Stanislav Grof, M.D., psychiatrist, consciousness researcher, and one who pioneered the development of Transpersonal Psychology, accepted the prestigious VISION 97 award granted by the Foundation of Dagmar and Vaclav Havel in Prague on October 5, 2007.
The foundation’s philanthropic mission supports cultural and social projects and ground-breaking prototypes with the potential to bring meaningful change to the future.
Vaclav Havel, writer, dramatist and former President of Czechoslovakia, describes the significance of this award:
“It is given to thinkers, whose scientific work returns science into the framework of general culture, transcends the dominant concepts of knowledge and being, reveals unknown, surprising, or overlooked connections, and touches in a new way the mysteries of the universe and of life. It is thus an Award, by which we would like to bring the attention of the public to spiritual achievements, which in the best sense of the word do not meet the criteria of the established ways of exploring of reality.”
The awarding of this Prize is not limited to the actual ceremonial act of its presentation but is also accompanied by other events, including interviews with representatives of public media and informal meetings of students and professors during discussions with the laureate and invited guests.
Former recipients of the annual VISION 97 award include Karl Pribram, American neurosurgeon and thinker, Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor, psychologist Phillip G. Zimbardo, MIT professor of computer science and pioneer in Artificial Intelligence, Joseph Weizenbaum, and semiotician and writer Umberto Eco.
Dr. Grof is also the founder of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) and its past and current president. He has organized large international conferences throughout the world and continues to lecture and teach professional training programs in Holotropic Breathwork and transpersonal psychology.
Currently, Dr. Grof is Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in the Department of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness, and teaches at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, 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 .