Dhar Mann Obituary, Death – Ann Arbor On the morning of Tuesday, January 24, Richard D. Mann, one of the most influential theorists and authors in the field of transpersonal psychology, passed away at his home in the city of Ann Arbor. After a brief bout with illness, he passed away in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loving wife, Matruka Sherman, and a handful of his closest friends. He was 89. He was a wonderful example of what it is to be a caring spouse, father, and grandfather.
At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he taught psychology for a very long time before retiring as a professor emeritus, he enjoyed an unusual reputation for fame and esteem. He instructed students in cutting-edge topics such as the nature of consciousness, group dynamics, and the intersection of religion and psychology. No one at the university had a larger influence on three generations of students (reaching over 61 years) who were interested in psychological growth and spiritual development, and he remained approachable and visibly popular on the campus.
His influence spanned three generations of students who were interested in psychological growth and spiritual development. In 2019, a retirement celebration was held in the local Unitarian church. Hundreds of former students of varying ages attended the event, both in person and remotely. His own path led him from Harvard in the early 1960s, where he was a young member of the faculty in the psychology department at the same time that Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (better known as Ram Dass) were also young faculty members, to being a leader in the anti-war movement in Ann Arbor in the mid to late 1960s, helping to spawn the very first “teach-ins” which took place in Ann Arbor and caught on nationally, and then turning towards Eastern religion in the 1970 Mann was a member of the younger generation of psychologists of his day who contributed to the redefinition of psychology.
He was also deeply involved in the process of creating an awareness of group dynamics and group communication. Analysis of Interpersonal Behavior was one of his classes, and it was in high demand all the time. More students signed up for it than there were seats available. He was instrumental in the establishment of the university’s Project Outreach, which enabled a large number of students to gain practical experience in settings such as mental hospitals, jails, and institutions for the mentally ill.
Students at the university who were interested in experiential learning about themselves and the various paths one could take to deepen oneself psychologically or spiritually flocked to his or her classes on Non-Ordinary Reality, Psychology and Spiritual Development, and Psychology and Consciousness. His course on Non-Ordinary Reality became the go-to class for students interested in learning about non-ordinary reality. In addition to that, Mann served as the series editor for the SUNY Press Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology, which is a collection of works that focuses on the study of religion and psychology.
Interpersonal Styles and Group Development, The College Classroom, and The Light of Consciousness were the titles of the works that he authored and published during his lifetime. It is widely acknowledged that The Light of Consciousness is one of the key works in the area of transpersonal psychology, and it is routinely utilized as a classroom text in settings where transpersonal psychology is taught. Both Mann and his wife of 27 years, Matruka Sherman, were deeply involved in Siddha Yoga throughout the course of almost 50 years.
Their dedication to Siddha Yoga was formative in both of their perspectives on the world. Baba Muktananda, a Hindu teacher/guru and author, is credited with popularizing Siddha Yoga in the United States. Over the past forty years, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda has served as the leader of the Siddha Yoga tradition. She had been Muktananda’s student and translator, and she has carried on the Siddha Yoga tradition. Chidvilasananda.