[NB] Gnostic Illumination

[More revisiting old ideas while I work through others. Notebooked to indicate this is a first draft toward a conception of gnostic that provides the means of differentiating but also clarifying a broad family of practices, the ol’ Deleuzian disjunctive synthesis.]

I have talked about a gnostic sensibility of discontent as a way to think of gnosticism from a ‘big tent’ perspective. That’s useful for discussion, but the movement toward practice demands a somewhat narrower articulation of the term. Still, that practice can be articulated in a way that leaves the term with a wide but meaningful community of practitioners capable of communicating with each other (as long as we don’t presume communication to entail too much agreement).

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[NB] Esalen, George Leonard, Liberation, and Potential

Still slowly moving through Kripal’s Esalen. It isn’t a difficult read, but I find myself putting it down a lot to chew over this or that discussion. I’ll admit to finding Esalen itself less interesting than the cultural networks in which it partakes and I think that makes me a little grumpy about some of Kripal’s approach. The central place he gives Esalen strikes me as excessive–it isn’t just that Esalen takes center stage because it is the topic of the book, but it seems like Kripal really believes it is the central stage.

Anyway. That isn’t what I want to jot down here. I have finally gotten to the point where he gives George Leonard direct attention. Leonard plays a big role at Esalen but what really catches my attention is the role of events outside of Esalen play in shaping George Leonard. Leonard’s conception of a ‘human potential movement’ is so much deeper & broader than the Esalen material, and I want to just make a note of how.

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