Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Many of the personal growth courses out there are run by people who have absolutely the best intentions. They provide a very good product for the majority of the population. The only trouble is, a highly or profoundly gifted person is likely to show up in one of their classes at some stage, and this can be trouble.
The exquisite sensitivity of a gifted person and deep desire for self-actualization means that group encounters must be structured very carefully to avoid extreme reactions. Exhortations to "let go" and be completely vulnerable to the process are common, and when a gifted person complies, they are sometimes left swinging out over an incomprehensible void. The workshop leader is rarely able to address the disturbance on the level it is occurring.
When this happened to me for the first time, I thought I was really losing my mind. I went into a severe existential depression with suicidal thoughts, and required much time and support to claw my way back to safety. It wasn't until it happened again that I realized what was going on; these workshops were pushing me into a dangerous place. Thereafter, I continued to explore, but with the knowledge that I needed to protect myself. More on how to do that tomorrow....
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