Guest, Ralph White
Ralph White is co-founder of the New York Open Center, America’s leading urban institution of holistic learning where his current role is Creative Director. The Open Center receives almost 60,000 visits annually from participants in its year round programs and has presented the major writers and speakers in the fields of wellness, social/ecological change, inner development, world spiritual traditions, art and creativity for over twenty seven years. He is an international speaker on spirituality, consciousness, the history of the Western Tradition. He is also editor of the award winning Lapis magazine, and taught the first fully accredited course in holistic thinking and learning at New York University. For many years he wrote the Open Center catalogue, and he has since edited and introduced The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited (Lindisfarne Press, 1999), contributed to What Does It Mean to Be Human, edited by Frederick Franck ( St. Martin’s Press, 2000) and written the foreword to The Way of the Wanderer by David Yeadon (Travelers’ Tales, 2001). His story “ A Walk on the Wild Side of Tibet” was published in Tibet: True Stories (Travelers’ Tales 2003). He has also written commentary on the political goals of the Religious Far Right for the Huffington Post, and contributed articles on topics such as alternative community, the national network of holistic centers, the movement for legal renewal, and the philosopher Rudolf Steiner for Dragonfly Media, a network of local magazines reaching an audience of 250,000.
He was born in Wales and spent his childhood there and his teenage years in the north of England. After completing a degree in American Studies at the University of Sussex, he came to the United States from Britain in 1970 as a Fulbright scholar. He was program director of Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck in the early Eighties. He has taught and lectured in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Poland. He has also organized many major national and international conferences on a broad range of spiritual and alternative themes, and is considered by those in the field of holistic learning one of the most knowledgeable professionals in America. The national and international conferences he has both organized and directed include The Art of Dying, Reimagining Politics and Society at the Millennium, Examining the Real Agenda of the Religious Far Right, Prague, Alchemy and the Hermetic Tradition, The Italian Renaissance and the Esoteric Traditions, Psyche, Spirit and Addiction, Voluntary Simplicity, The Grail and Arthurian Traditions, The Golden Age of Andalusia: Sufis, Kabbalists and Christian Philosophers in Medieval Spain; The Mysteries and Philosophy of Greek Antiquity and, most recently in 2009, An Esoteric Quest for Inner America. The series of international conferences known as Esoteric Quests are widely considered the leading events in the world on the Western Tradition. Established by Ralph in 1995, they are now entering their 15th year and will find new expression in 2011 in A Quest for Ancient Alexandria: Greco-Egyptian Cradle of Western Esotericism.
He has made numerous appearances on radio and television, both in the United States and internationally. These include National Public Radio, the BBC World Service, Voice of America, CBS Nightwatch with Charlie Rose, RAI TV Italy, a broad variety of New York television and radio stations, Greek and Russian television, and Polish and Czech radio. He was featured in a prominent recent article in the Los Angeles Times, and been quoted in The New York Times, Time magazine, the New York Daily News, the New York Observer, and many other more holistically oriented publications such as New Age Journal, Common Boundary. Lapis magazine, won the Alternative Press Award 2000 from Utne Reader. The award cited “the blending of the modern western mind with an ancient sense of soul” as the heart of Lapis’ editorial alchemy. He received a personal note from the editor of Utne Reader informing him that of all the magazines in Utne’s library, Lapis was his favorite and the one he was most likely to remove for his own private reading.
He currently hosts a program on WBAI FM radio in New York City where has interviewed many of the major figures in the holistic world and numerous scholars in the fields of multicultural mysticism and ecology. He is a popular speaker on a wide variety of holistic themes including the Western tradition, the Celtic Soul, the Wisdom of Rudolf Steiner, and the overall direction of the consciousness movement. He is recognized and honored as a guiding force of the annual Gathering of Holistic Centers which draws leaders from many of the major holistic institutions throughout the world to discuss trends, developments, challenges and successes in the worldwide consciousness movement.