At the weekend I attended the second of the monthly weekend courses as part of my diploma course. The first one (a month ago) was on fundamental skills which whilst very dynamic was also tiring and challenging. This past weekend was a more relaxed opportunity to experience and understand the process of my own transformation. In the mornings the lectures were on the knowledge of alchemy and the planes of consciousness crucial to this understanding. It covered the classical stages of alchemy:
• Rediscovering our essence
• The immaculate state
• Alchemical marriage
• Embodying our new perspective
• Clarifying our life purpose and the qualities we need
We looked at the transformational process in life, such as in our work and in our relationships. A knowledge of the mysticism of the higher planes gave me the necessary insights into understanding myself, particularly the relationship between my essence (soul) and personality (temperament).
I am intrigued by the role of neuroscience in determining how we feel and how our brains work in relation to positive and negative neural pathways. During lectures I can also hear myself speculating on the extent of the holistic approach being adopted by my College to the degree of integration in their learning and development model. I can, for instance, wonder about the empirical studies on the brain that neuroscientists refer to as well as to the benefits of healthy feelings brought about by meditation. I can also find myself wondering about the socio economic conditions we face and the impact of these conditions on mental health. I was reassured when the lecturer said that the course should be seen as holistic and fully integrative. I should, therefore, follow my interests and read up on the Marxism of therapy, or assess what scientists have to tell us, if that is my particular area of interest. I like this approach. I can see myself drawing on many sources in the course of my work. Sometimes I think the philosophical teachings of Karl Marx are as relevant today as the writings of Jung and Freud when investigating the causes of depression and feelings of alienation. One therefore needs to draw on many sources when seeking to understand a client’s story. Remember what the philosopher William James said, it is by listening to people’s stories that we get to understand people.