Of all the words I have learned in my life, metanoia is my favorite. Its origins are Greek, meaning transformation of mind. I first encountered it in college when I was studying Carl Jung’s theories about the Psyche. Jung believed that the ego was solely a dominant state that had no ultimate reality. He thought it was conditioned, habitual, and constantly screening out information that wasn’t part of the matrices of its beliefs about itself. If circumstances allowed or demanded it, it could be replaced by another state that was superior to it in every way. That was the goal of his psychology.

When people choose to work with me, it is usually because they wish to alleviate some symptoms that aren’t serving the Self, which is eternal and reaches beyond the historical boundaries of birth and death. . The cracks in one’s egoic state are the symptoms of this higher possibility, the clue that one’s history biography and self-narrative are obfuscating one’s true origins. Symptoms are a whisper of another state that is ready, willing, and able to take over.

If this metanoia occurs, it reframes all that has come before it. Assumptions that one has carried about themselves for their whole lives, no longer apply. Narratives that have accompanied someone through all their experiences evaporate in the light of new information. Problems are no longer seen as problems by this new state of being, they are metabolized by a new depth and breadth. Memories are reframed and re-contextualized by this new perspective. The very meaning of all of one’s experiences shifts into something bigger, more profound, and ultimately more loving and supportive. This should be the goal of all the therapies.

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