Dr. Jean Houston is a scholar and researcher in human capacities, and for the past 30 years has co-directed, with her husband Dr. Robert Masters, the Foundation for Mind Research, first in New York City and now in Pomona, New York. Their work has focused on the understanding of latent human abilities. She is the founder of the Mystery School--a program of cross-cultural mythic and spiritual studies--dedicated to teaching history, philosophy, the new physics, psychology, anthropology, myth, and the many dimensions of our human potential.
Dr. Houston was the protégé of the late anthropologist Margaret Mead, who instructed her in the workings of organizations and power structures in many different cultures. With the late mythologist Joseph Campbell, Jean Houston frequently co-led seminars and workshops aimed at understanding interrelationships between ancient myths and modern societies.
Additionally, Jean Houston has made cross-cultural studies of educational and healing methods in Asia and Africa. Her principal areas of interest apart from her work are theater, archaeology and the philosophical, societal and other implications of contemporary physics. Dr. Houston's mind has been called "a national treasure".
In 1965 I began collaborating with Robert Masters and Jean Houston in their research in states of consciousness and continued to work with them in that project for more than 10 years. Their work was foundational for the field of psychology and has been the major resource for understanding the levels and dynamics of the human psyche. From this perspective, their contribution to the field of psychology is monumental. In fact, I believe that it is the greatest contribution to the field of psychology in the last hundred years.
- Ewert H. Cousins, Ph.D., Teilhard de Chardin Professor Graduate Theological Foundation Notre Dame University
Her specialty is in the development and application of multiple methods of increasing physical and mental skills, learning and creativity. She has presented the results of her work and studies in some 17 books, as well as in person through speeches and conferences at educational institutions and business organizations in over 40 countries. She is often invited to work personally with leaders of such groups, as well as heads of governmental and non-governmental agencies, to assist them in rethinking their goals and agendas.
As Advisor to UNICEF in human and cultural development, she has worked to implement some of their extensive educational and health programs, primarily in Myanmar [Burma] and Bangladesh.
A past President of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, she has taught philosophy, psychology, and religion at Hunter College, the New School for Social Research and Marymount College, as well as summer sessions in human development at the University of California at Santa Cruz and the University of British Columbia. She was Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Oklahoma in that university's Scholar-Leadership Enrichment Program.
In addition, Dr. Houston presented the William James Lecture at Harvard Divinity School, the ORR Lectures at Wilson, and the Alfred Stiernotte Lecture in Philosophy at Quinnipiac College. Since 1959, she has spoken at hundreds of colleges and universities, including the Universities of Montreal, Arizona, South Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Alabama, Minnesota, Texas, Pennsylvania and Colorado. She has directed two three-year courses in human capacities development and a program of cross-cultural mythic and spiritual studies, now in its thirteenth year.
Among the academic and scientific convocations she has chaired was the United Nations--Temple of Understanding conference of World Religious Leaders in 1975. She also helped to initiate and then chaired the 1979 symposium for leading government policy makers sponsored by the Department of Commerce.
Her work has been the core of hundreds of teaching-learning communities throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. In 1984, she devised a national not-for-profit organization, called The Possible Society, to encourage the creation of new ways for people to work together to help solve societal problems.
In 1985, Dr. Houston was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Association of Teacher Educators. In 1993, she received the Gardner Murphy Humanitarian Award and the INTA Humanitarian of the Year award. In 1994, she received the Lifetime Outstanding Creative Achievement Award from the Creative Education Foundation.
Among her books are Public Like a Frog, The Hero and The Goddess, The Possible Human, The Search for the Beloved, Godseed, Life Force, Listening to the Body, Manual for the Peacemaker, The Passion of Isis and Osiris. Harper/San Francisco published her autobiography, A Mythic Life: Learning to Live Our Greater Stories.
Dr. Houston's ability to inspire and invigorate people enables her to convey her vision of the finest possible achievement of individual potential and share the excitement of that possibility with her audiences and student all over the world.
Presently, she is working closely with the United Nations Development program creating programs in social artistry for training leaders in many countries. In February of 2004 she and her team will be bringing the first of these programs to the Balkans in Albania.
Additionally, she and her associates have created the International Institute for Social Artistry which will be implementing training programs in social artistry in many countries and in association with the UNDP. Dr. Houston is also working with Dr. Judith Sturnick and Dr. John Morgan, President of the Graduate Theological Foundation located at Notre Dame and Oxford University to create a graduate program in social artistry.
Visit Jean Houston's website at www.jeanhouston.org