“I have sought to understand how transpersonal experiences, even the most painful ones, can be life transforming.” – Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D.
What does it mean to become transpersonal? Dr. Marilyn Schlitz explores this topic in the September/October issue of Spirituality and Health. Here is a brief glimpse of her thoughts from this issue.
“When I first met Richard Gunther and heard his story, I too had a breakthrough: a new vein for my own research journey as a social scientist. Since then I have sought to understand how transpersonal experiences, even the most painful ones, can be life transforming. I have worked with spiritual teachers, healers, scientists, and philosophers, and have conducted countless hours of interviews, surveyed thousands of people, and followed participants who engage in transformative practices, to understand what changes in their bodies and minds. One thing is clear: Shifting away from an attachment to the material aspects of personhood can help transform suffering into profound healing.
An important insight came from Rachel Remen, a physician who has worked with cancer patients. In her experience, painful experiences offer an unstructured rite of passage. As she explained, “Crisis, suffering, loss, the unexpected encounter with the unknown—all of this has the potential to initiate a shift in perspective. A way of seeing the familiar with new eyes, a way of seeing the self in a completely new way.” There is, within her experience, a moment in suffering when we step away from our former identity in order to be reborn with an expanded sense of self.
I’ve also found remarkable sources of inspiration and hope from those who have pioneered the path to self-discovery. Claire Russell, for example, has been a great teacher and friend. She wakes each morning with gratitude and intention. At 92, she’s happy to be alive. She meditates on nonattachment, preparing herself for the next great transition as she grows closer to bodily death. And with this wisdom and sense of balance, she begins her day. “
To read more, you can find her article on the Spirituality and Health website.
About Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D.
As the Chair of the doctoral programs in the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University, Dr. Schlitz is inspired to be leading a new generation of transpersonal psychologists. This is an amazing environment that encourages deep learning, multiple ways of knowing, creativity, discernment, and transformation. She is working with faculty members to create 21 century learning programs that combine wisdom and intellect for a global student body, deep in the heart of Silicon Valley. You can read more of Marilyn’s articles on the blog here.
Since 1975, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University has continued to be an international leader and pioneer, moving humanity forward in the areas of transpersonal research and transpersonal education. training clinicians, spiritual guides, wellness caregivers, and consultants who apply transpersonal principles and values in a variety of settings. The Sofia educational model offers students not only a solid intellectual foundation, but an extraordinary opportunity for deep transformational growth and personal experience of the subject matter. How does Sofia University accomplish this? The university builds upon its strong, whole-person psychological foundation to give students a greater understanding of the human condition.