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The American Soul RushEsalen and the Rise of Spiritual Privilege$
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Marion Goldman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814732878

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814732878.001.0001

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Esalen’s Reach

Esalen’s Reach

A Brief History

(p.48) 2 Esalen’s Reach
The American Soul Rush

Marion Goldman

NYU Press

This chapter describes the Institute's creation narrative and charts Esalen's history through the twenty-first century. This creation story described how Michael Murphy and Dick Price's dream of a modest retreat had spontaneously morphed into the reality of an influential institution dedicated to personal and social transformations. Because of benign supernatural influences emanating from both Esalen's location and more general cosmic forces, the two young men were able to create a hub for spiritual and personal exploration that has survived for six decades. According to the narrative, the stars had aligned so that Esalen could be conceived. Supernatural synchronicity had shaped Esalen's beginnings, and Murphy and Price's road trip ushered in a new era for Americans hungering to expand their lives.

Keywords:   Esalen history, creation narrative, Esalen Institute, supernatural influences, twenty-first century, Esalen's beginnings

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