So, this post is meant to be something of a response to two posts (here and here) over on Hermetic Lessons, a continuation of the discussion started on an earlier post on this blog. Reading those posts, I am starting to see that there are a few intuitions we share, as well as a few on which we diverge. Categorized as a notebook to emphasize that this is one more contingent mask through which I’m thinking.
A comment from Blogos on a recent post leads in useful directions. If we take seriously that one of the most basic and profound magical achievements is the realization of your individuality in the full context of your life and lineage, how ought we to approach the challenge of a magical education?
I have seen a lot of discussion of an anonymous Vox article, “I’m a Liberal Professor, and I’m Scared of My Students,” making the rounds so I went to take a look at the thing itself. I have to admit, I got so angry with the author right from the get-go that I had to stop reading and come back to it later. Reading all the way through, I could see that the author made some good points, but for me they were undermined by the context that Schlosser himself paints for his readers (and, yeah, the calling out a twitter user from behind the veil of anonymity? Not classy.).
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.