Reading Questions for Session #11
Reading Questions Week #11 -- Finishing Shadow Culture, exploring web sites, and reading or skimming the Study Guide for What The Bleep Do We Know
Prior to reading these (short, readable) chapters, take a look at the web sites (especially read or skim through the study guide for the movie What The Bleep Do We Know). The Reading Response question at the end of these questions should encompass your response to the ideas in the Study Guide as well as those in the final chapters of Shadow Culture.
(We'll be watching clips from the movie later in the course, and by that time you will be more familiar with some of these contemporary emerging "new consciousness" -- Mind Cure/Healthy-Minded Religion -- movements and their core ideas.)
http://www.noetic.org/ - this group wrote the "Bleep" study guide, and if you do a search (upper right corner of their page) you can search for it and get their revised version if you are willing to give them your e-mail address. If not, explore their site to see what they are up to.
This is a mail-order source of audiovisual materials reflective of a fair number of "new" spirituality leaders, including some (like Pema Chodron) who are established within historical religions, and others who blend traditions or focus on spiritual healing or practices outside any tradition. For the most part, they seem fairly positive folks to me. The thing to think about is the trends, the similarities, that these individuals exemplify - very much a "once-born" positive-thinking sort of approach, with lots of variations. Just skim through and get a sense about some of these people and their ideas.
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Taylor reading questions
1. (236-237) From Leonard's remarks from 1966, what were some of the hopes and expectations of those involved in the early days of the "folk psychology" movement?
2. (237-238) What are some long-standing and contemporary accomplishments of the movement, according to Taylor?
3. (238-240) What were some influences on Michael Murphy's thinking prior to founding Esalen?
4. (242-246) What were some important "West Coast" and "East Coast" individuals and therapies coming into Esalen in the 1960s? In particular, what were the three "experiential therapies" that featured prominently in this time?
5. (246-249) Who were some especially strong personalities ("gurus") in Esalen's early days, and what did they contribute?
6. (250-254) What was the content and impact of EST?
7. (254-257) What were some components of the unique Esalen therapeutic culture?
8. (261-273) What is "humanistic psychology" and who were some key figures in the development of this movement? What were some of their core ideas?
9. (274-278) How was "transpersonal psychology" different from humanistic psychology? Who were key writers, and what were their core ideas?
10. (279-280) What are the current splinter groups and different ideas in contemporary transpersonal psychology?
Note (283-284) that Mitchell is cited as the founder of the Noetic Institute -- see web links for this.
From the What The Bleep Do We Know Study Guide:
1. Summarize the worn-out paradigm that the movie and authors believe we need to change, and summarize the incoming paradigm that the movie-makers and Noetic Science commentators believe is coming into being.
2. What do these writers argue are some important insights presented by writers in the field of quantum physics that support a need to change our understanding of "reality"?
3. What do these writers suggest are some important insights from mind-brain research, especially on the relationship between intentionality and brain wiring?
4. Practically speaking, what activities or changed attitudes are involved in the practices of "creating your day" and "healing the past"?
Reading Response Question (please include attention in your response both to Taylor and to the Study Guide for What The Bleep Do We Know):
-- Summarize what you think are the most interesting predictions Taylor makes in his summary chapter. What evidence from class reading, as well as additional reading you have done or observations about contemporary developments in non-mainstream religion and psychology movements, would you cite in supporting Taylor's views?
-- What do you think are any potential negative features of the "folk psychology" movement? Are there any opposing tendencies in contemporary society that could change or influence these very optimistic emerging traditions?
-- Do you see evidence of widening acceptance and incorporation of these traditions into the mainstream? What sorts of things? Are there contradictory things going on as well? What personally do you take away from your exposure to these ideas? What are your reservations or concerns about these ideas? What would James have to say about them?