- Category : Historian Psychologist
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (62)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sleeping Phoenix 1
- Birth Year: 1950
- Birthday: 21. February
- Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
- Category: Historian Psychologist
- Profile: 3-5
- Type: Emotional Manifesting Generator
- Inc.Cross: The Sleeping Phoenix 1
- Definition: Double Split - Small (62)
- Variables: BRL-MRL
- 4764 Abstraction
- 2034 Charisma
- 3041 Recognition
- 2057 The Brain Wave
- 0952 Concentration
- 3457 Power
Richard Theodore Tarnas (born February 21, 1950) is a cultural historian known for his books The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View and Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View. Tarnas is professor of philosophy and psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is the founding director of its graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness.
Tarnas was born on February 21, 1950 in Geneva, Switzerland, of American parents. His father, also Richard Tarnas, was a government contract attorney, former president of the Michigan Federal Bar Association, and professor of law. His mother, Mary Louise, was a teacher and homemaker. The eldest of eight children, he grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where he studied Greek, Latin, and the Classics at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy.
In 1968 Tarnas entered Harvard, graduating with an A.B. cum laude in 1972. He received his Ph.D. from Saybrook Institute in 1976. His thesis was on psychedelic therapy. In 1974, Tarnas went to Esalen in order to study psychotherapy with Stanislav Grof. From 1974 to 1984, he lived and worked at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, teaching and studying with Grof, Joseph Campbell, Gregory Bateson, Huston Smith, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, and James Hillman. He also served as director of programs and education. Jeffrey Kripal writes that Tarnas was both the literal and figurative gate-keeper of Esalen.
From 1980 to 1990, Tarnas wrote The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View, a narrative history of Western thought which became a bestseller and continues to be a widely-used text in colleges. Passion was highly acclaimed by Joseph Campbell, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, John E. Mack, Stanley Krippner, Georg Feuerstein, David Steindl-Rast, John Sculley, Robert A. McDermott, Jeffrey Hart, Gary Lachman, and others.
Tarnas is the founding director of the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at the California Institute of Integral Studies and he remains a core faculty member.
Tarnas' second book, Prometheus the Awakener, was published in 1995 and focuses on the astrological properties of the planet Uranus, and is a "description of the uncanny way astrological patterns appear to coincide with events or destiny patterns in the lives of both individuals and societies..." Tarnas suggests that the characteristics associated with the mythological figure Uranus do not match the astrological properties of the planet Uranus, and that a more appropriate identification would be with the mythological figure Prometheus.
In 2006, Tarnas' third book, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, was published. The core argument of Cosmos and Psyche rests on the claim that the major events of Western cultural history are consistently and meaningfully correlated with the observed angular positions of the planets. The book received favorable reviews in Tikkun magazine, an anthroposophical journal, and the web magazine Reality Sandwich, but was panned in the Wall Street Journal.
Tarnas was featured in the 2006 film Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within, a documentary about rediscovering an enchanted cosmos in the modern world.
In 2007, a group of fifty scholars and researchers in the San Francisco Bay Area formed the Archetypal Research Collective for pursuing research in archetypal cosmology. An online journal, Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, edited by Keiron LeGrice and Rod O'Neal, was begun a year later, based on the research orientation and methodology established in Cosmos and Psyche. Advisory board members include Christopher Bache, Jorge Ferrer, Stanislav Grof, Robert A. McDermott, Ralph Metzner, and Brian Swimme. Contributors have included Keiron Le Grice, Richard Tarnas, Stanislav Grof, and Rod O'Neal.
In 2008, Tarnas was invited to address members of the Dutch Parliament about creating a sustainable society.
In 2007-8 John Cleese and Tarnas gave some public lectures together at Esalen and in Santa Barbara. The lectures were about regaining a connection to the sacred in the modern world. Cleese and Tarnas then taught a seminar at CIIS called "The Comic Genius: A Multidisciplinary Approach."
"Above all, we must awaken to and overcome the great hidden anthropocentric projection that has virtually defined the modern mind: the pervasive projection of soullessness onto the cosmos by the modern self's own will to power."