ISLAND CATHOLIC NEWS – Sept. 2015 (Victoria, B.C., Canada)
The Wholeness of One’s Life
If your life is in a place of transition, and you are unsure about what to do, or how to do it, the INTENSIVE JOURNAL® writing program includes a unique approach to an ancient methodology known as the “Socratic method”. Dr. Ira Progoff (1921-1998) integrated this ancient concept of “knowing oneself” in the structure of the Intensive Journal process.
This self-inquiry method circumvents the modern western medical model of diagnosis and analysis. It is a structured, self directed process of inquiry into one’s life – current and past – from an inward perspective. The writing is done in complete privacy, following an ordered path of inquiry, exploring basic elements of one’s life history, both inward and outward. It is the privacy that allows the journal writer to explore the most sensitive, and often hidden, life experiences without fear of judgment or shaming. Among the many benefits of this inward exploration are these two. The first is to enable the writer to acknowledge and integrate significant “life events” that otherwise consume substantial mental, psychological and physical energy. This helps to address and mitigate the hidden stress about which Dr. Gabor Maté writes so eloquently in his book, “When the Body Says No”. The second benefit is achieved by non-judgmental revisiting of these “events”, which allows for meditative exploration of future possibilities for one’s life.
The overarching personal gain from this structured, self-directed inquiry is a realization of the wholeness of one’s life. In his investigative model of inquiry, Socrates assumed that persons have within them all they need for the fulfillment of their lives. Jesus, another very wise man, also said that “…the kingdom of heaven is within you.” When one feels overwhelmed by the setbacks and anxieties of modern life, it is easy to lose the vital perspective that one’s whole life is bigger than any of its limiting conditions.
Dr. Progoff painstakingly created an accessible, self-help process for enabling distressed persons to re-imagine the trajectory of their lives. Through this composed and compassionate process, people are able to identify the meaning of their lives through an ongoing “dialogue” between the inner self and the external world.