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Paradise Bound: A Perennial Tradition or an Unseen Process of Cosmological Hybridization?



A genealogical excavation of the pre transpersonal movement uncovers a hitherto unrecognized process of hybridity and syncretism occurring in the 1960s U.S. counter culture. The presence of hybridity in the movement's prehistory has serious repercussions for current maps in transpersonalism (and religious enactments in general). It is argued here that current transpersonal theories have built themselves on an unexamined foundation of magic, sorcery, and cosmological hybridization. Ken Wilber's neoperennialist cosmos will be construed as an assimilationist strain of hybridity. Jorge Ferrer's more culture-friendly postulate of an “Ocean with Many Shores” suggests a kind of cosmological multiculturalism. However, what appear to be fixities in his cosmology lend themselves to critical reevaluation of this aspect of his revision of transpersonal psychology.