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A few weeks ago, I wrote all of you about a series of "unedited, uncensored,
live, and taped-live conversations between the most influential,
provocative, and important thinkers and leaders in today's world":
AN INFORMAL GATHERING WORLD'S MOST INFLUENTIAL SEEKERS (6/8/2003):
I became a member of this forum immediately (the cost: 10.00 a month) and
have been listening to many of the discussions that have taken place. Today
I heard one that I thought was especially important and wanted to be sure
all of you knew about. Today's interview was between Ken Wilber and George
Leonard, who, along with Michael Murphy of Esalen fame
l), is regarded as the co-founder of the Human Potential Movement.
What follows is a brief introduction of Leonard, his work, and his 31 minute
interview with Wilber. This, in turn, is followed by a description of a
program that Leonard and Murphy have developed called the Integral
Transformative Practice (ITP).
In order to listen to the interview, you will need to become a member of the
Integral Naked project (10.00 a month is a steal for the kind of high
caliber people that are featured in these interviews):
--- David Sunfellow
GET NAKED WITH GEORGE LEONARD AND KEN WILBER
June 30, 2003
THE SHOT HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD: GEORGE LEONARD
If the Human Potential Movement has founding parents, George Leonard and
Mike Murphy are its grandfathers. In fact George, while an award-winning
editor at Look magazine, named the movement and was instrumental in
making it internationally known, as you will hear in this fascinating
account of the history of the Human Potential Movement from its founding
in the early sixties to its culmination in an Integral Transformative
George Leonard, who is pushing eighty, has the energy of a twenty-year
old and is surely a walking example of a healthy body, mind, and spirit.
In the following account, George traces the history of the human
potential movement back to its beginnings in the civil rights movement,
and points out that the original human potential movement -- certainly as
conceived by him and Mike -- was an integral movement, drawing on both
interior development to higher and wider waves of consciousness, as well
as exterior development to more inclusive political and social
But somewhere along the rocky road, the movement splintered into several
partial fragments -- just a political movement, or just exercises for
inducing shamanic peak experiences, or just a social justice branch, or
just personal transformation, or just an environmental movement. George,
who named the movement, says that at this point, he and Mike felt that
they "had to un-name the movement," so fragmented had it become.
Then, in the early nineties, the pieces began to come together again,
and the result was an Integral Transformative Practice (which, in this
conversation, Ken summarizes as "the exercise of body, mind, and spirit
in self, culture, and nature" -- all levels, all quadrants). The first
formal version of an ITP was introduced by George and Mike in their
ground-breaking book, "The Life We Are Given"
From the first firing of that "shot heard round the world" -- on February
2, 1965 in George's house on California Street, San Francisco -- to the
culmination of an Integral Transformative Practice in the mid-nineties,
the life of George Leonard is the life of the human potential movement.
The final result of an ITP is not a life more complex, but more simple.
The last sentence on this clip, which is a little hard to hear because
George whispers it, really says it all: "The whole key here is to
simplify, to do less, not more, to that final point of artistry where
all that needs to be done is done, and yet nothing more."
transmission time: 31 minutes
keywords: Look magazine, the Beatniks, the Human Potential Movement,
Esalen Institute, the civil rights movement, rednecks, Martin Luther
King, "The Human Potential," Feb. 2, 1965, desegregation, gay rights,
the feminist movement, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Will Schutz,
Boomeritis, catharsis, peak experiences, altered states versus permanent
traits, stages or waves of unfolding development, integral
transformative practice (itp), Integral Transformative Practice (ITP, or
George and Mike's version of itp), trans-intellectual versus
anti-intellectual, the Naropa Institute, Oscar Wilde, inter-racial
marathon, Education and Ecstasy, Leonard Energy Training (LET), aikido,
the four quadrants (A Theory of Everything), states of consciousness and
stages of consciousness, shamanic experiences, affirmations, The Life We
Are Given, Dean Ornish, hatha yoga, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality.
most memorable moment: "If you really want to be integral, you've got to
include political and social movements." And, "One thing we learned in
personal and social transformation: the quick fix doesn't work."
headache scale: 2 sound quality: 2 audience rating: 4
We hope you can join us in this lively and provocative discussion.
The IN Team
WHAT IS ITP?
From the Integral Transformative Practice (ITP) Website
We Americans have tried them all -- the quick-fix solutions, the crash
diets, the "ten easy steps" to fitness or health or enlightenment -- and
we've found they simply don't work. Worse yet, our search for short cuts and
our relentless pursuit of climactic moments have contributed not only to
self-destructive, addictive behavior but also to disillusionment with the
very idea of positive human change. The truth of the matter is that
long-term change requires long-term, diligent practice and that such
practice can produce results that seem nothing less than magical.
After many years experience in various forms of transformative processes,
human potential pioneers George Leonard and Michael Murphy have created a
long-term practice for busy people involving mind, body, heart, and soul, a
practice that produces positive change in practically everyone who follows
Integral Transformative Practice (ITP) grew from a two-year experimental
class in human transformation conducted by Leonard and Murphy, beginning in
1992. The class met for two hours on Saturday mornings and also held
overnight retreats. The Saturday classes included group support, discussion
of assigned readings, transformative work in Leonard Energy Training (LET)
,and a 40-minute mind-body-spirit series
of exercises called the ITP Kata (http://www.itp-life.com/kataM.html)
addition to meeting every Saturday as a group, the fifty participants in the
experimental class agreed to follow The Eight ITP Commitments:
Each member of the ITP class also made four affirmations of positive change.
The fourth affirmation for everyone was "My entire being is balanced, vital,
and healthy." The affirmations were not casually tossed off, but
thoughtfully considered over a period of weeks before being signed. Careful
records were kept concerning the participant's condition in regard to each
affirmation at the time the affirmation was signed and again at the year's
end. (Instructions for making affirmations can be found in "The Life We Are
Given", Chapters Four and Five.)
Leonard and Murphy kept careful records of all changes in the class members'
conditions and engaged the services of a statistician to analyze the
figures, which showed a strong correlation between adherence to the program
and success in realizing affirmations, along with significant improvements
in overall health. There were also some unexpected findings that suggested
the importance of what we call "mind" or "intentionality" in positive human
change. For example, how focused participants were while doing the ITP Kata
seemed to be even more important than the number of times they did the Kata,
and how conscious they were of what they ate more important than exactly
what they ate -- though both were important.
In addition, there were positive changes that challenged conventional
explanation. A 45-year-old woman with a long family history of cataracts
reversed her own cataracts over the two years of the program. A 57-year-old
woman who suffered from functional epilepsy was averaging one gran mal
seizure a month when the program started. She has had none since. A
46-year-old man increased his leg strength by 140 percent without changing
his physical exercise regimen. The positive changes were by no means
entirely physical. For example, one woman manager significantly increased
the amount of time she could spend in the "flow state" while on the job.
Leonard and Murphy's 1995 book, "The Life We Are Given", describes the
program and gives full instructions to readers who wish to follow it. In the
same year, Leonard produced a videotape, "The Tao of Practice"
, on which he leads viewers through the
ITP Kata . Since then, over 40 groups have formed around the U.S. and
overseas to practice ITP. Though ITP can be practiced alone, group support
makes it easier to stay on the path. To locate a group in your area or start
one, see Group Network:
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