Willis Harman shows up in the darndest places
Posted Jul 20, 2007
#1. Let's start with New Zealand bio-cosmo-physics genius Chris King. He's got a great site that University of Auckland full of fascinating information, including a mention of Willis Harman that bears repeating. There's a lot of room for interpretation, but it's definitely a signifigant message:
Willis Harman, who has headed major futurist studies at the Stanford Research Institute, writes that what is needed-and evolving-is a “metamorphosis in basic cultural premises and all aspects of social roles and institutions.”
He describes this as a new consciousness in which compefition will be balanced with cooperation and individualism will be balanced with love. It will be a “cosmic consciousness,” a “higher awareness,” which “relates self-interest to the interests of fellow man and of future generafions.” And it will entail nothing short of a fundamental transformafion of “truly awesome magnitude.”
Similarly, in the second Club of Rome report we read that in order “to avoid major regional and ultimately global catastrophe,” we must develop a new world system “guided by a rational master plan for longterm organic growth,” held together by “a spirit of truly global cooperation, shaped in free partnership.
This world system would be governed by a new global ethic based on a greater consciousness of and idenfificafion with future as well as present generations and will require that cooperafion, rather than confrontafion, and harmony with, rather than conquest of, nature become our normative ideals.
#2. The next slice is from a relatively paranoid but still solid source. The theme is pharmaceutical and psychiatric control of mass populations, which is always super-fun stuff, but important to examine independently just the same. The source discussed the New Freedom Initiative, which is worth looking into on it's own. The official website is pretty harmless looking...although it's disturbingly poorly designed. Most .gov sites have pretty snappy design nowadays. Then again, check out CIA For Kids -- especially this part here -- and forget I said anything. Here's the quote:
The New Freedom Initiative primarily proposes using expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs as treatment for those failing their mental health screening. This is worrisome given, among other things, that on September 13, 2004, top officials of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged for the first time that antidepressants appeared to lead some children and teenagers to become suicidal (see THE NEW YORK TIMES, September 14, 2004).
Psychotherapy will also be available as a treatment tool, and in that regard one might consider the words of Willis Harman in ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN EUROPE: “It is not enough to be intellectually aware that at this point in history, nationalism is a suicidal course....Educational experiences must be contemplated which are akin to psychotherapy...that result in a felt realization of the inevitability of one inseparable world, and a felt shift in the most basic values and premises on which one builds one’s life.”
#3. Willis Harman, Convicted Heretic
The last place I expected Willis Harman to show up was in the sights of dedicated intellectual christians -- but that was me being stupid. Learn from my mistake and check out Herescope, which has an extensive selection of articles about Willis Harman and his impact on the Evangelical Christian community. Not only is this a whole other side of Harman, it's remarkable how busy he was within the religious community.
Willis Harman, a leading Theosophist futurist who impacted a group of evangelical leaders back in the late 1970s, has been a frequent topic on this blog. If one wishes to search out the other posts on this New Age leader, simply type in his name in the search box on the upper lefthand corner of this blog and all of the blog posts mentioning this name will pop up.
And from this article on Theosophism infiltrating Christianity:
As we mentioned, in our original series of posts on Herescope in September/October 2005, the evangelical leaders had already become enamored with Willis Harman, one of the world’s leading Theosophists. One of the stated purposes of the Consultations was to integrate Harman’s alternative eschatology with evangelical eschatology. Consultation presenter E.V. Newland, proposed creating an “imaginative hybrid” of eschatology based on Harman’s models:
Well, what then could be a transformed society? We are very impressed. We have links with people who are looking at these areas, sadly perhaps only from the secular groups or the academia. We are not yet in touch with theological colleges. We have established in that way contact with people who are thinking about a transformed society and they are exemplified by the Stanford Research Institute where there is a little group that’s called the Social Science Research Unit and it’s led by a man you have in your prospectus here, Willis Harmon [sic]. He is an engineer and he thinks about the future image of man so he’s looking at some very fundamental changes. He surprisingly has the same other two scenarios that we work on as a coincidence. . . [T]he California school feels that the next 30 years or hundred years is going to be a period in which we’ll restore this balance of inward man and outward man. . . .
Barbara Marx Hubbard, Willis Harman, Marilyn Ferguson and a host of other New Age Theosophists had indeed been working on creating a new consciousness, and Ferguson published the Brain/Mind Bulletin for years. Author Constance Cumbey describes their relationship:
Marilyn Ferguson. Marilyn Ferguson was the protégé of SRI’s Willis Harman. Harman was also known to New Age Movement researchers as one of the leaders of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). Willis Harman, SRI’s director of policy research, was one of Marilyn Ferguson’s most quoted sources about the Old Left/New Age spirituality marriage – one that promised to result, he said, in ‘a social and historic phenomena as great and pervasive as the Protestant Reformation.
It definitely puts the religious zeal of Dr. Lambert Dolphin into a strange context. Dolphin was an integral part of the early New Age movement, a longtime SRI researcher, involved with early LSD experiments in the late 1950s, and then had a radical conversion to Christianity. Interested readers might want to check out his essay "A Coming World Religion?"
One last shot from Herescope (thanks, folks) on Willis Harman and Marketplace Ministry:
There were long-term repercussions when the evangelical Consultation of 1979 invited Theosophist Willis Harman to speak on the topic of “A Utopian Perspective on the Future” without opposition. Twenty-six years later evangelicalism bears signs of his influence. This is most evident in the rise of marketplace ministries.
Few realize that Willis W. Harman could be called the “Father of Workplace Spirituality.” Willis Harman was one of a group of scholars and policy analysts who helped write The Changing Image of Man, a landmark study prepared for the Charles Kettering Foundation by the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) Center for the Study of Social Policy. Willis Harman was the director of this Center.
New Age author, Marilyn Ferguson, wrote about this report in her 1980 book The Aquarian Conspiracy.
“Changing Image of Man, the now classic report issued by SRI… described a new transcendental social and business ethic characterized by self-determination, concern for the quality of life, appropriate technology, entrepreneurship, decentralization, an ecological ethic, and spirituality. The report urged a rapid corporate understanding of this emergent order, ‘probably the most important observation of our time.’” (p. 342)
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