Thank you Janice for requesting that the PAGL conference held this past Sunday in New York City be reviewed and summarized here.
The topic for this year’s conference was Transformation. The call went out several months ago inviting essays that help us understand how the ideas and concepts of Metapsychiatry have resulted in transformations in our ways of being in the world.
Dr. Hora makes the distinction between “gathering information” and “transformation” this way:
“Reading books and listening to lectures is gathering information. Information in and of itself has no therapeutic value. . . .
What is needed is transformation.
The information we receive must be put into practice through participation in existence as a beneficial presence in the world. . . For instance,
it is not enough to know that God is love. We must also be loving.
It is not enough to know that God is truth. We must also be forthright and honest in our daily life. It is not enough to know that God is beauty, harmony, joy, freedom, intelligence, and goodness. We must also live that way. Information is passive gathering of data. Transformation requires participation.”
This year’s theme of Transformation was conveyed not only through the papers that were shared, but through the format and flow of the day.
Instead of attempting to fill the time with lots of information and new ideas, we spent the day flowing from listening to dialoguing to sharing our stories.
The conference actually begins several months before we meet when the call for essays goes out. Everyone and anyone is invited to write a short essay on the topic and all the essays are available to conference participants. Collectively, all those engaged in the study of Metapsychiatry begin turning their attention to reflecting on what, exactly, is the transformation process and how has it happened to them?
We arrive at the conference, whether having written an essay or not, having at least questioned the concept of transformation within our own lives.
Coming together as a group, these questions and ideas are given room to be shared, asked, explored, expressed and clarified. Transformation is recognized in Metapsychiatry as a holy process that takes place in individual consciousness when invalid ideas are replaced with valid ones. Invalid ideas are thoughts that make up ones mental climate that are life diminishing, restricting, fearful and angry. Valid ideas are those that flow from the context of life. They enhance and expand the qualities that allow life to blossom such as joy, gratitude, love, and fearlessness. We cannot “make” transformation happen. It is not something that can be done. It is something we open to through, as Dr. Hora said above, “participating in existence as a beneficial presence.”
We end the conference boosted in our own transformations through resonating with others who are unfolding along their individual journeys.
I’ve posted my essay here as an example of transformation. To read all the essays you can subscribe to the PAGL newsletter and over the next year, all the essays will be published.
You are also welcome to submit your own ideas and questions here.