Jim Ryan

Oct 10, 2022

“Don’t follow leaders, watch your parking meters”

Haridas Chaudhuri, Anti-Gurus, and Cross-Cultural Adventures with Jim Ryan

New Books Network 2022

This episode features a monologue by Jim Ryan, long time California Institute of Integral Studies faculty, about his journey to India which inspired him to do a PhD in Tamil Literature. He describes his cross-cultural journey into the heart of the Tamil culture and language, and shares the experiences which brought him to teach at CIIS. Jim reflects on his time working at CIIS and shares how he thinks CIIS founder Haridas Chaudhuri cultivated a sustainable model for spiritual and integral education.

Jim Ryan received his Ph.D. (1985) in South Asian Literature (Tamil) from the University of California, Berkeley. He began teaching at CIIS in 1981, and became core faculty in 1986. He is the former Director of the Asian and Comparative Studies program in the Philosophy and Religion department. Jim’s general interests are in the culture, history, and philosophies of India. He is specifically interested in the various forms of Hindu tantra, particularly the Kashmir Shaiva traditions, the tradition of Sri Aurobindo, and the “modernized” tantra of Haridas Chaudhuri. A secondary interest is in Jainism and the historical interplay between the non-theistic philosophical traditions and Hinduism. He is currently working with G. Vijayavenugopal on the third volume of his complete translation of Cīvakacintāmaṇi: The Hero Cīvakaṉ, the Gem that Fulfills All Wishes, by Tiruttakkatēvar, the first time this highly revered 9th century Tamil epic has been translated into any language.

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Produced and Edited by: Jonathan Kay

Music at the end of the episode: Imagination I, by Eleftheria Daoultzi from the album Eternal Tides: A Musical Offering to the Oceans.

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Stephen Julich and Jonathan Kay

Stephen Julich has worked as an adjunct instructor in History and Anthropology at the City College of New York, as a lecturer in Jungian Studies at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, and as an adjunct instructor at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he has taught classes on ensouled writing and Western Esotericism.

Jonathan Kay is a professional musician, and is currently a PhD student in the department of East-West Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr. Debashish Banerji.

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