John Enright

John B. Enright - 1927-2004

Psychologist, ARC seminars, Gestaltist, philosopher, transpersonal therapist, visionary, poet, and humorist, John Enright brought a bright and shining light to this world, and shared it with true generosity.

John Enright, Ph.D. was born October 26, 1927 in Yakima, Washington. He was best known as a Gestaltist, psychologist, and founder of the Awareness, Communication, and Responsibility seminars. Those who had the good fortune to attend John's seminars recognized the creativity of this man and the intelligent loving understanding underlying his professional stature. A profound gratitude is ongoing from all whose lives were lifted to a more peaceful and happier state. John awakened many thousands of people to a new life with possibilities they had not dreamed of. His books are privately pubished due his basic sense of humility.

John had the unique approach in therapy of clear insight with humor to free others from illusions so they could live more effective lives and enjoy finer relationships, work, and personal philosophy. He designed the advanced Lifespring course. He also conceived and taught the Awareness, Responsibility, and Communication seminar in Europe, Austsralia, and Japan as well as the U.S. and Canada. At one point five percent of the population of Eugene, Oregon had graduated from his seminar training on Awareness, Responsibility, and Communication.

With humor John demonstrated how skillfully (even if unconsciously) each of us sets up our own brand of unhappiness or happiness, depending on our unexamined interpretation of ourselves and the world. When John and I were teaching together in Japan and Australia, he often said that he was there to pull out the weeds and I was there to plant the flowers. He was a non-directive leader to awaken the inner wisdom of others, opening doors to pass through and choose their path. After seven years of teaching together, the books I later wrote were greatly enriched by all that I learned from John, especially Connecting with All the People in Your Life, published by Harper/Collins, San Francisco.

John called himself an ex-psychologist after he met Fritz Perls and became one of the first Gestaltists. He never stopped learning about the human personality. After designing the graduate psychology department at John F. Kennedy University where he taught a course on personal philosophy, John held free evenings called The Good Neighbor Policy (GNP), for everyone who wanted to attend. Thousands of therapists and lay people learned ways to "help people effectively" through practice together. John created exercises that awakened a higher truth within his audience so they could experience a wiser self within, not just know about it.

Even though his vocabulary was unusually rich and precise, when teaching he used the language of the ordinary man and woman. While making the grand rounds in Texas at a psychiatric hospital. John still chose to use the simplest possible words to teach, however when a medical student at a hospital lecture interrupted during a lecture to compare his theory of man with that of another philosopher/ psychologist, John explained the difference between them in a stunning flow of technical jargon. That student became one of John's finest students. 

Frank Dougherty and George Pransky often taught with John and the three of them had such a rare and beautiful sense of humor to awaken people's highest potential that seminar participants laughed their way to a finer and freer life. 

Ken Wilber, in his new book, Integral Psychology: Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, and Therapy, refers to John Enright as a transpersonal theorist., however John was also a sage, philosopher, psychologist, visionary, poet, and humorist intent on one purpose -- to help people develop and live by an expanded personal philosophy, and to live life more fully and joyfully. Recognized as a genius in elementary school and later offered scholarships to several Ivy League schools, John chose Yale and UC Berkeley. John's first book, Enlightening Gestalt, and later books on helping other people effectively are particularly popular in Europe. They are hard to find, yet worth the search.

Reading the epistles of the Greek philosopher, Epictetus, one might wonder about John's distant past. Some of John's core beliefs, particularly the subject of acknowledging choice parallel Epictetus' philosophy. For students of the Ageless Wisdom (as presented by the Tibetan Dwhahl Khul in the Bailey books) John seemed to step down the Tibetan's teaching to reach a larger group, however John did not read the Tibetan's or Epictetus' books. He seemed to know through intuitive contact.

John's penetrating observations of his own personality and relationship to his central core Self or "I" reveal this amazing mind and soul. This poem is from his small book Growing Up at 64; Life Letters to Friends. Astrologers might find this secrecy theme from a double Scorpio especially interesting. John had six planets in Scorpio. Among these were Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars. His Gemini ascendant helped balance the chart.

A Double Scorpio's New Year Resolution

I've lived my life in secret up 'til now.
A book that's been tightly closed to strangers' eyes.
And therefore closed to mine as well. And how
Much energy I put into this task! The lies

I've hid behind, it seemed to me I needed!
And what was all that for? I can't surmise
What fears were there, just what it was I dreaded
That kept me closed. And now, with some surprise

I see this secrecy has not befriended
Me; in fact, it's been the enemy!
Kept me in my tight world, unextended,
Apart from others, and so apart from me!

And though the hiding habit has been strong,
This year, I'll open the book and sing my song.

John Enright