Dave Vliegenthart’s Thesis on FMW

February 15, 2018  /  Leave a Comment  /  Trackback  /  Posted in News

Dave Vliegenthart, PhD (2017), University of Groningen, is a Lecturer at University College Maastricht in the Liberal Arts and Sciences at Maastricht University, specializing in the study of eastern-inspired western gurus and new religious movements in modern western culture. He has just published his Doctoral Thesis, The Secular Religion of Franklin Merrell-Wolff. He says, “BRILL just published my intellectual history of the secular religion of American mystic Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1887-1985) and similar modern western gurus of new religious movements, who combine methods and theories from eastern and western religion, philosophy, and psychology to rationalize their alleged flights beyond reason. To make this self-promotional post sound even more like a shameless advertisement: I am compiling a list for a bulk order (arranged for, but not limited to, family and friends of201 FMW). So if you are interested in getting this book at a significant discount, send an email before March 1 to”

It is described as follows: In The Secular Religion of Franklin Merrell-Wolff: An Intellectual History of Anti-intellectualism in Modern America, Dave Vliegenthart offers an account of the life and teachings of the modern American mystic Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1887–1985), who combined secular and religious sources from eastern and western traditions in order to elaborate and legitimate his metaphysical claim to the realization of a transcendental reality beyond reason.

Using Merrell-Wolff as a typical example of a modern western guru, Vliegenthart investigates the larger sociological and
historical context of the ongoing grand narrative that asserts a widespread anti-intellectualism in modern American culture,
exploring developments in religious, philosophical, and psychological discourses in North America from 1800 until the present.

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2017 FMW Conference Report

August 17, 2017  /  Leave a Comment  /  Trackback  /  Posted in News

The 2017 FMW Conference exceeded expectations insofar as it overflowed its designed framework in unexpectedly delightful ways. Also because those here for the first time made unique contributions. A pre-conference guest—a professor from Penn State University—set the stage for the weekend with a dynamic discussion at the Round Table over his gift of a home cooked gourmet meal. Two attendees were thus inspired to make a spiritual pilgrimage to the Ashrama on Thursday, bringing a profound energy to the group upon their return. Later, a friend who had recently attained his PhD in England brought his lovely friend from Malaysia. The core attendees were comprised of only 3 astrological signs—with no fire signs among all who were here.

After several who were invited to be Keynote Speaker had declined, Ron reluctantly accepted, presenting an exploration of various notions of truth: refuting several defective approaches to truth, clarifying our common conception of truth as the correspondence of a proposition to the facts, showing how phenomenological reflection reveals an originary ground in intentionality—as the appearance of an object fulfilling to whatever degree the meaning intended—then culminating in a treatment of Transcendent Truth with special connection to FMW.

Although Mike Ellis did not feel ready to be Keynote Speaker, his Inversion Workshop was worthy of that venue. He guided us effectively through a version of Shankara’s Atmavidya that evoked a deep meditative state resulting in a sense of freedom from the habitual identification with objects, revealing the Subject-to-Consciousness.

Doroethy presented Sherifa’s Story, emphasizing her first half of life…prior to her marriage to Franklin. What a remarkable woman!

The Special Program on Saturday evening turned out to be a Healing Circle, as Ron found that (suggested by the group Tarot reading) there were several in the group—and more outside the circle—in need of healing energy…which the group then provided in powerful abundance. A heartfelt Candlelight Ceremony followed, transitioning naturally into a Starlight Walk during the Perseid meteor shower.

Other spontaneous developments during the weekend included a work party to complete one of Doroethy’s outdoor projects at GSC, and the selection of the most inductive part of Franklin’s “The Unconscious,” which sparked a discussion twice as long as the tape.

As has become traditional, Baiba led us in a Sufi dance of love for the Closing Ceremony, just prior to an intimate group sharing over a delicious potluck.

Ron Leonard

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2017 FMW Conference

April 09, 2017  /  Leave a Comment  /  Trackback  /  Posted in News

The 2017 Franklin Merrell-Wolff Conference will be held August 10–13 at the Great Space Center. The keynote speaker, Ron Leonard, PhD, will focus on this year’s theme of Truth, distinguishing between the ordinary and Transcendent senses of the term, then guiding the group toward a Realization of the latter. Doroethy Leonard, M.Ed., MC, will discuss, Why I Wrote a Personal Memoir on Franklin, and share a lifetime of memories that were not included in her book. Mike Ellis, BA, MS, will conduct an Inversion Workshop, by leading a group meditation on the process of inversion—a turning of the locus of consciousness from the object to the subject. Once the full program is set, we shall announce the details on this website under Embrace.

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January 16, 2017  /  Leave a Comment  /  Trackback  /  Posted in News

Paypal at Merrell-Wolff Press is a convenient option for purchasing Doroethy’s memoir of Franklin (See the MEMOIR tab), subscribing to the Sangha newsletter (See the Newsletter tab.), etc.

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Doroethy’s Memoir Published

January 15, 2017  /  Leave a Comment  /  Trackback  /  Posted in News

Doroethy is delighted to announce the publication of her memoir of her grandfather, Franklin Merrell-Wolff: An American Philosopher and Mystic. For more information about the book and author, and to order your autographed copy at a 20% discount, click the “Memoir” tab under the “Stimulate” tab.

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