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May 10, 1937 |
New York City
Early life and education
Houston was born in New York City to Mary Todaro Houston who was of Sicilian descent, and Jack Houston who was related to Sam Houston of Texas. Her father was a comedy writer who developed material for stage, television and the movies. His work required him, and the family, to move frequently. After the breakup of her parents' marriage, she spent her teen years in New York City.
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 established The Foundation for Mind Research.
Houston taught at Marymount College, Tarrytown from 1965 to 1972. She was a lecturer at Hunter College for less than a year in 1961. Her interest in anthropology brought about a close association with Margaret Mead who lived with Houston and her husband for several years before her death in 1978.
In 1982, Houston began teaching a seminar based on the concept of "the ancient mystery schools."
During the first term (1993–1997) of the Clinton administration, Houston was invited by First Lady Hillary Clinton to work with her in the White House as an advisor while Clinton was writing her own book, It Takes a Village (1996). Houston suggested an imaginary meeting between Clinton and the deceased Eleanor Roosevelt. The First Lady duly submitted to the "visioning" and "role-playing" game. This exercise was revealed publicly in 1996 in Bob Woodward's book The Choice. After both the New York Post and the Daily News labeled her "Hillary's Guru" and the Boston Herald dubbed her the "First Lady's Spiritual Adviser", People reported that she had "suddenly found herself the hapless butt of a thousand gags". When the media subsequently "beat a path to her door", she was compelled to explain that "There was no séance! There were no spooks!"
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
- 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.
- "Robert Masters, husband of Jean Houston, has passed away. « ~ The Art Of Change ~". Carolom.wordpress.com. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Scott London, "On Soul, Shadow and the American Psyche: An Interview with Jean Houston," Salt Journal (November/December 1997), portions of this interview were broadcast on the NPR series "Insight & Outlook."
- Anne-Marie O'Neill (1996-07-08). "Rare 'medium'". People.com. Retrieved 2012-11-06.