"Though I had never been to Esalen, I knew of it as the birthplace of Gestalt therapy; a place frequented by the psychologist Abraham Maslow, and the writers Henry Miller and Aldous Huxley; a place where people got naked in the hot springs, but which had been toned down a bit since Hunter S Thompson – a caretaker of the place for eight short, disastrous months – described it as “a real menagerie, flavoured with everything from bestiality to touch football”.
Somewhat to my disappointment, there was no bestiality or touch football but there were a lot of attendees from Silicon Valley, many of whom were taking a workshop inspired by the mythologist Joseph Campbell and titled “The Hero’s Journey” or some such. One Google employee described this to me over lunch as a course in “charting your personal narrative”, as his friend and fellow tech-company employee sprinkled some sort of green vitamin supplement on his already organic, sustainably farmed and presumably healthy food.”
- I wrote a Diary column for the FT on meditation and digital overload (among other things.) You can read it here.