Note: This work is a transcript of a video produced in 2010 as part of the World Spirituality video series.
By Marc Gafni
From Marc’s dialogue with Michael Murphy, founder of Esalen Institute:
Why hasn’t a World Spirituality emerged? What I’ve tried in the last four years to trace is both the evolutionary impulse of Hebrew mysticism and to try to formulate what a World Spirituality would look like. And in doing so I tried to trace what were the seven or eight attempts at creating a World Spirituality on the Eastern side of the street and the Western side of the street and why did they or didn’t they work.
For example, Theosophy is an attempt at a World Spirituality, one could say.
One could say on of the recent great attempts at a World Spirituality which is still in play at a World Spirituality is Esalen. Esalen itself is an implicit attempt to try to find some larger pulse from all the pieces. There have been plays like that in different forms for 2,000 years. Why didn’t they work?
There are ten reasons, but I’ll just give you two of them. The center of gravity in the world until essentially a hundred years ago was ethnocentric. It just was.
There might be people on the fringe who could move beyond ethnocentric and have a worldcentric view, but essentially it was ethnocentric. America is concerned with America, russia is concerned with Russia, and Nepal is concerned with Nepal. There wasn’t a worldcentric consciousness other than people who were visionaries beyond their time and texts that were visionary behind their time.
Read the whole transcript.