May 12 2014

Icarus Comes Back to Earth

Published by at 9:01 pm under Enlightenment Industrial Complex

A while back, I wrote about my experiences in graduate school, and how I felt that what had had the potential to be an engaging inquiry into the nature of consciousness had de-volved into spiritual narcissism, ideology, and masturbation.

Geoffrey Hill

Geoffrey Hill

A former fellow-student of mine has been going through a similar reconsideration of her experiences, and forwarded me an article by a man named Geoffrey Hill.

Hill passed away in 1999, but from the bio on his old website, I can tell you the following about him:

GEOFFREY HILL is the author of Illuminating Shadows: The Mythic Power of Film. He is a screenplay and creativity consultant, an analytic therapist, a poet, a social critic and a spoken word performance artist. He lives in Lake Arrowhead, California.

He has lectured on over one hundred different topics at college campuses, analytic institutes, political organizations, religious bodies, wholistic institutes, film festivals, professional organizations and social clubs. As a film analyst and social critic, he has been featured on NPR, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, E! Entertainment, as well as in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE CHICAGO SUN TIMES and numerous other media. He has been a regular social commentator and spoken word artist on “The We Hours” on KPFK radio in Los Angeles since 1992. Having developed the concept of using movies as therapy, he is the subject of a documentary film which was shown on Aspekta, on ZDF (national German television). In most of Hill’s works, he stresses the virtues which he finds most valuable to him, such as dignity, authenticity, integrity, truth and beauty. Actually, throughout much of his works, he is developing a philosophy based on the concept of dignity.

The article my old classmate forwarded me was his piece The Failure of the Human Potential Movement: From Self-Actualization to Experientialism.  I’ve mirrored it in the Commonplace section.  If you find this, and have a problem (as in, you own the copyright) with me posting it, please let me know. Hill originally posted it to his own website, which I had to track down through Ultimately, though, I am posting it so that others may read and learn from this rather thorough critique.    Much of it echoes my own thoughts on the subject, but is far more eloquently expressed than I’ve been able to put into words.

It’s a pity that Hill has passed.  I’m sure we would have had much to talk about.  Nothing, really, has changed.



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