Psychological Self-Help

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"knowledge beyond understanding," especially spiritual and
philosophical wisdom. First, look over your life history and list your
Spiritual Steppingstones, e.g. early religious experiences, family
values, friends' influences, changes in beliefs and faith, being baptized
or first communion or bar mitzvah, being involved or distant from a
higher power, feeling loved or unloved by God, troubled by death,
discovering some truths in a book, etc. Number them in chronological
order. We are seeking an awareness of the process underlying our
spiritual history so we can carry on a dialogue with that process.
Second, review the Steppingstone phases and record the names of
people (acquaintances or great minds) who philosophically influenced
you the most in each phase. Third, for the dialogue select one person
you respect highly and with whom you can be comfortable. Don't
expect every dialogue with a wise person to be profound, just start a
relationship. Fourth, sit quietly with eyes closed, relax, feel the
presence of the wise person, sense his/her knowledge and experience,
imagine him/her, with Twilight Imagery feel the flow of his/her life.
Then, talk to each other. Tell him/her how you feel about his/her life;
describe your relationship with him/her; ask a question. Wait for a
response, be patient. Carry on a conversation. Continue asking
questions and sharing. Fifth, when over, record it faithfully. Later, read
what was said and record your feelings. Similar dialogues can be had
with the same person many times and with many wise people. Progoff
(1980) explores spirituality even further. 
Looking forward. This journal started by looking back, now let's
look at the future. Sit quietly with eyes closed thinking of all the
experiences you have had with the Journal exercises (look at the
journal if you like). Feel the wholeness, the direction, the vital force of
your life. Call on Twilight imagery and see the future flowing out of
your complex but directed past. A statement, a vision, a hope, a list of
possibilities, whatever it is; record it. 
Continue using a journal. Every day or every few days make an
entry in the Daily Log. This is the on-going movement of your life.
Progoff says direct attention to problems rarely solves them, instead
solutions come "as though by themselves" from some internal source
of wisdom. The Daily Log and the Dream Log lead us to the topics that
need to be talked about--the dialogues with people, projects, events,
society's expectations and so on. Here, in the dialogues, we get our
insights. A journal increases an awareness of your history and your
potential because "...each of us can become an artist-in-life with our
finest creation being our own self." 
I have concentrated on Progoff's journal techniques, but there are
others for adolescents, for a spiritual quest, and for connecting with
the self (Adams, 1990). 
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