Approximately 20 percent of Americans today resist traditional religious classification and practice a personalized, eclectic faith. California's Esalen Institute reflects this development. Since its inception in 1962, this human potential center, which drew on San Francisco's vibrant East-West scene, has offered a cornucopia of spiritual possibilities. Leaders and participants from around the world shared religious beliefs and scientific theories there. Through these exchanges, Esalen, both a physical and spiritual borderland along the Pacific Rim, served as an experimental hothouse for germinating a variety of religious hybrids and contributed to the changing nature of religion in late twentieth-century America. In the process, it helped revitalize religious notions within a scientific culture. By highlighting this cross-fertilization of ideas and practices, this article adds to our understanding of the dynamic process in which religion is made, remade, and rejuvenated by combining and adding beliefs and practices.
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