Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion

University of Chicago Press, 2007 M04 15 - 575 páginas
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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, 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

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - moshido - LibraryThing

wonderful story! Mind_blowing in the technical sense? , except for the wildly out of place psychic and "after death" stuff. Death is the absence of life, not an opposite or other process of life. See ... Leer comentario completo

Esalen: America and the religion of no religion

Crítica de los usuarios  - Not Available - Book Verdict

California's Esalen Institute is a center for alternative and experiential education that teaches that detachment is a universal impossibility. Founded in 1962 as a forum to new ways beyond mainstream ... Leer comentario completo


II Geographic Historical and LiteraryOrientations 18821962
III The Empowerment of the Founders19501960
IV The Outlaw Era and the American Counterculture 19601970
V The Occult Imaginaland Cold War Activism19701985
VI Crisis and the Religion of No Religion19851993
VII Before and After the Storm 19932006
The Future of the Past and the Mystical Idea of America
On Rare Things
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Jeffrey J. Kripal is the J. Newton Rayzor Professor in and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University. He is the author of Kali's Child; Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom; and The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion, each published by the University of Chicago Press.

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