THE GERALD HEARD OFFICIAL WEBSITE
"Our whole life must become
intentional and purposive,
instead of a series of irrelevant events, adventures, and accidents,
happy or unhappy."
first book NARCISSUS
(in an omnibus)
HEARD'S landmark study
HEARD'S acclaimed mystery
HEARD'S ecumenical story of Christ
bestselling Sherlockian mystery
Alison Falby's first ever in-depth biography of Gerald Heard BETWEEN THE PIGEONHOLES
Reissues of four modern spiritual classics
by GERALD HEARD
and...loosely adapted from Heard's A Taste For Honey
the first ever DVD release of
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Gerald Heard, born in London on October 6, 1889, of Irish ancestry, was educated in England, taking honors in history and studying theology at the University of Cambridge. Following Cambridge, he worked for Lord Robson of Jesmond and later for Sir Horace Plunkett, founder of the Irish Agriculture Cooperative movement. Heard began lecturing from 1926 to 1929 at Oxford University's Board of Extra Mural Studies. In 1927 he began lecturing for South Place Ethical Society. From 1929 to 1930 he edited "The Realist," a monthly journal of scientific humanism whose sponsors included H. G. Wells, Julian Huxley, and Aldous Huxley. In 1929 he published The Ascent of Humanity, an essay on the philosophy of history that received the prestigious Hertz Prize by the British Academy. From 1930 to 1934 he served as the BBC's first science commentator, and from 1932 to 1942 he was a council member of the Society for Psychical Research.
In 1937 Gerald Heard came to the United States, accompanied by Aldous Huxley, after having been offered the chair of historical anthropology at Duke University. After delivering some lectures at Duke, Heard gave up the post and soon settled in California where from 1941 to 1942 he founded and oversaw the building of Trabuco College, a large facility where comparative-religion studies and practices flourished under Heard's visionary direction. Trabuco College, 30 years ahead of its time, was discontinued in 1947, and the vast properties were subsequently donated to the Vedanta Society of Southern California.
During the 1950s, Heard's main activities were writing and lecturing, along with an occasional television and radio appearance. His broad philosophical themes and scintillating oratorical style influenced many people and attracted a legion of interested persons. But chiefly he maintained a regular discipline of meditation for many years, as the core of his mature beliefs centered around the intentional evolution of consciousness.
A prolific writer, Heard penned some thirty-eight books, the most important of which are his pioneering academic works documenting the evolution of consciousness, including The Ascent of Humanity (1929), The Social Substance of Religion (1931), The Source of Civilization (1935), Pain, Sex and Time (1939), and his last book, The Five Ages of Man (1964). He also wrote several popular devotional books, including The Creed of Christ (1940) and Training for the Life of the Spirit (1941-42). Under the name H. F. Heard (H. F. for Henry FitzGerald, his given name), he wrote a number of mysteries and fantasies, including A Taste for Honey (1941) and The Great Fog and Other Weird Tales (1944). Following five years of illness, Gerald Heard peacefully passed away at his home in Santa Monica, California, on August 14, 1971.
The purpose of this website is to provide a central clearinghouse of information about Gerald Heard, his life, legacy, and work; where permissions to use his materials may be obtained; and where links to archival Heardian resource materials may be accessed.
Selected Gerald Heard endorsements
H. G. Wells, pioneering science-fiction writer
"Heard is the only man I ever listen to on the wireless. He makes human life come alive."
Aldous Huxley, prominent author
"Gerald Heard is that rare being - a learned man who makes his mental home on the vacant spaces between the pigeon-holes. He has looked into a score of specialties and, out of what he has seen there, has constructed a comprehensive picture of the world - a picture in which the most diverse elements of reality take their places and are seen in significant relationship."
W. Somerset Maugham, famous playwright, novelist, and short-story writer
"Gerald Heard is a scintillating talker. One of his happiest gifts is that when you attend one of his lectures you do not feel that you are listening to a prepared address, but to the most natural, brilliant and stimulating conversation."
G. Lowes Dickinson, historian and Cambridge Fellow
"If [the reader] derives from the book as much interest and vision and I have done myself he will not regret any trouble he may take in mastering the author's meaning." (From Mr. Dickinson's introduction to Gerald Heard's The Ascent of Humanity.)
Christopher Isherwood, popular novelist
"Gerald Heard is one of the very few who can properly be called philosophers, a man of brilliantly daring theory and devoted practice."
Professor Huston Smith, noted authority on the world's religions
"Heard's book [Pain, Sex and Time] converted me from the scientific worldview...to the vaster world of the mystics. I am in good company in owing that conversion to Gerald Heard, for Heard also converted Aldous Huxley from the cynical nihilism of his Brave New World to the mysticism of The Perennial Philosophy."
Dr. (Hon.) Rhea A. White, founder/director of The Exceptional Human Experience Network
"By far the person that has influenced me most is the former BBC science commentator and practicing mystic, lecturer, and spiritual advisor, Gerald Heard. It was not only his ideas that influenced me but his very being, which was distinctly numinous and unlike anything I had previously experienced or have since. In Gerald Heard I experienced what I would call the aura of sanctity."
Willard L. Sperry, former Dean, Harvard Divinity School
"Gerald Heard is a man of mature culture, of many contacts and keen understanding of the modern mind. He feels deeply the spiritually poverty-stricken state of our modern world, and our need of a rebirth of personal religion. The simple directness of all that he thinks and says stirs both the imagination and the conscience of those to whom he speaks."
William H. Sheldon, American psychologist
"Considering the whole panorama of human life, historic, anthropologic and archeologic, Mr. Heard may well be the best informed man alive. He is certainly one of the ablest lecturers and one of the most articulate speakers among English speaking people."
Dave Brubeck, world-renowned jazz composer
"Gerald Heard had a brilliant mind...I can truly say he broadened my vision of religion and spirituality."
John Haynes Holmes, former minister of the Community Church of New York
"Gerald Heard is a scientist, seer, and a saint. The combination is impressive. Mr. Heard speaks with precision and clearness on profound themes."
The New Christianity
"To many thoughtful readers of this generation, Gerald Heard's books give the impression of a mind almost uniquely profound, sensitive and original among contemporary writers. His mastery in the fields of anthropology and psychology makes for fresh and creative interpretations of history; and his remarkable equipment is utilized in a way to establish more firmly the realities of religious faith."
Ellery Queen, from the March 1947 issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
"Gerald Heard is the spiritual godfather of this Western movement [i.e., the Vedanta philosophy during the 1940s]...Mr. Heard's controversial books are brilliantly and provocatively written."
Georg Feuerstein, noted yoga authority
"Heard's work—and he published a number of insightful books—was one of the ideological sources of the human potential movement and was also instrumental in the spreading of Vedanta in the Western hemisphere."
"His work was a forerunner of, and influence on, the consciousness-development movement that has spread in the Western world since the 1960s."
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement
"Gerald’s The Five Ages of Man [is] where he can be seen as the savant, the repository of the most encompassing cosmology of his generation."
Charles E. Vernoff, Emeritus Professor of Religion at Cornell College, Iowa
"Gerald Heard—as Huxley's spiritual mentor—must be acknowledged as true grandfather of the New Age. I believe Gerald's vision both preceded and transcended the attempted spiritual revolution of the 1960's."
Philip Goldberg, prolific author, interfaith minister
"Gerald Heard was unrivaled as a catalyst for the propagation of Vedanta, largely because he sparked the interest of people who would, in turn, reach millions of others. His role in accelerating the evolution of consciousness in the West was huge, thanks to his impact on key movers and shakers in the consciousness movement."