April 19, 2013

Eternal Values

This is a good book.  It was written in 2002 by Allen E. Bergin.  He approached counseling and psychotherapy from a spiritual place.  I have lots of favorites in this manual.  One of my favorites is Bergin's idea of of mortal overlay.  "Mortal overlay is the unique, complex set of characteristics that covers or 'overlays' our spiritual selves during earthly life.  It is the combined physical body and mortal mind with all their positive and negative features acquired through biology, genetics, and life experience.  It is not fixed but varies over the course of a lifetime according to biological changes, personal choices, environmental events, and spiritual influences" (p. 29).  Bergin shares in this workbook,  "Years ago I had a spiritual experience that profoundly influenced my understanding of human identity.  It undergirds my conviction that each person has a brilliant inner core that is obscured by a mortal overlay.  It is as though we have bright light within that is covered by a shade.  The brightness of the inner light and the thickness of the shade may vary from person to person, but the principle is the same".  He had the experience of seeing a client's essence, "what she could become and what she already was" and he became convinced that this celestrial essence is present in all of us even when there may be an inconsistency in our mortal personalities or behavior.  His thoughts confirm what we often say but may not know.  Like in our heart know.  We are all children of a very good God and we all have the light of Christ which is the most authentic part of who we really are.

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