Creating a Structure of Living that Supports an Inner Life

In my work, I get to see the underbelly of our social order: the patterns of unhappiness and hardship which we suffer alone, but which are shared by others in epidemic proportions. These are the disorders of society which breed widespread personal unhappiness.

James Hillman, Jungian analyst, alludes to just such a societal disorder when he comments that one of the hardest things which he has to treat is his clients’ schedules. Hillman notes that their schedules are their defenses against change. Said another way, your personal organizer is your defense. Your to-do list is your personal tyrant. Your busyness is your soul’s captor. We haven’t the time to allow into our lives the changes that would be a salve to our souls.

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Authenticity and Approaches to Personal Transformation

Quotations theme: The drive towards self-actualization impels us towards transformation. How do we consciously cooperate with this drive in a way that complements our authenticity? Do we slice and dice ourselves according to others’ dualistic notions of good and evil? Do we subordinate the person to objective moral laws? Or might we allow the unfolding of our nature within the field of presence?

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Who are You? Who is the Self that Would be Authentic?

How would you reply, were I to ask you, “Who are you?” Actually, take a moment to consider who you are. Really! Who are you? Perhaps you might pause a moment, and say out loud who you think you are. Someone might reply to me, “My name is Sarah, I am a 41-year-old architect. I am divorced, and the single mom of two children. Between driving my daughter to karate, my son to soccer, minding a house, and keeping my career, I’m exhausted!” I might reply, “Sarah, I understand your exhaustion. Yet how can this be you? There was a time when you hadn’t children. A time when you were in love with your fiance. A time when you were a college student, not an architect. Wasn’t that you back then too? ”

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Looking for Direction in All the Wrong Places

I work with many intelligent persons. Despite their intelligence, often they are stymied by dilemmas with which they have struggled in thought – often for a very long time. Occasionally I may remark, “With your obvious intelligence and with all your thinking about this, if you haven’t yet arrived at answer, perhaps it might be because you’ve been searching for your answer in the wrong place.”

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Some Psychological Skills which Enable Authentic Living

Persons who live authentically seem to share certain common skills and attributes. Like breathing in and breathing out, those skills resemble an ongoing pulsation of sensing within and acting without. They could be described as skills of self-discovery and self-expression.

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