Esalen Institute [Resources]

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Sciborg_S_Patel

#1
Part 1

In this first part, we ask, why has the study of “paranormal” experience been somewhat ignored by academia in general and Religious Studies in particular? Is the problem the term “paranormal”? What importance of these kinds of studies have for the field? Is there concern that such studies necessarily seek to justify the ontological claims of the paranormal? This latter issue is pursued in part two, to be broadcast this wednesday. Many of the scholars also offer advice for those interested in this area but are worried about “employability”. You will hear, in the following order, the voices of Jeffery Kripal, Ann Taves, Tanya Luhrmann, Fiona Bowie, Paul Stoller, Charles Emmons, Stanley Krippner and David Hufford.
Part 2

In this second part we ask “the epistemic/ontological question”: in studying these experiences, how far should we be concerned with the ontology? Would to do so be an abandonment of the scientific materialism which underpins the discipline, and therefore a slide back into theology? Or can there be a bigger model of materialism – a “complicated materialism”, to use Ann Taves’ expression – in which these phenomena might be suitably explicable? Or, as Bowie puts it, can we use “empathetic engagement” to adopt the ontology for research purposes? You will hear, in the following order, the voices of Jeffery Kripal, Ann Taves, Tanya Luhrmann, Fiona Bowie, Paul Stoller, Charles Emmons and David Hufford.
 
#3
Sciborg. One often hears whispers of a darker side to Esalen. But I have never seen anything specific in writing. Have you heard those rumblings?
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#4
Sciborg. One often hears whispers of a darker side to Esalen. But I have never seen anything specific in writing. Have you heard those rumblings?
No, though I don't know much about them TBH. I just know them via Kripal.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#6
FINDING MY RELIGION / Author Jeffrey J. Kripal talks about "Esalen, America and the Religion of No Religion"

Esalen is a place "where miracles not only happen but where they happen all the time" -- at least according to the Esalen Institute's Web site, which also describes the institute as home to a 40-year Olympiad of body, mind and spirit.

Sans the superlatives, the Esalen Institute, founded by Michael Murphy and Dick Price in 1962, is a world-renowned retreat and learning center on the beautiful Big Sur coast. It's been portrayed as the birthplace of the human potential movement, and it is a place where people come together to raise their spiritual awareness, expand their minds and get in touch with their bodies.

As famous for its hot tubs as for the people who have lived there or visited the institute -- Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell, Ansel Adams, Hunter S. Thompson, B.F. Skinner, Richard Alpert (better known as Ram Dass), Timothy Leary, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg -- Esalen was, and to some extent still is, the think tank, church and town hall of America's counterculture.

The institute's history, present and potential future is the subject of a book by Jeffrey J. Kripal, "Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion." Kripal is the chairman of the department of religious studies at Rice University. I spoke with him about Esalen's contributions to the evolution of religion, the state of spirituality in America today and the importance of maintaining many paths to enlightenment.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#7
Interestingly enough, Kripal's Esalen section on his home page currently consists of only these two quotes :) :

“But who are the grown-ups?”
“Don’t ask me,” she answered. “That’s a question for a neurotheologian.”
“Meaning what?” he asked.
“Meaning precisely what it says. Somebody who thinks about people in terms, simultaneously, of the Clear Light of the Void and the vegetative nervous system. The grown-ups are a mixture of Mind and physiology.”


Aldous Huxley, Island (1962)

It is my personal opinion that in the science of the future reality will neither be “psychic” nor “physical” but somehow both and somehow neither.

Wolfgang Pauli letter to Abraham Pais
 
#8
Interestingly enough, Kripal's Esalen section on his home page currently consists of only these two quotes :) :

“But who are the grown-ups?”
“Don’t ask me,” she answered. “That’s a question for a neurotheologian.”
“Meaning what?” he asked.
“Meaning precisely what it says. Somebody who thinks about people in terms, simultaneously, of the Clear Light of the Void and the vegetative nervous system. The grown-ups are a mixture of Mind and physiology.”


Aldous Huxley, Island (1962)

It is my personal opinion that in the science of the future reality will neither be “psychic” nor “physical” but somehow both and somehow neither.

Wolfgang Pauli letter to Abraham Pais
That's a nice quote from Pauli.
 
#12
Hi Far From Here,

I'm not personally that interested in the subject matter of the video linked above (Are we all one), but seeing as I appear to have similar interests/likes to yourself, I thought I would check it out.

Quite interesting, I suppose, thanks for linking!

Coiincidentally, I only heard of Laurel Canyon less than 24 hours before watching your video! Did you also happen to listen to this recent podcast, which is why you posted this video up?:

http://www.grimerica.ca/ep64/

PS - I heartily recommend ALL the documentaries of Adam Curtis who is, without doubt, the greatest documentary maker of all time!! (he was mentioned several times in the video)

Cheers!
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#13
Seems like Kripal's Esalen page is either written or back up...or it was always there and I missed it. :)

My on-going duties as the Co-Director of Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research have involved me deeply in the institutional life and future of the institute. Esalen is no longer an object of historical study for me. It is an intimate part of who I am in the world.

Particularly influential have been Mike’s evolutionary panentheism (a philosophy that understands the physical cosmos as the evolving body of God “waking up” into consciousness); Edward Kelly’s neuroscience of an “irreducible mind” beyond the tired dogmas of conventional physicalism; psychotherapist and historian of psychology Adam Crabtree’s work on the history of the unconscious and the practice of trance-work; and the theoretical work of the Swiss quantum theorist Harald Atmanspacher, whose writings on the “Pauli-Jung conjecture” has become a kind of mirror in which I can recognize my own deepest convictions (or hunches). The conjecture? That “mind” and “matter” are two expressions of the same underlying psychophysical reality, that both have, as it were, “split off” from a deeper unity and so commonly reflect or mirror one another in uncannily “coincidental” or “magical” ways. Hence all the synchronicities and “impossible” phenomena of the history of religions in which the mental and material worlds appear to effect or shape one another, often in fantastic ways.
 
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