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By the next year, Michael Murphy had rented a Moscow apartment and Werner Erhard was being shepherded around that city by an ambitious Russian-American TV journalist named Vladimir Pozner. S.-Soviet project was called “spacebridges.” The first spacebridge was organized by New Age-y mystic Joseph Goldin, a Soviet figure unlike any other (he would eventually join Esalen’s board of trustees).
Adam Hochschild described him in a 1986 profile for He wears nondescript corduroy pants, a skull-fitting black wool cap, and a thick blue denim work shirt. In his lapel he wears a tiny silver dolphin-shaped pin — a token of his friendship with Igor Charkovsky, a Moscow theorist who believes in human communication with dolphins and whose followers practice underwater childbirth.
The key idea was to strengthen channels of communication between the two hostile superpowers, with the hope that greater communication would lead to less risk of nuclear confrontation.
One of Hamburg’s new initiatives is of particular note.
This brought him to what was called the human potential movement.
While rooted in the work of psychologist Abraham Maslow, dating from the 1940s, the human potential movement was very much a product of the American 1960s counterculture.
His period as a power player in Soviet science was one of chaos, the implosion of a superpower.
And Fleetwood Mac Closed the Show Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak (sporting the “Sheriff” baseball cap) speaks to the press at the first US Festival, which ran for three days in early September 1982.
Financed by Wozniak and produced by legendary rock promoter Bill Graham (seated at Wozniak’s right), the festival drew 350,000 fans for a celebration of “the technology that is changing the way we communicate through art, business, and popular music.” Tickets cost .50 each. The Ramones, the B-52s, Talking Heads, The Police, Eddie Money, Santana, The Cars, The Kinks, Pat Benatar, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne, and — to close out the festival — Fleetwood Mac.
A car salesman who had abandoned both family and birth name and split for California, “Werner Erhard” cobbled together his new name from a 1959 Bongo Drums Optional, October 1970 A woman roars with laughter while undergoing a “head-tapping session,” part of a sensory awareness class in an encounter group at the Esalen Institute, once described as “a place for yoga, meditation, bongo drums, and other staples of the hippie philosophy.” (Photo: Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)This was hardly the religion Reagan had in mind when he spoke of the struggle between good and evil.
But the human potential movement’s belief that society had stagnated, weighed down by bureaucratic habit, tired thinking, and private despair, found many adherents — and not only in the West.