Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA is the flagship of the Human Potential Movement, the first of many "growth centers" dedicated to enhancing people's lives rather than merely curing their ills. In 1976, Esalen co-founder Mike Murphy decided "to put some spine into Esalen" and opened the grounds for a month to a group of physicists under the auspices of Jack Sarfatti's San Francisco-based Consciousness/Theory Group. One of the outcomes of the P/CRG era at Esalen was Gary Zukav's successful physics popularization "The Dancing Wu-Li Masters". The Esalen Seminars on the Nature of Reality led by Nick Herbert & Saul-Paul Sirag succeeded P/CRG at Esalen and for eight years continued to invite distinguished scientists to stroll along the Pacific cliffs, sit in the hot sulphur baths and air their views on reality in the same rooms where Aldous Huxley, Fritz Perls, George Leonard, Gregory Bateson and numerous other exotic mind- and body-workers had worked their magic.

The Esalen Reality Seminars focused mainly on problems at the foundations of quantum theory, most especially the notorious "measurement problem" (Altho "measurement" is central to both theory and experiment in physics, no physicist is able to tell you exactly what happens during a measurement) "Measurement" is problematic in Quantum physics in a way it was not in Newtonian or Relativity physics.

Coincidentally with the physicists' exploration of their measurement problem--how mind contacts matter in a physics experiment--the gestalt therapists at Esalen (Fritz Perls, Dick Price and others) were exploring the question of how mind contacts matter in ordinary life.

Much of our work in Big Sur concerned the meaning of Bell's Theorem--a recent proof that the world deep down is "non-local"--criss-crossed everywhere with underground superluminal connections. In 1980, under the auspices of the Reality Foundation, ESNR awarded the First "Reality Prize" to John Clauser & John Bell for their pioneer work in uncovering nature's necessary deep non-locality. Bell proved that if the EPR experiment actually produced the results predicted by quantum theory, then no local model of Reality could explain these results. At that time, no one had done the experiment, but John Clauser, convinced that the world was local and that quantum theory was wrong--at least in this instance--performed an elegant optical experiment at Berkeley which, much to Clauser's surprise, confirmed quantum theory and established deep non-locality as a necessary feature of the physical world.

Participants at ESNR included Henry Stapp, Bernard d'Espagnat, David Finkelstein, Ariadna Chernovska, Rudi Rucker, Beverly Rubik, Dieter Zeh, Ralph Abraham, John Clauser, Philippe Eberhard, Beverly Kane, John Cramer, Elizabeth Rauscher, Larry Bartell, Geoffrey Bubb, Mort Weiss, Ann Manly, Tom Etter, Phil Keukes, Jerry White, John Holmdahl, Nick Damaris, Helga Wild and many others. Our seminars were immeasurably enhanced by the presence of the Esalen community most notably Michael & Dulce Murphy, Gregory Bateson, Al Huang and Richard Baker Roshi who were all somewhat amused at the presence of so many wordy scientists on the grounds of the world's foremost "institute for the non-verbal humanities".

The information, insight and inspiration gained in these Esalen seminars greatly enriched Nick's books on quantum reality, superluminal signalling and mind science and continue to inspire his explorations into quantum tantra.