Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Some Thoughts on Hasidim

It is a sobering thought, especially for one turned thirty, that we are already post-counterculture. This juncture provides an opportunity, though, to gain a new perspective on a facet of that period, still very much with us. Both the counterculture and its parallel in the social sciences, the Human Potential Movement, shared a common ethos of personal and communal liberation. Often, this found expression in a mistrust, if not outright disdain, for the rational intellect. Reacting to the reductionist, dehumanizing tendencies of the culture created by science and technology, they sought rediscovery of the self through varieties of political, social, psychedelic, and religious experience. Out of this came what one publication parodied as a Whole Soul Catalog of methods for stimulating spiritual, psychological, and somatic sensitivities. One major phenomenon of this era. 

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