'Learn theory as well as you can, but then put it aside when you come into contact with the marvels of the living soul.'
Transpersonal Psychotherapy explores human experience and the human psyche from the perspective of a spiritual centre or Self within each individual. To quote Ian Gordon-Brown: 'This Centre - Self, Soul, Atman - is the chief motivating and co-ordinating energy within us. The task of the transpersonal psychologist is to facilitate the release of this energy in individuals and in groups.'
It is essential that we discover the presence of this centre, this Other, in ways that are meaningful to us at whatever stage in the journey of consciousness we find ourselves. It may be seen, for instance, as a Wise Compassionate Observer of our lives, but this image too may transform as we explore further.
We may reach a point in life where there is a breakdown on some level. However, that can become a 'breakthrough' to the reality of a developing consciousness; Humpty Dumpty can hatch, instead of enduring repeated attempts at being stuck together again.
Instead, we may ask a question which can shed light on a whole new path of awareness: 'What makes your heart sing?' (Barbara Somers).
There is a story about a Seeker after Truth. He consults a source of wisdom situated in a well in a cave and is sent to the crossroads, where there are only some shops selling pieces of metal, wood and wire. Frustrated at having been misled - or so he thinks - he has to continue on his way empty handed.
After some years have passed, he arrives at a place where he hears and is touched by beautiful music wafting in the air. On tracing the source of this inspiring sound, he sees with a flash of recognition that the instrument being played is, in fact, made up of the wires, metal and wood he saw all those years ago.
Piero Ferrucci tells this story in 'What We May Be' and concludes: 'Nothing is meaningful as long as we perceive only separate fragments. But as soon as the fragments come together into a synthesis, a new entity emerges, whose nature we could not have foreseen by considering the fragments alone.'