August 24th to 28th — Upstate New York near Woodstock


Join us for the Open Center's eighth Esoteric Quest, this time on the home soil of America. After seven previous conferences in Europe on the Western Esoteric Tradition, the time has come at this moment of rebirth of the American spirit to search for the Inner America-one known to the indigenous peoples, and a source of deep fascination to many esoteric thinkers from alchemists and Rosicrucians in the 17th century, to Masonic circles around the Founding Fathers, to the Transcendentalists and many writers and artists in the 20th century who have profoundly influenced modern times. Upstate New York in the 19th century was a hotbed of spiritual innovation. It was the birthplace of many forms of unorthodox inner inquiry including the early spiritualists and feminists, the Oneida community, and the Hudson River school of painters. The Transcendentalism of Emerson, Whitman, and Thoreau uplifted the difficult and dangerous epoch of the Civil War. Remarkable figures emerged such as the African-American student of magic Paschal Beverly Randolph, and later Madame Blavatsky herself founded the Theosophical Society in New York City in1875. Throughout this time the Native Americans maintained profound insight into the soul of this land and the Iroquois Confederation went so far as to impact the shaping of the United States constitution.


In the 20th century many American artists were influenced by esoteric philosophy, from Elvis to Philip K. Dick to Saul Bellow. Martin Luther King Jr.'s profound spirituality was influenced by Gandhi, who was, in turn, indebted to Thoreau, and the African American Church served as a powerful generator of soul, courage and compassion. The latter part of the century was filled with an esoteric explosion as Sufi, Buddhist, Shamanic, Vedic and many other paths found common ground in a new, holistic culture.

This conference will examine and celebrate the life-enhancing spiritual impulses that emerge powerfully in America: the creative meeting of all cultures and spiritual paths; the natural American generosity of spirit; the "Yes We Can" attitude of optimism and self-belief; and the bedrock commitment to the virtue of equality. At a time when hope is high for a new American Renaissance, please join us for this exploration and celebration of the deepest and best in the soul of this country.

Special Message: We know that this is a challenging time financially for many of us, and so we are very pleased to announce that we now can offer a greater number of scholarship and work study positions at this year’s Esoteric Quest conference. For those of you who feel deeply drawn to the content of the quest for Inner America, download a scholarship/work study application now.

Day rates are available for those not staying overnight at Menla Mountain Retreat Center.

Be sure to visit the web sites for the past 2 Esoteric Quests:
The 2007 Esoteric Quest in Spain
The 2008 Esoteric Quest in Greece

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Esoteric Upstate New York:
Iroquois Nations, Feminists, Utopians and 21st Century Esotericists
Greece 2008
Spain 2007
Czech Republic/Germany 2006
Italy 2000
Wales 1998
Prague 1997
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