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Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry.

JACK KEROUAC

MISSION

The aim of my work is to share a new and stronger foundation for psychological and spiritual development, based on the Jungian tradition of depth psychology and also informed by contemplative spirituality. The core ethic of this approach is called Self-Actualization. This means a focus on the full, healthy development of each person, which must of course involve the spiritual dimension as well as the more material and psychological dimensions.

 

The ethic of self-actualization - as mainly shaped by the work of Carl Jung and many Jungian psychologists after him - unifies seemingly separate aspects of the human experience into an intelligible, practical theory of human nature, selfhood, and lifespan development. 

This understanding of the Self affirms that our selfhood includes both the worldly and transcendent dimensions. It has a material aspect (the body) while also having a spiritual essence.


 

The Self


While acknowledging the value of mystical and ineffable experience, this approach does not accept the oft-repeated premise of many Eastern or new-age teachings that "The self is an illusion" or that our spiritual goal is to lose all individuality. Neither does it admit that the world is an illusion. 
 

In this approach, Self refers both to our personal experience of individuality, but also to the broader totality of existence. This paradox of individuality and totality cannot be resolved either by a) materialist reductionism declaring us to be only biological or mental machines, or by b) a monistic, spiritual absolutism declaring that "we" do not exist and that only God, the One, or Consciousness (etc).

Rather we find that insofar as a human being develops in consciousness, integration and maturity, their experience reflects a conscious experience of wholeness and harmonization of the opposites. Such a self-actualized person takes their human personality lightly, but does not dismiss it. They also partake of a transcendent intuition and direct knowing of the divine, without denying social and material realities. 

 

Wholeness, Not Selflessness

 

Selflessness has been preached by many spiritual traditions, meaning either to live in loving connection with others, or that we are to relinquish or see through our sense of self. The notion that our selfhood is merely a mental fiction is a pernicious, pseudo-spiritual notion that leads many people on a metaphysical goose chase. 

The real question is not how we can get rid of, or see through, a personal self that feels lacking, empty, broken, angry or depressed -- but rather how we can find a healing and spiritual wholeness that changes the experience of self. The fact that we are often neurotic and form a self-image based on illusory, neurotic thoughts does not prove that there is, in fact, no "self" at our core. Rather, it only shows that we sometimes entertain a sense of self that is limited, and which does not reflect the full luminosity of our conscious nature, our spiritual goodness, and our most authentic and whole personality. 

The main thrust of popular spiritual teachings about "waking up from the ego" implies that our entire sense of self consists only of a nagging, trivial, neurotic "voice in the head" -- the voice of repetitive thoughts, nagging complaints, and selfish desires. These teachings urge us to "wake up" by no longer believing our thoughts or feelings, and by aligning ourselves with values like love, surrender, acceptance, and so forth. 

Such teachings may sound as though they clearly diagnose our mental problems, but they largely ignore the complexity of our psyche and its unconscious dynamics. Instead of encouraging us to bring understanding to our unique personality type, our traumas and relational patterns, they encourage us to regard our mind and emotions with distrust. Whether a western, religious model is employed or an eastern, meditative model is invoked, under this ethic we are to somehow get over ourselves and enter into a blessed experience of no-self or selflessness. 

Many will claim that no-self is in fact the metaphysical revelation of the Buddha. They claim that he discovered there is no "self" or reality at the core of things. To this we can only say that countless other sages, both in India and in the West, have had mystical revelations which they understand quite differently. Of special note, millions of people who have had Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) report having left the body and entered a purely spiritual realm, in which they still exist as a luminous, conscious soul that has come home to a vast and glorious spiritual existence. In such reports, there is total oneness and yet there are also many other beings, souls, angels and guides of all kinds. 

Meanwhile, the Vedic philosophy of the Upanishads does not declare our selfhood to be entirely an illusion. It more specifically and accurately explains that we tend to suffer from a very limited and narrow sense of self - and that we need only acquaint with the divine, holy and true Self within (Atman), which is also paradoxically the infinite essence of all things (Brahman).

The illusion is not that we exist - it is that we are separate, merely material beings. When we know our true self (Atman), our personality manifests higher qualities. 

Whether we look to the East or West, we can find luminous spiritual teachings and revelations which look on human egoity and spiritual ignorance as just one possible mentality or mode of identification. Just as a child naturally develops a rudimentary sense of self that it gradually outgrows, so too can adults outgrow a neurotic, material, and confused sense of self by acquainting with the deeper roots and heights of their Being. 

Carl Jung had the unique understanding - along with the great compassion - to realize that people could not readily experience the sacred and primal sources of spirituality unless they could first confront their inner division and unconscious dynamics. This inward-looking process of facing our deep psyche (and the "shadow" aspects we might rather not see) must be carried out if we are to know anything at all of the divine. If we ignore the repressed and unconscious depths of the psyche, we are bound to cultivate a superficial, compartmentalized spirituality that flatters us. 

In a psychologically undeveloped person, spirituality tends to be driven either by an abstract and dry intellectualism, or by a raw power of feeling. These forces encourage us to identify with archetypal patterns or ideals of spirituality - in a kind of devotional, self-deceptive mimicry of sainthood or a purely logical dogmatism which assures itself that it possesses the final word on truth. 

Jung understood that until we face the fullness of our human folly, corruptibility, and animal instincts, our attempt to find spiritual transformation will end in disaster. In fact we would never know what an inner transformation of the heart, mind and personality really means in consciousness. Rather we would only construct further separations and deceptions in ourselves. 

Jung's vision does not conflict with following traditional religion. It simply asserts that the true, redeeming force and meaning of religion can best be accessed by developing psychological knowledge. While many clerical figures have seen Jung's teachings as antithetical to religion and leading people astray, the deeper truth

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The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.

- Carl Jung

We have an inner life and an outer life. The inner life is mainly concerned with developing awareness, love and wisdom. These qualities integrate the psyche, improve our relationships and allow our most authentic self to express its gifts in the world. 

 

My work is about bring conscious light, wisdom and love to the places where you are blocked or confused. As an intuitive feeling type (INFP), I am uniquely able to see the essential and catalyze transformation.   

Whether you are more introverted or extraverted, in your 20s or 60s, I am here to help you unlock the treasure of your true self so that you can live your best life. The main way I do this is by listening. When you are deeply listened to, you will learn to really hear yourself, to know what is true for you and what to do about it. This is true empowerment. 

If you're ready to be heard, please get in touch.

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