“One of the elders used to say: In the beginning when we got together we used to talk about something that was good for our souls, and we went up and up, and ascended even to heaven. But now we get together and spend our time in criticizing everything, and we drag one another down into the abyss.” ~Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert, LXI, p.78
I was clearing out the piles of papers in my office for a good part of the day today. My new book is published!! It is titled: The Inward Outlook, and my job now as an “author”, is to continue conversations with the website design team to get the website for the book up and running and satisfactory to my rather particular aesthetic senses. (The design team may have another way of expressing that last sentence…). So promoting and publicizing is the name of the game for a while! Not my forte - but on a learning curve to cultivate it as a strong suit … Heh! WRITING the book is just the beginning!
In any case, clearing out the office is a prerequisite for me to be able to sit and think and create freely, so … that was the task this morning. In doing so, I came across a paper I had written in 1994, while still in graduate school. Twenty years ago! Yikes!! I had printed out that paper for another reason a couple of weeks ago, (lest you think it’s been 20 years since I cleaned my office), and it peaked my interest to re-read it.
What caught my attention, however, was the alignment of the paper with my newly printed book. I again was reminded of the hours and hours of work that go into any of our endeavors, even though the creation of the form may have been very recent. Any richness comes from the years of tempering, any patina from the softening born of wisdom.
I thought I would share a paragraph of this paper titled: “The Psychology of the Mystic”. And I shamelessly say, if you like this following little snippet of the paper, you may really like the new book!
"The person who has not courageously confronted the basic unreality of conventional structures... can never sincerely love the Real or long intensely for the Real, much less become Reality. ...Why? Because of divisive thinking - basically, the sense that there is [Source] plus some order of existence other than [Source]. This illusory category – “something or someone other than [Source]” - is what now receives the majority of your attention ... Give up this dualistic thinking, this hypocrisy!" ~Ramakrishna (from Great Swan, by Lex Hixon, p. 171)
What is psychology, or, even more appropriate - integrative psychology? Who - or what - is the therapist? What role does spiritual cultivation and evolution play in the expression of psychology? What is the psychology of the mystic?
The word ‘integrate’ comes from the Latin integrarus: ‘to form into a whole; unite; to end the segregation of and bring into common and equal membership’. ‘Psyche’ comes from the Greek psyche; ‘breath; principle of life; soul’. ‘-Logia; -logy’ means ‘the study of’. Therefore we could say that Integrative Psychology is: The study, teaching and practice of understanding the unity of breath, soul, and principle.
Is this not the way of the mystic?
And could this not describe any one of us listening for health, well-being, and peace of mind? A therapist, spiritual practitioner, business person, teen, parent – you and me - the true mystic is the most ordinary and practical person you will meet. S(he) simply longs for and listens from Source.