Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:51 am

Richard Arthure on Meeting Chogyam Trungpa
The Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Accessed: 7/10/19
[Transcribed from the video by Tara Carreon]




Richard Arthure on Meeting Chogyam Trungpa

There are two intertwined narratives. For me, one is specifically the story of Trungpa Rinpoche, and how I directly experienced that. And the other is my own path, and how that was influenced by him, and how that also went on in a certain way because of maybe seeds that he planted that went to fruition after he died. So those two interwoven narratives, it’s hard for me to separate them out because they are both experiential from my point of view.

Well, I met him in 1966. And at that time I was married to an Irish actress named Jacqueline Ryan, or Jackie. We had rather a stormy relationship. We used to fight like cats and dogs. So kind of a trigger event that led to my meeting him was that I got a phone call from kind of an ex-girlfriend, an American girl one day, and she was asking me if I’d like to try LSD. And I had tried it before, so I said, “Yeah, I am very curious, and would be willing to try it.” So we arranged to meet. I actually had a day job at the time. I mean, I had some on and off career in theatre and acting and film and so on. But at that time I had a day job. And I called in sick one day, and I went to meet her. And she had some of this “Sunshine” [Orange sunshine] acid that’s supposed to be really good. Of course, I had no standard of comparison as to what was going to happen, but for me it was an extraordinary experience.

And I remember being in her room, looking at the wall, and seeing sort of dancing molecules, and getting the sense that things were not at all as solid as I had supposed. It was quite remarkable. And then later we went out in the park, Kensington Park, and laid down on the grass, and looked up at the sky, and I could see these pulsing, circular patterns in the sky. It was very extraordinary. I mean, I never heard the word “mandala,” but I suppose that that was the kind of thing I was seeing. These circular patterns were very vivid.

And so eventually, towards 4:30 or so in the afternoon, I said, “I should be going home, because my wife will be coming home from work.” So I went home, and I didn’t immediately tell Jackie that I had taken this drug, LSD. Later on I told her, and she was very shocked, and she wanted me to promise that I would never take LSD again, which I refused to do, because it had been a kind of experience that had opened a sort of door, you know, the “doors of perception,” or whatever it might be.


But anyway, when we took the acid together, the girl named Karen, she had a book that supposedly was based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It was written by Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, or later, Ram Dass -- right? The classic story of the 60s, I suppose. And I was so curious because of the extraordinary experience I had, that I wanted to find the original Tibetan Book of the Dead. So I went to this esoteric bookstore in London and I asked, “Do you have the Tibetan Book of the Dead?” They said, “Oh, no, no, it’s out of print. It’s been out of print for a while. But wait a minute, we have a used copy of another book in that same series that was edited by Evans-Wentz, it’s called ‘Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines.’ Would you be interested in that one?” And I said, “Okay, Let me have a look.” So I ended up buying this used copy of this book, “Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines.”

And it turned out it was all about the six yogas of Naropa, about which previously I knew nothing at all. And it somehow seemed really fascinating to me. And I started trying to meditate on my own. And I remember one day my wife Jackie came into our flat in London, and she saw me sitting cross-legged on the floor, and she said, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” And I said, “Well, I’m trying to meditate.” She said, “Ha! A bastard like you could never meditate!” So it was kind of a negative reaction, and internally my response to that was, “I’m going to meditate if it kills me.”

So I was very determined to keep going. And actually, the book also said that, “You can’t hope to attain enlightenment unless you connect with a realized master in the practice lineage.” So then I was thinking, “Well, how on earth am I going to do that, because Tibet is on the other side of the planet, and I’m here in London, and I have no connection with anything to do with that.” But I began making the aspiration in my mind, “May I connect with a realized master in the practice lineage.” And I was actually trying to visualize the Kagyu gurus above my head. I had no idea what they looked like. I didn’t even know they wore maroon robes or anything like that. So I was supplicating without knowing what they looked like, or anything like that.


So one day in my mind I was making this aspiration, and I had this sudden thought come to my mind, “Go to the phone book and look up ‘Tibet.’” And I thought, “That’s crazy. What’s that going to do?” And I thought, “Yeah, yeah, but what have you got to lose?” So I went to the phone book, and I looked up “Tibet.” Now in London, there’s 12 million people, the phone book is in four volumes, but I looked up in the “T’s,” and there was only one entry that began with the word “Tibet.” And that was “The Tibet Society of the United Kingdom.”

So I saw that, and noted down the address -- I think it was 58 Eccleston Square
-- and I didn’t think of phoning. I thought, “Well, I’ll go in person to see what happens.”

So at that time I had this great old car called a “Wolseley”. It was a very beautiful car. It only had one defect: the reverse gear didn’t work. So later on Trungpa Rinpoche used that as an analogy when joining the Vajrayana path, being a car with no reverse, and he got plenty of experience in being in that car without a reverse, I can assure you.

On any journey there is the assumption that we should be allowed to avoid danger along the way — at the minimum, to be a little careful. But if we think there is a reverse gear in Shambhala vision, we are misunderstanding a basic reality: life is perpetual motion.

-- Bravery: The Vision of the Great Eastern Sun, by Sakyong Mipham


But anyway, so I got in the car, and I knew where Eccleston Square was, and I managed to find a parking place there without having to use the reverse. And it was sort of a Victorian townhome. And I went up the steps and there was a brass plate that said, “Buddhist Society.” And I thought, “Ha, that’s a good sign.” And underneath it it said, “Tibet Society.” So I pressed that bell push, the buzzer sounded, the door opened, and I went in.


And there was an arrow pointing down to the basement. So I went down to the basement, full of anticipation that there was going to be something very esoteric -- I was sure about that – “Tibet Society!” And there was this middle-aged English woman with her hair in a bun, typing away on an old manual typewriter, looking at me at the top of her glasses and saying, “How can we help you?” And I said, “Well, tell me about the Tibet Society.” And she said, “Oh, it’s a charitable organization, raising money for Tibetan refugees in India. Would you care to make a donation?” I thought, “This is crazy.” And I think I gave her 10 shillings, and I was about to leave, thinking that this was a total waste of time. And at that moment, a young woman came in the door, and she kind of pulled me aside and she said, “If you don’t mind me asking, ‘what are you doing here’?” I said, “Well, it’s really hard to explain, but I’m really interested in the teachings of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism.” She said, “Oh, you know there are two Tibetan lamas in this country, and they belong to that Kagyu order.” And then she reached into her purse and she pulled out a photo, and she pointed to the one on the left and she said, “That’s Trungpa. That’s the one you want to meet.” I said, “Yes. Okay.” And then she proceeded to give me the address and phone number. They were living in Oxford.

And so I was very excited. She actually gave me the photo. And I remember going into the park -- it was in the summer -- and sitting on the grass and trying to meditate. And I was looking at this photo – I had it on the grass in front of me – and I could see this kind of aura around the head of Trungpa Rinpoche in the photo. And I felt the hairs on the back of my neck standing up, and I thought, “I have to contact him. I can’t wait any longer.” And I rushed home, and I phoned the number in Oxford, and asked to speak to Venerable Trungpa, and someone with a weird foreign accent said, “Oh, he no here right now. Better you write to him.” And then they gave me an address of some place called Biddulph in Staffordshire, Biddulph Old Hall in Staffordshire.

And so I sat down and wrote a letter, “Dear Venerable Trungpa. I’d very much like to come and meet you, and study under your guidance. And I’d be willing to meet you any time or place that would be suitable to you.”

And then I remember I still had this book that I had borrowed from the Tibet Society, “Tibet’s Great Yogi, Milarepa.” And one of the illustrations in that was a very elaborate syllable “Hum.” And so I carefully copied that in the margin of the letter in a green felt tip pen, this sort of syllable “hum.” And then I was satisfied. And I sent off the letter sure that that would do the trick.


And then I decided that I should fast until I would get a response to my letter. So for about 4 hours I didn’t eat anything at all. And then I got really hungry, and had a good meal, and felt much better. And that was the end of my fast.

So I sent off the letter, and of course, the first day there’s no response. The second day there’s no response. The third day, now by that time you could get an answer, because in England you could send a letter one day and it would get there the next day, and you could get a reply the day after that. But on the third day there was still no answer. On the fourth day there was still no answer. Now I was getting antsy. And on the fifth day still no answer. And I thought, “Well, I can’t wait any longer. I’m just going to go.” And I had the address of this place, The Biddulph Old Hall, Biddulph, Staffordshire. And I had a road atlas. So I found this place Biddulph. It was like a dot on the map, it was just this little village. And I decided I was going to go. And I had this sort of Mexican blanket that someone had given me, and the other book that they had loaned me was “Tibet’s great yogi, Milarepa” from the Tibet Society. So I had the book, I had the blanket, and I was all ready to go.

So my wife sees me getting ready, and she says, “Where on earth are you going?” And I said, “Well, don’t wait up for me; I’ll probably be back really late.” And I didn’t explain. I didn’t want to go into any discussion, because she had such a bad attitude when she saw me trying to meditate.

So I just got in the car, with no reverse, and headed out. And I finally found this little village called “Biddulph” in Staffordshire. It’s kind of in the middle of England. And then I stopped in the village, and got directions to the Old Hall. And it’s a beautiful stone manor house. It fortunately had a kind of circular driveway, so I was able to drive in and have a hope of getting back out again in my car.

And this place had a kind of iron knocker on the door. And I knocked, and a young man came to the door and said, “How can we help you?” And I said, “Well, I came to see the Venerable Trungpa.” And he said, “Ah, you must be Richard. He told us you’d be arriving today.” And I said, “What?,” because I had not had any answer to my letter. So I was completely baffled. “Yeah, come on in, come on in,” you know.


Then he took me upstairs and knocks on the door. And a voice from inside said, “Come in.” And I went in, and there was this young Tibetan in maroon robes, grinning from ear to ear like he’s extremely happy to see me. He said, “Good to see you. Come in. Tell me all about yourself.” And it was a very simple room, with a bed, a chair, a table, and that was it. And he offered me the bed to sit on, and he sat on a chair, and he was saying, “Tell me all about yourself.” Well, I didn’t know what to tell him, because there wasn’t much to tell in the context of why I came to meet him. But I actually asked him if he would accept me as a student. And he said, “It’s a pleasure to do business with you.” And then he told me that I should join in the schedule with the other people.

Now they had a very strict sitting schedule. They [Buddhist Society] had not yet connected with the Zen tradition of having walking meditation, so it was just sitting in the afternoon. So that was okay. And there was an evening meal. And then I went to him and talked to him some more. Then the next day they had sitting at 7-8, then there was breakfast, and then sitting from 9-12 with no break. And it was agony for me, because I wasn’t used to sitting cross-legged for three hours at a time without any break.

So after lunch I went up to see Rinpoche, and he said, “How’s it going?” So I didn’t know what to say, except that I had some images come up in my mind, and I tried to describe those. He actually interpreted some of them. It was very interesting. And anyway, he asked me if I would like to stay there for a week. And I said, “Yes, I would. But I think I should probably phone my wife and let her know where I am.” “Good idea! There’s a phone downstairs.”

So I went downstairs, and I phoned my wife Jackie. And I said, “I know you won’t believe this, but I’m with this Tibetan lama in this place called Biddulph in Staffordshire. And I’m going to be here for a week. So I’ll see you next Thursday,” or whatever it was. I think she thought I had flipped out, because that’s the first she had heard of it.

So during the week, he told me that the time would come when he would have his own center, which seemed at the time utterly improbable, because he was living, as it turned out, with two other Tibetans in a basement flat in Oxford. And they had virtually no money. One of them was working part-time as a porter, just enough to put a little bit of food on the table.

Job Description: Lodge Porter (Nights)

Salary: circa £21,000 p.a.

Main Purpose of Job: Responsible for the College’s security, welfare, communications and reception services.


• Responsible to: Lodge Manager
• Liaison with: Deans, students, staff, visitors, University Security Services and the Police

Hours of Work: Regularly working nights on a rota basis 4 days on, 4 days off. 7pm – 7am. The post holder will be asked to work day shifts, if the need arises.

Main Tasks:

Ensuring the efficient, friendly and informative reception of visitors to the College. This includes students, staff, conference guests, members of the public and contractors/suppliers;

Ensuring the prompt, efficient and friendly handling of incoming telephone calls to the Lodge switchboard;

Providing an appropriate level of response to contingencies, including emergencies, arising within and around the College, ensuring effective initial communication to and between interested parties;

Maintaining day to day security of buildings, property and persons on the College sites, including the efficient management of keys and monitoring of fire alarms, CCTV, and intruder alarms and access control systems;

Ensuring the prompt and efficient handling and of incoming and outgoing mail; this includes sorting the mail and parcels in a prompt and tidy way.

Completing College Guest room and Teaching room bookings in a timely manner.

Ensuring that good student order is maintained.

Maintaining the Lodge and entrance area as an efficient and presentable front office for the College

Safeguarding and accounting for all monies received at the Lodge,


The College Porters need to be: alert and vigilant; communicative; polite, patient and friendly both in person and on the telephone; capable of exercising firmness with students and responsive and pro-active in approach to the provision of help.
Experience of assisting with welfare issues is desirable.
Previous work in a College environment is ideal.
Previous experience in public reception responsibilities, and security industry is desirable.
Candidates should be PC literate.
Good level of English and Maths.

Benefits: 252 hours holiday per year, free meals on duty, uniform provided, pension, discounted travel scheme
For further information please visit and to apply please download the job description and submit an application form along with a CV via email to or in writing to HR Department, Oriel College, Oriel Square, Oxford. OX1 4EW
Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 11th January 2019
The College exists to promote excellence in education and research and is actively committed to the principle of equality of opportunity for all suitably qualified candidates.

-- Lodge Porter (Nights), by Oriel College, University of Oxford

And I guess Rinpoche was studying a little bit at St. Antony’s college in Oxford....

Founded in 1950 as the result of the gift of French merchant Sir Antonin Besse of Aden, St Antony's specialises in international relations, economics, politics, and area studies relative to Europe, Russia, former Soviet states, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Japan, China, and South and South East Asia.[1] It is consecutively ranked in the top five worldwide....

St Antony's reputation as a key centre for the study of Soviet affairs during the Cold War, led to rumours of links between the college and the British intelligence services; the author Leslie Woodhead wrote to this effect, describing the college as "a fitting gathering place for old spooks".....

As a postgraduate only college, St Antony's does not appear in the university's annual Norrington Table.

-- St Antony's College, Oxford, by Wikipedia.

At the end our retreat year in late May it was decided that we would visit the Promised Land, the site chosen for the enlightened society of either the near or far future, depending on whose story you listened to. The land that was chosen was Nova Scotia, Canada's Riviera. I was in favor of establishing enlightened society as soon as possible -- a year or two at the most. Others seemed to be dragging their feet.

Our Grieves and Hawks uniforms from London were ordered but would not be ready in time for the trip. So I contacted a military surplus company in New York which I had located through their advertisement in Shotgun News. I ordered one dark blue naval uniform for Rinpoche and an army khaki uniform for myself. Onto these uniforms I sewed two bars of medal ribbons that Rinpoche had designed. On my uniform I sewed my Rupon of the Red Division insignia. "Rupon'' was Tibetan for a company commander, which was the rank I then held. "Major" was pushing it a bit. Next to that ribbon I added the Iron Wheel medal and the Lion of Kalapa Court of Shambhala. This was jumping the gun somewhat because the Kalapa Court, which was to be located in Boulder, Colorado, had not yet been established. At most there were rumors of a house on Pine Street and an offer to purchase.

Sometime in the early light of morning Rinpoche, his consort, Jane, and I pored over the chart of the Province of Nova Scotia. It was to be a two-pronged attack. The Regent Osel Tendzin with his Group "B" would advance by air to Halifax Airport. The three of us in Group ''A" would go by sea, driving first to Portland and then taking the Nova Scotia Cruise Lines luxury ship up the coast. We would cross the Bay of Fundy to Yarmouth. The secrecy and stealth of our attack would surely take the natives by surprise. Finally, all of my training and reading of the Horatio Hornblower books would become useful information. Rinpoche would go as the Prince of Bhutan and I as his aide-de-camp, Major Perks, Lion of Kalapa. Jane would be Lady Jane, although I preferred to think of her as Lady Jane Gray. We were glad of our passports, which had our cover names of Chogyam Mukpo, John Perks, and Jane Condon.

The limousine that was rented for the ten-day operation was a silver Lincoln Continental. With great care I packed our evening dress tuxedos, as we planned to dine formally every night in the soon-to-be-enlightened province. We drove up to Portland, Maine, the next day to embark for the journey up the coast. Our limo was a bit oversized for the luxury liner, which looked more like a large ferry boat. After parking in the depths of its hull we found we could not open the rear doors more than six inches. Lady Jane could just squeeze through, but the Prince would never pass the gap. I pulled on his arms for a while until we realized the futility. Then the Horatio Hornblower in me became active. "The window!" I exclaimed. Lady Jane let down the rear electric window. The Prince put his arms around my neck and with Lady Jane holding up his pants we extricated him from the silver trap. On the ferry that morning, as the sun rose, the three of us stood on the upper deck and sang the Shambhala anthem. I threw an empty sake bottle overboard with a written copy of the anthem in it.

The Yarmouth dock smelled strongly of fish when we arrived and Rinpoche remarked that it reminded him of Tilopa. A good omen. We drove up to Halifax to meet the Regent's party and begin the expedition. (It had been named KOSFEF, short for Kingdom of Shambhala First Expeditionary Force. Later, there would be a medal ribbon for each member.) The Regent's force was already at the hotel I had chosen from the tourist brochure, the Horatio Nelson Hotel.

We had dressed in our uniforms earlier that morning on the boat, so we arrived at the hotel in style. Michael Root, the Regent's aide-de-camp, had arranged for the Shambhala flag we had hand sewn during retreat to be flown at the hotel entrance alongside the Canadian flag. Somehow I had it in my mind that there would be crowds attending our arrival. Instead, there was only the Regent's small party in their pinstriped suits and formal dresses. That evening we dined in our full evening dress at Fat Frank's, Halifax's only gourmet restaurant. There were speeches and toasts to the formation of enlightened society. We all sang the Shambhala anthem, with Fat Frank and his waiters joining in the end chorus, "Rejoice, the Great Eastern Sun arises."

I felt like the Kingdom had already happened, although Jerry, who was the Dapon, or Head of the Military, looked very glum. Michael and I talked to him on the way back to the hotel. "This is all crazy," he said. "Take over Nova Scotia? Make it Shambhala Kingdom? It's nuts!" This should have been my line, but somehow I had been overtaken by the fantasy. It all seemed real, quite easy, as I explained to Jerry in my enthusiasm. He was looking at me like I was crazy.

"You know," he complained, "you all come into the Nelson Hotel and salute Rinpoche who is pretending to be the Prince of Bhutan. You have that Shambhala flag flying next to the Canadian real flag in the front of the hotel. That's crazy! People will think we're all crazy!"

"Well," I argued, "Fat Frank and his waiters had a good time. Everyone seems quite friendly."

"You just can't come in here and take over," said Jerry.

"Why not?" asked Michael. "No one else seems to be in charge.

Jerry just shook his head. "I don't know. Taking over a Canadian province, making Rinpoche king and then calling it the Kingdom of Shambhala. Doesn't that seem a bit weird to you?"

"No," I replied. To cheer him up I pointed out the good omens: Tilopa at Yarmouth, letting us fly the flag at the hotel, and Fat Frank who wanted to be one of us and seemed to be convinced of our reality.

-- The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perks

But they had no money. So how was he going to have his own center? A mystery. But he sounded very confident about it, and he asked me would I like to be his private secretary. And I said yes.

So I stayed there for a week, and I met with him regularly on a one-to-one basis. And I think I had a different attitude toward him than the other people who were there, who were mostly connected through the Theravadin tradition. There had been a few Theravadin monks in London, so people had some connection with that. But the idea of having an actual guru was not most people’s approach. They were just coming, and he was like the monk in residence as far as they were concerned.

A High Leigh Summer School in the 1970s picture Hazel Waghorn (held at the Royal Agricultural University Cirencester, in the Cotswold Countryside)

-- The 90th Anniversary of The Buddhist Society 1924–2014, by The Buddhist Society

As far as I was concerned, he was the guru, because I had read this book that talked in those terms.

So at the end of the week, I went back to London. And a day or two afterwards I was having dinner – I was with my wife Jackie – and she said to me, “I have a feeling you don’t really need me anymore.” And I said, “Yeah, maybe you’re right.” And she said, “I’m going to be leaving you.” And I said, “What?” And I didn’t really say much about it. But when I woke up the next morning – we had this big king-size bed, and there was this big empty space next to me -- she was gone. And I was kind of surprised, although she had said that, because it was so sort of sudden. And I remember calling up Trungpa Rinpoche in Oxford and saying, “You’ll never guess what happened. My wife left me.” He said, “Oh, yes.” And I said, “I have the feeling that if I contacted her, and asked her to come back, she probably would.” And he said, “Well, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” And I said, “No, I’m not going to.” [Laughing] So then I told him we had a very stormy kind of relationship.

And then he came up to London and stayed with me in the flat that we had. And then I asked if he would check up on her. She was working in a store. I knew where she was staying. So she was working in this store on Oxford Street, and we drove over there. And he went in and checked up on her. I showed him a photograph of her. And he came out and I said, “What do you think?” And he said, “She seems to be fine.” I said, “Okay.”

And then a couple of days later we set out for Scotland.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:57 am

"I AM" Activity
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/10/19



Guy and Edna Ballard

The "I AM" Movement is the original Ascended Master Teachings religious movement founded in the early 1930s by Guy Ballard (1878–1939) and his wife Edna Anne Wheeler Ballard (1886–1971) in Chicago, Illinois.[1] It is an offshoot of theosophy and a major precursor of several New Age religions including the Church Universal and Triumphant.[2] The movement had up to a million followers in 1938[3] and is still active today on a smaller scale. According to the official website of the parent organization, the Saint Germain Foundation, its worldwide headquarters is located in Schaumburg, Illinois, and there are approximately 300 local groups worldwide under several variations of the names "I AM" Sanctuary, "I AM" Temple, and other similar titles.[4] As of 2007, the organization states that its purpose is "spiritual, educational and practical," and that no admission fee is charged for their activities.[5] The term "I AM" is a reference to the ancient Sanskrit mantra "So Ham", meaning "I Am that I Am".[6]


The movement believes in the existence of a group called the Ascended Masters, a hierarchy of supernatural beings that includes the original Theosophical Masters such as Jesus Christ, El Morya Khan, Maitreya, and in addition several dozen more beyond the original 20 Masters of the Ancient Wisdom of the original Theosophists as described by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

These "Ascended Masters" are believed to be humans who have lived in a succession of reincarnations in physical bodies or cosmic beings (beings originated from the great central sun of light in the beginning of all times). Over time, those who have passed though various “embodiments” became highly advanced souls, are able to move beyond the cycles of "re-embodiments" and karma, and attained their "Ascension", becoming immortal. The Ascended Masters are believed to communicate to humanity through certain trained messengers per Blavatsky, including Guy and Edna Ballard.[1][2] Because Jesus is believed to be one of the Ascended Masters, making the "Christ Light" available to seekers who wish to move out of darkness, many of the members of the "I AM" Activity consider it to be a Christian religion.[6] According to the Los Angeles Magazine, Ballard said he was the re-embodiment of George Washington, an Egyptian priest, and a noted French musician.[7]

The "I AM" Activity was the continuation of the teachings received by H. P. Blavatsky and William Quan Judge. Ballard was always guided and inspired by the writings of William Quan Judge (1851-1896), who used the pseudonym David Lloyd due to the persecution of his enemies in the Theosophical Society. Then Ballard came in contact with the Mahatma called "Ascended Master" Saint Germain.

Ballard died in 1939. In 1942 his wife and son were convicted of fraud,[4][7] a conviction which was overturned in a landmark Supreme Court decision, ruling that the question of whether the Ballards believed their religious claims should not have been submitted to a jury. This event has been known as the determinant for the establishment of the policies regarding freedom of religion or beliefs rights in the United States of America. [4]



The "I AM" Activity was founded by Guy Ballard (pseudonym Godfré Ray King) in the early 1930s. Ballard was well-read in theosophy and its offshoots, and while hiking on Mount Shasta looking for a rumored branch of the Great White Brotherhood known as "The Brotherhood of Mount Shasta", he claimed to have met and been instructed by a man who introduced himself as "Saint Germain."[8] Saint Germain is regular component of theosophical religions as an Ascended Master, based on the historical Comte de Saint-Germain, an 18th-century adventurer.[3]

The Ballards said they began talking to the Ascended Masters regularly. They founded a publishing house, Saint Germain Press, to publish their books and began training people to spread their messages across the United States. These training sessions and "Conclaves" were held throughout the United States and were open to the general public and free of charge.[9] A front-page story in a 1938 edition of the Chicago Herald and Examiner noted that the Ballards "do not take up collections or ask for funds".[10] Some of the original members of I AM were recruited from the ranks of William Dudley Pelley’s organization the Silver Shirts. Meetings became limited to members only after hecklers began disrupting their open meetings.[2][3] Over their lifetimes, the Ballard's recorded nearly 4,000 Live dictations, which they said were from the Ascended Masters.[1] Guy Ballard, his wife Edna, and later his son Donald became the sole "Accredited Messengers" of the Ascended Masters.[3]


The Ballards' popularity spread, including up to a million followers in 1938.[3] They accepted donations (called "love gifts") from their followers across the country, though no such donation or dues were required.[10]

The first of many "Conclaves" held in scores of cities in their national tours was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 10–19, 1934.[1] According to a Los Angeles Magazine article, in August 1935, the Ballards hosted a gathering at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles that drew a crowd of 6,000.[7] Guy Ballard spoke under the pseudonym he used in authoring his books, Godfre Ray King, and his wife used the pseudonym Lotus. The meeting included teachings they described as being received directly from the Ascended Masters. They led the audience in prayers and affirmations that they called decrees, including adorations to God and invocations for abundance of every good thing, including love, money, peace, and happiness.[1]

Guy Ballard's death

At the height of his popularity, Guy Ballard died from arteriosclerosis at 5:00 A.M. on December 29, 1939, in Los Angeles, in the home of his son Donald. On December 31 his body was cremated. On New Year's Day during the annual Christmas Class, Edna Ballard stated that Guy had completed his Ascension at midnight December 31, 1939, from the "Royal Teton Retreat".[1]

Students of the "I Am" Activity believe in death as a change, not an ending. The "I AM" activity believe Ascension can mean Entering heaven alive, that is, to "raise one's body"—physically translating to a higher form of existence, as in the Ascension of Jesus. This is what Guy Ballard had claimed his followers would be able to do if they followed his instructions. Recorded in a dictation prior to Guy W Ballard's death a new dispensation to make the Ascension after the passing of death and cremation was given, and is recorded at the Saint Germain Foundation.[11] Students using this more traditional definition would have to conclude that Mrs. Ballard did not tell the full teaching, since Mr. Ballard had died a quite ordinary death and his body had been cremated. There had also been questions raised about devout members who had died without entering heaven alive. At this time, Edna Ballard defined "Ascension" as dying an ordinary death, but going to a higher level of heaven than a normal person because one has balanced "51% of one's karma".[12] This modified and more practical definition of "ascension" is used by all Ascended Master Teachings religions today, although they still believe that a select few, the higher level Ascended Masters such as Jesus and St. Germain, entered heaven alive.

Fraud trial of Edna and Donald Ballard

In 1942, Edna Ballard and her son Donald were charged with eighteen counts of mail fraud on the basis of claims made in books sent through the mail. The presiding judge instructed the jury not to consider the truth or falsity of the religious beliefs, but only whether the Ballards sincerely believed the claims or did not, and the jury found them guilty.[4][4][7] The Ninth Circuit overturned the conviction on the grounds that the judge improperly excluded the credibility of their religious beliefs from consideration, and the government appealed to the Supreme Court. In United States v. Ballard, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 landmark decision held that the question of whether Ballards believed their religious claims should not have been submitted to the jury, and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the fraud conviction. Interpreting this decision, the Ninth Circuit later found that the Court did not go so far as to hold that "the validity or veracity of a religious doctrine cannot be inquired into by a Federal Court."[13]

On a second appeal, the Supreme Court in 1946 vacated the fraud conviction, on the grounds that women were improperly excluded from the jury panel.[14]

Relocation to Santa Fe and Edna Ballard's death

In March 1942, Edna Ballard moved the western branch of the Saint Germain Press and her residence to Santa Fe, where she recorded live before an audience thousands more dictations she said were from the Ascended Masters.[1]

Despite the ultimate dismissal of the court cases, it was not until 1954 that the organization's right to use the mail was restored. The Internal Revenue Service revoked their tax-exempt status in 1941, stating it did not recognize the movement as "a religion". A court ruling in 1957 overturned the ruling of the IRS and re-established the group's tax-exempt status.[2][15]

Recent history and present day

As of 2007, Saint Germain Foundation maintains a reading room in Mount Shasta, California, and its headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois. Several annual conclaves are held at their 12-story "I AM Temple" at 176 West Washington Street in downtown Chicago. Among the hundreds attending, there are usually dozens of "I AM" students from other nations.[1] Classes and conclaves are regularly held in approximately 300 locations in America, Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Africa.[16] The Saint Germain Press, a subsidiary of the Saint Germain Foundation, publishes the historical books and related artwork and audio recordings of the Ballards' teachings, and a monthly magazine available by subscription, titled "The Voice of the 'I AM'".[17] It has been estimated that the Saint Germain Press has printed and put into circulation over one million books.[1]

The Saint Germain Foundation presents the "I AM" COME! Pageant every August at Mount Shasta, and has done so each year since 1950. Their website states that the performance is open to the public at no cost, and describes the Pageant as a portrayal of "the life of Beloved Jesus, focusing on His Miracles of Truth and Healing, and the example of the Ascension which He left to the world."[18]


According to the group's teachings, Ascended Masters are believed to be individuals who have left the reincarnation cycle of re-embodiment.

The "I AM" Activity calls itself Christian, because Jesus is considered to be one of the more important Ascended Masters. It also refers to itself as patriotic because Ascended Master St. Germain is believed to have inspired and guided the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Followers claim that St. Germain belonged to the same Masonic Lodge as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. However, Guy Ballard tended to downplay any relation of his ideas to Freemasonry because of his great discordance with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a famous Freemason. Thus the notion that Saint-Germain belonged to a Masonic Lodge was more part of general occult lore than part of Ballard's emphasis.[19]

The movement teaches that the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent creator God ('I AM' – Exodus 3:14) is in all of us as a spark from the Divine Flame, and that we can experience this presence, love, power and light – and its power of the Violet Consuming Flame of Divine Love – through quiet contemplation and by repeating 'affirmations' and 'decrees'. By affirming something one desires, one may cause it to happen.[3]

The group teaches that the "Mighty I AM Presence" is God existing in and as each person's Higher Self, and that a light known as the "Violet Flame" is generated by the "I AM Presence" and may surround each person who calls forth the action of the Holy Spirit for expression of mercy or forgiveness. The group believes that by tapping into these internalized powers in accordance with the teachings of the Ascended Masters, one can use one's relationship to the "Presence" to amplify the expressions of virtue such as justice, peace, harmony, and love; to displace or abate the expression of evil (relative absence of good) in the world; and to minimize personal difficulties in one's life.[20]

The spiritual goal of the teachings is that, through a process of self-purification, the believer may attain the perfected condition of the saints, or become an Ascended Master when leaving their body, contrasted to common concepts of 'ordinary death'. The process of attaining these results includes one or another of interior practices to facilitate resonance and alignment with the "I AM Presence": self-assessment in light of saintly exemplars such as Jesus, care in the use of language, devotion (to the Divine), gratitude, meditation, invocations and affirmations; and external practices such as "decrees" (repeated prayers given aloud with conviction), all of which are said to amplify the energetic presence of the divine in one's experience, resulting in the desired positive changes.[6] Members believe there is actual science behind decrees and affirmations and claim these practices are acknowledged by medicine as effective.[21]

The group also emphasizes personal freedom, embracing patriotic symbols, rendering honor to America giving the Pledge of Allegiance and the American’s Creed and always displaying American flags in its Temples or other offices.[6]

These "positive thinking" beliefs overlap with several other New Age movements such as Religious Science and the Human Potential Movement.[3]

See also

• Ascended master
• Exaltation
• Church Universal and Triumphant
• Robert LeFevre
• Mirra Alfassa
• Supermind
• Theosophy
• I Am that I Am


1. Saint Germain Foundation. The History of the "I AM" Activity and Saint Germain Foundation. Saint Germain Press 2003 ISBN 1-878891-99-5
2. Partride, Christopher, ed. (2004). New Religions: A Guide: New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 330–332.
3. Barrett, David (1996). Sects, 'Cults', and Alternative Religions: A World Survey and Sourcebook. London: Blandford. ISBN 0-7137-2567-2.
4. United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78 (1944)
5. "Saint Germain Foundation official website". Saint Germain Foundation. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2007. The "I AM" Activity is spiritual, educational and practical. There are no financial schemes behind it; no admission is ever charged. It takes no political stance in any nation. The parent organization is Saint Germain Foundation, with worldwide headquarters located in Schaumburg, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. It is represented throughout the world by 300 local groups termed "I AM" Sanctuary, "I AM" Temple, "I AM" Study Groups, or "I AM" Reading Room. Saint Germain Foundation and its local activities are not affiliated with any other organization or persons.
6. Hadden, Jeffrey K. ""I AM" Religious Activity". Religious Movements Homepage at the University of Virginia. University of Virginia. Archived from the original on November 23, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
7. Thompkins, Joshua (April 1, 1997). "The mighty I Am: Cult led by Guy Ballard". Los Angeles Magazine.
8. King, Godfré Ray (1935) [1934]. "1: Meeting the Master". Unveiled Mysteries(Second ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Saint Germain Press. pp. 1–32 – via Internet Archive.
9. The Voice of the "I AM" Number 1, March 1936. Chicago, Illinois: Saint Germain Press. page 27
10. Chicago Herald and Examiner October 8, 1938
11. "War on High" -- Interview with Elizabeth Clare Prophet Gnosis magazine No. 21 Fall 1991 Pages 32-37
12. Prophet, Elizabeth Clare and Prophet, Mark (as compiled by Annice Booth) The Masters and Their Retreats Corwin Springs, Montana:2003 Summit University Press--"Ascension--the Goal of Life" Page 51
13. Cohen v. United States, 297 F.2d 760 (1962)
14. Ballard v. United States, 329 U.S. 187 (1946)
15. Catherine L. Albanese (2007). A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Mind and Spirit. Yale University Press. p. 470. ISBN 0-300-11089-8.
16. "Saint Germain "I AM" Group Activities". Saint Germain Foundation. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
17. "Saint Germain Press official home page". Saint Germain Foundation. Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
18. "Saint Germain Foundation "I AM" COME! Pageant webpage". Saint Germain Foundation. Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
19. Folkloric accounts collected in Raymond Bernard's Great Secret Count St Germain (Mokelumne Hill Press, 1993)
20. <>
21. Your Body Believes Every Word You Say - Barbara Hoberman Levine, Hung By The Tongue - Francis P Martin; Healing Words -Larry Dossey, M.D., 5 Common Words That Create Failure -Geoffrey James

Partial bibliography

• Saint Germain Foundation. The History of the "I AM" Activity and Saint Germain Foundation. Saint Germain Press 2003 ISBN 1-878891-99-5
• King, Godfre Ray. Unveiled Mysteries. Saint Germain Press. ISBN 1-878891-00-6
• King, Godfre Ray. The Magic Presence. Saint Germain Press. ISBN 1-878891-06-5
• Saint Germain. I AM Discourses. Saint Germain Press. ISBN 1-878891-48-0
• Peter Mt. Shasta. "Lady Master Pearl, My Teacher." Church of the Seven Rays. ISBN 978-0692356661

External links

• Official website of the Saint Germain Foundation, original publisher of Ascended Master Teachings beginning in 1934.
• Unveiled Mysteries, full text of Guy Ballard's first book, available online at no cost
• Psychic Dictatorship in America, a collection of a series of monographs or chapters by a former member, Gerald Bryan.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:01 am

Guy Ballard
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/10/19



Guy Warren Ballard
Born July 28, 1878
Newton, Kansas, United States
Died December 29, 1939 (aged 61)
Nationality American
Other names Godfré Ray King
Occupation Mining engineer
Known for Founder of the "I AM" Activity
Spouse(s) Edna Anne Wheeler Ballard
Children Donald Ballard

Guy Warren Ballard (July 28, 1878 – December 29, 1939) was an American mining engineer who became, with his wife, Edna Anne Wheeler Ballard, the founder of the "I AM" Activity.

Ballard was born in Newton, Kansas and married his wife in Chicago in 1916. Ballard served in the U.S. Army in World War I, and then became a mining engineer. Both Edna and Guy studied Theosophy and the occult extensively.


Ballard visited Mount Shasta, California in 1930, where he said he met another hiker who identified himself as the Count of St. Germain.[1] Mr. Ballard's experiences take place within the larger North American mountain ranges. Ballard provided details of his encounters in a series of books Unveiled Mysteries and The Magic Presence, using the pen name "Godfré Ray King."

Guy Ballard, his wife Edna, and later his son Edona Eros "Donald" Ballard (1918-1973), it is believed, became the "sole Accredited Messengers" of Saint Germain. Their teachings form the original nucleus for what are today called the Ascended Master Teachings, and are still being used by "I AM" Sanctuaries all over the world. [2]


The "I AM" Activity started from public lectures about these encounters and grew rapidly in the 1930s. Ballard lectured frequently in Chicago about Saint Germain's mystical teachings, in which America was destined to play a key role. By 1938, there were claimed to be about a million followers in the United States.

The "I AM" Activity describes itself as an apolitical, spiritual and educational organization financed by contributions from its members. Its parent organization is Saint Germain Foundation, with headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.[3]

The "I AM" Activity began after Mr. Ballard's alleged meeting with Saint Germain, an Ascended Master, whose experiences are outlined in Volume One of the Saint Germain Series of Books, "Unveiled Mysteries", published by the Saint Germain Press. The year was 1930 when Mr. Ballard met Saint Germain according to the SaintGermainFoundation.Org website.

Deaths of Ballard and his wife

Ballard died on 29 December 1939 and Edna Ballard died on 12 February 1971 A new dispensation was reputedly given so that the "ascension" could be gained (in the finer body) without taking the physical body, as Jesus had done. The "ascended master bodies" were reputedly already prepared for Ballard and Edna Ballard as noted in Unveiled Mysteries by Godfre Ray King (the pen name of Guy Ballard). It is reported that both Ballards ascended upon passing out of the physical body. Godfre Ray King has also reputedly given dictations through Edna Ballard (under the pen name of "Lotus Ray King"). Given the "I AM" Activity, old occult laws have been replaced including the teaching of Theosophy that, to become a master, a person would have had to ascend upon death to the fifth level of initiation.

Ascended Master Godfre

It is believed by those who adhere to the Ascended Master Teachings that Guy Ballard, after his death, became the Ascended Master Godfre.

It is asserted by these religions that the Master Godfre's previous incarnations were:[4]

• Richard the Lionheart
• George Washington

Ascended Lady Master Lotus

It is believed by those who adhere to the Ascended Master Teachings that Edna Ballard, after her death, became the Ascended Lady Master Lotus. (She used the pen name Lotus Ray King.)

It is asserted by these religions that the Lady Master Lotus's previous incarnations were:[5]

• Joan of Arc
• Elizabeth I of England
• Benjamin Franklin


1. King, Godfre Ray. Unveiled Mysteries. Chicago, Illinois: Saint Germain Press 1934 page vii: "The time has arrived, when the Great Wisdom, held and guarded for many centuries in the Far East, is now to come forth in America, at the command of those Great Ascended Masters who direct and protect the evolution of mankind upon this Earth."
2. ... hings.html
3. Saint Germain Foundation. The History of the "I AM" Activity and Saint Germain Foundation. Schaumburg, Illinois: Saint Germain Press 2003
4. Prophet, Elizabeth Clare and Prophet, Mark (as compiled by Annice Booth) The Masters and Their Retreats Corwin Springs, Montana:2003 Summit University Press Pages 116-117 Master Godfre
5. Prophet, Elizabeth Clare and Prophet, Mark (as compiled by Annice Booth) The Masters and Their Retreats Corwin Springs, Montana:2003 Summit University Press Pages 195-196 Lady Master Lotus

External links

• The Saint Germain Foundation
• Saint Germain Press
• Maitre Saint Germain
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:09 am

Edna Anne Wheeler Ballard
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/10/19



Edna Anne Wheeler Ballard
Born Edna Anne Wheeler
June 25, 1886[1]
Burlington, Iowa, United States[1]
Died February 10, 1971 (aged 84)[1]
Chicago, Illinois, United States[1]
Nationality American
Other names Lotus Ray King[2]
Occupation Occultist[1]
Known for Co-founding the Saint Germain Foundation
Leader of the I AM Movement[1]

Edna Anne Wheeler Ballard, also known as Lotus Ray King[2] (June 25, 1886 - February 10, 1971), was an American occultist who co-founded the Saint Germain Foundation and served a co-leader of the I AM Movement with her husband, Guy Ballard. In 1944, Ballard and her son, Donald Ballard, were charged with mail fraud and their court case would eventually be ruled by the US Supreme Court as United States v. Ballard. Ballard's work with the I AM Movement is considered a predecessor to the current new age movement.[3]

Early life and education

Edna Anne Wheeler was born in 1886 in Burlington, Iowa. Her mother was Anna Hewitt Pearce and her father was Edward G. Wheeler, a railway clerk.[4] Ballard became a concert harpist in 1912. In 1916, Ballard married Guy W. Ballard. Two years later, in 1918, she had a child with Guy, named Donald.[1]

I AM Movement

The couple resided in Chicago, Illinois. Ballard began working at the Philosopher's Nook, an occult bookstore. She also served as an editor of American Occultists.[1] Guy was also interested in the occult,[1] and while hiking at Mt. Shasta in California in September 1931 he met an individual who claimed to be St. Germain.[3] Ballard called Saint Germain an "ascended master." Guy wrote back to Ballard, telling her about his interaction(s) with St. Germain. In 1931, the couple founded the Saint Germain Foundation and Saint Germain Press in Chicago. The called the umbrella over the two organizations the I AM Movement.[1]

Ballard's role within the Movement was as "accredited messenger of the ascended masters," alongside Guy. However, Ballard eventually took a step back as Guy led the organizations, serving as the primary messenger for St. Germain and other masters, including Jesus.[3][1] The Ballard's believed in past lives with Ballard believing she was Elizabeth I and Joan of Arc in her past lives.[5]

In 1939, Guy Ballard died and their son, Donald Ballard, became the leader of the I AM Movement.[1] Prior to his father's death, Donald Ballard also served as a messenger per the wishes of St. Germain.[3] However, both he and Ballard did not serve as primary messenger. Shortly thereafter, Ballard, Donald and other staff members were charged with mail fraud, with the charge being that the Movement was attempting to defraud mail recipients into joining a religion that was known to be false. Ballard was convicted twice, the second time after a ruling was overturned. The case went to the US Supreme Court and was ruled as United States v. Ballard.[1]

Ballard eventually began serving as a messenger for St. Germain and other masters in the fifties and in the sixties she hosted a radio show.[1]

Later life and legacy

Ballard died in February 1971 in Chicago. After her death, the Saint Germain Foundation and press were operated by the board of directors and select "appointed messengers". Additionally, no other movement members, including appointment messengers, have served as direct messengers of the masters, including St. Germain. During her role as messenger, Ballard left over 2,000 recordings of messages from St. Germain and the masters.[1]


1. "Ballard, Edna Ann Wheeler (1886-1971) |". The Gale Group. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
2. "Edna Ballard [aka Lotus Ray King], leader of I AM movement at opening of trial on mail fraud in Los Angeles, Calif., circa 1941". Calisphere. Retrieved 28 November2018.
3. Paul Christopher (1998). Alien Intervention: The Spiritual Mission of UFOs. Huntington House Publishers. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-56384-148-4.
4. "Ballard, Edna Anne Wheeler (25 June 1886–10 February 1971), controversial founders of the "I Am" movement | American National Biography". American National Biography. doi:10.1093/anb/9780198606697.001.0001/anb-9780198606697-e-0801884. Retrieved 28 November 2018.(subscription required)
5. Giovanni Orlando (2010). The Book of Apocalypse explained by Archangel Michael and the Family of Light. p. 21. ISBN 978-88-88768-17-5.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:13 am

James Ramsbotham, 2nd Viscount Soulbury
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/10/19



James Herwald Ramsbotham, 2nd Viscount Soulbury (21 March 1915 – 12 December 2004) was the elder son of the Rt Hon Herwald Ramsbotham, 1st Viscount Soulbury, British Conservative politician.

Army and marriage


At the outbreak of World War II he signed up with the REME, rapidly mastering the professional techniques, meanwhile continuing his work with groups in England. He married Anthea Margaret Wilton on 5 April 1949 (she died 26 June 1950).

Life in Sri Lanka

From the late 1950s he lived in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), where his father had been Governor-General, as a Hindu yogi under the name Santhaswami. Although he ran the Sivathondan Nilayam at Chenkalady in Batticaloa, he also spent much time amongst the Veddas, aboriginal tribal peoples. He used to go off for long periods to their strongholds deep in the jungles and forests. Inevitably one newspaper or another would "scoop" the story of his death. He would subsequently emerge again from one of these forays, wondering what all the fuss was about.[1] He then moved to Kaithadi Ashram at Jaffna, where he lived until 1986.


• Yoga Swami: The Sage of Lanka

External links

• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Soulbury
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:18 am

P. D. Ouspensky
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/10/19



P. D. Ouspensky
Born Pyotr Demianovich Ouspenskii
5 March 1878
Kharkov[1], Russian Empire
Died 2 October 1947 (aged 69)
Lyne Place, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Nationality Russian

Pyotr Demianovich Ouspenskii (known in English as Peter D. Ouspensky, Пётр Демья́нович Успе́нский; 5 March 1878 – 2 October 1947),[2] was a Russian esotericist known for his expositions of the early work of the Greek-Armenian teacher of esoteric doctrine George Gurdjieff. He met Gurdjieff in Moscow in 1915, and was associated with the ideas and practices originating with Gurdjieff from then on. He taught ideas and methods based in the Gurdjieff system for 25 years in England and the United States, although he separated from Gurdjieff personally in 1924, for reasons that are explained in the last chapter of his book In Search of the Miraculous.

Ouspensky studied the Gurdjieff system directly under Gurdjieff's own supervision for a period of ten years, from 1915 to 1924. In Search of the Miraculous recounts what he learned from Gurdjieff during those years. While lecturing in London in 1924, he announced that he would continue independently the way he had begun in 1921. Some, including his close pupil Rodney Collin, say that he finally gave up the system in 1947, just before his death, but his own recorded words on the subject ("A Record of Meetings", published posthumously) do not clearly endorse this judgement.[3]

Early life

Ouspensky was born in Kharkov in 1878. In 1890, he studied at the Second Moscow Gymnasium, a government school attended by boys aged from 10 to 18. At the age of 16, he was expelled from school for painting graffiti on the wall in plain sight of a visiting inspector. From then on he was more or less on his own.[4] In 1906, he worked in the editorial office of the Moscow daily paper The Morning. In 1907 he became interested in Theosophy. In the autumn of 1913, aged 35, he journeyed to the East in search of the miraculous. He visited Theosophists in Adyar, but was forced to return to Moscow after the beginning of the Great War. In Moscow he met Gurdjieff and married Sophie Grigorievna Maximenko. He had a mistress by the name of Anna Ilinishna Butkovsky.[5]


During his years in Moscow, Ouspensky wrote for several newspapers and was particularly interested in the then-fashionable idea of the fourth dimension.[6] His first work, published in 1909, was titled The Fourth Dimension.[7] It was influenced by the ideas prevalent in the works of Charles H. Hinton,[8] which treated the fourth dimension as an extension in space.[9][10] Ouspensky treats time as a fourth dimension only indirectly in a novel he wrote titled Strange Life of Ivan Osokin[11] where he also explores the theory of eternal recurrence.

Ouspensky's second work, Tertium Organum, was published in 1912. In it he denies the ultimate reality of space and time,[12] and negates Aristotle's Logical Formula of Identification of "A is A", concluding in his "higher logic" that A is both A and not-A.[13] Unbeknown to Ouspensky, a Russian émigré by the name of Nicholas Bessarabof took a copy of Tertium Organum to America and placed it in the hands of the architect Claude Bragdon who could read Russian and was interested in the fourth dimension.[14] Tertium Organum was rendered into English by Bragdon who had incorporated his own design of the hypercube[15][16] into the Rochester Chamber of Commerce building.[17] Bragdon also published the book and the publication was such a success that it was finally taken up by Alfred A. Knopf. At the time, in the early 1920s, Ouspensky's whereabouts were unknown. Bragdon located him in Constantinople and paid him back some royalties.

Ouspensky traveled in Europe and the East — India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Egypt — in his search for knowledge. After his return to Russia and his introduction to Gurdjieff in 1915, he spent the next few years studying with him, and supporting the founding of a school.

Prior to 1914 Ouspensky had written and published a number of articles. In 1917 he updated these articles to include "recent developments in physics" and republished them as a book in Russian entitled A New Model of the Universe.[18] The work, as reflected in its title, shows the influence of Francis Bacon and Max Müller, and has been interpreted as an attempt to reconcile ideas from natural science and religious studies with occultism in the tradition of Gurdjieff and Theosophy.[19] It was assumed that that book was lost to the Revolution's violence, but it was then republished in English (without Ouspensky's knowledge) in 1931. The work has attracted the interest of a number of philosophers and has been a widely accepted authoritative basis for a study of metaphysics.[citation needed] Ouspensky sought to exceed the limits of metaphysics with his "psychological method", which he defined as "a calibration of the tools of human understanding to derive the actual meaning of the thing itself". (paraphrasing p. 75.) According to Ouspensky: "The idea of esotericism ... holds that the very great majority of our ideas are not the product of evolution but the product of the degeneration of ideas which existed at some time or are still existing somewhere in much higher, purer and more complete forms." (p. 47) The book also provided an original discussion on the nature and expression of sexuality; among other things, he draws a distinction between erotica and pornography.[citation needed]

Ouspensky's lectures in London were attended by such literary figures as Aldous Huxley, T. S. Eliot, Gerald Heard and other writers, journalists and doctors. His influence on the literary scene of the 1920s and 1930s as well as on the Russian avant-garde was immense but still very little known.[20] It was said of Ouspensky that, though nonreligious, he had one prayer: not to become famous during his lifetime.

Later life

Ouspensky's grave at the Holy Trinity Church in Lyne, Surrey, England, photographed in 2013

After the Bolshevik revolution, Ouspensky travelled to London by way of Istanbul. In London, a number of eminent people became interested in his work. Lady Rothermere, wife of Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere, the press magnate, was willing to promote Tertium Organum. The influential intellectual and editor A. R. Orage became deeply interested in Ouspensky's ideas and promoted their discussion in various circles. Prominent theosophist and editor G. R. S. Mead became interested in his ideas on the fourth dimension.

By order of the British government, Gurdjieff was not allowed to settle in London. Gurdjieff eventually went to France with a considerable sum of money raised by Ouspensky and his friends, and settled down near Paris at the Prieuré in Fontainebleau-Avon.[21] It was during this time, after Gurdjieff founded his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in France, that Ouspensky came to the conclusion that he was no longer able to understand his former teacher and made a decision to discontinue association with him. He set up his own organisation, The Society for the Study of Normal Psychology, which is now known as The Study Society.[22]

Ouspensky wrote about Gurdjieff's teachings in a book originally entitled Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, published posthumously in 1947 under the title In Search of the Miraculous. While this volume has been criticized by some of those who have followed Gurdjieff's teachings as only a partial representation of the totality of his ideas, it provides what is probably the most concise explanation of the material that was included. This is in sharp contrast to the writings of Gurdjieff himself, such as Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson, where the ideas and precepts of Gurdjieff's teachings are found very deeply veiled in allegory. Initially, Ouspensky had intended this book to be published only if Beelzebub's Tales were not published. But after his death, Mme Ouspensky showed its draft to Gurdjieff who praised its accuracy and permitted its publication.

Ouspensky died in Lyne Place, Surrey, in 1947. Shortly after his death, The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution was published, together with In Search of the Miraculous. A facsimile edition of In Search of the Miraculous was published in 2004 by Paul H. Crompton Ltd. London. Transcripts of some of his lectures were published under the title of The Fourth Way in 1957; largely a collection of question and answer sessions, the book details important concepts, both introductory and advanced, for students of these teachings.

Ouspensky's papers are held at Yale University Library's Manuscripts and Archives department.


After Ouspensky broke away from Gurdjieff, he taught the "Fourth Way", as he understood it, to his independent groups.

Fourth Way

Gurdjieff proposed that there are three ways of self-development generally known in esoteric circles. These are the Way of the Fakir, dealing exclusively with the physical body, the Way of the Monk, dealing with the emotions, and the Way of the Yogi, dealing with the mind. What is common about the three ways is that they demand complete seclusion from the world. According to Gurdjieff, there is a Fourth Way which does not demand its followers to abandon the world. The work of self-development takes place right in the midst of ordinary life. Gurdjieff called his system a school of the Fourth Way where a person learns to work in harmony with his physical body, emotions and mind. Ouspensky picked up this idea and continued his own school along this line.[23]

Ouspensky made the term "Fourth Way" and its use central to his own teaching of the ideas of Gurdjieff. He greatly focused on Fourth Way schools and their existence throughout history.


Among his students were Rodney Collin, Maurice Nicoll, Robert S de Ropp, Kenneth Walker, Remedios Varo and Dr Francis Roles.[24]


Ouspensky personally confessed the difficulties he was experiencing with "self-remembering," which has later been defined by Osho as 'witnessing'. The present phraseology in the teachings of Advaita is to be in awareness, or being aware of being aware. It is also believed to be consistent with the Buddhist practice of 'mindfulness'. The ultimate goal of each is to be always in a state of meditation even in sleep. 'Self-remembering' was a technique to which he had been introduced by Gurdjieff himself. Gurdjieff explained to him that this was the missing link to everything else. While in Russia, Ouspensky experimented with the technique with a certain degree of success, and in his lectures in London and America he emphasized the importance of its practice. The technique requires a division of attention, so that a person not only pays attention to what is going on in the exterior world but also in the interior. A.L. Volinsky, an acquaintance of Ouspensky in Russia, mentioned to him that this was what professor Wundt meant by apperception. Ouspensky disagreed and commented on how an idea so profound to him would pass unnoticed by people whom he considered intelligent. Gurdjieff explained the Rosicrucian principle that in order to bring about a result or manifestation, three things are necessary. With self-remembering and self-observation two things are present. The third one is explained by Ouspensky in his tract on Conscience: it is the non-expression of negative emotions.[25][26]


According to Beryl Pogson, author of The Work Life, "...the only real poverty is lack of self-knowledge."[27]

Published works

• The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution. Online.
• Tertium Organum: The Third Canon of Thought, a Key to the Enigmas of the World. Translated from the Russian by Nicholas Bessaraboff and Claude Bragdon. Rochester, New York: Manas Press, 1920; New York: Knopf, 1922; London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1923, 1934; 3rd American edition, New York: Knopf, 1945. Online version.
• A New Model of the Universe: Principles of the Psychological Method in Its Application to Problems of Science, Religion and Art. Translated from the Russian by R. R. Merton, under the supervision of the author. New York: Knopf, 1931; London: Routledge, 1931; 2nd revised edition, London: Routledge, 1934; New York: Knopf, 1934.
• Talks with a Devil (Russian, 1916). Tr. by Katya Petroff, edited with an introduction by J. G. Bennett. Northamptonshire: Turnstone, 1972, ISBN 0-85500-004-X(HC); New York: Knopf, 1973; York Beach: Weiser, 2000, ISBN 1-57863-164-5.
• The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution. New York: Hedgehog Press, 1950.
• Strange Life of Ivan Osokin. New York and London: Holme, 1947; London: Faber & Faber, 1948; first published in Russian as Kinemadrama (St. Petersburg, 1915). Online (Russian).
• In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1949; London: Routledge, 1947.
• In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching London, Paul H. Crompton Ltd 2010 facsimile edition of the 1949 edition, hardcover.
• The Fourth Way: A Record of Talks and Answers to Questions Based on the Teaching of G. I. Gurdjieff (Prepared under the general supervision of Sophia Ouspensky). New York: Knopf, 1957; London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957.
• Letters from Russia, 1919 (Introduction by Fairfax Hall and epilog from In Denikin's Russia by C. E. Bechhofer). London and New York: Arkana, 1978.
• Conscience: The Search for Truth. Introduction by Merrily E. Taylor. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979.
• A Further Record: Extracts from Meetings 1928–1945. London and New York: Arkana, 1986.
• The Symbolism of the Tarot (Translated by A. L. Pogossky). New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1976. Online version.
• The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution and The Cosmology of Man's possible Evolution, a limited edition of the definitive text of his Psychological and Cosmological Lectures, 1934–1945. Agora Books, East Sussex, 1989. ISBN 1-872292-00-3.
* P. D. Ouspensky Memorial Collection, Yale University Library. Archive notes taken from meetings during 1935–1947.


1. ... 1541013528
2. "Ouspensky Foundation". 2002. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
3. Miller, Timothy (1995). America's Alternative Religions. SUNY Press. p. 260. ISBN 0-7914-2397-2.
4. Shirley, John (2004). Gurdjieff. Penguin Group. p. 111. ISBN 1-58542-287-8.
5. Moore, James (1999). Gurdjieff. Element Books Ltd. p. 73. ISBN 1-86204-606-9. The meaning of life is an eternal search.
6. Geometry of four dimensions by Henry Parker Manning
7. P. D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Dimension, Kessinger Publishing, 2005. ISBN 1-4253-4935-8.
8. Rucker, Rudolf, editor, Speculations on the Fourth Dimension: Selected Writings of Charles H. Hinton, Dover Publications Inc., 1980. ISBN 0-486-23916-0.
9. Scientific Romances by Charles Howard Hinton
10. A new era of thought by Charles Howard Hinton
11. P. D. Ouspensky, Strange Life of Ivan Osokin, Lindisfarne Books, 1947. ISBN 1-58420-005-7.
12. Ouspensky, P. D. (1912). Tertium Organum (2nd ed.). Forgotten Books. ISBN 1-60506-487-4.
13. Ouspensky, P. D. (2003). Tertium Organum. Book Tree. p. 266. ISBN 1-58509-244-4. A is both A and Not-A
14. Gary Lachman In Search of P. D. Ouspensky, p. 174, Quest Books, 2006 ISBN 978-0-8356-0848-0
15. Claude Bragdon, A Primer of Higher Space, Omen Press, Tucson, Arizona, 1972.
16. A primer of higher space (the fourth dimension) by Claude Fayette Bragdon, plates 1, 20 and 21 (following p. 24)
17. Rudolf Rucker, Geometry, Relativity and the Fourth Dimension, Dover Publications Inc., 1977, p. 2. ISBN 0-486-23400-2.
18. A New Model of the Universe: Principles of the Psychological Method in Its Application to Problems of Science, Religion and Art. Translated from the Russian by R. R. Merton, under the supervision of the author. New York: Knopf, 1931; London: Routledge, 1931; 2nd revised edition, London: Routledge, 1934; New York: Knopf, 1934.
19. Josephson-Storm, Jason (2017). The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-226-40336-X.
20. Gary Lachman In Search of P. D. Ouspensky, pp. 177-8, Quest Books, 2006 ISBN 978-0-8356-0848-0
21. Alex Owen The Place of Enchantment, p. 232, University of Chicago Press, 2004 ISBN 978-0-226-64201-7
22. Brian Hodgkinson (2010). In Search of Truth. Shepheard-Walwyn (Publishers). ISBN 978-0-85683-276-5. External link in |title= (help) p. 34
23. Bruno de Panafieu-Jacob Needleman-George Baker-Mary Stein Gurdjieff, p. 218, Continuum International Publishing Group, 1997 ISBN 978-0-8264-1049-8
24. "1947–1960 Dr F.C. Roles: New Beginnings – Ouspensky Today". Retrieved 2017-09-12.
25. P. D. Ouspensky Conscience, p. 126, Routledge, 1979 ISBN 978-0-7100-0397-3
26. Gary Lachman In Search of P. D. Ouspensky, p. 121, Quest Books, 2006 ISBN 978-0-8356-0848-0
27. Beryl Pogson The Work Life, p. 5, 1994 ISBN 978-0-87728-809-1

Further reading

• Bob Hunter: "P.D.Ouspensky, Pioneer of the Fourth Way", Eureka Editions, 2000. [] ISBN 90-72395-32-8. Later republished as: Don't Forget: P.D. Ouspensky's Life of Self-Remembering, Bardic Press, 2006. ISBN 0-9745667-7-2.
• Cerqueiro, Daniel: "P.D.Ouspensky y su teoría Espacio-Temporal Hexadimensional". Ed.Peq.Ven. Buenos Aires 2010. ISBN 978-987-9239-20-9
• Gary Lachman: In Search of P. D. Ouspensky: The Genius in the Shadow of Gurdjieff. Quest Books, 2004, ISBN 0-8356-0840-9.
• J. H. Reyner: Ouspensky, The Unsung Genius. George Allen & Unwin, London, 1981, ISBN 0-04-294122-9.
• Colin Wilson: The Strange Life of P. D. Ouspensky. The Aquarian Press, 1993, ISBN 1-85538-079-X.
• The Study Society: The Bridge No. 12, P. D. Ouspensky Commemorative Issue.
• Gerald de Symons Beckwith (2015). Ouspensky’s Fourth Way: The story of the further development and completion of P D Ouspensky’s work by Dr Francis Roles. Starnine Media & Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-9931776-0-6.
• Centers~ Influences From Within: The Essential Wisdom of Mindfulness and the Fourth Way by Cheryl Shrode-Noble (2017) ISBN 1974034062

External links

• Ouspensky Today: Includes an archive of material and images celebrating Ouspensky’s life and work.
• The Ouspensky Foundation (2007, An Appreciation by James Moore; Bibliography by J. Walter Driscoll)
• Ouspensky's Historical Choreography
• Tertium Organum (full text at
• Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution (full text at
• New Model of the Universe (full text at Internet Archive)
• A Brief Discussion of Ouspensky's Thought by Michael Presley
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Interview with James George
by James George
The Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
June 27, 2003
© 2003 by James George



Excerpt from recorded interview


Although perhaps best known as a distinguished Canadian diplomat and an effective environmental and political activist, James George is first and foremost a spiritual seeker. He has been a devoted student of the Gurdjieff Work for more than fifty years and was a close disciple of the late Madame de Salzmann, one of Gurdjieff’s primary students. With her encouragement, he and his wife, Carol, explored the spiritual traditions that formed the foundation for Gurdjieff’s early training. While stationed in India, Sri Lanka, and the Middle East, the Georges met with a number of remarkable men, including Krishnamurti, Thomas Merton, Yogaswami of Sri Lanka, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (Sufi master from Teheran), Dudjom Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. This underlying interest in spirituality is the thread that runs through all of James George’s activities and accomplishments.

During the autumn months of 1968, James and Carol George hosted Trungpa Rinpoche in their home, the Canadian Embassy in Delhi. Of that period of time, Rinpoche wrote:

Returning from Bhutan through India [1968], I was delighted to meet again with His Holiness Karmapa and also His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I also made the acquaintance at this time of Mr. James George, the Canadian High Commissioner to India, and his wonderful family. Mr. George is a wise and benevolent man, an ideal statesman, who holds great respect and faith for the teachings of Buddhism. [From the Epilogue to Born In Tibet by Chögyam Trungpa, (c) 1966 by George Allen & Unwin Ltd., by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston.]

At the 2003 Kalapa Assembly, which he attended as the guest of honor, James George spoke about the importance of applying our spiritual practice to the problems facing the larger world. I met with Mr. George in his Toronto apartment in June 2003 and asked him to talk about the life and legacy of Vidyadhara the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Here is what he had to say. -WF, October 2003


JG: Well Walter, I don’t know that I can do justice to this occasion but I’m very honoured to try, and even as we speak now, remembering Trungpa with much respect and much affection and asking his forgiveness for all the things I’ve forgotten that he told me and that you’d like to know. But some things have certainly remained very vivid and I suppose partly because I got to writing about Shambhala. His interest in Shambhala certainly sparked my interest in it. But let me go back a bit and begin at the beginning.

My wife, Carol, and I went to India in September 1967 and I think it was the next summer she was in London to drive a Land Rover back to India with our kids. I joined them part of the way on the return trip to India. In that visit to London, I think she met Trungpa for the first time – that would probably be August of 1968, or July. So it was natural that, having invited him to look us up in Delhi when he got back to India, he did, and in fact lived with us for most of that autumn, I think, from October through December 1968. The culmination of that visit was a beautiful pilgrimage we made as a family with Trungpa and I think Tendzin Parsons was also on that pilgrimage. Using our Land Rover, we went camping through all the Buddhist holy places in northern India, southern Nepal, Lumbini, Benares, Bodhgaya, and so on. It was a great time to be with him, and he of course made it very vivid, since I think it was in some cases, the first time he was able to visit these places.

It was, I think, during that visit in the fall of 1968 that Trungpa began to speak a little about Shambhala and Gesar of Ling and I, as I’ve written, asked him to describe what he was able to tell me about Shambhala. He pulled out his mirror – a metal disk mirror that he wore on a cord around his neck – and started to look into it with deep concentration and describe Shambhala, just as if he was looking out the window. It was very vivid and it got me researching Shambhala in a more serious way with a view to perhaps publishing something. Eventually I produced an article called Searching for Shambhala, which was published in Search: Journey on the Inner Path, edited by Jean Sulzberger. I had sent it to Trungpa in 1976 to see if I was allowed to publish this material and he gave his permission. In this article, I was exploring whether Shambhala was an allegory or a real place or both. And since that’s already published and on record, I don’t need to speak more about that perhaps.

Trungpa, at that time, was not certain what he should be doing on this mission. I think it was a few months later in the early part of 1969 that he decided to team up with Akong Rinpoche at Samye Ling in Scotland [ed. note: Samye Ling was founded in 1967.] and when he came to say goodbye to us before setting forth for Scotland and Samye Ling, I said to him, “You know, perhaps it’s out of place to say this to you, but I see Samye Ling and Scotland as much too small for what you’re going to be bringing to the West. You’re going to have to wind up in America somewhere, because that’s the big country.” Even at that time, the lamas were telling us that the dharma is now in the West and when we would ask them what they meant, they would say “America.” So I said to Trungpa, “Maybe your role is to bring the dharma to America and this would be a tremendous awakening, devoutly to be wished.” And in due course, I guess that’s what happened, although I never imagined at that time the scale of the awakening that he would create in such an extraordinarily short time.

The people he attracted, the intensity of the search, the shift in consciousness in so many of his pupils, I think, helped to shift the entire North American cultural scene in a significant way and that shift is continuing. This is one of the green sprouts coming up through the wasteland that our culture of the thirties and forties and fifties had pretty well created to the detriment of the entire planet, which is suffering ecological distress and crisis. He saw very clearly that the energy that animates us in our sitting practice and on our cushions has to be brought out into life. He saw that this energy is the yeast that can facilitate a change that is absolutely necessary at the cellular level in individual people, and from there into the whole culture. He saw that bringing meditation into our daily lives would make it possible, in due course, to avoid a culture of destruction and war, and violence and fear, and generate a culture of consciousness, nonviolence, and fearlessness.

In that sense, I think he always intended the Shambhala Training as a kind of outreach into the world and at the same time an inner preparation for the dzogchen teachings, the mahamudra teachings about being present in the moment no matter what — just aware — not thinking, feeling perhaps, but not reacting and maintaining this awareness in the face of whatever happens out there in life, ordinary life. So there were no boundaries for him between the secular and the profane. There were no distinctions, finally, between samsara and nirvana.

When I visited Trungpa in Boulder at his home in 1983, he was seeing, as I was, that we were in a rather threatened strategic situation. At that time, the United States was positioning its Pershing nuclear missiles on the border of East Germany. If fired, these missiles would reach Moscow in about 12 minutes and the danger of mistaken retaliation by misinterpreting radar signals seemed to be very great. I had been writing and campaigning about this dangerous situation in the peace movement, and I shared my views with Trungpa at that time. I think this supported his decision to move the centre of his operations to Halifax, out of the United States, and out of Colorado – where the strategic command was located at Colorado Springs – and find a safer haven for his people and for his work. Of course he accomplished that move to Halifax only a year before he died. But the decision has stuck. You haven’t moved back in any substantial degree, and I think Halifax and Nova Scotia have benefited from having this influx of practitioners who are committed to doing something more than sit in solitary or collective meditation. You have taken the practice into your lives and into the creation of a more enlightened society in so many practical ways.

There’s something else I could share from an historical perspective. When I visited Trungpa in Colorado in 1983, he already had the court thing going and the formality around his person. I noticed that many of the protocols that he introduced, had been lifted directly from his experience in Delhi living with us and observing how an ambassador functions and the formalities that surround him in a country like India, which loves formality. I think much of Trungpa’s court formality was inspired by his experience of diplomatic life with us.

When I was on that visit, he asked me to stay. And I said, really I’m supposed to be back in Crestone tonight. So I took my leave and got into my car and my car wouldn’t start. It had been working perfectly when I arrived, but now it would not start. He kept me there for several hours that way before he released the car to start, which it did in due course. But it was interesting that he produced that. So that’s another anecdote for you.

But these anecdotes only point to the real thing, which is the preparation of humanity for a level of consciousness that lives with awareness in the moment, and not just in the moment. We can learn to sustain that awareness by bringing it into our life, our conversation, our writing, our being, because it doesn’t come from us personally. It comes from a much higher source that is waiting to get into humanity, if only we would wake up and get with it. So, for each one of us, this search for Shambhala is a practice of coming to this moment in a different modality of awareness. I think Trungpa Rinpoche’s influence through so many lives, not only in North America, but in Europe and other countries, has been immense and little appreciated, because it has moved quietly and modestly and, for the most part, below the radar of the media.

I’m reminded of what Bernie Glassman has been doing in New York. The Greyston Foundation, which he started, provides housing for people, and operates a bakery that is a huge business now. Greyston has created a way for Zen to enter into relations with others who are practicing, whether they carry a Buddhist name or a Christian name or a Jewish name or a Gurdjieffian name. It doesn’t matter because we’re all seeing that, in origin, the human experience has gradually come to understand what could generate bodhicitta and nonviolent awareness. All of our activities – whether we’re trying to improve the conditions of the poor, or teach meditation to prisoners in the penitentiaries, or give bread to those who need it, homes to those that don’t have them – are just the outer support for an inner practice of freedom from conditions. Without that practice, no awareness can develop. Without that practice we lose the connection to a greater consciousness, with which we have been blessed.

I think we all share the hope that human consciousness can evolve. We’re probably not going to evolve much more physically, that’s been done. But we don’t want to be stuck with the consciousness that was appropriate for hunting and gathering and the violence that was even necessary to prevent ourselves being devoured by predators. We’ve now become the predators on the planet and are destroying our resources and each other, one-hundred-million dead from war in the last century alone. It’s really shocking as a measure of human consciousness as it presently is. So that transformation must take place or we’re down the tube and so is the planet. Therefore an evolution of consciousness is what I think fundamentally – aside from whatever lineage we represent – we’re all trying to work for and search for, in ourselves, and collectively in our little groups.

When Trungpa came to America, he was not presenting the Buddhism of Tibet, exactly. When the dharma crossed the mountains with Padmasambhava, it had to change, and did. And with Trungpa, it had to cross the seas and change, and that change is still in progress. Of course anybody who is trying to change a tradition is up against enormous fundamentalist resistance, both from those who understand and want to protect something in the original that could be distorted, and from those who are just attached to a form and want to preserve it without really understanding the living spirit that gives it life. So he had to withstand pressures from all these different angles, and at the same time make something that someone like Allen Ginsberg could appreciate. I worked with Allen in New York for several years and he owed an immense debt to Trungpa. Allen would never have been able to connect with the dharma if he had just been taught in the Tibetan style. So transplanting buddhadharma into a western context was a very tricky thing to attempt and to carry out and Trungpa Rinpoche did it in a very short time.

We were friends of a remarkable English lady, Freda Bedi, later known as Sister Palmo, who should be recorded as a patron of Trungpa. She started the young lamas program with her own money; I was one of the trustees of her foundation for awhile. She sent Akong, Trungpa, Sogyal, so many of the promising tulkus, to Oxford or Cambridge and gave them a university education, so that — knowing both languages in a sophisticated way — they could teach fluently in English and translate Tibetan texts into English. She understood that such translations would be so much better than the work done by Evans-Wentz, which were hopeless translations compared to what Larry Mermelstein and your group of translators in Halifax have been doing, as well as Chagdud’s people, and others. It has been a remarkable job, comparable to the translation from Sanskrit into Tibetan, with long lasting effects and benefit, I’m sure.

WF: Could you say anything about how Trungpa Rinpoche’s life might be viewed by future generations—

JG: I don’t know how his life will be assessed in the end. It’s too soon. He’s already recognized as a pioneer in bringing a fresh Buddhism from Tibet to North America and Europe. But he also needs to be seen as a spiritual pioneer in his own right. Look at the influence of someone like Longchenpa. He did it through his books and through his pupils, just as Trungpa did, and that influence is still touching lives today. There’s a wonderful translation of the Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena by Longchenpa that just came out from the Padma Publishing line of Chagdud Rinpoche, which I thought was splendid, sort of the heart of dzogchen. I feel Trungpa was getting us ready to appreciate such teachings and be able to live them a bit, and to prepare others for the same transmissions.

He’s been criticized for his lifestyle, but I don’t feel that way. He was very frank with me about it. He said one time in India, “You know, my lineage of Trungpas have always had trouble with their emotions.”

I’d like to read a poem that I think is appropriate, if you’ll give me that book that’s on the shelf beside you. This is René Daumal’s poem translated from the French, written at the end of his short life when he had already become, I think, one of the outstanding pupils of Gurdjieff. René Daumal is quite well known in France as an avant-garde poet of the twenties and thirties. He died in 1944 at the age of 36. This poem was his last summing up.

I am dead because I lack desire
I lack desire because I think I have it
I think I have it because I do not try to give.
In trying to give, I see that I have nothing
Seeing I have nothing, I then try to give of myself
Trying to give of myself, I see that I am nothing
Seeing that I am nothing, I desire to become
And in desiring to become, I begin to live, I begin to live.

WF: That’s marvelous. Thank you.

JG: Well I think that’s paralleled in Trungpa’s teaching. In Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, he is teaching us how to awaken enough and how to surrender enough. I think one of his greatest teachings was at the end of that book: “… these moments of surrender where we just give up.”

When Carol and I were back on leave from India in 1971, we visited Trungpa at Karme Chöling in Vermont. The three of us walked up to the great meadow together and he was enjoying the spaciousness of it – saying what a wonderful energy it had, which we felt too. The next time we were there was in 1987 for his cremation, watching all those rainbows out of a clear sky, hearing all the lamas chanting, feeling so many thousands of people practicing together. You know, such an event is not a small thing. It leaves a mark on the culture and it ripples out in ways we cannot understand.

WF: In your book, Asking for the Earth, I learned that Madame de Salzmann met Trungpa Rinpoche in India.

Dudjom Rinpoche and Mme de Salzmann, India, 1971.

JG: Yes. I had two wonderful, visits from Madame de Salzmann in India, but she met Trungpa in Paris. She met other lamas: Dudjom Rinpoche, Kangur Rinpoche, and I think Kalu Rinpoche and Chatral Rinpoche, while she was in India. They called her the Queen of the Dakinis, with great respect. They got on very well, and I have a picture I’ll show you of Madame de Salzmann with Dudjom Rinpoche. I can’t tell you much about Trungpa’s meeting with Madame de Salzmann in Paris because I wasn’t there at the time, but I had arranged it. Namkha’i Norbu Rinpoche met her in Paris as well.

[ed. note: After the interview, Mr. George shared this excerpt from a letter he received from Mme de Salzmann, dated 27 May 1969:]

“I was horrified to hear about the accident of Lama Trungpa. I like him very much – He is clean and true.” Mme de Salzmann

WF: Is it possible that Madame de Salzmann wrote about her meeting with Trungpa Rinpoche in her journals—

JG: I don’t think so. If she did, I don’t know about it, and I think they might have told me. She was very interested in her contact with the Tibetans. She began to introduce sitting meditation practice in the late fifties and early sixties following her contacts with Zen masters. Madame de Salzmann visited Japan and met several of the leading Zen masters of the day before she met their equivalent, the Rinpoches, in the Tibetan tradition. She was very interested in both streams of teachings, and I believe her interest has influenced how we, in the Gurdjieff Work, approach sittings.

When DT Suzuki came to our New York groups and saw our movements, our sacred dances, he said: “I wish we had this in Zen. We have a meditation walk, but it’s not the same thing. It’s not so demanding.” He was very attracted to what Gurdjieff had done with the movements. I think that they are probably Gurdjieff’s unique contribution: the attention created by a whole class moving as one. When the dancers can give up their own personality movements, and really listen to the music and really feel the connection with the other movers, and what animates all of them, they move together like a flock of birds turning absolutely together. You can analyze a movie of a flock of birds frame-by-frame, as they swirl in one direction or another, but you cannot find a leader. They just do it together. When one is in a state to dance together in that way, it’s quite a different consciousness. Having had a taste of it while dancing, then there’s the possibility that we might be able to reach that state again on a cushion, or in conversation, or whatever we’re doing.

Trungpa was very interested in what Gurdjieff had tried to do because, in a way, he was trying to do the same thing. They both were confronted with the task of taking an understanding that was born out of eastern spirituality and (in Gurdjieff’s case) the roots of eastern Christianity, and translating that into language that was accessible to contemporary culture.

Gurdjieff spent three and a half years in Tibet. He wrote in Meetings With Remarkable Men, his autobiographical work, that he was taken to a central Asian monastery in Kashmir or Tibet called a monastery of the Sarmoung brotherhood. Now, Surmang, the seat of Trungpa’s lineage, is just a transposition of vowels, which I think, may conceal where Gurdjieff received much of his teaching. His essential teaching, his oral teaching (as distinct from what he wrote in his books) was all about what you would call dzogchen and I would call awareness or presence in this moment.

WF: Do you think that Gurdjieff made it all the way to Surmang—

JG: Yes, I do. I don’t think he would have used that code word for his most sacred place of teaching, if he hadn’t been there. I do think that’s where he was. But there is no record of that and he was very careful to cover up any traces of where he had been so that people wouldn’t just go dashing off to find something that wasn’t there anymore.

WF: In Trungpa Rinpoche’s will, he said something to the effect that he didn’t want anyone to systematize his teachings the way that Ouspensky had systematized Gurdjieff’s teachings. He felt that Ouspensky had systematized Gurdjieff overzealously.

JG: Perhaps he did. We owe Ouspensky a lot for the clarity of his report, but we’ve been trying to get out from under that sort of systematizing ever since, and I think we are getting out of it. The fact that we can talk about dzogchen commonalities and so on, is proof of that. Ouspensky recognized at the end of his life that he probably made a mistake in breaking with Gurdjieff over twenty years earlier. So all that time, Ouspensky was in England writing about what he called The System. After Ouspensky died in 1947, Madame Ouspensky called Gurdjieff back to New York to deal with all the Ouspensky people whom he had told to have nothing to do with Gurdjieff. And Gurdjieff told them, not in these words but in effect, “Start all over again. You’ve got it all in your heads and you’re not practicing in a right way. Don’t let the spirit harden into some form; because, although it creates all forms, it is not the form. Only from the living juice of the spirit is anything alive coming through.” This is just the sort of approach Trungpa might have made: shake things up. When forms become lifeless, they turn into idolatry. Idolatry is worshiping that which is less than the Unknown. To be entirely open, to surrender to the Unknowingness of the Unknown, is an extraordinary challenge, and it needs fearless warriors to respond.

WF: Do you recall if he corresponded with you at all during the years he was in North America—

JG: Really not, no. No significant letters, in any case. And yet whenever we could meet, we’d phone him, and meet him, and it was as if we’d never left each other.

WF: Well I know he always spoke so fondly of you. This has been a wonderful account. Thank you so very much for your insight and for your continued friendship and support for our community and for Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Erich Fromm
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/10/19



As Sherab Kohn [real name hidden completely from the Internet] reports:

Early on in the three-week Tagtsang retreat, a young Australian named Lorraine, like Rinpoche in Bhutan as a guest of the queen, arrived at Tagtsang on a sightseeing visit. Finding interesting company there -- notably the young Trungpa Rinpoche and two of his English students -- she decided to stay for a few days. She had in her backpack a copy of Erich Fromm's book The Sane Society [which discusses how a society must be structured to support and favor the arising of sane human relations, loving communication, and meaningful action, which represent the fulfillment of human existence]. She passed this book along to Kunga Dawa (Richard Arthure), one of the English students, who read it and passed it on to Rinpoche. Rinpoche had just finished writing the Sadhana of Mahamudra, and was already energized to the point where he was hardly sleeping. Now he positively caught fire with the ideas expressed in Fromm's book.

Even before leaving the UK for India and Bhutan, Rinpoche had been thinking about a new society. He had given a talk at Cambridge in which he spoke of Maitreya, the Buddha of hte future, not as a person but as a future state of society. He spoke of lost tribal structure that had to be recovered in new form. Now, at Tagtsang, discussions of those ideas began among the four English speakers at the retreat, which continued day after day from early evening until deep into the night.

As I've said, Rinpoche did not speak of his keen interest in transforming society, or the principles of Shambhala, for many years after coming to the West. Until the mid-1970s his emphasis was on personal practice. In the early years, when he was asked about getting involved in politics -- protesting against the war in Vietnam or nuclear-bomb production, for example -- he would always bring us back to working with our own aggression first.

-- Warrior-King of Shambhala: Remembering Chogyam Trungpa, by Jeremy Hayward

Erich Fromm
Fromm in 1974
Born Erich Seligmann Fromm
March 23, 1900
Frankfurt am Main, German Empire
Died March 18, 1980 (aged 79)
Muralto, Ticino, Switzerland
Era 20th century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Continental philosophy, Frankfurt School critical theory, psychoanalysis, humanistic Judaism
Main interests
Humanism, social theory, Marxism
Notable ideas
Being and Having as modes of existence, security versus freedom, social character, Character orientation
Influences: Bachofen, Spinoza, Eckhart, Kierkegaard, Marx, Freud, Alfred Weber
Influenced: Elias Porter, Chögyam Trungpa

Part of a series on the Frankfurt School
Theorists of the Frankfurt School
Major works
Reason and Revolution
The Work of Art in the
Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Eclipse of Reason
Escape from Freedom
Minima Moralia
Eros and Civilization
One-Dimensional Man
Negative Dialectics
The Structural Transformation
of the Public Sphere
The Theory of Communicative Action
Dialectic of Enlightenment
Notable theorists
Herbert Marcuse · Theodor Adorno
Max Horkheimer · Walter Benjamin
Erich Fromm · Friedrich Pollock
Leo Löwenthal · Jürgen Habermas
Alfred Schmidt · Axel Honneth Siegfried Kracauer · Otto Kirchheimer
Important concepts
Critical theory · Dialectic · Praxis
Psychoanalysis · Antipositivism
Popular culture · Culture industry
Advanced capitalism
Privatism · Non-identity
Communicative rationality
Legitimation crisis

Erich Seligmann Fromm (/frɒm/; German: [fʁɔm]; March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was a German-born American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was one of the Founders of The William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology in New York City and was associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory.[1][n 1]


Erich Fromm was born on March 23, 1900, at Frankfurt am Main, the only child of Orthodox Jewish parents, Rosa (Krause) and Naphtali Fromm.[2] He started his academic studies in 1918 at the University of Frankfurt am Main with two semesters of jurisprudence. During the summer semester of 1919, Fromm studied at the University of Heidelberg, where he began studying sociology under Alfred Weber (brother of the better known sociologist Max Weber), psychiatrist-philosopher Karl Jaspers, and Heinrich Rickert. Fromm received his PhD in sociology from Heidelberg in 1922. During the mid-1920s, he trained to become a psychoanalyst through Frieda Reichmann's psychoanalytic sanatorium in Heidelberg. They married in 1926, but separated shortly after and divorced in 1942. He began his own clinical practice in 1927. In 1930 he joined the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and completed his psychoanalytical training.

After the Nazi takeover of power in Germany, Fromm moved first to Geneva and then, in 1934, to Columbia University in New York. Together with Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan, Fromm belongs to a Neo-Freudian school of psychoanalytical thought. Horney and Fromm each had a marked influence on the other's thought, with Horney illuminating some aspects of psychoanalysis for Fromm and the latter elucidating sociology for Horney. Their relationship ended in the late 1930s.[3] After leaving Columbia, Fromm helped form the New York branch of the Washington School of Psychiatry in 1943, and in 1946 co-founded the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology. He was on the faculty of Bennington College from 1941 to 1949, and taught courses at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1941 to 1959.

When Fromm moved to Mexico City in 1949, he became a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and established a psychoanalytic section at the medical school there. Meanwhile, he taught as a professor of psychology at Michigan State University from 1957 to 1961 and as an adjunct professor of psychology at the graduate division of Arts and Sciences at New York University after 1962. He taught at UNAM until his retirement, in 1965, and at the Mexican Society of Psychoanalysis (SMP) until 1974. In 1974 he moved from Mexico City to Muralto, Switzerland, and died at his home in 1980, five days before his eightieth birthday. All the while, Fromm maintained his own clinical practice and published a series of books.

Fromm was reportedly an atheist[4][n 2] but described his position as "nontheistic mysticism".[5]

Psychological theory

Beginning with his first seminal work of 1941, Escape from Freedom (known in Britain as Fear of Freedom), Fromm's writings were notable as much for their social and political commentary as for their philosophical and psychological underpinnings. Indeed, Escape from Freedom is viewed as one of the founding works of political psychology. His second important work, Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics, first published in 1947, continued and enriched the ideas of Escape from Freedom. Taken together, these books outlined Fromm's theory of human character, which was a natural outgrowth of Fromm's theory of human nature. Fromm's most popular book was The Art of Loving, an international bestseller first published in 1956, which recapitulated and complemented the theoretical principles of human nature found in Escape from Freedom and Man for Himself—principles which were revisited in many of Fromm's other major works.

Central to Fromm's world view was his interpretation of the Talmud and Hasidism. He began studying Talmud as a young man under Rabbi J. Horowitz and later under Rabbi Salman Baruch Rabinkow, a Chabad Hasid. While working towards his doctorate in sociology at the University of Heidelberg,[6] Fromm studied the Tanya by the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi. Fromm also studied under Nehemia Nobel and Ludwig Krause while studying in Frankfurt. Fromm's grandfather and two great grandfathers on his father's side were rabbis, and a great uncle on his mother's side was a noted Talmudic scholar. However, Fromm turned away from orthodox Judaism in 1926, towards secular interpretations of scriptural ideals.

The cornerstone of Fromm's humanistic philosophy is his interpretation of the biblical story of Adam and Eve's exile from the Garden of Eden. Drawing on his knowledge of the Talmud, Fromm pointed out that being able to distinguish between good and evil is generally considered to be a virtue, but that biblical scholars generally consider Adam and Eve to have sinned by disobeying God and eating from the Tree of Knowledge. However, departing from traditional religious orthodoxy on this, Fromm extolled the virtues of humans taking independent action and using reason to establish moral values rather than adhering to authoritarian moral values.

Beyond a simple condemnation of authoritarian value systems, Fromm used the story of Adam and Eve as an allegorical explanation for human biological evolution and existential angst, asserting that when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they became aware of themselves as being separate from nature while still being part of it. This is why they felt "naked" and "ashamed": they had evolved into human beings, conscious of themselves, their own mortality, and their powerlessness before the forces of nature and society, and no longer united with the universe as they were in their instinctive, pre-human existence as animals. According to Fromm, the awareness of a disunited human existence is a source of guilt and shame, and the solution to this existential dichotomy is found in the development of one's uniquely human powers of love and reason. However, Fromm distinguished his concept of love from unreflective popular notions as well as Freudian paradoxical love (see the criticism by Marcuse below).

Fromm considered love to be an interpersonal creative capacity rather than an emotion, and he distinguished this creative capacity from what he considered to be various forms of narcissistic neuroses and sado-masochistic tendencies that are commonly held out as proof of "true love". Indeed, Fromm viewed the experience of "falling in love" as evidence of one's failure to understand the true nature of love, which he believed always had the common elements of care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge. Drawing from his knowledge of the Torah, Fromm pointed to the story of Jonah, who did not wish to save the residents of Nineveh from the consequences of their sin, as demonstrative of his belief that the qualities of care and responsibility are generally absent from most human relationships. Fromm also asserted that few people in modern society had respect for the autonomy of their fellow human beings, much less the objective knowledge of what other people truly wanted and needed.

Fromm believed that freedom was an aspect of human nature that we either embrace or escape. He observed that embracing our freedom of will was healthy, whereas escaping freedom through the use of escape mechanisms was the root of psychological conflicts. Fromm outlined three of the most common escape mechanisms: automaton conformity, authoritarianism, and destructiveness. Automaton conformity is changing one's ideal self to conform to a perception of society's preferred type of personality, losing one's true self in the process. Automaton conformity displaces the burden of choice from self to society. Authoritarianism is giving control of oneself to another. By submitting one's freedom to someone else, this act removes the freedom of choice almost entirely. Lastly, destructiveness is any process which attempts to eliminate others or the world as a whole, all to escape freedom. Fromm said that "the destruction of the world is the last, almost desperate attempt to save myself from being crushed by it".[7]

The word biophilia was frequently used by Fromm as a description of a productive psychological orientation and "state of being". For example, in an addendum to his book The Heart of Man: Its Genius For Good and Evil, Fromm wrote as part of his humanist credo:

"I believe that the man choosing progress can find a new unity through the development of all his human forces, which are produced in three orientations. These can be presented separately or together: biophilia, love for humanity and nature, and independence and freedom."[8]

Erich Fromm postulated eight basic needs:

Need / Description

Transcendence / Being thrown into the world without their consent, humans have to transcend their nature by destroying or creating people or things.[9] Humans can destroy through malignant aggression, or killing for reasons other than survival, but they can also create and care about their creations.[9]

Rootedness / Rootedness is the need to establish roots and to feel at home again in the world.[9] Productively, rootedness enables us to grow beyond the security of our mother and establish ties with the outside world.[9] With the nonproductive strategy, we become fixated and afraid to move beyond the security and safety of our mother or a mother substitute.[9]

Sense of Identity / The drive for a sense of identity is expressed nonproductively as conformity to a group and productively as individuality.[9]

Frame of orientation / Understanding the world and our place in it.

Excitation and Stimulation / Actively striving for a goal rather than simply responding.

Unity / A sense of oneness between one person and the "natural and human world outside."

Effectiveness / The need to feel accomplished.[10]

Fromm's thesis of the "escape from freedom" is epitomized in the following passage. The "individualized man" referenced by Fromm is man bereft of the "primary ties" of belonging (i.e. nature, family, etc.), also expressed as "freedom from":

There is only one possible, productive solution for the relationship of individualized man with the world: his active solidarity with all men and his spontaneous activity, love and work, which unite him again with the world, not by primary ties but as a free and independent individual.... However, if the economic, social and political conditions... do not offer a basis for the realization of individuality in the sense just mentioned, while at the same time people have lost those ties which gave them security, this lag makes freedom an unbearable burden. It then becomes identical with doubt, with a kind of life which lacks meaning and direction. Powerful tendencies arise to escape from this kind of freedom into submission or some kind of relationship to man and the world which promises relief from uncertainty, even if it deprives the individual of his freedom.

— Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom [N.Y.: Rinehart, 1941], pp. 36–7. The point is repeated on pp. 31, 256–7.)

Five basic orientations

In his book Man for Himself Fromm spoke of "orientation of character". He differentiates his theory of character from that of Freud by focusing on two ways an individual relates to the world. Freud analyzed character in terms of libido organization, whereas Fromm says that in the process of living, we relate to the world by: 1) acquiring and assimilating things—"Assimilation", and 2) reacting to people—"Socialization". Fromm asserted that these two ways of relating to the world were not instinctive, but an individual's response to the peculiar circumstances of his or her life; he also believed that people are never exclusively one type of orientation. These two ways of relating to life's circumstances lead to basic character-orientations.

Fromm lists four types of nonproductive character orientation, which he called receptive, exploitative, hoarding, and marketing, and one positive character orientation, which he called productive. Receptive and exploitative orientations are basically how an individual may relate to other people and are socialization attributes of character. A hoarding orientation is an acquiring and assimilating materials/valuables character trait. The marketing orientation arises in response to the human situation in the modern era. The current needs of the market determine value. It is a relativistic ethic. In contrast, the productive orientation is an objective ethic. Despite the existential struggles of humanity, each human has the potential for love, reason and productive work in life. Fromm writes, "It is the paradox of human existence that man must simultaneously seek for closeness and for independence; for oneness with others and at the same time for the preservation of his uniqueness and particularity. ...the answer to this paradox – and to the moral problems of man – is productiveness."

Fromm's influence on other notable psychologists

Fromm's four non-productive orientations were subject to validation through a psychometric test, The Person Relatedness Test by Elias H. Porter, PhD in collaboration with Carl Rogers, PhD at the University of Chicago's Counseling Center between 1953 and 1955. Fromm's four non-productive orientations also served as basis for the LIFO test, first published in 1967 by Stuart Atkins, Alan Katcher, PhD, and Elias Porter, PhD and the Strength Deployment Inventory, first published in 1971 by Elias H. Porter, PhD.[11] Fromm also influenced his student Sally L. Smith who went on to become the founder of the Lab School of Washington and the Baltimore Lab School.[12]

Critique of Freud

Fromm examined the life and work of Sigmund Freud at length. Fromm identified a discrepancy between early and later Freudian theory: namely that, prior to World War I, Freud had described human drives as a tension between desire and repression, but after the end of the war, began framing human drives as a struggle between biologically universal Life and Death (Eros and Thanatos) instincts. Fromm charged Freud and his followers with never acknowledging the contradictions between the two theories.

Fromm also criticized Freud's dualistic thinking. According to Fromm, Freudian descriptions of human consciousness as struggles between two poles were narrow and limiting. Fromm also condemned Freud as a misogynist unable to think outside the patriarchal milieu of early 20th century Vienna. However, in spite of these criticisms, Fromm nonetheless expressed a great respect for Freud and his accomplishments. Fromm contended that Freud was one of the "architects of the modern age", alongside Albert Einstein and Karl Marx, but emphasized that he considered Marx both far more historically important than Freud and a finer thinker.[13]

Political ideas and activities

Fromm's best known work, Escape from Freedom, focuses on the human urge to seek a source of authority and control upon reaching a freedom that was thought to be an individual's true desire. Fromm's critique of the modern political order and capitalist system led him to seek insights from medieval feudalism. In Escape from Freedom, he found value in the lack of individual freedom, rigid structure, and obligations required on the members of medieval society:

What characterizes medieval in contrast to modern society is its lack of individual freedom…But altogether a person was not free in the modern sense, neither was he alone and isolated. In having a distinct, unchangeable, and unquestionable place in the social world from the moment of birth, man was rooted in a structuralized whole, and thus life had a meaning which left no place, and no need for doubt…There was comparatively little competition. One was born into a certain economic position which guaranteed a livelihood determined by tradition, just as it carried economic obligations to those higher in the social hierarchy.[14]

Noam Chomsky discusses Erich Fromm's theory of alienation.

The culmination of Fromm's social and political philosophy was his book The Sane Society, published in 1955, which argued in favor of a humanistic and democratic socialism. Building primarily upon the early works of Karl Marx, Fromm sought to re-emphasise the ideal of freedom, missing from most Soviet Marxism and more frequently found in the writings of libertarian socialists and liberal theoreticians. Fromm's brand of socialism rejected both Western capitalism and Soviet communism, which he saw as dehumanizing, and which resulted in the virtually universal modern phenomenon of alienation. He became one of the founders of socialist humanism, promoting the early writings of Marx and his humanist messages to the US and Western European public.

In the early 1960s, Fromm published two books dealing with Marxist thought (Marx's Concept of Man and Beyond the Chains of Illusion: My Encounter with Marx and Freud). In 1965, working to stimulate the Western and Eastern cooperation between Marxist humanists, Fromm published a series of articles entitled Socialist Humanism: An International Symposium. In 1966, the American Humanist Association named him Humanist of the Year.

For a period, Fromm was also active in U.S. politics. He joined the Socialist Party of America in the mid-1950s, and did his best to help them provide an alternative viewpoint to McCarthyism trends in some US political thought. This alternative viewpoint was best expressed in his 1961 paper May Man Prevail? An Inquiry into the Facts and Fictions of Foreign Policy. However, as a co-founder of SANE, Fromm's strongest political activism was in the international peace movement, fighting against the nuclear arms race and U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. After supporting Senator Eugene McCarthy's losing bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Fromm more or less retreated from the American political scene, although he did write a paper in 1974 entitled Remarks on the Policy of Détente for a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Fromm was awarded Nelly Sachs Prize in 1979.


In Eros and Civilization, Herbert Marcuse is critical of Fromm: In the beginning, he was a radical theorist, but later he turned to conformity. Marcuse also noted that Fromm, as well as his close colleagues Sullivan and Karen Horney, removed Freud's libido theory and other radical concepts, which thus reduced psychoanalysis to a set of idealist ethics, which only embrace the status quo.[15] Fromm's response, in both The Sane Society[16] and in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness,[17] argues that Freud indeed deserves substantial credit for recognizing the central importance of the unconscious, but also that he tended to rectify his own concepts that depicted the self as the passive outcome of instinct and social control, with minimal volition or variability. Fromm argues that later scholars such as Marcuse accepted these concepts as dogma, whereas social psychology requires a more dynamic theoretical and empirical approach. In reference to Fromm's leftist political activism as a public intellectual, Noam Chomsky said "I liked Fromm's attitudes but thought his work was pretty superficial".[18]


1. For a second name he was given that of his grandfather on his father's side–Seligmann Pinchas Fromm, although the registry office in Frankfurt does not record him as Erich Pinchas Fromm, but as Erich Seligmann Fromm. Also his parents addressed his mail to 'Erich S. Fromm.'[1]
2. About the same time he stopped observing Jewish religious rituals and rejected a cause he had once embraced, Zionism. He "just didn't want to participate in any division of the human race, whether religious or political," he explained decades later (Wershba, p. 12), by which time he was a confirmed atheist.[4]


1. Funk, Rainer. Erich Fromm: His Life and Ideas. Translators Ian Portman, Manuela Kunkel. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN 0-8264-1519-9, ISBN 978-0-8264-1519-6. p. 13
3. Paris, Bernard J. (1998) Horney & Humanistic Psychoanalysis – Personal History Archived May 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. International Karen Horney Society.
4. Keay Davidson: "Fromm, Erich Pinchas", American National Biography Online, Feb. 2000 (accessed April 28, 2008)
5. Fromm, E. (1966). You shall be as Gods, A Fawcett Premier Book, p. 18:"Hence, I wish to make my position clear at the outset. If I could define my position approximately, I would call it that of a nontheistic mysticism."
6. His 1922 thesis was under the title Das jüdische Gesetz. Ein Beitrag zur Soziologie des Diaspora-Judentums (The Jewish Law: A Contribution to the Sociology of Jewish Diaspora).
7. Fromm, Erich Escape from Freedom New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 1941, p. 177
8. Fromm, Erich On Being Human London: The Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd, 1997, p. 101
9. The Glaring Facts . "Erich Fromm & Humanistic PsychoanalysisArchived January 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine." The Glaring Facts, n.d. Web. 12 November 2011.
10. Engler, Barbara Personality Theories Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2008, p. 137 based on The Sane Society and The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness
11. "Relationship Awareness Theory Overview". Personal Strengths Publishing. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
12. Liberman & Kiriki,1951
13. Fromm, Erich. Beyond the Chains of Illusion: My Encounter with Marx & Freud. London: Sphere Books, 1980, p. 11
14. Fromm, Erich "Escape from Freedom" New York: Rinehart & Co., 1941, p. 41 – 42
15. John Rickert, The Fromm-Marcuse debate revisited, 1986 in "Theory and Society", vol. 15, pp. 351–400. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht
16. Erich Fromm, [1955] 1990 The Sane Society, New York: Henry Holt
17. Erich Fromm, [1973] 1992, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, New York: Henry Holt.
18. Barsky, Robert (1997). Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. p. 134.


Early work in German

• Das jüdische Gesetz. Ein Beitrag zur Soziologie des Diaspora-Judentums., Promotion, 1922. ISBN 3-453-09896-X
• Über Methode und Aufgaben einer analytischen Sozialpsychologie. Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, Bd. 1, 1932, S. 28–54.
• Die psychoanalytische Charakterologie und ihre Bedeutung für die Sozialpsychologie.Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, Bd. 1, 1932, S. 253–277.
• Sozialpsychologischer Teil. In: Studien über Autorität und Familie. Forschungsberichte aus dem Institut für Sozialforschung. Alcan, Paris 1936, S. 77–135.
• Zweite Abteilung: Erhebungen (Erich Fromm u.a.). In: Studien über Autorität und Familie. Forschungsberichte aus dem Institut für Sozialforschung. Alcan, Paris 1936, S. 229–469.
• Die Furcht vor der Freiheit, 1941 (In English, "Fear/Dread of Freedom"). ISBN 3-423-35024-5
• Psychoanalyse & Ethik, 1946. ISBN 3-423-35011-3
• Psychoanalyse & Religion, 1949. ISBN 3-423-34105-X (The Dwight H. Terry Lectureship 1949/1950)

Later works in English

• Escape from Freedom (U.S.), The Fear of Freedom (UK) (1941) ISBN 978-0-8050-3149-2
• Man for himself, an inquiry into the psychology of ethics (1947) ISBN 978-0-8050-1403-7
• Psychoanalysis and Religion (1950) ISBN 978-0-300-00089-4
• The Forgotten Language; an introduction to the understanding of dreams, fairy tales, and myths (1951) ISBN 978-0-03-018436-9
• The Sane Society (1955) ISBN 978-0-415-60586-1
• The Art of Loving (1956) ISBN 978-0-06-112973-5
• Sigmund Freud's mission; an analysis of his personality and influence (1959)
• Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis (1960) ISBN 978-0-285-64747-3
• May Man Prevail? An inquiry into the facts and fictions of foreign policy (1961) ISBN 978-0-385-00035-2
• Marx's Concept of Man (1961) ISBN 978-0-8264-7791-0
• Beyond the Chains of Illusion: my encounter with Marx and Freud (1962) ISBN 978-0-8264-1897-5
• The Dogma of Christ and Other Essays on Religion, Psychology and Culture (1963) ISBN 978-0-415-28999-3
• The Heart of Man, its genius for good and evil (1964) ISBN 978-0-06-090795-2
• Socialist Humanism (1965)
• You Shall Be as Gods: a radical interpretation of the Old Testament and its tradition(1966) ISBN 978-0-8050-1605-5
• The Revolution of Hope, toward a humanized technology (1968) ISBN 978-1-59056-183-6
• The Nature of Man (1968) ISBN 978-0-86562-082-7
• The Crisis of Psychoanalysis (1970) ISBN 978-0-449-30792-2
• Social character in a Mexican village; a sociopsychoanalytic study (Fromm & Maccoby) (1970) ISBN 978-1-56000-876-7
• The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1973) ISBN 978-0-8050-1604-8
• To Have or to Be? (1976) ISBN 978-0-8050-1604-8
• Greatness and Limitation of Freud's Thought (1979) ISBN 978-0-06-011389-6
• On Disobedience and other essays (1981) ISBN 978-0-8164-0500-8
• For the Love of Life (1986) ISBN 0-02-910930-2
• The Art of Being (1993) ISBN 978-0-8264-0673-6
• The Art of Listening (1994) ISBN 978-0-8264-1132-7
• On Being Human (1997) ISBN 978-0-8264-1005-4

Further reading

• De Rodrigo, Enrique, Neoliberalismo y otras patologías de la normalidad. Conversando nuestro tiempo con Erich Fromm. Madrid: PenBooks, 2015. ISBN 978-84-608-1648-5. (Spanish)
• Lawrence J. Friedman, The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love's Prophet. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013. ISBN 978-0231162586.
• Funk, Rainer, Erich Fromm: His Life and Ideas An Illustrated Biography. Continuum: New York, 2000. ISBN 978-0826412249.
• Jensen, Walter A., Erich Fromm's contributions to sociological theory. Kalamazoo, MI: Printmill, 2017. ISBN 978-0970491947.

See also

• American philosophy
• Ernst Simmel
• Group narcissism
• List of American philosophers
• Psychoanalytic sociology
• Psychohistory

External links

• Publications by and about Erich Fromm in the catalogue Helveticat of the Swiss National Library
• – Erich Fromm Archives; Literary Estate
• International Erich Fromm Society
• Rainer Funk "Life and Work of Erich Fromm", Logos, 6:3, Summer 2007
• International Foundation Erich Fromm (Italian)
•, 1958 Mike Wallace interview
• FBI file on Erich Fromm
• Erich Fromm, Mechanisms of Escape from Freedom (1942)
• Erich Fromm at Encyclopædia Britannica
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:19 am

Part 1 of 2

Frankfurt School
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/10/19



Part of a series on the
Frankfurt School
Theorists of the Frankfurt School
Major works
Reason and Revolution
The Work of Art in the
Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Eclipse of Reason
Escape from Freedom
Minima Moralia
Eros and Civilization
One-Dimensional Man
Negative Dialectics
The Structural Transformation
of the Public Sphere
The Theory of Communicative Action
Dialectic of Enlightenment
Notable theorists
Herbert Marcuse · Theodor Adorno
Max Horkheimer · Walter Benjamin
Erich Fromm · Friedrich Pollock
Leo Löwenthal · Jürgen Habermas
Alfred Schmidt · Axel Honneth Siegfried Kracauer · Otto Kirchheimer
Important concepts
Critical theory · Dialectic · Praxis
Psychoanalysis · Antipositivism
Popular culture · Culture industry
Advanced capitalism
Privatism · Non-identity
Communicative rationality
Legitimation crisis

The Frankfurt School (Frankfurter Schule) is a school of social theory and critical philosophy associated with the Institute for Social Research, at Goethe University Frankfurt. Founded in the Weimar Republic (1918–33), during the European interwar period (1918–39), the Frankfurt School comprised intellectuals, academics, and political dissidents who were ill-fitted to the contemporary socio-economic systems (capitalist, fascist, communist) of the 1930s. The Frankfurt theorists proposed that social theory was inadequate for explaining the turbulent political factionalism and reactionary politics occurring in ostensibly liberal capitalist societies in the 20th century. Critical of capitalism and of Marxism–Leninism as philosophically inflexible systems of social organisation, the School's critical theory research indicated alternative paths to realising the social development of a society and a nation.[1]

The Frankfurt School perspective of critical investigation (open-ended and self-critical) is based upon Freudian, Marxist and Hegelian premises of idealist philosophy.[2] To fill the omissions of 19th-century classical Marxism, which could not address 20th-century social problems, they applied the methods of antipositivist sociology, of psychoanalysis, and of existentialism.[3] The School’s sociologic works derived from syntheses of the thematically pertinent works of Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Karl Marx, of Sigmund Freud and Max Weber, and of Georg Simmel and Georg Lukács.[4][5]

Like Karl Marx, the Frankfurt School concerned themselves with the conditions (political, economic, societal) that allow for social change realised by way of rational social institutions.[6] The emphasis upon the critical component of social theory derived from surpassing the ideological limitations of positivism, materialism, and determinism, by returning to the critical philosophy of Kant, and his successors in German idealism — principally the philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel, which emphasised dialectic and contradiction as intellectual properties inherent to the human grasp of material reality.

Since the 1960s, the critical-theory work of the Institute for Social Research has been guided by Jürgen Habermas, in the fields of communicative rationality, linguistic intersubjectivity, and "the philosophical discourse of modernity";[7] nonetheless, the critical theorists Raymond Geuss and Nikolas Kompridis opposed the propositions of Habermas, claiming he has undermined the original social-change purposes of critical-theory-problems, such as: What should reason mean?; the analysis and expansion of the conditions necessary to realise social emancipation; and critiques of contemporary capitalism.[8]


Institute for Social Research

Main article: Institute for Social Research

The Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

The term Frankfurt School informally describes the works of scholarship and the intellectuals who were the Institute for Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung), an adjunct organization at Goethe University Frankfurt, founded in 1923, by Carl Grünberg, a Marxist professor of law at the University of Vienna.[9] As such, the Frankfurt School was the first Marxist research center at a German university, and originated through the largesse of the wealthy student Felix Weil (1898–1975).[3]

At university, Weil’s doctoral dissertation dealt with the practical problems of implementing socialism. In 1922, he organized the First Marxist Workweek (Erste Marxistische Arbeitswoche) in effort to synthesize different trends of Marxism into a coherent, practical philosophy; the first symposium included György Lukács and Karl Korsch, Karl August Wittfogel and Friedrich Pollock. The success of the First Marxist Workweek prompted the formal establishment of a permanent institute for social research, and Weil negotiated with the Ministry of Education for a university professor to be director of the Institute for Social Research, thereby, formally ensuring that the Frankfurt School would be a university institution.[10]

Korsch and Lukács participated in the Arbeitswoche, which included the study of Marxism and Philosophy (1923), by Karl Korsch, but their communist-party membership precluded their active participation in the Institute for Social Research (Frankfurt School); yet Korsch participated in the School's publishing venture. Moreover, the political correctness by which the Communists compelled Lukács to repudiate his book History and Class Consciousness (1923) indicated that political, ideological, and intellectual independence from the communist party was a necessary work condition for realising the production of knowledge.[10]

The philosophical tradition of the Frankfurt School — the multi-disciplinary integration of the social sciences — is associated with the philosopher Max Horkheimer, who became the director in 1930, and recruited intellectuals such as Theodor W. Adorno (philosopher, sociologist, musicologist), Erich Fromm (psychoanalyst), and Herbert Marcuse (philosopher).[3]

European interwar period (1918–39)

In the Weimar Republic (1918–33), the continual, political turmoils of the interwar years (1918–39) much affected the development of the critical theory philosophy of the Frankfurt School. The scholars were especially influenced by the Communists’ failed German Revolution of 1918–19 (which Marx predicted) and by the rise of Nazism (1933–45), a German form of fascism. To explain such reactionary politics, the Frankfurt scholars applied critical selections of Marxist philosophy to interpret, illuminate, and explain the origins and causes of reactionary socio-economics in 20th-century Europe (a type of political economy unknown to Marx in the 19th century). The School’s further intellectual development derived from the publication, in the 1930s, of the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (1932) and The German Ideology (1932), in which Karl Marx showed logical continuity with Hegelianism, as the basis of Marxist philosophy.

As the anti-intellectual threat of Nazism increased to political violence, the founders decided to move the Institute for Social Research out of Nazi Germany (1933–45).[11] Soon after Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933, the Institute first moved from Frankfurt to Geneva, and then to New York City, in 1935, where the Frankfurt School joined Columbia University. In the event, the School’s journal, the Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung ("Magazine of Social Research") was renamed "Studies in Philosophy and Social Science". Thence began the period of the School’s important work in Marxist critical theory; the scholarship and the investigational method gained acceptance among the academy, in the U.S and in the U.K. By the 1950s, the paths of scholarship led Horkheimer, Adorno, and Pollock to return to West Germany, whilst Marcuse, Löwenthal, and Kirchheimer remained in the U.S. In 1953, the Institute for Social Research (Frankfurt School) was formally re-established in Frankfurt, West Germany.[12]


See also: List of critical theorists

As a term, the Frankfurt School usually comprises the intellectuals Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, and Herbert Marcuse, Leo Löwenthal and Friedrich Pollock.[6] Although initially of the FS's inner circle, Jürgen Habermas was the first to diverge from Horkheimer's research program, as a new generation of critical theoreticians.

The Frankfurt School were:

• Max Horkheimer
• Theodor W. Adorno
• Herbert Marcuse
• Friedrich Pollock
• Erich Fromm
• Otto Kirchheimer
• Leo Löwenthal
• Franz Leopold Neumann
• Henryk Grossman[13]

Associates of the Frankfurt School:

• Siegfried Kracauer
• Alfred Sohn-Rethel
• Walter Benjamin
• Ernst Bloch

Critical theoreticians of the Frankfurt School:

• Jürgen Habermas
• Claus Offe
• Axel Honneth
• Oskar Negt
• Alfred Schmidt
• Albrecht Wellme

Critical theory

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The works of the Frankfurt School are understood in the context of the intellectual and practical objectives of critical theory. In Traditional and Critical Theory (1937), Max Horkheimer defined critical theory as social critique meant to effect sociologic change and realize intellectual emancipation, by way of enlightenment that is not dogmatic in its assumptions.[14][15] The purpose of critical theory is to analyze the true significance of the ruling understandings (the dominant ideology) generated in bourgeois society, by showing that the dominant ideology misrepresents how human relations occur in the real world, and how such misrepresentations function to justify and legitimate the domination of people by capitalism.

In the praxis of cultural hegemony, the dominant ideology is a ruling-class narrative story, which explains that what is occurring in society is the norm. Nonetheless, the story told through the ruling understandings conceals as much as it reveals about society, hence, the task of the Frankfurt School was sociological analysis and interpretation of the areas of social-relation that Marx did not discuss in the 19th century — especially in the base and superstructure aspects of a capitalist society.[16]

Horkheimer opposed critical theory to traditional theory, wherein the word theory is applied in the positivistic sense of scientism, in the sense of a purely observational mode, which finds and establishes scientific law (generalizations) about the real world. That the social sciences differ from the natural sciences inasmuch as scientific generalizations are not readily derived from experience, because the researcher’s understanding of a social experience always is shaped by the ideas in the mind of the researcher. What the researcher does not understand is that he or she is within an historical context, wherein ideologies shape human thought, thus, the results for the theory being tested would conform to the ideas of the researcher, rather than conform to the facts of the experience proper; in Traditional and Critical Theory (1937), Horkheimer said:

The facts, which our senses present to us, are socially performed in two ways: through the historical character of the object perceived, and through the historical character of the perceiving organ. Both are not simply natural; they are shaped by human activity, and yet the individual perceives himself as receptive and passive in the act of perception.[17]

For Horkheimer, the methods of investigation applicable to the social sciences cannot imitate the scientific method applicable to the natural sciences. In that vein, the theoretical approaches of positivism and pragmatism, of neo-Kantianism and phenomenology failed to surpass the ideological constraints that restricted their application to social science, because of the inherent logico–mathematic prejudice that separates theory from actual life, i.e. such methods of investigation seek a logic that is always true, and independent of and without consideration for continuing human activity in the field under study. That the appropriate response to such a dilemma was the development of a critical theory of Marxism.[18]

Because the problem was epistemological, Horkheimer said that "we should reconsider not merely the scientist, but the knowing individual, in general."[19] Unlike Orthodox Marxism, which applies a template to critique and to action, critical theory is self-critical, with no claim to the universality of absolute truth. As such, critical theory does not grant primacy to matter (materialism) or to consciousness (idealism), because each epistemology distorts the reality under study, to the benefit of a small group. In practice, critical theory is outside the philosophical strictures of traditional theory; however, as a way of thinking and of recovering humanity’s self-knowledge, critical theory draws investigational resources and methods from Marxism.[15]

Dialectical method

The Frankfort School reformulated dialectics into a concrete method of investigation, derived from the Hegelian philosophy that an idea will pass over into its own negation, as the result of conflict between the inherently contradictory aspects of the idea.[20] In opposition to previous modes of reasoning, which viewed things in abstraction, each by itself and as though endowed with fixed properties, Hegelian dialectics considers ideas according to their movement and change in time, according to their interrelations and interactions.[20]

In Hegel's perspective, human history proceeds and evolves in a dialectical manner: the present embodies the rational Aufheben (sublation), the synthesis of past contradictions. History thus is an intelligible process of human activity, the Weltgeist, which is the Idea of Progress towards a specific human condition — the realization of human freedom through rationality.[21] However, the Problem of future contingents, of considerations about the future, did not interest Hegel,[22][23] for whom philosophy cannot be prescriptive and normative, because philosophy understands only in hindsight. The study of history is thus limited to descriptions of past and present human realities.[21] Hence, for Hegel and his successors (the Right Hegelians), dialectics inevitably lead to the approval of the status quo — as such, dialectical philosophy justified the bases of Christian theology and of the Prussian state.

Karl Marx and the Young Hegelians strongly criticized that perspective, that Hegel had over-reached in defending his abstract conception of "absolute Reason" and had failed to notice the "real"— i.e. undesirable and irrational — life conditions of the proletariat. Marx inverted Hegel's idealist dialectics and advanced his own theory of dialectical materialism, arguing that "it is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness."[24] Marx's theory follows a materialist conception of history and geographic space,[25] where the development of the productive forces is the primary motive force for historical change, and, according to which, the social and material contradictions inherent to capitalism lead to its negation — thereby replacing capitalism with Communism, a new, rational form of society.[26]

Marx used dialectical analysis to learn and know the truth by uncovering the contradictions in the predominant ideas of society, and in the social relations to which they are linked — which exposes the underlying struggle between opposing forces. Therefore, only by becoming aware of the dialectic (i.e. class consciousness) of such opposing forces in a struggle for power, that men and women can intellectually liberate themselves, and so change the existing social order by way of social progress.[27] The Frankfurt School understood that a dialectical method could only be adopted if it could be applied to itself; if they adopted a self-correcting method — a dialectical method that would enable the correction of previous, false interpretations of the dialectical investigation. Accordingly, critical theory rejected the historicism and materialism of Orthodox Marxism.[28]

Influences and early works

Historical context / Transition from small-scale capitalism to large-scale capitalism and colonialism; the socialist labour movement matures into a reform movement and fosters the emergence of the welfare state; the Russian Revolution (1917) and the rise of Communism; the neotechnic period; the emergence of mass communications media and of mass popular culture, Modern art; and the rise of Nazism.

Weberian theory / Comparative history of Western rationalisation in capitalism, the modern state, secular scientific rationality, culture, and religion; analyses of the forms of dominance hierarchy and of modern rational-legal bureaucratic domination; articulation of the hermeneutic method in the social sciences.

Freudian theory / Critique of the psychological repression of the reality principle of advanced civilization, and of the neuroses of daily life; discovery of the unconscious mind, primary-process thinking, and the psychological impact of the Oedipus complex anxiety upon a man's mental health and life; analyses of the psychic bases of the irrational behaviours of authoritarianism.

Antipositivism / Critique of positivism as philosophy, as a scientific method, as political ideology and as conformity; rehabilitation of the negative dialectic, return to Hegel; appropriation of critical elements from phenomenology, historicism, existentialism, critique of the ahistorical, idealist tendencies of positivism; critique of logical positivism and pragmatism.

Aesthetic modernism / Critique of false and reified experience by breaking traditional forms and language; projection of alternative modes of existence and experience; liberation of the unconscious; consciousness of unique, modern situation; cultural appropriation of the literary devices of Franz Kafka and Marcel Proust, of Arnold Schoenberg and André Breton; critique of the culture industry.

Marxist theory / Critique of bourgeois ideology; critique of Marx's theory of alienation (Entfremdung); historical materialism; history as class struggle and the rate of exploitation in different modes of production; systems analysis of capitalism as the extraction of surplus labour; financial crisis theory; democratic socialism, and the classless society.

Culture theory / Critique of Popular culture as the suppression and absorption of individual negation, and as the integration of the individual person to the status quo; critique of Western culture as a culture of social domination; the dialectical differentiation of the emancipatory aspects and the repressive aspects of élite culture; Kierkegaard's critique of the present age, Nietzsche's transvaluation, and Schiller's aesthetic education.

Critique of Western civilization

Dialectic of Enlightenment and Minima Moralia

The second phase of Frankfurt School critical theory centres principally on two works: Adorno and Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944) and Adorno's Minima Moralia (1951). The authors wrote both works during the Institute's exile in America. While retaining much of a Marxian analysis, in these works critical theory shifted its emphasis from the critique of capitalism to a critique of Western civilization as a whole, as seen in Dialectic of Enlightenment, which uses the Odyssey as a paradigm for their analysis of bourgeois consciousness. In these works, Horkheimer and Adorno present many themes that have come to dominate the social thought of recent years; for instance, their exposition of the domination of nature as a central characteristic of instrumental rationality in Western civilization was made long before ecology and environmentalism had become popular concerns.

The analysis of reason now goes one stage further: The rationality of Western civilization appears as a fusion of domination and technological rationality, bringing all of external and internal nature under the power of the human subject. In the process, however, the subject itself gets swallowed up and no social force analogous to the proletariat can be identified that enables the subject to emancipate itself. Hence the subtitle of Minima Moralia: "Reflections from Damaged Life". In Adorno's words,

For since the overwhelming objectivity of historical movement in its present phase consists so far only in the dissolution of the subject, without yet giving rise to a new one, individual experience necessarily bases itself on the old subject, now historically condemned, which is still for-itself, but no longer in-itself. The subject still feels sure of its autonomy, but the nullity demonstrated to subjects by the concentration camp is already overtaking the form of subjectivity itself.[29]

Consequently, at a time when it appears that reality itself has become the basis for ideology, the greatest contribution that critical theory can make is to explore the dialectical contradictions of individual subjective experience on the one hand, and to preserve the truth of theory on the other. Even dialectical progress is put into doubt: "its truth or untruth is not inherent in the method itself, but in its intention in the historical process." This intention must be oriented toward integral freedom and happiness: "The only philosophy which can be responsibly practiced in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption." Adorno goes on to distance himself from the "optimism" of orthodox Marxism: "beside the demand thus placed on thought, the question of the reality or unreality of redemption [i.e. human emancipation] itself hardly matters."[30]

From a sociological point of view, both Horkheimer's and Adorno's works contain a certain ambivalence concerning the ultimate source or foundation of social domination, an ambivalence that gave rise to the "pessimism" of the new critical theory over the possibility of human emancipation and freedom.[31] This ambivalence was rooted, of course, in the historical circumstances in which the work was originally produced, in particular, the rise of National Socialism, state capitalism, and mass culture as entirely new forms of social domination that could not be adequately explained within the terms of traditional Marxist sociology.[32] For Adorno and Horkheimer, state intervention in the economy had effectively abolished the tension in capitalism between the "relations of production" and "material productive forces of society"—a tension that, according to traditional Marxist theory, constituted the primary contradiction within capitalism. The previously "free" market (as an "unconscious" mechanism for the distribution of goods) and "irrevocable" private property of Marx's epoch have gradually been replaced by the centralized state planning and socialized ownership of the means of production in contemporary Western societies.[33] The dialectic through which Marx predicted the emancipation of modern society is thus suppressed, effectively being subjugated to a positivist rationality of domination.

Of this second "phase" of the Frankfurt School, philosopher and critical theorist Nikolas Kompridis writes that:

According to the now canonical view of its history, Frankfurt School critical theory began in the 1930s as a fairly confident interdisciplinary and materialist research program, the general aim of which was to connect normative social criticism to the emancipatory potential latent in concrete historical processes. Only a decade or so later, however, having revisited the premises of their philosophy of history, Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment steered the whole enterprise, provocatively and self-consciously, into a skeptical cul-de-sac. As a result they got stuck in the irresolvable dilemmas of the "philosophy of the subject," and the original program was shrunk to a negativistic practice of critique that eschewed the very normative ideals on which it implicitly depended.[34]

Kompridis argues that this "sceptical cul-de-sac" was arrived at with "a lot of help from the once unspeakable and unprecedented barbarity of European fascism," and could not be gotten out of without "some well-marked [exit or] Ausgang, showing the way out of the ever-recurring nightmare in which Enlightenment hopes and Holocaust horrors are fatally entangled." However, this Ausgang, according to Kompridis, would not come until later – purportedly in the form of Jürgen Habermas's work on the intersubjective bases of communicative rationality.[34]

Philosophy of music

Adorno, a trained classical pianist, wrote The Philosophy of Modern Music (1949), in which he, in essence, polemicizes against popular music―because it has become part of the culture industry of advanced capitalist society[page needed] and the false consciousness that contributes to social domination. He argued that radical art and music may preserve the truth by capturing the reality of human suffering. Hence:

What radical music perceives is the untransfigured suffering of man [...] The seismographic registration of traumatic shock becomes, at the same time, the technical structural law of music. It forbids continuity and development. Musical language is polarized according to its extreme; towards gestures of shock resembling bodily convulsions on the one hand, and on the other towards a crystalline standstill of a human being whom anxiety causes to freeze in her tracks [...] Modern music sees absolute oblivion as its goal. It is the surviving message of despair from the shipwrecked.[35]

This view of modern art as producing truth only through the negation of traditional aesthetic form and traditional norms of beauty because they have become ideological is characteristic of Adorno and of the Frankfurt School generally. It has been criticized by those who do not share its conception of modern society as a false totality that renders obsolete traditional conceptions and images of beauty and harmony.

In particular, Adorno despised jazz and popular music, viewing it as part of the culture industry, that contributes to the present sustainability of capitalism by rendering it "aesthetically pleasing" and "agreeable". The British philosopher Roger Scruton saw Adorno as producing "reams of turgid nonsense devoted to showing that the American people are just as alienated as Marxism requires them to be, and that their cheerful life-affirming music is a 'fetishized' commodity, expressive of their deep spiritual enslavement to the capitalist machine."[36]

Critical theory and domination

Negative dialectics

With the growth of advanced industrial society during the Cold War era, critical theorists recognized that the path of capitalism and history had changed decisively, that the modes of oppression operated differently, and that the industrial working class no longer remained the determinate negation of capitalism. This led to the attempt to root the dialectic in an absolute method of negativity, as in Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man (1964) and Adorno's Negative Dialectics (1966). During this period the Institute of Social Research resettled in Frankfurt (although many of its associates remained in the United States) with the task not merely of continuing its research but of becoming a leading force in the sociological education and democratization of West Germany. This led to a certain systematization of the Institute's entire accumulation of empirical research and theoretical analysis.

During this period, Frankfurt School critical theory particularly influenced some segments of the left wing and leftist thought, particularly the New Left. Herbert Marcuse has occasionally been described as the theorist or intellectual progenitor of the New Left. Their critique of technology, totality, teleology and (occasionally) civilization is an influence on anarcho-primitivism. Their work also heavily influenced intellectual discourse on popular culture and scholarly popular culture studies.

More importantly, however, the Frankfurt School attempted to define the fate of reason in the new historical period. While Marcuse did so through analysis of structural changes in the labor process under capitalism and inherent features of the methodology of science, Horkheimer and Adorno concentrated on a re-examination of the foundation of critical theory. This effort appears in systematized form in Adorno's Negative Dialectics, which tries to redefine dialectics for an era in which "philosophy, which once seemed obsolete, lives on because the moment to realize it was missed". Negative dialectics expresses the idea of critical thought so conceived that the apparatus of domination cannot co-opt it.

Its central notion, long a focal one for Horkheimer and Adorno, suggests that the original sin of thought lies in its attempt to eliminate all that is other than thought, the attempt by the subject to devour the object, the striving for identity. This reduction makes thought the accomplice of domination. Negative Dialectics rescues the "preponderance of the object", not through a naïve epistemological or metaphysical realism but through a thought based on differentiation, paradox, and ruse: a "logic of disintegration". Adorno thoroughly criticizes Heidegger's fundamental ontology, which he thinks reintroduces idealistic and identity-based concepts under the guise of having overcome the philosophical tradition.

Negative dialectics comprises a monument to the end of the tradition of the individual subject as the locus of criticism. Without a revolutionary working class, the Frankfurt School had no one to rely on but the individual subject. But, as the liberal capitalist social basis of the autonomous individual receded into the past, the dialectic based on it became more and more abstract.
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Habermas and communicative rationality

Main article: Jürgen Habermas

Habermas's work takes the Frankfurt School's abiding interests in rationality, the human subject, democratic socialism, and the dialectical method and overcomes a set of contradictions that always weakened critical theory: the contradictions between the materialist and transcendental methods, between Marxian social theory and the individualist assumptions of critical rationalism between technical and social rationalization, and between cultural and psychological phenomena on the one hand and the economic structure of society on the other.

The Frankfurt School avoided taking a stand on the precise relationship between the materialist and transcendental methods, which led to ambiguity in their writings and confusion among their readers. Habermas's epistemology synthesizes these two traditions by showing that phenomenological and transcendental analysis can be subsumed under a materialist theory of social evolution, while the materialist theory makes sense only as part of a quasi-transcendental theory of emancipatory knowledge that is the self-reflection of cultural evolution. The simultaneously empirical and transcendental nature of emancipatory knowledge becomes the foundation stone of critical theory.


Horkheimer and Adorno

In The Theory of the Novel (1971), Georg Lukács said that the Frankfurt School were:

A considerable part of the leading German intelligentsia, including Adorno, have taken up residence in the Grand Hotel Abyss which I described in connection with my critique of Schopenhauer as "a beautiful hotel, equipped with every comfort, on the edge of an abyss, of nothingness, of absurdity. And the daily contemplation of the abyss, between excellent meals or artistic entertainments, can only heighten the enjoyment of the subtle comforts offered."[37]

In "Addendum 1974: The Frankfurt School" (1994) Karl Popper said that:

Marx's own condemnation of our society makes sense. For Marx's theory contains the promise of a better future. But the theory becomes vacuous and irresponsible if this promise is withdrawn, as it is by Adorno and Horkheimer.[38]


In his criticism of Habermas, the philosopher Nikolas Kompridis said that a break with the proceduralist ethics of communicative rationality is necessary:

For all its theoretical ingenuity and practical implications, Habermas's reformulation of critical theory is beset by persistent problems of its own ... In my view, the depth of these problems indicate just how wrong was Habermas's expectation that the paradigm change to linguistic intersubjectivity would render "objectless" the dilemmas of the philosophy of the subject.[39] Habermas accused Hegel of creating a conception of reason so "overwhelming" that it solved too well the problem of modernity's [need for] self-reassurance.[40] It seems, however, that Habermas has repeated rather than avoided Hegel's mistake, creating a theoretical paradigm so comprehensive that in one stroke it also solves, too well, the dilemmas of the philosophy of the subject and the problem of modernity's self-reassurance.[41]


The change of paradigm to linguistic intersubjectivity has been accompanied by a dramatic change in critical theory's self-understanding. The priority given to questions of justice and the normative order of society has remodeled critical theory in the image of liberal theories of justice. While this has produced an important contemporary variant of liberal theories of justice, different enough to be a challenge to liberal theory, but not enough to preserve sufficient continuity with critical theory's past, it has severely weakened the identity of critical theory and inadvertently initiated its premature dissolution.[42]

That to prevent that premature dissolution critical theory should be reinvented as a philosophic enterprise that discloses possibilities by way of Heidegger's world disclosure, by drawing from the sources of normativity that were blocked by the change of paradigm.[43]

Psychoanalytic categorization

The historian Christopher Lasch criticized the Frankfurt School for their initial tendency of "automatically" rejecting opposing political criticisms, based upon "psychiatric" grounds:

The Authoritarian Personality [1950] had a tremendous influence on [Richard] Hofstadter, and other liberal intellectuals, because it showed them how to conduct political criticism in psychiatric categories, [and] to make those categories bear the weight of political criticism. This procedure excused them from the difficult work of judgment and argumentation. Instead of arguing with opponents, they simply dismissed them on psychiatric grounds.[44]

Economics and communications media

During the 1980s, anti-authoritarian socialists in the United Kingdom and New Zealand criticised the rigid and determinist view of popular culture deployed within the Frankfurt School theories of capitalist culture, which seemed to preclude any prefigurative role for social critique within such work. They argued that EC Comics often did contain such cultural critiques.[45][46] Recent criticism of the Frankfurt School by the libertarian Cato Institute focused on the claim that culture has grown more sophisticated and diverse as a consequence of free markets and the availability of niche cultural text for niche audiences.[47][48]

Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory

Definition and Culture War usage

In contemporary usage, the term Cultural Marxism is a right-wing, antisemitic conspiracy theory according to which the Frankfurt School is part of a continual academic and intellectual culture war to systematically undermine and destroy Western culture and social traditions.[49] As articulated in the 1990s, the conspiracy means to replace traditionalist conservatism and Christianity with the counterculture of the 1960s to promote social changes such as racial multiculturalism, multi-party progressive politics, acceptance of LGBT rights, and political correctness in language.[50][51][52]

In the U.S., the term "cultural Marxism" is employed in the culture wars by fundamentalist Christians and paleoconservatives, such as William S. Lind, Pat Buchanan, and Paul Weyrich,[53] the alt-right, white nationalists, and the Dark Enlightenment neo-reactionary political movement.[54][55] Moreover, conservatives such as David Brooks[56] and Jordan Peterson have used the term.[57][58][59]

In 1998 Weyrich presented his version of the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory in a speech to the Conservative Leadership Conference of the Civitas Institute and then published the speech in his syndicated Culture war letter.[60] Later, for the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, at Weyrich's request, Lind wrote a history of Weyrich's version of Cultural Marxism, which identified the presence of gay people on television as proof of Cultural Marxist control of the mass media and claimed that the philosopher Herbert Marcuse considered a coalition of "blacks, students, feminist women, and homosexuals" as a vanguard of cultural revolution in the U.S.[50][51][61]

In 2014 Lind pseudonymously published Victoria: A Novel of 4th Generation Warfare, by Thomas Hobbes, about a societal apocalypse in which Cultural Marxism deposes traditional conservatism as the culture of the Western world. Ultimately, a Christian military victory deposes social liberalism and reestablishes a traditionalist and theocratic socioeconomic order based upon British Victorian morality of the late 19th century.[62][63] The anti–Marxism of Lind and Weyrich advocates political confrontation and intellectual opposition to Cultural Marxism with "a vibrant cultural conservatism" composed of "retro-culture fashions", a return to railroads as public transport, and an agrarian culture of self-reliance, modeled after that of the Christian Amish folk.[64] In the Dialectic of Counter-Enlightenment: The Frankfurt School as Scapegoat of the Lunatic Fringe (2011), the historian Martin Jay said that Lind's documentary of conservative counter-culture, Political Correctness: The Frankfurt School (1999), was effective propaganda, because it:

spawned a number of condensed textual versions, which were reproduced on a number of radical, right-wing sites. These, in turn, led to a plethora of new videos, now available on YouTube, which feature an odd cast of pseudo-experts regurgitating exactly the same line. The message is numbingly simplistic: “All the 'ills' of modern American culture, from feminism, affirmative action, sexual liberation, racial equality, multiculturalism and gay rights to the decay of traditional education, and even environmentalism, are ultimately attributable to the insidious [intellectual] influence of the members of the Institute for Social Research who came to America in the 1930s.”[65]

Functions of the conspiracy

Cultural pessimism and Holocaust denial

In the essay "New Dark Age: The Frankfurt School and 'Political Correctness'" (1992), Michael Minnicino presented a precursor of the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory on behalf of the Schiller Institute of the LaRouche political movement. Minnicino said the "Jewish intellectuals" of the Frankfurt School promoted modern art to make cultural pessimism the spirit of the counter-culture of the 1960s, based upon the counter-culture of the Wandervogel, the socially liberal German youth movement whose Swiss Monte Verità commune was the 19th-century predecessor of Western counter-culture.[66][65][67][68]

In "Ally of Christian Right Heavyweight Paul Weyrich Addresses Holocaust Denial Conference" (15 June 2002) the Southern Poverty Law Center reported Lind’s participation in a conference of Holocaust deniers, to whom he said that Cultural Marxism is a social threat, because the Frankfurt School was "to a man, Jewish". Lind said that he is neither an anti-Semite nor a Holocaust denier and participated in the Holocaust-denial conference because the Center for Cultural Conservatism has “a regular policy to work with a wide variety of groups, on an issue-by-issue basis”, in behalf of the Free Congress Foundation.[50][69]

In Fascism: Fascism and Culture (2003), Matthew Feldman traced the etymology of the term "Cultural Marxism" as derived from the anti-Semitic term Kulturbolshewismus (Cultural Bolshevism), which Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party used in charging that Jewish cultural influence was the source of German social degeneration under the liberal régime of the Weimar Republic (1918–1939), and also the cause of social degeneration in the West.[70]

Othering of political opponents

In Hate Crimes, Vol. 5 (2009), Heidi Beirich said that the right wing uses Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory to politically delegitimize left-wing opponents by misrepresenting the social Other (who is not the Self) as politically destructive members of the country's body politik who threaten the traditionalist conservative status quo of society—especially "feminists, homosexuals, secular humanists, multi-culturalists, sex educators, environmentalists, immigrants, and black nationalists".[71]

In Europe the Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik quoted Lind's usages of Cultural Marxism in his political manifesto 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, writing that the "sexually transmitted disease (STD) epidemic in Western Europe [is] a result of cultural Marxism"; that "Cultural Marxism defines . . . Muslims, Feminist women, homosexuals, and some additional minority groups, as virtuous, and they view ethnic Christian European men as evil"; and that "The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg is a cultural-Marxist-controlled political entity." About 90 minutes before killing 77 people in his terrorist attacks in Norway (22 July 2011) Breivik e-mailed 1,003 people a copy of his 1,500-page manifesto and a copy of Political Correctness: A Short History of an Ideology (2004), edited by Lind and published by the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.[72][73][74][75]

In "Collectivists, Communists, Labor Bosses, and Treason: The Tea Parties as Right-wing, Populist Counter-subversion Panic" (2012), Chip Berlet identifies Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory as an ideological basis of the Tea Party movement within the Republican Party. The Tea Party identifies as a right-wing populist movement; its claims of social subversion echo earlier, white-nationalist claims of subversion (racial, social, and cultural). The economic élites use populist rhetoric to encourage counter-subversion panics; thus, a large, middle-class white constituency is politically deceived into siding with the ruling-class élites (social and economic) to defend their relative and precarious socioeconomic position in the middle class. Cultural scapegoats, such as mythical conspiracies of collectivists, Communists, labor bosses, and the nonwhite Other, are to blame for the failures (economic, political, social) of free-market capitalism. In that manner, under the guise of patriotism, economic libertarianism, Christian values, and nativism, the right wing's charges of Cultural Marxism defended the racist and sexist social hierarchies specifically opposed to the "big government" policies of the Obama Administration.[76][77]

In the essay "Cultural Marxism and the Radical Right" (2014), the political scientist Jérôme Jamin said that "next to the global dimension of the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory, there is its innovative and original dimension, which lets its [racist] authors avoid racist discourses, and pretend to be defenders of democracy" in their respective countries.[78] In the vein of othering political opponents, "How Trump's Paranoid White House Sees 'Deep State' Enemies on all Sides" (2017) reported that Trump Administration employee Richard Higgins was dismissed from the U.S. National Security Council because of the memorandum "POTUS & Political Warfare" (May 2017), wherein Higgins claimed the existence of a left-wing conspiracy to destroy the Trump presidency and that American public intellectuals of Cultural Marxism, foreign Islamicists, and globalist bankers, the news media, and politicians from the Republican and the Democrat parties were attacking Trump because he represents “an existential threat to [the] cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative” in the U.S.[79][80][81]

Anti–Semitic canards

In the speech "The Origins of Political Correctness" (2000), William S. Lind established the ideological and etymological lineage of Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory; that:

If we look at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the Hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I [to Kulturbolshewismus]. If we compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with [the basic tenets of] classical Marxism, the parallels are very obvious.[69]

Lind’s history of the term and its meanings demonstrated that the ideology of "The Alt-right’s Favorite Meme is 100 Years Old" (2018), in which professor of law Samuel Moyn reported that social fear of Cultural Marxism is "an American contribution to the phantasmagoria of the alt-right"; while the conspiracy theory, itself, is "a crude slander, referring to [ Judeo-Bolshevism ], something that does not exist".[82]

See also

• Analytical Marxism
• Birmingham School of Cultural Studies
• Degenerate Art
• Social conflict theory
• Fredric Jameson
• Georg Simmel
• Gerhard Stapelfeldt
• Karl Manheim
• Leo Kofler
• Neo-Gramscianism
• Neo-Marxism
• New Marx Reading
• Positivism dispute
• Psychoanalytic sociology
• Zygmunt Bauman


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Further reading

• Arato, Andrew and Eike Gebhardt, Eds. The Essential Frankfurt School Reader. New York: Continuum, 1982.
• Bernstein, Jay (ed.). The Frankfurt School: Critical Assessments I–VI. New York: Routledge, 1994.
• Benhabib, Seyla. Critique, Norm, and Utopia: A Study of the Foundations of Critical Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.
• Bottomore, Tom. The Frankfurt School and its Critics. New York: Routledge, 2002.
• Bronner, Stephen Eric and Douglas MacKay Kellner (eds.). Critical Theory and Society: A Reader. New York: Routledge, 1989.
• Brosio, Richard A. The Frankfurt School: An Analysis of the Contradictions and Crises of Liberal Capitalist Societies. 1980.
• Crone, Michael (ed.): Vertreter der Frankfurter Schule in den Hörfunkprogrammen 1950–1992. Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt am Main 1992. (Bibliography.)
• Friedman, George. The Political Philosophy of the Frankfurt School. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1981.
• Held, David. Introduction to Critical Theory: Horkheimer to Habermas. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.
• Gerhardt, Christina. "Frankfurt School". The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest, 1500 to the Present. 8 vols. Ed. Immanuel Ness. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2009. 12–13.
• Immanen, Mikko (2017). A Promise of Concreteness: Martin Heidegger's Unacknowledged Role in the Formation of Frankfurt School in the Weimar Republic(Ph.D. thesis). University of Helsinki. ISBN 978-951-51-3205-5. 978-951-51-3205-5 Lay summary Check |lay-url= value (help).
• Jay, Martin. The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute for Social Research 1923–1950. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. 1996.
• Jeffries, Stuart (2016). Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School. London – Brooklyn, New York: Verso. ISBN 978-1-78478-568-0.
• Kompridis, Nikolas. Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2006.
• Postone, Moishe. Time, Labor, and Social Domination: A Reinterpretation of Marx's Critical Theory. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
• Schwartz, Frederic J. Blind Spots: Critical Theory and the History of Art in Twentieth-Century Germany. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2005.
• Shapiro, Jeremy J. "The Critical Theory of Frankfurt". Times Literary Supplement 3 (4 October 1974) 787.
• Scheuerman, William E. Frankfurt School Perspectives on Globalization, Democracy, and the Law. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 2008.
• Wiggershaus, Rolf. The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories and Political Significance. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1995.
• Wheatland, Thomas. The Frankfurt School in Exile. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.

External links

Look up cultural Marxismin Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
• Official website of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt
• Gerhardt, Christina. "Frankfurt School (Jewish émigrés)." The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest. Ness, Immanuel (ed). Blackwell Publishing, 2009. Blackwell Reference Online.
• "The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
• The Frankfurt School on the Marxists Internet Archive
• BBC Radio 4 Audio documentary "In our time: the Frankfurt School"
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