All Things Contemplative

Episode 10: "Holy Smoke!" Holy Fire with Tom Yeomans

February 22, 2021 Ron Barnett
All Things Contemplative
Episode 10: "Holy Smoke!" Holy Fire with Tom Yeomans
Show Notes

Thomas Yeomans, Ph.D. is the founder and director of the Concord Institute. His background includes education at Harvard, Oxford, and the University of California and professional work in the fields of literature, education, and psychology. Tom has been involved with Psychosynthesis and Spiritual Psychology for over forty years. He studied with Roberto Assagioli, M.D. in the early 1970's, and has trained professionals in Psychosynthesis and Spiritual Psychology since then, both in individual and group work, throughout North America and in Europe and Russia.

Tom has published writing on Psychosynthesis and Spiritual Psychology as well as three volumes of poetry and a childrens' book. He is founder/director of The Concord Institute and co-founder of the International School in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is also a painter and musician. Tom maintains a private practice in psycho-spiritual consulting and mentoring in Shelburne Falls, MA. His latest book is Holy Fire: The Process of Soul Awakening.

Tom Discusses

-  What is contemplative?
-  What is psychosynthesis (PS) as a framework for human development? Freud, Jung and Assagioli – the full spectrum of human consciousness and experience
-  House as metaphor of human consciousness and Assagioli’s addition of a “terrace”
-  The inherent, natural evolutionary tendency of human development toward integration, synthesis and spiritual maturity
-  Abraham Maslow and self-actualization
-  Tom searching in his 20s, PhD program and discovery of Assagioli’s “egg diagram” as personal epiphany
-  The centrality of the present moment as a touchstone in PS underlying aliveness and vitality
-  Doctrine and dogma – “you can’t dogmatize the present moment”
-  Tom’s lastest book, Holy Fire: The Process of Soul Awakening - the purpose of using  “holy” and “soul” as terms
-  The book is primarily written for “serious seekers” not necessarily for professionals
- In PS the emergence of needs arising from existential reality is key and techniques and methods are selected appropriate to serving those needs specific to each individual
-  The story of Craig the dumpmeister
-  Four types of awakening and their "wildness"
-  Importance of cultivating an appreciation of the unknown
-  Pythagoras, his lyre and awakening to the cosmos
-  Paradox of opening to the Big Picture and self as unique
-  No split between macro and micro as with Aristotle – the non-dual
-  The lived experience of poetry and painting as spiritual practices
-  Tom closes by reading his poem “Now”

References Mentioned

The Concord Institute

Holy Fire: The Process of Soul Awakening

The All Things Contemplative Blog