by Nadine Vaughan, Ph.D.
It is 1975. I arrive at the threshold of the rest of my life with excitement. I am about to meet the folks who make Saybrook the “go to” place for a doctorate in humanistic psychology. Then called The Humanist Psychology Institute (HPI), it is already the stuff of urban legend. I remember the comments of friends, and laugh out loud. “Really? You can write your dissertation on that?” Now I will see the faces of these courageous academicians.
I drive up to New Jersey and enter the meeting room, knowing something amazing is about to happen. It does. This is when I meet Dr. Stanley Krippner. Off in a corner, looking nothing like Freud, James, or Skinner, Stanley sports a colorful jacket of indigenous design and a smile that twinkles each time he hears a student make an outrageous claim concerning paranormal events. Tasked with educating these searching souls, Krippner’s eyes lower as he carefully chooses just the right words. Students wait; miners ready to collect the gems he produces from the recesses of his great mind. Stanley’s brow slightly furrows as he weighs the ramifications of his words; his steady voice becomes a loving friend. Although I do not yet know how, this early trek into the unknown pads my own path into the nature of consciousness and changes my life.
Fast forward to Saturday, August 4, 2012. Following weeks of excited emails proclaiming “Stanley is attending the APA conference in Orlando, and he is turning 80!”, I startle at how much time has passed since my first meeting with him 37 years ago. It feels like the blink of an eye with life-times in between. I arrange to attend, wondering what I might offer this remarkable man on this uncommon occasion. He has done so much for the world. Does the world know? I decide to honor my mentor, my colleague, and friend with a filmed retrospective of his life and works. Nothing fancy. Heartfelt.
With Stan’s permission, I invite my filmmaking partner to the occasion. An International group of well-wishers arrive to celebrate Stan’s Birthday in style. Many travel from far places. We record interviews with Stan and other fascinating folks. Told from the perspectives of people personally touched by his efforts, the retrospective begins and ends on the night of Stan’s party. It weaves into its tapestry, archival footage and published works. I name it “Siren Song: The Life and Works of Dr. Stanley Krippner”. We would like to have it ready for Stan’s Mill Valley party this fall or an award presentation soon after. Realistically, our plan is to finalize editing by this year’s end, and make it available for purchase in 2013. A gift from my heart, only modest production costs will be retrieved. After that, all proceeds go to Stan. Happy Birthday, Stan.