• December 23, 2011

    Consider this contribution by a reader:

    When the Nine held sway at the Institute the world was changing radically, and people were looking for new ways of being, new ways of seeing, new ways of interacting with the Divine and with each other. Esalen is as American as apple pie — and it is being taken over by corporate greed heads, group-speak fear mongers, and insidious Power Point thinking. And the workers are distracted, getting triggered by things like lack of health care and insecure financial futures.

    All are losing sight of the big picture — the transformation of consciousness and each person’s role in it. The transformation is partly in moving past a “Maslow-based” model. His ideas have been co-opted and twisted beyond recognition. His true focus was on peak experience, not management principles. Self actualization is available under all circumstances. If we all and each seek peak experience, we will contribute to the transformation of human consciousness. And we will transform our community, and it’s influence in the world. Social transformation is coming. We are already a part of it.

    The trick is to experience ourselves as actors in this cosmic game, and to transcend the limited culture of our time.

    Know yourself as the “warrior with no enemy.”

    We agree that Esalen workers are distracted by minutia, but “lack of health care and insecure financial futures” are not mere distractions. The notion that “self actualization is available under all circumstances” can only come from someone who has never experienced a lack of fulfillment in their basic needs. This is a limitation of many in the upper ranks at Esalen and elsewhere, who have forgotten that the lower levels of Maslow’s Pyramid are the foundation for the higher ones, not vice versa.

    The Nine invite more contributions about the notion that Esalen can move successfully to a post-Maslow model.