Dr. Julianne Hanson

Psychologist - Chaplain - Intuitive

Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 15th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

First, for those asking to subscribe and receive my posts (thank you very much, I love you, too:), giving you a heads up that it’s going to be another week or so until my Word Press update makes that and other new things available from the blog link on MauiSpiritualCounseling.com’s menu. I so appreciate your interest and enthusiasm!

You have sent me many wonderful, warm, inspiring comments of support. I am deeply grateful for your openness of mind and heart. Of all the comments I’ve received thus far, only one has expressed disappointment.

That reader found nothing original in my posts, rather, much whining about things that could be fixed, if we weren’t so busy looking for awareness. I was surprised when first reading the comment–nothing about the evolutionary perspective on relationship, my readers’ questions, or my answers, seems whinny to me. But there is great value in focusing a practical lens on any spiritually-oriented discussion. For this opportunity to clarify my intention, I am thankful to the reader.

The only real evidence we have of deeper understanding is how we are living in our relationships. Our relationships are a sacred laboratory, where we explore the reality of what we believe, what we think we know, how we feel, and what we are willing to do about it. Embarking on a journey of spiritual discovery is a good and noble thing. For some, it has become the necessary thing, the response to a deep longing, to a lifetime of urging from the Holy Spirit, the evolutionary impulse.

Being on a journey of spiritual discovery, and taking it seriously, is not an excuse to withdraw from the practical needs of our relationships. Indeed, each and every nuance, any glimpse we have of greater truth, makes us more responsible for bringing that awareness directly into our relationships. How else are we to know if we know anything new? If we are unable to change in the ways we say we want to, if we are not choosing differently, have we really learned anything?

It’s true that there is some confusion around the evolving paradigm of enlightenment. We are all familiar with the iconic guru on the mountain top, meditating away all awareness of life in form. Sometimes, individuals that awaken in relative isolation can become inadvertent teachers for many, and we are all beneficiaries. This model of illumination, an internal attainment of the individual, perhaps within a small religious community, has existed throughout history. Those with calls on their hearts to experience a devotional life often go off to various forms of monasteries and convents. These souls earnestly seek divine revelation, surrendered to a life of celibacy and service. How purely inspirational–if that is truly one’s path.

In reality, only a very small number of us flourish within that austere setting. Most of us are meant to live in the larger world, to have a mate, to bond deeply with a number of people in different types of relationships. Most of us are meant to love, and share love, in every way possible for humans.

An emerging model of enlightenment suggests that our consciousness has now evolved to the point where we are capable of waking up, together.  It is possible for us to experience a shared awareness of a higher, deeper, sacred oneness between us, a loving, non-dual reality. This is a potential shift in our awareness from me, to we. Small groups exploring this process are calling this shared consciousness the, “We space” (see Andrew Cohen’s, “Evolutionary Enlightenment,” 2011). For those familiar with integral terminology, the “We space,” is the fourth quadrant, the group internal consciousness (see Ken Wilber’s, “Integral Spirituality,” 2006).

This shared experience of inter-relatedness, this awareness between us of deep care, of a sacred impulse to show up as that care in the world, is real, and available. In the two years I’ve been part of Craig Hamilton’s, Evolutionary Life Transformation Program (IntegralEnlightenment.com), I have experienced the, “We space,” in practice circles and evolutionary partnerships. I’ve facilitated small groups that were able to enter that field of unified, expanded consciousness. It is beyond wonderful. I’ll tell you more about my experience in future posts.

One of the most wonderful things about the We, is the shift in motivation that occurs. Our motivation moves from a focus on our individual preferences, to a deep desire to act on behalf of the greatest good–not in a way that devalues our individual gifts, indeed, as more authentic beings free of the conditioning that can suppress our unique talents.

The cutting edge of human consciousness leads us right back to deep responsibility for the quality of our relationships. Want to be more spiritual? Got enlightenment (who said that?:)?  No need to, “get thee to a nunnery,” (and who said that?) anymore. Go on retreats, yes. But those of us with a strong urge to wake up can now choose to do it together, in marriages, in friendships, with partners at work or play. It takes commitment, it takes practice, and, in this evolutionary paradigm, becoming more conscious also requires deep commitment to our intimate relationships and friendships.

We have a sacred responsibility to show up for each other. As we become more awake, we grow an awareness of being responsible to all of humanity.

So, after taking longer to make my point than intended, here is the bottom line. My intention in inviting you to explore a deeper dimension of relationship, is not to cast you adrift on an amorphous metaphysical sea of individual seeking until you attain some certainty enabling you to swim to relational shores. My intention is to encourage you to explore deeper truths in your real life relationships, and find practical, inspirational ways of moving forward, together.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 12th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

Found myself wondering–did the last post seem a little harsh?  In asking us all to become more awake in our relationships, am I asking too much?

So many of us have gone through long periods of feeling defeated by relationship–by a relationship within which we feel emotional pain, by a relationship left by our partner, by our longing for relationship.  Many of us are in that place of experiencing some kind of despair around relationship, right now.

What more understandable source of despair could there be than our knowing something is missing from the way our heart connects with another’s?  Whatever our theology might be about our origins, whether we believe we are individual expressions of a single divine mystery, inexorably linked, or not–it’s clear we need each other.  Whatever the cosmic truth may be, on this earth, we need each other deeply.

We long for the real thing–for relationships wherein we are seen and accepted and appreciated for our true selves. We want to be known, to be valued for our gifts, to share our dreams and have them encouraged. Most of us want to experience this profound connection with a mate, to have a special bond with a life partner.  This desire is so deep, so natural, we think we know what the real thing, true love, must be like, look like, feel like. We have millennia of expectations built up about our relationships, and are programmed with ample fantasies to keep us on automatic pilot.

When our expectations are not met, what are we supposed to think? So many past associations pop up to fill our heads, it’s hard for us to know what we actually think, or feel. Our defenses quickly blame the other, blame circumstances, blame some story about our own limitations. There may be some truth in any or all of these–but there is a bigger truth.

The bigger truth, the saving grace, is about who we are, really.  If we are steeped in a cultural identity of a separate self, at the mercy of past conditioning (not only ours and our family’s, but of all our ancestors), how can we be free to even know our true selves, much less another? The path to personal freedom, and the path to true love, are the same. Begin to consider an identity, a self, that is not now, and has never been, separate from its source. Allow yourself to imagine being an essential part of a divine blueprint, becoming more awake to its true nature with each moment, a nature that is inter-related to all others, to its creator, to the sacred mystery, to God.

If we can begin to wake up to this larger identity, limitations of the past begin to drop away. We begin to see with fresh eyes, to hear with the ear of a grander heart. We listen, and hear a call to serve a higher, deeper power, a sacred evolutionary impulse, that animates all that exists. Hearing that call is the beginning of our journey on the path of true love, a love that is ever unfolding, a love that needs us to help it evolve to a vibrantly awake, holy consciousness shared by all humanity.

Our freedom to experience that greater love begins with a new awareness of our ability to choose. We can only be more responsible, to ourselves, in our relationships, if we believe that we are able to choose, to make different choices than the ones that have led to heartbreak and isolation. We can choose to begin walking this path of evolving love now, together.

I’ll continue to give you the resources that are the most powerfully revelatory and inspiring for me.  I’ve been blessed to study evolutionary spirituality with Craig Hamilton for the last two years.  Craig’s site, IntegralEnlightenment.com, gives many resources for beginning on the evolutionary path, along with opportunities for deeper study and ongoing practice with an online community.  Craig Hamilton was the Senior Editor of, “What Is Enlightenment? (WIE),” magazine, founded by Andrew Cohen.  WIE is now, EnlightenNext.org, an online magazine and evolutionary network.  In addition to publishing, “EnlightenNext,” Andrew Cohen has just written, “Evolutionary Enlightenment,” (available on Amazon), an essential primer on evolutionary spirituality.

An integral perspective on life, meaning, relationship, culture, spirituality, can be widely explored on IntegralLife.com, Ken Wilber’s, “online town square,” for integral/evolutionary thought and practice.  Ken Wilber’s book, “Integral Spirituality,” addresses the deep queries of seekers and intellectuals, alike.

I’m becoming acquainted with a new site, evolutionarycollective.com, with Patricia Albere, who hosts interviews with leaders in evolutionary thought. I’m studying a course on evolutionary relationship that Patricia has begun offering, and will happily share some of the insights with you.

If you feel drawn towards any of these resources, please do take the time to check them out. It’s almost impossible for us to get underneath our conditioning on our own–we need interaction with and feedback from others on the path of true love, the path of evolving relationship. Together, we can move forward from, “me,” to the possibility of, “We.”

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - December 24th, 2011

Aloha from Maui, Hawaii!

Aloha Dear Friends,

Hope you enjoyed the introduction to evolutionary spirituality.

The two years I’ve been studying with Craig Hamilton, IntegralEnlightenment.com, have been rich and rewarding. Evolutionary spirituality/enlightenment is the single most thrilling human consciousness movement I have discovered in all my years as a seeker.  I’m developing a passion for applying the evolutionary perspective to relationships, both in my own life, and as a transpersonal psychologist working with people who believe more is possible in their connection with others.

Much of the writing on evolutionary enlightenment is in philosophical, and/or integral, language.  I’m thinking of Ken Wilber’s brilliant book, “Integral Spirituality,” and the writings of other integral thinkers.  Ken Wilber is probably our foremost post-modern philosopher, the father of all things, “integral.” Integral theory views human experience as a synthesis of knowledge that evolves in stages of consciousness, each stage including and transcending the next.

You can see how this perspective lends itself to an exploration of the evolution of our spiritual awareness.  If one does not, “speak integral,” and most of us do not (I am far from fluent), it can be challenging to understand the evolutionary conversation.

I’m getting more clear that part of my passion for creating an evolutionary frame for relationship involves discovering the language that communicates concepts steeped in philosophy and theology in a practical way.  Hmm.  Pray for me.:)

Let’s look for this together.  Whenever any of you find something in this ballpark that really speaks to you with powerful, simple clarity, please share it as a comment, or send it to me at my email drj@mauispiritualcounseling.com.  We need all the help we can give each other.

As I read over my last couple posts, I realized that most of us have only heard the term, “evolutionary,” refer to biology, and the cultural debate between the scientific and religious communities about the origin of life. There is bitter controversy around this debate, people finding themselves in camps with ideological lines fiercely drawn.  So–please let me explain the way I’m holding the evolutionary point of view, and what it has come to mean to me.

I’ve always been in the third, “camp,” those who believe a sacred mystery, God, set the evolutionary process in motion.  I experience the unfolding of life as a divine process, occurring within a matrix of deep care–that life has, as its blueprint, the innately loving nature of that mystery.  Our human consciousness is a part of that unfolding–just as all species learn, adapt and progress, so does our awareness.   What might our evolving consciousness enable us to understand?  How does a greater awareness challenge us?

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “A human being is a part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty (spaceandmotion.com).”

A spiritual interpretation of the evolutionary process invites us to free ourselves from that, “optical illusion,” of separateness, to have an actual, living experience of being, “all God’s children,” of being one life, one heartbeat, evolving from the very DNA of the creator, “made in God’s image.”

The essentially hopeful message is that no matter how dark things appear at any moment in time, humanity is on the right track.  Choices made by individuals that harm others create chaos and despair.  Yet, these acts are not supported by our divine blueprint, and cannot be sustained across time. Our consciousness, our capacity for lovingkindness, is evolving.

What is passionately and relentlessly honed and expanded is our innate goodness, our evolving capacity to dissolve perceived differences between us and the hatred and violence that come from those beliefs.  The evolutionary impulse urges us to dissolve boundaries not only between ourselves and others, but between ourselves and our creator, to become aware of our sense of being separate from God as a false construct of an earlier stage of consciousness.

Mercy.  I experience a deep and abiding resonance with truth as I take this in–and an almost overwhelming challenge.  Here’s the encouraging news–our personality selves, burdened by defensive patterns, our human minds at their current capacity, are not expected to meet the evolutionary call of the future.  There is a power beyond us, within us, that is moving us forward, regardless of our individual choices.  As we become awake to the call of the good, the true, the beautiful, the holy, we are responsible for acting in alignment with it, to do the right thing.

As a humanity now evolved enough to be aware of being conscious, we can choose to actively support the sacred process of becoming more like the creative, loving power, the mystery of God, that caused everything that exists to come into form.  Let us ponder what choice we can make today that will bring us into greater alignment with that divine love.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

 

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