John Wren-Lewis (1924? - 2006) was British by birth and education, a wartime graduate in applied mathematics from the Imperial College of Science in the University of London. He became internationally recognized as a scholar, author, lecturer and popular broadcaster during the 1950s and 60s, while following a professional career in research and R & D management with Britain’s largest multinational corporation, ICI, in which capacity he was an early pioneer of scientific futures studies.
Publications in the fields of science, psychology, education and religion led to several Distinguished Visiting Lectureships on both sides of the Atlantic, and played a leading part in the so-called “Death of God” movement. In 1970 he became founding President of the British (now European) Association for Humanistic Psychology and began a new life partnership with dream psychologist Dr. Ann Faraday, researching altered states of consciousness.
In 1972 John left industry and England to become Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at New College, Sarasota, Florida, followed by several years as a “wandering scholar” in the Americas. In 1976 he and Ann settled in northern California where they lectured, led workshops and became part of the “spiritual community” at the Esalen Institute and in the Bay Area of San Francisco.
A three-year pilgrimage to India and the Far East ended in 1983 on a Thai bus when Ann narrowly rescued John from manslaughter-by-poisoning. He was left with a radically changed consciousness which has remained with him ever since, bringing enormously increased quality of life. John and Ann wrote a book about this transformation of consciousness entitled The 9.15 to Nirvana - Confessions of a Reluctant Mystic. (The book was completed but never published). In 1992 John was appointed an Honorary Associate of the University of Sydney’s Department of Studies in Religion.
1 December 2019