I’m attending a conference at Esalen Institute near Big Sur this week. It’s hosted by Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research. It’s focused on peacemaking among the Abrahamic faiths. After the first day of the meeting, I got into a rich conversation with Esalen’s co-founder, Michael Murphy, two rabbis, and a medical doctor with Talmudic training. For hours we talked about resurrection, reincarnation, and the far reaches of human spiritual and physical capacities. Then I went alone for a walk, gazing over the ocean into the brilliant night sky, and this poem came to me:
While leaping to catch the moon,
Orion tripped, his right foot caught on a silvered cloud
hovering over the shivering Pacific
beyond the high dark bluffs of Big Sur.
If he fell on Esalen Institute,
would that be such a bad end
to his reach for his full human potential?
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Associate Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California