Art and the Transpersonal
by Dr. Fausto Sergej Sommer
Why has art not received its due respect within the realms of psychotherapy and the transpersonal?
Why has it merely played a marginal role within the main streams of psychology, psychiatry,
education and the sciences? We can also ask these questions upside down: why has the
transpersonal never played any significant role with in the arts? What has gone wrong or rather why
has this beneficial synergy never happened?
The Cartesian chasm could be blamed for it. Yet, this would be too simple and playing the same
game as many others who find their deserved acclaim not validated. In the last two thousand years
and more, the human species has developed one sided towards the rational, in preference of the
intellect, linear and logic thinking, the scientifically verifiable. Yet, it is true, that this chosen path has
given us many insights into the very bases of our material existence. Our lives have benefited from
tremendous advances in areas such as economy, ecology, sciences and culture. Yet, we have not
We still struggle with our very nature and the environment that surrounds us. We have not been able
to come to terms with our neighbours because we have been incapable of coming to terms with
ourselves. How could we! We have never learned to respect and honour ourselves. In addition, if we
cannot love ourselves, how can we love our neighbour? We have become slaves to our own
so called advances in technology, political, economic and financial systems and systems of believe.
We have lost our very own integrity and have instead gained fear of losing what we have become
The path we have to take now is the path inwards. This will lead us to the very core of our essence,
our heart. Our heart does not use a calculating machine nor does it judge according to man-made
rules or scientific proof. Our heart guides us by feelings, intuition and creativity. Our re-education has
to start now in as far as we have to accept and validate the other side of our nature, the feminine. By
re-educating ourselves we will learn to integrate the feminine as an equal partner besides the
masculine within us.
Art brings us in touch with our most hidden feelings, with the core of our emotions and with the
treasure of feeling alive without knowing yet sensing. A splash of colour, a fragrance of a scent, a
movement in the limbs brings us in touch with our own being. Why should this not
be validated as scientific? Why has this kind of information so long been denied its dues respect?
Because we have not learned to trust it! We only trust what we can see, calculate and foremost
verbalize! Art has its own language, with its own symbols and signs. As the great German philosopher
Erich Fromm long ago proclaimed: “We ought to learn the language of symbols again”, this is the
way to access the vast knowledge our intuitive side has in store for us.
Let us open up to an experiential journey and accept ourselves wholly.
24. April 2012