Flotsam and Jetsam of Positive Thinking

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  Waves of human thinking leave their flotsam and jetsam on the shores of our Consciousness all the time. Some of them are more pervasive than others. One wave and its ‘treasures’ in particular have infiltrated our minds like a cult. It has been subtle, and it looked totally harmless. In his book the Antidote, Happiness for People who can’t …

Practicing for Real Life

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  In 2008 Ken Wilber – American philosopher, prolific author and founder of the Integral Institute – and his team published a book called Integral Life Practice. The book is the result of decades of diligent research as well as many years of dedicated practice. Ken Wilber developed a model of human Consciousness called AQAL (all quadrants all levels). It …

The Magical Process of Inner Work

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  In the 1980s a friend of mine was studying with Arnold Mindell in Zürich, Switzerland. — Arnold Mindell  is an American physicist, Jungian psychologist, and founder of a type of psychotherapy then known as the Dreambody.  Later his work became known as process oriented psychotherapy, and now it’s simply called Process Work. One of the fundamental differences between Process …

The School of Everyday Experience

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  In the School of Everyday Experience every student has their own curriculum. Things happen on a daily basis, and you’ve got to figure out what they are about. The Indian spiritual teacher Sivananda Saraswati (1887-1963) said, “This world is your best teacher. There is a lesson in everything. There is a lesson in each experience. Learn it and become …

The Epic Journey

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  In Greek mythology Prometheus and Epimetheus are twin brothers, a pair of Titans who act on behalf of mankind. Prometheus literally means foresight, or fore thinker and is depicted as clever and ingenious. Prometheus is the one who stole fire from the Gods and brought it to humans. Epimetheus means hindsight, or after thinker and is presented as foolish. …

The Extraordinary World

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  A famous quote attributed to Lao Tzu says “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Nobody ever mentions how the journey of a thousand miles ends. Does the heroic traveller arrive with a final step over the finishing line? Or are we ‘condemned’ to go on forever? When Josh and I met in 1997 it was …

Rise to the new Challenge

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  One of the most important books of my childhood was Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer by the German author Michael Ende. The story was originally published in two volumes and is a wonderful illustration of the Heroic Journey. There is a brief Wikipedia article in English under the title Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver. One of …

Refusal of the Gifts

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  This stage of the Heroic Journey is probably the most confusing one of all. Having come this far – after negotiating Threshold Guardians, fighting fierce battles, and discovering treasure – why would any heroine or hero in their right mind refuse the gift? Here are three possible answers: – The return to the Ordinary World seems too daunting. – …

Discovering Treasure

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  In 1998 I hit on a goldmine in my creative work. I had been writing morning pages for over a year, and I had been working on my first book. It was a fantasy story containing lessons about the creative process. Before finishing my book I realised that I didn’t yet understand the creative process as much as I …