Biography

Robert M. May, Ph. D.

Robert M. May, Ph.D.

I was born and grew up in New York City, a Jewish only child. There are wounded souls who have suffered childhood emotional abuses and traumas; I am one of these. It is, perhaps, why I chose to major in psychology and minor in philosophy in college. Academic psychologies and philosophies were not of much help in those days (or now). I did eventually earn a BA, two M.A.'s, and a Ph.D. My eventual Ph.D. was in Psychology and Religion, an interdisciplinary specialty.

More important than my academic degrees was an event which happened to me at age 20 which the late 19th century psychiatrist-mystic, Richard Bucke, MD called "Cosmic Consciousness." Jesus called this: "The Kingdom of God;" Lao Tzu, "the Tao." I experienced this with the woman l loved, Margaret, at Lake Welch, 50 miles north of New York City. This happened in 1962; I was 20 and Margaret was 19. Later in 1962 I experienced its opposite: a traumatic encounter with an evil individual whom I consider to this day to have been an incarnation of Satan. He also happened to be one of the founders of behaviorism whose name shall go unmentioned (no, not B. F. Skinner). I was enrolled in a psychology course in individual study, and I was assigned to this individual. His evil words to me caused my "Fisher Wound," a term from the mythological Quest for the Holy Grail. Ages 20 - 29 were academic years for me: two M.A.'s and up to Ph.D. Candidacy in Cognitive Psychology at Rutgers. I never completed my Ph.D. thesis there, so remained ABD for many years till my recent Ph.D. (1997) at Berne University: International Graduate School. Ages 29 - 39 were a 10 year Spiritual Journey and Healing Quest for me in a series of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions (and martial arts). This Journey resulted in my first book, Physicians of the Soul, on six world religions: Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam, which my mentor-friend, Dr. Jean Houston (who wrote the foreword) called "the seminal work in sacred psychology."

At 37, I met Margie Lee, an artist and fiction writer, at a Lutheran Church in NYC. We became partners and moved to a series of places around the US, first, San Diego, CA for three years, home to two of my teacher-mentors, Robert Johnson and John Sanford, both renowned Jungian analyst authors. Margie and I, then, moved to Boston, MA for four years, where she obtained an MLA in English / American Literature at Harvard, and I used the research libraries to research and write my second book, Cosmic Consciousness Revisited, which is an 100 year study of psychologies of religion from Richard Bucke, MD to Jean Houston, Ph.D. I wrote a third book: Echoes of God: A Journal of One Man's Search for God. I researched, and later wrote, during our three years in Portland, Maine, my fourth book, as yet unpublished, Oz and Other Myths of the Journey. Religious Dreaming is a fifth project.

Margie and I, then, moved to Portland, Oregon, nearer to her Washington State origins, and we finally got married after 15 years together (with a couple of one year breakups) in 1994. Our honeymoon was at an Indian Reservation resort, Kah Nee Tah, in central Oregon. We've made many interesting trips together to NW Indian tribes in America and Canada, including the Kwakiutl, Haida, Bella Coola, Tsim Tshian, etc. We've just returned from a trip to Alaska, home of the Tlingit (as well as Athabaskans, Aleutians, and Inuit). A future eighth book project is: Sacred Stories: Prayers to the Great Mystery. It will be on seven Native American religious traditions. Besides my book writing, I have had a checkered college teaching career in both Psychology and Religion subjects (see CV).

For Margie: I love you very much! Bob