Scottish-born psychiatrist R.D. Laing is best known for his impassioned plea in the 1960s and 1970s for more humane treatment for those who felt society was destroying them. Laing dedicated his life to reforming conventional psychiatric practices, embodied in his treatment center at Kingsley Hall, where people suffering psychotic episodes could live without conventional “treatment.” Esalen’s relationship with Laing is historic; in 1968, Esalen co-founders Richard Price and Michael Murphy convened a summer-long symposium to explore sanity and madness.
There is an active fire north of Esalen, but currently Highway 1 is open. Drive safely.