Esalen America and the Religion of No Religion

ISBN-10: 0226453707

ISBN-13: 9780226453705

Edition: N/A

Authors: Jeffrey J. Kripal

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Description:

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, the institute was the remarkable brainchild of Michael Murphy and Richard Price. Set against the heady backdrop of California during the revolutionary 1960s,Esalenrecounts 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 FranciscoChronicle "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
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Book details

List price: $20.00
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 11/1/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 594
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 2.046
Language: English

William Echard is Assistant Professor in the Department of Music and Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture at Carleton University. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Illustrations
Acknowledgments, Sins, and Delight
Openings
Geographic, Historical, and Literary Orientations (1882-1962)
The Empowerment of the Founders (1950-1960)
The Outlaw Era and the American Counterculture (1960-1970)
The Occult Imaginal and Cold War Activism (1970-1985)
Crisis and the Religion of No Religion (1985-1993)
Before and After the Storm (1993-2006) (In)
Conclusion
Abbreviations
Notes On Rare Things: The Oral, Visual, and Written Sources
Index
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