The Eupsychian Network: An Expanded List of Anti-Establishment Literature, Groups and Experimental Communities

Dr. Henry Winthrop developed this new list for Eupsychians in an effort to provide people even more resources than Dr. Maslow listed in his original Eupsychian Network.


| January/February 1971



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The psychologist Abraham H. Maslow coined the “Eupsychian” to apply to all individuals, ideas, movements, organizations, institutions, communities, books and periodicals that strive to keep alive a sense of personal and social health; that tend to foster communal and spiritual values that enable men to realize their fullest potentialities; and that attempt to produce those social conditions and relationships that maximize the creative energies of people.


ILLUSTRATION: FOTOLIA/ALEKSANDER1

“Lying under an acacia tree with the sounds of dawn around ... I became more aware of the basic miracle of life. Not life as applied humanly to man alone, but life as diversified by God on earth with superhuman wisdom — forms as evolved by several million centuries of selection and environment. I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.” — Charles Lindbergh  

Craving Social Change

The number of adult citizens, students and organizations that are today criticizing our Western way of life, particularly the U.S.A. mode of life, is rapidly increasing. The "system" —as it has come to be called — is rejected by such groups as the Hippies, Beats and youthful expatriates that choose flight without remedy. The system is rejected with some political savvy by most student groups that one would be tempted to lump together under the catch-all rubric of The New Left. It is rejected by a composite of intellectually gifted, knowledgeable and socially concerned scholars, some of which are associated with such periodicals as Dissent and Liberation. It is scorned in its own economic terms by Robert Theobald, Ben Seligman and other professional economists; by scholarly social critics, like Michael Harrington and Paul Goodman; or by historians like H. Stuart Hughes and Staughton Lynd. And almost all who repudiate the system are disgusted with its crass materialism, outraged over its moral indifference, and overwhelmed with the myopic and immature uses to which money and leisure are put by those who have both.

There is little doubt that ours is a sick society, if we examine the themes most Americans live by. Nor is there any way of changing the system by violent revolution. In the industrially advanced countries of the West, revolution has almost become a "romantic" notion. The institutions and processes of the system; that is, its components, are too deeply interdependent for revolution in the classical sense to have any relevance. The system can be changed rapidly and effectively, of course, by such imaginative measures as Arthur Waskow has described. It can be changed piecemeal — with what results remain to be seen — by quasi-Establishment intellectuals such as Moynihan and Keyserling, if their ideas are given a proper tryout. But most reformist proposals are too moderate and slow to produce radical change or dislocations.

While it is difficult to change the system drastically, it is not difficult to swim against the stream of its prevailing ideas. In a sense this was done by Stuart Hughes. Individuals can develop novel ideas, which, once diffused to others, create nodes of spiritual resistance to the prevailing themes of our culture. Groups can form which experiment with new modes of communal life — developing social styles that give the lie to the alleged necessity of our suburban nightmares or the civic spoliation caused by realtors, organizations can expose various types of social pathologies produced by industrial shortsightedness, and by the disastrous domination of what Veblen and Simmel have called "pecuniary canons of judgment." Some groups may choose to educate the public about the poisons in our food or the pollution of our air and water.

Still other groups may try to awaken citizens to a sense of the possibilities for personal development, self-actualization and social improvement. Some groups seek to do this in religious terms which are to be expressed in action. Others seek the same objectives in purely secular terms that arouse our often latent sense of justice. Books are written to open the eyes of the social zombies of our time and prompt many of the living dead to change their way of life. Periodicals are published which penetrate more deeply into the causes of many of our social pathologies and much of our spiritual malaise.

All of these modes of rejection of the system may be undramatic and limited in scope, but they can prove to be highly fruitful socially and culturally. Once they catch on, the system begins to lose its staying power. If healthy, new-type communities prove successful, they can become widely known pilot models that create discontent with our present crazy forms of urbanization.





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