Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion #2020

Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion Jeffrey J. Kripal Esalen America and the Religion of No Religion Jeffrey Kripal here recounts the spectacular history of Esalen the institute that has long been a world leader in alternative and experiential education and stands today at the center of the human po

  • Title: Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion
  • Author: Jeffrey J. Kripal
  • ISBN: 9780226453699
  • Page: 235
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion Jeffrey J. Kripal Jeffrey Kripal here recounts the spectacular history of Esalen, the institute that has long been a world leader in alternative and experiential education and stands today at the center of the human potential movement Forged in the literary and mythical leanings of the Beat Generation, inspired in the lecture halls of Stanford by radical scholars of comparative religion, tJeffrey Kripal here recounts the spectacular history of Esalen, the institute that has long been a world leader in alternative and experiential education and stands today at the center of the human potential movement Forged in the literary and mythical leanings of the Beat Generation, inspired in the lecture halls of Stanford by radical scholars of comparative religion, the institute was the remarkable brainchild of Michael Murphy and Richard Price Set against the heady backdrop of California during the revolutionary 1960s, Esalen recounts in fascinating detail how these two maverick thinkers sought to fuse the spiritual revelations of the East with the scientific revolutions of the West, or to combine the very best elements of Zen Buddhism, Western psychology, and Indian yoga into a decidedly utopian vision that rejected the dogmas of conventional religion In their religion of no religion, the natural world was just as crucial as the spiritual one, science and faith not only commingled but became staunch allies, and the enlightenment of the body could lead to the full realization of our development as human beings An impressive new book Kripal has written the definitive intellectual history of the ideas behind the institute San Francisco Chronicle Kripal examines Esalen s extraordinary history and evocatively describes the breech birth of Murphy and Price s brainchild His real achievement, though, is effortlessly synthesizing a dizzying array of dissonant phenomena Cold War espionage, ecstatic religiosity , incongruous pairings Darwinism, Tantric sex , and otherwise schizy ephemera psychedelic drugs, spaceflight into a cogent, satisfyingly complete narrative Atlantic Monthly Kripal has produced the first all encompassing history of Esalen its intellectual, social, personal, literary and spiritual passages Kripal brings us up to date and takes us deep beneath historical surfaces in this definitive, elegantly written book Playboy
    Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion Jeffrey J. Kripal

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    One thought on “Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion”

    1. I have a longstanding interest in the human potential movement, where Esalen stands as a kind of fulcrum between its origins in the first decades of the 20th century and its contemporary ubiquity I picked up this book and went straight for its treatment of Terence McKenna, my late great friend and colleague, who was a major figure at Esalen for than 15 years Terence seems almost forgotten these days, so I was very happy to see that Kripal treats him with the weight and levity with which Terence [...]

    2. I liked the early chapters on the intellectual and spiritual experiential influences and history of the founding and early years of Esalen Some of the short biographies of principal figures in the development of Esalen are interesting But the book is too long, repetitive, and becomes too much of a series of book summaries and reports of material produced by Esalen teachers and characters The author is too much in love with his own conceptual schema, to the detriment of a concrete, engaging and [...]

    3. I read about 100 pages of this book and then skimmed the rest The topic of Esalen was interesting to me because I am interested in mysticism and personal development without religious dogma Unfortunately, this book was challenging for me It felt like a textbook or a very long winded dissertation I wish it had flowed and that the author did some editing I did gain some new insights, but I hope that I can find a readable book about this topic.

    4. I enjoyed many of the stories, but the narrative didn t hang together very well And the goofs, well, for instance, Gov George Brown, and putting the Watts Riots in 1963 I m sure there are better books about this place out there.

    5. I gave it four stars because it s the most thorough history yet published on this crossroads of experimental education John Heider s Human Potential Papers is a fascinating look in the the early Esalen, but not yet published.

    6. It took me three renewals of checking out this book in order to get through half of it The writer plods through detail making reading like slogging through a morass of places, times, individuals and concepts I wanted to read the history of Esalen the Institute and place because I am a product of the 1960 s and that is when Esalen started I actually visited it when it was just getting started because I d moved to work and live in Big Sur I was somewhat sad that a bunch of wierdos had taken over B [...]

    7. Not only a history of Esalen, but a history of the Human Potential movement at the same time So interesting.

    8. I have learned so much from this book this year I read it rather exhaustively after I happened upon it while researching something else It was like a small treasure of revelation about how religion has been developing in the United States What I have always been running into was given definition Kripal gives sympathetic definition to the religion of no religion of Emerson, Whitman, and the hippies of Big Sur that is intrinsically American, capitalist and democratic yet laced with Asian Tantric , [...]

    9. Interesting chronological walk through of Esalen Lots of familiar names like Al Huang, Capra, Perls, Rolf, George Leonard, Maslow, Gia Fu Feng, along with Michael Murphy at the center What went on at Esalen certainly influenced me in the 70s, although I never went there or identified these streams with a particular place The book didn t give me a coherent idea of the place or its meaning It rekindled some interest, but reinforced some scepticism about the woo hoo nature of conference people and [...]

    10. I really enjoyed this engaging and comprehensive history of the founders of Esalen and the literary, psychological, and cultural discourses that sprung up around the Institute I could have done without the long chapters going through founder Michael Murphy s speculative fictionbut other than that, Kripal presented lots of great food for thought regarding Tantra, American spirituality, and much else The bibliography alone is a wealth of wonderful reference material.

    11. Fascinating for bay area history buffs and dedicated counterculture history buffs, but very very thorough and long Kripal is obviously quite taken with Esalen so he doesn t get into critical gender readings at all, despite the proliferation of hot waitresses braless under fishnet shirts in the Esalen 1970s.

    12. For anyone wanting to understand how the human potential movement in this country began this is essential reading Besides many fascinating stories the people involved become alive and are fascinating in their own right.

    13. A rare book that made me wish I had been in the right time and place to experience Esalen in its heyday For a fuller review, see Sects and Violence in the Ancient World.

    14. Was hard getting started but a book full of very important people who are involved in the evolution and innovative spiritual, intellectual pursuits of America and Beyond A great historical perspective on the influences and outreach this school had and hopefully still has.

    15. I thought the book was way too long but I enjoyed it Esalen has so much history on the coast in Big Sur, California It was and is The Center for Theory and Research.

    16. This book has been my guide through the strange and fascinating world of Esalen and has exposed me to so many new ideas and thinkers that I m incredibly grateful to the author.

    17. A masterful overview of the history of Esalen and all the interweavings throughout the worlds of psychology, parapsychology, human potential, politics, culture, diplomacy, and spirituality.

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