Holotropic Spontaneity and Carl Rogers VIII

The effects of therapy:

While he is learning to listen to himself he also becomes more acceptant of himself. As he expresses more and more of the hidden and “awful” aspects of himself [“shadow acceptance” in the Jungian language of Glenn Morris] … he moves toward… accepting himself as he is, and therefore ready to move forward in the process of becoming.

— “What We Know About Psychotherapy — Objectively and Subjectively”, from On Becoming a Person (1961)

The thread which runs through much of the foregoing material… is a process whereby man becomes his organism — without self-deception, without distortion… What is it that makes [this] possible…? It is the addition of awareness… He can be aware of what he is actually experiencing, not simply what he can permit himself to experience after a thorough screening through a conceptual filter… The person comes to be what he is.

— “Some of the Directions Evident in Therapy”, from On Becoming a Person (1961)

“The addition of awareness” is also the goal and process of meditation, which provides a backdrop of calm in which these kinds of transformation can take place. Awareness transforms mental contents. The end of the idea of “something awful” in oneself can produce great freedom to be someone truer to oneself. It may also produce sober assessment of how one ought to be — and both at once are quite normal.

Shortcuts and easy answers may have turned out to limit the self, for example, so disciplined acceptance of one’s absolute best self and intentions often actually brings freedom and spontaneity when unforced — the energising effect is quite obvious and explains much of the effectiveness of (healthy) asceticism.

The system over time is changed by these insights, from trying to pretend things out of conscious sight don’t exist, to realising and accepting itself consciously, becoming far more natural-feeling. This development will make later “egoless” states far easier to understand when they appear, as in a way they only take the same process further.


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