At Esalen, a Loss and a New Chapter
November 8, 2012
Change continues to shake Big Sur's Esalen Institute as it celebrates its 50th year.
Esalen insiders report longtime Gestalt teacher Seymour Carter (pictured above, right), who is quoted in our recent cover story on the institute's 50th anniversary, died in the Ukraine while on a European tour, giving workshops on Esalen practices. An extensive interview with Carter by Ken Dychtwald is available in paperback through Lulu Marketplace.
"Seymour was my measure of the the importance of speaking your truth, and a prime example of the courage this can take," one friend writes. "We are all the poorer for his loss."
Meanwhile, Esalen leaders have unveiled a new vision for the institute—one founder Michael Murphy hinted at in our cover story.
"On ancient ground, new horizons," the revamped website reads. "Esalen is a world-wide network of seekers who look beyond dogma to explore deeper spiritual possibilities; forge new understandings of self and society; and pioneer new paths for change."
The statement reflects a conscious shift on the part of the institute's board and administrators from a focus on personal growth to one on societal change. The new vision is sure to be as controversial as it is ambitious, a core characteristic of the New Age institute's identity.