Question: “How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?” Answer: “One, but the light bulb must really want to change!”
I guess I was a light bulb that really wanted to change, because therapy worked for me. This puts me in mind of a client who recently came to see me and, when I asked him if he had been in therapy before, he replied, “Only for two sessions.” Why didn’t you continue therapy?” I asked. “To be honest, I thought the therapist needed therapy more than I did,” he replied.
Helpers and Sufferers
This is not uncommon. Therapists and other practitioners may take up a practice and pose as helpers to the public while privately offering the very service that they themselves desire; the helper is really the sufferer in disguise.
This is one of the lessons of the last 40 years, but there are many more. When I was writing my book, Human Awakening, I wrote about the need for recognizing the pitfalls, drawbacks, short cuts and cautions of inner work, both psychologically and spirituality. Each time the list became so long, I had to draw back so as not to have the negatives of therapy overwhelm me and my readers. In the end I had to opt for a brief summary.
Therapy and Healing must be Real
Those who seek complementary/alternative healing and therapy treatments may be running on faith, but beneath their innocent hopes, which are sometimes dashed, is an instinctive impulse. This impulse is towards wholeness, either in the integration of personality, an all-inclusive approach to illness or the wise conviction that a connected life is a sane life.
The aspiration of therapy/healing/spirituality is sound; those who seek the benefits of such treatments are essentially sound. But the practitioners, of whom there are now an extraordinary number, require a new paradigm of radical authenticity.
Psychotherapy, healing and spiritual guidance and practice only become effective when they are real. And they become real when the practitioner practices from an authentic, core place. Personal gain, self-aggrandizement, money, status, manipulation, power and control are not issues to be side-stepped, since they are, all of them, pertinent to the practitioner who has any vestige of attachment to personality (i.e. just about all of us).
Rooted in Authenticity
For therapists and healing practitioners to be genuine and deeply rooted in authenticity, they must have come through the inner journey and be accomplished in the practice of truth. Crucially, they must not be attached to the role of psychotherapist, healer, guide or whatever their title is. It’s a tall order, but the fruits of successful inner work are great, so a lot can be, and should be, asked of its practitioners. It is not only personally, but also globally, important that therapy, inner work and healing succeed.
Therapy, inner work and alternative/complementary medicine are crucial for the healing and maintaining of the wider world — the one that objectifies and magnifies hostility, violence, dogma, bigotry, prejudice, power over others, unfair control, intimidation, and terrorization into the collective: the global arena.
Global Consciousness and the Inner World
When you look around you, alongside the creations of nature, you see the results of man’s creations. All that you see on this level began inside, originated in the inner world. Out of imagination, wish-fulfillment, aspiration, sometime inspiration, and desire human beings have created the most spectacular and amazing things. What we take for granted today would appear miraculous to us a few years ago.
Not only the miracles of technology, but also the aberrations of war, prejudice callousness and victimization– the whole sum of inhuman acts from one human being to another, or from one collective of country/nationality, religion, political persuasion, gender to another — have sprung from the inner world of individuals and collections of individuals.
So, when we consider the practices and personal commitment to becoming acquainted with and to transforming the inner world, we should see it for the momentous act it is. One person who truly engages in the path of self-responsibility has tremendous affect on the global consciousness.
Therapy and inner work: the hope for the future
Psychotherapy, meditation, inner work and personal healing constitute the hope for humanity’s future evolution, because the imbalances and disharmonies in an individual human directly reflect into the outside world.
People are basically unhappy in an unhappy world
People are basically unhappy in an unhappy world. In their searching, their restlessness and their dissatisfaction people betray how they really are, how they really feel about their lives, and about their world. Since the location and the source of happiness is inside, only by encouraging people to take personal responsibility for their lives, to take the inner journey or the descent into their deep humanity can we make a real difference.