @ 10:00 AM Pacific*; 11:00am Mountain; 12:00pm Central; 1:00pm Eastern
*Find Your Local Time
Please Note: There will be a limited number of lines available on the live conference call, so we encourage you to listen online if possible. To make sure you can get through by phone, we encourage you to dial in early.
- To listen live by phone, dial: 206-402-0100 (alternate #: 501-707-0312)
- Then, enter Access Code: 272072#
- To listen live online go to: http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventID=39970254
- To download the audio after the teleseminar is complete go to the Beyond Awakening Audio Page
Join the Dialogue: About one hour into the dialogue, we’ll open up the lines and you’ll have the opportunity to interact with us directly over the phone or via instant message. Here’s what to do:
To interact live by voice, dial into the conference line number and wait until we ask for a question from someone in your region, or
Send us your question via instant message in the teleseminar window on your computer
Send us your questions and comments before or during the live dialogue by posting them on our Beyond Awakening Community Facebook page
We look forward to your attendance!
The Beyond Awakening Team