Following Our Bliss












Esalen Institute



People of God



New Revelation




New American Buddhism



Hare Kr.s.n.a







New Morality



Long, Strange Trip



Evangelicals Go Electric




Sun Moon



New Age Prophets



Down at the Farm










p. 1 Sleeping Where I Fall {This is a Taoist and C^>an/So^n/Zen expression, indicative of following the will of the deities in one's lifetime as destined by them.}

"In his memoir, Sleeping Where I Fall, actor Peter Coyote describes ... the {Nineteen-}Sixties as "the pursuit of absolute freedom." ... . ... he writes, "freedom involved first liberating the imagination from economic assumptions of

profit and private property

{Greed for profit by exploiting others, and for private property by depriving others, are both much-detested and greatly-despised by the divine concourse of deities.}

that demanded existence at the expense of

personal truthfulness and honor, then living according to personal authenticity and fidelity to inner directives and impulses." (quoted from Coyote 1998, p. 69)

{Personal truthfulness and honor, and living according to personal authenticity, are both demanded by the divine universe of deities; while one's " inner directives and impulses" are divinely implanted into one's will by common concord of the deities.}

Coyote 1998 = Peter Coyote : Sleeping Where I Fall. Washington (DC) : Counterpoint.

pp. 5-6 bliss or horror?

p. 5

"Shortly before his death in 1987, [Joseph] Campbell spoke at length with journalist Bill Moyers in the hugely popular P[ublic]B[roadcasting]S[ystem] series The Power of Myth. ... But many of us remember only three words from the long series ... : "Follow your bliss." ... ... Campbell said. "The religious {Christian and the like} people tell us we really won't experience bliss until we die ... . But I believe in having ... the experience while you are still alive.""

p. 6

"compare {or rather, contrast} ... the future vision in so many evangelical churches -- an apocalyptic horror".

p. 7 Church-membership

"According to one estimate, less than 15 per cent of those living in the American colonies in the 1770s belonged to any church." (Finke & Stark 1992, p. 15)

{This was a continuation of mediaeval European traditions, when partaking of the sacraments of the Church (including the sacraments which would establish one's membership in the Church) was deemed to be allowable only for nobility and dignitaries, not for peasants nor for laborers nor in some localities even for artisans.}

Finke & Stark 1992 = Roger Finke & RodneyStark : The Churching of America, 1776-1990. New Brunswick (NJ) : Rutgers U Pr.

p. 7 Freemasonry & religion

"fifty-two of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence were {Free}Masons.

quoted from Fuller 2001, pp. 20-1 :] "{Free}Masons viewed God in impersonal terms, as the Grand Architect of the natural order.

{Deism, a philosophical sort of Sunni >islam, with divine nature rather abstract than embodied.}

They neither approved nor condemned Christianity, but rather viewed it as one manifestation in a long series of historical religions -- a series that would culminate in the emergence of a universal faith."

{The antecedents of Freemasonry (i.e., before 1700 ChrE) were often more outspokenly anti-Christian, commonly citing the Hellenistic texts of Hermetism as their scriptural authority; and sometimes combining these with the literature of occult Qabbalah.}

Fuller 2001 = Robert Fuller : Spiritual but Not Religious. Oxford U Pr.



Esalen Institute


pp. 14-15 Big Sur

p. 14

"Henry Miller, who moved here in the 1940s ... attracted an enclave of artists, freethinkers ... . His sexually explicit books, Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, were still banned in the United States, and the author had become the folk hero of the fringe literati. Their Big Sur hangout had been notorious since 1947 when it was described in an article in Harper's magazine titled "The New Cult of Sex

p. 15

and Anarchy." Author[ess] Mildred Edie Brady found a new kind of religion percolating along the {Pacific} coast, an erotic, sentimental mysticism ... . [Anderson 1983, p. 20] Its sages were Miller, D. H. Lawrence, and William Blake; its philosophers, the mystics G. I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky, along with ... Wilhelm Reich."

Anderson 1983 = Walter Truett Anderson : The Upstart Spring. Reading (MA) : Addison-Wesley.

p. 18 Aurobindo

"1960. Richard Price meets Michael Murphy in San Francisco ... . ... It turns out that Price and Murphy were both born in 1930, graduated from Stanford in 1952 ... and that they both learned about Aurobindo, a Bengal-born ... yogi, back in the comparative religion class of Professor Frederic Spielberg. Murphy has just gotten back from India, where he studied as Aurobindo's ashram. The guru died in 1950, but his ideas ... will later blossom into Esalen Institute and the human potential movement."

pp. 19-20 Gestalt

p. 19

"Fritz Perls, the cofounder of Gestalt therapy ... was a patient of Wilhelm Reich back in the 1930s. Reich was an Austrian psychologist and biophysicist who believed that ... something called "orgone energy" ... must be released through

p. 20

sexual activity. ... But many of his ideas were embraced by Perls and brought back to Esalen. ... .

... Anderson writes [1983, p. 92]. "... He [Reich] had his patients do breathing exercises, and even -- unthinkable for a Freudian -- touched them with his hands to massage tense ... areas of the body.""

p. 20 at Esalen : 1st event, and encountre-groups

"Esalen's first event had been in January 1962, when Alan Watts, the ... great popularizer of Eastern religion, held a seminar at Big Sur Hot Springs. ...

In the late {nineteen-}sixties and early {nineteen-}seventies, Will Schultz, the author of the best-selling book Joy, ran encounter groups".

pp. 21-24 Michael Murphy

p. 21

"Michael Murphy, the man who made this place famous ... in the 1980s, ... considered ...

p. 22

Esalen is ... an experimental think tank where scientists and mystics come together to unlock the mysteries of higher consciousness and paranormal phenomena. ...

p. 23

If there is a dominant dogma or doctrine at Esalen, it's Murphy's undying faith in the imminent transformation of human consciousness and the evolution of humanity into nothing less than God. ...

p. 24

We spent one afternoon in the early 1990s talking about ... his magnum opus on the paranormal, The Future of the Body, where he employs his tools of ethnology and natural history to collect, categorize, and chart thousands of accounts of metanormal human experience."


People of God


pp. 30-31 liberal trends within the Catholic Church hierarchy

p. 30

"When the Sixties began, Merton was already famous for The Seven Storey Mountain, a 1948 memoir ... .

p. 31

... In Rome the Second Vatican Council, convened in 1962 by Pope John XXIII and adjourned by Paul VI in 1965, began an era of liberal reform unparalleled in modern church history. In the aftermath of the proceedings, the ancient Latin Mass was translated into the vernacular."

pp. 32-35 Thomas Moore

p. 32

"Thomas Moore ... . His 1992 book, Care of the Soul, was a mega-seller ... on the best-seller lists ... . ...

p. 33

That redefinition began while Moore was ... reading the works of ... Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955). Born in Clermont in central France, Teilhard de Chardin ... was ... a priest ..., and his theological wroks were published only after his death. ... His best-known book, The Phenomenon of Man, was published in 1959. ...

The other writer who prompted Moore ... was Paul Tillich (1886-1965), an outspoken Protestant {Lutheran} theologian who was born in Germany but came to the United States in the 1930s ... . ...

Thomas Moore was perhaps most influenced by the psychology of Carl Jung and James Hillman ... . ... Moore has written a string of books ..., ...

p. 34

his latest work, The Soul's Religion."

p. 35

[a statement by Thomas Moore :] ""we do what used to be called a paraliturgical service. It's based on the Mass. We do readings ... from the Gnostic gospels".


New Revelation


pp. 45-51 A Course in Miracles

p. 45

"Once upon a time, a strange {non-embodied} voice called out to a Columbia University psychologist named Helen Schucman. ... It told her, "This is A Course in Miracles. Go take notes." It was October 21, 1965. ... But Schucman confided in William Thetford, a friend and colleague ... . ... Schucman and Thetford spent the next seven years recording, transcribing, and editing the voice. It would be another four years, in ... 1976, before it was finally published in three volumes as a 478-page text, a 622-page workbook, and an 88-page manual for teachers. ...

p. 46

Some see the Course as a return to the mystical teachings ... without the guilt, sin, fire, and brimstone. ... But if there's a Bible of the Sixties' spirituality, it may be a toss-up between A Course in Miracles and Be Here Now, the counterculture classic by Ram Dass. ... .

... William Thetford ... in 1975 ... met a woman named Judy

p. 47

Skutch, who ran a small research institute called the Foundation for Parasensory Investigation and had put on a conference in New York on parapsychology and psychic phenomena. Thetford and Shucman had completed their manuscript ... . Judy Skutch ... and her husband, Robert, acquired the rights, formed the nonprofit Foundation for Inner Peace, and published it."

pp. 47-48 the backgrounds of Helen Schucman and of William Thetford

p. 47

"Schucman's mother had dabbled in Theosophy ... .

[Helen] Schucman visited Lourdes ... in

p. 48

France, ... she went to daily Mass, even though she wasn't Catholic. And shortly before the voice ordered her to take notes, Schucman and Thetford visited

the Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach, the headquarters for the followers of Edgar Cayce, the famous psychic. [Miller 1997, pp. 33-4]

{Is this also the current material-world headquarters of divine entity inducing Cayce's sleep-talking?}

Thetford's parents had studied Christian Science, and Bill Thetford had been a favorite student of Carl Rogers, a leader in the humanistic psychology movement in the 1950s."

Miller 1997 = D. Patrick Miller : The Complete Story of the Course. Berkeley (CA) : Fearless Bks.

pp. 49-52 popularizers of A Course in Miracles : Jampolsky; Williamson; Harrington

p. 49

"One of the first people to popularize A Course in Miracles was a Marin County child psychiatrist named Gerald Jampolsky. He knew Skutch ... . ... It inspired him to found the Center for Attitudinal Healing, which helps children and families struggling with life-threatening illnesses. It also inspired a best-selling book titled Love Is Letting Go of Fear."

"For ... years, Marianne Williamson has been the Course in Miracles superstar ... . This former cabaret singer ...'s been on Ophrah and Larry King ... . ... She was raised in a Jewish home in Houston"

[film-producer Howard Rosenman, quoted in Bennetts 1991 :] "Here was this gorgeous Jewish chick ... talking in the argot of my generation, bringing together strands of ... anthropology, history, science ... . The community she's addressing is a group that partied and drugged and sexualized through the {nineteen-}sixties and {nineteen-}seventies, and here

p. 50

comes this woman who looks like one of us, who ... could have been ... dancing at Fire Island with a tambourine ... ."

"Marianne Williamson has been called ... the "high priestess of pop religion," but ... in 2001, Williamson was preaching ... in ... Detroit ... Renaissance Unity Interfaith Spiritual Fellowship, ... in the metaphysical Unity School".

"Cathy Harrington ... was born in Joliet, Illinois, and sent to a Christian Science ... school by her parents. ... Her life took a sudden turn ... in South Carolina ... . ...

Cathy's father was an early disciple of A Course in Miracles and had given

p. 51

her a copy of A Return to Love, the mega-seller by Marianne Williamson. ... She found a group that met to talk about A Course in Miracles at the Clemson Unitarian Universalist Church in South Carolina. ...

p. 52

With all three of her children out of the nest, Cathy moved to Alaska ..., and before she knew it she was at the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, studying to be a Unitarian Universalist minister herself."

Bennetts 1991 = Leslie Bennetts : "Marianne's Faithful". VANITY FAIR, June 1991.

pp. 55-56 Marianne Williamson's forthright abjuration of Christianity

p. 55

"Over the last ... decades many Unity churches have embraced A Course in Miracles. ... Nevertheless, ... Even when she was preaching in the Unity School of Christianity, Williamson did not consider herself a Christian ... . Her father raised her in the Conservative movement of American Judaism, and she has not renounced that ... . "You are born a Jew and you die a Jew," she told me. "Converting ... is not ... to the Christian religion. ... At a certain point spiritual seekers need to face

a broader array of issues than the internal self, or it becomes just ... our developing narcissism. ..."

{The alluded-to " broader array of issues" is the totality of all beings who in the nature of their atman are subsumed within the collectivity Brahman.}

p. 56

On the political front Williamson it trying to promote new forms of community and social change through something called the Global Renaissance Alliance. ... To promote that vision, she collected essays from a variety of popular spiritual authors and published the results as Imagine : What America Could Be in the 21st Century. There's

Dean Ornish on health,

John Bobbins on food,

Peter Coyote on the arts, ...

Deepak Chopra on the soul,

James Redfield on intuition,

Thomas Moore on religion,

Neale Donald Walsch on life, and ...

Rabbi Michael Lerner ... as an antiwar acivist".

Don Lattin : Following Our Bliss : How the Spiritual Ideals of the Sixties Shape Our Lives Today. HarperSanFrancisco (a division of HarperCollins Publ), 2003.