||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2012)|
May 10, 1937 |
New York City
|Influenced by||Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Margaret Mead, Joseph Campbell|
Jean Houston (born 10 May 1937) is an American scholar, lecturer, author, and philosopher active in the "human potential movement". She has been an adviser to political leaders and to UNICEF, and since 2003 has worked with the United Nations Development Group training leaders in the new field of Social Artistry.
Early years 
Houston was born in New York City, to Mary Todaro Houston, who was of Sicilian descent, and Jack Houston, who was descended from Sam Houston of Texas. Jack Houston was a comedy writer who developed material for stage, television and the movies. His work required him to move frequently, and the young Houston experienced life in many places. After the breakup of her parents' marriage, she spent her teen years in New York City.
Education and early career 
While earning her BA from Barnard College, Houston became involved in acting and combined her efforts to earn an academic degree with a stage career, spending most of her spare time in theaters and enjoying a measure of success as an actor. When the time came to make a decision for a life path, however, Houston found herself choosing to further her studies into the human mind. She subsequently earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Union Graduate School and a Ph.D. in Religion from the Graduate Theological Foundation.
While participating in a government sanctioned research project on the effects of LSD (before such research was banned), Houston became acquainted with Robert Masters, a writer and a researcher into the varieties of human behavior and potentials. The two married in 1965 and soon became known for their work in the Human Potential Movement. They are considered to be among the movement's principal founders. Together they established The Foundation for Mind Research.
Houston's early work in LSD research led her to a deeper awareness of the potentials of the human mind. She became a regular lecturer on college campuses, encouraging students to seek their potential without the use of drugs. Further research into the human mind and capacities led to associations with many high achieving people as she and Masters sought a better understanding of characteristics that led to greatness. Among many others, she worked closely with Carl Jung, Buckminster Fuller, and Aldous Huxley. During the years of NASA moon landings, she worked with returning astronauts, including Edgar Mitchell, to help them uncover details of what they saw in space.
Academic career 
Houston lectured in Psychology and Philosophy at Hunter College and taught at Marymount College. She has guest lectured at a number of universities, including The University of California, Santa Cruz. During this period, Houston began an association with the anthropologist Margaret Mead that would last until Mead's death and included periods during which Mead lived in Houston's home. Through Margaret Mead, Houston began to work in cultures around the world and expanded her knowledge of societies and cultural ethos. Another strong influence on Houston's work came from her association with mythologist Joseph Campbell. Houston worked closely with Campbell on his PBS television series. This work increased her understanding of and appreciation for the role of mythology and storytelling on societies. She had first become impressed by Campbell and his work as a young girl, when she read Campbell's groundbreaking work on world mythologies, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
By the 1990s, Houston was well known for her work as a writer, lecturer, and human potentials researcher. During the Clinton presidential years, Houston was invited by Hillary Clinton to work with her in the White House as an advisor while Clinton was writing her own book, It Takes a Village. Drawing on methods she had developed to help people access wells of their own knowledge, Houston suggested an imaginary meeting between Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the historical figures Clinton admired. This visualization was aimed at tapping into Clinton's own inner wisdom. While no actual attempts were made to contact spirits, the politically fired media frenzy that resulted when the practice was reported as a seance led to an immediate redirecting of Houston's career.
Mystery school 
In 1984, Houston began teaching a seminar based on the concept of the ancient mystery schools, specialized trainings available to seekers of knowledge and the advancement of spirituality. In Houston's modern day version, seekers experience teachings on many levels and participate in experiential processes.
Selected writings 
Mystical Dogs: Animals as Guides to our inner Life Inner Ocean Publishing (2002) ISBN 1-930722-13-3
Jump Time: Shaping Your Future in a World of Radical Change Sentient Publications (2nd Ed. 2004) ISBN 1-59181-018-3
The Passion of Isis and Osiris: A Union of Two Souls Wellspring/Ballantine (1998) ISBN 0-345-42477-8
A Mythic Life: Learning to Live our Greater Story HarperSanFrancisco (1996) ISBN 0-06-250282-4
Manual for the Peacemaker: An Iroquois Legend to Heal Self (with Margaret Rubin) Quest Books (1995) ISBN 0-8356-0709-7
Public Like a Frog: Entering the Lives of three Great Americans Quest Books (1993) ASIN B0026SIU0G
The Hero and the Goddess: The "Odyssey" as Mystery and Initiation Ballantine Books (1992) ISBN 0-345-36567-4
Godseed: The Journey of Christ Quest Books (1988) ISBN 0-8356-0677-5
A Feminine Myth of Creation (with Diana Vandenberg, in Dutch) J.H. Gottmer (1988) ISBN 90-257-2118-4
The Search for the Beloved: Journeys in Mythology and Sacred Psychology Tarcher (2nd Ed. 1997) ISBN 0-87477-871-9
The Possible Human: A Course in Extending Your Physical, Mental, and Creative Abilities Tarcher (2nd. Ed. 1997) ISBN 0-87477-872-7
Life Force: The Psycho-Historical Recovery of the Self Quest Books (2nd. ed. 1993) ISBN 0-8356-0687-2
With Robert Masters
Mind Games Doubleday (1972) ISBN 0-385-28650-3
Listening to the Body: The Psychophysical Way to Health and Awareness Delta (1979) ISBN 0-385-28577-9
The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience Park Street Press (2000 edition) (1966) ISBN 0-89281-897-2
Film and television appearances 
- Dalai Lama Renaissance documentary.
- Nightline Face-Off: Does God Have a Future?" ABC Nightline program March 2010. With Deepak Chopra, Sam Harris, and Michael Shermer.
- Oprah and Jean Houston on the Hero's Journey Super Soul Sunday (OWN TV), November 2012.
- "Jean Houston Foundation". Jean Houston Foundation. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
- Houston, Jean 1996 A Mythic Life. New York: Harper Collins
- "Meet Jean". Jean Houston. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Name (required) (2008-07-30). "Robert Masters, husband of Jean Houston, has passed away. « ~ The Art Of Change ~". Carolom.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- By Anne-Marie O'Neill (1996-07-08). "Rare 'medium'". People.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
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