Episode 95: Stanislav Grof guest – 4 of 7 On the Road of “2012 NOW – Empowering the Transformation”
“For human evolution to continue, the conversation must deepen.” – Margaret Mead
This is the fourth in a seven-part series of “Pilgrimage Dialogues” forming part of and leading up to a Conference Gathering in Fort Collins, Colorado on May 29-30, 2009, entitled “2012 NOW – Empowering the Transformation”, for which I am serving as the Master of Ceremonies and opening presenter. Past Living Dialogues in this series have included dialogues with myself and Robert Sitler, John Major Jenkins, and with Sobonfu Some’. Future Living Dialogues in the series will include other Conference presenters Richard Tarnas and Christine Page.
Details and registration information available at www.unveiling2012.org.
Duncan Campbell: 2012 Now: Empowering The Transformation, a uniquely innovative, interactive and affordable gathering in this time of global uncertainty, will take place Friday night and all day Saturday May 29 and 30 at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in Fort Collins, Colorado. Beyond just information, to practical tools for change and direct experience of participating in the ongoing transformation of our times. Now is the time and the opportunity to synchronize consciousness with the evolutionary pulse of the cosmos. Join participants bringing stories from around the planet as we explore, co-create, and experience together the tranformative dynamics necessary for a successful transit from now through the year 2012 and beyond. More information available on the Conference website, www.unveiling2012.org. See you there.
The meaning of the Greek word “Apocalypse” is “lifting the veil” or “revelation”. These “pilgrimage dialogues” in advance of the Gathering – contemporary 21st century versions of the medieval Canterbury Tales – are examples of such revelatory “shared stories” on this Road of 2012 NOW.
Here is a summary excerpt describing the Conference between myself and Sobonfu Some’, who will conduct the concluding ritual of celebration:
Sobonfu Some’: Well I really believe that initiation is a necessity, you know, much like, you know, 2012 is saying “here is a big initiation”. It, initiation, is a necessity because we have to initiate in order to be able to move forward, to be able to tap into our essence, into our gift and so on. And, you know, in my African tradition the first initiation that we all go through is that of being born, because we are coming from being full of spirit to taking on this human tool that we call the body. And, you know, also, we’ll go through many, many initiations. And I think what we’re talking about in the Conference is that we’re going to get to the place where we are basically going to celebrate being able to give birth to our self and to whatever new vision is going to come out of this Conference Gathering -- so that we can together welcome each other and celebrate together. And I think that is the icing on the cake, you know, that is awaiting us.
Duncan Campbell: I think absolutely that’s the case, and myself as Master of Ceremonies and yourself as the person who will be leading us in the concluding celebratory ritual are both involved in helping the entire gathering to activate, all of us together, a kind of transformational space -- including not only the presenters who will be articulating on the stage, but all of the participants with their deep listening who are evoking the insights that are articulated coming out of the group energy field. And this opportunity for expression will also be something we can all look forward to at the extended lunch time on Saturday, when there’s going to be a large and deliberate space for people in very small groups to share stories, deep stories, with each other and evoke and integrate their experience. This is very essential to a true initiation -- that is not just a one way transmission of information, but is actually a transformative initiation -- where together we can evoke an experience that is both intimate and personal in our sense of shift, as well as a kind of collective amplification that allows all of us to celebrate, as Barack Obama suggested in his Inaugural Address, “our common humanity”. And that experience has a great carry over effect into our everyday lives and relationships.
Sobonfu Some’: Now how amazing is that, because, you know, a lot of people go into conferences and never really get to put in their voice; and, you know, in my Dagara people’s African tradition, when you go anywhere we are always trying to get our voice in, you know, to express yourself with and to others, because it’s like we are all making this huge cauldron and the stories that we bring, everything we share of our self, is part of what is going to make whatever we’re cooking really delicious. And for people to be able to have this opportunity as a gift, not only to themselves but a gift to the community, I really believe is amazing.
Duncan Campbell: That’s beautifully put. I love the image that you give here of together we’re collectively creating a crucible or a great cauldron, not only a crucible for the water of life, but a great cauldron in which to cook and use the fire of life to transform our experience, because these are transformative elements, all of the elements are: Eaarth is nurturing, Wind is empowering, a Fire literally is transforming, and Water is liquid and fluid and moves between the solid state of ice to the evaporated state of the clouds. And so every one of the elements will be involved here. We will be having time outdoors; we will be celebrating the natural world in a beautiful natural environment in Fort Collins, Colorado. And I think that these “pilgrimage dialogues” are pointing to that transformation as they are evolving here. In my first dialogue, with Robert Sitler, he emphasized the joy and the wisdom that is accessible in everyday life that he himself has experienced in the Mayan culture and which he shares so beautifully. Next has been John Major Jenkins, whose great research into the galactic alignment and embedding it and situating it in connection to the primordial tradition, sometimes called the perennial philosophy, has shown how we can bring all of this that 2012 is pointing to into the Now; that this “2012 phenomenon” is not an event that we’re waiting for, that we’re going to have to be acted upon at some time in the future, but it is an atmosphere of opportunity that is present right here, right now…And that energy field is present right now in helping germinate and evoke from you and I what we’re saying and inviting people to; so that in a sense you and I are acting here as inviters and embodiments of the kind of dialogue and transformation that we can anticipate will be happening among us all and amplified at that particular moment on May 29 and May 30 of the Gathering. But that’s only a moment in a continuum of many moments before and after, that we’re all already uncovering and witnessing being unveiled in people all over the world.
Sobonfu Some’: Yes, and, you know, as you speak and you share that it makes me think about today being this energy that renews itself time and again, which gets stronger every time, as the energy is being shared every time. So as people today listen to this dialogue, and share it with other people, it is renewed and it gets stronger and so on. That’s the image that came to me.
Duncan Campbell: Well, I have to say, Sobonfu, it’s been just a wonderful opportunity here for myself and our other deep listeners, and yourself for that matter, for us to have this chance and opportunity to engage in this dialogue together, and I have always so appreciated the great joy and cheerfulness that you embody and bring to any time that I’ve ever had the pleasure and privilege to encounter you. And so I’m very much looking forward to this conference, even as I’m deeply appreciating the present moment here, because the gift I think of this very dialogue is not only to inspire that more such moments can happen between us, but in one’s own life everyday, today for instance, and the moments that follow.
Sobonfu Some’: Yes, and I’m very grateful for you, for the gift of yourself to the world really and for having such a strong and powerful vision that you can not only share with the world, but that you can get other people be a part of the dance of that vision as well. And I think that is, that is a gift that not everybody has, and I thank you for holding that for all of us.
Duncan Campbell: Well thank you very much Sobonfu, and I want to thank our co-producers Larraine Tennison and John Major Jenkins and everyone involved with this project, all the presenters that are part of this pilgrimage series that is now leading us, as it were, like milestones toward the Conference Gathering on May 29 and 30. If people are wanting further information, they can go to www.unveiling2012.org. And we really extend an extraordinarily warm and intimate invitation for your continued participation. If you cannot physically put yourself in that Fort Collins environment, you’re very much invited to participate through your deep listening to not only these dialogues, but to the continuation of Living Dialogues after that, and also to honor the fact that really it is true -- and we’re experiencing it with great gratitude for our listenership and their Website Contact emails from around the world -- that as the world becomes smaller, “yes, we can” and do experience in greater depth and greater joy our own common humanity.
We invite you and look forward to seeing you at the conference on May 29 and 30, 2009 in the natural beauty of Fort Collins, Colorado, entitled “2012 NOW - Empowering the Transformation”. For further information and registration you can go to www.unveiling2012.org.
“We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth…. and we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself....For the world has changed, and we must change with it…why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration…" -- Barack Obama Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009
And as we say on Living Dialogues:
“Dialogue is the Language of Evolutionary Transformation”™.
Contact me if you like at www.livingdialogues.com. Visit my blog at Duncan.personallifemedia.com. ”. (For more, including information on the Engaged Elder Wisdom Dialogue Series on my website www.livingdialogues.com, click on Episode Detail to the left above and go to Transcript section.)
Among other heartful visionary conversations you will find of particular interest on these themes are my Dialogues on this site with Robert Sitler, John Major Jenkins, Sobonfu Some, Richard Tarnas, John O’Donohue, Michael Meade, Eckhart Tolle, Ted Sorensen, Frances Moore Lappe, Angeles Arrien, Matthew Fox, David Mendell, Deborah Tannen, Gangaji, Michael Dowd, Duane Elgin, and Joseph Ellis, among others [click on their name(s) in green on right hand column of the Living Dialogues Home Page on this site].
After you listen to this Dialogue, I invite you to both explore and make possible further interesting material on Living Dialogues by taking less than 5 minutes to click on and fill out the Listener Survey. My thanks and appreciation for your participation.
“Duncan Campbell, I heard about your podcast a few months ago, and have been deeply listening to all the dialogues with your fantastic friends/guests. Your words, ideas, and wisdom are truly inspirational. You have evoked a new appetite for knowledge in me that I hope to share with a starving younger generation. Thank you for doing what you do, and creating a unique space, void of boundaries and classification. A breath of fresh air! Much love and respect.” – Amit Kapadiya
In furtherance of creating and maintaining the planetary dialogues now required in the 21st century, we featured a special series of dialogues with myself and other elders in the weeks leading up to and including the 2008 Olympics hosted by China and the U.S. 2008 elections. Those dialogues can be listened to separately on this site or as gathered as a series on my website www.livingdialogues.com under the collective title “Engaged Elder Wisdom Dialogues”. They address various specific political aspects of our planetary crisis, with its dangers and opportunities for creating and sustaining a visionary and evolutionary shift. (We remember that the Chinese character for “crisis” is often described as meaning both “danger” when visioned from a fear perspective, and “opportunity” when visioned from a wisdom perspective.)
In all my Living Dialogues from their inception I talk in various ways about the call to generate dialogues across generational, ethnic, gender, religious, wealth, and national boundaries -- building bridges of understanding and wisdom in the cooperative spirit and reaching out -- required by our 21st century realities, and the essential roles that we all are called to play in our evolution for it to take place.
This is the time for renewed dialogue, for visionary and inspiring discourse producing practical and innovative ways of living and sharing together, to engage the deep spirit and spirituality of our own elder wisdom and youthful inspiration, and in so doing to experience and exemplify that “Dialogue is the Language of Evolutionary Transformation”™.
And that is what we all do, in our mutual roles as host, deep listeners, and guests, when we gather together here from all parts of the globe in Living Dialogues.
SUBSCRIBE HERE FOR FREE TO LIVING DIALOGUES AND IN THE COMING WEEKS HEAR DUNCAN CAMPELL’S DIALOGUES WITH OTHER GROUND-BREAKING TRANSFORMATIONAL THINKERS LISTED ON THE WEBSITE WWW.LIVINGDIALOGUES.COM. TO LISTEN TO PREVIOUS RELATED DIALOGUES ON THIS SITE, SCROLL DOWN ON THE LIVING DIALOGUES SHOW PAGE HERE -- OR CLICK ON THE NAME OF A GUEST ON THE LIST AT THE RIGHT -- TO HEAR DUNCAN’S DIALOGUES WITH DR. ANDREW WEIL, BRIAN WEISS, COLEMAN BARKS, RUPERT SHELDRAKE, LARRY DOSSEY, JUDY COLLINS, MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, MATTHEW FOX, JOSEPH CHILTON PEARCE, DEEPAK CHOPRA, BYRON KATIE AND STEPHEN MITCHELL, CAROLINE MYSS, GANGAJI, VINE DELORIA, JR., MICHAEL DOWD (THE UNIVERSE STORY OF THOMAS BERRY AND BRIAN SWIMME), STEVE MCINTOSH, FRANCES MOORE LAPPE, STANISLAV GROF, RICHARD TARNAS, MARC BEKOFF AND JANE GOODALL, RICHARD MOSS, PAUL HAWKEN, PAUL RAY, JOSEPH ELLIS, DUANE ELGIN, LYNNE MCTAGGART, ECKHART TOLLE, MICHAEL MEADE, ANGELES ARRIEN, SOBONFU SOME. TED SORENSEN, ROBERT THURMAN, DAVID MARANISS, DAVID BOREN, GEORGE LAKOFF, TOM HAYDEN, JAY INSLEE, BRACKEN HENDRICKS, BOB GOUGH, VAN JONES, BARBARA MARX HUBBARD, LESTER BROWN, DAVID MENDELL, DEBORAH TANNEN, JOHN GRAY, ARI BERK, SUSAN JACOBY, JOSEPH M. MARSHALL III, JOHN O’DONOHUE, BRANT SECUNDA, MARK ALLEN, MICHAEL BECKWITH, ROBERT SITLER, JOHN MAJOR JENKINS AND OTHER EVOLUTIONARY THINKERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
The best way to reach me is through my website: www.livingdialogues.com. Many thanks again for your attentive deep listening in helping co-create this program.
All the best, Duncan.
P.S. As a way of further acknowledging and appreciating your part in these dialogues, and since I cannot personally answer all of them, I have begun to publish from time to time in these pages some of the appreciations received from you.
Stanislav Grof: Thank you very much for all the work you’ve done over the years to bring these new ideas to open-minded audiences, very special audiences.
Duncan Campbell: From time in memorial, beginning with indigenous counsels and ancient wisdom traditions, through the work of western visionaries such as Plato, Galileo, and quantum physicist David Bohm, mutually participatory dialogue has been seen as the key to evolving and transforming consciousness, evoking a flow of meaning, a dia flow of logos meaning, beyond what any one individual can bring through alone, so join us now as together with you, the active deep listener, we evoke and engage in Living Dialogues.
Duncan Campbell: Welcome to Living Dialogues. I’m your host, Duncan Campbell, and with me for this particular dialogue I’m truly delighted to have my great friend and colleague, Stanislav Grof, MD, known to many of you for his numerous books and his over 50 years of research into consciousness, beginning with his own initial experience as a trained psychiatrist in his native Czechoslovakia before coming to the United States in the mid 60’s and having conducted his research all over the world since then. He’s based in the Bay area, and he taught for many years at the Escalon Institute. As resident faculty, He and his wife Christina have created both the holotropic breath work known to many of you, and also spiritual emergency programs, also known to many of you. One of the things that I think we’re going to talk about today will include reference to certain of his books, and that is this notion of 2012 Now: Empowering The Transformation, which is the subject matter of this particular dialogue. It’s part of a pilgrimage of dialogues, you might say, on the road to 2012 Now, a conference gathering taking place in Fort Collins, Colorado May 29 and 30 of 2009, of which myself as master of ceremonies and presenter will be joined by Stan and other colleagues, such as Rick Tarnas, author of Cosmos and Psyche, Sobanfu Some, William Henry, John Major Jenkins, Robert Sitler, Christine Page. We have already had three of these ‘on the road’ dialogues, myself with Robert Sitler and then with John Major Jenkins and then with Sobanfu Some. So here we might say we’re entering the fourth step on the pilgrimage of the sharing of stories road toward this particular event May 29 and 30 in Fort Collins, Colorado. And a number of the books that Stan has written really have bearing on this. Just as we begin here I might mention four of his books; Psychology of the Future, The Cosmic Game, When The Impossible Happens, put out by Sounds True, one of the co-sponsors of this conference, and The Ultimate Journey, dealing with death, rebirth, shamanism and other related topics. So Stan, what a real delight and privilege it is and fun to have you back here on Living Dialogues in this new context.
Stanislav Grof: Thank you very much for having me. It’s a great pleasure as always to get involved in the dialogue with you.
Duncan Campbell: We’ve had so many really great ones over the years, and one of the things that I think I’m really looking forward to here is taking on this topic of 2012 Now. As we know, this event that is to happen of galactic alignment on December 21, 2012, as can be seen from examining the heavens as was predicted in its own way by the Mayan cosmologists over 2,000 years ago, has captured the pubic imagination. We’ve mentioned that there is a film in process that is due out for release December 2009, that will be interpreting the apocalyptic nature of this in an extremely negative and erroneous way, thinking that the apocalypse means destruction, death, termination, a fear based kind of titillation for the mast audience, as opposed to the true meaning of apocalypse as revealed, we might say, in its own etymology, the origin of the word and the meaning of the word. Apocalypse in Greek is the unveiling or the revelation, or a revelation of a deeper reality. And as you know Stan, from your work in the last 50 years you have been a primary participant as founder of the Transpersonal Psychology Movement, and that with Abraham Maslow and others, of the unveiling of new modes of understanding of the human consciousness, what were at many times in the 20th century thought to be simply psycho pathology, or states of mind that were thought to be exhibiting illness rather than clarity have now been revealed to be states of awareness that are multi dimensional and beyond what we might say are ordinary awarenesses. So with that background, I’d just like to ask you if you might share as we begin here, just spontaneously looking back on your own childhood, was there an event now that comes to your mind in association with what we’re experiencing with this focus on 2012, something that just suddenly springs to mind as a free association as it were?
Stanislav Grof: You know, I think I’m a very unusual individual in that I was brought to mysticism and spirituality through scientific works, through laboratory and clinical work. I came from a family where there was no, you know, religious indoctrination. Actually at the wedding of my parents there was a major confrontation with the church, who initially refused to marry them because my mother was from a strictly Catholic family, my father was a Pagan by their definition, the family had no church affiliation, and the local church in a very small Czech city refused to marry them. And so it seemed like it would actually interfere with the marriage until my grandparents made a major contribution, a financial contribution and the church released its rules and married a Pagan. And my parents were so disgusted by what happened that they didn’t want to commit me or my brother to any religion…
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm.
Stanislav Grof: And so for me it wasn’t actually until 1956 where, as a beginning psychiatrist, I volunteered for, for an LSD session, at the psychiatry department where I was working, received a supply of this new substance from Santas Pharmaceutical company where it was developed, and they said, you know, this was very, very amazing substance from the group of alkaloids and the powerful psychedelic effects were discovered by Dr. Hoffman basically by accident where he intoxicated himself when he was sensitizing it. And then the son of Dr. Hoffman’s boss, who’s a psychiatrist in Surrey, conducted a pilot study with a group of psychiatric patients and a group of quote/unquote “normal people”, and this became a sensation over night because of the incredible ethicacy, millions of the gram, you know, could change the consciousness so profoundly. So they were now sending samples to different universities, research institutes and individual therapies, then they wanted to know if we find any kind of legitimate use for this in psychiatry. So that even that you’re asking about was my session, was what, you know, walked in as an atheist and, in the morning, and I had such a profound experience that it just completely sent my life, professional life and personal life, in completely different directions.
For full transcript, please contact Duncan Campbell