Human Potential Movement - Authors and Essayists

Authors and Essayists

Michael Murphy and Dick Price founded the Esalen Institute in 1962, primarily as a center for the study and development of human potential, and some people continue to regard Esalen as the geographical center of the movement today. Aldous Huxley gave lectures on the "Human Potential" at Esalen in the early 1960s, and some people consider his ideas as also fundamental to the movement. Christopher Lasch notes the impact of the human potential movement via the therapeutic sector: "The new therapies spawned by the human potential movement, according to Peter Marin, teach that "the individual will is all powerful and totally determines one's fate"; thus they intensify the "isolation of the self."

George Leonard, a magazine writer and editor who conducted research for an article on human potential, became an important early influence on Esalen. Leonard claims that he coined the phrase "Human Potential Movement" during a brainstorming session with Murphy, and popularized it in his 1972 book "The Transformation: A Guide to the Inevitable Changes in Mankind". Leonard worked closely with the Esalen Institute afterwards, and in 2005 served as its president.

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