What was the pervasive spiritual ethos in your family of origin & how did that ethos affect you?

This question was put to me during the final stages of ministerial ordination this past month.

I was raised amidst the ethos of rationalism, received from my family and the culture at large.

Rationalism is the belief that we should base our lives on reason and knowledge, as opposed to listening to intuition, spirituality, or emotion.

Now, I don’t want to knock rationalism. Reason is important. I value my ability to think. To inquire.

But, for a young spiritual seeker, the consistent prioritization of rationalism above other ways (heart knowing, intuition, emotion…) comes with a cost.

Picture our seeker, hungry to understand the world in all its dimensions, including the hidden ones. Magic. Karma. Energy. The hidden connections between things.

Picture this person growing up under the influence of an over culture (family, school, etc,) where spiritual curiosity is met with blank stares, dismissal or disdain.

When this happens, a rift may form within the seeker as they seek equilibrium between their own FELT experience of the world (so WILDLY enspirited! So vibrantly ALIVE!) and what they see prioritized around them.

One part of the seeker says “I know what I experience. It’s REAL!”

Another part harmonizes with the surrounding ethos by turning a critical eye on what she knows.

(You’re just IMAGINING it. You can’t PROVE it. Who would believe you?!)

In this case, rationalism can function as a disruptive pattern, cutting the seeker off from dimensions of life that it is actually imperative for them to explore.

The good news is you can HEAL this split!

The truth is, both viewpoints have value.

Rationalism – “I want to understand. To know!”

Spirituality – “I seek meaning. Belonging. To fulfill my soul’s purpose.”

Logos and Mythos. Two dimensions of human experience that make up a unified whole.

With inner work, you can bring these parts of yourself into conversation, and help them come to peace.

In the spiritual counseling work I do, Depth Hypnosis, we have a process for this. It’s called Inner Coming to Peace, and it can help with any area where you’re of two minds on a subject, as in self-doubt, self sabotage, or difficulty making a decision.

Because here’s what I’m coming to.

To identify with just one part of yourself may look like health, if it aligns with the larger value system you’re immersed in.

But in focusing on just one part of you, you miss out on so much richness.

Integration is possible! And in WHOLENESS lies your true strength.

And what about you? What aspects of YOU emerged in contrast to a culture you were steeped in?

* Depth Hypnosis is a therapeutic modality developed by Isa Gucciardi, PhD. It integrates several streams – Buddhist Psychology, Core Shamanism, and Hypnotherapy to support healing on all levels – mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.