Pierre Grimes is the founder of the Philosophical Midiwifery movement, which is an adaptation of Socratic midwifery, and is a mode of philosophical counseling. The name Philosophical Midiwifery comes from Plato's dialogue, the Theaetetus. In that dialogue, Socrates refers to his art as midwifery because he assists in the delivery of men who are pregnant with either true ideas or with false beliefs. Socrates calls it an art because it is the application of a knowledge that benefits the subject. It is a purely rational method of pursuing questions, a dialectic, that uncovers false beliefs, traces them to their origins, and through understanding their roots and influence on one's life deflates their influence.
For Pierre Grimes, the exploration of the dialectic as a mode of psychotherapy was the consequence of counseling alcoholics at a rehabilitation center. As a result he authored two articles, Alcibiades and Vinodorus, written as Socratic dialogues that presented the dialectic as a mode of psychotherapy.
He founded the Noetic Society in Huntington Beach, CA in 1967 for the study of dialogue and the exploration of the dialectic. When the Noetic Society was incorporated in 1978, he became the Director of its Philosophical Midwife Program, where he demonstrated and taught the art of Philosophical Midiwifery. As a result, he co-authored with Dr. Regina Uliana an in-depth study of two subjects' Philosophical Midwife dialogues and used them as the basis of a validation study (1986) which was presented before the Annual conference of the American Psychological Association: A Validation of the Grimes Dialectic as a Mode of Rational Psychotherapy. Dr. Uliana has lectured on the material of this work since 1981. This work was expanded upon and completed in 1990 and became available in April of 1998 when it was published by Hyparxis Press: Philosophical Midiwifery: A New Paradigm for Understanding Human Problems With Its Validation. Please See Review.
During the exploration of Philosophical Midiwifery at the Noetic Society, Inc. a team came together - Joseph Grimes, Carole Duncan, and Pierre Grimes, to produce a computer program based on Pierre Grimes' work. The program was designed to guide users through over 400 structured questions that were modeled as a dialogue requiring users to record their answers, which, as a result, outlined their own problems: To Artemis: The Challenge to Know Thyself (1989).
Currently, Pierre is a Professor of Philosophy at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA and as a consequence of his reflections with students he identified a set of social beliefs, fictions that are irreconcilable with the attainment of the kind of excellence that is associated with the development of understanding. As a result, he authored a philosophical play which has been videotaped: Is It All Relative?: A Play on Plato's Theaetetus (1989)
He has been a student of Eastern thought for many years and has been called a Jñana yogi by Alan Watts. In 1982, the Son (Zen) Master Chong-An (who later was given the name Myo Bong) of the Chogye Buddhist order of Korea, suggested the creation of a center that would combine Buddhism and Platonic Philosophy. He was present when Pierre conducted classes on Midwifery before the members of the Noetic Society. As Pierre describes it in the New Paradigm for Understanding:
"It was during these talks (with master Chong-An) that I realized only too well what a task I had been engaged in since I was reviving and adapting parts of what was once a magnificent system of philosophy. In contrast, Buddhism had a different history; it had been fortunate in being able to continue into the present age, even adding to its rich philosophical and contemplative traditions, while Platonic thought had been thoroughly suppressed and has only managed to survive as an object of scholarly research rather than as a vital and profound spiritual system alongside of the Eastern comtemplative systems. One day over a cup of tea Chong-An offered me an opportunity and challenge that surprised me. He said that I was a teacher who was disguising himself as a student and that I should drop the mask and be myself, a teacher. I laughed and tried to hold to my belief that I knew nothing that could benefit students. He simply said that if I do it, I would see for myself that I was a teacher. I accepted the challenge and I became Hui-An, the Master Dharma Teacher and was sealed as his Dharma Successor. Myo Bong, the Patriarchal Dharma successor of Venerable Hye-Am, the 33rd patriarch from Lin Chi, has founded several temples and is presently in Korea."
As a result, a short while later in the Spring of '83, Pierre started the Opening Mind Academy as part of his Virtue Mountain Temple in Huntington Beach, CA for the training of Philosphical Midwifery, the exploration and study of dreams, and reviewing problems which students experienced in meditation.
In 1995-96, he gave a series of lectures at the Philosophical Research Society of Los Angeles on NeoPlatonic thought and as a result 29 of his lectures were videotaped and made available to the public. These lectures include a six-part presentation of Philosophical Midiwifery. Presently, there is a project to present ten audiotaped sessions of the application of Philosophical Midiwifery to the exploration of dreams. These audiotapes are reviews of participants' dreams that show the dynamics of dreams and unfold their meaning. These videotapes, audiotapes, computer program, books, and the literature noted here are available for study.
For further information, please contact The Opening Mind Acadamy.