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Utopian Visions

MYSTERIES OF THE

UNKNOWN

^Utopian Visions

By the Editors of Time-Life Books


TIME-LIFE BOOKS, ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA

CONTENTS
Essay

The Garden of Paradise


6

CHAPTER

In Quesf of (he Ideal Life


16

Essay

Builders of Backyard Utopias


43

CHAPTER

Seeking Eden in America


56

Essay

Dream

City

by the Sea

87

CHAPTER

Perfecting (he

Human

Spirit

98

Essay

An

Obligation "to

Redo Everything"

120

CHAPTER

Toward a Planetary Vision


134

Acknowledgments
154

Bibliography
154

Picture Credits
156

Index
156

The Garden of Paradise

Whether as a heavenly realm or an

JSaU^

earthly Eden, a state of primeval inno-

cence or perpetual
visions.

bliss,

i?m>&

the concept of

cU*u*ii>-

is

own

way, but nearly all share


an image of paradise as a garden of
eternal spring, wherein the mortal becomes immortal and the human spirit
dwells in harmony with the divine.
The word paradise is from the Old
Persian pairidaeza, meaning "park" or
adise

its

"enclosure."

It

was on

garden with

much

Christian belief are often portrayed in

In the

Eastern religions hope for enlighten-

ment. Nature,
personifies

was

eternity.

sumed

Confucian thought,
virtue. In

in the simplest stone,

cording to followers of the

is

Zen
as-

and ac-

Amida

Buddhist sect, the path to paradise, the

The

Koran says that the blessed will be


brought to the Lord in "gardens of
delight." And the eternal abode of the
Hindu gods is a land of flowers, perfumes, and paths of gold.

in

wisdom and

philosophy, Buddha's presence

for philosophical

embodied

gardens of paradise, Western


from them,

religions find exaltation;

contemplation as physical enjoyment.


The garden paradises of other cultures also

of the fruits

walled garden settings.

metrically patterned by fruit trees,

designed as

some

of that time, the Virgin Mother


and Child and other great motifs of

Symit

food crops and me-

art

a walled oasis divided

and verdant shrubbery,

its

of an earthly paradise. In the religious

by channels of water a cosmological

flowers,

The outside world was impover-

dicinal herbs offered

the arid Persian

idea echoed in the biblical Eden.

sian garden in being an enclosed re-

ished and pestilential; thus the cloister

quired religious significance. The Per-

was

The monastic garden of


medieval Europe resembled the Pertreat.

plateau that gardens most clearly acsian garden

Judeo-Christian theology likewise


invests the garden with paradisiacal
qualities.

*&^- #$&&*
h&<-x'.i rZXtec. hc&&&

one of the oldest Utopian


Each culture has depicted par-

paradise

$^"2s:

>

Pure Land, lies through the garden. But


by whatever route humankind reaches
paradise, and whatever the form paradise takes, the belief endures, as seen
in the paintings of paradisiacal gar-

dens on the following pages.

From celestial roots, the Islamic


Prophet's Tree of Bliss grows downward,
joining heaven and earth. This
eighteenth-century Turkish motif is
a version of the mythic Cosmic Tree, a
symbol of renewal or immortality.

At Allah's behest, angels pay homage


and Eve in this
Koranic view of Eden, from a sixteenth-

to the flame-haloed Adam

century Persian miniature (opposite).

In the eighteenth-century Indian painting below, a gopi, or

shepherdess, and her companion await the arrival of Krishna,


the god of love. A symbol of the
human soul seeking union with
the Divine and thus paradise,
with its freedom from reincarnation each gopi believed she
alone was the god's beloved.
The waiting women are enraptured by the beauty of spring,
which signals a time of renewal,

awakening human hopes for


consummation and for

spiritual

release from the earthly cycle of


birth and rebirth.
In the Indian painting opposite, a richly attired Krishna
arrives at full moon to perform
his Cosmic Dance. While ethereal helpers rain flowers from

above, the gopisform a circle


symbolizing the marriage of
heaven and earth. The Blue
God, as Krishna is also known,
dances simultaneously with
each gopi; the joining of the
couple represents the devotee's
embrace of the Divine.

,w.

**&%*:-

<'**^&^j

wt ^s

^jji

In this

1646 painting

titled

Peach Blossom Spring

a
verdant wild stretches before a

,*<..

(left),

lone wayfarer at the picture's


right-hand edge. The scene
evokes the Utopia described by
fifth-century Chinese poet T'ao
Ch'ien, in which a fisherman
comes upon a grove offlowering peach trees. At the end of
the grove he passes through a
grotto that leads to an enchanted land. He departs this paradise, hoping to return, but he is
unable to find his way back.

The

tale reveals the essential

Chinese belief that spiritual


renewal comes with solitary

retreat to nature. In

harmony

with nature's rhythms and paradoxes, humans can sense


within themselves the way to
wisdom, truth, and understand-

ingparadise on earth.
Seeking such harmony, a
Japanese official enjoys a meditative moment beneath plum
and cherry blossoms in the
fourteenth-century scroll above.

Rooted in China and transplanted by Buddhist monks, the


Japanese garden is a distillation
of nature, a place for abstract
contemplation, through which
the spiritual paradise of Buddhist belief can be glimpsed.

*"** x*>

Envisioning paradise as a harmonious land where nature is


bountiful, the Florentine artist

Sandro Botticelli portrayed the


coming of spring in his Primavera (below), completed around
1478. The painting depicts
Zephyrus, the West Wind (far
right in the picture), seizing the
veiled Primavera, or Spring,
and transforming her into Flora, the petal-scattering goddess

offlowers. A melding of classical mythology and Christian


symbolism, the artist's eclectic

vision reflects the Early Renais-

sance philosophy that a continuous spiritual circuit joined


all creation with God.
At right, a menagerie of creatures, including

man and wom-

an, share a bounteous Garden


of Eden in this work by Flemish
artist Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Rendered small and unobtruAdam and Eve recall humankind's original carefree and
sive,

innocent state and reaffirm the


biblical ideal of the fruitful
earthly park planted by God.

12

'M

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-

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**

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13

14

The peaks and valleys ofparadise meld with a sublime sweep


into the white light of eternity
in British artist John Martin's
1853 painting

titled

The Plains

of Heaven. The landscape illustrates the Christian vision

ofparadise as

it is described in
the New Testament's book
of Revelation: a lush and ethereal other world, spirited with
angels, where souls await
the Last Judgment.

15

CHAPTER

In Quest of the Ideal Life

n Utopia, where every


care

thing; for

poor,

among them

none

rich; for

free

man

has a right to everything, they

taken to keep the public stores

is

there

in necessity;

is

full,

no

no unequal

private

all

man

know

that

can want any-

distribution, so that

no man

and though no man has anything, yet they are

what can make a man so

rich as to lead a serene

if

and cheerful

is

all

life,

from anxieties?"

So did Thomas More, the sixteenth-century English statesman, describe his version of the ideal society

and coin the term

be associated with a perfect place. More,

who would

chancellor of England during the rule of Henry


Catholic church, wrote Utopia in
a play

on the Greek word

VIII

that
later

would forever

become

and a martyr

for the

two parts during 1515 and 1516. The

Utopia,

lord

title is

which has the double meaning "good

place" and "no place."


It

is

written in the form of a report by a fictitious Portuguese sailor,

Raphael Hythlodaye another Greek pun, meaning "dispenser of non-

sense" who

is

described as having

made

three voyages to the

with Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. The

first

half of the

New World

book consists of

a veiled critique of Renaissance England, while the second describes Hyth-

lodaye's

visit to

the land

known

as Utopia, an island off the coast of

Some-

where, whose "way of life provides not only the happiest basis for a civilized

community, but also one which,

Thomas More was

just

in all

human

one of a long

probability, will last forever."

line of visionaries

who dreamed

of an ideal world, a heaven on earth free from evil and imperfections.

Throughout

history,

brave and sometimes foolhardy optimists

in nearly

every civilization, from ancient Sumerian ruler-priests to Renaissance philosophers to twentieth-century social revisionists, have offered their

own

Some envisioned a paradise like the Garhumans could live in eternal splendor, free from earthly

versions of this universal dream.

den of Eden, where


travails.

Utopian

Others preferred to design their


cities or

own

societies, setting out

nations that boasted the perfect solutions to

problems. More's Utopia and Plato's Republic are

examples of these blueprints of perfection.

among

on paper

humankind's

the best-known

Many have

not been content merely to dream or plan

their Utopias. Rather, they

society

have boldly rejected established

and banded together

in their

own would-be

Utopian

many who

mation; for

was

twentieth-century Americans,

communities. Members of a sect led by Pythagoras, the

racial injustice.

sixth-century-BC Greek mathematician and mystic, lived

ing.

rigidly ascetic lives

within monastery-like communities in

an attempt to achieve perfection. Later Utopians with a


itual

spir-

bent would look to the past, to early mystical sects,

own magical ideas to guide them in establishing their own paradises on earth.
Two thousand years after Pythagoras's time, countless
groups saw the discovery of America as a new beginning,
and

to their

an opportunity

to return to

an Eden-like existence.

Reli-

Those

The quest

who study the

The

Others

Utopian communities or-

groups that have sought

and perfection

harmony within

dered on radical intellectual notions. The twentieth century,


too,

has produced

ing those

who

its

share of Utopian visionaries includ-

believe they live in a

that Utopia exists within oneself.

dimension of

human

tend, people

can

New Age and who

By developing the

of heaven

live

strife

in

and upheaval. For


was the

fall

of his beloved Ath-

ens to mighty Sparta;


for

it was signs
coming Refor-

More,

of the

intento-

some mutually

be as varied as the

to

For most, however, Utopia

in this

how

religion,

and

it.

seems

sense

is

is

usually defined as

oneself and with others. But Utopias are

people should live addressing

work, equality, sexual mores, fami-

authority.

How

the various communities

Some

see the ideal society as one of material prosperity;

others

want

aries

may

to

be

free of material trappings.

aspire to a totally natural

their

Utopian vision-

or they

life,

may em-

Some advocate

communities.

per-

sonal property, but most espouse

communal

sharing, with equal

access to

times of

Plato, the catalyst

no fewer than 3,000

groups that purposely band

brace modern technology as fundamental to

on earth has usually

is,

deal with those issues covers a wide range of possibilities.

together harmoni-

to carve out a bit

been strongest

spiritual

property,

consciousness, they con-

ously and create a global Utopia.

The urge

hold

ly,

sign of abat-

ideals.

such issues as

spiritual perfection.

shows no

for Utopia

definition of Utopia

perfection,

it

some

for

has been war, poverty, and

gether in an organized effort to achieve

agreed goals or

promised the chance to attain

New World

homelands;

subject estimate that in the United

communities that

tional

also concerned with

in the

it

States alone there are presently

gious Utopians established model societies in America that

sought to forge

decided to immigrate to America,

religious persecution in their

status

goods and equal

all

between

all

people.

9t

No matter what form

it

takes, the Utopian vi-

sion

is

always with

us.

As Oscar Wilde wrote,

"A map of
that

the world

does not include

Utopia
the

is

not worth even glancing

one country

at, for

which Humanity

at

And when Humanity

lands there,

ing a better country, sets

sail.

it

it

leaves out

always landing.

is

looks out, and see-

Progress

is

the realiza-

tion of Utopias."

While the word Utopia was not used

in the

ideal society until the Renaissance, the

context of an

concept of a place

from suffering, where the inhabitants are immortal

free

and forever young,


ture has

had

is

as old as humankind

paradise myths, as scholars

its

the paradise myths of the past have piled

the minds of

itself.

modern humankind,

call

Every cul-

them, and

one on another

in

inspiring the secular

Western world's vision of Utopia.

Many

of these myths describe an immemorial golden

age where humans lived without fear or want. The Chey-

enne

spoke of a time gone by when

Indians, for instance,

men and women

cavorted naked and unashamed amid

of the land of Dil-

mun, a magical place where "man had no

Other peoples have envisioned paradise as

fields of plenty.

a part of the universe yet unseen, a place that promises a

The

happy existence as a reward

is

myths, paradise
It is

is

after death. In all of these

mun

a place of innocence, free from conflicts.

also eternal or,

if

lost for the

moment, destined

in the

whose images have become

ness of Western

civilization,

ple of paradise, but

it

is

may be

the

best-known exam-

by no means the

earliest

the Sumerians, the remarkable people

who

Tigris-Euphrates valley from about 4000

BC

"fertile plain")

developments

It

The wolf

kills

/ The sick-eyed

The old

woman

says

and

fruitful,

that suffers

whose

fields are

a place where pure waters of

The

idyllic

Dilmun

is

peopled by

who

immune

and disease. Yet those who

to the ravages of age

immune

are free from

toil

and

to temptation. According

Sumerian legend, the mother goddess Ninhursag

caused eight plants to grow

among Dilmun's

which she forbade the immortals

god
It

/ In Dil-

immortal gods and goddesses

to the

erary and religious works.

has proved particularly fascinating.

old."

dwell in Dilmun are not

in agri-

and especially literature.


Modern archaeologists have found more than 5,000 tablets
and other fragments of objects inscribed with Sumerian littablet

sick-eyed," /

the earth spring forth.

In-

word

culture, trade, art, architecture,

One

am

am

the kid-killing dog, / Un-

the grain-devouring boar

eternally green

from the Sumerians.

for their

is

pure

/ The kite utters not the

cry,

lion kills not, /

violence from neither wind nor rain,

myth of

2000 BC.

no

Unknown

"I

is

a place most bright

is

The legend of Dilmun describes a land

occupied the

to

is

says not,

not, "I

recorded

deed, linguists believe that the Hebrews borrowed the

Sumerians were noted

man

part of the conscious-

description. That distinction belongs to the paradise

eden (meaning

known

Old Testament's book of

The land of Dilmun

/ The

not the lamb, /

The Garden of Eden

it

the raven utters

cry of the kite,

to re-

turn in the future.

Genesis,

tablet began:

a clean place,

rival."

to eat.

fertile fields,

However, Enki, the

of fresh water, cannot resist sampling the plants.

He

is

stricken with a fatal illness after eating them. Although Nin-

told

18

pi a, created

by** 8

'

More
man Thomas
depicted in

left)

th^^J

W??

and

oolcUto .

still

debate

whether More-*WV

conun u-

^.n
principles^

eran
rehgious to

utopifl

nal
thet>o
or whether
author too

^.^
S^roJmgaexamr^
able ' m
e and an
rnhabet
Utopian dP h
(be low)f
v;
V
with puns,

^dre. The
St

P le f lTfSr<
Tt
tex
healed the
:

yet

isGreek/or

ote

der

V x y

Tc^chonvcmacuUV

^
l

pea
Boccas

JU

oa

19

Jl

_ r rj (*i
i

boiarwlomm

l<3QLG6

'

E2xc die-

hursag saves Enki by creating eight healing goddesses to


cure the eight ailing parts of his body, the god's transgres-

marks the beginning of a new

sion

on, eternal

life is still

From

that point

possible but not inevitable,

and a new

order.

rank of beings, the "dark-headed" humans, are born to


serve as mortal attendants to the gods.

Since the ancestry of the Israelites can be traced to

Mesopotamia,

is

it

not surprising to find echoes of Dilmun


of the Garden of Eden. Genesis

in the biblical description

explains that "a river flowed out of Eden to water the


garden," which contained "every tree that

and good

sight

Dilmun, one

heavy with

tree,

den's inhabitants,

like

Adam and

who promised

serpent,

God

if

fruit,

forbidden to the gar-

was tempted by a
she and Adam would become

that

it

woman saw

was

that the tree

was good

to

ate;

and she also gave some

be desired to make one wise, she took of its

the eyes of both

fruit

and

husband and he

ate.

were opened, and they knew

that

they were naked; and they

made themselves

for

a delight to the eyes, and that the tree

was

Then

was

Eve. But Eve

evil."

"So when the

and

that

forbidden plants of

like the

they ate an apple from "the tree of the knowl-

edge of good and

food,

And

for food."

pleasant to the

is

to her

sewed

fig

leaves together and

aprons."

According to Genesis, God punished


for their disobedience,

Adam and

sentencing them to the

Eve
of

toil

He
then drove them from the garden, exiling them from what
had been a state of innocent happiness, of harmony with all
scratching a living from the land and to eventual death.

God's creatures.

Humankind's

fall

from grace

Christian tradition. There are


relate

how human

is

not peculiar to Judeo-

numerous African myths that


God to return to

transgressions forced

the heavens. In Angola, for example, the "one great, invisible god,

known

who made

all

things

and controls

as Nyambi. According to myth,

all

things,"

humans "have

is

of-

fended him, and he has withdrawn his affection from


them."

In

North America, Hopi Indian legends

people began to

drift

away from

the Great

tell

Spirit,

how

the

"to divide

20

According to the Old Testament


book of Genesis, the legendary
Tower of Babel envisioned
under construction at left by
the sixteenth-century Flemish
artist Pieter Brueghel the Elderwas built by the descendants of Noah to enable
them to reach heaven. Alarmed
by such presumptuous behavior, God thwarted the project by
confounding the people's language, then scattering them
over the face of the earth.
The story offers both an explanation of the origin of the
world's many tongues and a
warning about the perils of
ignoring God's divine plan.
Scholars believe the tale's dual
messages derive from the similarity between the name Babelfrom the Babylonian Babili, or "Gate of God"-and

a Hebrew verb meaning


"to confuse."
The actual Tower of Babel
was probably a ziggurat called
E-temen-an-ki, or the "house of
the foundations of heaven and
earth, " which is believed to
have been built around the
mid-sixteenth century BC in
Babylon. Intended as a physical
re-creation of the cosmic mountain, which in legend was
thought to join the sacred and
the profane, the structure rose
balal,

to

a height of about 300 feet.

By ascending such

ziggurats,

Babylonian priests aspired to


the symbolic summit of the
universe the point of creation

and thus perfection.

21

Having

^d

lost

their

thdr^nce-

immorton^

cover themse
and Eve

of Eden

in

den

mc^

dng
hu
.

sixteenth-century P
, almost

evW'ssions are

m ^ZaZTs"
of grace,
a io
blamed for

ri

and draw away from one another." Then a beguiling


pent invaded their paradise and "led the people

ser-

further

still

away from one another and their pristine wisdom. They became suspicious of one another and accused one another
wrongfully until they became fierce and warlike and began
to fight

one another."
of these traditions, humankind's

In all

fall

from grace

signaled the end of a golden age, after which the world

The

declined.

belief that the

world undergoes a cycle of

ages that leads to destruction and regeneration


in

widely different civilizations.

humans

legends,

In virtually all

are said to have begun

a state of perfection.

One

of the best

life

known

is

found

of these

on earth

in

of these lost

ages was the golden age of classical Greek myth, described by the eighth-century-BC Greek poet Hesiod in
his epic

Works and Days.

who have

their

immortal gods

"First of all the

homes on Olympus

created a golden

race of mortal men,

who

when he was

heaven. They lived just

king

in

carefree in heart, aloof

lived in the time of Cronus,

and apart from

row. Wretched old age did not

come

toil

like

gods,

and

sor-

to them, but,

ever strong in legs and arms, they enjoyed themselves with feasts, separated from
all

good

all evils.

things, for a fruitful earth of

brought forth plentiful and abundant

its

They had

own

fruit,

and they

lived happily and peacefully, blessed with


riches.

They were wealthy

in cattle

accord

many

and were loved

by the gods."

According to Hesiod, "when

this

primeval

was covered over by the earth" and


become pure spirits, the gods "created a
second race, a race of silver that was inferior by

generation
they had

far,

resembling the golden race neither

in stature

nor mind." An even more decadent race of


bronze followed they destroyed themselves by
their

own hand and was succeeded by a race


who died in warfare. The last race

of heroes,

a race of iron ushered in the current age.

Only one of Hesiod's races the heroes,

^
Many

them were

or

demigods gained

to

have taken up residence on the Islands of the

immortality.

called the Elysian Fields.

of

through previous ages, ox yugas the

said

Blest, also

the

nus and enjoyed freedom from care and sorrow, where

"honey-sweet
do

giving fields

teus

tells

blossoming

fruit

Sparta's King Menelaus he

sian Plain,

"where

easiest for

life is

for there is neither wintry

men."

fresh

is

that date,

weather nor ever

is

In Elysium, poets, priests,

their favorite activities free

to re-

all

was he merely recording an ancient tradiNo one can know for sure. However, the tale
golden age and its passing was accepted as
by most Greeks and Romans. Indeed,

generation after generation of Greek and

Roman

philosophers and poets would reinterpret Hesiod's

gclden-age mythology.
In Plato's

after Hesiod's

works.

which

Laws a book written

"We must do
is

three centuries

time the author drew on


all

we can

the poet's

to imitate the

life

said to have existed in the days of Cronus,"

Plato wrote,

"and

so

in

as the immortal element

far

we must hearken, both in private


The Roman poets Virgil and Ovid,

dwells in us, to that

and public

who

life."

lived in the first century BC, also

based work on

Hesiod's legends. In Metamorphoses, a collection of


narrative

poems

of Greek and

that long served as a virtual

Roman

handbook

mythology, Ovid wrote that

in the

golden age, "faith and righteousness were cherished by

men

of their

own

free will without judges or laws.

Without the use of soldiers the peoples


their

sweet repose.

The idea
held out to

Spring

that a golden

humankind

the

was

in safety

enjoyed

eternal."

age once existed has always

hope

that the paradisiacal era

might someday return or be re-created. Like the Greeks,


the ancient Indians believed that the world had passed

^^f^^^ding
Satan srna
Revela
en and
booK^e
From
fore-

es.

don,

hich

^^^
eradicated^*

fn^al

JSs

the
Previ
the vision

human drama

living in the final,

They believed the

new

cycle of ages

Kali

began

would commence.

Sioux system of belief, the world

"who

is

protected by

stands at the gate to the universe and

leg with the passing of every age;

four legs are lost, the legend goes, the world

But per-

or

historical fact

Kali.

and subsequently renewed.

illness.

tion?

of a

The creature loses a

always

Did Hesiod invent this story of the ages of

man

humans were now

holds back the waters" that periodically threaten the earth.

and heroes pursued

from worries and

that

and

3102 BC and would end 432,000 years from

7,

a great buffalo

no snow,

rain, but

when

In the

destined for the Ely-

men; there

Westwind does Ocean send up

gusts of shrill-blowing

on February

thrice yearly the grain-

Homer's Odyssey, the sea god Pro-

yield." In

Dvapara and

most decadent age, the

There they were governed by Cro-

Krita, the Treta,

S^fheSuaJ center of

eaTthT^TdieNew)erusa-

is

when

engulfed

was

haps there was no stronger belief in the

the Spaniard

return of a golden age than that cf the

Quetzalcoatl and that he

who banked

Aztec Indians,
pire

on it and

end, the Aztec

who

dwelled

lost.

their

forced by his enemy, the


city.

moon

Quetzalcoatl

vowed

that

would create an even greater paradise

When

Spanish explorer

Hernan Cortes landed


1519, the Aztecs

in

Many

was

god, to

Mexico

were convinced

in

that

Montezuma

II

returning

fierce

Aztec

refused to resist

Cortes and his troops.

Tula and

he would return one day, however, and

for his people.

warrior

wind god Quetzalcoatl,


in the city of

was

to govern them. Even the

According to leg-

ruled over a glorious golden age,

leave the

em-

the long-expected

Christians await a return to

a golden age, which they believe will

A golden beacon offaith, Jerusalem's


Dome of the Rock (top), completed in AD 691,
shelters the sacred stone (inset) revered
by Jews, Christians, and Muslims as a link be-

tween paradise and earth. In Judeo-Christian


tradition, the rock is where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son; Muslims believe it
is the point from which Muhammad
ascended to paradise on his Night Journey.
Followers of these religions believe this
is

where the final judgment


24

will take place.

manifest

itself

as a

000-year reign of

righteousness after Christ's Second

Coming. Believers, sometimes called


millennialists, cite the

New

Testament

book of Revelation, chapter

20, in

which the apostle John describes how


for 1,000 years the devil will

be

re-

and the world

strained

have suffered and died

will
for

God
the devil

and chaos

and

redeemed

earth," with a

go to

live in

dead

"New Jerusalem."

that ever lived."

Pythagoras

was born on

the Greek island of

Samos

in

about 580 BC. He was a gifted athlete winning the heavy-

however, and destroy


will

then

rise,

weight boxing championship

48th Olympic

in the

Games

and an eager student. As a youth, he studied with Thales of

and the

new heaven and a new


The new earth revealed to

"a

men

for a short period will

directly,

his followers; the

will

tant

to the world.

then intervene

will

and

one of the most impor-

called Pythagoras "intellectually

sell

Him. At the end of that time, John

relates, the devil will b,e released,

bring misery

who

be ruled by Christ and those

Miletus, the

first

of the Hellenic philosophers, and with

Anaximander, an admired astronomer and sage.

John would resemble Eden, with a pure river and a tree of

At Thales's suggestion, Pythagoras, then a young

man

whose leaves "were

for the healing of the nations."

The

New Jerusalem which

has become another symbol

for

fabled temple priests; there he remained for twenty-two

escape to paradise would have "a

years. According to his fourth-century-AD biographer, Iam-

whose

blichus, Pythagoras spent his time in Egypt "astronomizing

life,

hope and

rebirth, for

great high wall"

made

of jasper

(a

colored quartz),

in his twenties,

would

casual manner, in

be constructed of "pure gold, clear as glass."

Humankind

finds itself yearning for

return of the golden age because of

who

Like Pandora,

its

could not contain her

released a horde of plagues

to Egypt to learn

and geometrizing, and was

foundations would be "adorned with every jewel." The city


itself

went

all

initiated,

from that country's

not in a superficial or

the mysteries of the Gods." lamblichus

and awaiting the

says Pythagoras also studied for twelve years in Babylon,

own

with the magi. "Through their assistance," lamblichus re-

deficiencies.

and

idle curiosity

Pythagoras "arrived at the summit of arithmetic, mu-

lates,

upon humanity, humans be-

sic

and other

disciplines." (Although other sources claim

came

the despoilers of paradise primarily by failing to

tain spiritual

mai

Pythagoras also traveled to India to study with the Brah-

mans and

awareness. Thus, Hindus warned that a q


noble purpose go, and saps the min

purpose, mind and

man

are

all

undone."

But the possibility of return

is

Britain to study with the Druids, there is

no

evi-

dence to support these claims.)

less curiosity "lets

ythagoras returned to

always there. As a Man-

Samos

His broad education, with

and Western

at the
its

age of fifty-six.

blend of Eastern

ichean writer advised, "Awake, soul of splendor, from the

spiritualism

slumber of drunkenness into which thou hast

other sages of the time. Others referred to them-

low

me

to the place of the exalted earth

dwelledst from the beginning."

Humans

adise need not content themselves with


fection.

They could

Utopia,

even

if

try to create

new

fallen

fol^

where thou

selves as wise

expelled from par-

call

dreams of past per-

only a modest one.

was established in Italy


BC by the Greek sage Pythagoras.
Although he is familiar to many today from the geometric
theorem that bears his name, Pythagoras was much more
than a great mathematician. He was a philosopher and a
mystic and also made important contributions in the fields
of the earliest Utopian groups

is

during the sixth century

of music

and astronomy.

British

literally

first

to

a "lover of learning." In

the terms philosopher

and Pythagorean

were interchangeable.

paradise on earth

much
One

some time

him apart from

men; Pythagoras was the

himself a philosopher,

fact, for

logic, set

None of Pythagoras's
written about him by

mentioned only

fifth

five

writings survive, nor

result,

most of what

this mysterious, charismatic thinker is

to later writers,

there

he

times in surviving records from the

and fourth centuries BC. As a

known about

is

his contemporaries. Indeed,

such as lamblichus, and

their

is

owed

impressions

are laced with legend.


Stories of his

philosopher Bertrand Rus-

tale

25

superhuman

had Pythagoras appearing

feats
in

abound. An often-told

two

cities at the

same

Looming above

the city of

Lhasa, the holy palace of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai


Lama, sits like the fabled treasure at the end of the rainbow
in this photograph. Known as
the Potala, the palace is reputedly connected by tunnels to
the hidden paradise Sham
bhala, which is thought to shelter sacred Buddhist teachings; when evil overtakes the
world, Shambhala's king will
come to usher in a golden age.

time. "Nearly

all

historians of his

wrote his biographer, "that


present at

Metapontum

and discoursed
es."

The

cities

in

in

and Tauromenium

with his disciples

were many days'

Pythagoras

is

confidently assert,"

one and the same day he was

in Italy,

common

life

in

in Sicily,

both plac-

travel apart.

also credited with predicting earth-

was he

quakes, plagues, and violent storms. So attuned

to

nature and the elements that one story says he spoke to a


river while crossing it and that the river replied: "Hail

Pythagoras!" Other legends point to the philosopher's mastery over the

ras petted

it,

animal kingdom.

attacking villagers supposedly


fed

it

an oath no longer

wild bear that had been

became tame when Pythago-

maize and acorns, and compelled


any

to touch

Shortly after returning to

it

"by

living thing."

Samos, Iamblichus

tells us,

Pythagoras became disappointed "by the negligence of the

Samians

what

in

relates to education."

He went

"conceiving that place to be his proper country,

men well

to Italy,

which

in

disposed towards learning were to be found

in the

greatest abundance." In the southern Italian coastal

of Crotona, Pythagoras established a school that

known

town
became

as the Pythagorean Society.

The Pythagorean Society was more than a school.

was
in

a Utopian brotherhood

new

whose members hoped

It

to usher

golden age of wisdom and peace by adhering to

the founding philosopher's doctrine

and

living disciplined,

ascetic lives. Initially, about

300 disciples joined the philos-

opher at Crotona, but soon

many more had

flocked to the

community, lured by Pythagoras's reputation. The society


attracted so

midable
elite

many

followers that

political force.

It

it

eventually

formed a model

became a

city ruled

for-

by an

group called the Council of Three Hundred. Offshoots

of the community spread outward from Crotona to

Greek settlements
Greece

itself.

in Italy

and most of those

Everywhere the movement reached,

all

the

western

in
it

brought

order and cooperation.

The Pythagoreans saw


for a

way

of

life

their

philosophy as the basis

that could lead to the salvation of the soul.

At the center of their belief were humanity's

ties to

other

life

26

27

forms and to the cosmos. This kinship between

made

possible a conviction that the

mortal. Followers claimed that each

human

mortal body.
society's mission

was

for their eventual return to the

lence,

living lives of purity

and

rigid

was imwas a
was impris-

man

taking

it

who

up." Or: "To him

other advice than that which

to purify

its

members' souls

Like

composite, universal soul.

through self-examination,

lives.

adherence to the rules could a member pre-

ing,

they exercised their memories by recalling

explain the world, the

silence, since they believed

indispensable for

until

Aspirants for

thing,

from

fully

was deemed

all in-

spiritual progress.

ation. First, they

how

membership underwent a rigorous

had

If

mode

this test,

the initiate

filled

he passed the society's tests including

end has

brought

in

Initiates
abilities

if

animal or hu-

which any soul

vegetarians. Even certain

were not eaten or touched

that a group of Pythagoreans, besieged

man had

field.

much emphasis on harmony,

and mathematics were ways


J

two classes based on


(also

of achieving this harmony, as

their

known

was developing

logic

The groups met together

the bonds of

friendship. In friendship,
.._..,

and cos-

taught Pythagoras, one must

always remain

TO

for instruc-

What is the most just thing?


What is the wisest thing? (An-

loyal.

illustrate this point,

Iamblichus

tells

the Story of

and
Euryphamus.
he
had
After
J r
the Pythagoreans Lysis

swer: numbers.) Initiates would also hear words of wisdom:

jUSt

28

ex-

to reconcile the conflicting forces

to*J*oos, a divine couple

into

in

by an en-

jn this Tibetan

sessions included discussion of such

sacrifice.) Or:

in

ploring the purity Of music

philosophical questions as:

(Answer: to

it

plaining that

mology; the acusmatici (also called the Pythagorists) studreligion.

strict

body

was

and concerned themselves with matters of


and

to another,

the

hidden within the body. Ex-

and circumstances. The mathematici

tion. Typical

were

Pythagoras placed

as the Pythagoreans) formed the brotherhood's inner circle

ied ethics

harm

escaped by crossing a bean

rig-

he were dead."

were divided

one body

did not wish to

given double the wealth he had

with him and, as Iamblichus notes, "a tomb

him as

raised to

was

routines of

emy, once fought to the death when they could have easily

to join Pythagoras's inner circle of disciples.

rejected, the initiate

strict

generation. Such prohibitions were taken to extremes. Leg-

orous mental exercises he was dubbed an "esoteric" and

If

with

any way, because as spermatic plants they were symbols of

re-

Once accepted as a candidate, the initiate had to obvow of silence and was stripped of all his

was permitted

to converse

was

vegetables, such as beans,

serve a five-year
If

was not proper

in

reason. The rest of the day

resided, Pythagoreans

spect to stability, and a true love of learning."

possessions.

the

soul and harmonized with

manand

he was

"was disposed with

all

Then came a walk

own

gration of the soul from

purposely neglected by Pythagoras for three years while the

how

it

aris-

Since they believed in metempsychosis the transmi-

of walking and the whole

an aspirant passed

in order.

on

slept

study and labor.

initi-

they treated their parents to "their unsea-

sonable laughter" to "their

philosopher noted

is

each had calmed his

pass Pythagoras's scrutiny of every-

to

motion of their body."

in

rigidly structured

Each morning before

cloth.

philosophy alone could not

and

not

is

the best; for counsel

is

They wore white, nonwoolen garments and

bed coverlets of the same

si-

events of the previous day

tellectual

it

asks for counsel, give no

monks, Pythagoreans followed

pare for the coming golden age. However, since the study of

study of mathematics

a burden down; for

in laying

proper to be the cause of not laboring; but assist him

soul

it

assist a

sacred thing."

in a

The
Only by

"Do not

life

soul, or essence,

fragment of the divine universal soul and that

oned

of

all

completed his devotions

painting from

make love according to the


philosophy ofTantrism, a mys-

22S22*SEL.
holds that through a ritualized
process ofyoga, meditation,
offerings' and sexual intercourse-which represents ultimate bliss and the creation of a
harmonious unit-humans can
transcend purely carnal sensations and experience an exalted
state of knowledge. The Buddhas surrounding the pair symbolize the center of the cos-

mos and

the four directions.

A^ect watch

from

As^saintedJ^s dentsof
.

City

either

0/^^
^
seven a

one of the

* is

or commit
insin

exercise

ee

Augustme,

?dm/t"

'the
sion to

ngraV -

Church'

at the

temple of Juno, Lysis met his

friend

Euryphamus,

who was

about

to enter the temple.

Euryphamus

asked his friend to wait

for

him. Lysis

agreed and took a seat outside the

Euryphamus

temple. However, after

finished his prayers, he forgot about

and

Lysis

the temple through an-

left

other gate. "But Lysis waited for him

without quitting his seat," wrote Iamblichus, "the remainder of that day and the

following night, and also the greater part


of the next day."

With such devotion

another,

seems

it

to duty

and one

ironic that the

Pythagoreans became victims of their

own
the

success. Yet

some

thirty

community was founded

years after

at Crotona,

Being the divine eye, which,

rejected initiate helped turn public opinion

as Plato asserts,

thousand corporeal eyes

against the Pythagorean Society by assailing

its

exclusive, oligarchical nature. Subsequently, politi-

cians and

power of

some

of

many

of the

the society.
its

Its

common

folk

came

the

In

was

swift

at the Pythagoreans,

and

tragic.

and

their

fall

from power

their founder's beliefs for the next

meet with some Pythagoreans. Like others before

come

in the

hope of finding answers

tions that

were troubling him.

thusiasm

for public service,"

"I

had once been

he explained.

Although his attempt to create a Utopian society that


spirit

Pythagoras's accomplishments
fitting

epitaph to his

chaos

and the mind ultimately

life

live on.

There

is

ended by

feeling dizzy. ...

came

its

had reason

per-

to

be troubled. What

Greece's most glorious era had

than that provided by

in retrospect is

finally

come

to

viewed as

an end with

the deaths of the venerable philosopher Socrates

great tragedians Euripides

divine part.

He

general

to realize that

Iamblichus: "He brought about for his disciples converse

its

of en-

every single state suffers from bad government." The visitor

with the gods. ... He purified and restored the soul. He revived and evoked

to ques-

full

"Now when

concentrated on the political scene and observed

sought the perfection of the


failed,

about 387 BC, more than 100 years after the death of

him, he had

five centuries.

haps no more

through

ten

we apprehend

one Truth."

Italy to

Scattered survivors of the society,

however, would maintain

... for

it,

Pythagoras, a young Greek sailed from Athens to southern

including Pythagoras him-

selfwere murdered. Charges of heresy and subversion

were leveled

more worth saving than

to resent the

meeting places were attacked and

members possibly

is

and the

and Sophocles. Once-proud Ath-

ens had only recently suffered a crushing defeat by Sparta

directed to the centre of

30

Peloponnesian War, which had lasted almost three

in the

decades. The state

was

In Plato's

and economically rav-

politically

aged. Could the Pythagoreans help the young Plato find

calm

wake

in the

zens: Guardians,

of this storm?

ries,

The time Plato spent with the Pythagoreans delving


into their philosophy

nityseems

to

and examining

have changed

his

his school for statesmen,

and wrote the


During

his philosophical masterpieces, Phaedo.


iod, Plato also

be the

society,

acquisition" of

The Republic.

The Republic

is

in disarray,

when Greek

The Republic was

political

li

Plato's vehicle to v

his displeasure over state policy as well as a philosop


treatise

ety

is

on

justice.

also a

But to some

metaphor

and

if

scholars, Plato's ideal

for the ideal or perfect soul,

path outlined in The Republic leads to a goal of

and happiness.
all

of the several

city-state
is

would share
always cor-

people plunged into "unbounded

the city-state

it,

was bound

to suffer. There-

Guardians and Auxiliaries would

fore, in the Republic, the

own

a brilliant defense of Plato's conception

of the ideal state. Written at a time

was

to

If

duties as expected, wrote Plato,

its

community's wealth. Private wealth

rupting, Plato held,

Utopian

rest; Auxilia-

included farmers, artisans, and traders.

Despite the contrived caste system,

in the

citi-

executive and military responsibilities; and

thousand residents of Plato's Utopian

this per-

literary description of a

and advised the

ruled

on

in part

were three orders of

the state should reach the ideals of justice

of

wrote the work that many people consider

example of a

finest

first

who

each class performed

Intellectually revital-

he returned to Athens within a year and founded the

ized,

Academy,

who had
who

Workers,

commu-

their Utopian

life.

Utopian city-state, modeled

Sparta, Athens's nemesis, there

munal Utopia

common. The comwould prosper when "the largest number of

men

applying these words, 'mine' or 'not mine' to

the

all

of the community's property in

agree

same

sH

in

thing,"

wrote

lato painted

Plato.

an

where everyone enjoys

and

presume

spirif

of his paradise,

idyllic portrait

that they will

life's

simple pleasures.

"I

produce corn and wine,

and clothes and shoes, and build themselves

rather than social enlightenment.

The work took the shape of a dialogue between


and various friends. As

houses.

they attempted to answer the question,

What

is

They

on barley and wheat,"

will live

he wrote, and "make merry themselves and

Socrates, Plato's former teacher,

their children,

drinking their wine, wearing garlands, and singing the

justice?,

what they considered to be the ideal sociIf they could understand what a state needed in order to

one another's

and not

they formulated

praises of the gods, enjoying

ety.

begetting children beyond their means, through a prudent

be

just,

the philosophers reasoned, they should be able to

generalize and understand justice

"We

fear of poverty

To

itself.

some few persons

to

make them alone

and war."

foster unity, Plato

outlawed marriage

happy,

their

wives

common. "No one,"

in

Plato determined, "shall

but are establishing the universal happiness of the whole."

have a wife of his own; likewise the children

To guarantee
must contain

common and

this

the

happiness, he concluded, the ideal state

same

virtues that nourish the

dom, bravery, temperance, and


strong government,

it is

justice.

soul wis-

who

is

that

he

who

is

ill,

whether he be

are

needs to be ruled, at the door of him

who

was

to

tributes as age, strength, education,


to

be chosen

for mating.

en away from

rich or poor,

ought to wait at the doctor's door, and every

know

shall

be

in

his child, nor the

be overseen by the

Guardians, and only the best specimens based on such at-

capable of ruling, Plato reasoned. "The truth established by


nature

the parent shall not

child the parent." Breeding

To establish a

necessary to choose rulers

for the

Guardians and Auxiliaries and proposed that they possess

are forming a happy state," wrote Plato, "not

picking out

society,

man who

their

nursery, freeing the

can rule."

duties of bringing

31

Newborn

and appearance were

children

mothers and housed

women

them

up.

were

in a

to

be tak-

community

of Plato's aristocracy from the

If

the

women happened

to

be of

^iltw-'-li

in

an eighteenth-century design that

calls to

mind twentieth-century architectural

styles, architect

Hnfiffi

Etienne-Louis Boullee

sought to honor the natural philosopher and


scientist Isaac Newton by creating this
futuristic cenotaph in 1784. Boullee's concept, based on the Utopian belief that
everything in nature has a particular nature
of its own, relied on simple geometric
forms. An exterior view of the monument
(top) depicts a terraced base cradling
an immense sphere, symbolizing the universe. Envisioned at night, a cross
section of the structure reveals holes in the
sphere's vaulted ceiling, which create
the illusion of stars (above, left). In another
cross section, a glowing lamp within
an armillary sphere, suspended from the
globe's center, creates a daylight
effect (above, right).

the Guardian class, they

were expected

to help the

men

Pythagorean. Entire communities also drew inspiration

rule

from the long-vanished Utopian Pythagorean Societies.

the city-state.

Plato also laid

down

strict

and took a cue from the Pythagoreans when he stressed the


importance of musical training. "Rhythm and harmony sink

most deeply
Plato,

ness

into the inner recesses of the soul," wrote

"and take most powerful hold of it, bringing graceful-

in its train,

tured, but

if

and making a man graceful

serted Plato. Art

ond century BC

the Republic's lack of personal freedom, rule

second century AD. The comparison

for the Essenes, like the Pythagoreans,

lived in strict monastery-like

and dissolution of the family as the hallmarks ofgj

elites,

to the

was understandable,

creator.

its

many Essene com-

munities that flourished in Palestine and Syria from the sec-

intended to serve the interests of the

is

the Greeks call Pythagoreans," claimed first-century

Jewish historian Josephus of one of the

ethical standards, as-

he held, not express the whims of

Many see
by

whom

he be nur-

not, the reverse." All music, literature, painting,

and architecture must meet certain

state,

if

In-

some patterned themselves so closely after the


Pythagoreans that they were described as NeoPythagoreans. Among these was a mystery cult of ancient
Palestinian Jews known as the Essenes.
"These men live the same kind of life as do those

deed,

guidelines for education

same Utopian

communities and shared the

goal of perfection.

totalitarian state. Nevertheless,

over the centuries since

he Essenes believed that the apocalypse was immi-

was

have been inspired by

nent and foresaw an end to the world similar to

written, countless thinkers

philosophical ideals that form the foundation of this

landmark study

that later envisioned by millennialists.

liv

The History of
Utopian Thought, Joyce Oramel Hertzler wrote that Plato

Utopia. In his 1923

entitled

ly for

forces of the
piety,

the interpretation, but for the remolding of society.

The

'Republic'

and

inspiration."

To

its

is

not vague and fantastic, but

full

remained a

it

be realized

since

it

He wrote

is

alyptic

on earth but believed

heaven, probably, there

Just as Plato
liefs

earth, at least as
is

a model of

gil's

others were inspired by

Samos.

Plutarch,

whose

first-century-BC

work

Life

curgus contains an idealized depiction of Sparta,

of one of these

victorious. Next,

all

life

an apoc-

will

spread

creation will be devastated.


will

enjoy "ever-

of eternity, and a crown of glory with

in everlasting light."

for this cataclysmic spiritual

Essenes rejected society, often establishing

themselves

in the desert or other desolate regions. There,

ordered lives of self-denial, they prepared their

bodies and souls for God's

final battle.

Like the Pythagoreans, the Essenes surrendered

Virtheir

possessions

when

Josephus noted, "the wealthy

of Ly-

ment from

ing."

33

all

they joined the community and, as

after-

was

and

Every

battle, the

living strictly

Aeneid, published after his death in 19 BC, includes a

And

emerge

To prepare themselves

moving description of the Pythagorean concept of the


life.

will

be banished and the righteous

raiment of majesty

it."

the Utopian teachings of the mystical seer from

member

evil.

continue until the world ends. Then, on Judgment

Sons of Light

lasting joy in the

imagine. But in

adopted and adapted many Pythagorean be-

many

to the angels, is a

"war of the mighty ones of the heavens

Evil will

as he developed his concept of the perfect city-state in

The Republic and elsewhere,

man

throughout the world," and

that his Utopia "exists in our reasoning,

nowhere on

will

day, the

vi-

contained ideals and principles that politicians should

strive for.

Light, representing truth

two camps, claimed the Essenes, and the struggle between

sion of perfection, an unattainable ideal. Plato did not claim


that his Utopian plan could

Sons of

and the Sons of Darkness, who constituted

being, from

of hope

them

creator, the idealized city-state

as an ongoing battle between the opposing

life

"conceived of philosophy as being an instrument, not mere-

They viewed

man receives no more enjoyman who possesses noth-

his property than the

Most members were

celibate,

and with few exceptions

women were
pirants

had

excluded from the monastic settlements. As-

to pass through four stages or grades before

they were admitted into the community. Only

A Scientist

plicant

was judged

spiritually

process that usually took

Who TalKedwifli Angels

Once admitted,

fit

when

the ap-

would he be admitted, a

five years.

initiates

found

life

within a typical Es-

sene community rigorous and highly structured. The


Emanuel Swedenborg devoted

his

life

covery

to the pursuit of

knowledge. That quest led the respected eighteenthcentury Swedish scientist, philosopher, and theologian into

many

different arenas, but

none were as

rituals.

Swedenborg began experiencing a


series of remarkable dreams and visions, in which he
allegedly traveled into the afterlife, walked with God
along the paths of paradise, and spoke with angels. In
what he described as simple conversations, Swedenborg learned that spirits were much like humans.
They live in a world that exists between heaven and

to

In April 1744,

jobs.

copying out sacred

"I

ing cold bath

first

midst of his neighbor's words.

shall not

And

speak

further,

in the

he shall not speak before his position which

written before him.

and

the rest of the people. ...

... a

The man who

man

shall not

is

asked

shall

speak

speak a word which

The Sabbath was

members were even

in

is

strictly

in

not

observed;

forbidden to excrete

bodily wastes that day lest they pro-

fane the Sabbath.

An Essene who

failed to correctly

observe the holy

day was banished from the sect

ideal.

for

seven years. Other punishments

in

were dispensed

and the many societies


based on his teachings, thrive
1

to their jobs until time for the

to the liking of the masters."

him as

founded

and a meal, during which silence was ob-

man

his turn;

The New Jerusalem church


that his disciples

for a purify-

all

is

influential force in the

search for the Utopian

midday

and the elders second, then

recount

earth's spiritual counterpart

an

at

havior at such gatherings: "The priest shall be seated

followers in his lifetime, his beliefs in

eventually established

and duties

texts.

They then returned

served.

and

to their

evening meal. The Manual of Discipline outlined proper be-

have seen. write you down a plain statement of journeys and conversations in the spiritual
world. I have proceeded by observation and induction
as strict as that of any man of science among you."
Although Swedenborg gained few
the spirit's perfectibility

totally self-sufficient,

The members assembled again

The monastery was

went

ranged from farming and baking to pottery making and

massive vol-

written with a scientist's diligence:

offered prayers to the sun, celebrating the seven

great cycles of creation. After prayers they

tion or destruction.

the things

Discipline

According to the manual part of what have come

dawn and

communities with people of similar


character. But unlike life on earth, where such frailties
as greed and hypocrisy are often hidden, all foibles
are revealed in the spiritual realm. Under the tutelage
of angels, however, spirits try to perfect themselves,
in hopes of becoming angels. In essence, Swedenborg
discovered, the soul's fate depended not on God's
final judgment but on the spirit's bent toward perfec-

umes

Manual of

be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls members rose before

earth, residing in

his findings in

scroll referred to as the

provided insight into the sect's laws, philosophy, and daily

challenging to him as the realm of the spiritual.

Swedenborg relayed

1947 of a six-foot long, first-century-BC

in Israel in

parchment

dis-

to enforce disci-

787,

pline; these included

throughout the world today.

rations

ticipation in the

34

reducing food

and denying members parcommunity's sac-

ramental
ty

asleep in the assembly earned

rituals. Falling

thir-

days of punishment, fraud sixty days, gossiping one year.

Swearing, gossiping about the masters, or staying in touch

Looking Back

with an excommunicate earned immediate and irrevocable


expulsion.

Members apparently

feared excommunication

to a Better World

who were
down in the

more than death. Josephus reported that those


banished from the community often simply lay
desert

and

own

not

To nineteenth-century social idealist John Ruskin,


England had lost much with the coming of the industrial age. He abhorred everything about the massproduction era, believing only artisans were engaged
in noble work. He felt people were demeaned by machines and realized their full potential only through
creativity. Tasks begun and finished as a whole enhance the human experience, he said, and contribute
to harmonious lives for all.
He yearned for medieval England an era he saw as
congenial and well ordered. Ruskin expressed that

died.

The Essenes considered slavery


slaves.

According to

to

be unjust and did


Jewish

Philo, a first-century

philosopher from Alexandria, "they denounce owners of


slaves, not

merely

for their injustice in outraging the

laws of

equality, but also for their impiety in nulling the statute of

Nature."

It

believed that the Essenes often bought slaves

is

from others and then freed them.

Although there

New Testament,
ably

is

no reference

the sect flourished

numbered around 4,000

lieve that

John the Baptist

the Essenes at

Essenes

to the

in the

view

and by Jesus' time prob-

followers.

may have

(Some scholars be-

spent

false

chosen troops on

earth,

and purifying

hoped

usher

to help

in a

their soul within

it,

to

name.

It

is

be an

forts

movements

and adversar

who condemned

museum

working-class education.

founded to pursue
Ruskin's ideals, and a

communities have suffered


i

many are mere

footnotes in the pages of


history, others are

long

number of societies were

their elit-

ism. Countless other Utopian

similar fates;

survived, Ruskin's ef-

were not in vain. He inspired many likeminded individuals, including those who
organized the arts and crafts movement and the Pre-Raphaelite
Brotherhood of painters (overleaf), and he contributed to

eventually disappeared, victims of

ies

would buy land and factories and operthem along socialist lines. He also established an
arts and science museum at Sheffield.

than similar philosophical ideals, they shared

the ravages of time

it

ate

heavenly, everlasting paradise.

destiny. Both

give

industry that

the Essenes

The Essenes and the Pythagoreans shared more

same

we

not, truly speaking, the labour that is

Although only the

the

"We have much

In 1871, realizing that industry was not going away,


Ruskin founded the Guild of Saint George, a model

they kept themselves in constant readiness for their role on

Judgment Day. By fashioning what they considered

in 1853.

perfected, of late, the great civilized

man
broken into small fragments
and crumbs of life; so that all the little piece of intelligence that is left in a man is not enough to make a
pin, or a nail, but exhausts itself in making the point
of a pin or the head of a nail."

Israel and lived in tightly knit communities. Describing


elect, the Lord's

much

divided, but the

their distance

from other Jews believing themselves to be the only true

earthly Utopia

The Stones of Venice

invention of the division of labour; only

some time with

Qumran.) They maintained

themselves as the

in

studied and

college in his

was

name

established at

Oxford University.

for-

35

Heartbreak

inCamelof
Few followers of John Ruskin were as devoted to Utopian visions of medieval
times as author and
Morris,

(left).

artist

William Morris

who became known

for his

wallpaper prints (background), sought to


re-create the past.

He founded the

arts

movement to promote the use


of handmade items and developed a proand

crafts

gram

to revive the guild system.

Morris emulated medieval painters in


his

own work and was

medieval

fascinated by

literature, particularly

Thomas

Malory's fifteenth-century Morte d 'Arthur,


a group of tales centered on the legendary King Arthur.

He shared

his devotion to

Arthurian times with his friend Dante Gaa founder of the

briel Rossetti (overleaf),

Pre-Raphaelite school of painting. Morris

and Rossetti also shared a love


working-class

who

girl

for a

named Jane Burden

an artist's mode!.
and Jane were deeply in love.

sat for both as

Rossetti

But he, betrothed to another, persuaded


Jane to marry Morris. However, Jane was
unhappy with the shy, awkward Morris. It
was boisterous, romantic Rossetti she
adored.

much

And he adored

her,

spending

time with her and repeatedly paint-

ing her portrait; even his paintings of

knights were said to be Jane in costume.

William Morris lived apart from his wife


for

much

of their marriage, quietly acced-

ing to the passion she

and

Rossetti

shared. Morris had cherished a romantic

notion of medieval times; he could not


foresee

how

closely his

life

was

to parallel

the love triangle of Arthurian legend.

was born

However, there are centuries-old Utopias that seem

gotten.

as vibrant today as

when

they were

first

and

created. Their elab-

orate visions of a perfect world continue to be debated by

and eager experimenters. These

intellectuals

the Utopias that existed only in the

Machiavelli, the Medicis, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci,

and Raphael were

are, of course,

minds of

their creators

opened broad new avenues of learning

best-known ancient example of

Thomas More's

Utopian literature, and Sir

dents.

such

Utopia,

his contemporaries. Scholars

had recent-

introduced classics of the ancient world to the West and

ly

and survive today on the pages of well-thumbed books.


Like Plato's Republic, the

1478 during the flowering of the Renaissance

in

through the Reformation. Erasmus, Martin Luther,

lived

to their eager stu-

The invention of printing promised

enlightening. There

seemed

Even the world

to

be no

to

be even more

limits to this rebirth of

humankind's

blueprints for perfection found eager audiences over the

learning.

centuries. According to turn-of-the-century French novelist

conception of it was in flux as the explorers Vasco da

men

Gama, Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and Amerigo


Vespucci discovered new lands and redrew the medieval
maps. It was in such a heady atmosphere that Thomas More

Anatole France, "without the Utopias of other times,

would
ans

live in caves,

still

who traced

dreams come
all

progress,

the lines of the

ten

and the essay

between

AD

fall

is

Man and

Utopi-

Out of generous

was

is

conceived his perfect community.

the principle of

More studied the

into a better future."

Roman Empire on
To

the

silence the Church's critics,

the City of

who

weakening

Au-

later

up

bered for Utopia.

creating the concept

The

state.

whereas the

with the

Church

frailties

of

Man was

City of

human
it

In

City of

God was drawn mostly from

ing,

it

was

a very influential work. Indeed,

the separation

between church and

the Church's domination of Europe.


in History

little

state

its

conception of

at

is

who engage

all,

greatly

empha-

in premarital

monoga-

extreme circumstancsex

forfeit the right to

to slavery.

Each

and

their

at least ten adults

each home. Houses are identical and each one has a garden. Doors have

day

no

in Utopia, three

locks.

Nearly eleven centuries passed between Saint Augus-

Everyone works

just six

hours before lunch and three

lived in

in

and adulterers are sentenced

are engaged in trades,

Thomas More

is

children; in the country, there are at least forty adults in

for

God "played an

of God and the next great Utopian work,

a democracy, head-

Education

allowed only

schemes of empires and hierarchies."

More's Utopia.

is

strong and sacrosanct. Adults are

important part in the plans of kings and popes, and the

tine's City

life.

urban household consists of

As Joyce Hertzler notes

of Utopian Thought, the City of

Those

marry

the

original think-

paved the way

is

mous, and divorce


es.

mostly remem-

There are so few laws that lawyers are unnecessary.

The family

Augustine reasoned,

as a safe haven, an earthly repre-

is

More's Utopia, a crescent-shaped island off the

ed by a prince elected for


sized.

sentative of the Utopian City of God.

Although the

defense of the Church, he

in

life

coast of Somewhere, the government

chaotic and replete

Judeo-Christian tradition and contained

his

City of God,

nature. Instead of blaming the

for the state's earthly failings,

humans should look on

he came to be regarded as one

served as lord chancellor of England and gave

work between two realms the

wrote Augustine, was a Utopia where order and virtue prevailed,

brilliant student,

of the foremost scholars of his time. Although he

in-

God thus

between church and

classics, including Plato

Thomas
and Saint Augustine, and he trained as a lawyer.

Saint Augustine's City of God, writ-

gustine distinguished in his

of separation

It

413 and 426 as a response to those

of the

fluence of Christianity.

City of

first city.

beneficial realities. Utopia

One such essay


blamed the

miserable and naked.

itself or at least

and

all

hours a

after. All

goods produced are stored

communal warehouse. From

in

there, residents collect

whatever they need.

Thomas

money is

not needed in Utopia, owning gold and

forbidden.

To demonstrate the foolishness of

Since

remarkable times. He

silver

39

is

Led by little children, predators and prey


huddle quietly together in Edward Hicks's
nineteenth-century painting The Peaceable
Kingdom. One of more than 100 works the
artist based on a biblical passage extolling
universal brotherhood, the painting symbolizes the idea of America as a paradise where
all creatures live in harmony: In the background, William Penn and the Indians sign
the 1681 treaty that led to the founding of Pennsylvania, which Penn envisioned
as a Utopian haven for the Quakers.

hoarding precious metals, Utopians use them for

common

household utensils or even as chains

Utopians

wondered how people

for slaves.

other countries could place so

in

high a value on something as worthless as gold. How, they

who hath no
many wise and

asked, could "a lumpish, block-headed churl,

more wit than an ass


have nevertheless
good men in subjection and bondage, only
.

because he

hath a great heap of gold."

Utopians detest war. "They,

ments of almost

more

all

in

opposition to the senti-

other nations, think that there

inglorious than that glory that

is

is

nothing

gained by war," More

wrote. While Utopians would fight in defense of their country,

they would prefer to hire others to fight for them. Even

was considered barbarous.


More's Utopia was an intellectual

hunting

exploration of an

ideal society. In contrast, City of the Sun, the

philosopher,
panella,

was

monk,

work of

Italian

and astrologer Tommaso Cam-

poet,

part of a practical

campaign

under the authority of Spanish

rule.

to unite the

world

Written in 1602, less

than a century after the appearance of Utopia, City of the Sun

summed up Campanula's
that

would lead

ideas for a

new world

to a higher standard of living for

order,

one

people,

all

a unification of the peoples of the world under the Spanish,

and a reformation of the Church. Campanella's


had

first

them

to

radical ideas

become known years before he decided to commit


paper, and he was consequently arrested as a her-

etic,

imprisoned, and tortured during the Spanish Inquisi-

tion.

Campanella wrote

sentence

City

of the Sun while serving a

life

in prison.

Austrinopolis, the city of the book's

author's interest in astrology

seven large rings or

circles

and science.

named

title,

reflects the

"It is

divided into

after the

seven planets,"

he wrote, with each ring "connected to the next by four


streets passing

through four gates facing the four points of

the compass." Within each circle

were painted

representing the sciences, so that the city

open textbook. At the center of the


which astrologers read the
the stars

and

their

city

itself

illustrations

was

like

an

stood a temple from

skies. "It is their duty to

observe

movements," explained Campanella,


40

L^

41

know

on human

Bacon himself was a natural

affairs

and

Plato's,

was

riches found in the Utopia's college. There are countless

"rich be-

laboratories, medicine shops, astronomical observatories,

cause they want nothing, poor because they possess noth-

zoological gardens, "mechanical arts which you have not,

"and

to

about

all

their effects

Campanula's

ideal state, like

based on communal sharing.

ing." Strict

codes dictated

how work was

dren,

residents

were

Austrinopolis
priest

and

this

ground becomes apparent when he describes the

powers."

their

and

scientist,

to

Its

who

More's and

were

citizens

could marry and bear

how

and

chil-

made by them,

stuffs

as papers, linen,

back-

scientific

silks, tissues,

the Utopia's

dainty works of feathers of wonderful lustre, excellent

be educated. Unlike other Utopian visions,

dyes." Bacon also explained that the islanders have already

was an

be divided, and

to

autocratic

his assistants,

who

monarchy

controlled

all

mastered the

art of flying

major facets of

mention the

fact that they

the community. And in contrast to Thomas More's Utopia,


whose foundations were based on morality as well as a

strong family unit, Campanella believed

and

solute rule. Family love

loyalty

to

have discovered the secret of

perpetual motion.

enthusiasm, however, Bacon's

In spite of his

science and ab-

in

and building submarines not

ruled by a chief

tends to disappoint as Utopian literature. In the end,

lantis

were replaced by love

New At-

is little

more than an essay on

it

the necessity of organization

needs of humans are

for the state.

and planning; the

became an important factor in literary Utopias. Christianopolis, a Utopian work by German social reformer and Lutheran minister Johann
Valentin Andreae, was published in 1619. Written in
the form of a letter, Christianopolis was designed
around the concept "To be wise and to work are not incom-

quickly dispensed with, and their spiritual needs are not ad-

ncreasingly, science

patible,

opolis

if

there

seems

is

just

moderation."

On

first

new

was worship,

implies,

sized. "Unless

learning

social

his reasons for focusing

work, however; he believed that

if

on science

people could be

scientific point of view, there

ness

would be harmony and happi-

in the society.

first

was

Since the

work

aim, as

highly

of the Dilmun paradise myth, since

first telling

pen

Plato took

to

papyrus and produced The Republic, the

urge to reach deep into one's

its

empha-

own

imagination and fashion

a perfect society has proved irresistible to hundreds of

you analyze matter by experiment, unless

thinkers. This

growing collection of Utopian legends and

you improve the deficiencies of knowledge by more capable

erature has long offered enthusiasts the chance to

instruments you are worthless," wrote Andreae. In his

tarily lose

model

New

city,

science

was

Science,

more so than

Atlantis,

an unfinished Utopian

was

themselves

and imagine

the "testing of nature herself."


religion,

in

taught to examine almost any problem from an impersonal,

city-state,

wrinkle; he closely linked

and science. Although the community's

name

his

Bacon had

and

glance, Christian-

another Renaissance Utopian

but Andreae added a

dressed.

political

living

in the tantalizing

lished order

treatise published in

momen-

world of "what

on the Greeks' Islands of the

if?"

Blest or in

many,
and chase the elusive dream of perfection

More's Utopia. But for

the focal point of

lit-

the desire to reject the estab-

1627 by Andreae's English contemporary, Francis Bacon.

could be realized only by actually putting the Utopian theo-

Bacon's work described an imaginary South Seas island

ries of these

ruled by a wise king

who had

into practice.

Under the guidance of

organized the Utopia on the

charismatic and sometimes mystic visionaries, Utopian

most impor-

communities were formed. To scores of these hopeful pio-

basis of applied science. Fittingly, the island's


tant institution

works

was Solomon's House,

Days' Work, a scientific foundation that

or the College of Six

was

neers,

one land above

simply the

virtually a state

within a state, "the lantern of this kingdom."

called

42

it

by

all

others beckoned.

New Land, some


name America.

Some

called

it

the promised land, others

Builders of Backyard Utopias

could see these designs in my


knew they represented the
mind, and these beautiful symbols.
universe and its forces and the great powers that hold all of this
planet here together." Thus did self-taught artist Eddie Owens
Martin describe the inspiration that impelled him to create his own
architectural Utopia. Driven by his inner visions, he worked for
years to transform four acres of rural Georgia into a rambling comI

plex of cement temples and fortress walls vividly aglow with mystical motifs,

including the pyramids,

moon, and

stars

In giving concrete reality to the structures that

seen above.

shimmered

in

band of naive visionaries,


training who answer an irre-

his mind's eye, Martin joined a scattered

individuals with
pressible inner

little

need

or

no

artistic

to fashion their small corners of the

into personal versions of paradise.

waking visions or dreams,


ply to their

own

world

They say they are responding

to

to the specific dictates of spirits, or sim-

mystical philosophy of

As seen on these pages, some of

life.

their creations suggest an-

cient shrines; others are phantasmagorical concoctions of cast-off

These Utopia builders frequently face derision from neighbors


who do not share their visions although once in a while they receive a kind of public vindication in the form of approval from the
artistic establishment. Neither scorn nor praise seems to make any
difference to most of them. They continue to embellish their fanciful environments as refuges against the outside world and as phys-

junk.

ical

embodiments of their intensely personal

ideals.

A Postman's Palace of Dreams


To amuse himself while making

stones into a melange of towers,

his

rounds in the province of Drome,


French postman Ferdinand Cheval daydreamed about building a wondrous

ways, temples, grottoes, waterfalls,

palace that would

chanted with his creation, Cheval


who had never before touched trowel

embody

and sculptures. Growing ever more en-

"all the

former architectures of primitive times"

or chisel decided the structure would

and thus "outstrip the imagination."


Cheval's castle in the air remained just
that for some ten years. Then one day

be his tomb, a

in 1879,

monument that would


him a measure of immortality.
After more than thirty years of singlehanded labor, the so-called Ideal Palace stood complete thirty-five feet tall
and eighty-five feet long, a Utopian
dream realized in stone and cement
grant

he came across such a beau-

stone that he

tiful

was

inspired to turn

his fantasy into reality.

From

man
bits

that

moment

on, Cheval

was

possessed. He would spy unusual

his garden.

There he incorporated the

(below).

Although his neighbors

culed Cheval's palace and he

of rock while on his postal rounds

and later collect them in a wheelbarthem back to


row and haul

stair-

daily

ridi-

was

prohibited by law from being burk

ied in

it,

Cheval gloried

in his

paradise until his death in


1924. His
Jfc

handiwork

a national

is

now

monument.

and with
on his
imagination and memories of
places fictional and real to create the Ideal Palace. The structure, which includes Hindustyle temples and a mosque, is
embellished with reliefs, mosaics, and sculptures depicting
exotic plants and animals, biblical scenes, and Egyptian-style
Ferdinand Cheval

(left

his wife below) called

mummies (inset,

below).

EOM is pictured here in one


of his self-made costumes. He
said that a spirit guided his
hand in the building ofPasaquan, and he referred to
the figures guarding its
St.

entrance (below) as the


people ofMua reference to the legendary

sunken continent
some scholars have

linked with the


Garden of Eden.

v.->

K
&

\ w

Colorful Walls (o Shui Qui


When Eddie Owens Martin was living
in New York in 935, the fortuneteller

into the fortress

claimed a voice from the

yourself

St.

EOM,"

St.

as "a

until

MP*.

-W

Buena

Vista

to

built

Pasaquan

the primitive

all

world." Indeed,

The

its

style

colorful

designs look Indian, African, or Orien-

But more than anything, the dense-

tal.

ly

Pasaquoyan was one who brings the


past and the future together and it
was 1957 before he began to fulfill his
mysterious calling. That year he
moved back to Georgia and began
V transforming the house and land

monument
in the

in

thenceforth

he

reflects his intentions:

years later did the

Georgia-born Martin figure out what a

him

he named Pasaquan.

EOM, as Martin

peoples

ed,

But not

left

called himself, said

the voice instruct-

pronouncing Martin's acronym as


ohm, "and you'll be a Pasaquoyan
the first one in the world."

he World

mother had

his

spirit world
informed him that he was to be the
start of something new. "You'll call

decorated walls and buildings (below

and lower inset) served as a refuge


its

eccentric creator. "After

walls put up, then

felt

for

got these

had the world

shut out," Martin remarked before his

can be in my
world
and wherever I look,
see something beautiful."
death in 1986. "Here

own

t' V\-

"

The Reverend Howard Finster


(right)

claims that "this could

be an eternal planet if all the


people actually come to God.
He views his art which includes Paradise Garden (below) and the World's Folk Art
Church (lower inset) as a

means

to

spread

this

message.

Sacred Ait in a
"God sent me here

man

Homemade Paradise

visions," evangelical preacher

uments, bottle houses, and cement


hills encrusted with mirrors and reli-

self-taught artist

gious sculptures.

to

be a

of

and
Howard Finster once

dise

my

"I built this

began transforming the two acres behind his house in Pennville, Georgia,
into a surreal scene of makeshift mon-

hand-lettered sign

what is now popularly called ParaGarden explains its creator's goal:

remarked, "and to tell the world about


my visions through my sacred art and
garden." In the early 1960s, Finster

in

try to

mend

After

on

this

park of broken pieces to


a broken world."

some

fifteen

years of working

backyard Eden, Finster had a

vision instructing

him

to create a

ber of paintings he calls sacred

num-

art.

few years later, he built the World's


Folk Art Church near the garden to
serve as a sort of holy art gallery.

purpose, said Finster,

was

"the truth of God, the truth of

and

Its

to reveal

mankind

his discoveries, the truth of the

present,

and the

truth of the future."

Raymond Isidore (left)


decorated every conceiv- I
able object in his house, >L
from flowerpots to the
furniture (inset, below), \7.
with pieces of broken
glass and crockery. The
locals

dubbed him

le

pique-assiette French

erand his

creation

w
m

&c

'* ~
;

>M

$&

&?>

Maison

it

>n

La

Picassiette.

?A

:*
II

II

s-fc'&jp

***..?

p;;^

4 v.

>.

IT

,v-

A Glittering Mosaic

[I

iW

*>':;

of Broken Glass

"We

discard so

many

Pm7E3

things that could

life and happiness,"


once said. He was
himself, however, a striking exception

stir*

be used to create

Raymond

Isidore

to this observation.

death

in 1964, the

From 1938

<?

9*'

until his

ifc

French cemetery

caretaker, a resident of Chartres, col-

and glass fragments


from dumps, roadsides, and his acquaintances and used them to create
lected ceramic

>&

the fantastic mosaics that eventually

covered every inch of his house and


garden (right).
'-*-

Ss

.wT-r

Reportedly inspired by God, nature,

and the great cathedral


Isidore

embedded both

exterior walls of his

in his

town,

the interior

home

*>*&&:--

and

with scenes

V*j

"^s^~~

Sat*-"

from the Bible, models of Chartres and


other cathedrals, and various images

he found pleasing. Isidore believed he


was guided by a divine spirit, although
he also admitted that he created the

monument
that

own tastes, so
his own element.

?sr~?

to suit his

he could

live in

His jewel-like house and garden, he


said,

&

'J&zz_*^*^:<

were a dream come

true.

A
^C

us

Mi
lift

teas

HI

#1 *

LV.!

*>

4^

in
*

^Kk

teSSs

^3

fe3
Bfc*

*&#
i>^2

<l

'*?*%

Hii

Eft !
1

Vw

Obsessed with light and reflections, Clarence Schmidt illuminated his home with
strings of bulbs and
tinsel-wrapped wires
(above). In the gardens,

he built shrines

to his

One series honored U.S. presidents,

heroes.

including George
Washington (lower
inset); others
featured photos

-*.*.

,-

of Schmidt
himself.

*-

/.

fVj

**
JiT^*
r'

*n

-*

rLrr'i

*tf^

Jk

j*

SL^raSs^r

An Incredible Edifice
Made from Junk
Visionary artist Clarence Schmidt once

described the phantasmagorical

home-

stead he created on a mountainside

Woodstock, New York, as a "hallowed undertaking" that would bring


"peace and happiness to this vilely
mixed up and war torn world."
Around 1948, Schmidt, a plasterer by
trade, began enlarging his mountain
cabin. He soon became obsessed by
the project, devoting all his time and
energy to it. Some twenty years later,
the cabin and a large tree nearby had
been completely swallowed by a thirtyin

five-room, seven-story tinderbox of a

mansion made from discarded junkscrap wood, tar, and glass.


Inside, strings of Christmas-tree
lights illuminated

maze

of passage-

ways and rooms encrusted with mirrors and a dazzling collection of castoff items including women's shoes,
coffeepots, and artificial flowers. The
gardens around the house echoed its
contents: Sculptures fashioned from
other people's rubbish were placed

among

the trees and shrubs, hundreds

of whose limbs and branches were

wrapped in foil to reflect light.


The reclusive artist dubbed the

origi-

nal cabin at the heart of his chaotic

creation his Inner Sanctum,


lived

what he

where he

called a "ritually clois-

tered holy existence," dedicated to

building a

new world

"all tenderly

wrapped up with mountainous harmony and everlasting peace." Unfortunately perhaps inevitably Schmidt's
highly combustible dreamland caught
fire and burned to the ground in 1968;
he died ten years later.

Robert Tatin and his wife, Liseron, show off a grinning sculpture he called The Beast Tamer
(right). Most of his images
which have been compared to
Aztec, Assyrian,

Mayan, and

Inca art are deliberately symbolic:


right,

The dragon inset at lower


according to Tatin, repre-

sents evil, ego, selfishness, and


the other trials one must over-

come

to attain redemption.

gap

-?.

s#<

<*.-"

'

> '*!

U,
'/y

A Frenchman's Philosophical Statement


In 1962, sixty-year-old

well-traveled

Robert Tatin, a

Frenchman who had

worked variously as a carpenter, sculptor, and ceramist, bought the ruins of


an old farmhouse in Cosse-le-Vivien,
France. He and his wife, Liseron, soon
about rebuilding the house, but
somewhere along the line the project
evolved from a mere domestic renovaset

grandiose archi-

tion into a
tectural statetin's

ment of Ta-

\.

personal

He believed that human


wisdom and happiness lay in a return
philosophy.

to the so-called

many

of the cement gates and sculp-

tures he

creativity. Accordingly,

and Liseron

built

twenty years, such as the Gate of the


Moon (below), idolize the female principle.

whose creation is now


museum, art including
own, no doubt was "a means
For Tatin,

a national

developing the marvels within us."

Jg

<

<**&>
*"- >1

3^

all

o c
]

<

-^-

rfe-s^a

by hand on

the property over the next nearly

his

in-

and

for

female qualities of

stinct

Mr!

CHAPTER

Seeking Eden in America

named Mariah set sail from Liverpool in May of 1774,


bound for New York. On board was a short, stout woman in her thirties
named Ann Lee. With brown hair, blue eyes, and a mild expression, she
leaky old vessel

looked more
itualists

like

a schoolmarm than the zealous leader of the religious spir-

who had boarded

with her. They had been hounded out of their

native Manchester because of their heretical beliefs. Several


the voyage,

Ann had experienced

whose every

leaf

a dramatic vision. She

shone with a burning

lead her flock into the

New

The

light.

months before

saw

tree told

a large tree,

Mother Ann

to

World, where they would find salvation. They

almost did not get there.

A few days

into the voyage, Mariah's captain

watched

horrified as his

passengers performed their Sunday worship. Shaking and trembling, with


wild grimaces, they whirled like dervishes, gyrated with outstretched arms,
rolled
spirit

on the deck, danced and sang and

cried out in exotic languages of the

world. Scandalized, the captain threatened to throw them overboard

if

they ever repeated their blasphemous proceedings.

same ritual occurred. The angry capto make good his threat when suddenly a violent storm blew up. Very soon the vessel was sorely beset.
Springing a plank in her hull, she began to take on more water than all
hands at the pumps could control. The captain, so the story goes, "turned
Yet on the following Sunday the

tain

summoned

his

pale as a corpse"

crew and was about

and declared

perish before dawn.

that the ship

and

Then Mother Ann went

all

aboard her must surely

to the captain

and reassured

him. "There shall not a hair of our heads perish," she prophesied.
all

arrive safely in America.

ing by the mast, through

just

whom

At that moment, a powerful

now saw two

bright angels of

"We

God

shall

stand-

received this promise."

wave

struck the ship with seemingly mi-

raculous aim, knocking the plank back into place and stopping the leak.

Soon the storm abated. Mother Lee sailed on to America and her appointment with destiny. Within two years, Lee and her small band had founded
the United Society of Believers in Christ's

burning-tree vision had ordered. Better

Second Appearing,

known

just as the

as the Shakers, they

became

one of the most suc-

March

21, 1844. Expec-

and long-lived

tation

Utopian societies found-

when

was heightened
a large comet

cessful

ed in the

New

showed

World.

Scores of Utopian

groups blossomed

itself in

the Feb-

ruary sky. But the year

passed uneventfully, so

in

America during the

Miller decided to

eighteenth and nine-

the date to October 22,

move

teenth centuries. Most

1844.

withered quickly, but

ered by the thousands

some
came

flourished

Shakers, successful groups included the


the Inspirationists, the Perfectionists,

and

Harmony

Society,

it,

ment,

and mysterious otherworldliness.

The early American Utopian groups had deep roots

terized

own

in

spawned

And

Christ did not." Miller's failure be-

his followers as the Great Disappointment,

a potent religious force in America.

Utopians were convinced that by following their

divinely ordered tenets they could raise the

human

condition to a near heavenly perfection. By and large they

Rome

lived in

communes

of the world.

a profusion of Protestant sects charac-

by devout scriptural piety and powerful

still

All

the Reformation. Led by Martin Luther, this sixteenth-

eventually

"the day came.

hills

await the coming. But, as one writer put

but his powerful influence launched the Adventist move-

most shared a peculiarly American amalgam of down-to-

century revolt against the ecclesiastical tyranny of

in treetops to

came known by

and the transcenden-

vivid diversity distinguished these groups, but

earth practicality

faithful gath-

on rooftops and

and be-

established elements of American society. Besides the

talists.

The

securely isolated from the wickedness

They usually had communal economies,

wherein everyone expected

anticlerical

to share equally not only the

who

physical and spiritual labors that produced their earthly par-

believed in the imminence of Christ's Second Coming. After

adise but also the material benefits of those labors. Most of

prejudice.

Many

of

them were

fervent millennialists

the Savior's reappearance, the sinful

damned and

the truly pious

would bask

would be forever
in Christ's

heavenly

grace on earth for a thousand years the millennium.

the societies

were committed

women

far greater equality

of them, honest

One more

The conviction of millennialists would be perhaps


most
ry,

strikingly

when an

demonstrated

in the

named

to chastity,

and many treated

than found outside. For

work was exalted and

strict

guided

William Miller

who

in its

all

order the rule.

factor stands out as a key to the success of

Utopian societies in America. Almost every one of them

mid-nineteenth centu-

itinerant Baptist preacher

with

was

quest by a charismatic and often mystical lead-

rode to prominence on the notion that the Second Coming

er

was

a great extent, the success or failure of the Utopian societies

at

hand sometime between March

21,

1843,

and
57

claimed direct inspiration from God or Scripture. To

depended on

movement can

of will, and the essence of the Utopian

be captured

and

in the chronicles

But why did


women come

The answer

pias?

its

of

its

leaders.

all

those pious, energetic

to

America

what

lies in

rope heard about the


following

and strength

their leaders' clarity of vision

found

to

men

their Uto-

the people of Eu-

New World

in the

decades

discovery. Reports from across the

Atlantic pictured

America as near an earthly

approximation as could be found of the ancient


notion of Eden, where primitivism and simplicity

were the hallmarks of virtue and happiness, or of


Canaan, the land of milk and honey, where God's

chosen people would achieve perfection

after a long

process of self-purification. Furthermore, the


lay to the

west where

lost island of Atlantis

New World

the Greeks had placed the fabled

and where

Sir

Thomas More

in

1516

positioned his literary vision of a perfect England, to which

he gave the name Utopia.


Christopher Columbus promoted the paradisiacal im-

age of America

when he

portrayed the Indians he found

naked as Adam and


New World was filled with

He
mu-

there as innocent primitives,

Eve.

wrote that the

the

air

of the

(although in fact that species did not ex-

sic of nightingales

America

ist in

at the time).

of vast wealth, boundless


ties.

Other explorers depicted a land


fertility,

and harmonious socie-

Such glowing images kindled the imagination of Euro-

peans.

Weary of wars,

kings, poverty, religious persecution,

and plague, they embraced the idea of the


panacea

for civilization's

And even though


found a

far

New World

ills.

the early emigrants from Europe

harsher land than they had imagined, they ea-

gerly took to themselves the mantle of Utopia. John


throp, governor of the Massachusetts
ly

as a

Bay Colony

Win-

in the ear-

seventeenth century, borrowed the language of Saint

Matthew

(5:14) to

fellow Puritans:

a City

Upon a

urge the highest Christian behavior on his

"We must always

Hill the eyes of

vision of a radiant

New World

all

consider that

we

shall

be

people are upon us." This

society

seemed

a potent au-

c Mormons' Long Trek to a New Zion


Perhaps the most indefatigable quest

drove them away.

an American Utopia was that of the


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, formed in 830 by Joseph
Smith. The group's guiding document
was the Book of Mormon a supposed
translation by Smith of divine wisdom
inscribed on golden plates he found
near his family's New York farm (and
subsequently lost). Thus Inspired, the
Mormons yearned to build a new holy
city, Zion, and await Christ's return.
In search of a site for Zion which
was to be a mixture of Eden and the

bank of the Mississippi. Smith dubbed the place Nauvoo, saying it meant rest and beauty.
They laid out Nauvoo in two zones

for

New Jerusalem

described in the book

of Revelation the

Mormons made

westward odyssey. From Palmyra,


New York, they trekked to Ohio, where
financial problems hindered them.

their

Next they

tried Missouri,

but locals

at last

on the

In 1838, they settled

Illinois

prescribed by a "Plat of the City of

Zion" that Smith said God had sent


him. The sacred zone (Jerusalem) held

two huge

buildings: the

temple built

according to a blueprint from

God

and the prophet's residence. The secular zone (Eden) was divided into large
blocks, each with four houses and vast
gardens. "Let the division fences be
lined with

peach and mulberry

trees,"

Nauvoo grew to be Illinois's largest


numbering some 20,000. But

city,

although Smith called

it

Emporium of the West,"

"the great
it

never devel-

oped much trade or industry, perhaps


because neither its sacred area nor
the thinly populated residential zone
offered a focus for commercial life.
In 1844, Smith was murdered by an
anti-Mormon mob. Fearing more violence, the state ordered the

Mormons

Under a new leader,


Brigham Young, they left their Eden
and again journeyed west, eventually
out of

Illinois.

founding another Zion next to Utah's

exhorted a local paper, "and the hous-

Great Salt Lake. Spared the

es surrounded with roses and prairie

tween the sacred and the secular that


had hampered Nauvoo, Salt Lake City
became a major metropolis and, in

flowers,

and

their

porches covered

we shall soon
have some idea of how Eden looked."
with grapevines, and

many ways,

Mormon

split

Utopia.

be-

gury of man's

and unfettered by
anything

was

America boundlessly

perfectibility. In

clerical tradition or class

possible,

even Paradise

in the

his

fruitful

distinction

on June

This vision of America infused the political and philo-

of Independence

waves

and the Constitution.

movement now known as


lists

in the

when

site

the

first

Woman

Word and en-

of Christ's deliverance.

a poignant chapter of

to identify

in

Germany became conwas going to end in the autumn of


1694. Johann Jacob Zimmermann, who had forsworn Lutheranism in favor of a strict fundamentalism, was also a

and

set

up a printing

press to help spread the Word. Ardent musicians,

may have been

the

first

book of music

America. Subscribing to the belief that Native Americans

elytized the Indians

biblical lost tribes of Israel, they pros-

and studied

languages to compile

their

a written Indian vocabulary.

Again and again the brothers believed they saw signs


that the

readings of the stars and

him

sign, but several spirit-

the surrounding countryside

were members of the

utopianism began

a former Lutheran minister in

certain biblical passages led

roof with a tele-

ing for the end, the brothers carried their gospel to

they published what

Ameri-

vinced that the world

in astrology. His

its

ual manifestations kept their faith alive. While wait-

century and a half

New World

America

wooden

he year 1694 ended with no

in

into the Pennsylvania

where they founded the community of the

the Great Awakening. Evange-

was by no means

devout believer

way

Kelpius himself withdrew to a cave.

William Miller's apocalyptic vision in the middle of the nine-

earlier,

their

scope, searching the sky for signs of the Apocalypse.

suring that religious zeal advanced with the frontier.

ca as the

The brothers arrived

and made

740s, a

in the

crisscrossed the colonies spreading the

teenth century

superstition.

19, 1694,

tabernacle and took turns sitting on

swept the

730s and

of alchemy, Rosicrucianism, and an-

Wilderness. They built a forty-square-foot

.forests,

also inherent

of intense religious revivalism that

and settlements of America

cities

was

It

German

cient

here and now.

sophical optimism that eventually produced the Declaration

in the

own knowledge

millennium

finally

was

at

hand, and again and

again they were disappointed. The best-educated

members

of the group drifted away. Kelpius refused to question the

to believe that Christ

would come soon. But where would he appear? Zimmer-

imminence of the millennium. But when he died from

mann sought

berculosis at the age of thirty-five, his brave

the answer
From what he read

in the

book of Revelation.

there he determined that the true

ca.

clear to

Zimmermann

fly

into the wilderness."

that said wilderness

It

was Ameri-

women

should participate, because he

decided to establish an all-male monastic community

New
to

rata

Apparently he figured the female image of the Church

did not imply that

World. There celibate

meet God face

monks would

rated.

point of being torturous.

purify themselves

faithful sat for

The low, narrow doors and

corri-

dors in their austere buildings were designed to require

normal-size people to bend as they passed, a reminder

a band of devoted followers,

of the scriptural warning that "narrow

but on the eve of their departure he died, apparently of natural causes.

The chapel benches on which the

hours of sermonizing by Beissel were uncomfortable to the

in the

to face.

Zimmermann assembled

in

Another German pietistic community, the grim Ephcommune, did better. Founded in Pennsylvania in 1732
by a vigorous mystic named Johann Conrad Beissel, Ephrata
(another name for Bethlehem) accepted women, who were
known as Spiritual Virgins, but the sexes were rigidly sepa-

(the only one that would survive the Apocalypse)


was symbolized by a woman, who would be given "two

was

church

the wilderness died with him.

Church

wings of an eagle that she might

little

tu-

Undaunted, his band pressed on,

now

eth unto

led by a

young member, Johannes Kelpius, who shared Zimmermann's fundamentalism and belief in astrology and added

the

way

that lead-

life."

Members

retired at nine p.m. but

night for an hour of services


60

is

were roused

and again

at

at five a.m.

mid-

Food

was meager and meals were eaten


silence. Field chores usually

mules were assigned

And over

all,

done by

to the brothers.

Beissel ruled supreme.

Anyone who disagreed with him


least detail

in

was branded

in the

a sinner and

tourist attraction in Lancaster County.


In 1803,
list,

Beissel's despotic rule

George Rapp, brought

Rappites, also

it

was

tably better.

Though
and

ate robustly,

was renowned and its school highly respected. The


community published many books, and Beissel's hymns in-

they did give up tobacco.

fluenced the course of American hymnology. Today, Ephra-

George Rapp started preaching

at first,

The

and they fared no-

enjoyed their pipes. Eventually,

Born the son of a farmer

61

mil-

intensely spiritual, they drank alcohol,

not forgotten. Beissel had been a fine musician. Ephrata's


choir

own

as the Harmony
more accommodat-

ing relationship with the temporal world,

his death in 1768,

dissolved. But

his

known

Society, adopted a

ended with

commune

another German evange-

lennial utopianism to America.

expelled from the community.

and within a few years the

restored buildings are a popular

ta's

The original of this reconstructed labyrinth of hedges was created at


Harmonie, Indiana, by Father George
Rappseen at about age eighty in the inset.
The maze, which contained a small central temple as the goal for those negotiating
it, was beUeved to be a representation of the search for spiritual fulfillment.

in

Wurttemberg

in his

home

in

at the

757,

age of

le '

"fJL enter the


Mount LebUS eS

New

m * ,s ."

and

suits

non,

*' s

YorK, u

rate doors

tflken

wa s Shak-

married couples considered their

bonds dissolved.

Skeptics have since charged that despite his public


thirty to a

who

followers,

him Father. Rapp

called

spurned the Lutheran church, denouncing

all

He never doubted
would end while he was alive and that
would present all of his disciples to Christ

that the

thorities as hypocrites.

Rapp and

his followers

were repeatedly

Many

own

he, personally,

earth.

were regard-

Twenty years

later,

today that marriage

and

pared to meet him

of the Rappites, including

In 1814, the

in

fit

state,

his followers' funds to

where he used

Wabash River, where


town named Harmonic Within

his

which they could not be

if

they established another


a few years,

and rows of grapevines surrounded neat

buy 5,000 acres of land north of

A year later, some 600

them, but as

was uncongenial to the wine grapes


cultivate. So they moved to the banks of

Indiana's

sailed for America,

among

me

Rappites grew dissatisfied with Pennsyl-

they were trying to

establish them-

selves elsewhere.

Rapp

in his diary

they were taken up by sensual pleasures."

money

and

an observer described

not forbidden

is

vania, because the soil

In 1803,

serenity in

they expect Christ to reappear soon, they wish to be pre-

jailed as heretics.

Germany and

was seeking

a conversation with a Rappite schoolmaster: "He told

ascen-

George Rapp himself, were successful farmers and had


with which to leave

sex drive had ebbed. Sympathetic

observers hold that the community

But they had an advantage that most other persecuted

Nonconformists lacked.

his

order to better prepare for the expected rule of Christ on

world

civil authorities,

of reluctance, Rapp himself pushed for this profound

change because

church au-

for their

sion into heaven. Predictably these teachings

ed as seditious by both Lutheran and

show

small band of

fertile fields

streets, lined

faithful fol-

with identical brick residences that were forerunners of

lowed and began building the community of Harmonic

twentieth-century prefabs. Ready-to-use structural compo-

They quickly created a large and successful commune, with

nents, including insulation panels,

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

number of small

industries, including a

The Rappites loved


meals a day, and

to eat, putting

visitors

found the

away

whiskey

stocked in a central warehouse. Strangers used to the slap-

distillery.

dash look of most

four or five large

portly,

had indeed stumbled on

communities.

Beneath the placid

exterior,

feeling burned. In 1807, a

wave

however, intense religious

their

of fervor swept over the

was

Rappites and a group of them proposed that the community

become

celibate. Rapp, after expressing reservations,

forbidden, but sentiment in the

community

towns were amazed by Har-

was

the

their

community

many

thought they

an outpost of Utopia.

book

that they readily agreed that

common.

strongly fa-

clined to recruit

vored total abstention from sex, and the majority of the

with him. After

In 1818,

of

its

amounts each family had

origi-

disin-

new members, and


all, if

all

they ritually burned

community. Father Rapp was

that recorded the

nally brought into the

62

at least

More Germans arrived to join the Rappites, and at


peak they numbered some 900 souls. So prosperous

property be held in

persuaded to endorse the change. Marriage was not actually

frontier

monie's clean and orderly aspect, and

congenial group

remarkably free of the fanaticism that marked some millennialist

were numbered and

Christ

his followers concurred

was soon

to reappear, as they

fervently believed,

why

should they worry about the future?

Yet in 1824, Father Rapp, disturbed perhaps that com-

placency would dim their spiritual


ples to

move

again.

They sold

fire,

enjoined his disci-

their land

on the Wabash and

ens;

and

their chief

None was

aim

is

to

be ready

to see that glorious

returned to Pennsylvania, to a site not far from their original

George Rapp began

ready-made community. That

some rumblings

of discontent were heard.

There were claims that Father Rapp was

guage and a
selfish

and

despotic and that he employed shamanistic tricks, such as


scurrying back

and

forth through a secret tunnel to con-

vince his followers he could materialize in two places at the

same

was even

time. There

Johannes married
ther

had had him castrated and

death.

that

Gertrude,

it

who

his

son

true that Jo-

a daughter,

then lived with her grandfather.

ligious charlatan

styled himself

A German reBernhard Miiller, who

appeared on the scene.

by the

name

of

Count Maximillian de Leon, wheedled

Rapp

to divide the

hesive

mortal form; the

common

his disciples shared

cahad
self as a

dinary

a harder task. She arrived in

medium between

life

of the

New

spirit.

To

by the burning-tree vision, she had to

start

within a decade she had launched a

years,

7,000) in twenty-four different

Maine

in

communities scattered from

736 to a poor blacksmith and his wife

Lane, Manchester, England,

visions,

which convinced her

they

on she

Ann Lee was an

told of being visited

that the

seemed uninterested

in

whatever the future might hold

of the Lord; they await the appearance of


Christ in the heav-

coming

in

in

Toad

unusually

by religious

world was depraved


reluctantly

mar-

Standerin, a blacksmith like her father, and

quick succession to four children. All of them

died in birth or infancy, a trauma that unquestionably affected her future convictions about celibacy.

When Ann was

1874 noted that

apart from the millennium. "The people look for the

Abraham

gave birth

vigorous, though

A visitor in

that has

to Indiana to Florida.

Born

community's wealth. Rapp

Economy remained

from scratch. Yet

more than 200 years and that at its peak embraced


some 4,000 Believers (some estimates range as high as

ried

more

her-

lasted

now wealthy community's economy, and


tled down once again.

inhabited only by elderly people.

saw

commanded

movement

and wicked. At the age of twenty-five, she

For thirty

Ameri-

to

ordinary people and the extraor-

child. Early

years old, Father Rapp died.

lan-

York with only

build her church, as

bought Miiller off with a cash settlement that barely affected

In 1847, close to ninety

one

vision of bright angels

her husband, brother, and five other disciples. She

somber

the group set-

of

national heritage buttressed their co-

Ann Lee she whose

spirit.

and began press-

the

last

his utopia-building enterprise with a

had allegedly calmed the Atlantic storm en route

his

community along with a small band of confed-

erates. Miiller recruited dissident Rappites

ing Father

is

in 1812, shortly after the birth of

In 1831, a rival

into the

when

Johannes had bled to

The story was never proved, but

hannes died

way

a dark rumor that

in defiance of the celibacy order, his fa-

in

the Rappites died in 1921.

home. Here they established the town of Economy, and


here

day

for this great event."

that

twenty-three, she joined a small sect

had broken away from


-

-.-SSJ3S
of
Visitors fro^^ -the back
VIOT-

Quaker

the

faith.

The church emphasized a

direct spiritual

contact between the individual and God, and

its

form of

worship was "ecstatic" involving the physical gyrations


that

would

so scandalize the captain of the Mariah.

later

Outsiders referred to the sect derisively as the Shaking

Quakers, or Shakers.
Life

grew perilous

for the

spread. Their singing, dancing,

deemed

their reputation

and shouting worship was

a breach of laws protecting the Sabbath,

ers frequently

Ann

Shakers as

Lee,

were rousted from

their services

meanwhile, grew increasingly

the group, mainly

and the dramatic

on the basis of her

and

jailed.

influential within

forceful personality

intensity of the visions she reported.

while in the Manchester

In 1770,

and Shak-

jail

on a charge of

Sabbath breaking, Lee experienced a vision that eclipsed


previous ones. Christ appeared and

Eve engaging

in sex.

their copulation

Ann was made

that this

was

to

understand that

had been not a natural act

but one of self-indulgence and

all

showed her Adam and

was

for

propagation

therefore sinful and

the act that had brought the Fall of mankind.

Thenceforth, she declared, only persons

who

forswore

carnal behavior could hope for salvation. Impressed by

all

the

power of this

insight,

members

Lee their leader and began calling her


the Word. Eventually her role

male incarnation of

Ann
Mother Ann and Ann

of her sect declared

expanded

Christ's spirit.

to render her a fe-

Not long after came the

burning-tree vision that sent her to America.


After the Mariah delivered
to

New

while

York

some

in the

summer

of the others

for a place to settle.

husband soon

dis-

Ann Lee and

her

city,

escaping her

fiery

piety
al

and

vow

sex.

to

went up the Hudson River

to look

hmmhhmhm|h|
(.

unilater-

eschew

She rejoined

her cohorts in

Giving

Waning Song
64

band

Mother Ann worked as a laundress. Her

appeared into the


bowels of the

little

of 1774, she stayed in the city

776, in Niskeyuna, near Albany,

had come

to the

New World

and began the work she

to accomplish.

She encountered conflicting responses. To Baptist


farmers dissatisfied with what

many

mal church, Ann Lee's exhortations


itual

commitment

fell

to a

on receptive

was an overly formore intensely spir-

felt

ears.

To

Calvinists ren-

dered spiritually powerless by their grim doctrine of


predestination, the Shakers' insistence

hand

in their

own

reach of anyone.

salvation

All

seemed

along the

New

on taking a personal

to put

England

heaven within
frontier

Amer-

icans began to take notice of Mother Ann.

But there were problems. Shaker worship was undeniably odd, and celibacy, temperance, and renunciation of

personal property did not

women. Nor

come

easily to frontier

did the Shaker concept of

female deity, with Mother

Ann

God as

men and

a dual male-

as Christ's female

spirit, sit

well with some. Furthermore, the Shakers' religious convictions

would not allow them

to take sides in America's

with England

war

or, later, to

new

When outsiders began attending Shaker meetings, the wild


and impromptu "laboring" that
had characterized the Believers'
earlier dancing began to evolve
into a more orderly ritual. The

swear allegiance

dance movement,
called the square order shuffle,
was introduced in 1 785 by the
puritanical Shaker leader Father Joseph Meacham, who was
inspired by a vision of angels
dancing before God. More
steps, such as the ones shown
by this Shaker sister, were later

than the sect had

followers were stoned,


kicked, and beaten with

developed to inspire humility,


defeat temptation, and bring
about the gifts of spiritual love.

of forty-eight and greatly

first distinct

to the

United States.

These deviations produced a wrath even greater

known

in

Manchester. During a missionary tour between 1781

and 1783, Ann Lee and her

clubs.

year

later, at

the age

Receiving Love

Quick March

Humility

Shaker chemist Alonzo Hollister (top) employs a vacu-

um pan

evaporator to proc-

ess an herbal medicine in


the beginning of the twentieth century. The nostrums

were marketed successfully


in many parts of the
world, including France,
where the Shaker name
on a label (left) meant
brisk sales of a medicinal herbal tea.

LADY'S-SLIPPER
Considered a "nerve root, " Lady's-Slipper
was gathered in August or September
and used to treat headaches and other
mild nervous disorders.

A Shaker Catalog of Herbal Remedies


The Shakers were an enormously industrious and inventive group, ever

various ingredients for use in their

interested in improving everyday

By 1830, the Believers were selling


their herbs and extracts to a variety of
dealers, drug firms, and doctors some

life

with new, innovative devices and tech-

They are credited with inventbroom and the circular


saw, for example, and with being the
first to merchandise garden seeds
niques.
ing the

in

flat

The Believers also

built a thriving

business in the area of herbal medi-

Although they relied mostly upon

spiritual healing to relieve diseases,

the supernatural

as far

remedies.

away as

gift

was considered

common

Australia.

One

of the

most popular nostrums was the Shaker


sarsaparilla syrup. Sold in concentrat-

ed form

paper packets.

cine.

home

for

about one dollar per

bottle,

was hailed in an 1847 advertisement as a cure for "Diarrhoea," "Cuit

taneous Eruptions," and "Headaches


of every kind," as well as a host of

other maladies.

ailments. Hence, the Shakers turned to

Salesmen pointed to the welldocumented longevity of Shakers as

herbs as a religiously acceptable

testimony to the effectiveness of their

too precious to be used on

means of relief.
Some knowledge

all

came

with

them from Europe, but they carefully


studied plants and roots shown to
them by earlier settlers and American
Indians. Despite

MAIDENHAIR

medicines. Although that longevity


of herbs

some unfortunate

experiments with poisonous plants,


they accrued impressive expertise in
growing, gathering, and processing

was probably more

attributable to the

Believers' temperate, dedicated, lowstress lifestyles,

many

of their herbs

had genuine medicinal

effects.

But in

some could also be


dangerous. None of those shown here
should be consumed except on a phythe

wrong

doses,

sician's advice.

66

A beautiful fern

with a glossy purple


Maidenhair is found in damp, rocky
woods. It was used by the Shakers in
the relief of coughing, asthma, influenza,

stalk,

and other ailments.

SHEPHERD'S-PURSE

BAYBERRY

COLTSFOOT

A common weed found abundantly in

Considered valuable in treating


diarrhea and dysentery, Bayberry was also
used in powdered form as a snuff to
treat nasal congestion. It is usually found in
dry woods or in open fields.

Sometimes called Ginger Root or


Coughwort, Coltsfoot was used in treating
whooping cough and pulmonary disorders.
It was also taken in snuffform for headaches
or used externally as a poultice.

and roadways, Shepherd'sPurse was thought useful in controlling


scurvy and in stopping hemorrhages.

fields, pastures,

UtilV t'utWuU^t.

r ~. ,

~s

'
:

-^ tlr~~ -S~.i C

jSLUvL^UlOm;^

FALSE HELLEBORE

SNAKEHEAO

Used to treat pneumonia, typhoid

Called Fishmouth and Turtlebloom,


among other names, this herb acted as a
gentle laxative and as a tonic for the liver.

fever,

and itching, False Hellebore was


also an insect poison.

PITCHER PLANT
Found in bogs and wet meadows
throughout Canada and the United States,
Pitcher Plant (also called Eve's Cup
and Fly Trap) was used
in preparing

67

stomach

tonics.

weakened by

the abuse,

Yet although she never


ty,

A Vibranl BlacK Spiitt

Ann Lee
saw

died in Niskeyuna.

a single Shaker

Joseph

Meacham and Lucy

number
some young Shaker women said that on a
the "spirit land," they saw white slaveowners

visit to

serving their former slaves. Shakers nodded in understanding:

God was

Unlike

just.

many Americans

from their fellowship nor


dreamed-of Utopia. Perhaps the most re-

from their
markable black to enjoy this equality was a charismatic Philadelphia woman, Rebecca Jackson.
Jackson was an illiterate thirty-five-year-old seamstress who knew nothing of Shakers when, she said, a
spirit taught her to read and write. Thus she could tell
her story in a misspelled, unpunctuated but fiercely
compelling autobiography. God called her to preach in
1830 during a storm that "was athundering and Lighting as

if

Ware a coming to
a spirit woman showed

the heavenes and earth

gather."

how

From

1833, she said,

"how to walk through the world."


on her first visit to a Shaker community, she
realized from their dress and demeanor that her spirit
guide was a Shaker. "I had never seen anybody beher

to behave,

In 1836,

fore that looked like her," she

wrote.

"I

vivid

visions

who

their

'

in

Philadel-

whose

services

were marked

by powerful ecstatic visions. One of


followers

(right).

was

Rebecca

as 100

members

each. The villages operated

on a system of authoritarian control and


divisions of labor. Every minute

carefully planned

was ordered according

After Jackson's death in

to a

church plan. Most distractions from bright colors to musical

instruments were frowned upon, and members were

enjoined to avoid contact with the outside world. Job as-

signments were rotated

to

monotony, however, and

women

performed the household duties and

men used heavy

equipment, other positions were open

although the
only

to relieve

both sexes.

In all things,

the

good of the community

came

first,

and

thrift, skill,

and hard work were especially valued.


all

their

communities carried
their

sewn goods, textiles,


pincushions, and
foods became known
"outside." In their
business

made
ing

affairs,

they

a point of giv-

good

value.

As

Perot

one outsider, the

1871,

English socialist

assumed her mentor's name and


the leadership of the group, which remained active for another forty years.
Perot

many

several "families"

buckets and baskets,

phia a mostly black society of Shaker

her

with as

community comprised

on a brisk trade as

1850s, she got

backing to found

sisters

Typically, a

er

routinely traveled into the

world. In the

York

and New England.

Despite

odds with the world.


Her brother, an African Methodist
Episcopal church leader, thought
her insane. Her husband tried to
kill her when she chose celibacy.
Her spiritual life was too vigorous
to be contained even among Shakspirit

New

otherworldliness, Shak-

often

set her at

ers,

of converts grew, and within ten years of Ann's

loved this people."

Jackson's

The

reality.

death, eleven Shaker communities flourished in

of the

era, they did not bar blacks

who

Wright, the church elders

undertook to turn Mother Ann's vision into


In 1838,

communi-

the seed she planted bore fruit under the leadership of

George Holyoake,
put

it,

"They are

the only dealers

'

hfc

The Shakers^*
graving are

of the

wood

en-

* one

P^^gina^

Wceary

eiT faith.

hexag
a sacred

been

"* eFOUn fenced. The dosed


were
dancing
^ eared
o/
,
and wiia
Jmols
rituals

^S

s]abs
slabs

scribed

pro^^^dnonte
whichW
roveland

marble,

carvedin
Iieversaway.Tn^
ft)
<le&.
cSeW .
7o^tain Stone
43byB;/fcoctnalcerat
l

America who
how to
make honesty pay."
The Shakers'
in

have known

reverence

ton Votings,

*"

the
rk, is

stone

for fine

craftsmanship was

embodied

in

two of

Lee's oft-repeated aph-

One was "Do

orisms.

all your work as though


you had a thousand

years to

would
must

live,

if

die

and as you

you knew you


tomorrow." The

other put her teachings


in a nutshell:

hands

"Put your

work, and your

to

hearts to God."

There was never any


question that doing God's

work was
ness.

the Shakers'

first

order of busi-

Nor was there doubt about where the

a "dancing day"

God lay: It was in spiritualism. "Shakerism was founded in Spiritualism," wrote


two Shaker eldresses, Anna White and Leila S. Taylor, who
collaborated on a book on the subject. "Its very essence

described by one of the visitors

path to

and

life

principle

reaction

is

that of conscious, continuous action

life

was

full

years observed Shaker behavior. The evening began with

and facing each

feet apart

and

women

beween

the

two

lines

and

"Go

delivered a five-minute sermon, concluding by saying,

of vision and

spirit teaching. Her

forth, old

with

all

cess into the light of open revelation."


belief

men, young men and maidens, and worship God

their

might

At that, the

was Mother Ann's

women

convic-

millennium already had begun. She taught that

four

in a

in the

men

dance."

stripped off their coats

men and

four

room

Proof lay in their "continuous" interaction with the

their side of the

singing.

Soon

women
the

remained

men were

room and

the

grew wilder and almost

tongues that was part of their

the dancers spoke to or touched

rituals.

ing halls at the center of each Shaker village.

in the

When

meet-

A meeting on

orgiastic in

they appeared to

theirs.

The dance

movement, but none of

anyone of the opposite

tire,

The dancers formed an elongated


69

at the center of the

dancing vigorously on

women on

world, manifested in the ecstatic dancing and speaking in

These took the form of regular gatherings

and joined the

double-time march around the room, while

Shakers were living halfway between earth and heaven.


spirit

five

The chief elder of the

other.

"family" in the dwelling stood

maturity won, through soul agonies almost unthinkable, ac-

tion that the

two ranks, men and

the Shakers standing in

and of sense. Ann

The center of Shaker

was

over the

spirit

between the worlds of

Lee's child

who

sex.

the elder gave a signal.


ring,

then paused, wait-

two

women began

to whirl silently

from an imaginary chest, "a coat of twelve different colors;

across the center of the floor, spinning like tops. The others

a sky-blue, gold-buttoned jacket ... a pair of white trousers

ing in silence. Suddenly,

watched motionless and expressionless. The

women

spangled with stars

and a

whirled for fifteen minutes. Then, just as suddenly, they

women were

stopped and returned to their places.

in pairs before the elders

One
to

of the two

women

who

women

Ann has

head

much communication with the spirits at one


meeting some 40,000 disembodied souls were said to be

while they danced: "Mother

present an elaborate

sent two angels to inform us that a tribe of Indians

ples,

has been round here two days and want the brothers and
sisters to take

them

in.

They are outside the building

was

utterly

wine, and

confused

possessed of the

The celebrants

sat

to enjoy the banquet, at

spiritual

wine were consumed so much

after this spiritual visi-

feasters

behaved

When

visitor

in a

down on

which great quantities of

some

that

ing

It

them away discovered one

was

communicants

Such

blissful

still

indulgences

was

missing.

invisible

made up

for the

sober tenor

bacy were unequivocal. Sometimes

in

element never disappeared. And

men and women exchanged

hugs and

hilltop to reaffirm their

was decreed

it

community should hold

a holy feast

commitment

gown.

of the Shakers' daily lives. Mother Ann's strictures

a fierce reviv-

An

had gone about her

wore her

dances became more elaborate and formal. But the ecstatic


of spiritualism swept the group;

re-

on one oc-

said that

outfit

investigation revealed that a sister

chores forgetting that she

Shaker meetings changed over the years, and the

a year each

of the

decidedly drunken manner.

the celebration ended, the

turned their heavenly costumes.

as would require a Dickens to describe."

al

real

casion, an elder counting the spiritual garments while pack-

the brethren became Indians. Then ensued a regular powwow, with whooping and yelling and strange antics, such

in the 1840s,

pies,

were spread on a

(so the records report)

benches

he learned that the

of Indian squaws, and about six of

spirits

manna

great imaginary table.

was present on
a subsequent evening when the Indians were welcomed in
by the Shakers: "Whereupon eight or nine sisters became
meeting ended. The same

pomegranates, oranges,

since before Co-

until

who had been dead

lumbus discovered America. Shortly


tation, the

peaches, pineapples, cherries, apricots, grapes, straw-

sweetcakes, milk and honey, locusts and wild honey, white

there,

As he could see no one peering through the windows,


"Indians" were spirits

began. Invisible ap-

spiritual feast

berries, whortleberries,

looking in at the windows."

the visitor

and eldresses while two angels

After

eldress,

Ann had communicated

then announced that Mother

with the two whirling

to the

given similar phantom apparel. Shakers knelt

bedecked them with splendid imaginary garments.

have a communication

said, "I

make." She mumbled something

The

fur hat of a silver color."

"gifts" of

on

celi-

worship services
kisses, but

apart from such public occasions, an adult could spend his

that twice

on a nearby

or her entire

to the spiritual world.

sex.

Women

life

without ever touching a person of the other

and men ate

at separate tables. Buildings

had

Fasting preceded the

two doors, two stairways,

morn-

and extrawide passageways

community trooped
mount in a joy-

so brothers and sisters could

great day,
ing the

and

in the

pass back and forth without

to the holy

ous parade.

one such day

touching.

description of

how

Some

Believers

the

could not abide such a regi-

Shakers donned spiritual


garments of great richness.

men and defected to the


wicked "outside." Most,

Each brother was issued,

though, found serenity in

tells

A Shaker sister has fallen into a trance after spinning


a top in order to communicate with the spirit world in this
woodblock print. The ability to receive spirit messages in
this manner was known as the whirling gift.

like

70

gy^k A

-*N%

^B^S&1

'

'

'

'

.'.

.-.

''

"

'

'J

The gracefully curling branches of this Tree of Light, painted by


represent Mother Ann Lee's seminal vision of a burning tree.
Cohoon, one of the few Shakers to sign works of art, joined the church in
181 7 and remained a member until her death forty-seven years later.

Hannah Cohoon,

A Gallery of Spiritual Visions


During the nineteenth century, certain

as objects of art but as signs of union

members

with God,

of the Shaker faith began ex-

much

the

same as

their

pressing their religious feelings and

other "gifts" of songs, dances, and

visions through an art form referred to

inspired preaching.

as gift drawings. These curious works,


which were generally executed in

writings

terms of nature or in elaborate, abstract symbols, are particularly puzzling in light of specific

Shaker pro-

The

individual

paper immediately and that they were


not necessarily drawn by the same

who had originally experienced the vision.


Whether the drawings were products
individual

and drawings were, according


Shaker tradition, controlled and
dictated by a spirit rather than by a

brief unfettering of

human

thing

to

artist.

There

is

some

evidence, however, of

of divine inspiration or simply of a

is

certain:

Shaker

talent,

They were not

one

greatly

prized by the Shakers themselves. Of

more than

hibitions that forbade ornamentation

deliberate creation involving the use of

of any

ruled lines, a compass, and even pre-

1 ,200 thought to have been


drawn, only 192 are presently account-

liminary sketches. This suggests that

ed

One

sort.

explanation for the paradox

that Shakers

saw

the

gift

is

drawings not

not

all

"visions" were committed to

for.

The

rest

ally discarded.

were apparently casu-

The tree, a favorite motif in


Shaker art, is also an apt metaphor for the church members'
compelling sense of community. The vision that inspired
Hannah Cohoon's ink and watercolor, A Bower of Mulberry
Trees (top), came to her during
a meeting in 1854. She said, "it
was painted upon a large white
sheet and held up over the
brethren's heads. I

saw it very

distinctly." Later, the spirit

showed her close-up views of


painted leaves from the bower
"so that 1 might know how to
paint them more correctly."

The words

in this

1845 gift

drawing, entitled A Sheet Prepared and Written According to

Mother Ann's Directions, do


not tumble forth like the spirit
messages they supposedly are
but instead fill the whole page
with ordered and tightly scripted lines in strict geometric arrangements. The artist, Sister
Hester Ann Adams, was a descendant of United States president John Adams. The paintingis the only one she is known to
have done and was preserved as
a spiritual treasure by Shakers
at Sabbathday Lake, Maine.-

"

Unsigned, but attributed to Sister Polly Collins

of Hancock,

Massachusetts, this ink and watercolor painting,

An Emblem

of the Heavenly Sphere, honors


forty -eight saints of the Shaker
faith.

Mother Ann

Lee, the

church founder, is at top left. At


the top of the right-hand column is Christopher Columbus;
his position in relation to the
others demonstrates the importance of the discovery of the
New World to the Shaker vision
of Utopia. Also in the painting
are several examples of the
tree-of-life motif. The
inscription describes the joys

Shakers'

of "the happy land above.

their enforced

celibacy aided, no doubt, by the strenuous

and uninhibited

alistic interest in their

activity of their dances.

it.

Obviously, no children were born to Shakers. But from

nearby communities they took

Some belonged
ered the

orphanages

first

communal

in

for

than they would have been

The

regretted the decision to follow Mother Ann.

movement. Others

At the end of the eighteenth century, another female sect

villages might well be consid-

leader rose spectacularly into public prominence, her star

America, and their schools and

briefly as bright as

childcare arrangements ensured that

youngsters were cared

all

and taught as well as or

among

Ann

seemed always about

to

and claimed

death, her original soul

less to its zero birthrate than to the decreasing ability

What

new members

in

life

world and the world of the


is left

today

is

where

suspended

was

of Shakerism for most of the world

furniture, design,

manifested

itself in

among

the

fect.

buildings
ings

carefully

were painted dark

deep

colors,

and the walls and


in

ceilings inside

of pegs so the

("There

is

ture itself

in

was always

no
is

white,

on rows

Sabbathday Lake, Maine, and others

Hampshire. Most were

old,

and

all

at Canterbury,

new animating

The

warn

heaven,

Spirit of Life

the sinful world

hand.

at

ef-

She approached the hamlets of Rhode Island and Con-

where she sought her converts, aboard a white


in

flowing robes a

tall,

beautiful

woman

to the best-educated

and wealthi-

on them often was

A judge named Potter became


new wing on his house for her

electric.

and eventually bestowed most of

her. Significantly, the judge's loyalty did not

Jemima took vows of


But

when

his wealth

waver even

chastity.

her disciples declared that she

was

actually

Jesus Christ, Wilkinson's credibility waned, and she


forced to give up her proselytizing and

was aucwhat was

only a handful of Shakers survived,

to

to

communities, and her influence

after

move

property she acquired near Seneca Lake in


There, in 1790, she founded the

intended as an expression of spiritual purity.


In the 1990s,

a fever-induced coma. In

est residents of her targeted

on

prized almost beyond worth by connois-

tioned for $80,000 a startling material value for

was

so entranced that he built a

plaster

rooms could be swept scrupulously clean


Heaven," said Mother Ann). The furni-

seurs of Americana. In the 1980s, a Shaker chair

at

employ Jemima Wilkinson

exclusive use

their small pieces of furniture

in

had been transported

twos, silent as ghosts.

dirt in

now

to

She preached only

dark blue-green woodwork.

Shakers hung

over America.

black eyes. Behind her, a train of robed attendants followed

creams or yel-

were of blue-white

all

her early twenties, with shining dark hair and piercing

Work-

reds, or tans.

lighter, in

lows. The exterior of the meeting nouse

trimmed

in

mandated. Barns and service build-

shops and residential houses were

have died while

horse and dressed

effi-

and getting out manure. The colors of Shaker

were

millennialist frenzy that

stayed. God, meanwhile, installed a

it

necticut,

built.

most

cient structures ever constructed for housing cattle, bring-

ing in hay,

England, and her

Wilkinson was a master of the calculated dramatic

craftsmanship

every edifice they

Their circular barns, for example, are

to

that the millennium

and craftsmanship. Mother


for careful

become. Jemima

force, the Spirit of Life, within her body.

spirits.

the remarkable legacy of architecture,

Ann's prescription

emerge

to

New

Wilkinson called herself the Public Universal Friend

adults in the

owes

real

on the

story sheds a lurid light

better

outside population. The fading of the sect in this century

of the Shakers to interest

was

Lee's

Wilkinson's fame spread throughout

the

outer world.

in the

villages recruited actively

between the

spir-

hundreds of youngsters.

in

to families joining the

were orphans. The Shaker

works as a corruption of Shaker

But however bleak the prospects for Utopia, none of them

some

During their

New

brought

looked upon the materi-

mill,

74

in

first

was

to a large

New

York.

community of Jerusalem.

years there, Wilkinson's followers

bumper wheat crops,

built

a gristmill and saw-

and started a school. By 1800, some 250 people were

living

under the sway of the Universal Friend. Over time,

mile

however, the Friend's hand grew heavy. She demanded expensive

from

gifts

in

community, explaining that "the

the.

voice that

Friend hath need of these things." She punished doubters

by making them wear black hoods


time or ordering them to

tie bells to their

Disillusioned, Judge Potter

and

lost the case,

grew

at a

own

to

gape

at her.

When

community of Jerusalem broke up


not to snicker at

Jemima Wilkinson's

find

it

that salvation lay in the West,

to follow.

where Metz

the path led to Iowa,

settled

if its

hard

wilderness. Fired by their zeal, they created in a few years a

Utopia

in 1819, the

almost as

Some may

inmates had been granted a reprieve.

him

some 800 of his disciples. They named their new


Amana, from a verse in the Song of Solomon, "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse,
with me from Lebanon! Look from the top of
Amana!" Like other groups, Metz's followers discovered
that pooling capital and work was the best way to tame the

money,

devices. She

she died

rapidly,

told

were ready

Eventually

coats.

to recover his

God had

his neighbors

and old and was depressed by the parade of tour-

sick

who came

ists

sued

the Friend to her

left

months

for three

when he preached in the countryside around his home


When he announced in his booming

Neuwied, Prussia.

viable farming

story, but the disciples

and

would have taken

industrial society that

who followed her "into the wilderness" to prepare for a


new age stayed together for some thirty years, longer than
many of the sixty or so such American communities that

a less orderly

sprang up

courage comparisons of rank and encouraged a drab asex-

Two

in the

communal

on the other hand, not only survived but


form so altered as to obscure

in a

origins.

ual appearance

Utopias,

exist,

still

their fervent evangelical

Amana

the

its

name endures today principally as

ing enterprise that produces a


pliances.
strictly

The

other,

founded

many

German

ued

others,

that of a manufactur-

Oneida,

New

York,

it,

too,

porate descendant, one that today

makers of stainless

steel

among

was a

ties

who

divine guidance through a succession of

ments whose

spiritual lineage

in the

The community contin-

was

the largest

Amana grew

to

its

and

richest

inner spir-

resemble other

communi-

of the early twentieth century.

Amana

religious

and

The business assets were gathered

into

Society split apart

its

new Amana Society. Shares were distributed among


members according to years of service, and economic communalism was replaced by a wage system.

the country's

the

God provided

human

1870s

In 1932, the

silverplated tableware.

believed that

and

industrial activities.

The founders of Amana were members of a German


sect called Inspirationists,

in 1867.

conservative, religious, economically successful

has a prosperous cor-

is

and

to flourish

Metz died

itual fire cooled. Eventually,

famous line of household apin

damp licelibacy was

in order to

of any of the American Utopias. But gradually

pietism. But

American creation whose unique tenets included a

prescription for free love. Yet

largest

Christian

Society in Iowa, like so

roots to the rich soil of

to dis-

edge off the repression.

less alike in their beginnings.

One, the

women

on the part of

bidinous energies. Marriage

profitable capitalistic enterprises. Yet they could hardly

could trace

wore uniform clothing

was allowed, but


more esteemed. Temperance was urged for all, but a certain amount of beer drinking and tobacco smoking took the

though

Both began as communal societies and ended up as

have been

to achieve.

The people of Amana grappled with the same issues


other Utopians faced: They

second half of the nineteenth century.

of those attempts to create

community decades

The community founded

instru-

tinctly

in

American experiment

Oneida
in

in

1847 was a dis-

utopianism that went

against the grain of most such enterprises in one key way:

reached back to the sixteenth

It

century. In the 1840s, they decided that God's instrument

championed sexual conduct

was

a former carpenter

ventional nineteenth-century society. Yet the quirky experi-

feet

tall,

named

Christian Metz. Barely five

Metz was blessed with a voice said

that thoroughly

ment worked remarkably well

to soar half a

75

shocked con-

for nearly thirty-five years,

mune, were avant-garde if not scandalous in


the late 1860s, when this photo was probably
taken. The Oneida Mansion House (bottom)
was big enough to comfortably accomm
modate virtually the entire commu-

Like a lordly male lion amid his pride, John


Humphrey Nqyes is seated here at the center

of a mainly female group of Perfectionnext to a summerhouse on their


Oneida, New York, estate. The

ists,

women's short haircuts and


their loose trousers

knee-length skirts,
ual symbols of

vis-

their freedom

^^mm

almost 300 people. In the


1851 portrait inset at lower
left, Noyes is seen at
^^Kn_ about the age offorty, a decade after
he founded
the movement.

nity,

under

L.

M^

,.-

and

equality
in the

com-

76

under growing pressure from scandalized moralists,

until,

eased

it

American mainstream.

the

itself into

Oneida's leader, John Humphrey Noyes,


of a congressman from

Vermont and a

was

the son

Mr.

distant relation of

given to visionary insights.

was a well-educated
One day in 1833, while

was suddenly

struck by a statement

Graham's Meal Did

President Rutherford B. Hayes. Noyes

man also

reading the Bible, he

made

Jesus

to Peter concerning the disciple John: "If

he tarry

that

till

come, what

is

naturally a fruit

will

century reformer

was

the correct diet,

that to thee?" Christ

is

"Man

and vegetable-eating

animal," proclaimed Sylvester Graham, a nineteenth-

who was

convinced

an individual could

that,

through

attain a kind of

personal Utopia of health, spiritual as well as bodily.

saying or hinting that John might remain


Savior's return, the
that these

words

alive until the

Second Coming. The verses go on

started a

rumor among the

Meat, alcohol, tea, coffee, spices, and heated foods,


he believed, overstimulated the stomach, the body's
"grand central organ." Their ingestion caused excitability and unnaturally increased the sex drive. This
taxed the nervous system, causing nervous breakdowns, insanity, even early death.
A former Presbyterian minister, Graham preached
that a poor diet destroyed self-control and that sickness inevitably followed. To ward off these evils, he
prescribed cold baths, outdoor exercise, and a spartan
vegetarianism that featured whole-wheat bread and
plenty of water. In lectures delivered throughout the
Northeast in the 1 830s, he tirelessly proclaimed the

to say

disciples that

John had been given immortality.

But in a flash of spiritual illumination, Noyes saw

words

Jesus'

would

in

new

was not saying

Christ

light.

that John

forever he was saying that the Second Coming

live

would be much sooner than anyone envisioned. Indeed, declared Noyes, Christ
fixed

on

cifixion,

that year

is

must have returned


not

clear),

when John may have

in

AD

one generation
been

still

70 (why he

after his cru-

alive.

superiority of his diet to the high-fat tablefare

Noyes's revelation convinced him that the world


ready

was

divided into the sinless and the damned.

stock of himself, decided he

was one

his role clearly: to create a

heaven on earth

and

women

could

A young,

was

sex.

Grahamism caught hold among a number of Utopitoo. Shakers were attracted to the claim

an groups,

that a "bloodless" diet

So rather than seeking

pose more restrictive rules on sexual

clearly

one

to im-

activity in order to

tionists

In the end,

Noyes argued that one should associate sexuality with


.

depended
Graham's own
health did not help his case. After a nervous breakdown, he died at fifty-seven but not before he invented a simple whole-wheat biscuit that he viewed
as a near-perfect food and that became his most
mostly on the gastrointestinal

and thoughts of purity

He insisted that "to be ashamed of


the sexual organs is to be ashamed of God's workmanship."
Furthermore, he decried monogamy, insisting that one of
the first rules of life in heaven is that there is no marriage.
Scriptures,

he decreed that

among

orthodox medicine helped squelch his

provocative notion that the perfect

affection."

Drawing on the

became convinced that purer food would


The transcendentalists, like Gra-

ham, thought an unhealthful diet resulted from rapid


industrial growth and city living.

must be among the angels

"images of the Garden of Eden

sexual self-restraint

create a purer race.

namely, free and open lovemaking.

and chaste

made

Although abstinence from meat never became


mandatory, separate vegetarian tables cropped up in
Shaker dining halls. In contrast, the free-love Perfeceasier.

keep people pure, Noyes sought to turn sexual relations into

what he thought they

in his day.

to the strictures of his regimen.

flesh.

vigorous man, Noyes had no

of those pleasures

saw

which men

doubt that

com-

Most audiences responded with enthusiasm, and soon Grahamite hotels and boardinghouses sprang up to feed eager customers according

without renouncing the

live sinless lives

God-given pleasures of the

mon

He took

of the sinless, and


in

al-

lasting legacy: the

the Per-

77

graham

tract.

cracker.

life

as his followers would

fectionists,

call

them-

selves, "every dish is free to every guest."

Yet Noyes also


the

first

Harriet,

whom

Noyes was determined

to avoid

was

childbirth. His route

tortuous.

on a demanding form of birth

settled

which required a

control, coitus reservatus,

man

to exert total self-control during love-

making. Mastering the


out orgasm

was

requirement

in

art of intercourse with-

a high moral challenge for

the male Perfectionist.

It

was

also an essential

Noyes's system of marriage,

which men and


with

such suffering

inflicting

by preventing

to a solution

He

In

birth to five babies, four of

stillborn.

way

women

on

a dark side to sex.

six years of his marriage, his wife,

had given

were

to find a

saw

whomever

women were

in

have sex

free to

they wanted, within a compli-

cated scheme of go-betweens and rights of refusal.

Thus Noyes hoped

for his followers while

caused by a high

to provide free love

reducing the burdens

birthrate.

was

Skeptics scoff that Noyes

matic con

man who wanted

to

a charis-

be the princi-

pal player in a sexual free-for-all. Yet that

accusation does not negate the success of his social experiment. Amazingly, his prescription for birth control
to

have worked. For the

community, from 1848

were born a year

in

first

seems

two decades of the Oneida

to 1868, only

one or two children

an adult population of well over 200, a

very low birthrate for the era.

Moreover, the Perfectionists clearly were happy and


productive. Religious feeling infused
the

their activities. At

all

huge mansion and surrounding buildings

ed the Oneida community

300 followers lived


ellite

communes

in

in

New York

State, as

many

as

remarkable harmony, and several sat-

flourished in other parts of the Northeast.

Ingenious practical arrangements

and the

that constitut-

latest technological

made

life

comfortable,

improvements, such as central


78

Sexual Mysticism in
Wags have

it

that

God

occasionally

America and shakes

tilts

the nuts

roll

down

it,

making

to California.

ety uniting
all

It is

does on the continent's western


edge, as far toward the sunset as a pioneer could go has long attracted the
mystics and the seekers, the social and
it

spiritual experimenters.
first in

that tradition

hood of the New

Among

was

Life,

the

the Brother-

founded by

Thomas Lake Harris.


Once dubbed "America's bestknown mystic," Harris was better
known for alleged sexual improprieties
than for his mystical ideas although
the ideas, supposedly gathered on
voyages he made to far-off stars and
planets, were startling enough. Other
worlds, he declared, are inhabited by
beings free of sin, whereas humans
are tainted by evil from Oriana, a nowdestroyed planet that was once part of
the Solar System. The Moon, a remnant of that exploded planet, infects
Earth with Oriana 's
evil spirits.

of

the

was

to

The

humans and heavenly

man."
The commune had

games with

be-

one

thrived for four-

teen years in western

New

York when

875 Harris bought Fountain


Grove 400 acres near Santa Rosa
and moved his followers there. The
hardworking men and women grew

made

Harris's

But members took their pleasures,

and strange enjoyments they

were. Normal sex, even between mar-

to a

generally forbidden.

was

heavenly counterpart, and

union. Instead,

members were

and

to

conduct conversations and

cially

not in the prophet's case. They

said he
ly

sometimes decided

his

heaven-

counterpart had entered the body of

to five different

women

in

a single day.

may have been the reason


moved back to New York after

fresh accusations in

mune waned, and

89 1 The com.

Fountain Grove

finally sold to outsiders in 1934.

while, Harris who declared himself to

be immortal died
in 1906,

role

although

some

spawn a

assumed a new

re-

generated pure soci-

and Zinfandel wines. The manor house with

was

Mean-

brotherhood

Pinot Noir, Cabernet,

Lily

in heaven. But
charged that not all the sex
at Fountain Grove was celestial, espe-

Harris

said

to indulge in "bridal play" with angels

was Queen

Scandal

earthly sex interfered with that celestial

true bride

a woman, with whom he then could


have sex while remaining faithful to
Queen Lily. One periodical asserted
offering no proof that he made love

to Fountain Grove.

wed

own

his critics

manufactured almost everything the


used -because objects made
elsewhere might bring bad vibrations

was

so."

bore him two children

wine, printed Harris's

Harris preached that each person

more

of the Conjugal Angels, who, he said,

commune

ried partners,

described as "like sexual

Despite three earthly marriages,

endless writings on a steam press, and

too,

woman

intercourse, only infinitely

grapes,

tiny fairies inhabiting their

bodies. Apparently this play produced

pleasurable physical sensations, which

pivotal

in

Sun

California

ings under the guidance of Harris, "the

certainly true that the state hanging

as

flie

said he simply

celestial form.

its lily

pond (inset) was

79

the setting for many social activities.

steam heating, were adopted as soon as they were


able. Defections

One

were

rare,

and Oneida's economy

world. During the 1870s, rumors began flying that Noyes

avail-

was about

thrived.

recruit played a critical role in this matter. In

community welcomed Sewell Newhouse, a trapper whose fame in the north country was equivalent to that

with young

1848, the

Davy Crockett

of

making the best

West.

in the

Newhouse was known

Noyes persuaded Newhouse


1860s, Oneida factories

house traps a year,


profit.

them

all

him

to

community

from

300,000 New-

started the

to initiate

ists

his declared preoccupation with spiritual

slipping out

one night

in

1876 and de-

though, and in 1879 suggested that in light of

They followed

manufac-

tility

his

recommendation and blunted hos-

from the outside world. But without Noyes's charis-

away, and

condition

banded.

in scientific

It

in 1881,

Oneida as a formal

had spun

off its

da, Ltd. Stock in the

When Noyes

were allowed

to

died in Canada in 1886 at the

age of seventy-four, his remains were returned

have

dis-

company was divided among the


whose descendants are still share-

holders today.

of

commune was

commercial component as Onei-

alone practiced. Certain Perfectionist couples, chosen for


intellectual virtues,

mat-

man. So he with-

exile,

some

and

practical

Canada. He continued to advise the community

Perfectionists,

their physical

sex

to

explicitly expressed, let

been so

in

of the community.

should abandon the practice of free love.

tre-

breeding. Perhaps not since Plato's Republic had such a revolutionary, Utopian idea

which he engaged

matic presence, the spiritual basis of the community melted

human

an unorthodox experiment

all

rites, in

outside society's implacable moral outrage, the Perfection-

and enjoyed similar success.

Noyes's fixation on perfecting the


led

and

over the world at

girls

drew from Oneida,

By the

the traps.

sell

be charged with statutory rape because of his

Noyes was an immensely

ters,

camping

to share his secret

were producing up

selling

Later the

ture of silverware

for

trap's spring.

allow the group to manufacture and

mendous

For

steel traps in the nation, using a secret

method by which he tempered the

to

so-called first-husband

to the

Onei-

sex without coitus reservatus. Noyes, as one of the chosen,

da cemetery, where his grave was marked with a stone

fathered at least ten of the children born in the following ten

identical in size

years.

No conclusive

culture
is

scientific results

program (from

stirps,

came

Latin for

out of his

stem or

stock), but

ial

it

From

in the

relationships

basic themes

recorded that the Oneida infants had a decidedly lower

death rate than children

and

style to all others.

Although Noyes's experiments with sexual and famil-

stirpi-

outside world.

were decidedly

was

eccentric, at least

one of his

within the mainstream of American intel-

lectual debate: the idea that

human

beings, under divine

guidance, should strive for perfection on earth. The ques-

the beginning, the Perfectionists' radical sexual

behavior drew outraged criticism from the conventional

tion

was where

that guidance should

come

from.

Henry David Thoreau's dispassionate gaze from the daguerreotype at far left reflects little of
the fierce enthusiasm for observation and inquiry that marked
the transcendentalist philoso-

phy he embraced. His fellow


transcendentalist, writer and
feminist Margaret Fuller (near

owed herformidable
knowledge and intensity to
tutoring by her congressman
father, who insisted she comleft),

same courses expected


ofyoung men. Fuller died at
age forty with her husband and
infant son in a shipwreck off

plete the

New York's Fire Island.

80

For

many Americans,

the

answer was not

to

be found

ries

mainstream churches. Members of numerous European

in

had come

sects

to the

New World

for the

Some

rejecting the established clergy.

evangelists, like John

on

effect

far different results. Elizabeth

who proposed

day, based

express purpose of

on

drill,

children.

and

rote,

When

discipline,

inspired to lead others to the light. But why, asked the

Why

couldn't

ures in the transcendentalist movement.

was

a notion that struck a deep responding chord in the


political

A group
began

to gather

and engaged

impulses of America.

around a doctrine embodying


some- whose names would

women

new

philosophy

came

to

a rudiment and

God through

strict

felt

Amos

ian settings. Unfortunately, the transcendentalists proved to

be less happy there than they were

Bron-

The best known of

ticulating these themes, thinkers

sensed

could be at one

embodied God.

surprisingly close to the lessons

and

Brook Farm strove

would contribute

labor

In ar-

who had

turned

religious beliefs while at Harto serve as a

community where

to the

expansion of thought."

The experience of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who

later

intelli-

portrayed the farm in his novel The BHthedale Romance,

Mother Ann

epitomized the project's central flaw the lamentable truth


that great thinkers

When

But the transcendentalists were far removed socially


intellectually

from the simple Shakers, and

the

were not necessarily great farmers.

young Hawthorne, poor but already enjoying a

growing reputation as a

their theo-

writer, joined the

farm

in its first

portrait of Ralph Waldo


terson (near right) no doubt
pleased the preeminent tran;

endentalist,

who was seldom

with photographs of
elf. He once described the
reotype as "the true
lean style ofpainting
le artist stands aside and lets
paint yourself " Elizabeth

1w

'

al-

"thought would preside over the operations of labor, and

Lee had preached to the Shakers.

and

communities was

84 1 by George Ripley, a young preacher

vard,

such as Emerson who

in all things a tangible spiritual life

gencecame

"man

mental self-discipline and close ob-

servation of the natural world, which

Peabody's bookstore.

so one of the most short-lived Brook Farm. Founded in

be called transcen-

man

in

their Utopian

away from conservative

that

men and

general society. Out of

in the

preached they should transplant themselves to more agrar-

later:

embryo of God."

The transcendentalists
with

kind of frank talk between

resonate

still

dentalism. At the core of their belief was the idea that


is

in the

was awkward

these dialogues grew a conviction that to practice what they

son Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Elizabeth Palmer


Peabody. Their

that

this ideal.

minds of educated people more than a century

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau,

for the principal fig-

There they exchanged ideas, read foreign newspapers,

of intellectuals in Boston and nearby Concord

Among them were


in the

truth directly? Here

this

Boston bookstore that

radical theory, she established a

soon became a regular gathering place

democratic

had a dampening

the school she operated with Bron-

nineteenth-century philosophers, were prophets necessary?

Everyman receive God's

Peabody was a

that the educational practices of the

son Alcott was closed because of public outcry over

Humphrey Noyes, had anointed themselves as God's prophets,

produced

teacher

icr Peabody (far right)

ted something of a club for


ranscendentalists when she
yened her Boston bookstore in
early 1840s. Three early
jks by her brother-in-law
Nathaniel Hawthorne were
printed on her press. She is also
redited with opening the
ition's first kindergarten.
!

'

81

v -"fMii

SdPl

Ji

A lush Massachusetts location was not enough to sustain


Brook Farm, the transcendentalist commune depicted in this oil painting
by Josiah Wolcott. After only three years, it collapsed
because of transcendentalist antipathy to agriculture's physical labor.

season, his main hope

was

he could marry his

that

cornfield,

Group

ancee and have a place to

Two days after his


rival,

to drive

hardships not

ar-

Hawthorne recorded

er lives to

hands, which he
to understand

Farley being

menced a

Two

is

armed with

gallant attack

days

later,

similar

weapons, we

"I

com-

his diary with

is

"1

President.

month, Hawthorne's

worst. ...

It

is

my

all

putting

him

an

."
.

pantheistic beliefs

field, just

in

religion

fian-

mind of
is

opinion, dearest, that a man's soul

left

he loyally returned

the farm after

later

bitter,

in

its first

had diluted the strength of

The

shift

may

certainly the

alism

season, although

was

was wearing

a worldwide network of Uto-

in

pian communities to be called phalanxes. But rather than

Farm with new energy, the principles of Fouseemed to exhaust the members altogether. They

..

at him,

unfair to

make

wrong to
take milk from a COW or WOOl
from a Sheep. Some Of them

and ornately complex arrangements of committees.

them shouted

was

they considered

A visitor who happened to arrive at the farm one day


when the pigs had escaped from their pen recorded the
of

it

horses or oxen pull the plOWS;

spent most of their time trying to master minutely detailed

helter-skelter,

es-

1843, the COmmunalistS

decided

infusing Brook

As the phalangists ran around

base

demands

of farming evi-

very thin.

At Fruitlands, a farm

tablished by
J Bronson Alcott

confusion.

intellectual

able to provide, and the resolution of the

transcendentalists

community near Concord

rules

economy

dently required a hotter flame than dispassionate intellectu-

increasingly interested in the thought of Charles Fourier, a

rierism

to reforming the

from a religious core to an

munal living and

a furrow of

interest in

on the Utopian movement. The demands of com-

cast a pall

the

as a nonworking guest. Ripley, rec-

who proposed

their divine

society.

ognizing that the farm lacked an organizational plan, grew

French socialist

disappointed man.

and devoting themselves

and secular

as well as under a pile of money."

Hawthorne

commitment, were now turning away from an

mood had

hateful places, that

be buried and perish under a dung-heap or


the

left

his

Dante's Inferno. "That abominable goldmine!" Hawthorne

wrote to his fiancee. "Of

George Ripley

American Utopian thought. The transcendentalists, whose

manure heap was

the

which they could

have read no

three

all

clouded noticeably. He disliked being apart from his

And

its

fire.

have milked a cow." But

newspaper and hardly remember who


first

to

That same year, Henry David Thoreau was finishing


own solitary experiment in utopianism at Walden Pond.
When he published his findings in Walden, he called his first
chapter "Economy." It was a key point in the history of

darker thoughts were beginning to intrude:

cee.

up.

upon a heap of manure."

Hawthorne informed

At the end of the

unknown

escape. In 1847, they gave

and he and Mr.

called a pitchfork,

of surprise and pleasure,

air

out."

occupants had oth-

But

four-pronged instrument

my
me

them

other farms disease, hard

breakfast, Mr. Ripley put a

gave

look-

weather, a destructive

in his diary that "after

into

am

Brook Farm suffered

with her.

live

and

ing for the Miscellaneous

fi-

it

only
even proposed
planting
r r
r
J

"aspiring" vegetables -those

that
grew

one

upward
toward
r

heaven and none

"Oh! The pigs have got into the


82

that

grew

Bronson

Alcott, the father

^or Louisa May Alcott,

strikes

of

typically serene pose

at Orchard House, the family's

"^f^JT*'

f^'
A
gentle, courteous

transcenand educator, Alcott taught his students thmugh


nversation
dentalist philosopher

methods, however, were not


widely accepted, and he was

forced out of the profession by


1 839 with the closure of his
last school.

An

abolitionist

and

advocate of women's rights, the


sejf-educated Alcott was described by Thoreau as the sanest man he had ever known.

down, such as potatoes. Bronson Alcott also had the idea


that it was virtuous to borrow money from friends and not
repay them, because doing so drew out their higher natures.
Fortunately for

of the Alcotts, they were able to put

all

such notions behind them when Bronson's daughter, Louisa

May,

publishing pay

hit

Women. She

Little

also wrote

things

with her successful novel,

what might well be an epitaph


farming ventures: "They said

for the transcendentalists'

many wise

dirt

and did many

foolish ones."

But while the transcendentalists' efforts at

utopianism sputtered, Thoreau spoke for

all

of

communal
them

in his

eloquent description of the ultimate, intimate Utopia that


lies

within each individual. Only by confronting the fears

and fundamental loneliness within themselves can people

"come

to a hard

and

call reality

Only then, he

ment as
pia

is

said,

were

if it

is just

where

bottom and rocks

say, This

is,

can a person

and

eternity

where one

in place,

which we can

and no mistake."
live

each mo-

realize that Uto-

lives, that

"here or no-

our heaven."

as a man of enormous
warmth and sympathy, Elbert
Hubbard (above) suffered

Known

The measure of success of America's aspiring Utopians of the eighteenth

teenth centuries

is

judged today but

not in

how

how

in

and nine-

through a painfully public divorce from his wife Bertha in


1 904 in order to marry his
longtime lover Alice Moore
(left), who had already borne
him a daughter. The second
Mrs. Hubbard, a feminist and
schoolteacher, died with
Elbert aboard the Lusitania on
May 7, 1915. A survivor remembered Hubbard saluting
the departing lifeboats from the
deck of the doomed ship.

their efforts are

they themselves

judged them then. And for thousands, Utopia

was

truly at

will

as

hand. By

was

it

faithfully serving

God's

interpreted by their visionary

leaders, they believed they

were giving

their

souls a head start on heaven, even while the


spirit

was

still

fettered

by earthly

flesh.

The

made utterly remay have been only

mysterious power of their faith


al for

them what

an ethereal

for others

vision.

scrap of Shaker verse de-

scribes as well as anything both the ineffable

joy that rewarded the would-be Utopians


that they

left

behind:

"I

and the heritage

have looked on a land where the

sun ever beams, / And talked with the angels


dreams; / And though some visions

They

still

leave the

trail

may die

in mystical

in their birth,

of their glory on earth."


84

A Utopia BuiU on Commerce and Craftsmanship


It is an irony and perhaps a comment
on national character that the one who
did most to establish in America the
English-born arts and crafts movementwith its respect for the handiwork of rustic villagers -was a slick

salesman

who made

a fortune ped-

How

Good, he began producing


books on a hand press, with handmade paper and illuminations hand
painted "after the manner of the Venetian monks." He sold books as successfully as soap: A copy of sonnets he
but

it

his purpose to provide satisfying jobs

for countryfolk, to

sent to

unhappy lives in the cities. "It's not


so much what a man gets in money
wages," he said, "but what he gets in
terms of life and living that counts."
Critics have alleged that his sympa-

Queen

Victoria elicited a note

for

was

dling soap with promotional gimmicks.

of gushing praise from the monarch,

thy

Green Hubbard invented the


sales premium, luring customers to
Larkin's Creme Oatmeal Soap with free
neckties, coffee spoons, baby rattles,
and even desks and lamps. He was so
successful that when he decided in
893 to try enterprises he considered
more intellectually worthy, he was

which did not remain a

workers.

Elbert

able to
for a

sell his

share of the

handsome

Visiting
artist

company

$75,000.

England

he met
swooned

in 1894,

William Morris and

over the brand of utopianism espoused


by Morris, essayist John Ruskin, and
others who looked to the romanticized, preindustrial past for their ideals.

Inspired by Morris's Kelmscott

Hubbard returned to East Aurora


New York and founded the
Roycroft Printing Shop, named for an
Press,
in

western

English printing family of the

Adopting the motto, Not

500s.

How Cheap

prevent their leaving

fine

secret.

Before long, Roycroft added


buildings, including

an

new

inn, stone

and

timber cottages, and monastery-like

work

halls with

workers and
bering

beamed

artists,

more than

ceilings. Crafts

eventually

500, created

numnew

products: furniture, stained glass,

wrought iron, and leather bookends. A


monthly magazine named, with the
reverse snobbery Hubbard loved, The
Philistine drew 225,000 subscribers.
A series of "Unconventional Conventions for Immortals and Philistines"
attracted to Roycroft such notables as
Theodore Roosevelt, Ellen Terry, and
Henry Ford. Hubbard became a celebrity himself and hit the lecture circuit,
charging $50 extra if the sponsoring
group wanted to entertain him.
Hubbard not only wished to create
finely crafted articles, he also declared

actually with bosses, not

One

spokesman

called

for

him "a major

corporate capital."

Corporate capital certainly embraced


him. Meatpacking magnates bought a

an article he wrote
Upton Sinclair's expose of
their industry, The Jungle. And reprints
of "A Message to Garcia," a famous
essay Hubbard penned in praise of
those who unquestioningly obey the
million copies of
ridiculing

boss's orders,

was

distributed in the

millions by big companies.

Hubbard,

who

died in the sinking of

the Lusitania in 1915, once confessed

"began as a joke" but


"soon resolved itself into a commercial
institution." Yet perhaps a Utopian
dream survived beneath the commercial exterior: Although the Depression
that Roycroft

closed the place in 1938, adherents of


the Roycroft ideal successfully revived
it

decades

The Fra

later as a crafts center.

(far left),

more

sophisticated than Hubbard's


older magazine The Philistine,
was launched in 1 90S but never reached as wide an audience
as The Philistine. Both journals, as well as countless epigrams written and published by
Hubbard, like the one at near
left, bore the designs of artist
Dard Hunter, who created a
distinctive Roycroft look.

'V

/;

It-

'

Dream City by (he Sea

i thought as a

child that

could

fashion a city," wrote the Utopian visionary Katherine Tingley,

"and bring the people of all countries together and have the youth
taught how to live, and how to become true and strong and noble,
and forceful warriors for humanity."
From 1897 to 1942, Tingley and her followers strove to realize
this dream. On a bluff overlooking San Diego Bay, they launched
the Point Loma Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society,
perhaps the modern age's most ambitious Utopian community. At
its peak, around 1910, Point Loma housed some 500 members,
ranging from infants and children to leaders of industry.
Those who lived at Point Loma were believers in Theosophy
meaning "divine wisdom" an ancient system of thought that relies on mystical insight to obtain knowledge of God and the universe. The modern Theosophical movement originated in the
United States in 1875 under the leadership of a Ukrainian-born
Spiritualist, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. After Madame
Blavatsky's death, Tingley broke away to form her own society,
headquartered in "the golden land" of California. Under her firm
hand, the cherished principles of Theosophy were tested daily.
In time, the community would splinter apart, surviving only
thirteen years after Tingley's death following an automobile accident in 1929. For more than four decades, however, Tingley's idyllic inspiration saw glorious life as Point Loma endeavored to lead
the world toward a "Universal Brotherhood of Humanity."
A warrior mounts the path

to spiritual

awareness in

87

this picture from

a Point Loma magazine.

Jk

Point Ionia's
Mystical Beginnings
Point

Loma was,

quite literally, Kather-

She selected the


if guided by
and directed its pur-

ine Tingley's vision.

location sight unseen, as

divine inspiration,

chase with a steely determination that


brooked no earthly interference.
Tingley had resolved to build her city
as far west as possible on American
soil, symbolizing her emphasis on the
Western way of Theosophy. Although
she had never actually set foot there,
Point Loma, on an arm of land embracing San Diego Bay, proved ideal.
Tingley laid the plans for the

com-

munity while on a worldwide Theosophical crusade in 1896. After a spirited convention in Dublin, Ireland, she
traveled to Killarney to find a

cornerstone for the eagerly


anticipated Point

Loma groundbreaking.

ley

Here again, Tingappeared to

receive spiritual insight.

crude

She sketched a
map on the back

of an envelope;

when

her followers reached


the spot she indicated, they

uncov-

ered a large

stone of a peculiar

greenish

cast, exactly as

Tingley had
predicted.
Later, Tingley picked

up

additional

cornerstones in

Holland and Ausinspiring her


admirers around the
world to do the same.
tria,

Such was Tingley's mag-

when she returned to the United States for


the groundbreaking, eighty cornernetism that

stones had arrived at Point Loma.

The stout, vigorous Tingley was sometimes called Point Loma's Purple Mother
because of herfondness for that color.

Shown here in herforties, she presided


over the community for thirty-two years.

"

Under a banner reading,


"There is no religion higher
than truth," Katherine Tingley
anoints a cornerstone with corn
kernels,

Point

oil,

and wine

February 23, 1897. Tingley


proclaimed the stone "a fitting
emblem of the perfect work
that will be done in the temple
for the benefit of humanity."
Nearly a thousand San Diegans
attended the ceremonies, which
included a dozen speeches, as

^ii^f^

well as readings from the Bible,


the Bhagavad-Gita, and the
essays of Emerson. Tingley
herself declared that Point
Loma would henceforth serve
as "a light to lighten the

dark places of earth.

rf

AX

at the

Loma groundbreaking on

><

tw

Busy Life beneafli flic Spartding Domes

Eventually encompassing 500 acres

Loma's vegetable gardens,

and boasting a magnificent view of


San Diego Bay, the site chosen for the
Theosophical community was made
even more imposing by the erection of
two exotically designed buildings the
three-story Homestead (later known as
the Raja Yoga Academy) and the circular Temple of Peace. Both were
crowned with huge domes of aquamarine and purple glass. The domes were
topped by ornamental glass spheres

chards, and dairy farm, the residents

members

went about their tasks. For some, this


meant tending to the gardens or to

wealthy group of businessmen.

crested with flaming hearts of glass.

During the day, the domes sparkled

under the California sun; at night, illuminated from within, they could be
seen for miles at sea.
Daily life at Point Loma was busy
and full of ritual. Mornings began with
a sunrise ceremony and readings from
ancient religious and philosophical
texts.

Katherine Tingley usually offered

a few inspirational words of her

as well. After a

communal

own

breakfast,

lied primarily

fruit or-

other agricultural ventures such as the


bee and silkworm farms. Many women
worked in the Woman's Exchange and
Mart,

where they learned a

crafts, including the

variety of

ancient East Indi-

on dues and

and on the generosity of a small but

One

of these

was

built a

who

considerable fortune in sporting

goods during the early 1900s. Spalding


and his wife, Katherine, were so taken

The men labored in the


which housed carpentry and machine shops and workrooms for printing, photography, and
engraving. Men and women worked
together in the book bindery. (Point

by Tingley's Theosophical experiment

Loma was known

Francis Pierce, head of a

an

art of batik.

industrial center,

for its printing,

win-

ning an international award for printing

and graphic

Many

arts in 1914.)

craft items,

from decorated

china to fancy leatherwork and doll


furniture

made

were sold

of silkworm cocoons,

to tourists. Profits

from

these sales, however, were modest.

keep Point Loma solvent, Tingley

To

that they constructed a

Point

Loma complete

dome and an

90

to

at

exterior spiral staircase

Tingley's other supporters included

New

York

engineering firm; diamond broker

E.

August Neresheimer; and Clark Thurston of the American Screw Company.


When asked why Tingley held such
fascination for these men, Thurston
replied: Tingley possessed more business sense "than all of us together."

re-

Loma residents gather for en evening meeting beneath the massive


dome of the Homestead rotunda. The building boasted four glass domes in
aquamarine hue was raid

mansion

with a glass

leading to the roof.

Point

their

Albert G. Spalding,

a professional baseball pitcher

which included fresh foods from Point

glass

fees paid by

of the Theosophical Society,

have occult significance.

all;

The skyline of Point Loma was


dominated by the glass-domed

Homestead (at right below) and


Temple of Peace (to the left of
the Homestead). The settlement
also included office buildings,
private and communal homes,
and circular white cottages
for schoolchildren. Residents
heading for the Creek theater
passed through the big postand-lintel gate shown in the
foreground. At its peak, the
community attracted 100 tourists a day, most drawn by the
plays, concerts, and seasonal
celebrations, such as the May
Day festivities shown below.

A Foiinl of ReformisI Fervor


A

dedicated philanthropist, Katherine

Tingley directed the energies of her

Theosophical community toward several humanitarian causes. In 1911, she

announced a plan

to build

Theosophi-

cal hospitals for convicts, places

where

brand of Theosophy; indeed, she had


added the phrase to the Theosophical
Society's name when she became
leader of its American branch. For
Theosophists, world peace was seen
as the natural evolutionary goal of

prisoners would be treated as "invalids

humanity. "In the splendor of a perfect

who had come home

day, brother shall

and
where, supposedly, they would be
Despite Tingley's obvious commit-

meet brother, soul


and all humanity shall
be united, and there shall be PEACE!
PEACE! PEACE!," proclaimed one

ment, a lack of financial support forced


her to abandon the project.

eristic flourish.

to rest,"

"cured" of their antisocial behavior.

She and her followers had more

shall greet soul,

Point

Loma

publication with charact-

campaign

Tingley's major

cause began

for the

when she

success with their efforts to eliminate

pacifist

the death penalty. In 1914, she joined

convened an international peace conference in Sweden. A year later, undaunted by the outbreak of war in
Europe and the growing signs of
America's own war preparedness,

the governor of Arizona in an anti-

capital-punishment crusade, accompanying him on a speaking tour of Arizona's principal cities and towns.

death penalty

result, the

in Arizona,

though only

was
for

As a

abolished

years. Despite her best efforts, Tingley

was never

able to repeat her Arizona


success in California, although she and
her followers often interceded on be-

in

one instance persuaded the

commute

1913

Tingley sent a telegram to President

Woodrow

a few

half of prisoners sentenced to die

in

and

state to

the death sentence of a

Wilson, asking him to deSeptember 28, 1914, as the "Sacred Peace Day for the Nations." Although Wilson gently turned her down,
the mayor of San Diego acquiesced, and on the appointed
clare

J
^j

day, the people

of that city

"""^^^T

retarded seventeen-year-old boy.

were treated

The reform movement that claimed


amount of Tingley's time
and energies, however, was her cam-

Tingley-organized

paign for world peace. Universal brotherhood was a central tenet of Tingley's

spectacular pa-

the greatest

Representing characters from a Scandinavian peace legend, Point Loma residents march through the streets of San
Diego in 1914 as part of a peace celebration organized by Katherine Tingley.

peace

to a

festival

that included a

rade led by 600

marines and
their marching band.

93

ml

NH

-r *i

Teachers and children at the


raja-yoga school lived together
in spotless circular cottages
like these (above). Each cot-

tage had a central living


room surrounded by bed
cubicles and a bathroom
and washing area. After
1 904, the cottages housed
only groups of boys; the girls
were moved into the nearby

Homestead building, which was


then renamed the Raja Yoga
Academy. A major part of the
raja-yoga educational experience involved participating

pageants and plays. Below,


a group of students perform the Highland Fling.
in

i-4

,'

\m

An Education of a Spiritual Nature


{Catherine Tingley's

most

significant

Loma was her


The name came from

undertaking at Point
raja-yoga school.
a Sanskrit term

meaning

ulties, physical,

balance of

all

the fac-

mental, and spiritual."

The school opened

in

1900 with

five

students but steadily grew, with an

enrollment of 300 adecade

later.

At

more than a dozen nationalities were represented; some students came from such distant lands as
one

point,

Japan and South Africa. Children from


wealthy families paid yearly tuition
fees of up to $1,000; however, many
students, including a large contin-

/gent from Cuba, attended the


school on

full

tantrums, one teacher

to Point

Loma

by the California public schools.

When

not

classroom, raja-

in the

yoga students spent many hours outdoors, working in the community's


gardens or playing supervised games
of baseball, volleyball, basketball, and

groups of six to twelve, according


to age and abilities. Each group
was assigned a teacher who

after Tingley's

natures.

When

they were

children

shown

good nature would

And

al-

though splashing a little cold water on


was thought to deflect

a child's face

Plato's Republic.

Although the raja-yoga students


spent no more than three hours
formal classroom

who

were impressed
by the students' academic abilities. "We have
come, we have
seen, and

visited the school

are

95

lence

was Katherine

Tingley's inven-

She believed silence fed the soul.


Adults at Point Loma were also extion.

death

rule,

although

it

relief

in 1929.

inso-

their faces in

return.

lived at Point

we

spiritual,

became

word

meant taking away a privilege.


Through all activities -both inside
and outside the classroom the children were expected to maintain a
"rule of silence." This meant no idle
chatter or gossiping. The rule of si-

appealing to their higher, or

Loma. Children could see their parents


for only two hours on Sunday afternoons. Tingley may have drawn the
inspiration from the Utopian model of

in

herself dismissed. Indeed, the

punishment was never used; teachers


gave "reminders," which sometimes

pected to hold to the

shared living

instruction, outside educators

overturned

was abandoned with apparent

quarters with their teachers, even

each day

who

bucket onto a pupil's head found

instructed to discipline the children by

supervised the children day and

whose parents

full

They also practiced their musiand participated in


Point Loma's dramatic presentations.
Corporal punishment was not permitted at the school. Teachers were
tennis.

cal instruments

lent,

Raja-yoga children were divided into

those

raja-yoga

mirror and told to smile so that their

scholarships.

night. All the children

some

in 1906;

visit

teaching methods were later adopted

"royal

union" a title fitting for a school


whose mission was to help students
find "the perfect

conquered!" declared the California


superintendent of schools after a

A group of raja-yoga students,

ages four

to six, begin their formal training in

music under the eye of an instructor.


Each child was expected to study a musical instrument. In 1905, the students

formed Point Loma's first orchestra.

Finding Harmony in (he Arts


Music and drama were woven into the
fabric of daily life at Point Loma.
Katherine Tingley used the arts to
teach the Theosophical way of life.
"The secret of Life," wrote one Point

Loma

resident, "is the establishment in

tradition of the

elaborate, climaxing in 1911 with a

production called The Aroma ofAthens,


which consisted of imaginary discourses between Euripides, Pericles, and

and music and the other


arts serve as helps and reminders."
To pursue that goal, Tingley created
the Isis League of Music and Drama. In

other Greek philosophers on "the true,

order,

produced its first play,


the ancient Greek tragedy Eumenides,
in New York City's Carnegie Lyceum.
The performance, which featured a
1898, the league

the

good and the

beautiful."

Point Loma's musical endeavors

were equally ambitious. By 1913, the


community had two orchestras, a
brass band, and several choral groups.

and was repeated during an interna-

Music, frequently in the form of songs


and dances, was part of every pageant
and celebration. Tingley even opened
her speaking engagements with music.

tional Theosophical convention. "Dra-

Musical notables

cast of 200, received favorable reviews

matic work
activity" at

now

most important
Point Loma, an enthusiastic
is

the

Tingley proclaimed, "for by

its

means

/K^
.

\
I

visited Point

often quite exuberant with their praise

by raja-yoga students,

the fundamental ideas of

wept with joy and exclaimed,

United States. Seating

2,500 people and offering a


spectacular view of the
Pacific, the theater

became

the center of Point Loma's

dramatic productions.

Shakespearean plays were


added to the league's repertoire, for they, like the Greek
plays, were thought to embody grand Theosophical
themes, such as the duality of
human nature and the quest
for harmony. One production,
^k A Midsummer Night's Dream,
/ J
was so popular in San Diego
k
that a train was hired and the
entire cast of 1 50 journeyed to Los Angeles.
The Isis League
also introduced

for the musicians. After a

never

Brotherhood."
In 1901, an open-air
Greek theater was built at
Point Loma, the first in the

the an-

who

Loma, such as the great Australian


opera star Dame Nellie Melba, were

minds of men are being


gradually permeated by

the

Katherine Tingley.

Greek cultural

symposium to its audiences. As time


went on, the symposiums grew more

ourselves of a reign of harmony, law,

and

Wearing a
'white robe and garlands offlowers, a raja-yoga
student beguiles an audience
with harp music before a
Theosophical lecture by

cient

my

felt this

life,

heard
the

first

and

way but^once

that

Parsifal for

time."

1916 concert

Dame Melba
"I

have

before in

Using the dramatic natural


setting of Point Loma's Creek
theater to great effect, a group

of torchbearers march

to-

ward the stage during the climax of The Aroma of Athens, a


pageant-symposium staged at
Point Loma in 1911. Another
popular production at the
theater was A Midsummer
Night's Dream (inset below), in which even the
very youngest raja-yoga
students, dressed as fairies, danced and sang.

HA

fc

'.-

_.^

CHAPTER

Perfecting

Human Spirff

Kenneth Walker was not new

nglish physician

Ivanovitch Gurdjieff

from the sage.

flie

On

when he journeyed

to the teachings of

to Paris in 1948 to

Georgei

seek instruction

the contrary, he had devoted nearly twenty years to un-

locking his physical, mental, and spiritual potentialities through Gurdjieff's

system of meditation, sacred dance, and self-observation. But the whole of


Walker's training had been at the hands of a Russian-born Gurdjieff disciple

who had

named

Peter Ouspensky,

earlier.

Now Ouspensky was

his followers

were flocking

Walker arrived

in

dead and at

ways with
his

many years

the master

widow's urging a number of

to Gurdjieff's side.

France elated at the prospect of

He was

djieff for himself.

parted

also,

he admitted, a

little

finally

seeing Gur-

apprehensive, because

the Gurdjieff legends he had heard over the years had painted a rather be-

fuddling picture.
bit

On

the matter of age, for instance, Gurdjieff

as evanescent as the medieval alchemists of folklore.

him pegged

at eighty years old; others

seemed every

Some accounts had

suggested that he mignt count his

And while the master was generally described as


he was also said to be utterly unpredictable and given

years in the hundreds.

wise and charismatic,


to confrontational

scenes with his disciples.

The Englishman's misgivings were only made worse by the advice of


his colleagues

Walker

who had

to Gurdjieff's

aspects of

life

in the

would be asked

preceded him

flat,

in

coming

they warned him about

to France. Before escorting

some

of the

more

eccentric

master's company. They told him, for example, that he

to declare

what

sort of idiot

he was.

Gurdjieff,

it

seemed,

subscribed to an obscure Babylonian system for classifying people according to types twenty-three types in

all.

Rather than referring to the formal

categories, however, he liked to speak of the various kinds of idiots in the

world.

found

He taught
it

that the original

useful to have

meaning of idiot was "one's own," and he

his students assess

themselves

in

terms of

this

un-

flattering characterization.

Gurdjieff's drinking habits

were another matter about which Walker

was forewarned, and

since he rarely indulged in alcohol himself, the stories

of inebriation caused

him much consternation. He was informed, neverthe-

less, that

was

all

drunkenness

obtrusive that

when sharing lunch

blot out

or

moment

the feasts the master hosted

for

for his disciples, participants

room.

assembly stepped forward

The work was

allowed him to peer

Tales to His

As Walker was soon

to discover,

briefing from his

no

ry revolving

comrades

could have adequately prepared him for

fallen angel

man's

planets.

wonderland of chaos.

matched paintings and furnishings

that

had the impression that nothing

in the

ever transpired by design. The

was

flat

Looking back, Walker

wanted

the

hot as an ov-

later

intrigued

race.

about the values and ideas of the past.

About an hour into the

artificial

Walker could only

looking

man

to

must be

that

man

be so
99

recitation, a mirthful-

with a bald head and a heavy mustache

slipped into the room,

would conclude

ambiance of his surroundings

became

Gurdjieff

guess that the effect was intentional.

Gurdjieff

the grandson

What he had to say was not flattering in the least.


would later explain that his purpose in the
work was to annihilate all romantic misconceptions

Walker

place had

were drawn and the

jarringly unpleasant that

When

zebub recounted the history of the human

and a strong odor of spices permeated every


All the curtains

the solar system in a space-

by the behavior of the inhabitants of Earth, Beel-

There was such a bewildering jumble of mis-

was so

fa-

ship, stopping occasionally to visit the various

finally led to the old

quarters, he entered a

around the character of the

Beelzebub. Along with his

zoomed around

conversing, eating, and drinking with

When he was

light

called Beelzebub's

Grandson and as near as

vorite grandson, this powerful spirit

sit-

newly adopted guru.

room.

to read

Walker could discern it was an allego-

into their hearts.

en,

room

from one of Gurdjieff's books.

effects of al-

cohol on the others, claiming that

ting,

sitting

pacity.

Gurdjieff apparently loved to drink

his

was no time

that

leader in a series of ritual toasts

amount of

there

such musings. Walker was

was soon jammed to caAnd with the master nowhere to be seen, a member of the

pered vodka and joined their

to every sort of idiot in the

any thoughts of

swept into a large

chose either brandy or pep-

their intoxication

would

other places. But at the

dinner with Gurdjieff. At

and he appreciated the

it

disorient visitors and

but mandatory

Gurdjieff.

and Walker realized

He watched with

at

once that

it

fascination as the old

settled in to follow the reading, patiently at

first

and

Peter Ouspensky (above), who


popularized the work o/Georgei Gurdjieff (left), also wrote
influential books on the fourth
dimension and on yogic prac-

Ouspensky 's teachings


were summarized in Jive or
six written lectures, which
were read aloud to new pupils before he met them.

tice.

Off to the United States in

1924 for a

theatrical tour,

Greco-Armenian sage Georgei Gurdjieff waves farewell


with a characteristic air of benign dignity. The forty students
accompanying him put on an
eclectic show of ritual dance,
magic tricks, and athletic feats.

later

brought the session to a close by inviting everyone to din-

with growing agitation. Finally, Gurdjieff interrupted

the reader and, patting his stomach, said: "Le Patron

manding

de-

is

Now

instant attention." With this, he invited the entire

gathering to join him for lunch.

When

Gurdjieff's

had wedged

your

into a small dining

room,

pilaf,

ons, avocados,

and a great variety of other

Gurdjieff labored over

in the

in

cucumbers, onions,

many

ing

final dish. In

pep^

room

When he had seasoned

lost his

in Gurdjieff's

and thus was

man seemed

around him

unwilling to

mense importance. He came

was

disturb.

a teacher of im-

to think of his guru as a link

the

Somehow,

Gurdjieff's assault

senses his overindulgence

ings

on the

follies

of the

in

modern

on the mind and

food and drink, his mus-

age, his unsettling blend of

and Russian so impenetrable

Walker that they could make a better world.

an

Walker

between the twentieth century and the most ancient forms


of wisdom.

listeners that

for

Gurdjieff's function,

mockery and generosity convinced followers

most

anyone

let

comfortable or complacent

feel

pressing himself a free-form mixture of English, French,


to

filled

sense that Gurdjieff was a

believed, nevertheless, that Gurdjieff

man most extraorsingular way of ex-

Gurdjieff's

never

more than a few moments.

into the conversation.

He was struck by

were held

Walker concluded, was not to soothe but to

For his part, Walker found the old


dinary.

into

lunch at two

in the evenings,

that doubled as the pantry

old

his^

to time, Gurdjieff

draw him

fell

under Gurdjieff's tutelage. There

midday and

at

on

mysterious and contradictory individual. The

was allowed to begin.


would reach out his
spoon and offer a choice morsel of smoked sturgeon or
some other delicacy to the newcomer Walker. Gurdjieff
chided him for eating like a finicky Englishman and made
effort to

life

first

afternoon, and dinner after midnight. Always the eat-

nearest companion and the meal

an

days and weeks that followed, Walker

Walker

and

concoction to his satisfaction, he passed the bowl to

From time

little,

to overflowing with groceries.

different kinds of chutney,

heaping spoonfuls of sour cream.

rest for a

right."

and drinking were prodigious. Occasionally, there were

study, a

a large bo^

fish, bread, pickles, red

down and

lie

quiet breakfasts as well. These

and vege-

begin at half-past nine.

said, "will

and then on the

were readings

the riches

however, everyone watched

one

mixed fragments of dried

fruits

side

In the

strawberries in cream, sweetmeats, mel-

tables. Before taking a bite,

this

Among

advise you to

the peculiar pace of

platter after platter of

soon crowded the tabletops were pigeons stewed

grape leaves,

left

guests numbering several dozen-

food began to arrive from the kitchen.


that

"The reading," he

ner.

inter-

was kept busy throughout the meal. Even more perplexing was Gurdjieff's habit of shifting moods as he spoke

like

Kenneth

preter

to different

people at the table. He could be angry or

one moment, then relaxed and pleasant the


turn harsh again in an instant.

of those around

He seemed

him and could,

an

like

Utopian philosophy had taken on a

another energetic

them

any

that

True to Walker's worst

by formal

Walker
to

toasts.

fears, the

There were

lost count,

that

was

all

last

to

do with the

religious mysticism of the

man

placed any great hope

in prescribing

ought to be structured. And they were equally

uninterested in establishing communities apart from the

he could do

larger society.

remain upright. Mercifully, coffee and cigarettes ap-

peared at

little

how societies

meal was punctuated

it

had

dentalists. Neither

thirteen toasts at least, before

and he found

of conventional Western values-

Shakers and the Rappites or the idealism of the transcen-

personal foibles.

for their

critic

Austrian intellectual Rudolf Steiner had notions of Utopia

to read the hearts

impression he wanted. Gurdjieff was also quick to curse his


disciples or to lambaste

at the

beginning of the twentieth century. Georgei Gurdjieff and

critical

next, only to

actor, create

new dimension

They emphasized instead the importance of

hidden, spiritual aspects of

and, without further ceremony, Gurdjieff

that

101

if

human existence, believing


made to rediscover their

thoughtful people could be

Rocky crags looming over a


plain in Cappadocia arc dotted with hand-carved grottoes
that once housed Byzantine
monks. Gurdjieffis believed to
have visited this region of
central Turkey during his
twenty-year quest for ancient
sources of wisdom. While he
was there, he may have studied
the writings of Saint Basil, a
third-century theologian who
combined pagan

traditions

with Christian doctrine.

powers, an enlightened society would follow.

spiritual

Both

men were

near the peak of their powers at the

turn of the twentieth century. But

two more

different lives. Gurdjieff

one place

rarely staying in

Steiner's

for

to

is difficult

wandered

imagine

incessantly,

more than a few months.

by contrast, was quiet and contemplative. Al-

life,

though he

it

left

mark

his

in

such diverse areas as philosophy,

education, architecture, and dance, he rarely strayed from

and

the libraries

lecture halls of

Germany. He taught what

he called anthroposophy his theory of human

and

its

relation to everyday

anthropos for
viction that

life.

man and sophia for wisdom, reflected his conhumans had spiritual connections to long-

forgotten cosmic truths. This neglected


lieved, could

spirituality

The word, from the roots

wisdom, Steiner be-

made

be rediscovered and

a part of everyday

consciousness, bringing enormous benefits to society.

Both Steiner and Gurdjieff set out to awaken humanity


from what they regarded as

spiritual

somnambulism. They

were deeply influenced by the teachings of the Orient and


the ancients, yet they
Christ

were also enthralled by the legacy of

and by modern science. Both taught what they called


and at the same time embraced the dis-

esoteric Christianity

coveries of physics, chemistry, and engineering.

ence they

fully

sights. Steiner called his

Gurdjieff's

From

sci-

expected verification of their spiritual


philosophy the science of

in-

spirit;

approach became known as the Work. Their

fol-

men as heralds of a new age.


new age began -or will begin-has

lowers thought of both


Just

when

that

never been a matter of consensus. For Rudolf Steiner,

gan

at the turn of the century.

it

be-

According to certain ancient

Indian philosophies that he found persuasive, the year 1899

marked the end of the Kali Yuga, a 5,000-year-long dark age


during which humankind's spiritual faculties had declined
to the point

where they had

coming cycle was


regarded his

own

to
life

all

be an age

and teaching as

transformation of the world. The


exists today

welcomes

down bankers and

but withered away. The


filled

all

with

light.

Gurdjieff

integral to a gradual

New Age movement

sorts of

tha,

people from buttoned

nuclear physicists to

communards

forg

102

103

a forme!

"

S5S -*

*
*
nt

a
as
.tended
f
Sc.utal
:

cfs

(,

study, ts

apP~ a

***?

*ewn
Sf

of
; grow out
East
faVtesin

archil ect

American a
the
icai of

W*

wmop bu.W-

hometo*u

wife,

of

sconstn, WrigM

^" ; himn g Btow-w

ow*35S
Gurdpe"

"

WrigW

^ston

the Fellow

bed
dub
*
hands

ted.

"det her

5tude ntslabo red


k

danced^

w*

^g, ana

^^^

M *Vse-""'"8 *

?hey even

***, she had wo.

Before her marriage to Frank


Lloyd Wright (opposite), Olgivanna Hinzenberg studied under Georgei Gurdjieff. She is
shown at right (left foreground)
spinning through one of Gurdjieffs sacred dances, ritual
works inspired by whirling dervishes and intended to discipline both mind and body. Olgivanna studied with Gurdjieff
in France before traveling
with his dance troupe to the
United States, where she
first met her future husband.

ing alternative lifestyles in the woods.


itual

awakening and

The seekers of

self-realization,

who

peculiar things,

spir-

carry forward

the hopes for an enlightened millennium, have

most of which no doubt

could explain perfectly well. Gurdjieff's father

Not even Ivan, however, could

lore.

sayers Gurdjieff met,

public

at raising fog

who knew

sonal history. The people


best were the

most

likely to

witnessed

Gurdjieff longest

novelist Jean
G.

Toomer

never

and

on a

regard him as an enigma. After

record Gurdjieff's

life

before 1913,

Moscow, have been forced

in

subject's

seemed

Biographers

own accounts a chancy

to take delight in

on

so

djieff's

and

in

fifty

dialects are

spoken

in

likely to

have been

Amid

this

in a

terrified that

priest of the Kurdish

The victim was con-

magic

circle,

he collapsed

which was

on the ground.

a line scratched

him

came up-

to safety, the

boy was

in a cataleptic trance.

grew impatient with

his incomplete

hidden knowledge was involved, and he turned to


it.

His father, meanwhile,

reli-

was

conspiring with a local schoolmaster to prepare Gurdjieff


for a life as

both a physician and a Greek Orthodox

Gurdjieff's other great obsession as

priest.

he approached

adulthood was the stream of mechanical inventions from

Europe that began

Caucasia

to find their

way to

the Caucasus. House-

hold gadgets, industrial tools, and eventually, automobiles

in frequent

fired his

their

and Kurds.

jumble of cultures, Gurdjieff observed

more than

Yezidje.

Gurdjieff tried to drag

gion in hopes of discovering

in

contact with Russians, Turks, Greeks, Persians, Armenians,


Azerbaijanis, Khevsurs, Ossets, Tartars,

when

that

Alexandropol and Kars the towns of Gur-

boyhood he was

sister allegedly ap-

understanding of such strange phenomena. He believed

proposition, since he

seeding contradictory legends.

1870s probably 1874 to a Greek father and an Armenian mother. His childhood home, in the Caucasus Mountains between the Black and Caspian seas, was and still is
an extraordinary place for the intermingling of races and
today,

boy held captive by a

known as the
he was trapped

Early on, Gurdjieff

the

languages. More than

genuinely able to predict

which the boy's dead

actually nothing

Yet

their

As near as can be determined, Gurdjieff was born

terrified

vinced that

who have attempted to


when he took up resito rely heavily

in

religious sect

said of his teacher, "I have never

will."

explain the sooth-

peared. In one other harrowing episode, Gurdjieff

details of his per-

with Gurdjieff for more than fifteen years, American

visiting

dence

around the

who seemed

fully

a poor

local folk-

the future. Nor could Ivan account for the seance Gurdjieff

later

as well is shrouded in conflicting information.

life

He was a master

known

remarkable extent, his

was

man, but one with a wealth of knowledge on the

borrowed

heavily from the philosophies of Steiner and Gurdjieff.

Gurdjieff's early life and to a

his father, Ivan,

imagination, and he undertook to teach himself

workings. Later in

life,

he would be sharply

critical

of

the cultural contributions of western Europe, but he never

many

lost his love for

105

machines.

106

An enneagram, as

Gurdjieff
called this figure (ennea is
Greek for nine), ornaments a

symbol-laden program

(left) for

Harmonious Development of Man. The


enneagram was a crucial device
for Gurdjieff, who said it embodied the principles of spirithis Institute for the

ual rebirth. His followers also


used the figure as a workflow
diagram, believing enneagrams
accurately depicted the pattern

of work in

real-life situations.

teens or early twenties at perhaps the

In his late

same time

hit

He began

interests.

becoming

that he finally cast aside the notion of

a priest Gurdjieff

way

ijpon a

town

to

town

visiting

monasteries, mosques, and temples and interviewed the


cal holy

men

of various religions.

Assessing the

pursue both his great

to

traveling from

susthat Gurdjieff decided

As he pursued

fully

all

differ-

possibilities that

dom

in

living

in scale."

pursuit of the next promising lead. At

He

felt

as

if

mess that had


come to characterize human nature. He used the
metaphor of a three-story house to sum up what he felt was

was
fly

eas-

off in

one time or another,

a generalized abuse of
floor,

a pilgrimage to Mecca, studied with Sufi,

human

portant bodily functions: physical

upper floor held the capacity

his wits.

If

he

failed to find

employment as

is

reason to suspect that he sometimes engaged

petty thievery

and

at least

One biographer

once was employed as a

believes that Gurdjieff

the principal Russian agent in Tibet during

was seeking
and Great

of the capacities

may have been

kingdom. Gurdjieff

period for placing himself in the path of revolutions and

civil

later

of countering the

into a sort of

human

mass hypnosis

in

was

not clear, but


interests
did,

it

was

to discover

was hypnotism. At any

rate,

one of

lay

ings in 1904, during a time of political unrest

the

it-

was

a true

Beyond self-consciousness

state of

awareness

that Gur-

consciousness. In this condition, hu-

need

of those

people, Gurdjieff asserted, ever

to rise

become aware of
state. And most

above the ordinary waking

who do

recognize the need have a

difficult

time

achieving advanced states of consciousness without the

guidance of a teacher

wound-

in the

was

induced most people to lose

identity.

an even more advanced

Few

his chief

put himself at risk he

the last of these

awareness

man beings could hope to achieve an understanding of God.

is

gunshot wounds on three separate occasions.

was while recovering from

it

to as self-consciousness. This

djieff called objective

and he apparently paid the price by sustaining serious

It

little

third stories.

beings must aspire to a higher state of awareness,

understanding of one's

times of social upheaval.

certainly the case that

dom-

view, the personality existed in two

slumber since

which he referred

predilection for falling

Whether Gurdjieff's motivations were so purely altruistic

center, while the

sight of their essence or true value. Gurdjieff suggested that

human

wrote of his propensity during

wars. He claimed that his sole aim

some way

self a sort of

moun-

this

and

states sleep and the ordinary waking state, which

Lama

tain

on the second and

In Gurdjieff's

the aid of imperial Russia in blocking China's

Britain's attempts to seize control of the

instinct,

for intelligence. Gurdjieff be-

The great run of humanity, he believed, had

in

spy.

the Dalai

im-

and neglecting the other two.

inated by a different "floor"

an explosive pe-

when

riod just after the turn of the century,

the ground

for three

lieved the world contained three types of people, each

a repairman, he traded carpets, foodstuffs, or clothing.

There

On

movement,

The second story was an emotional

sex.

by

potential.

he taught, each individual had centers

Hindu, and Buddhist masters, and latched onto numerous

lived

lie

he had been "reincarnated," and

Western occult brotherhoods.

He

the

lengths to delineate the chaotic

he shared the harsh existence of Christian monks, trained

made

"The

more enlightened way of living.


took his message to Russia and by
1915 was attracting small clusters of disciples in
St. Petersburg and Moscow. He went to great

sources of spiritual wis-

disenchanted with his teachers and quick to

as a dervish,

at his disposal.

set out to teach a

northern Africa, eastern Europe, or central Asia. His

quest at times had a slightly desperate quality: He


ily

God had

urdjieff first

twenty years, Gurdjieff followed his nose

what he hoped would be the

was thunderstruck

same

equipped with a traveling workshop.


For

of his long quest, he

by the sudden realization that he had within himself

only

man

fix-it

his years of searching.

ence between Him and myself," Gurdjieff wrote, "must

lo-

his hunt for

secret knowledge, he scratched out a living as a

fruits

end

to

spiritual

Cauca-

who

is

further along

on the path of

development.

Gurdjieff told his Russian disciples of the three tradi-

107

ways

such a

Gurdjieff's teaching in

path that he had observed in

own

Moscow and St. Petersburg


was uprooted by the turmoil
of World War
and the Rus-

physical needs or caused

sian Revolution. In 1917, he

tional

to follow

the religions of the world.

Hindu

fakir

denied his

The

with a small group of

himself perpetual pain in or-

fled

der to develop an unbending

lowers,

will.

the

But he
first

was

isolated

on

story of Gurdjieff's

metaphorical house. The


Christian monk was a

first to

fol-

Essentuki in

the Caucasus, and later to Tif-

In the 1920s, Gurdjieff' made his headquarters at Le Prieure


(above), a former residence of Madame de Maintenon, the second
wife of Louis XIV. Inside a study house near the chateau, exotic
decor (inset) reflected Eastern influences on Gurdjiejfs thinking.

lis,

Constantinople, and Ber-

After several years of

lin.

wandering as refugees, Gur-

second-story man, achieving a form of self-mastery by tran-

djieff

scending emotional wants and needs through sheer devo-

the forest of Fontainebleau, they established a sort of re-

tion

and

faith.

But he, too, neglected to follow the other av-

treat

and

his

band

house called the

enues of fulfillment. The yogi achieved profound

ment of Man, and

understanding by exercising his intellectual capacities, but

ing of writers

his outlook

was

and

Gurdjieff

It

began

Harmonious Develop-

to attract a loyal follow-

intellectuals.

creasingly focused

an approach he called the Work.

Institute for the

than to analyze.

in-

on encouraging students

One

of his favorite

man can

highest that a

embodied many aspects of Eastern mysticism,

dance became a prominent feature of his

make them

carefully tai-

accessible to Western practitioners.

In theory, the

108

attain is to

dances served

to

in-

to act rather

maxims was: "The

volved physical, emotional, and intellectual training and

lored to

At a chateau in

During Gurdjieff's time at Fontainebleau, the Work

dry and impotent because he failed to de-

velop his emotional powers.


Gurdjieff taught

finally settled in France.

be able to do." Ritual


disciples' training.

shock the "ground-floor"

movement and

centers of
patterns.

The

instinct out of their

training also incorporated a

accustomed

somewhat

process of self-observation, which Gurdjieff spurred on by


serving as a brutally frank critic of

Every

moment

was

of the day

ential people.

treated as a time for creating

phases of his career-

students, as

years in France included

first

some

were

J.

B.

and American

Priestley

As a

may

even allow them

result, Gurdjieff's influence at the

not have extended to


It

is all

the

more remarkable,

fore, that Gurdjieff's

number

more than

his dismay,

and more on

most

the

social climate.

he found that Hungarians treated Austrians

his

own

he was an unusual

be known.

this hostility,

he relied more

And from the start,


own account, he was aware

inner resources.

child.

By

his

even as a toddler of an unseen world that he would

time of his death

thousands. In the

how-

short-lived,

town of Neudorfl, Hungary, and

To brace himself against

call the

a few hundred people.

may

earliest

Rudolf turned seven, his father accepted a job

realm of

spirit.

As an

adult,

of unusual experiences that befell

later

he described a number

him before the age often.

At one point, he claimed, a vision of a

there-

following today

in the tens of

to

years old.

as second-class citizens.

cases they honored thi6 pledge. Only rarely did followers


proselytize their beliefs or

When

To

architect

of swearing his devotees to secrecy, and in

lyric

ever.

boy was thrust into a discouragingly harsh

his

Frank Lloyd Wright. Unfortunately, Gurdjieff had the unsettling habit

the family

valleys of southern Austria

and joyous. The happiness was

were

as stationmaster in the

influ-

Author Katherine Mansfield was one of

homeland before

memories of the mountains and

self-awareness and spiritual attunement.

particularly the

his

Although the Steiners were relatively poor, Rudolf's

egos and personalities.

Gurdjieff's following in certain

company moved
the son was two

graph operator for a railway

back to

painful

British

author Katherine Mansfield came to

922 already terminally ill


with tuberculosis. Her death there three
months later at the age of thirty-four gave
rise to unfounded rumors of mistreatment
Le Prieure in

woman

appeared

to him, woefully call-

ing out for help. Without thinking

much

about it, he knew that she had recently


company with most of his longtime that seriously hurt the institute's reputation, departed the physical world. Sometime
supporters. He vanished almost entirely
later, by his account, he would discover
during World War II, and when he reappeared in
that a relative had committed suicide on the
the years before his death in 1949, he was
day he was visited by this apparition.
mid- 1930s, Gurdjieff seemed to stormily

part

bearing the
writing.

fruits

The

often years of assiduous

The master had recorded ten

volumes of

his thoughts

at every turn

and remem-

brances, and these have inspired

airy beings that Steiner

real to

new

sometimes seemed more

him than the evidence of

physical perceptions.

generations to carry on the Work.

sensed

He

his

realized,

however, that most people did not


share his sensitivities, and he re-

His admirers today are every

as tight-lipped as the disciples

solved to keep his impressions to

More

himself. Outwardly affable, he

visible are the contributions of

nonetheless became a lonely

bit

Gurdjieff

swore

Gurdjieff's

to secrecy.

contemporary, anthro-

child, steadfastly silent

posophy originator Rudolf Steiner.

He buried himself
Steiner

was born

ljevec, Yugoslavia.

in

on the

matters that troubled him most.

1861 in Kra-

reations

Both his parents were

in solitary rec-

and thought deeply about

the small details of the world around

Austrian by birth, and the father a tele

him.

109

He was

fascinated, for example, by

A man

of many

dolf Steiner

interests,

Ru-

applied his
anthroposophical insights
to fields as diverse as metallurgy, beekeeping, and farming.
Among several odd but appar(left)

ently effective fertilizers he


developed was one that was

made from yarrow blossoms


packed into a stag's bladder
and buried for several months.

the paraphernalia of writing


rials

and took

as the sand used to dry fresh ink on paper.

follow,

seen and the unseen were equally meaningful

delight in such mate-

however, that he enjoyed writing himself.

It

Steiner attended the Technical High School in Wiener

did not

In fact,

Neustadt, where his father urged him to study

he

was slow to learn to read and write an experience that


made a deep impression on him and would have reverberations in his theories
If

life,

neering.

boy's

on education.

les triangles

at the school

and made certain

numbers were

not.

to reading philosophy.

first

manuel Kant's

Critique of Pure

again through

its

to take hold,

engi-

were impressed by the

that his curriculum

empha-

At fourteen, he bought a copy of Im-

Reason and waded time and

dense prose. He was convinced that the

and the angles of isosce-

book held great meaning

became

was

grist for

civil

sized the sciences. In his spare time, however, Rudolf took

time in the study of geometry. Theorems on the paths of


parallel lines

The teachers

abilities

Steiner recalled finding happiness for the

words were slow

Later in

realities.

hours of

wonder and speculation. Especially


pleasing to the boy was his sense that

for

him but

ultimately disappointed.
In the

work which

is

Kant's

masterpiece the author suggests

no way

human

that

the imagined rectangles, rhomboids,

there

and

have certainty of knowledge regarding

circles that

exercises

were

he manipulated

in his

and useful

just as real

either material

as those he discovered in the physical


world.

He regarded

this as

tion of his secret inner


relief

was

he took

at least

it

life.

confirma-

With vast

for

phenomena

many

of Kant's contemporaries, but

matter

intellectual

or spiritual

The argument struck home

correct.

discourse geometry in which the

beings to

ideas.

Steiner decided that

to heart that there

one area of

is

it

was

for

patently in-

No

philosophical treatise, no

how

cogently reasoned, could

persuade him to turn his back on his

Four wall-hanging seals commissioned by


Steinerfor Anthroposophical Society
meetings depict his enigmatic but hopeful
visions of humanity's future. Above, a whiterobed figure uses mental energy to
create a sword, a feat that exhibits one of

many powers Steiner believed human


beings would eventually acquire. At left, a
woman who has merged with the
sun defeats human evil, represented by a
seven-headed monster and crescent moon;
in the next seal (below), an angelic
figure harnesses evil to the service of good.
At right, transfigured humanity appears
as an ethereal cloud, encompassing
the

book of all knowledge and surrounded


in turn

by a rainbow, Steiner's

emblem of the

creative force.

111

clairvoyant perceptions. In reaction and rebellion he un-

he devoted as much time to foraging through modern phi-

dertook a lifelong mission of scholarship.

losophy.

With the optimism of youth, Steiner resolved


all

the great philosophical

and

to

master

bart,

found was

scientific ideas of his day.

Reading voraciously, he put himself

in the

Marx and even bumped heads with

positivism of Auguste Comte,

any world beyond

enna

Steiner

scientific

knew

that

forth his perceptions of

if

Moving on

orthodoxy of the

late

fall

breakthrough

at least

who acknowledged

the spir-

for the

week

into conversation with a

named

800s.

he took into account the

first

uncover

to

reality.

the train that he rode each

to the Vi-

he was ever going to publicly set

if

He was hoping

young Steiner

arrived

unexpectedly and was unrelated to his formal schooling.

Felix Koguski. This

to Vienna,

On

he happened to

rough-hewn country fellow

man

earned his

living gathering

medicinal herbs, which he sold to apothecaries in Vienna.

He spoke openly of his own acquaintance with

humanity's spiritual capabilities, he

could be convincing only

world as a

The

the

he methodically explored Dar-

Institute of Technology,

winism and the

who

itual

denied the existence of

that of the senses.

frustration.

one contemporary philosopher

minds of Nie-

tzsche and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. He considered


the views of Karl

He devoured the writings of Fichte, Schelling, HerHaeckel, and many other thinkers. Yet most of what he

miliarity

latest

spirits,

fa-

he claimed to have acquired through his intimacy

teachings of science and philosophy. His formal curriculum

with plants. Koguski comforted Steiner with assurances

revolved around mathematics, chemistry, and physics, but

that he, too,

had

tried

with

little

success to find

in

books

Colored Portals
to foe Spirif
In

most

cultures, colors

significance.

World

have a special

Many Westerners

associ-

and green with life.


But for Rudolf Steiner, the meaning of
color went much deeper. He came to
view it as a rare opening between the
physical and spirit worlds.
Through his clairvoyant sense,
ate red with anger

Steiner perceived a distinct spirit

meaning
magenta
him "the

each color. A shade of


peach blossom was
living image of the soul,"

in

called

visible in the astral selves of

animals, and plants. Green,


site,

represented

life

humans,

its

without

for

oppo-

spirit.

The spiritual significance of color


permeated Steiner's plans for everything from schoolrooms to theatrical
costumes. It also led him to develop a
color-based method of painting that he
applied to his own works (right).
Steiner thought paintings should be

laryhetto

i*

aos

fh lennacr a

CI

tUitih mtj faa n-

l&rqheuo affctt
$ foljt far

>

constructed "out of color" rather than

LisCCfes-rt**

out of shapes. Hard lines were unnecessary. Layers of color could be used

$&thU

images out of which


forms and boundaries would arise.
Since much depended on getting just
the right shades, Steiner proposed that
artists prepare their own paints from
wild plants. Such paints remain poputo create fluid

lar

A wash of watery blue envelops the


separate components of a plant in Steiner's
Original Plant, found in the margin of
one of his dance manuscripts.

today for their unusual luminosity.

112

"what he already knew


the elderly

woodsman

Having at

last

concerns, Steiner

come by tutoring schoolchildren, and in the course of this


work he became involved with a troubled lad named Otto.

The young student and

for himself."

struck up a lasting friendship.

found a conversational outlet

made

his next

advance through

Today, this youngster would probably be regarded as autis-

for his

He was unable to relate to


seemed to be mentally retarded.

his stud-

tic:

ieshe discovered the poetry of Johann Wolfgang von


Goethe. In the writings of Goethe, Steiner

had met a second kindred

spirit.

felt

After working with Otto for

a short time, Steiner proposed to the parents that he be al-

certain that he

For one thing, Goethe

shared his passion for science, having produced studies

the world around him and

lowed

to personally

conduct the child's education. The par-

ents agreed, and Steiner began improvising teaching tech-

in

But Goethe also seemed to

niques geared to Otto's very particular needs. His

them speak

experiments were successful, and within two years, he was

through his poems. Steiner seized upon Goethe as a role

able to bring about a dramatic reversal in the boy's disabil-

anatomy, botany, and

have an ear

optics.

for the voices of nature,

model: a thinking and expressive

and he

man who

let

synthesized the

data of both the sciences and the soul.

While

still

an undergraduate, Steiner was hired by a

same

time, he

began supplementing

Otto eventually obtained a medical degree and be-

came

a practicing physician. The lessons of this experience

also exerted an influence

He

publisher to edit a collection of Goethe's scientific writings.

At about the

ities.

felt

on

Steiner's theories of education.

that successful teaching could arise only from

knowledge of the students on the part of the

his in-

instructor.

---

Steiner sketched Man in Relation to


the Planets (above) during a two-day lecture
course in which he described parallels
between the human body and the cosmos.

Yellow-red Lucifer, spirit of light,


gazes across a green void toward Ahriman, spirit of darkness, in this

1923 Steiner pastel.

113

deep

At the age of twenty-five, Steiner published a book on

Goethean philosophy, followed


thesis,

On

five

accept the post. The three years that


followed were extremely

years later by a doctoral

which was an attack on Kant's theory of knowledge.

for him.

was offered a post at the


German city of Weimar.

artists, writers,

scholarly achievements

and academicians. He thrived during

the seven years he spent in Goethe's

home

city,

book

on a wide variety of scientific

after

topics

that

a prolific writer, in total publishing

During Steiner's time

in

toward throwing

Weimar, he took

found

more

in 1893,

published

er,

they had

clairvoyance.

Knowledge of the

called the mystery centers.

tered worldwide,

In

was roundly ignored


1897, Steiner became the

German

spirit

it

and had

world had

lost their

all

but dis-

These were holy places scat-

where generations of initiates had studied

the ancient spiritual

philoso-

wisdom

at the feet of their elders.

According to Steiner, Christ had played an important

it

lication called the

As people ac-

appeared, kept alive only through the efforts of what Steiner

went beyond the material world.

so directly with the mainstream of

spiritual realm.

become obsessed with

Nietzsche and Goethe written over the next four years, conflicted

highly

quired a better understanding of the physical world, howev-

This notion, which Steiner repeated in additional works on

phy that

What emerged was a

was convinced that humankind had passed


when all people had been as clairvoyant as

he and could peer into the

he broached the idea that humankind could indeed

acquire knowledge that

focus in Christianity.

Steiner

his first ten-

Activity,

its

through an era

off the bounds of academic

convention. In his Philosophy of Spiritual

views on the supernatural. Greatly troubled,

personal view of the role of Christ in history.

than sixty books and delivering more than 6,000 lectures.

tative steps

him most,

he plunged into a generalized study of religion that quickly

book on such German thinkers as Nietzsche,


life

in

he was yet unable to kindle any

interest in his

and published

Arthur Schopenhauer, and Jean Paul. Steiner would remain

throughout his

both-

had come

the arena that mattered to

cementing

a reputation as an insightful and productive scholar. Steiner


lectured

It

ered Steiner greatly that none of his

There he was thrust into a rich intellectual milieu swarming


with

ones

financial

worries and personal doubts.

the strength of these works, he

Goethe-Schiller Archives in the

difficult

He was plagued by

part in this process, because he taught the spiritually

editor of a scholarly pub-

Review of Literature, moving to Berlin to

that they

114

aware

must move beyond the mere preservation of their

Rudolf Steiner's formidable


Second Goetheanum (below)
stands like a concrete fortress on the site of its burned

Designed and built by Steiner,


the

domed Goetheanum

(left)

echoes the rounded hilltops of


its

rural setting. The

structure,

wooden

named for German

author Johann Goethe, housed


a 900-seat lecture hall and a
stage for performances ofSteiner's mystery plays. Opened
1 920, the building was destroyed by an unknown arsonist
on the last day of 1 922.

in

predecessor (left). Steiner died


several years before completion
of the building, which remains a center for anthroposophical performances and
conferences on his work.

founded the Theosophical Society to promote the


study of Eastern religions and the occult. Interest in
Blavatsky's

work was spreading

Steiner's

mesh very
phists.

rapidly in

Germany.

unorthodox views on Christ did not

neatly with the beliefs of the Theoso-

They regarded Jesus as

just

one of a long

line

who had become men for the purhuman race. Nevertheless, the

of avatars gods

pose of instructing the

organization invited Steiner to mobilize a

German

movement. He undertook

the task

branch of

their

more than a decade, would describe

and, for

his out-

look as "Theosophical." In a lecture that Steiner delivered in

October of 1902, he declared that his newly

found purpose
spiritual
later,

in life

was

to establish

research on a scientific basis."

he would look back on

this

"methods of

A few

speech as the

years
birth

of anthroposophy.

His affiliation with the Theosophical Society

would

last

eleven years and would spread Steiner's

reputation beyond the narrow confines of

among

academia. As his star rose


freethinkers of Theosophy,

knowledge and
love. Steiner

actively search for perfect

found that even

the strength to take

up

this

freedom and

in his darkest despair

universities

he had

event in the cosmic evolution. The mystery of Christ's

life,

he believed, should enable people to recognize them-

For Steiner, however, there


In 1909,

work

was

a changed man. He

now on

the fairy tales of Goethe

medieval Europe. He read widely on the Eastern

ligions

and attempted

the

wisdom of the

surprise, he

Christian gospels.

Somewhat

found a ready-made audience

was due

to the influence of

to his

for his

new

Madame

that sketched the elaborate

turning back.

cosmology and

itself its

tion to the spiritual realm. Steiner

society

re-

had become so hardened

connection that even individuals

own

their spiritual

do

wide-

so.

historical

1913,

115

lamented that Western

who

struggled to reclaim
it

terribly difficult to

to reverse the

awakening possible for all.


ways with the Theosophical Society

spiritual

Steiner parted

Blavatsky had

human-

in its denial of the spiritual

consciousnesses found

make

first

once-direct connec-

The challenge, Steiner suggested, was

trend and

receptive-

Helena Blavatsky, a flam-

boyant Russian medium and mystic.

was no

he published An Outline of Occult Science, a

kind had chosen to hide from

to reconcile those philosophies with

ranging lecture topics. In large measure, the

ness

He

and mystical prac-

tices of

his

tolerance for discus-

years in Berlin. The book presented the idea that

felt in-

creasingly free to address the topics closest to his heart.


lectured

where he had made

little

view that he had begun working out during his troubled

selves as individuals apart from the material world.


After 1900, Steiner

was

the seekers and

just as quickly in the

sions of mysticism or anything smacking of the paranormal.

of Christ as the cen-

tral

intellectual circles

career. In that sphere there

search by pondering Christ's

message. He began to view the coming

and

it fell

German

when Madame

in

Blavatsky's successor an English-

Antonio Gaudi

(right) devised
the play/ul lizard waterfountain below as part of his design
for Guell Park in Barcelona.
Named for Gaudi's patron Eusebio Guell, this residential development involved houses built
on triangular tracts of land on
Mount Pelada, with views of the
city and ocean. Guell Park's

dominant motif was its colorful


mosaic tile, which decorated

0%

-m

<"

plazas, stairways, sidewalks,


and two highly ornamented administration buildings.

Y\

P\\

v. ^i

N
i
)

'

Klsf

Natural Impulses of an
Architectural Genius
Nature, according to Spanish architect
Antonio Gaudi, is God's architecture.
Man-made structures, he said, should
imitate natural forms. That logic led
Gaudi to develop an undulating, organic style of building that brought the
look of a rural Utopia to urban streets.
It

was a welcome innovation

for

turn-of-the-century Barcelona, reeling

under rapid industrial growth. Gaudi's


rippling walls and curving roofs humanized new neighborhoods and revitalized old ones. His projects ranged
from apartment complexes and bridges

shown below.
One commission dominated his last
to the smaller structures

forty-two years: the Church of the

Sagrada Familia, or Holy Family.


Seen partially completed at right, the
soaring Sagrada Familia was intended
to rank among Europe's great cathedrals. Gaudi poured his naturalistic,
quasi-mystical impulses into it. Struts
and towers blended seamlessly, as if
grown from the same seed; sculpted
turtles and snails replaced conventional gargoyles; turrets resembled trees.
As he built the church, Gaudi be-

came

increasingly devout, eventually

choosing to live in poverty. This decision may have hastened his death.
Struck by a streetcar in 1926, the poorly clad architect was mistaken for a
vagrant and received minimal care for
several hours before he was recognized. He died three days later.
His unique architectural legacy was
ignored outside Barcelona until the

960s.

Today

his

ranked

among

earliest

and most

work

is

/^

the

successful at-

tempts to restore

human
the

7^r^c\.

scale to

modem

city.

Not one straight line can be found


in the naturalistic masonry of this entrance gate, designed by Gaudi in
1 902 for

^;v
1/

a private Barcelona home.

hical

Rowing

woman named
that Christ

enthusiasts

robes P e2, sAwak en-

Annie Besant decreed

had reincarnated as the Indian

guru Jiddu Krishnamurti. Steiner withdrew

from Besant's organization immediately

and announced the formation of

own
Many

his

group, the Anthroposophical Society.

German Theosophists followed

suit,

and

from that day forward Steiner enjoyed the


emotional and financial support of a growing

band of disciples.
Ever the

prolific writer,

sert his influence in other

newed an

he began to as-

areas as well. He re-

and

interest in painting

braced wherever his followers

sculpture,

move

convinced that he could help to

might

those arts

forward to a freer and more expressive future. Like Gur-

he developed his

djieff,

own form

dance, called eurhythmy. This

movements performed
and music. Beginning

to the

of establishing a permanent

a system of flowing

to

life

with

his ideas

spirit

introduced a series of

elaborate, Steiner

would be

called the

ed

it

many

different parts of the world.

saw

most

the value in acquiring a theater that

upon himself

Goetheanum. The

facility that

structure,

he

was marked by the unusual architectural feature of


domes giving shape to a single room. An enormous

and

itual nature.

which was complet-

land,

During

War

move-

some

yield

of his

lasting contributions.

was

a living organism with

Moving from

this

own

its

modern intensive-farming techniques were depleting


soil

by robbing

it

of

its spirit,

called biodynamic farming.

Many

of the practices that

Steiner suggested extensive crop rotation, the sowing of

the heavy use of

up

resi-

Dornach, and other members of the Anthropo-

sophical Society expressed an interest in building

had no wish

to

be the head of a

compost are today standard

and

practice for

organic farmers.

homes

The educational
grew out of

adjacent to the Goetheanum.


Steiner

the

and he proposed a solution

certain plants that raise the nitrogen level of the soil,

in

spir-

premise, he argued that

dome below
dence

time

this

cupola spanned the great hall of the theater with a smaller


to set off the stage area. Steiner took

I,

the agricultural front, Steiner believed that the soil

of a garden or farm

provided such a

1920 at the village of Dornach near Basel, Switzer-

visible

On

mood and mes-

to design a building that

came

he also turned his attention to two projects agriculture

interaction

in

twin

to

and education that would eventually

architecturally appropriate to the

he took

ment

As the stage presentations became more

sage of his dramas. Finding no


setting,

years immediately following World

In the

Steiner directed the spread of the anthroposophical

plays, brought

on reincarnation and human

beings.

Dornach. But he

wide anthroposophy.

dramatic interpretations of his cosmological teachings.

These dramas, which he called mystery

at

to think of the place as a seed for the flowering of world-

rhythms of spoken language

in 1910, Steiner

community

eventually gave in to the wishes of his colleagues and

of spiritually attuned

was

For a time, therefore, he resisted the idea

live.

principles that Steiner

championed

his conviction that cultivation of the

mind was

just one aspect of a school's responsibilities. Spiritual and

sect. His vision

movement he had founded was global in scope, and


he believed that the values he was espousing could be em-

emotional development he considered every

of the

tant.

118

A striking feature

of Steiner's

bit

as impor-

philosophy was

that chil-

rnystexy

ig ""day

/e

"T

lances dep.c^g^^^cter^.
o/Key
development

that a student could be

considered ready for the


pursuit of spiritual clair-

voyance. Anthroposophy,

was never

therefore,

part of the Steiner curric-

ulum. The quest for


itual

insisted, could

only

ful

spir-

advancement, he

if it

be

was

fruit-

freely

entered into by mature adults.

Steiner's ideas

on education were
initially

put in prac-

tice at the

request

of a group of Stuttgart industrialists

seeking better
schools for the

emwas formed

children of their
ployees.

The

at a tobacco factory called

dren should not be

dorf, or Steiner,

taught to read until the age of seven or eight,

when

their adult teeth

grew

in.

He believed

event signaled an important spiritual transition. At ear-

lier

stages, Steiner suggested, children could learn only

that operate

on the

While Steiner was acutely aware of the

by

best reserved for the formation of loving relationships. Be-

mism. He believed that


rise to

for the

from instruction

in

became capable of imaginative

next seven years they could benefit

such areas as science,

history, art,

felt,

and

dimensions of a single

human

fell

be presented as specialized undertakings.

er's view,

it

was not

until

was

people of

all

the destiny of humanity to

kinds could take positive steps to open

from

Gurdjieff,

who

On

these matters he

believed that the vast majority

of people were too set in their

ways

to

change

their

mode

of

learning about themselves and addressing the world

for inspiration

within a child's grasp, and the arts and sciences could

finally

it

opti-

a higher state of consciousness. In the meantime, he

differed

endeavor.

With the onset of puberty, the capacity

reality of evil

view was one of evolutionary

themselves up to their spiritual nature.

music. These were taught not as unrelated subjects but as


different

be called have

principles Steiner set out.

yond

knowledge, and

to

Europe and North

America. Today there are nearly 500 schools worldwide

in the world, his overall

this stage, children

Waldorf Astoria, and the Wal-

schools as they came

was

imitating their environment. Early childhood, therefore,

institution

proliferated ever since, particularly in

that this physi-

cal

first

around them. But both

men

reached the same conclusions

about the narrow path to Utopia:

In Stein-

age twenty-one, or thereabout,

It

could be reached solely

through the process of perfecting the


119

human

spirit.

rf

v
H\l

no/*

l^P^SSdimberWP-

"

to

do with

reai

*r

toMm-*"*

ob)ecuv
.of *eir

B etweenl9l0
ravaged by
-

A ic

l930>
and^9

-ar^ any

actuate,

I
i

artists

For

turmoil-

was

Europe
by

ap

mental
J me"

a"d

compete

heir pleas

breaK

cenlury

Pnrooean inters

he Russian

Many

d technology

T
s&z%ssz*-

1
^*evereem^

dea that
needed

iu

fnSv^^ns
l.

va .

onAy

each ne*

oreparethewayir

effort-

concentrated

found

^tofm^o^chfngfactones

wnter *

members

of

eu

^Vwere veteran^

"eCeSS1wmdould
be
humanV-ma w

,.

pursue
freed to

-<ft52rf.*z*
rmg
had w
hope d 5S
rion they

m;

forms that
;W art
madness
counter the

^e contlagrauom
fw

^rl^
nonary

So

adcau
.

slsU^<
rVolu

inlhei"n^voeabularvfo*e
visions for;

Sncnts*at
a

P^

prewar
the pi
cxwept asrde

ucedtherramsn

thernd
p

carried
printed

regimes of

w ith

soUght

publicity

swnts-

Despite

nlanguage,
differences
t -garde

ts?-ssr

"^gb^ramon.
rrptnen^r-i

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^ s^d

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realism.
art ssa
"art for
as
such
lnte^u.-

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r
^r^c-d-msewes,.

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strong

chain.

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international

art

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eedf0t

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aside **
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sought _fresn

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m the

techn0 ,

futurists

oaz^^rolmdostnaUttiesTW

bsessionswi*

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ecUousana^
ebumenlMan:
wasmf
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sensation
c
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suspension

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thinking-

sensa
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in his

Tetn a-

lightenment^^rMalevach

art
the Russian
\-

,,920
1914 and 192^
V een
by a re
was shaken
Ad

the

poUtical

l91?

upheaval

!) contrasting

An'

nalpara

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tpoterf>'nsP'"
pw

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e a notentially

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Past

^^

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tract

elevates

spiritual

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rising

Roving wss'an P

onlyb
above the

metaphysics H

deepest

tions

^Leonstntcuv^^e

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t;;

shattered

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matter

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iono/design-

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that

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novels

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splendors
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>

OV

CHAPTER

Toward a Planetary Vision

he German soldier was a kid about

The 30-caliber

alive.

bullets

He was gray with shock, going


boy's face.

war

He asked: 'Why

hair strung out in the bushes,

6, his

had scooped out

did

fast.

He

his chest

stared up at

you shoot?

wanted

and

me a

saw

still

his heart.

mournful,

to surrender.'

little

"

Leo Litwak was a U.S. Army medic on that spring day

in 1945, as the

German

village without

in

Europe neared

end. His outfit had taken a

its

and Litwak was contemplating the happy prospect of helping

resistance,

himself from cellars

filled

when he heard rifle shots,


some bushes, Litwak
wounded by GIs who said he had failed

with sausages and wine

followed by shouts of "Aid man!" Running over to

found the young German, mortally


to

answer

their

demand

for surrender.

was war; war was

Litwak shrugged off the death. That

hell.

And

twenty-two years, the grim scene lay submerged, seemingly forgotten,


subconscious mind. Yet during those years, he was nagged by a
emptiness, an inexplicable numbness, as he called

employed as an associate professor of English


lege,

Litwak was commissioned by the

article

about California's Esalen

at

it.

Then,

Institute,

engage him. "A

absurd," he wrote.

We

ran.

We

"We touched

which was achieving a certain

through exercises

drama in which

initial

in

made

disdain, Litwak

slain

We

jumped.

one another."

became engrossed as he moved

sensory awareness, fantasy experiments, and psycho-

trip,

came when he was

instructed to

lie

my own

he suddenly saw "a heart sheathed

in slime,

that

he was a "tiny

vessels." With a start he recognized

German soldier.
At that moment, Litwak

most deeply hidden

self entering

and imagine

body." In the course of that

hung with blood

faces at

participants act out the details of their

his eyes,

workshop, which

lady in leotards directed us to be

fat

secrets. For Litwak, the cathartic climax

down, close

potential.

our noses with our tongues.

clutched one another,

But after his

while

San Francisco State Col-

his subject, Litwak enrolled in a five-day

at first failed to

spiritual

in 1967,

New York Times Magazine to write an

fame among groups exploring the outer edges of human

To research

for

in his

felt

it

as the heart of the

a freedom, a pure and shining joy he had

never experienced before.

who had
up

my

what

numbness.

I'd

"I

wailed for that German boy

never mattered to me," he recalled, "and

missed.

started to feel again

heaved

and discovered

wide open, lightened, ready

felt

to

meet

others simply and directly."

Leo Litwak
logical

testify to

psycho-

enrichment at Esalen, where even the scenery lends

enchantment.

rugged Big Sur country, where wild

In the

boars and mountain lions


100 acres nest on a

waters of the

cliff

still

roam, Esalen's more than

nearly 100 feet above the pounding

Pacific. Rustic

his contemplations. His path eventually led

Francisco's eccentric North


Price

cabins nestle beside a redwood

Beach

at Harvard.

him

later recalled.

"We

didn't

San

in the air force

The two became

and between them, the idea of the Esalen

gradually emerged.

to

which Richard

district, to

had also gravitated after serving

and doing graduate work


friends,

one of thousands who

is

ued

Institute

have a blue-print," Murphy

"The whole idea was exploration into con-

sciousness in general and the notion to support a diversity


of approaches."

Murphy's grandmother was persuaded to proffer a

owned in Big Sur. And alEsalen became a 1960s bazaar for the

long-term lease on property she

lodge, hot sulfur springs gush from the mountainside, a

most overnight,

bountiful garden grows atop a 3,000-year-old compost heap

eclectic, the esoteric,

created by the now-extinct Esalen Indians, and a cylindrical

rums, seminars, and workshops on Gestalt awareness

community

tent,

lines, is called the

To

training,

Eastern philosophy and Western science, mysticism, and

both

Price,

thirty

came Michael Mur-

years old, both from well-

to-do families, and both (although they had not

There Murphy had developed an

in

terest in Eastern philosophy; after

graduation and a stint in the ar-

my, he took himself to

India, to

community called
Aurobindo Ashram,

a religious

where he meditated
hours a day.
later,

for eight

A year and

Murphy returned

a half

to the

United States, worked two

days a

week

at

offered fo-

designed along traditional Mongolian

known each

other at the time) former psychology majors at Stanford.

the Sri

It

Big Yurt.

the wildness of Big Sur in 1962

phy and Richard

and the experimental.

such jobs as

bellhopping, and contin-

somatic disciplines, psychotherapy, the meld of

shamanism.

In so-called

encounter groups,

men

work out their hostilities, and


people stripped to expunge their inhibitions.
one another

to

It

was

sorts of

In Esalen's

soothing hot-spring baths, mixed groups of nude

women

wrestled

all

men and

contemplated the cosmos.


a heady time.

we were

"We

thought

astronauts of inner

space," Murphy said


"about

to

later,

break through into

new realms

of consciousness.

We wanted to put man on the


psychic moon."
Inevitably, Esalen be-

came

a target for critics

who saw

it

as a tower

of psychobabble and a

136

gymnasium

for

group gropings. But Esalen survived and has

a falling boulder,

day-to-day direction of the

main

its

Some

was killed in 1985 by


and Michael Murphy long ago gave up

changed with the times. Richard

Price

institute.

He does, however,

political

counterpart to

its

communities cooperative groups

whose members come together not by coincidence but

re-

chairman, and he has helped steer his brainchild

communal

rather in deliberate
goals. Since

its

striving

communication between individuals and organization:

terpersonal communications

face-to-face meeting of Soviet cosmon;

way

television link

Soviet rock groups;


1

989

it

up a

set

between American
it

al

helped organize the

the United States of political

visit to

maverick Boris

Yeltsin;

and

it

is

been offered
to

to

make

many

skills,

has trained

it

in in-

Esalen has helped com-

was

an

that of

where

institute,

teachers and guests were transient visitors, and the

^^v

organization's leaders

^M

according to

^HBf

nities,

some

still

see

authorities

including Robert

S.

as just that. But

it

on Utopian commu-

Fogarty, a history profes-

sor at Antioch College, Esalen, too, has evolved into some-

under Es-

thing of an intentional community, with

alen auspices that a $25,000 reward has

way

salen's original form

^B_

live,

for

'munities learn to resolve conflicts and stay together.

two superpowers. Esalen arrang<


U.S. astronauts;

workshop

skills

throughout the world. Through people

and

been regard-

of the thousands of intentional communities that exist

initiat-

ed a Soviet-American exchange program designed to ope]

the

toward Utopian

inception, Esalen Institute has

ed as a philosophical base and a

marrying

of Eastern and Western philosophies, Esalen in 1980

They wanted community.

of Esalen's visitors have been, or have become,

residents of intentional

toward what has been called new-wave citizen diplomacy.

As a concrete and

their best possibilities.

fill

anyone who can think of a

its

own

tailor-made

self-governing structure and a preschool for the residents'

young

a respectable international

children.

currency out of the ruble. With Mikhail Gor-

bachev's policies of greater openness


greater

numbers of Soviets

Over the centuries, many

came

ifornia coast and, in 1990, Esalen's first Soviet staff

sure, Esalen

still

practices

earlier techniques, but they

its

al

communities.

In the

many

spiritual disciplines of

no longer

failure of the

to live in intention-

United States in the 1950s,

communes were formed

member.

To be
of

moved people

scholarly, spiritual have

visiting the Cal-

different aspirations economic,

to practice the

Zen Buddhism. As time went

government

some

newly discovered
on, the

to eradicate poverty, the frustra-

seem so mind-boggling, and

of the 10,000

tions of the civil-rights

who annually sip

the institute's

environment moved many communards

to try constructing

an "alternative society." Many sought

withdraw from the

or so guests

"rejuvelac" cold wheat-grass juice or soak


in the spas,
officials or

Luther King,

to partake of the institute's pro-

grams

for

developing

human

Many were

War

from the Cold War, from the Vietnam

looking for religious sanctuary.

doubted the healthfulness of modern urban

Some

was

authorities, dismisses the

not enough. They wanted to find ways to

al

help not just individuals but groups

die out in calmer days.

ful-

Nude Esalen residents, fresh


from hot-spring baths, curl in
yoga poses before the sun as it
sinks into the Pacific. Esalen's
idyllic setting, among the redwoods and cypresses along
California's craggy, misty coast
(inset), serves as inspiration for
the institute's Utopian vision,
which blends the old Eastern
tradition of contemplation with
modem California notions
such as "body awareness" in
the quest for self-fulfillment.

137

communities

simply

life.

Antioch's Professor Fogarty, along with

potential, the

lonely perfection of the person simply

Jr.,

and, not least, from the threat of thermonuclear extinction.

home. For many of the seekers who

came

to

of the

assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin

scores are likely to be visiting

poets from the Soviet Union.

Esalen also has had profound effects


right at

movement, and gross abuse

many

other

widespread notion that intention-

proliferate in times of social ferment

He suspects

that their

number

and
re-

mains

more

constant but that the communities receive

fairly

attention in periods of turmoil, such as the 1960s. Re-

cent surveys have counted from 3,000 to 10,000 intentional

communities

in

North America alone and every continent

own complement. Some like Esalen have turned


their efforts toward a sort of citizens' diplomacy. Some look
has

its

ronment where people can

live full lives;

others seek en-

many find spiritual


while many more draw

lightenment through Eastern mysticism;


fulfillment in charitable deeds,

and

their goals,

on which they

and farm. Yet de-

and idiosyncratic nature of

their lifestyles
in intentional

communities share the


has become

live

most of the people who dwell

spite the diverse

known

faith that

as the

Age of Aquarius during which

equinox appears

New

they are children of what

New

The so-called New Age


is

said to

more or

less coincide

with the astrologi-

..

for

Aquarius the Water

of the zodiac, began

2,100 years, and

is

in short, is

The

New

seen as a Utopian

era.

was

Age's philosophical Moses

French paleontologist, mystic, and Jesuit

life

and

in the

the

famed

priest, Pierre Teil-

hard de Chardin. Teilhard served as a World


bearer,

characterized

harmony, peace, and understanding. The

Age,

War

stretcher-

midst of death he pondered the puzzles of

and the potential of the human

vinced that evolution

He became con-

spirit.

was as much a spiritual as a biological


was its goal. Teilhard came

process and that spiritual unity


to feel that

made

Age.

some students

in the 1960s, will last for

by a quest

the sun at the spring

in the constellation of

Bearer. This period, say

drudgery and provide an envi-

to technology to eliminate

strength from the soil

cal

humankind shared a "oneness, or

Unicity," that

every person part of the earth's "living envelope," or

biosphere, "the living

membrane which

film over the surface of the lustrous star

is

stretched like a

which holds us."

And over

"this sentient

protoplas-

mic

became aware of "an

layer," Teilhard

lope, taking

on

its

own

individuality

ultimate enve-

and gradually detach-

named

the

Greek noos, meaning "mind." This

"ul-

ing itself like a luminous aura." This he


noosphere, from the

"was not only conscious but

timate envelope," he said,


thinking,
in

and

it

was always

there that

found concentrated,

an ever more dazzling and consistent form, the essence

or rather the very Soul of the Earth."

To
all

Teilhard, the

noosphere was the integrated mass of

consciousness, flowing together from individual hu-

mans. And

in one form or another, this concept of syner-

gized thought

lies at the

base of

New Age

philosophy.

Teilhard's writings, however, remained unpublished


until after his

lects

death in 1955. By then, other profound

had approached the same subject from

tions.

Gazing back into

who was an

antiquity, historian

intel-

different direc-

Arnold Toynbee,

concluded that civilizations decline not so

much because

of

invasions or other external forces as because of an internal

hardening of intellectual
ity,"

he

said, gives

life

arteries.

The

"elite creative

to a civilization but

is

minor-

gradually re-

placed by another minority, dominant yet not creative.


In their interpretation

of Toynbee's thesis, the inhabit-

New Age communities believe that they are the people who can best provide creative solutions to the problems
confronting humankind, and that they can best shape a new
ants of

stage of civilization, based

on

spiritual transformation

human condition.
While Toynbee was considering the

and advancement

in the

"ideo-

sclerosis" of civilizations, British writer Al-

dous Huxley was


clinical

in California

making a A

examination of Eastern

mysticism.

Though a skep-

early visitor

to Esalen,

Body limp and eyes


closed, a

woman

attend-

ing an Esalen workshop


entrusts herself totally to
the raised hands offellow
participants, learning to
relinquish control. Such
{

exercises, designed to
foster openness among
participants, are seen
by some as a micro-

cosm of what New


Age Utopians want
to do globally
knock down the

barriers of misunderstanding that


divide the world.

J
nS holdha"

ds
hur's

reigning e

rust***"

*"*.

twee -year
\

".dozen*.

term

mrou nrty

* '

cc

^l e settlement near

,.,

e,al
name uspiial-shapeedmetaldev.ce.
I

if

is

^aoV-V^etOenega-

Jsmess.
,_

msm

re-

f"

o*ets mdud
weaving

United Stat

aw

or

ngand

che mical-

wrai-medicme

tic

and a pessimist, Huxley became convinced long be-

was founded

fore Esalen

that the mystical experience,

the direct union of an individual with the Godhead, can

be experimentally verified and that

hope

human

for the

al Philosophy,

holds the best

it

species. His 1945 book, The Perenni-

gave impetus to what came to be known as

the human-potential

movement.

To many New Age communities, the humanpotential movement has become an article of faith. They
believe that by elevating their consciousness to levels pre-

viously unattained, they can generate energy that will break

down

the walls

between mind and body, between Eastern

wisdom and Western


ciety,

and

between the

action,

create, in Teilhard's phrase, a "persistent

reversible rise of Cerebration

Intentional

communities have a deep and abiding

form the world.

California

to

work out

its

show

"that

problems together that

we may have

that our every action has

faith

that

such

humankind

we

northeast coast
of Scotland. The Findhorn group's

are not

we

are to survive

founding

to learn this lesson

on oneness

Eileen Caddy, an English couple,

separate, but part of the whole. Indeed,

as a planet,

ir-

can trans-

community writes

places are all-important in order to

meant

and

and Consciousness."

that through their collective consciousness they

is

and so-

individual

if

an impact on the

150-bed Cluny

entire universe."

Oneness, the whole: Within those words

lies

bound together

made up

of complete systems, or wholes. At the heart of


the conviction that the well-being of the planet

is

depends on harmony between


ter.

all

living things

and

all

evidently

and

librium with

life,

terms, holism

society,

means

and

spiritual

and nature.

ward

mat-

entirety of nature

Nowhere
oped than

at a

is

society,

community

their stewardship, the hotel

and trebled

receipts.

its

were uncomfortable with

won

a four-

The owners, however,


that managerial style,

1962 the couple lost their jobs.


Eileen, the setback

was

only a step to-

fulfillment of a "larger plan or destiny."

Now,

Eileen's

trailer

park located near a Find-

horn garbage dump. Eileen was further told that the family
should plant a garden and elevate their "vibrational level"

by gorging themselves on

and the

its

produce. Assisting in the en-

deavor would be Dorothy Maclean, an old friend and "spir-

be understood.
the holistic oneness

to operate the

four miles from Findhorn. For five

small sons in a commercial

more sweeping

that only as the strands of a single,

complex web can persons, communities,

were hired

inner voice instructed the Caddys to live with their three

balance and equi-

In

in

Under

To Peter and

For the individual, holism entails the achievement of

physical, mental, emotional,

within."

star rating

and galaxies as yet unseen is

holism

Hill Hotel,

a strange way. In 1957, Peter and

transmitted to Eileen by what she described as "the voice of

God

in a unifying vision.

Holism holds that the entire universe each thing, atoms,


individuals, communities,

in

years, they ran the establishment according to precepts

the con-

cept of holism, by which far-flung Utopian communities are,


despite their disparities,

came about

more

highly devel-

in the village of Findhorn,

on the
142

who had been

itual

coworker,"

hotel

and who soon moved

dismissed from the

into the Caddys' trailer.

same

%m

**Z**Z

auy
begin the
believe

Find-

Gotland's

Gardeners

flt

em ent-

^ ^
way,

*:'

By her

later account,

Maclean was

gasoline-powered

in

who

Beings

Known

plant growth."

devas from

as

for shining
spirits

and

overlight

in

wo

V*
is

"seemed

going to dig them up?" After Sims apolo-

to

be whispering, passing on what

ble gardens

were

infested by rabbits, moles,

a garden

circle

grow on the

and holding hands

Findhornians, as one of them remembered, "communicated

were welcome

lore of Islam's mystical Sufis

stayed on the grass banks and ate the clover and wildflower

God and

in

We

there.

because

tether your

them

and sea-

As

parted.

for the clubroot

clubroot can't

by the

similarly inclined people joined in.

They began

number

field.

talking with plants

named

"I

found myself

would get a response,

for

example,

for looking particularly beautiful.

to

be words, but more often

it

if

it

ter eight years, there

was thanking

Sometimes

was

just

it

that

it

was

still

belief

is

"on

all

that brassicas with

Findhom's forty-pound cab-

still

tourist attraction.

minuscule. By 1970,

were only twenty

af-

residents. In that

at

who had

studied biochemis-

Arizona State University and

ducted an adult education course in esoteric and

drop

would seem
in

and genetics

philosophy

in

in

San

Jose, California. Spangler

on Findhorn

for a five-day visit;

years. His prolific writings which, he said,

later

con-

New Age

had intended

to

he stayed three

were the

literal

rendering of transmissions from a source called Limitless

a return of energy."

Love and Truth helped refine Findhom's philosophy.

when she became aware

of a surrounding sense of "agitation and upset. Suddenly

realized

try

a plant

Once, taking a break from work, Sims was resting


nearby grove of young white pines

was

twenty-five-year-old American

and

woman

would seem

rabbits stayed

year, a catalyst arrived in the person of David Spangler, a

in the habit of

and animals," a Findhorn

Lida Sims recalled. "Often

In truth,

But Findhom's cadre

of

to regard

soil

The

did sug-

into healthy specimens, but our cab-

bages soon became something of a

themselves as an intentional community whose members

communicating with the plants of the

grow

bages disproved that."

cabbages weighing as much as forty-two pounds.


enterprise spread, a

to go."

we

organisms, they were

grew anyway. The prevailing

gardening

for instance,

they

the brassicas," said the Findhornian, "and yet the plants

vegetables and flowers so large and plentiful that they

were flabbergasted,

if

and behaved themselves, while the moles apparently de-

sand and yielded

ideal

garden

presence was too disruptive, but

their

gest an alternative place for

spirit-

in the

asked the moles to leave the garden completely

would have been extraordinary even under

the creatures of the

attunement, the

to the rabbits that they

cations of horse manure, peat moss, lime, soot,

specialized in

After standing in a

in silent

barren patch of land. In the

the practical. With generous appli-

little

and

and other brassica vegetables.

make

As word of the

and relaxed."

satisfied

voice nor Dorothy Maclean's

weed, the Findhorn garden flourished

sight of

had said

a fungal disease called clubroot on the cabbage

a proverb: "Trust

conditions. Visitors

neither Eileen Caddy's guid

devas would have sufficed to

was combined with

were

uring one worrisome period, the group's vegeta-

by each

camel." At the Findhorn Foundation, accordingly, the


ual

that the trees

digging so close to where they

The pine grove then seemed

it.

(which Maclean had studied),


there

and she thought

was

from one end of the grove to the other and commenting on

life-fo

the garden's plant species.

they

provided specific advice

to the care preferred

gized and assured the trees that she had no such intention,

Hinduis

ones those

was

were, and

direct

the Sanskrit

tiller,

"worried because

"telepathic contact with the angelic

In their simplest terms, Spangler's

bodied

the trees." Sims had been operating a

is

143

in a

unity."

Findhorn creed: "Humankind

concepts are emis

holy. Everything

To Spangler, the oneness of God and humanity

is

crucial.

Contrary to the traditional Judeo-Christian view of a

transcendent God, separate in


able only through

God

that

the earth

is

ritual, sacrifice,

and

one with humanity and

prayer, Spangler held

modern

is

horticultural techniques that

is

announced, thanks

to

God

rely

on com-

and subsoil solar heating.

'sing the

are

already met, and the community goes

ahead, knowing that indeed the need has been met.

do not

include a polyethylene tun-

its facilities

income from such ventures, along with


loans and donations from benefactors, Findhorn

things that Spangler called manifestation. "At Find-

given that the need

toi-

the Garden School, which teaches

is

nel with drip irrigation

the start of a process of creating

is

and

books, handicraft items, health food, and

There also

letries.

one with

that both are

sell

muning with devas;

horn," he wrote, "the need

way

shops that

and the cosmos.

Oneness with God

new

erating a publishing firm, a greeting-card business,

his majesty and approach-

has expanded

its

property holdings. The community

In this

has bought the Cluny

Hill

buildings have been constructed, printing presses pur-

into disrepair after the

Caddys departed, along with

which had

Hotel,

fallen

chased, other equipment and materials acquired without

an old Findhorn railroad station and several mansions,

any money beforehand to pay

which have been turned

arises

and

perfect

is

made known,

manner, often

in a

By the time Spangler


least in the roles played

leen

it

for them. Whenever a need


is always met in the right and

houses. There

seemingly miraculous way."

by

that

Findhorn had changed not

left,

its

es.

she would remain active at Findhorn, her inner voice would

message

to

Yet for

own

faded from prominence, and in 1973 she

to

who moved

was

to California's

officer, Peter

which members hold hands, close


ence a

holistic

fective.

As a Findhornian once

know where

Caddy had

to live

and

new

work

White,

is

with a

at

one point

to

been

in

1978 before settling back

less yeasty 1980s.

down

tlement

to

to

around 200

its

de-

believers,

is

and experiit

seems

ef-

said: "This is the best place

we can

what makes

it

help each person to

all

moving

in the

same

work."

at Findhorn," said

to link

community member Ralph

up with other centers "to reveal an emerg-

we

call the

'network of

about

in

Light.' "

at

southern India, where time

Among

Findhorn

is

is

the

a set-

reckoned by the

passing of ages.

in the

Over the years, the community has

For more than 10,000 pilgrims

branched into a variety of commercial enterprises weaving, turning recycled

their eyes,

To

pen pals of the do-it-now community

within two years of their arrival.)

300

together.

group setting

love

ing pattern that

high,

50 percent of all married couples

Meanwhile, Findhorn's membership grew

in a

And

of our

in California

re-

Findhorn's loving energy also reaches outward. "Part

wife

Hawaii and then

dents, Findhorn's divorce rate has always

amounting

direction.

Findhorn and Eileen

(For reasons that baffle the foundation's resi-

first in

child.

left

coming

contribute positively to the energy flow

spirits

with a brisk authority that sometimes grated on Findhornian sensitivities. In 1980, Peter

The community makes

Bay Area

conduct conferences and workshops on holism.

As a former Royal Air Force

on and manage

cisions not by decree but by a process of attunement, in

part of a

executed the directives from Eileen's and Dorothy's

live

the material changes, oneness remains the

all

prevailing spirit at Findhorn.

guidance." Similarly, Dorothy Maclean's devas gradually

group of Findhornians

events and conferenc-

members

purposes of contemplation.

treat for

final spirit-inspired

Findhornians was, "Go within and get your

for cultural

of Findhorn

west coast. Here community members raise goats and

to declare that while

no longer advise the community. Her

can seat 300 persons

And a handful

and guest-

also Universal Hall, a pentagonal building

Erraid Island, a wind-swept, treeless island off Scotland's

three founders. In 1972, Ei-

Caddy emerged from a meditation

is

into classrooms, inns,

who

gathered on a bleak pla-

teau near Pondicherry on February 28, 1968, the sun that

paper into building insulation, and op-

rose blazing over the Bay of Bengal betokened the

144

dawn

of

new day

for

humankind. They had come from around the

world to witness the birth of Auroville The City of

Dawn

taking place with the blessings of the United Nations Educa-

sensation of something very strong and very luminous,

above

my head Consciousness. And my feeling was:

what

must

live,

what

must be."

Later, the

this is

presence took

form as none less than Krishna in the Hindu

faith,

raised clouds of dust as they thronged into bleachers encir-

the Divine Incarnations -and the

able to

cling a lotus-shaped urn.

a sketch of him.

tional, Social,

and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). They

The crowd was reverent as

was read
to

languages.

in fifteen

nobody

site

it

Human

actual

later to Paul Richard, a

in

ter.

visitors de-

own

set to

While there, he sought out a guru by the

lands. But

work

drilling

inhabitants of a city planned as a Utopian

into a reality. That vision

was

The woman, Mirra Alfassa,


in Paris

in 1878, to

ish

a Turk-

banker and his

Egyptian wife.
From her earliest

was
moved by strange

years, Mirra

forces. At the

age of

four, she later re-

was

counted, "There

me on

a small chair for

which

used to

my

medi-

would

feel a

engrossed
tation.

sit still,

in

sort of very pleasant

with

t^ traditional
^f^dhornians
A& c ' candle for a
Se
the

Blending

gather around *

^Jua.

Ch%tmasEv^ang^
with
h ave had
\^lda

vvfe
resident,

Jd choose? o overlighting

*% coming

for

50,000

of mystical bent and an

Indian revolutionary turned guru.

was born

home

transform a vision

the product of spiritual union

woman

of Sri

was the same


whose ashram Esalen Institute's Michael Murmeditated.) The two men became friendly, and

Aurobindo

phy

later

in

he brought his wife and introduced her to

break the surface. These were the pioneer

between a tough-minded

name

symbolic meaning of the Star of David. (This

were required

who would

and

(meaning "venerated") Aurobindo, to inquire about the

when

persons, the willing servitors

artistic

to a Parisian

French diplomat with an

wells and planting trees in soil so sunbaked that crowbars


to

both

first

Pondicherry, then a French protectorate, on a political mat-

in their

some remained, and they immediately

and

twice,

ended: "Auroville

most of the

own dreams

painter

was married

interest in Eastern spirituality. In 1910, Richard traveled to

Unity."

the observance ended,

parted to pursue their

occult circles. She

draw

willing ser-

of material and spiritual researches for a living

embodiment of an

When

And

Consciousness."

vitor of the Divine

be a

belongs to humanity as a

one must be the

was even

As a young woman, Mirra moved

Auroville's brief charter

began: "Auroville belongs

in particular. Auroville

whole. But to live in Auroville

will

It

girl

one of

Richard returned to Pondicherry several years

whom

she

tells

From

that

later,

Aurobindo

us she instantly recognized as being the

Krishna of her visions.

moment

no doubt about

Sri

on, Mirra

had

where she belonged. After the meeting she wrote


ary:

"An immense

have

gratitude rises from

at last arrived at the threshold

sought." Paul Richard later


far

as to pay tribute to

Sri

bowed

my

which

seem

editor of Bande Mataram, the journal of Indian nationalism's

have long

so-called extremist faction. Urging rebellion against the co-

out gracefully, going so

Aurobindo's towering superiority.

"Around mountain peaks there can be only


have no wish to be a valley."

valleys," he

The yogi

into

whose

esoteric sphere Mirra

in Calcutta in 1872.

now moved

Aurobindo Ghose, the son of

who

an Anglophilic Indian physician

mother who eventually descended

took to drink and of a

into

madness, was edu-

cated in England. As a classical scholar at Cambridge, he

was

fluent in Latin before

tive

tongue. After Cambridge, Ghose found employment

he became familiar with

with the maharaja of Baroda,

who

government, he naturally drew unfavorable

lonial

and

attention,

in

1908 the Raj

bindo spent nearly a year


silence of his cell he

said. "I

was born

Aurobindo had a way with a pen, and he soon became

her di-

in

to

heart.

his na-

had taken a fancy to him

managed

in solitary

"and

later,

of

my

felt

me

for

Now

it

the princely state of

um

Baroda and found

by involving himself

in the

relief

dence. In those early days of the movement,

Mohandas
Africa,

K.

Gandhi was

most Indian

still

from the

tedi-

cause of Indian indepen-

off practicing

when young
law

in

Yoga generally
In that

gotiation.

he

left

nationalists believed that Great Britain

Aurobindo Ghose, however, was not so

trusting;

the maharaja's service to hurl the firebrand of revo-

lutionary violence.

men

It

in the

would
"All

his life's fo-

for the future Uto-

calls for a renunciation of secular

life.

was distinctly
karma-yoga the "yoga of action." As

sense, the discipline Aurobindo chose


is

called

tent expression in the

man who

life

finds

its

most po-

lives the ordinary life of

strength of Yoga." Years

Mirra Alfassa

later,

offer to the citizens of Auroville a succinct corollary.

work," she

South

could be persuaded to grant freedom through peaceful ne-

became

cusand the philosophical underpinning


pian community of Auroville.

explained by Aurobindo, "the spiritual

For

a couch," he wrote

Friend and Lover." Even before his incarceration, Au-

robindo had delved into yoga.

homeland where he would spend

life.

in the

on the

arms of Sri Krishna around me, the arms

the

different.

the rest of his

British

him. Auro-

visions. "I lay

while visiting London. Thus, in 1893, Ghose returned to the

thirteen years, he languished in a series of clerical jobs in

jail

confinement, and

began having

coarse blankets that were given

to

It

was

communion."
harmony with his yoga that Aurobindo,
from jail, resumed his political activities

said, "is a kind of

thus in

after his release

but not for long. Harassed by British authorities, he received

an adesha divine

command telling him

ary in French-controlled Pondicherry.

came

a letter to a

to

From

Madras newspaper saying

seek sanctu-

there, in 1910,

that Sri Auro-

A predawn

bonfire (left) dimly


illuminates a crowd of Auroville
residents gathered on February
28, 1 988, to commemorate the
twentieth anniversary of the
Utopian community on the
southeastern coast of India.
Silhouetted against the newly
forested horizon is the spherical shape of the Matrimandir,
under construction since 1971
and meant to serve as Auroville's spiritual center. Its

name

means "temple of the mother."

bindo wished to "see and correspond with no one


nection with
that

political subjects." Instead,

he could continue his

in

disciples. But they

con-

nounced

he wrote, he hoped

spiritual studies undistracted

by

into his houst

case,

it

was

the

ciplines of

young followers who

into his meditations.

contented

began

is

soon

thought.

setting things

the

books neatly

bliss.

Sri

is

Aurobindo withdrew ever deeper

He

illusion, to

insisted that the

human

is

in pursuit of

the real mani-

beings are evolving, he stated, to-

realization." But

en garden, organ-

ward higher consciousness, a

'

life

as far beyond humanity as

humanity is beyond the monkey. He viewed the crises he


saw in the world as evidence that this evolutionary leap
was beginning, that the old ways of
thinking would no longer solve
problems. He looked forward to

izing collective
^

even assigning
Aurobin-

do the task of
cooking

world

Godhead. "You need not give up

ing a small kitch-

to Sri

that the material

be spurned

the world," he declared, "in order to advance in self-

cupboards, plant-

meditations, and

nature." That being the

He could not agree


mere

festation of the

in

knowledge was

philosophy differed from traditional Indian

world

straight, stacking

its

spiritual

lead the acolytes through the daily dis-

yoga while

attracted a handful of

disarray. Mirra

whose

Mother as she would henceforth be

known who would

Aurobindo had

Aurobindo an-

Sri

the earthly representation of

"predominatingly practical in

By 1920, when Mirra Alfassa moved

lived in

was

Shakti, the Divine Mother,

worldly turmoil.

hold, Sri

were silenced when

that Mirra

fish for

her cats. At
first,

to

be

sure, there

were grumbles from the

A red cement sculpture (above)


adorns the entrance to the
community's school, built in
1971. It was named Last
School, perhaps in the hope
that Auroville could one day do
without formal education.

The marble Lotus Urn at near


centerpiece of the amphi-

left,

theater, symbolizes AurovUle's

creation as an international
community. At the founding
ceremony, children from 124

nations placed handfuls of their


countries' soil in the urn.

147

"a spiritualized society," which would

live

money and

"not as the col-

religious

by the time
er

Aurobindo died

Sri

would remain

thoughts

in the

at the

in

ashram

for the rest of her

tomorrow."

would be

It

golden sphere

her

that

who aspire
named Au-

120

new consciousness, a
away from all national rival-

ought
In

those

who

find that the

world

is

monished her

followers.

"No words acts!"

And so she

set to

plans and founding an organization it

Aurobindo Society, and she was

its

was

be, in the Mother's words, "the soul of


structure,

which measured almost 100

would be supported by four arching

Au-

feet

by

pillars repre-

(Strength),

Mahasarawati (Harmony), and Ma-

The top half of the sphere would be a


its

walls lined with forty tons

were

ror

would

deflect the sun's rays to

tal

globe,

which would illuminate the sanctuary.

an enormous, clear

Surrounding the Matrimandir

at a distance of

the Mother ad-

two miles would be the Green Belt hardwood

work, drawing

chards of mango, cashew, and other

was

a huge

the Matrimandir, a meditation center

twelve-sided Inner Chamber,

to be."

the wellspring of deeds.

to take visible form.

Dawn, when viewed from

of white marble. From atop the edifice, a sun-tracking mir-

not as

the spirit of Sri Aurobindo's karma-yoga, ideas

feet,

Mahalaksmi

conventions, self-contradictory moralities and

said, the help of "all

The

named

hakali (Perfection).

contending religions." The community would welcome, she

it

of the City of

senting the Mother's four powers: Maheshwari (Wisdom),

a laboratory for developing the

ries, social

would

roville."

As envisioned by the Mother, Auroville would be-

place where people "can live

a slow process, and not

spinning outward in symmetry. At the center

years after the loss of her mentor turned

to live the Truth of

come

life,

was

above, appeared as a spiral galaxy, with broad avenues

,200 residents

1950. Although the Moth-

increasingly toward establishing a place for "all

roville.

A model

became a full-fledged ashram, or Hindu

community, that numbered some

It

morning of 1968 did Auroville begin

Under the Mother's management, what had been a


small study group

acquire land.

opening ceremony was held on that memorable

until the

lective ego, but as the collective soul."

fruit

crys-

about

forests, or-

and nut

trees,

and

twelve gardens luxuriant with hibiscuses and orchids. In

called the Sri

president to raise

Auroville

148

would be contained within a 12,000-acre

circle.

all,

Of

that,

Aurovilians, in settlements bearing such


tion,

Peace, Certitude,

and

Much

Utility.

names as

Aspira-

of the remaining

land would rest with 20,000 Tamil tribesmen; Auroville's


venturers into the

New Age would

with a people

practicing the customs of their ancestors

still

be

living

cheek by jowl

Hard

reality set in early.

mony, one of the

The day

after the

1968 cere-

original residents surveyed the surround-

and was shocked

recalled later. "It

what he saw.

at

"It

was empty," he

was wind-blown. There wasn't

a tree.

There was nothing." In the months that followed, a cruel

sun bore

down on

stunning

body

at

erless

then,
loss:

on November

The Mother,

17, 1973, Auroville suffered a

in the

age ninety-five. Her death

and brought considerable

left

the

community

more than two

natives,

later recalled,

whom

"The

first

tion. Auroville still

friends

depended

around the world

largely

for its

on donations from

continued existence, but a

the Aurovilians had

Aurovilians

They gave sweets.

trying to take our land, to chase us


all

these

We

came

to the

thought they were

away."

difficulties,

the early Aurovilians

adhered to the discipline of karma-yoga and worked with a


vigor that

was born

The foundation stone

re-

new forests. Work on the


Inner Chamber of the Matrimandir was almost done, although the entire edifice was several years from comple-

manity's future, turned out to be distinctly suspicious. As

Yet despite

million-

songbirds could be heard in the

expected to be friendly companions on the voyage into hu-

village in jeeps.

her

lead-

had been planted; erosion had slowed, water had

the settlers as they labored to create their

new home. The Tamil

one Tamil

left

turmoil, but Auroville sur-

vived and kept building. By 1990,


trees

Hindu phrase,

turned to the ancient dry wells of the Tamil villages, and

of 2,000 years before.

ings

And

however, only some 2,000 acres would be occupied by

of their vision. Reforestation began.


for the

Matrimandir was

laid

on Feb-

ruary 21, 1971.

The mushroom-shaped buildleft house the library of


Auroville's Last School, and the
pyramids in the background
ings at

contain a science lab. This photograph was taken in 1972,


soon after the structures were
built; they now enjoy shade
from some of the million trees
Aurovilians have planted. At
right, in the settlement of Ami,
an artist's home typifies the
inventiveness seen in Auroville.

In

a Last School classroom,

children of Auroville learn Sanskrit. The schools also teach


French, English, and Tamil, the

indigenous language. Regarding education as a chance to


evolve a new kind of person,

embrace
unorthodox teaching methods,
such as using all of Auroville as
a classroom and consulting
the children on subject matter
as well as teaching methods.

Auroville's teachers

Buchminsfcr fuller's Vision:

Doing More wifli less


Buckminster Fuller (below) strove to create an
and engineering. By doing more with less, he believed, "we could
R.

earthly Utopia through ingenious design

take care of everybody."

were common and

light

largely self-taught. His

base but

had sprung up.


In

for

in 1895,

when horses
was

World War

navy service and a

succession of jobs gave him a solid technological

variety of cottage industries

Bom

bulbs exotic, Fuller

one settlement,

him penniless.

In 1927, suicidal

over

business failures, he suddenly found himself

lifted

left

from a Chicago sidewalk "in a sparkling kind of


sphere" and heard a voice tell him never to wait for

example, Aurovilians

"temporal attestation to your thought. You think the


each other,"

applied Western market-

truth." Believing that "we're here for

ing techniques to the sale

of products

woven by

ditional Tamil

Fuller set out to invent his

tra-

In

way

to Utopia.

928, he unveiled a design for a portable

home

Dymaxion house, it hung from a


mast and was meant to be mass-produced

(below). Called the

methods;

central

communiGermans and

not far away, a

French manufactured mi-

and delivered by air for one-fifth the cost of the average home. It never reached mass production, but
another Fuller invention did: the geodesic dome.

crocomputers. Of Au-

Using as his basic building blocks tetrahedrons

ty

of skilled

flat sides) made from simple struts,


hollow hemispheres that provided immense strength from minimal building materials. His
geodesic domes were put into use all over the world.
Few of his notions won such

(shapes with four

725 residents,

roville's

Fuller created

about two-thirds were


Westerners, with Europe-

ans greatly outnumbering

acceptance,

Americans. Most of the


rest

were

Indians,

and

but he

to

"My

the gratification of the

Aurovilians

ideas,"

he said, "have
undergone a

who had

once been considered

was

not dismayed.

in-

process of

truders, about 2,500

emergence by

Tamil villagers were


working in the communi-

emergency.

ty's

When

various businesses or

joining in

its

they are

needed badly
enough, they're
accepted."

educational

and training programs.


had recently hosted

Auroville
al citizen

forty-five

its.

own

internation-

diplomacy project, bringing together

young

adults, fifteen

each from

Soviet Union, and the United States, for

India, the

two weeks

of cultural exchange and tree planting.

And

the

community enjoyed the recognition and support of


the Indian government, conferred on it in 1988 by a
special act of the Indian Parliament.

among Aumore scattered settlements. Near the center


of the community were neighborhoods that a former Aurovilian from Germany compared to "a suburb of Frankfurt."
Living conditions varied greatly

roville 's forty or

150

U^PI

mto

conception,

the

edgCOd
?helter
U
P,flS. 5ilionedto ,tretches
CeIlff

the island

rheWidth Of ond Street


y
TisW
and fro*
d saeet, eabove
^.secona3"
s
to

r,t* S7

three^^ i Buildingcontain

.,"

EmP^f^d
w
fl

the

dome

J.

this size

Ma ry-

STsaid**
'.*SS***,
^
fujler

save nol

'

V?v<

% KM

1**

tig
Ninesn ^d Cloud
1
^Ijrisdc Ug"

^"^ an earth

^ascape^^ aplastic
Fuller

sssSsSJsr
w
wh

c
.

sun
en the

couI d

taOon/o r

chor above
Pictured

*S?

riding^J pother of

^thin a ten

housing

^e

^^jhoutdeplet-

^dter/
^'s resources.
the ear*
mg

151

modern homes enjoyed

There, the residents of attractive

one of southern
ning water.

On

India's

the poor,

most valued conveniences run-

simple huts and used community-built

in

and three

single

women.

Still

to take in

other intentional

communities undertake charitable projects that require

Auroville's outer fringes, other residents

chose to dwell

Casa Maria owns a house large enough

four families

considerable capital outlay.

windmills to draw their water from wells. But creature com-

Gesundheit

"Dream

big,"

a motto of the

is

Institute of Arlington, Virginia. After twelve

forts

have never held a high place among Auroville's

prior-

years of living together and delivering health-care services

ities,

and the mortar and marble of homes and public

build-

to

ings rank far

below attunement with the environment and

the attainment of

"We have
roville

to get

human harmony. Says one

In the

to

expand our consciousness

individuals

reflect a

growing maturity. "As

and communities, many of us have

left

behind

our childish reactionary tendencies," comments David

Then, almost as an afterthought, he adds: "Oh! And

we have

Virginia.

sense that such enterprises would have been

and 1970s, they

the 1960s

over the whole plateau."

yes,

West

to

beyond the wildest imaginings of the flower children of

watershed, to complete reforestation and water

management work. We have

members turned

15,000 persons, Gesundheit

raising funds to build a hospital in

Aurovilian:

together to take care of the whole Au-

it

some

Thatcher, a product of the sixties,

to start the city."

Esalen, Findhorn, and Auroville:

The three communities

whose 100

Mile

House

in

British

Columbia

tional,

which operates approximately 200 intentional com-

is

part of the Emissary Foundation Interna-

munities for perhaps 10,000 people on six continents.

"We
"

present different scenes, different missions, different vie

no longer speak of ourselves as an

of their place on the planet. Intentional communities

Thatcher continues, "but as 'complementary catalysts' or

vast variety to the world they seek to change.


roville is

tentional

Some

new

offi

Whereas

'centers of

more
Some

in existing ci

amid the

frantic

come

noisy city street and

urban hurly-burly.

"We

live

groups operate along lines that

many

conventional institutions might envy. The

Federation of Egalitarian Communities, for example,

are content to see themselves simply as islands of

tranquility

"

New Age

settlement in a desert wilderness, other

communities take up residence

light.'

'alternative society,'

on IP

is

a network of six organizations from Oregon to

New Hampshire and

together for dinner every night,

Ontario,

sharing our city adventures," announces San Francisco's

members

New Moon

from various cottage industries.

"We are TV-free, mostly vegetarian and


On New York's Staten Island, members of
Foundation for Feedback Learning own four adjacent
House.

whose 200

or so

together gross about one million dollars a year


All six

have existed

non-smoking."

more than

the

the federation has compiled a portfolio including

ten years,

and from

for

their collective experience

member-

houses, with land enough between them for flower and

ship agreements, bylaws, property and behavior codes,

vegetable gardens and outdoor eating space. According to

bor and governance systems, statements of philosophy,

the group's literature, they "have six

enough room
treat,

to

sit

around and

outdoors as well as

open porches and

talk, play,

party or just re-

waukee, Casa Maria was founded

who "saw

come more involved

travel

Members who
work or partici-

visitor policies.

from one community to another to

in

tained to protect against large medical

In Mil-

David Thatcher also notes that

1967 by a group of

and used

main-

many communities

one of respecting and working with existing

helping the poor on the streets." In

addition to providing food, clothing,

is

bills.

"are shifting their approach from one of confrontation to

the need of the Catholic Church to bein

and

pate in conferences receive subsidies, and a fund

in."

Other urban communities perform good works.

Catholics

tax-status documents,

la-

The Roandoak of God Christian

furniture to

152

Commune

at

authorities."

Morro Bay,

California, provides

work therapy

have been sent there by probation


Christmas Star, a community
archery, firearm,
that

it

patrol the planet

and churches.

officials

Winkelman, Arizona,

in

who

persons

to troubled

But

and

in the exploration of Eastern religions, philos-

it is

ophies, disciplines,

offers

and mysteries

communities aspire

and survival courses and proudly reports

maintains a "congenial relationship with law en-

act as "elder brothers" to earthlings.

to

expand

that countless intentional


their

consciousness and

thereby generate globe-changing energies. Gurus abound,

bearing such

forcement officers."

names as Swami Amar

Jyodi, Prabhushri

New Age groups have come a long way from the days
when communes were incubators of the drug culture. It
become common for intentional communities to ban ille

cepts of such mentors, communities around the world study

drugs as well as alcohol and tobacco.

they practice the disciplines of kundalini yoga, tantric yoga,

Swamji, and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Following the pre-

many communities alarm

ture,

Communities of homosexuals,
meet scorn from the

Still,

by

Vedic

their very

someti

And

Thus the "wimmin," as they

selves, of Spiral, a lesbian

community

tucky, say they are dedicated to

call

if

not hun-

side, the foothills of the Pyrenees, the forbidding

them^B

in Monticello,

then there are the farms, scores

dreds of them, dotting the rolling English country-

local populace. Yet the gays not bnly

hold their ground but sometimes take the offensive on Dehalf of their causes.

Buddha dharma, and Krishna consciousness;

bhakti yoga, karma-yoga, hatha-yoga, and Zen Buddhism.

conventional neighb
for instance,

texts,

Australian outback, the velds of Africa, and the

Ken- ^

"promoting feminism and

valleys of Oregon.

Some possess well over 2,000


Some are high-tech opera-

acres; others are tiny patches.

and

challenging sexism, racism, ageism, ablism, capitalism, and

tions with photovoltaic electricity, drip irrigation

heterosexism

powered pumping systems, hydroponic greenhouses, and

our patriarchal society."

in

The umbrella of the New Age spreads wide over

computerized planting schedules. At others, the land

scores of communities with missions as varied as the imagination,

from presenting theatrical performances

Canadian towns
cific.

to

A publication

serts that, "If

communing with

you had

to

sum up what

one sentence, you could say


world safe

New

for

rock

that

tilled

Commune

cation, the farming

'n roll." In spiritual beliefs

make

to

and

old

as-

we're trying to do

we want

to

in

nondenominational

Christianity.

human

practices,

tri-

to

life.

their leaning, style, or direction, all inten-

communities are bent on creating a better world. For

some, that world

many it

Others have

is

degree of sophisti-

communities are sustained by an age-

watch plants come

tional

their size or

is

yearning to attain a oneness with the land and

Whatever

the

Agers range along a rainbow of hues. Many of them

live in simple,

with horse-drawn plows, and indoor plumbing

umph. Yet no matter what

in rural

dolphins in the far Pa-

of San Francisco's Kerista

solar-

is

is

personal, for

some

it

is local,

but for

also planetary. "Scattered around the Earth," said

more formal ties: The Holy City Community, which is situated on sixty acres of swampy Louisiana woodland, is subject

small groups and communities quietly creating a society

to the authority of a Catholic bishop; in Berkeley, California,

based upon the unity of the

members

with the forces of nature." To Corinne McLaughlin and Gor-

of the Aquarian Minyan describe themselves as

an "egalitarian Jewish
mobile synagogue
nities

in

spiritual

of a

don Davidson, who

community" and meet as a

one another's homes. Some commu-

do not have any orthodox

members

one Findhornian, "are untold thousands of

community

ties.

writing a

Near Perth, Australia,

er of a fleet of Unidentified Flying Objects

is

the

find in

command-

mainstream society."

ativity,"

whose occupants

in

such communities contain


vitality that

In this

you seldom

"enthusiasm and cre-

they said, they found nothing less than "the energy

of the future visiting the present."


153

family and co-creation

more than a hundred of them

subject,

"an unmistakable optimism and

that calls itself the Universal

Brotherhood preach that Jesus of Nazareth

visited

book on the

human

individuals,

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The editors wish to thank the following: Stefania Auroli,
Rome; Lydia Bonora, Relations Publiques, Musee des
Beaux Arts, Chartres, France; Kathryn Booth, Terre Nou-

sas Grassroots Art Association, Lawrence, Kansas; Monika


Kinley, Outsider Archive,

London; Heidi Klein, Bildarchiv

Preussischer Kulturbesitz, West Berlin; Susanne Klinge-

West Germany; Grace Knoche, the Theo-

velle,

berg, Itzehoe,

rie,

Laragne, France; Caroline Bourbonnais, La FabuloseDicy, France; the Center for Communal Studies, Univer-

sophical Society; Robert Knodt, Fotografische

sity

of Southern Indiana, Evansville, Indiana; Ester Coen,

Rome;

Dr. Bodo von Dewitz, Agfa Foto-Historama, CoWest Germany; Professor Robert Fogarty, Antioch
College, Yellow Springs, Ohio; Jerry Grant, Shaker Museum; Sabine Hartmann, Bauhaus-Archiv, West Berlin; Kan-

logne,

Sammlung

im Museum Folkwang, Essen, West Germany; Martina de


Luca, Rome; G Franco Maffina, Director, Fondazione
Russolo-Pratella, Varese, Italy; June Maher, Auroville International USA, Sacramento, California; Kirby van Mater, the
Theosophical Society; Jean Prince, Findhorn Foundation,

Forres, Scotland; Michele del Re, Rome; Father Ronald, the


Brotherhood of the Essenes, Seven Oaks, Kent, England; C.
Raman Schlemmer, Curator of Oskar Schlemmer Family
Estate and Oskar Schlemmer Theater Estate, Oggebbio, Italy; SPACES (Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments), Los Angeles; Roberto Sparagio, Comunita
Damanhur, Baldissero Canavese, Turin, Italy; Sergio

Stingo, Milan,

Italy;

le-Vivien, France;

Use

Tatin,

Musee Robert

Tatin, Cosse-

Achim Windschuh, Akademic der

Kunste, Abt. Baukunst, West Berlin.

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PICTURE CREDITS
The sources for the

from

Credits

left to

illustrations in this

book are

listed

below

right are separated by semicolons,

from

top to bottom by dashes.

by Greg Harlin of Stansbury, Ronsaville, Wood,


The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. 7: Courtesy the
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Wash-

Cover

art

Inc. 6:

ington,

DC.

8:

Jean-Louis Nou, Paris.

ssischer Kulturbesitz,

West

9:

Berlin. 10, 11:

Bildarchiv Preu-

The Metropolitan

Museum of Art, the Sackler Fund (1969 69.242.10); Bofutenmangu, Bofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, courtesy Tokyo
National

Musuem,

Japan. 12, 13: Scala, Florence, courtesy

Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence; the

Bridgeman Art

London. 14, 15: The Tate Gallery, London.


Barnes of Stansbury, Ronsaville, Wood, Inc.

17:

Library,

Art by

18, 19:

Kim

Courte-

sy the National Portrait Gallery, London; Archiv fur Kunst

und Geschichte, West Berlin; courtesy the British Library,


London. 20, 21: The Bridgeman Art Library, London. 22
Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, West Berlin. 23
Scala, Florence, courtesy Memling Museum, Bruges. 24
Kay Chernush/Image Bank-Sonia Halliday Photographs,
Weston Turville, Buckinghamshire. 26, 27: Galen Rowell/
Mountain Light. 29: Scala, Florence, courtesy Fosco Maraini Collection, Florence. 30: Mary Evans Picture Library,
London. 32: Bibliotheque Nationale,

Paris. 34: Bildarchiv

Preussischer Kulturbesitz, West Berlin. 35: National Portrait

London. 36, 37: The William Morris Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the E. T.
Archive/Tate Gallery, London, background the William
Gallery,

Morris Gallery, London. 38: The Hulton-Deutsch Collection,

London; the City of Manchester Art Galleries, London,


background the William Morris Gallery, London. 40, 41:
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Mass. 43: Photo by
Jonathan Williams, from St. Eom in the Land ofPasaquan by
Tom Patterson, the Jargon Society, Columbus, Ga., 1987.
44, 45: Productions Clovis Prevost from Le Palais Ideal du
Facleur Cheval by Jean Pierre Jouve, Claude Prevost, Clovis
Prevost c Editions du Moniteur, Paris, 1981, background
photo Archives de la Drome. 46, 47: From St Eom in the
Land ofPasaquan by Tom Patterson, the Jargon Society, Columbus, Ga., 1987 -from St. Eom in the Land ofPasaquan
by Tom Patterson, the Jargon Society, Columbus, Ga., 1987,
courtesy Roger Manley; Jonathan Williams. 48, 49: Copyright Roger Manley. 50, 51 From Fantastic Architecture: Personal and Eccentric Visions by Michael Schuyt, Harry N.
Abrams, New York, 1980, except upper left Robert
Doisneau/Ralpho, Paris. 52, 53: Gregg Blasdel (2), background photo Joe Covello/Black Star. 54, 55: Explorer, Par:

except upper left Dmitri Kessel, Paris. 57: Art by Kim


Barnes of Stansbury, Ronsaville, Wood, Inc 58, 59 Courtesy Church Archives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, except center the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, Visual Resources Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
61 Photo by Cliff Roenh, courtesy Pennsylvania Historical
and Museum Commission, Old Economy Village, Ambridge, Pa. -Indiana Historical Society, William Henry
Smith Memorial Library (#4485) 62: New York State Museum, Albany, New York 63: Collection of the United Society
of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Maine. 64, 65: Fruitlands Museums, Massachusetts. 66, 67: Courtesy William Helfand;
collection of the United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday
Lake, Maine; Henry Groskinsky, courtesy Milton Sherman
(8). 68: Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland. 69:
New York State Museum, Albany, New York; the Shaker
Museum, Old Chatham, New York. 70: The Shaker Museum, Old Chatham, New York. 71: Hancock Shaker Village.
72: Hancock Shaker Village (2) -Collection of the United
Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Maine; Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland. 76: Oneida Community
Mansion House, New York 78, 79: Columbia University Liis,

braries, Harris Oliphant Collection. 80, 81:

From Facing

the

Light by Harold Francis Pfister, published for the National

by Smithsonian Institution Press, Washing(3); Library of Congress. 82: Painting by Josiah Woolcott, courtesy Massachusetts Historical Society.
83: Copied by Mark Sexton, courtesy the Orchard House,
Concord, Mass. 84: From Art and Glory: The Story of Elbert
Hubbard by Freeman Champney, Crown, New York, 1968.
85: Copied by Larry Sherer, courtesy Roycroft Associates;
Roycroft Associates. 86-97: Archives, the Theosophical Society, Pasadena, Calif. 99; Art by Kim Barnes of Stansbury,
Ronsaville, Wood, Inc. 100: Bettmann Archive/UPI Newsphotos; from The Harmonious Circle: The Lives and Work of
C. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, and Their Followers by
James Webb, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1980. 102,
Portrait Gallery

ton, D.C.,

1978

103: e Farrell Grehan/Photo Researchers. 104: From An


American Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright, edited by
Edgar Kaufmann, c Horizon Press, New York, 1955 the
Frank Uoyd Wright Archives, the Frank Lloyd Wright
Foundation. 105: From Gurdjieff: Making a New World by
John G. Bennett; e 1973, published by Turnstone Books,
London, 1973. 106: From Teachings of Gurdjieff by C. S.
Nott, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1961. 107: Artwork by Time-Life Books, Inc. 108: From The Harmonious
Circle: The Lives and Work ofG
Gurdjieff P. D. Ouspensky,
and Their Followers by James Webb, G. P Putnam's Sons,
I.

New York, 1980- from Journey through This World: The Second Journal of a Pupil by S. C. Nott, Routledge & Kegan
Paul, London, 1969. 109: From Gurdjieff and Mansfield by
James Moore, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1980. 10:
Siiddeutscher Verlag Bilderdienst, Munich. Ill: From Art
1

Inspired by Rudolf Sterner by John Fletcher, c Mercury Arts,

112-115: Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach, Switzer-

1987.

land

116, 117:

Museo Comarcal de

Reus, copied by Catala-

Roca, Barcelona; Catala-Roca-Rene Roland, Le Vesinet,


France. 18, 19: Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach, Switzer1

land. 120, 121: Erich Lessing, Vienna, courtesy the Hablik


Collection; c 1990 Familien Nachlass Oskar Schlemmer,

Badenweiler

122: Giraudon, Paris.

123: Copied by Luca


Angelo Calmarini, Milancopied by Vivi Papi, Varese, courtesy Fondazione

Carra, Milan, courtesy Collection of

Russolo-Pratella, Varese. 124, 125: Tretyakov Gallery; Use

Berg-Kazimir Malevich Suprematist Composition: White


on White 1918 Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, New
York; Indiana University Art

Museum, Bloomington,

Ind

(#77.55.2). 126, 127: Akademie der Kunste Berlin,


Sammlung Baukunst, except lower right Wenzel-HablikStiftung, Itzehoe.

128, 129: Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin, C

VG

Bild-Kunst; courtesy Agfa Foto Historama, Cologne


Bauhaus-Archiv, West Berlin. 130: Besitzangabe, Collec-

Kunsthaus Zurich; Bauhaus-Archiv; from Klee, by


Denys Chevalier, Crown, New York, 1979, courtesy ARS,
New York/COSMOPRESS-Hugo Erfurth, Agfa Fototion:

Historama, Cologne. 131 Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbe;

Berlin; c

sitz,

West

141

Sergio Stingo, Milan; Comunita Damanhur, Turin; Ser-

1990 Theater Nachlass Oskar Schlemmer, Sammlung UJS Badenweiler; Fotografische Sammlung Museum Museum Folkwang, Essen Musee National
D'Art Modeme, Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges
Pompidou, Paris. 132, 133: Municipal Museum the Hague;
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2) Produktie Grafische
Afdeling, Capi-Lux Vak; Bauhaus-Archiv, West Berlin. 135:
Artwork by Kim Barnes of Stansbury, Ronsaville, Wood,
Inc. 136: c Joyce Lyke/Esalen Media Center- Michael Alexander for LIFE. 138, 139: Paul Fusco/Magnum Photos. 140,
:

gio Stingo, Milan. 142, 143:

hom,

Auroville, Arcosanti

From Linking

the Future: Find-

by Jerome Clayton Glenn, Hexiad

Project, Cambridge, Mass., 1979. 145: From Faces of Findhorn: Images of a Planetary Family by the Findhom Community, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1980. 146, 147: Do-

minique Darr,
(2);

Guy

stitute,

Books,

Paris.

148,

149:

Dominique

Darr, Paris

The Buckminster Fuller InLos Angeles, background artwork by Time-Life


Piacentino. 150, 151:

Inc.

INDEX
Numerals

in italics indicate

an

illustration

the subject mentioned.

Abraham

(biblical figure),

of

Adam

Age of Aquarius, 138


Agriculture, and Rudolf

and Eden, 7,
and paradise myths, 20
Ann,
gift
Adams, Hester
drawing by, 72
Adams, John, 72
Adventist movement, 57
Aeneid (Virgil), 23, 33
(biblical figure), 22,

12-13;

24

Accords Opposes (Kandinsky), 131

Ahriman, 113

transcendentalists, 81

May, 82, 84

Airaudi, Oberto, 141

Alcott, Louisa

Albatross (king), 141

Alfassa, Mirra (a.k.a. Mother):

Alchemy, 60

156

Bronson, &3, and Fruitlands, 82-84;


and Henry David Thoreau, 82; and

Alcott,

Steiner, 110, 118

roville (India), 145, 148;

and Au-

death

of, 149;

and karma-yoga, 147; and Paul Richard,


145, 146; and Sri Aurobindo, 145-146,
147

Amana
Amida

Society, 75

Buddhists,

6.

See also Buddhists

Anaximander, 25
Angel meditation, 145
Ann the Word. See Lee, Ann
Anthroposophy, and Rudolf Steiner, 102,

(play),

96-97

and crafts movement; and Elbert


Green Hubbard, 85; and William Morris,
36; and John Ruskin, 35
Ascent and Pause (Itten), 130
Astarte Syriaca (Rossetti), 38
Astrology, 60
Attunement, and Findhorn Foundation,
Arts

Thomas More, 39
and Mirra Alfassa, 145, 148; and
karma-yoga, 149; and Sri Aurobindo,
145, 147; and UNESCO, 145
152;

Tower of, 20-21


Bacon, Francis, 42
Babel,

Bande Mataram
Baptists,

(journal),

146

65

Bauhaus: almanac by, 121, and Walter


Gropius, 129; and Johannes Itten, 129,
130; and Wassily Kandinsky, 129, 131;
and Paul Klee, 129, 130; manifesto of,
128; and Oskar Schlemmer, 131
Bauhutten, 129

Beast Tamer, The (Tatin), 54


Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson (Gur-

99
Beissel, Johann Conrad, and Ephrata

Shakers
Besant, Annie, 115-118
Biodynamic farming, 118. See also Agri-

Blacks,

Steiner,

15; and Theosophists, 87, 115


Romance, The (Hawthorne), 81
1

Blok, Alexander, 121

God

(a.k.a.

Boccioni, Umberto, 123

Sandro, painting by, 12

Boullee, Etienne-Louis, cenotaph by,

32

Bower of Mulberry Trees, A (Cohoon), 72


Brook Farm, 81, 82
Brotherhood of the

New

79
Brueghel, Jan, painting by, 12-13
Life,

and Robert

135-

S.

Fogarty, 137;

and

discipline, 34-35; as elect,

and John the


and Josephus, 33, 35; and
Manual of Discipline, 34; and Philo, 35;
and Pythagorean Society, 33, 35; and
Sabbath, 34; and slavery, 35

35; initiation into, 34;


Baptist, 35;

and

E-temen-an-ki (ziggurat), 21

Eumenides (Aeschylus), 96
Eurhythmy, 1
Euripides, 96
Euryphamus, 28-30
Eve (biblical figure), 22, and Eden,
12-13, and paradise myths, 20
1

Cosmic Dance, 9
Cosmic Tree, 6

by,

22

1 1

Feasts, of Shakers, 69, 70

Feininger, Lyonel,

woodcut

by,

128

Fellowship, 104

Findhom Foundation: and angel meditation, 145, and attunement, 142-143,


144; and Eileen and Peter Caddy, 142,
143, 144; and holism, 142; and Dorothy
Maclean, 142, 143, 144; and Lida Sims,
143; and David Spangler, 143-144; and

Damanhur, 140-141
Dances: and Georgei Ivanovitch Gurdjieff,
105, 108-109; and Point Loma Universal
Brotherhood and Theosophical Society,
94-95; and Shakers, 64-65, 69-70

Ralph White, 144

Howard,

Davidson, Gordon, 153


Dead Sea Scrolls, 34

Finster,

Death penalty, 92

Fogarty, Robert

First-husband

157

48-49
80
137-138

art by,

rites,
S.,

background
and

of,

Filippo Marinetti, 122;

technology, 121, 122, 124

G
of

Life,

141

Gardens, and paradise myths, 6-15


Gate of the Moon, 55
Gaudi, Antonio, 1 16; architecture by,
116-117

God, City of, 30, 39


Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, and Rudolf
Steiner, 113, 114, 115

Goetheanum, 114-115
Golden Age: and Aztecs, 23-24; and
Greeks, 22-23; and Hindus, 25; and
Indians, 23; and Manicheans, 25; and
millennialists, 24-25; and Pythagorean
Society, 28; and Romans, 23
Gopi, 8

Graham, Sylvester, 77
Great Awakening, 60
Great Disappointment, 57
Greeks, 22-23
Gropius, Walter, 129
Groveland Fountain Stone, 69
Guardian of the Threshold (Steiner), 119
Guell, Eusebio, 116
Guell Park, 116-117
Guild of Saint George, 35
Gurdjieff, Georgei Ivanovitch, 100; and
Cappadocia, 102; characteristics of,

and enneagram,
and
human-potential movement, 107-108;
and hypnotism, 107; and idiots, 98, 99;
and Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, 107, 108, 109; and
Katherine Mansfield, 109; and New Age
movement, 102-105; and Peter Ouspensky, 98; and J. B. Priestley, 109; quoted,
101, 107, 108; and Jean Toomer, 105;
and Kenneth Walker, 98-101; wanderings of, 107, 108; and Work, 102, 108;
and Frank Lloyd Wright, 109; and Olgivanna Hinzenberg Wright, 104, 705, and
108-109; death

7,

(god), 22,

and Paul Scheerbart,


and Bruno Taut, 126

and

122;

98-99, 101-102, 119; and dances, 105,

Exorcism, 140-141
Expressionists, 129

(Doesburg), 133

Crystal Chain, 121;


126;

R Buckminster, 150; architecture


50-/57

Fuller,

Glass Pavilion, 126

Institute: characteristics of,

of, 35;

Cortes, Hernan, 24

Reason (Kant),
23

Owens

Essenes: and apocalypse, 33, 35; decline

Confucians, 6

Cronus

See Martin, Eddie

commune, 60-61

102, 114-115

Krishna), 9

Book of Mormon, 59
Botticelli,

137;

of the Sun (Campanella), 40-42


Cloud Nines, 151
Cohoon, Hannah, gift drawings by, 71, 72
Coitus reservatus, defined, 78
Collins, Polly, gift drawing by, 73
Columbus, Christopher, 58, 73
Communes. See Intentional communities
Community of Jerusalem, and Jemima
Wilkinson, 74, 75

Margaret, 80

Fuller,

Geodesic dome, 150-151


Ghose, Aurobindo. See Sri Aurobindo
Gift drawings, 71-73

and
intentional communities, 137, 138; and
Leo Litwak, 134-135; and Michael Murphy, 135, 137; and Richard Price, 135;
and Soviet-American exchange program, 137; and Arnold Toynbee, 139;
workshop at, 138-139; and Boris
Yeltsin, 137; and yoga, 136-137
Esoteric Christianity: and Georgei Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, 102; and Rudolf Steiner,

Christianopolis (Andreae), 42

Crystal House, 127

Blossom House, 127


Blue

Esalen

Indians, 18

Critique of Pure

and Rudolf

St.

Cheyenne

Coxie, Michiel van, painting by,

and Shakers, 68

Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna;


Blithedale

EOM,

Ephrata

Countercomposition

Giannetto, photograph by, 123

(Col-

Enneagram, 106

and Shakers, 70-74

El Lissitzky, 125;

Fruitlands, 82-84

Game

Enki (god), 18-20

Council of Three Hundred, 26

culture
Birth control, 78

See also Raja-yoga

9.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 81

and
and George Rapp,

Constructor (Lissitzky), 125

60, 61

73

lins),

Cheval, Ferdinand, architecture by, 44-45

and

8- 1

Emblem of the Heavenly Sphere, An

technology, 124

Believers. See

1 1

Elysian Fields, 23

Society, 75;

Lee, 64, 65, 70;

Constructivists:

djieff),

Bisi,

113,

and Amana

The (magazine), 85

France, Anatole, 39

7,

school

City

Basil, Saint, 102

commune,

122

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day


Saints. See Mormons
City of Dawn. See Auroville
City of God, 30, 39
City of Cod, The (Augustine), 30, 39
City of Man, 30, 39
City of Pease, The (Wicker), 73

15

Aztecs, 23-24

Fra,

Education, and Rudolf Steiner, 111, 112,

65
Campanella, Tommaso, 40
Capital punishment, 92
Cappadocia, 102-103

62;

Fourier, Charles, 82

Doesburg, Theo van, 133; painting by,


133; and de Stijl, 132
Dome of the Rock, 24
Dream City (Klee), 130
Dymaxion house, 150
Dynamism of an Automobile (Russolo), 122

Futurists: art by, 122, 123,

Calvinists,

Celibacy;

Fountain Grove, 78-79

Dilmun, 18-20

Eden: and Adam, 7, 12-13; and Eve,


12-13; and paradise myths, 18, 20

142, 143, 144

netti),

Ford, Henry, 85

Fundamentalists, 60

Caffeine of Europe (a.k.a Filippo Mari-

Ann

Auroville (India), 146-147, 148-149, 150-

Cathedral of the Future (Feininger), 128

142-143, 144

Augustine, Saint; and City of God, 30; and

Avatars,

Caddy, Eileen; and Findhom Foundation,


142, 143, 144; quoted, 142, 144
Caddy, Peter, and Findhorn Foundation,

110, 115, 118, 119


Apocalypse, and Essenes, 33, 35

Aroma of Athens, The

Buchanan, James, 58
Buddhas, 29, 104
Buddhists,
See also Amida Buddhists;
Zen Buddhists
Burden, Jane, 37, 38; and William Morris,
36; and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 36
1

Demigods, 22-23
Devas, and Dorothy Maclean, 143, 144

Brueghel, Pieter, painting by, 20-21

107;

of,

and esoteric

Yezidje,

109;

Christianity, 102;

105

Gurdjieff, Ivan, 105

H
Hablik, Wenzel: architecture by, 127;

painting by, 120; quoted, 120, 127

Harmony
61, 62;

Society: characteristics of, 57,

growth

of,

62;

and

millennialists,

63
Harris,

Thomas

Lake, and Fountain Grove,

78-79
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 81-82
Hayes, Rutherford B., 77
Herbal remedies, 66-67

94-95
Hindus: and Golden Age, 25; and paradise
myths, 6
History of Utopian Thought, The (Hertzler),

Martin, Eddie

6, 12-13,

The

18,20

129;

and

and suprematists, 131; and Utopia, 121


and Rudolf Steiner, 111,

Hollister,

Kant, Immanuel,

Homestead, 90, 91, 94


Hopi Indians, 20-22
Hubbard, Bertha, 84
Hubbard, Elbert Green: and

Karma-yoga: and Mirra Alfassa, 147; and


Auroville (India) 149; and Sri Aurobindo, 146. See also Yoga
Kelmscott Press, 85
Kelpius, Johannes, 60
Klee, Paul, 130; and Bauhaus, 129, 130;
and expressionists, 129; painting by,

movement,

and crafts
85; and

arts

85; death of, 84,

Bertha Hubbard, 84; and Alice Moore,


and William Morris, 85; quoted, 85;

84,

and Roycroft

FTinting Shop, 85;

114

and

Koguski,

Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, 107-108; and Al-

Krishna

dous Huxley, 142; and

New Age move-

Newton, Isaac, 32
Ninhursag (goddess), 18-20

Age, 24-25; and

and William

6,

Perfectionists, 76, 77-78; quoted, 77-78;

and sex, 77-78, 80


Nyambi (god), 20

and Golden

Harmony

Society, 63;

in

Miller, 57, 60;

the Wilderness, 60

Millennium, defined, 57
Miller, William: and Adventist movement,

Blue God), 9
Krishnamurti, Jiddu, 115-118

57;

(a.k.a.

and Great Disappointment,

millennialists, 57,

ment, 142

Mondrian,

57;

and

132
24
84

Montezuma

Huxley, Aldous, 142

Labyrinth, 61

Hypnotism, 107

Laws

Moore, Alice,
More, Thomas, 18; and Augustine, 39;
background of, 39; and Plato, 39; and
Reformation, 17; and Utopia, 58
Mormons, trek of, 58-59

I
lamblichus: and Pythagoras, 25, 26, 30;

quoted, 25, 26, 28, 30


Ideal Palace,

and Golden Age, 23; and William


Penn, 40-41, and Shakers, 66, 70; and
Woman in the Wilderness, 60
Inner Sanctum, 52-53
Inspirationists: and Amana Society, 75;
characteristics of, 57

Harmonious Development

of Man: and Georgei Ivanovitch Gur107, 108, 109;

program

for,

106

Intentional communities: characteristics


of, 138,

152-153; and Gordon Davidson,

and Esalen Instiand Robert S. Fogarty,

56, 63-64;

Life

63
ofLycurgus (Plutarch), 33
Lissitzky, El, art by, 125
Little Women (Alcott), 84
Litwak, Leo, 134-135
Lotus Urn, 147

Muhammad, 24

137-138; purposes

and Arnold Toynbee,

of,

137,

139;

and

Zen Buddhists, 137


Isidore,

Raymond

assiette), art by,

(a.k.a.

Lucifer,

50-51

League of Music and Drama, 96


Islands of the Blest, 23
Itten, Johannes, 130, and Bauhaus, 129,
130; and expressionists, 129; and
Mazdaznan, 130; painting by, 130
Isis

(a.k.a.

Bernhard

113

Miiller,

28-30

and holism,

144; quoted, 143

39

New Age movement: and Age

Manicheans, 25

Jackson, Rebecca, 68

Man

in Relation to the Planets (Steiner),

113

158

and

silverstirpi-

Original Plant (Steiner), 112

Ouspensky,

Peter, 100;

and Georgei

An

(Steiner),

Adam,

20; and
and Angola, 20;
and Cheyenne Indiand Buddhists,
ans, 18; and China, 1; and Confucians,
6; and Eden, 18, 20; and Eve, 20; and
gardens, 6-15, and Hindus, 6; and Hopi
Indians, 20-22; and Japan, //, and

Paradise myths: and

Amida Buddhists,
1

6;

Judeo-Christian tradition,

6,

12-13,

and Koran, 6, 7, and


Muslims, 6, 7; and Persia, 6; and Sumerians, 18-20; and Zen Buddhists, 6
14-15, 18, 20;

Pasaquan, 43, 46-47


Pasaquoyan, defined, 47
Path of Genius, The (Hablik), 120
Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer, 81
Peaceable Kingdom, The (Hicks), 40-41
Peace celebration, 92-93
Peach Blossom Spring (painting), 10-11
Penn, William, 40-41
Pennsylvania, founding

of,

40-41

Perennial Philosophy, The (Huxley), 142

Noyes,
Pericles,

76,

77;

and
and John Humphrey

77-78

96

Phalanxes, defined, 82
of Aquari-

115

Paradise Garden, 48-49

Permanent Peace Congress, 93


Perot, Rebecca, 68

and Georgei Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, 102-105, and human-potential


movement, 142; and intentional comus, 138;

sex, 75, 78, 80;

Grahamism,

(Illinois), 59
Neo-Pythagoreans, 33
Neresheimer, E. August, 90

and suprematists, 124

and

Perfectionists: characteristics of, 57;

Nauvoo

dinsky, 131; painting by, 124; quoted,

Manifestation, 144

15,

Naive visionaries: defined, 43; works by,


44-55

Picassiette, 50-51

City of, 30,

Malevich, Kazimir, 124, and Wassily Kan-

Man,

Maximillian de

bindo, 135, 145


Muslims, and paradise myths, 6, 7
Mystery plays, and Rudolf Steiner,
118-119

Magi, 25

124;

(a.k.a.

Murphy, Michael: and Esalen Institute,


135, 137; quoted, 135; and Sri Auro-

McLaughlin, Corinne, 153


Maclean, Dorothy: and devas, 143, 144;
and Findhorn Foundation, 142, 143,

Maison

Bernhard

36;

Leon), 63

Luther, Martin, 57

144;

Le Pique-

by, 37;

visions, 56, 63, 64, 69, 71

Miiller),

of,

and arts and crafts


movement, 36; and Jane Burden, 36;
and Elbert Green Hubbard, 85; painting

Morris, William, 36;

81;

77-78;

ware, 80; and steel traps, 80; and


culture, 80; success of, 78-80

Outline of Occult Science,

II,

and Dante Gabriel Rossetti,


and John Ruskin, 36; wallpaper by,
36-37
Morte d'Arthur (Malory), 36
Mother See Alfassa, Mirra
Mother Ann. See Lee, Ann
Mu, people of, 46-47

and

Lysis,

137-138; and Corinne McLaughlin, 153;


and New Age movement, 138, 139,

and transcendentalists,

Leon, Maximillian de

153; defined, 17, 137;

142, 153;

the Word, Mother

68; marriage of, 63; persecution of,

tute, 137, 138;

number

Ann

65-68; quoted, 56, 69, 74; and Shakers,

Indians:

djieff,

23

(a.k.a.

Ann), 73; and Baptists, 65; and Calvinists, 65; and celibacy, 64, 65, 70; death
of,

44-45

Institute for the

(Plato),

Odyssey (Homer), 23
Oneida community, 76, and Sewell Newhouse, 80; and John Humphrey Noyes,

Walker, 98

Piet,

L
Ann

Objective consciousness, defined, 107

Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, 98; and Kenneth

60

Hunter, Dard, designs by, 85

Lee,

Noosphere, 139
Noyes, John Humphrey, and birth control,
78; exile of, 80; and millennialists, 77;
and Oneida community, 77-78; and

and John
Humphrey Noyes, 77; and George Rapp,
61, 62; and Jemima Wilkinson, 74; and

Woman

Koran, and paradise myths,

Noise Intoners, 123


65, 68

(Shakespeare), 96, 97

112-113

Felix,

Matrimandir, 146, 148, 149


May Day, 90-91

art

46-47

Millennialists: defined, 57;

130; quoted, 130

John Ruskin, 85
Human-potential movement: and Georgei

Martin, John, painting by, 14-15

EOM),

(a.k.a. St

"Message to Garcia, A" (Hubbard), 85


Metamorphoses (Ovid), 23
Metempsychosis, 28
Metz, Christian, 75
Midsummer Night's Dream, A

Kazimir Malevich, 131; painting by, 131;

and Arnold Toynbee, 139

(Bacon), 42

Newhouse, Sewell, 80

Owens

Mazdaznan, 130
Meacham, Joseph, and Shakers,
Melba, Nellie, 96
Menelaus (king of Sparta), 23

Kandinsky, Wassily, 131; and Bauhaus,

and expressionists,

din, 138-139;

New Atlantis

New Jerusalem, 23, 25


New Jerusalem church, 34
New Man, The (Lissitzky), 125

by, 43,

85

23

Kali,

64

(ship), 56,

Europe), 122

KaliYuga, 102
129, 131;

and Dorothy Maclean, 144


Alonzo, 66
Holyoake, George, 68-69

14-15,

(Sinclair),

munities, 138, 139; and Rudolf Steiner,


102-105; and Pierre Teilhard de Char-

34

Marinetti, Filippo (a.k.a. Caffeine of

Findhom Foun-

dation, 142;

Discipline,

Judeo-Christian tradition, and paradise

33,39
Holism: defined, 142; and

Manual of
Mariah

myths,

Fling,

Mansfield, Katherine, 109


/ /

John (apostle), and visions, 23. 24-25


John the Baptist, 35
Josephus, and Essenes, 33, 35

Jungle,

Hicks, Edward, painting by, 40-41

Highland

Jaguar (empress), 141


Japan, and paradise myths,

Philistine,

Philo,

The (magazine), 85

35

Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (Steiner),


114

Photodynamism ofBoccioni
Pietists,

Burden, 36; and William Morris, 36;

123

(Bisi),

Raymond

Pique-assiette, Le. See Isidore,

The (Martin), 1^-15


Plato: and Academy, 31 background
17; and Thomas More, 39; and

Plains of Heaven,

of,

23,31,33

Loma

Universal Brotherhood and

Theosophical Society, 88-89; characteristics of, 90; and dances, 94-95; and
drama, 96-97; magazine by, 86; and
May Day, 90-91; and Nellie Melba, 96;
and music, 95, 96; and E. August
Neresheimer, 90; and peace celebration,
92-93; and Francis Pierce, 90; and Albert G. Spalding, 90;

and Katherine

and Clark Thurston,

Spalding, 90;

90;

and Katherine Tingley, 87-97


26-27
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: and Dante
Gabriel Rossetti, 36; and John Ruskin,
35
Price, Richard, 137; and Esalen Institute,
Potala,

135
Priestley,

J.

B.,

109

(Botticelli),

12

Proteus (god), 23
Pythagoras: characteristics

of,

25-26; and

lamblichus, 25, 26, 30; and magi, 25;

and Pythagorean

Society, 17,

26

Pythagorean Society: characteristics of,


26-28; and Council of Three Hundred,
26; decline of, 30, 35;

and Essenes,

33,

and Golden Age, 28; initiation into,


and metempsychosis, 28; and Plato,
30-31, 33; and Plutarch, 33; and Pythagoras, 17, 26; and Virgil, 33
35;
28;

Queen Guinevere

Queen

35;

and Guild of Saint

Petrovna Blavatsky, 115; characteristics


109-111; and color, 112-113,

of, 101,

Second Goetheanum, 114-115

and education, 111, 1 12,


and esoteric Christianity,
102, 114-115; and eurhythmy, 118, and
geometry, 111; and Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe, 113, 114, 115; and Goetheanum, 114-115; and Kali Yuga, 102;
and Immanuel Kant, 111, 114; and Felix
Koguski, 12-1 13; and mystery plays,
115, 118-119; and New Age movement,
102-105; and Otto, 13; quoted, 12,
15; and realm of spirit, 109; and science of spirit, 102; seals commissioned
by, / 1 1; and visions, 109, 111-112
Stijl, de (artistic movement): characteristics of, 121
132; and Theo van Doesburg, 132; and Piet Mondrian, 132, 133;
and Gerrit Rietveld, 133

Self-consciousness, defined, 107

Stijl,

death

25
Russolo, Luigi: and Noise Intoners,
painting by, 122

(Morris),

37

of the Conjugal Angels, 79


Quetzalcoatl (god), 24
Lily

123,

s
Sabbath, 34

Sacred art, 49
Sagrada Familia Church, 117
Salt Lake City (Utah), 59
Sarsaparilla syrup, 66
Satan, 23, 24-25

Schlemmer, Oskar, 131


Schmidt, Clarence, art by, 52-53

102

and Thomas Lake

and
John Humphrey Noyes, 77-78, 80; and
Oneida community, 75, 78, 80
Shakers: background of, 56-57; and
blacks, 68; and celibacy, 70-74; and
craftsmanship, 69, 74; and dances,
64-65, 69-70; and feasts, 69. 70; and gift
drawings, 71-73, and Grahamism, 77;
growth of, 68; and herbal remedies,
66-67, and George Holyoake, 68-69;
and Indians, 66, 70; and Rebecca Jackson, 68; and Ann Lee, 56, 63-64; and
Joseph Meacham, 65, 68; and meetings,
63, 69-70; and Rebecca Perot, 68; persecution of, 65; and speaking in
tongues. 69; and spiritualists, 69-70;
and Leila S. Taylor, 69; and visions, 71;
and whirling gift, 70, and Anna White,
69; and Lucy Wright, 68
Shambhala, 26
Sheet,

Harris, 79;

De

Stones of Venice, The (Ruskin), 35


Sumerians, 18-20
Superstitions, 60

Suprematists: and Wassily Kandinsky,


131;

and

El Lissitzky, 125;

Swedenborg, Emanuel, 34

55

Tatin, Robert, art by,

Harmony

Society

Realm of spirit, 109


Reformation: and Martin Luther,

Thomas More,

57;

and

The (Plato), 16, 31-33, 39, 95


Richard, Paul: and Mirra Alfassa, 145,

Republic,

146; quoted, 146;

and

Sri

Aurobindo,

145, 146
Rietveld, Gerrit: architecture by, 132, chair

and de Stijl, 133


and Brook Farm, 81, 82
Rosicrucians, 60
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 38, and Jane
by, 133,

Ripley, George,

New Age

15;

and Hele-

na Petrovna Blavatsky, 87, 115; defined,


87; and Piet Mondrian, 132
Thoreau, Henry David, 80, and Bronson
Alcott, 82; quoted, 84; and transcendentalists,

81

Tingley, Katherine (a.k.a. Purple Mother),

88-89; and capital punishment, 92;

and Isis League of


Music and Drama, 96: and Permanent

death

69-70
Aurobindo (a.k.a. Aurobindo Ghose):
and Mirra Alfassa, 145-146, 147; and
Auroville (India), 145, 147; background
of, 146; death of, 148; and karma-yoga,
146; and Michael Murphy, 135, 145;
quoted, 146-147, 147-148; and Paul

of, 87, 95;

Peace Congress,

Sri

93, as philanthropist,

and Point Loma Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society, 87-97;


quoted, 87, 89, 92, 96, and raja-yoga
school, 95, and rule of silence, 95; and
visions, 88; and Woodrow Wilson, 92
Toomer, Jean, 105
92;

Richard, 145, 146

Tower of Babel, 20-21

Stages of Dramatic Gesture (Schlemmer),

159

and Rebecca Jackson,

John, 23, 24-25; and

Ann

68;

and

Lee, 56, 63,

and Shakers, 71; and Rudolf


and Emanuel
Swedenborg, 34; and Katherine Tingley,
64, 69, 71;

Steiner, 109, 111-112;

88

w
Gurdjieff, 98-101

and Peter Ouspensky,

98
Waring, Jane Lee, 78
Washington, George, 53
Whirling gift, 70
White, Anna, 69

in the Wilderness, 60
Work, and Georgei Ivanovitch

Gurdjieff,

102, 108

Works and Days

90, 91, 92-93

Theosophists: and avatars,

Spiritualists,

33

Visions:

Woman

69

139; quoted, 138-139, 142

Spangler, David, 143-144

17

Virgil,

Wolcott, Josiah, painting by, 82

S.,

movement, 138-139; and noosphere,

The (Steiner), 118-119


Soviet-American exchange program, 137
Spalding, Albert G., 90
Spalding, Katherine, 90

Winthrop, John, 58

Thatcher, David, 152

Rappites. See

54-55

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre: and

Socrates, 31

Utopia (More), 16, 18-19, 39-40, 42

Taut, Max, architecture by, 127


Taylor, Leila

Soul's Awakening,

Utopia, defined, 17

Taut, Bruno, architecture by, 126

Slavery,

61, 62;

in Christ's

Second Appearing. See Shakers

Friend):

Sioux, 23

and millennialists,
and Bernhard Muller, 63

United Society of Believers

Wilkinson,
1

Tatin, Liseron, 54,

58, 59; quoted, 59

Jemima (a.k.a. Public Universal


and community of Jerusalem,
74, 75; death of, 74, 75; and millennialists, 74; and Judge Potter, 74, 75

29

T'ao Ch'ien,

and Mor-

White on White (Malevich), 124

Tantrists,

35

Bliss,

Tree of Light (Cohoon), 71

Wicker, Joseph, gift drawing by, 73


Wilde, Oscar, 17-18

Taliesin East, 104

(Adams), 72

Tree of

White, Ralph, 144

Tingley, 95. See also Education


Rapp, George, 61, and celibacy, 62; characteristics of, 63; death of, 63; and
labyrinth, 61;

and Kazimir

Malevich, 124

Temple of Peace,

mons,

tics of, 57, 81

Walker, Kenneth: and Georgei Ivanovitch

80

Stirpiculture,

Sims, Lida, 143

of, 59;

and Brook Farm, 81-82; characterisand Fruitlands, 82-84;


and Grahamism, 77; and Ann Lee, 81;
and Henry David Thoreau, 81
81;

Walden (Thoreau), 82

(journal), 132

Raja Yoga Academy, 90, 91, 94


Raja-yoga school, 94, 95, and Katherine

Smith, Joseph, 58; death

Scheerbart, Paul, 126

spirit,

of, 115;

113, 118-119;

Russell, Bertrand,

Science of

Transcendentalists: and Bronson Alcott,

George, 35; and Elbert Green Hubbard,


85; and William Morris, 36; and Pre-

Sex:

Pneure, Le, 108

Primavera

Ruskin, John, 35, and arts and crafts

Raphaelite Brotherhood, 35

Plutarch, 33

Point

Abraham, 63
Steiner, Rudolf, 110, and agriculture, 110,
118; and anthroposophy, 102, 1 10, 115,
1 18, 1 19; background of, 109-1
1; and
Annie Besant, 115-118; and Helena
Standerin,

Brotherhood, 36
Roycroft Printing Shop, 85

movement,

Pythagorean Society, 30-31, 33; quoted,

Toynbee, Arnold, 139

131

painting by, 38, and Pre-Raphaelite

75

(Hesiod), 22-23

World's Folk Art Church, 49


Wright, Frank Lloyd, 104, architecture by,
104; and Georgei Ivanovitch Gurdjieff,
109; quoted, 104

Wright, Lucy, 68
Wright, Olgivanna Hinzenberg, and Georgei Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, 104, 105

Y
Yezidje, 105
Yoga, 136-137. See also Karma-yoga
Young, Brigham, 59; and James Buchanan, 58; and Mormons, 58

Yugas, 23

Zen Buddhists: and intentional communities, 137; and paradise myths, 6. See
also Buddhists

Zimmermann, Johann

Jacob, 60

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Director of Photography and Research John Conrad Weiser

Curtis G. Viebranz, Joseph

(pictures);

Text Editor: Robert A. Doyle

EDITOR: George Constable

Schneidman

Janet Cave (text)

Director of Design: Louis Klein


Director of Editorial Resources: Phyllis K.

PRESIDENT: John

Other Publications:

SERIES DIRECTOR: Jim Hicks


Senes Administrator: Myrna Traylor-Herndon

P.

Editorial Assistant:

Donna Fountain

Special Contributors: Susan

Schaeffer (lead research);

Beth DeFrancis, Patricia A Paterno, Evelyn S Prettyman,

Schneidman, Joann Stern (research); Champ


George Daniels, Norman Draper,
Alison Kahn, Robert Kiener, Harvey S Loomis, Brian
McGinn, Wendy Murphy, Jake Page, Curtis w. Pendergast,
Susan Perry, Peter Pocock, James Schutze, Daniel
Stashower, Danna L Walker, May Wuthrich (text); John
Drummond (design); Hazel Blumberg-McKee (index).
Priscilla T.

Clark, John Clausen,

PUBLISHER: Joseph
Editorial

J.

Ward

Operations

Production: Celia Beattie


Library: Louise D. Forstall

Computer Composition: Gordon E Buck (Manager),


Deborah G. Tait, Monika D. Thayer, Janet Barnes Syring,
Lillian

Daniels

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication

Data

p.

cm. -(Mysteries of the unknown.)

ISBN 0-8094-6376-8
Utopias-History
HX806.U79344 1990
355'.02-dc20
l

ISBN 0-8094-6377-6
l.

Time-Life Books.

(lib.

II.

bdg.)

Series.

90-35512
CIP

II

THE OLD WEST


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write:

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Vincenza Aloisi (Paris), Ann Natanson (Rome).
Valuable assistance was also provided by Angelika

Time-Life Customer Service

Lemmer

(Bonn); Judy Aspinall, Lesley

Consultant

Marcello Truzzi, general consultant for the series,

is

professor of sociology at Eastern Michigan University.


is

Box C-32068
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P.O.

Coleman (London);

Bandres (Madrid); Elizabeth Brown (New York), Ann


Wise (Rome); Mary Johnson (Stockholm); Traudl Lessing
(Vienna).

Includes bibliographical references.

WORLD WAR
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Correspondents: Elisabeth Kraemer-Singh (Bonn), Christine

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Utopian Visions by the editors of Time-Life Books,

TIME

AMERICAN COUNTRY
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GREAT MEALS IN MINUTES
THE CIVIL WAR
PLANET EARTH
COLLECTOR'S UBRARY OF THE CIVIL WAR
THE EPIC OF FUGHT
THE GOOD COOK

He

also director of the Center for Scientific Anomalies

This volume

is one of a series that examines the history


and nature of seemingly paranormal phenomena. Other
books in the series include:
Mystic Places
Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects
Psychic Powers
Hauntings
The UFO Phenomenon
Powers of Healing

Psychic Voyages

Search for the Soul

Phantom Encounters
Visions and Prophecies

Transformations

skeptic" with regard to claims of the paranormal, works

Mind over Matter

Dreams and Dreaming


Witches and Witchcraft
Time and Space

through the CSAR to produce dialogues between


and proponents of unusual scientific claims.

Cosmic Connections

Magical Arts

Spirit

Research (CSAR) and editor of


Scholar. Dr. Truzzi,

who

its

journal, the Zeletic

considers himself a "constructive


critics

Mysterious Creatures

Summonings

1990 Time-Life Books

Inc. All rights reserved.

book may be reproduced in any form or by


any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval devices or systems, without

No

part of this

prior written permission from the publisher, except that


brief

passages

First printing

may be quoted

for reviews.

Printed in U.S.A.

Published simultaneously in Canada.


School and library distribution by Silver Burdett Company,
Morristown, New Jersey 07960.

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Time-Life Books

Inc. offers

ings, including a

Rock

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Time Warner

a wide range of fine record-

Roll Era series. For subscription

information, call 1-800-621-7026 or


sic,

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41
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