5 Elemental Challenges — Water
The stability of post-counterculture pop SBNR is threatening to become a definite complacency as cultural fragmentation proceeds.
One marker is the end of Mishlove’s Thinking Allowed on PBS in America. The show had interviewed major SBNR thinkers like Terence McKenna, Colin Wilson, Michael Murphy, Stanislav Grof or John Lilly, dozens of them, at a depth that interviews themselves have mostly now lost. Those guys did not look out of place alongside an Albert Ellis, an Oliver Sacks or a Stephen Pinker. There were backward references to the rest of Western SBNR culture thrown in too.
“Thinking Allowed” is the opposite of ideocracy. The show presented an almost unlimited variety in one single format on a trusted TV source that has now given itself over far more to scientism. A decade after the show ended it seems almost impossible to imagine anything similar happening again. With the net it should be easy in principle, yet I haven’t found anything of this scope and gentility. Most net coverage of SBNR is far too specialised to want to look over the whole in this truly creative and exploratory way. (Meanwhile BBC news recently included an apology from Peter André for his early work! ^_^)
Shallow commercial agendas also prevent thought. I’ve mentioned names like Marsilio Ficino, Johann von Goethe, William Blake, Rudolf Steiner, William James, Jean Gebser, Carl Jung, Aldous Huxley, Stanislav Grof, Lawrence LeShan, Robert Monroe, William Irwin Thompson, and Glenn Morris.
But I find that such names are quite rarely mentioned in the general SBNR discourse, though I could add a hundred more. James Redfield, Eckhart Tolle, Paulo Coelho, Neale Donald Walsch, Oprah Winfrey, and Rhonda Byrne are by no means adequate substitutes.