Sunday, November 24, 2019
Eckhartian Therapy: Becoming Filled with the Spirit of God
Martha was a 50 year old insurance executive with three grown children. "In my large Irish family," she told me," "disagreements were handled in one of two ways, either by laughing at them or by ignoring them." She dreaded the coming holidays and the rancorous family quarrels that would inevitably ensue around the dinner table.
Martha had recently celebrated her 15th year of sobriety, and had chosen to make Alcoholics Anonymous her substitute family. She had come to view her husband, a Texas police official whom she saw only infrequently, as a confirmed narcissist. She had not seen him since he had demanded several months previously that she fly a set of business papers directly to him instead of mailing them.
She prayed frequently, and stated that this gave her some relief. In my clinical psychology practice, she responded well to hypnotic voyages to the Multiverse, the Universe of all possible Universes (Gibbons & Woods, 2016), where she could feel herself herself dissolving ito the infinite love of the Multiverse itself as a means of overcoming the effect of previous environmental stressors.
When I asked her about what this experience felt like, she commented afterwards that she thought that it was God. I asked if she would like to hypnotically experience an actual union with God Himself, and she unhesitatingly agreed.
When we got to this portion of her Multiversal journey, I gave special emphasis to the suggestions that this was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to her; and that it was as if all of the love, and all of the rapture that had ever been felt by all of the people who ever walked the face of the Earth were hers to enjoy and hers to be, now in these golden moments of delight. I usied suggestions for time distortion to further heighten their effectiveness, suggesting that even though she may actually have been hypnotized for only a few minutes, it would seem as if she had been away for an entire lifetime, and the benefits of herv hypnotic journey would be correspondingly increased After the induction was completed, I emphatically observed "Well, I'll bet that family arguments can't bother you now!" She smiled blissfully, and nodded in agreement.
Meister Eckhart was a preacher in the 12th century who taught that we should see ourselves as empty vessels waiting to be filled with the love of God. He was charged with heresy, since this would imply that there was another way to feel the love of God in addition to the sacraments; but he died before his trial could be completed. His work lived on, however; and his writings were praised by recent Popes.
Since my training is in general experimental psychology, I have no way of knowing whether Martha was really in communication with the Divine. However, this is the reality of her own personal experience and this experience is having a positive effect upon her life, which is the goal of all successful psychotherapy.
Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. Virtual reality hypnosis: Explorations in the Multiverse. Amazon Publishers, 2016.