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Lewis, Robert M. The Abandoned Heart. San Diego: Behavioral Science Applications,
Revised and Abridged Edition, 2000

Copyright © by Robert M. Lewis, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1996, 2000.

Printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2

Cover photo-art and graphics by Robert M. Lewis

Illustrations by Vincenzo G. Adragna and Robert M. Lewis

To the

The Abandoned Heart

A Dynamic Energy-Shift Model
of the Borderline Personality Syndrome

Robert M. Lewis, Ph.D

Behavioral Science Applications

San Diego, California

Revised and Abridged Edition
Version 2000

In its original form, The Abandoned Heart monograph is a collection of three papers presented to the
Association for Transpersonal Psychology at annual conferences during the summers of 1982, 1983 and
1984 held at Asilomar near Pacific Grove, California.

These papers have gained a degree of recognition that could not have been anticipated. Inquiries for
reprints have been requested throughout the 50 states as well as Canada and Europe. These continue to be
received as of this writing, nearly twenty years since the first paper was presented. In several instances,
one or more of the papers have been placed on required reading lists in graduate psychology departments
that introduce their students to transpersonal issues.

Although the original monograph included several additional papers that address peripheral issues, the
majority of requests have been for the first two papers, which specifically discuss issues of onset and
recovery of the borderline personality phenomenon.

In order to meet this need, the revised edition is being made available in this abridged format.

Nevertheless, since the first papers were presented, there has been a natural progression of research and
understanding, which has led me to the following conclusions: 1) The original premise is correct, 2) there
are many who suffer from an abandoned heart who do not display the full extent of the syndrome, and 3)
the personal, interpersonal and transactional processes of human nature are imbedded far more deeply in
man’s spiritual nature than I had originally assumed. These conclusions support the original assumptions,
but extend them far beyond what is presented here.

It is my hope that those who suffer from an abandoned heart, or who know and love them on a personal
level as well as those who work professionally with these issues, will continue to explore their own
spiritual nature ever more deeply. The rewards are worth the journey.

Although I am presently retired from my private practice, I remain open, as I have in the past, to receiving
inquires and calls from those who wish to discuss these important issues. I can be reached at the address
and numbers listed below.

If you wish to order additional copies of this abridged version, the cost is USD $29.95, which includes
shipping and handing.

San Diego, California

January 20, 2000

Robert M. Lewis, Ph.D.

Founding Director
Behavioral Science Applications
4869 70th Street, Suite 8
San Diego, California 92115-3061

Phone 619-463-5350 / 619-750-7290


The Abandoned Heart
A Dynamic Energy-Shift Model
of the Borderline Personality Syndrome

Robert M. Lewis, Ph.D.

Edited and Abridged

Version 2000

Table of Contents

Preface to Version 2000…………………………………………………. 4

Introduction……………………………………………………………… 6 -13
The Model………………………………………………………………... 14 - 21
Borderline Pathogenic Development…………………………………… 21 - 32
Energy Dynamics and Symptom Formation…………………………... 33 - 36
Recovery: Initial Considerations.………………………………………. 37 - 42
Initial Summary and Conclusions……………………………………… 42 - 49
Onset and Breakdown: Setting the Stage for Recovery………………. 49 - 55
The Recovery Process…………………………………………………… 49 - 55
Psychotherapy and the Recovery Process……………………………... 56 - 59
Technological Advances: Hemispheric Synchronization……………... 59 - 62
Altered States of Consciousness and Recovery………………………... 62 - 65

The Abandoned Heart
A Dynamic Energy-Shift Model
of the Borderline Personality Syndrome

Robert M. Lewis, Ph.D.

Founding Director
Behavioral Science Applications
San Diego, California


Historical Perspective

The borderline personality syndrome is one of the more puzzling, complex, and
difficult to differentially diagnose of the major personality disorders. It is also not without
its special challenges in treatment.
Historically, the borderline syndrome has been surrounded with controversy and a
certain skepticism. Although the clinical picture had been formally described in 1911 by
Bleuler, who used latent schizophrenia as the diagnosis, and while the terms borderland
and borderline were utilized in 1918 by Englishman L. Pierce Clark, it was not until 1938
that the term borderline was introduced formally in American journals by Stern.
Following a paper by Hoch and Polatin on pseudoneurotic schizophrenia in 1949, and
two papers in 1953 by Knight, who used borderline as the descriptive term, the diagnosis
of a discrete clinical entity became more common. The diagnosis has only recently been
given permanent clinical status by the American Psychiatric Association, which has for
the first time included the borderline personality as a diagnostic classification in the

Clinical Picture of the Borderline Personality 1
Much has been written concerning the clinical picture presented by the borderline
personality. Although a comprehensive review is beyond this paper’s scope, a brief
description will be useful. The text of the disorder, as presented in the DSM-III manual,
is reproduced below:

The essential feature is a Personality Disorder in which there is instability in a

variety of areas, including interpersonal behavior, mood and self-image. No
single feature is invariably present. Interpersonal relations are often intense and
unstable, with marked shifts of attitude over time. Frequently there is impulsive
and unpredictable behavior that is potentially physically self-damaging. Mood is
often unstable, with marked shifts from a normal mood to a dysphoric mood or
with inappropriate, intense anger or lack of control of anger. A profound identity
disturbance may be manifested by uncertainty about several issues relating to
identity, such as self-image, gender identity, or long-term goals or values. There
may be problems tolerating being alone, and chronic feelings of emptiness or
Some conceptualize this condition as a level of personality organization,
rather than as a specific Personality Disorder.
Quite often social contrariness and a generally pessimistic outlook are seen.
Alternation between dependency and self-assertion is common. During periods of
extreme stress transient psychotic symptoms of insufficient severity or duration to
warrant an additional diagnosis may occur (pp. 321-322). 2

The symptoms presented by the borderline are varied, and overlap with other

disorders. The most important of these are:

(1) Absence of a centered sense of self-identity;

(2) Strong approach-avoidance, or vacillation, in relationships;

(3) Depression of significant duration; cyclothymic mood swings;

(4) Anger as a primary affect, often explosively or inappropriately expressed;

(5) Somatic complaints and/or hypochondrias;

The contributions of Vincenzo G. Adragna to the development of this model are gratefully acknowledged.

It is now interesting to note that the current DSM-IV includes abandonment issues as an essential feature of the
borderline personality diagnosis.

(6) Anxiety, phobias, and panic anxiety states;

(7) Dependency and fear of dependency;

(8) Feeling of being empty, unfulfilled, bored, with difficulty being alone;

(9) Inconsistent work habits, and faltering long-term career patterns;

(10) Difficulty being in touch with true affect, or lack of congruence between
thoughts or feelings and their expression;

(11) Fear of separation from or abandonment by others;

(12) Self-condemnatory thoughts, with high risk of self-mutilation or suicide;

(13) Possibility of psychotic-like states of limited duration;

(14) Obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

Disagreement among clinicians and therapists regarding the borderline

personality as a discrete syndrome stems from the fleeting and cyclical nature of the

symptoms, and the not uncommon shift from neurotic patterns, to the loss of ego

boundaries associated with psychotic-like episodes of relatively short duration, and back

again. In addition, many borderline patients function within normal ranges a good portion

of the time, and may be quite successful in their careers.

It is the complexity of these processes, which shift and recycle between neurotic,

normal, and psychotic-like episodes, and the observation that many symptoms of the

borderline are shared with other diagnostic categories, which have contributed to the

clinical controversy, and have delayed its acceptance as a diagnostic category. Even now

there is disagreement concerning “borderline” as an appropriate term for this syndrome.

Questions such as the following continue to be asked: What is the person afflicted with

this disorder borderline to? Is it primarily a thought disorder, associated with the

psychotic states of schizophrenic processes? Or is it more closely aligned with the

rigidity and internal constraints of the neuroses? Is it primarily an affective disorder,

manifesting as depression, countered by explosive episodes of anger? Is its onset

triggered by abnormal developmental patterns, and is it therefore a learned behavior? Or

is it more closely tied to genetic and constitutional factors?

This paper is the initial attempt to present an alternative, yet integrative, approach

to understanding the development, symptoms, and recovery of the borderline personality.

The approach may be considered unorthodox by some, perhaps radical by others.

However, it is not an attempt to dispute or to replace the current ideas of others. It is,

rather, an attempt to further explain the puzzling dynamics of the borderline, using a

frame of reference uncommon to Western psychology and psychiatry, and to suggest

some alternate means for therapeutic recovery.

The concepts herein are presented in terms of a model, rather than to prematurely

elevate them to the level of theory. In addition, the idea of a model more adequately

encompasses the dynamics of energy flow central to this presentation, although many of

the concepts lend themselves readily to the generation of testable hypotheses required of

theory construction. The rigors of hypothetico-deductive thinking and empirical

procedures must await the prerequisite of more intensive clinical observation, from which

the ideas contained herein were initially obtained.

The model to be presented has had its own historical development. Although

covering a relatively brief time span, it has evolved through certain stages, each one

having a bearing on understanding the model.

The author made the initial observations and tentative hypotheses in the clinical

setting of his private practice in individual and family psychotherapy. As the clinical

model crystallized, and there began to be evidence of its application in psychotherapy,

these observations were shared and explored with research associate Vincenzo Adragna

during weekly discussions. It was during these discussions that many of the spiritual

implications began to unfold.

Stage I was a period of exploring the dynamics of reactive (functional, uni-polar)

depression with clients responding to some form of situational loss, great or small, and its

relationship to anger.

Stage II, a closely related and natural extension of the first, involved the complex

reactions, dynamics and symptom development of clients working through the grieving

process of separation, death, or their own terminal illness. It was during this period that a

most interesting observation was made. Each of these clients was able to describe a

certain set of somatic complaints, primarily involving deep visceral pain, in the region of

the lower thorax, heart, and upper abdomen. Also experienced was a great emptiness, or

void in the same region, accompanied by a sense of personal powerlessness. This

symptom was more commonly expressed during periods of depression, and was often

accompanied by intense separation or death anxiety.

As this observation was pursued, it was noticed, consistent with object relations

theory, that the symptoms disappeared when a strong emotional connection was made.

This fact in itself is not surprising. It has always been a part of the human condition.

However, we began to ask the question “why?” Why did the symptoms disappear? Were

they related to an inner process, perhaps an energy dynamic, which could, if understood,

be helpful in the recovery phase of loss and grieving? Was the feeling of emptiness or

void a literal subjective interpretation, rather than a psychological metaphor? If so, what

“disappeared” to produce the void and pain, and what “returned” to provide the feeling of


Sometimes the fullness was associated with love, and a yearning to give of

oneself. In these moments, the pain disappeared, replaced by a sense of warmth and

contentment, as well as increased excitation and body tone, accompanied by a lessening

of depression. At other times, the emotional response was fully experienced anger, in

which the pain temporarily disappeared, and a sense of personal power returned, but

which was often accompanied by increased anxiety, sometimes reaching panic

proportions following awareness of the anger.

Stage III was a period of working with clients experiencing phobias, a large

proportion of whom were diagnosed as agoraphobic. It was during this period that an

understanding developed of the complex dynamics between intense separation anxiety,

dependency, deep visceral pain, emptiness, depression, anger, panic responses and the

fugue states of ego boundary dissolution, which were key to recycling and perpetuating

the process. Later, similar processes were to be seen again and again in the borderline


Stage IV was a period of contemplation and integration. What did these

observations mean? The most important observation seemed focused on clients who were

experiencing intense loss of an important emotional relationship. For these clients, there

seemed to be genuinely something we could describe as a “broken heart.” But what was it

that was “broken?” Certainly it was not the physical heart. Besides, the symptoms were

not necessarily located in the left lower thorax, but were in a broader, although still

circumscribed, region. And rather than broken, it was more as if something vitally

important was temporarily missing. It was, as some clients would describe, as if there

were a deep hole in their very center, a hole which, when present, produced such a deep

ache or pain that it seemed at times unbearable, and which prompted many of them to

first seek medical attention, before being referred for psychotherapy when all diagnostic

tests proved negative.

An assumption about human nature, which had gradually been evolving into

acceptance over the years, was the eastern religious philosophy of an energy matrix or

system contiguous to and interactive with the structural system of the physical body. Was

it possible that the broken heart and the symptoms, which corresponded to it, were

actually the predictable outcome of a vital energy depletion of the Heart Center, or Fourth

Chakra? It was recalled that Shafica Karagula had reported observations by certain

sensitives concerning swirling energy vortexes, or “holes”, receding into the body

structure, which seemed to be correlated with physical or psychological pathology. Was

the pain of a broken heart associated with a “negative” energy vortex, and the fullness of

being in love associated with a “positive” energy vortex which extended outward beyond

the boundary of the physical body to make a literal energy connection with the loved


Tentatively at first, this idea was advanced to clients experiencing these

symptoms. With very few exceptions, there was a subjective response in which the idea

made intuitive sense to them. In some instances, simply the idea itself seemed helpful. If

nothing else, it “explained” to them something that had been so puzzling. Some clients

also began to consciously attempt to “move” the energy outward, resulting in the

alleviation of symptoms.

Was there an important therapeutic principle hidden here? It remained for a

concentrated period of work with borderline patients for the answer to become clearer.

The movement of energy outward from the Heart Center to make a

connection with a loved one was later to be viewed as an ultimate act of giving, but

presented a basic paradox. Energy extending outward from the Heart Center produced

more fullness, whereas attempts to “take in” energy from someone else from a state of

neediness eventually produced a greater emptiness. Teaching the nature of this paradox,

the flip side of our normal world view, became a basic task in psychotherapy with

patients experiencing the pain of a broken heart.

Stage V extended further the processes of observation, contemplation,

integration, and application, with some surprising results. An increasing number of

borderline patients were being seen in therapy during this phase. Gradually, some basic

patterns began to emerge, which drew quite naturally upon the experiences and

understandings of the previous four stages. In fact, the symptoms and dynamics of the

borderline seemed a composite of these stages, with the addition of certain unique

characteristics that presented a picture of greater complexity, variability, and difficulty.

First, there emerged a consistent pattern of characteristics or traits, which

suggested a predisposition or constitutional factor.

Second, there seemed to be a typical set of developmental variables, which

interacted with the predisposition-constitutional factors.

Third, from this genesis arose a reasonably predictable set of dynamics which,

when set into motion, could be viewed as accounting for the fleeting, cyclical, and

unstable patterns of the borderline personality.

Finally, as a cognitive model of the borderline syndrome emerged, opportunities

arose to apply some unique therapeutic interventions derived directly from the model.

The results were far beyond expectations. Indeed, for some patients recovery came so

swiftly and so completely that one had to wonder if these patients were in fact borderline,

even though they fit well the clinical picture. We were reminded of the medical

“problem” of spontaneous remission, and were tempted to dismiss the event as

misdiagnosis. However, since instances of spontaneous remission were being observed in

case after case, it was felt that there might be value in sharing the model. The validity of

these observations must of necessity await further corroboration by others.

The Model

Borderline Predisposition,
Basic Assumptions,
and Healthy Development

The progressive stages of observation described above became the building

blocks from which this model evolved.

The most significant observation, which will be detailed as we progress, was this:

The dynamics of the borderline personality appeared to be a derivative of the broken

heart pattern, but with some fundamental differences. The basic symptoms of deep

visceral pain, emptiness, and depression were the same. However, the symptoms of the

broken heart were temporary, being the acute stage of response to intense loss.

In the borderline personality, the symptoms of loss had become chronic. There

had, for whatever reasons, developed a certain permanency to the depletion of energy in

the Heart Center. Although it could, and often did, return temporarily, resulting in illusive

feelings of euphoria, there eventually came to be an expectancy of the emptiness, void,

and pain, which contributed to an ongoing dread and hopelessness.

Although the depletion and void was the result of inner dynamics and processes,

the emptiness and pain so often felt was not experienced as such, but was instead attached

to the presence or absence of a loved one, or nurturer, which contributed to the feeling of

helplessness and dependency: It was others who were perceived as ultimately in control

of the borderline’s sense of well-being on the one hand, or vast emptiness and pain on the

other, resulting in the constant dread of separation or abandonment.

Thus the defense of projection developed and was maintained, and prevented the

borderline from seeing the singular truth that would ultimately set them free. At a critical

point in their development, the borderline had made a most crucial decision. Out of an

agonizing sense of survival and self-protection, the decision was made to prevent the

possibility of any further pain from abandonment. This was accomplished, in one

intuitive leap, by removing awareness from the locus of pain, from their own Heart. With

the removal of awareness, the energy of the Heart Center became increasingly depleted,

numbing the pain through denial, but with ever so costly results.

The borderline had made the decision that began the process of their own

pathology. They had made the decision -- to abandon their own Heart.

From this point onward, the constellation of personal beliefs, feelings, and

behaviors symptomatic of the borderline personality progressed in a fairly predictable

manner. However, the predictability that was observed was not simply the end result of

mutually interactive dynamic processes. Further, developmental variables were not

enough to account for the disorder. Gradually it became more and more evident that

persons with the disorder had certain general characteristics in common, characteristics

which, if isolated within normal development, were certainly not pathological. As these

characteristics were identified, we came to view them as borderline-predisposed


1.1 The Borderline-Predisposed Individual

Certain individuals seem more prone to the borderline syndrome than others. We

believe there are three primary predisposing characteristics. These are: (1) A highly

sensate body, (2) a capacity for high emotional intensity, and (3) a naturally creative

intelligence. A fourth, involving the possibility of a constitutional factor, will be

discussed in a following section.

1.1.1 Sensate body.

Borderlines have a highly sensate body, with lower than usual sensory input

thresholds of pain and touch. Their bodies are very responsive to external stimuli, and

therefore the environment, especially other people. They are also unusually aware of

inner body states. As a result, they tend to be sensual and pleasure seeking, as well as

pain sensitive and pain avoiding.

The borderline’s low thresholds involve the peripheral nervous system. This is

not the same as the inadequate CNS filtering of information input hypothesized to

account for some schizophrenic processes. They, therefore, have the capacity for

accurately “mapping” the external world, sometimes in great detail, which seems not to

be true of the schizophrenic.

1.1.2 Emotional intensity.

Borderline’s have a higher than usual capacity for emotional intensity. The

intensity of their emotional energy makes them inherently responsive to relationships. In

its natural, undistorted state, we might view this as a love-giving, love-receiving trait, that

is, having a “full heart.” When distorted, it will shift to a deficiency state of neediness,

and may become a preoccupation with sexuality, perversions, or gender identity, often

expressed only in fantasies, which act as substitutes for the fulfilling emotional

connection and expression in love-giving, love-receiving relationships.

Under the strain of repeated separation, loss of important emotional relationships,

or physical abandonment, this emotional intensity will eventually provide the fuel for the

pain-generated anger and later, when insulated from awareness, will account for much of

the depression experienced by the borderline.

1.1.3 Creative intelligence.

Borderline’s have a naturally creative intelligence. Although not necessarily

associated with a high measured IQ., the borderline-prone individual is intellectually-

cognitively responsive. Paradoxically, this quality, as we will see later, is necessary for

the development of the disorder. Their minds are often constantly active, and they

frequently report difficulty shutting off their thoughts. An obsessive-compulsive quality

develops from attempting to avoid pain and find fulfillment.

To use the colloquial, their minds are “sharp,” with a quick wit, and “fluid,” being

able to make cognitive associations easily. These quick and fluid qualities also make their

cognitive processes slippery,’’ being unable to maintain certain cognitive sets required

for a consistent self-identity, and making long-range goal-setting and attainment difficult.

These qualities may also make them prone to using dry humor, often to a degree that

becomes annoying to others. Although eventually counter-productive, humor is an

attempt to spontaneously bring relief to the pain or emptiness they are experiencing.

Although they are able to put cognitive constructs together in unusual ways, this

creativity may be for better or for worse. While it allows them to problem solve

productively, it also provides the mechanisms for developing intricate defensive patterns,

the cornerstones of which are projection and denial, which eventually become their


These three predisposing factors, each of which in their positive forms are

potentially enhancing of the self, have a negative side if distorted. In Abraham Maslow’s

terms, they can become Deficiency-needs rather than Being-needs, with predictable

adverse consequences.

In combination, these three factors can account for the tripartite essence of the

borderline personality: (1) A thought disorder, giving it pseudo-psychotic characteristics,

combined with (2) an affective disorder, involving both a preoccupation with sensation

and a denial of true affect, resulting in (3) relationship difficulties, which not only

provide the primary genesis, but serve to perpetuate the disorder as well. These factors

intertwine to form the relatively predictable dynamics, which are the predominant

subjective experience of the borderline.

1.2 Constitutional Factors: A Tentative Hypothesis
Individuals with a borderline disorder often report somatic complaints in the

general region of the throat, thorax and upper abdomen. These generally include vague

aches, pain, and neuromuscular tensions of varying intensities.

We believe it may be of heuristic value to note that this is the region served by the

Tenth Cranial (Vagus) Nerve, an autonomic efferent and afferent system, with motor

fibers to the larynx, pharynx, lungs, esophagus, heart and stomach. It has lesser branches

to several abdominal organs, and sensory fibers to the larynx and lungs (see Figure 2).

We have noted, for example, that upper thoracic and laryngeal tension increases

as primary emotional energy moves upward, away from the Heart Center, and decreases

as the energy returns to the Heart Center. Voice register, an indication of laryngeal

tension, also seems to rise and fall in correlation to the upward and downward energy


Other tentative observations include peritonitis, gall bladder disorders, nausea,

upper respiratory ailments, heart and chest pain associated with the chronic nature of an

abandoned Heart.

Is it possible there is some causal or mutually causal relationship between Tenth

Cranial Nerve activity (e.g., inhibition; dis-inhibition) and the instability of primary

emotional energy of the Heart Center in borderline prone individuals? The question

seems worth pursuing further.

1.3 Basic Assumptions of the Model

Several assumptions are basic to the model. These are treated “as if” true for purposes of

hypothesizing certain processes and dynamics. Consequently, there is no attempt to

support the validity of these assumptions with empirical evidence for, in fact, there is

none. It is a theoretical procedure familiar to the physical sciences in which an unknown

energy state, process or dynamic is advanced to account for an observable event. This has

been particularly valuable to theoreticians concerned with developing a more unified


Assumption 1: The Heart Center, or Fourth Chakra, consists of out-flowing

energy, which remains immeasurable and therefore unobservable to contemporary
Western science. Only its effects are objectively observable.
Assumption 2: This energy we shall call Primary Emotional Energy, and is the
basis for the emotional connection between persons in a relationship. It is,
therefore, the “energy of relationships.”
Assumption 3: In its natural state, primary emotional energy ‘fills” the region of
the lower thorax or chest area, producing the subjective experience of
contentment, warmth, openness to others, trust, and giving of self (love).
Assumption 4: Under certain conditions, primary emotional energy can shift
away from the Heart Center, resulting in the subjective experience of a “hole” in
the center of one’s self, producing either undifferentiated or specific somatic
complaints of vague or unknown origin.
Assumption 5: Primary emotional energy follows the “Law of Awareness” which
states : (a) Awareness activates the energy; (b) The energy follows awareness;
therefore, by shifting awareness, the energy will shift to the new locus of
awareness; (c) Withdrawal of awareness de-activates the energy; it is potentially
available, but latent; and (d) Reactivation of awareness reactivates the energy.
Assumption 6: The natural state of the energy is without limit or constraint, and
establishes connection (i.e., relationships) in an undifferentiated manner. That is,
it “gives to all.”
Assumption 7: Thoughts give form to (produce constraints upon) the natural
state of the energy. Thinking (i.e., information processing) results in the formless
energy being in-form-ation.
Assumption 8: Thinking directs the locus of awareness. That is, one’s thoughts
are responsible for shifting the locus of primary emotional energy.
Assumption 9: Specific emotions are the result of thoughts (i.e., constraints)
applied to the formless primary emotional energy.
9.1: Every thought (i.e., a constraint, producing a form) applied to
primary emotional energy will to some degree shift energy away from the Heart
Center, which is it natural “home”.
Assumption 10: Primary emotional energy can be returned to its natural state
(i.e., its “home”), and to formlessness, by redirecting an emotion, through the
vehicle of awareness, to the region of the Heart Center.
Assumption 11: Having redirected an emotion (e.g., guilt, anger, love, hate) back

to the Heart Center, it will undergo a natural transformation analogous to
biological metabolism, making the energy more readily available to the self and
11.1: This natural transformation will change the emotion from a state of
constraint (form) to a state of undifferentiation. This is analogous to the
change that occurs when H20 is transformed from ice, to water, to vapor.
The process allows the new thought-energy to re-fill the void once created
by its shift away from the Heart Center.
Assumption 12: The steady state of the return of all primary emotional energy to
the Heart Center will produce a state of internal integration, and the subjective
experience of fullness and wholeness, resulting in a natural, spontaneous giving of
self: A parable’s parable of the Prodigal Son.

1.4. Normal (Ideal) Childhood Development

Normal childhood development is discussed briefly to provide a backdrop for

understanding the pathogenic processes that contribute to the borderline disorder.

Ideal development for the borderline-prone infant and child (i.e., childhood

interactions that will prevent development of the disorder) focus primarily on qualities of

the nurturing parent. Although we will often use the term “mother,” this denotes function

rather than gender, and could just as easily be provided by an appropriate male or

significant non-biological surrogate parent.

Proposition 1.1: The ideal mother (of a borderline-predisposed infant) has a full
Heart. That is, her own primary emotional energy is strong and stabilized in her
Heart Center. She is therefore centered within herself.
Proposition 1.2: Because she is centered in the Heart, the mother experiences
herself as full and whole, and is therefore able to give freely.
Proposition 1.3: Being centered in the fullness and wholeness of her own Heart,
the mother is free from projection. There is no need to attribute her internal state
to those around her, including her infant.
Proposition 1.4: Being integrated and whole, the mother is free from denial.
There is no pain of unfulfillment, and therefore no need to withdraw awareness
from any portion of herself, including thoughts, feelings, or actions.
Proposition 1.5: Being free from projection and denial, the mother can maintain
full awareness of her child’s essence and needs, including the infant’s needs for
fusion and oneness, and later the child’s needs for separation and individuation.
Neither oneness nor separation are cause for anxiety, either for the mother or her


Proposition 1.6: The strong, stable primary emotional energy of the mother
establishes and maintains connection with the infant’s Heart Center.
1.6.1: The stability and consistency of this connection gradually serve to
anchor the child’s primary emotional energy.
1.6.2: The child’s subjective experience is warmth, contentment, trust,
openness, and freedom to explore fully their own nature. The experience
of fullness allows for the development of their own capacity for giving to
Proposition 1.7: The stability and consistency of the primary emotional energy
connection between mother and child continues through both the separation-
individuation (going away from mother), and the rapprochement (coming home to
mother) sub-phases of development. This further reinforces the strength and
stability of the child’s primary emotional energy, thus setting the stage for normal
and fully adaptive adolescent and adult development.

Borderline Pathogenic Development

The idea that developmental factors contribute to the borderline disorder is not

new. Masterson (1981), for example, argues well for this viewpoint.

This model does not differ greatly from others regarding what is objectively

observed about the borderline disorder. Where the model departs is the level of

explanation, by hypothesizing an energy dynamic rather than a psychodynamic as the

primary moving force. This may account for the difficulty traditional clinicians have

experienced in circumscribing the phenomena. Even so, psychoanalytic writings are not

discounted, having proven quite useful in understanding the borderline personality.

Developmentally, we believe there are four primary stages in the pathogenesis of

the borderline. The first is the infant stage, from birth to 18 months. The second is the

toddler stage, from 18 to 36 months. The third stage occurs around age seven, plus or

minus one year (6 to 8 years), and is the critical turning point of the disorder. The fourth

stage occurs during puberty at approximately age 12, plus or minus two years (10 to 14

years), and signals the onset of a prolonged period of formalizing and rigidifying the

personality infrastructure. This is the period, from adolescence through adulthood, in

which the social consequences of endogenous factors reinforce and perpetuate the


2.1. Infant Stage (birth to 18 months): “The Empty Heart.”

The borderline-prone infant, paradoxically, has the potential (perhaps even more

so than other infants), for a strong, intense Heart Center. However, as described above,

the infant requires a nurturing parent with a strong, stable Heart Center to ensure the

anchoring and stabilization of their own primary emotional energy.

Proposition 2.1.1: Developmentally, the disorder begins when the borderline-

prone infant is nurtured by a parent with “an Empty Heart” who, through
predisposition, physical or emotional illness, has weak or unstable primary
emotional energy, and is therefore unable to establish a consistent connection
with the infants Heart Center.

Proposition 2.1.2: During periods in which the infant does not experience the
stable primary emotional energy connection with the parent, there will begin to
occur a dissipation, shift or “drift” of energy away from the infant’s Heart Center.
Proposition 2.1.3: In the infant this will be recognized to be a generalized
irritability and/or crying, as if in discomfort or pain, but with no identifiable
physical source.
Proposition 2.1.4: Over prolonged periods, this drift of primary emotional energy
away from the infant’s Heart Center will eventually produce a deeper ache of
emptiness and unfilled “hunger.” The infant may begin to show symptoms of eating difficulties or
digestive problems. Behaviorally, there may begin to be signs of either
passivity or hyperactive movement, and may be difficult to hold, console,
or put to sleep.
Proposition 2.1.5: Because (1) the natural tendency of the infant is for a strong
Heart Center, (2) and because the infant has not yet developed a cognitive
understanding of the source of its vague, internal discomfort (i.e., a parent with an
Empty Heart), and (3) because there may be other children, family members or
part-time surrogate parents who nurture the infant’s Heart Center, the drift of
energy may occur slowly, and may in fact return to fullness for periods of time,
only to drift again if not anchored by the mother’s primary emotional energy.

It is during the toddler stage, without a “change of Heart” occurring within the

mother, that the developmental process and symptom formation will become more


2.2. Toddler Stage (18 to 36 months): “The Broken Heart.”

A critical period of the child’s development is the “toddler stage.”

It is between 18 and 36 months that the child begins the important process of

moving away from its mother, establishing separation and mdividuation, and then

returning to re-experience her presence. Both the sub-phases of separation-individuation,

and the complimentary sub-phase of rapprochement, are necessary for healthy


The borderline-prone child experiences difficulty, even a sense of trauma, with

one or both of these sub-phases.

It is during the toddler stage that projection becomes established as a cornerstone

of the eventual pathology.

Proposition 2.2.1: It is during the active process of moving away from mother
that the child establishes the ability to separate self from the parent, and develops
a sense of self, or individuation. At first, this may cause little difficulty or anxiety for the child.
Since the mother has an Empty Heart, it may even provide a sense of relief
from the discomfort, or energy drain, it experiences in her presence.

Proposition 2.2.2: The critical event for the child is its return “home,” for its
need is to reestablish the connection with mother’s primary emotional energy. In the early stages, the child is ever hopeful that, upon return, he
will experience the warmth, the fulfillment, the contentment and the
oneness associated with being-in-connection with her Heart Center.
Proposition 2.2.3: When the borderline-prone child returns, he finds “no one
home,” for he returns to a parent with an Empty Heart. Again and again, the child experiences the emptiness, the hunger,
the ache of having hopeful expectations broken. Although separation is being accomplished successfully, there is a
gradual erosion of a sense of self, as the pattern of emptiness, hunger, and
unfulfillment is re-experienced upon each return, for the true self-identity

of the borderline-prone child is in its awareness of its own Heart Center.

Proposition 2.2.4: Gradually, as the pattern of returning home to an Empty Heart

continues, the child will experience a deeper and more persistent pain in the
region of the Heart Center. He will be experiencing the initial stages of a Broken
Heart. Crying may be more frequent. Sleeping patterns may be disrupted
with nightmares, and anxiety about death, couched in the symbolism of a
child’s mind, may be noticeable. Normal eating patterns may be altered by
“tummy aches” or overeating. Enuresis may be a signal that anger and depression are present. Communication difficulties, involving articulation or dysfluency
may appear. As the child grows older, the tension, somatic discomfort, and
visceral pain associated with a Broken Heart may reach intolerable limits,
prompting irritability, angry outbursts, and acting out behaviors, or
withdrawal. Separation anxiety and fears of abandonment may increase.
Proposition 2.2.5: It is during this period that the child is earning a significant
lesson: Other people seem to be directly responsible for either the fleeting feeling
of fulfillment, or the increasingly familiar awareness of somatic discomfort and
visceral pain. Thus is born the defense of projection.

Proposition 2.2.6: Projection as a primary defense.

The borderline-prone child is highly sensitive to two major loci of awareness

simultaneously, a combination that leads directly to projection as a primary mechanism,
and which eventually serves to perpetuate the borderline disorder.

First, the highly sensate nature of the child makes them acutely aware of their

own body states. They are natural bedfellows to both pleasure and discomfort, and may

be unusually sensual as well as pain avoiding. These two qualities may predispose them

later to hypochondrias, and to avoidance patterns.

Second, their capacity for high emotional intensity and responsiveness to primary

emotional energy connections with others which, when present, provide them with

fulfillment or, when absent, are associated with emptiness and pain, make them acutely

aware of human relationships, and to the movement of people in and out of their life.

In combination, these two qualities create projection, which is the process of

attributing the cause of their own internal states to the thoughts, feelings, or actions of


2.3. The Critical Age Seven--Plus or Minus One:

“The Abandoned Heart.”
Up to the age of seven, plus or minus a year, the constitutional, pre-dispositional,

and developmental factors associated with the borderline condition have not yet solidified

to produce the borderline personality.

Proposition 2.3.1: At the approximate age of seven, if the nurturing parent is still
not capable of “being home” in the Heart Center (thus providing connection and
stabilization of the child’s primary emotional energy) a situational crisis may
occur, which will precipitate a decision by the child that will take them a critical
step closer to becoming borderline. The crisis may be either major (e.g., a death), or minor (one more
rejection, or emotional abandonment) in objective terms. However, it will
be perceived as irrevocably traumatic by the child, thus by definition
producing the crisis.

Proposition 2.3.2.: Because of the now intolerable pain associated with a sudden
shift of energy away from the Heart Center, the child makes the self-protective
decision to withdraw awareness from the locus of pain, creating a chronic state of
void or emptiness. Not realizing that to withdraw awareness from the pain in their
Heart Center is to unavoidably create more emptiness, the child
unwittingly makes the decision to abandon their own Heart. Thus,
motivated by a sense of self-preservation, the child initiates a process
which eventually leads to their down-fall.
Proposition 2.3.3: The child has now firmly established the defense of denial,
which is temporarily helpful, for through it the pain is dampened. It results in the
denial of awareness, but also the denial of self. Self-identity thus becomes an on-
going issue as the disorder progresses.
Proposition 2.3.4: Although the child has made the decision to abandon their own
Heart, this is protected from awareness and therefore self-responsibility through
the defense of projection, already firmly established from the preceding stage. In
the eyes of the child, others still remain the cause of their emptiness and pain.

Proposition 2.3.5: This stage is critical in the development of the borderline
dynamics because the child is now actively directing the energy shift. This is made possible by the maturation of the child’s creative
intelligence. He is now in control of logical processes, which, inevitably,
given his nature, dictate an upward shift of energy to the region of his
“mind” (i.e., his head). At the moment of decision, his mind has been
given the role of savior, rather than his heart. Self-protection has taken the
place of love. This shift could (and eventually will) also be made downward to
the sex center. But at age seven, the child is entering into the latency
period, reducing awareness of genitals and sexual energy. Further, school
is serving to give heightened attention to the mind, adding to the logical
choice of shifting energy upward to the head region.
Proposition 2.3.6: As the energy is shifted upward, it may accumulate
inappropriately and excessively in various body parts along the midline, including
upper thorax, neck, larynx, pharynx, tongue and lips, creating tension and
awareness of discomfort, resulting in various possibilities for communicative

2.4. The Critical Age Twelve--Plus or Minus Two:

“The Split Heart.”

It is a paradox of the disorder that the borderline-prone child has a higher than

average capacity for love-giving, while those in advanced stages are often viewed as

excessively selfish, needing to take from others and, in fact, seeming to have little to give

in return. They can be a continual drain on those around them, and may receive more than

their share of social rejection as a result. When in a state of excessive need, the borderline

may actually draw primary emotional energy from others, quickly raising the discomfort

level of those around them, without others consciously knowing why they are

uncomfortable. When this occurs, there can be the feeling of simply wanting to escape

the presence of the borderline.

As people consistently withdraw from them they may react in socially

inappropriate ways, which serves only to create more distance and fewer opportunities

for social contact. They may have few true friends.

They may not only feel lonely, they may in fact be socially isolated for extended

periods. As a result, they often have a delayed social and sexual development.

It is not uncommon for the borderline disorder to be complicated by sexual issues

and concerns, sometimes of a pathological nature, which may have an obsessive-

compulsive quality. These may include unusual sexual practices, excessive masturbation,

questions of gender identity, and masochism, to suggest the more common. These may

exist primarily or solely at the fantasy level for long periods, or may break forth into

episodes of acting out during the reduction of impulse control following periods of

excessive stress.

Many of these dynamics have their genesis during and following the onset of

puberty, and occur as a function of their predispositional qualities in combination with a

second major energy shift, this time downward to the genitals.

Proposition 2.4. 1: The borderline-prone adolescent, following the essence of

their predispositional nature, are innately sensate and sensual, emotionally intense
and responsive to relationships, and creatively intelligent. When found in conjunction with a full Heart, these qualities will
manifest as unusual capacities for nurturing, empathy, love-giving, and
problem-solving, and they may prove to be unusually strong candidates
for the healing professions. However, when present in conjunction with an abandoned Heart,
an unfortunate distortion of these qualities is likely to result.
Proposition 2.4.2: During the pre-adolescent years, the borderline-prone child
has made a uni-polar vertical shift of energy to the head region. As sexual awareness increases during puberty, a portion of the
primary emotional energy may be shifted downward to the genitals,
creating a bi-polar shift, or “Split Heart,” with excessive energy
accumulating both above and below the Heart Center.
Proposition 2.4.3: The essence of the Heart Center is the natural, spontaneous
love-giving that comes from awareness of one’s wholeness. It is a feeling of
“fullness to overflowing.” It has no need to take; only to give. The shift to the head region is essentially the shift from love-
giving to self-protection. Indeed, the shift was precipitated by the vast
feeling of emptiness and pain.
Proposition 2.4.4: As energy and awareness become split between the head and
genitals, a distortion occurs. Without the mediating awareness of the Heart

Center, sexuality becomes a means of “getting” fulfillment, rather than giving it.
Sexuality becomes a substitute for love, rather than love’s expression.

Proposition 2.4.5: Sexual perversions, in the true sense, are acts of taking rather
than giving. It is therefore not the act itself, but its motivation, coming as it does
from the deepest form of confusion about the nature of one’s self, which is the

The sexual pathologies of the borderline are precipitated by the bi-polar energy shifts
of the Split Heart. This dynamic results inevitably in confusion about self-identity, and
the identity of self-in-relation-to others as sexual beings. It is compounded by the
obsessive-compulsive tendencies that result from the never-ending cycle of attempting to
substitute sexuality for self-fulfillment, love-taking for love-giving.

Energy Dynamics and Symptom Formation

The symptoms manifested by the borderline personality tend to group naturally

into symptom constellations. However, they will change and fluctuate cyclically,

appearing to give a fluid, unpredictable quality to the borderline disorder.

In this section, we have organized the symptoms into groupings, which correlate

with directional energy shifts. Here we suggest tentative hypotheses of energy-symptom

relationships in order to provide some coherence and predictability to changing patterns

of the borderline.

Six major energy shift patterns are hypothesized. They tend to occur in time-

sequential phases, suggesting a relationship to developmental events.

Each energy pattern is presented in two parts: First, a description of the energy

dynamics, followed by the symptoms which correlate with the shift.

3. 1 Phase I: The Upward Vertical Shift

As a pain avoidance response, awareness is withdrawn from the Heart
Center. Awareness is focused on thinking processes, which are then defined as
the essence of self. Primary emotional energy follows awareness in an upward
vertical shift. Primary emotional energy changes from its original
undifferentiated state, to the constraint of specific emotions, from formlessness to
form. Initially vitalizing the natural creative intelligence, it later serves to distort
reality as it is used for self-protection through the mechanisms of projection and
Symptom formation

3.1.1: Pain, emptiness, void, boredom

As primary emotional energy shifts away from the Heart Center, it

produces deep visceral ache or acute pain. The more quickly the shift occurs, the
sharper the pain.
The chronic state results in the subjective experience of emptiness
and void in the center of one’s self. Boredom is experienced when emptiness is
projected onto the current life situation.

3.1.2 Anxiety, panic states, phobias

Anxiety occurs when the shift of primary emotional energy away

from the Heart Center is anticipated.
Panic anxiety states, often associated with depression, occur when
a sudden, unexpected shift occurs. This is usually associated with a belief in the
lack of support for self by others. It is correlated with depression when slowed
motor, cognitive, and affective responses are subliminally recognized as being
inadequate to respond adaptively to a life situation.
Phobias (e.g., agoraphobia) are a learned pattern of response to a
belief in the absence of support for self, combining anxiety, panic states, and
3. 1.3 Obsessive-compulsive tendencies
Awareness of one’s thinking process increases as the energy moves
upward to the head region. Awareness, in turn, draws more energy. Excessive
reliance on thought processes to protect self and avoid pain, in conjunction with
anxiety, produces obsessive, repetitive, and circular thinking.
Compulsive behaviors can result from the impossible dilemma of
attempting to experience fulfillment through activities, rather than a return of
awareness to the Heart Center.

3.1.5 Avoidance patterns
The essential formula is: “A void produces avoid.” The void in the
Heart Center produces pain. A consistent motivation of the borderline is pain-
avoidance. Social avoidance is the response to anticipated pain of eventual
abandonment in relationships.

3.2 Phase II: The Upward-Downward Cyclical Shift

In the borderline, primary emotional energy can return to the Heart
Center if certain, usually situational, conditions are met. However, this is
temporary and the upward vertical shift will again occur, usually in response to a
life stress.
Symptom formation

3.2.1 Euphoria, cyclothymic mood swings

Many borderlines retain hope, sometimes against seemingly great

odds, of eventually finding a “perfect” love relationship in which they will never
be abandoned. Consequently, they may “fall in love” many times in their lifetime.
Each time a potential love relationship exists, their primary
emotional energy may temporarily return to their Heart Center, producing
However, since they still rely on projection, which is the belief that
one’s fulfillment or pain is caused by someone else, they eventually lose trust or
faith. They then re-experience the pain and depression, and fall out of love, only to
keep searching and repeat the pattern, thus vacillating between hope and
hopelessness, euphoria and depressive mood swings. Some, however, may give up
and withdraw from meaningful social contact for long periods.

3.2.2 Approach-avoidance and vacillation in relationships

The above patterns will eventually result in an approach-avoidance

in relationships. Because they retain their underlying belief that others are
responsible for their inner states, they seek dependence, yet fear it at the same
time, producing pronounced vacillation.

3.3 Phase Ill: The Inward-Outward Shift.

Usually in response to a love relationship, in which primary
emotional energy has temporarily returned to the Heart Center, a quick shift of
energy may occur in either an outward, or inward, direction, rather than upward or

Symptom Formation

3.3.1 Sadness crying, joy crying

The quick shift of energy outward from the Heart Center, which
makes a connection with a loved one, will often produce a crying response of
sheer joy.
The opposite, a quick shift inward, signaling a disconnection from
loss or pain in a relationship, may also produce the crying response, this time as
This dynamic may also be similar to a “flutter,” in which the shift
occurs in and out quickly, producing a crying response, in which the person is not
sure whether they are happy or sad.

3.4 Phase IV: The Split Shift.

This dynamic involves the bi-polar vertical shift of energy upward
to the head region, and downward to the genitals, leaving a void in the Heart
Center. It has been discussed at some length in a preceding section.

3. 5 Phase V: The Pendulum Shift.

This energy dynamic results from a cyclical vacillation between
projection and denial, anger and depression, as self-protective mechanisms.
Although purely symbolic, the imagery of a pendulum swinging
from one apex of its arc to another, with depression (denial) at one end, and anger
(projection) at the other, has proven useful in therapy. These two affective
responses are connected psycho-dynamically, being mutually interactive in the
borderline, which swings from one end of the pendulum to the other and back
again, in a cyclical pattern.
Recovery requires stopping this cyclical pattern. This is
accomplished by stopping the pendulum swing. The technique is to bring
awareness of the energy in anger, and the energy in depression, back to the
midline of the body, and “dropping” the energy, through the mediating process of
awareness, to the Heart Center. Once awareness returns, it undergoes the natural
transformation from emotion to primary emotional energy.

Symptom formation
3. 5. 1 Explosive anger
Intense anger is generated in response to the pain, emptiness and
personal powerlessness experienced from the Abandoned Heart.
Projection maintains the delusion that the cause of the anger lies
outside of oneself.
Anger is withheld for long periods, since the anger is usually felt
toward those whom the borderline feels most dependent upon. Therefore, to
express anger directly might lead to driving away the very person upon whom the
borderline relies for love, support and caring. Anger is experienced as threatening
to oneself, since adverse social consequences may follow.
When anger is expressed, a duality is experienced. First, there is a
temporary shift of energy to the Heart Center, helping to create a feeling of
strength and the return of personal power. However, guilt will often follow as
awareness is gained of the social consequences, along with a renewed feeling of
threat to self.
3.5.2 Depression
In response to the guilt and threat, the energy of anger is
encapsulated through denial and the withdrawal of awareness, which temporarily
deactivates the energy, eventually producing, through the mechanism of
depression, the slowing of motor, affective and cognitive responses.
The borderline then becomes less effective, adversely influencing
social, self-expressive, and career patterns.
Gradually, as the energy of anger is added to the dynamics of the
depression, tension builds beyond the capacity of the protective encasement of
depression to contain it.
The energy of anger, fed by projection, is finally forced into
awareness by the disequilibrium, and the cycle repeats.
Helpless to stop the pattern, hopelessness seeps in, undermining
3.5.3 Suicide risk
Awareness of depression, dependency, helplessness, sense of loss,
emptiness, lack of self-worth and hopelessness combine with the energy of anger,
guilt, and awareness of social threat to produce high suicide risk.

3.6 Phase VI: The Up and Out Shift
In response to a severe life stress, often involving separation,
primary emotional energy is depleted almost completely from the Heart Center as
it is directed upward and “compressed” into the head region during a panic anxiety
Symptom formation
3.6.1 Pseudo-psychotic episodes
Activated by the energy, an information processing over load stress
occurs, which creates intolerable subjective experiences of tension, obsessive,
circular and redundant thinking.
Since the borderline does not have the healing strategy of returning
energy to the Heart Center, there may be one further last-ditch attempt to push the
energy upward, as a response to the intense stress.
With no other directional options, the energy is expelled upward
and “outward,” away from the “self,” producing an energy under load stress which
creates the additional feeling of void in the head region, resulting in the feeling of
non-being and unreality. Temporary fugue states may occur, in there are short-
term memory lapses, and short-term hospitalization may be required.


Initial Considerations

The borderline personality syndrome is the clinical manifestation of an

abandoned Heart. An abandoned Heart is the chronic phase of a broken Heart. A broken
Heart is the disintegration of the energy matrix or subsystem known as the Fourth
Chakra, or Heart Center.
Puzzling in its complexity, the borderline syndrome is often viewed as presenting
special challenges to both the individual and the therapist. Because of the inherent change
and flux of the symptoms which may produce a sense of hopelessness and fear of
abandonment, the recovery process has been viewed as a therapeutic mine-field for
patient and therapist, both of whom can experience frustration and despair.
The model of the borderline personality as an abandoned Heart, derived from
clinical experience, suggests hope. In this section we will outline the basic principles of

recovery. Derivations of the model, they are straightforward, and essentially simple to
understand and implement.
The emphasis, in therapeutic terms, is always on the basic principles underlying
the development of this disorder, rather than on the symptoms. The symptoms, however,
are useful therapeutically, for they signpost the underlying energy dynamics, and their
disappearance in the course of therapy will be viewed as great cause for hope, something
the borderline desperately needs. Further, knowing the symptom constellations, and how
they interact, can be used sensitively and caringly by the therapist to communicate
empathic understanding of the client’s disorder, and thereby engender the trust so
necessary for successful recovery. The client is hopelessly confused by the internal
disorder they subjectively experience. The therapist need not be.

4.1 The Basic Principles

The basic principle, for both understanding the disorder, and implementing

therapeutic processes and techniques, is the “Law of Awareness,” discussed earlier under

the section on Basic Assumptions.

Principle 4.1.1
A cognitive map of the disorder, including predisposition, development, and
energy-symptom dynamics, has proven useful to clients. This should follow an
intense period of exploring the unique subjective experience of the client.
Because of the natural creative intelligence of the borderline, they often can take
this information and make it work for them at a conscious level, reversing the
unconscious decision they earlier made to abandon their own Heart.
Principle 4.1.2
In therapeutic use of the model, the therapist should feel free to continue using all
the therapeutic skills acquired through training and experience. Nothing about this
model implies discarding the old for the new.
Principle 4.1.3
The overriding purpose of therapy is to return primary emotional energy to its
home, the Heart Center or Fourth Chakra.

Principle 4.1.4
The only guideline for the implementation of any therapeutic skill, process or
technique should be the question: Does this action help return primary emotional
energy to the individual’s Heart Center?

Principle 4.1.5
Primary emotional energy follows awareness. To return this energy to its home,
one first returns awareness to the Heart Center. Concentrated, focused awareness
on the Heart Center will transform an emotion, or emotional state (e.g., anger,
guilt, sadness, anxiety, depression, and sexuality) into the subjective experience of
warmth, peace, contentment, fullness, and desire for love-giving.

4.2 Techniques

The techniques for recovery described below involve a reversal of the original

decisions and energy dynamics that led up to and perpetuated the borderline disorder.

Once this principle is understood, the therapist to suit the individual needs and

circumstances of the client can invent new techniques.

Technique 4.2.1: Resolving Anger

Anger is a product of projection. It is an attempt to place responsibility for an

unwanted state or condition in one’s life onto someone else. It is an attempt to reduce the

internal tension of misdirected primary emotional energy by expelling it, and projecting it

outward onto someone else, rather than to return the energy to its original home, the locus

of the Heart Center, which resides within oneself.

Alone, or with someone you trust, lie or sit down in a comfortable position.
Become aware of the anger, in all its intensity, with all the accompanying thoughts.
Become aware, but do not express your awareness verbally.
Next, “move” your awareness to the region of your Heart Center. This may
involve a spatial reorientation, bringing thoughts and imagery from outside of
yourself, back to your body’s centerline, and then downward to the Heart Center.
At first, there may be experienced a burning sensation in the throat or lungs,
and a strong desire to run, mentally, emotionally, or physically, from this
experience by shifting awareness.
However, by maintaining awareness of the anger at the location of the Heart

Center, within a short period (20-40 minutes) the burning will change to warmth,
and the Heart Center will be experienced as calm, strong, and full. This indicates
that the natural transformation of the emotion into primary emotional energy has
occurred. This can be repeated during each occurrence of anger, but each
successful attempt will reduce the total amount of anger, acquired during your life
time, until it is eventually eliminated, and replaced by compassion and a desire for

Technique 4.2.2: Dealing with depression

Depression results from denial of awareness of an unacceptable feeling. The

denial encapsulates the energy of the emotion by removing awareness from it. The energy

in therefore deactivated, and is temporarily unavailable for use, either for self-expression

or work.

Therapeutic paradox can be useful here. For example, “We accept your

depression. It is useful to you now, and you do not need to change. Therefore, we would

encourage you to be as depressed as you need to be. However, as you allow the

depression, become aware of it. Become aware of all the body states that accompany your

depression. Then, express to the fullest possible extent your awareness of the many body

states as they arise.”

At the point the client becomes aware of the unacceptable emotion (e.g., anger,

guilt) hidden within the depression, follow Technique 1 (Resolving Anger).

Technique 4.2.3: Pain, Emptiness and Void

Pain in the Heart Center is a signal that primary emotional energy has been

withdrawn. However, the borderline is unusually sensate, pleasure seeking, and pain

avoiding. Their natural tendency is to avoid pain. This is attempted by the strategy of

removing awareness. However, the result is the perpetuation of the pain. Pain is seen as

the natural “enemy” of the borderline.

This view can be reversed. Pain now can become the “friend,” since pain can now

tell the individual exactly where primary emotional energy is needed for recovery.

Therefore, when the pain of emptiness occurs, it can be used as the locus for

awareness. As awareness is maintained, the natural transformation will occur. The pain

will become warmth, strength, peace, contentment, the experience of fullness as the

primary emotional energy returns.


Initial Summary and Conclusions

5.1 Summary
The borderline personality disorder, recognized only recently by the American

Psychiatric Association as a discrete and diagnosable syndrome, is gaining clinical and

public attention. Increasing numbers of cases are being seen in both private and publicly

funded mental health clinics, suggesting we may be on the verge of a psycho-social

phenomenon approaching epidemic proportions.

It has been hypothesized, for example, that Vietnam veterans who have

experienced extreme difficulty adapting upon their return may include relatively large

numbers of borderline personalities. This is suggested by their susceptibility to

abandonment depression, low frustration tolerance, explosive anger and high suicide risk,

among other features. John Hinkley, the man who attempted to assassinate President

Reagan, fits many of the borderline criteria. However, there are many others in our

society, with less extreme public visibility, who suffer the constantly shifting emotional

anguish, relationship difficulties, and interrupted or delayed career patterns also

associated with the disorder.

Historically considered difficult to differentially diagnose due to its cyclical and

elusive characteristics, having both neurotic and pseudo-psychotic qualities with

pathological affective, cognitive, and behavioral-social components, it is confusing and

difficult for the patient to subjectively understand. It breeds hopelessness, despair, and

suicidal tendencies, among other symptoms. It has therefore been a most perplexing and

difficult phenomenon for psychotherapists as well, with treatment times averaging three

years. However, with increasing numbers being seen for therapy, length of treatment has

become a critical issue.

Traditionally, the borderline personality has been considered the primary clinical

domain of psychoanalytically oriented psychiatry. However, borderlines are now being

diagnosed and seen for treatment by psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and

clinical social workers who, although confronted with a patient in crisis and in need of

skilled professional assistance, may not have the orientation, resources or time to provide

a long-term psychoanalytic treatment program. Further, a three year time span in pursuit

of recovery has enormous costs to the patient, both economically and socially.

Confronted with these variables in my own clinical, consulting and supervisory

practice, I began a process, brought into focus through necessity, of reconceptualizing the

borderline disorder. This activity culminated in a paper (attached) which was presented to

the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (1982) and the California Association of

Marriage and Family Therapists (1983), with additional presentations and workshops

scheduled for professional organizations in 1983.

Although still in the early stages of development and refinement, clinical

observations have proven encouraging far beyond expectations. In some cases, recovery

time has been reduced to under three months, thus giving hope for addressing a present

need within both the mental health community and society-at-large.

5.2 Chronic Loss, Energy-Shift Patterns, and the Borderline
The original model was based on the observation that the borderline patient

displayed symptoms strikingly similar to people experiencing the intense pain, grief,

anger, and depression of a “broken heart.” However, rather than reflecting an acute, one-

time loss, the borderline had patterns suggesting their experience of loss had become

chronic. Furthermore, their experience was compounded by an almost constant feeling of

emptiness or void, which they invariably identified as being located in their lower chest

and closely surrounding area.

We began our clinical research with the assumption that, in addition to a bio-

psycho-social being, man is an energy-matrix system, the form of which responds

sensitively to awareness, thought, and choice.

Following this assumption, we explored with patients their subjective perceptions

of being “in love” and “in loss.” Invariably, with these patients, being in a love

relationship stimulated a feeling we called a “fullness of heart,” in which there was a

sense of connection with another, a feeling of expanding beyond the body’s physical

boundary, and a desire to fill or give completely to the loved one.

On the other hand, the experience of loss produced a profound and often

excruciatingly painful disconnection, with a feeling of contracting and becoming empty,

and a compulsive desire therefore to take into their own bodies something, anything,

which would reproduce a feeling of fullness, alleviate the pain and boredom of

emptiness, and recreate the experience of oneness sought for in their love relationships.

Drug, alcohol and eating dependencies are therefore not uncommon secondary features of

the disorder. In sum, our observations suggested that something (e.g., energy) was

“present” in the Heart Center during the love experience, and “absent” in loss.

Formulating these observations into a working hypothesis, we began searching for

means with borderline patients to assist this energy to “return to its natural home,” i.e.,

the Fourth Chakra or Heart Center, even (and particularly) in the absence of a love

relationship which, if viewed as necessary for recovery, would unavoidably perpetuate

the defense of projection, well recognized as a cornerstone, along with denial, of the

borderline pathology.

Initially utilizing techniques which emphasized focusing awareness on the locus

of emptiness or pain in the Heart Center, we observed indications of symptom relief and

recovery. Although clinically hypothesized from the model, the speed with which the

patient began to experience recovery was surprising. Clinically we proceeded on the

following assumptions: (1) the pain and emptiness resulted from a void or breakdown in

the underlying energy-matrix system, (2) the energy-matrix system responds sensitively

to awareness, thought and choice, (3) returning awareness to the locus of pain produces a

return of primary emotional energy to that location, and (4) it is possible to eventually

anchor this energy by maintaining the new locus of awareness for a sufficient period of

time so that it no longer shifts erratically, thereby eliminating the cyclical, fluctuating

pain-avoidant patterns of the borderline. Although the exact process remains unknown,

permanence seems to require only that the energy be “anchored,” and the length of

therapy is determined largely by successes (or failures) in this energy stabilization. A

subjective result of this internal process, reported by clients, is the sensation of warmth

and fullness in the Heart Center usually associated with emotional connection in a love

relationship, but now occurring in the absence of such a relationship.

Nevertheless, we also observed that some patients were resistant to the elusive

nature of techniques which depended upon refocusing awareness, making it imperative

that other treatment modalities also be found. In general, we found that those who

experienced the most difficulty with awareness techniques (1) experienced more

emptiness than pain, (2) had not yet broken through major areas of denial, (3) had little

experience differentiating between thought and awareness (e.g., had not previously

engaged in meditation) and (5) had a greater tendency to view the therapist as an expert

to whom they could look for solving their emotional and behavioral dilemmas.

5.3 Conclusions
The borderline personality syndrome is a composite disorder initiated by

constitutional, predispositional and developmental factors involving a dynamic cyclical

shift of primary emotional energy away from the Heart Center or Fourth Chakra. As the

energy moves away from the Heart Center, it accumulates in other energy centers and/or

body parts of the individual, producing several discrete sets of symptoms, which

correspond to the following processes:

5.1 Energy underload symptoms

Energy underload symptoms, which result from energy shifting away from

the Heart Center (e.g., emptiness, pain, anxiety, boredom, depression);

5.2 Energy overload symptoms

Energy overload symptoms, which result from the energy shift

accumulating inappropriately and excessively in other energy centers and/or body

parts (e.g., tension along vertical midline, communicative disorders, sexual

pathologies, panic states, and explosive anger);

5.3 Information underload symptoms

Information underload symptoms, which result from withdrawal of

awareness from self and/or one’s life situation, including social contact (e.g.,

interrupted career patterns, lack of reality testing, delayed emotional development

and unrealistic appraisal of self);

5.4 Combined information overload/energy underload symptoms

Combined information overload/energy underload symptoms, which result

from panic response to intense life stress, such as separation (e.g., obsessive,

repetitive and circular thinking, with an attempt to forcefully expel excess energy

from the head region, producing a thought disorder and psuedo-psychotic

episodes); and

5.5 Behavioral changes

5.5.1 Behavioral changes producing relationship difficulties and occasional

social pathology, which serve to both trigger and perpetuate the disorder.

5.5.2 Puzzling and confusing to both the borderline and therapist due to the

intensity, complexity, and cyclical nature of the disorder, the individual

nevertheless is not without hope.

5.5.3 Recovery can come swiftly once the basic principle of therapy is

understood and implemented. The abandoned Heart of the borderline can be

returned to the wholeness and fullness of its natural state by following the Law of

Awareness: Reawaken awareness of the Heart Center, thereby allowing one’s

primary emotional energy to return to its natural home, producing peace, strength,

contentment, and a desire for giving of self.

The successful outcome of the recovery process is a spiritual transformation, in which

one can finally say:

I Am
Within love
With you.

Onset and Breakdown:
Setting the Stage for Recovery

From onset to complete recovery, the borderline syndrome may be

viewed as occurring in seven stages, the progression of which moves through

several overriding phases, including onset, breakdown, crisis, recovery, and a

psycho-spiritual transformation. These seven stages are:

Onset and 1. The Broken Heart

Breakdown 2. The Abandoned Heart

Crisis and 3. The Awakening Heart

Recovery 4. The Heavy Heart

5. The Strong Heart

Interpersonal and 6. The Full Heart

Spiritual 7. The Light Heart


The Seven Stages of Onset and Recovery

6.1 Onset and Breakdown

The constitutional, developmental and psychological factors,

which, when occurring together and in sequence, comprise the borderline

personality syndrome, have been described in detail above. However, we shall

again summarize the essential elements here, hoping it will contribute to a

perspective of the disorder, from its onset to full recovery in its entirety.

Although the description of onset and breakdown is bleak, and the borderline’s

subjective experience filled with pain, turmoil and emotional anguish, the

essential message here is hope. Based on clinical observation to date, full

recovery is not only possible but can occur swiftly, changing a person’s life not

only in ways unforeseen, but (and I admit to editorial license here) awe-inspiring.

The transformations I have been privileged to observe have touched me, as deeply

as if they were my own.

6.1.1 Stage I: The Broken Heart

The essence of the borderline pathology is a broken heart. Most of us have

experienced an intense emotional loss, and with it the pain that we are often able

to locate in a particular area of our body, usually our chest or upper abdomen. The

pain may be so intense that we feel genuine concern for our physical and

emotional wellbeing. Physical symptoms may ensue, motivating us to seek

medical attention.

What we may not yet recognize is that a broken heart, far from being simply

another metaphor, is a valid subjective phenomenon. The pain and emptiness are

real, because something has been torn from us. Whereas before something was

present that provided a feeling of fullness and well being, that “something” is

now absent. There is, in a literal sense, a hole in our middle. It is, if we are to

judge from our reaction to it, an invisible gaping ugly wound.

Although first occurring during infancy, and continuing periodically

throughout their lives until the final crisis which brings them to therapy, the

broken heart of the borderline patient is the same experienced by all who have

known catastrophic emotional loss. There is only one major difference. The

borderline has known this loss not once, but literally hundreds of times.

During the initial phases of treatment, it can be especially meaningful to the

patient if they sense the therapist has an intuitive and sympathetic understanding

of the subjective emotional significance of a broken heart. It is helpful for the

therapist to know their own emotional pain in this way. And it is useful to be

sympathetic to that special insanity that can follow loss: The grieving process,

profound depression, frustration and futility leading to rage, to helplessness in the

face of overwhelming emotional adversity, the undermining of self-worth from

nameless guilt, and hopelessness leading to suicidal ideation or action. It is

helpful for the therapist to intuitively know this, and more, for these comprise the

foundation of the borderline’s subjective experience and existential dilemma.

Often, however, the borderline’s walk through life is not met with empathy,

much less sympathy. They are in actuality quite disabled for lengthy periods in

their life, but appear to others to be very much the master of their own fate.

Expectations from others are often high, yet their own competencies, particularly

interpersonal ones, may be severely underdeveloped. Later in life, career patterns

may falter for these underlying, unseen reasons, thus leading to greater frustration

and eventual explosive rage.

The pain of a broken heart leads to symptoms interpreted as physical. These

may range from appetite loss to nausea, from irregular heartbeat to symptoms

mimicking angina. Physical pain in other body parts is not uncommon. Although

medical attention is often sought, there usually is no basis for diagnosis.

Disenchanted and unconvinced, the borderline may drift from physician to

physician until a mental health referral is finally made. The psychotherapist who

can assess within the first session or so the presence of a borderline syndrome,

and then work immediately toward uncovering the multiple experiences of loss by

encouraging them to tell their life’s story, will often be rewarded by the

statement, “This is the first time I have ever felt understood.” Although payment

for therapy is always appreciated, it will never replace the feeling one receives

from a borderline’s gratitude.

For most of us, our first broken heart does not occur until adolescence, or later,

when we have a strong, usually sexually energized connection with another

person. Not so with the borderline patient, who through predisposition,

constitutional factors and family history, has lived through that experience

multiple times, usually hundreds if not literally thousands, since infancy.

6.1.2 Stage II: The Abandoned Heart

The child who is constitutionally prone to the pain of a broken heart is in

greater than usual need of consistent, stable emotional nurturing from a parent

well-grounded and secure in their own sense of self, and whose primary

fulfillment comes from resources not directly tied to the child. The nurturing

principle of empathic non-possessive, emotionally warm caring, provided by a

mother capable of emotional and non-erotic intimacy while encouraging

independence applies to this situation.

So, imagine the child in vital need of this nurturing. Yet also imagine that each

time the child comes to the parent to fulfill this need, the parent is unable to

respond. The parent has an “empty heart,” unable to connect emotionally with the

child. For the child, the parent may be physically there. But emotionally, no one

is home. For the child, seeking merely to have their own Heart Center affirmed,

each time they approach the parent without the fulfillment of connection, their

primary emotional energy drifts. It moves away from its center. And each time it

drifts, each time it is not allowed to connect and to stabilize, there is an empty

ache. At first the ache may be but a gnawing hunger. But each time it becomes

stronger, more and more a dominant part of awareness, until finally it becomes

pain, the pain we know as a broken heart.

This process, for the borderline-prone child, occurs not once, but again and

again, a thousand times, uncountable times, until the pain reaches intolerable


Drastic measures for self-survival are necessary now, and the child responds.

The acute pain of a broken heart has multiplied once too often: It has become

chronic. And the child responds, attempting to forever remove awareness from

the pain’s locus. However, without recognition of the enormous implications, the

child has abandoned not their pain, but their own Heart. They have abandoned

awareness of their own essence. And thus doing, they have begun a process of

breakdown, which will lead them, step by anguished step, toward the syndrome

we now know as the borderline personality.

The Recovery Process3

The decision to remove awareness from the locus of pain is the unknowing
decision to abandon awareness of one’s own Heart Center. Because, for the borderline-
prone child, primary emotional energy is a dominant aspect of the self, the decision to
remove awareness from their Heart Center is also the decision to abandon their own
The natural state of the pre-borderline child is warmth, caring, and unconditional
love giving, which comes from the experience of a full Heart. However, when empty and
filled with pain, there are few more needy, more dependent, more rageful, or more
potentially harmful to themselves and others in close relationships. Nonetheless, they are
not a sociopath. They respond to misdeeds and harmful action with more than the
ordinary shame and guilt. Indeed it is this underlying guilt, coupled with eventual
hopelessness, which may drive them to acts of self-destruction. They believe desperately
that they have lost their way; and they do not know the way home, for to come home,
home to their own essence, strong and full in Heart, they perceive only a path of pain,
leading to a void. But not until they return full awareness to their own Heart (thereby
allowing primary emotional energy to return to its natural state) will the borderline ever
find fulfillment.
To understand the pathology of the borderline is to understand the dynamics of
this underlying energy shift, the perverting influence of projecting need-fulfillment onto
sources outside oneself, the debilitating consequences of denial, and the cognitive,
affective, behavioral and interpersonal results of these dynamics.
The original paper (1982; Sections 1- 6) dealt in detail with these issues. Now the
intent is to look more closely at the processes and dynamics of recovery which, when
allowed to follow fully their natural course, will lead, we believe, inevitably to a
transformation we might best describe as a spiritual transcendence of self.

This section is based upon a paper presented in 1983 to the Association for Transpersonal Psychology.

A Patient’s Description of Recovery
Subjectively the experience is felt as a mutual, harmonious coexistence of self with all that is, but
which may focus, in the earlier stages at least, on a profound, newly discovered way of viewing self-in-
relation to others. In the words of one patient, who kept a daily journal of the process:

The beauty in the world

is almost more than I can bear
The kindness of people
I cry
What do they see?

I just look into

their eyes-I am aware of
the flame in my

I am understood
I am loved
I am trusted
I am seen

I am so happy
I cry
I’m Real.

I’ve lost my head.

I’ve found my heart!

Welcome home Dawn

I’ve missed you
The sweet you
How ‘ye you been gone

The gentle you.

The loving things you do.

Welcome Home.

7.1 Stage Ill. Crisis: The Awakening Heart

A crisis is a life-event which penetrates our defenses, leaving our core exposed
and vulnerable. A crisis increases our awareness of the core by peeling off the protective
layers and unveiling it from the outside-in. A crisis presents us with a critical choice,
often perceived as a dilemma, between two basic, limited alternatives: Either we choose
to risk expressing our core experience, thereby opening our self to a sense of threat, but
with a possibility for growth; or, we choose the old defenses, with their seductive illusion
of security. This latter alternative can result in thickening the facade, thereby delaying
growth, or worse, making future growth more difficult.
The true core of the borderline is one’s own Heart. The primary defense is
projection, which is the process of attributing an internal state to something or someone
outside oneself. The facade is that protective armor which has prevented awareness of the
true self. The crisis may be any event--a death, the dissolution of a marriage, a faltering
career. But whatever the source, it signals the death of illusion. And therein lies the crisis-
-the hopelessness--and the hope.
Before the borderline can begin the recovery process, they must experience
personal crisis, a crisis of the self. It is the crisis that may bring them to therapy; but not
necessarily so. They have experienced many crises in their life, but each time they have
chosen the path that leads them further and further away from their true self, the ultimate
course of which is suicide.
But in the crisis that brings them to therapy, they have had a glimpse of their core,
and in so seeing they have made a tentative decision to take another path, yet not fully
aware of what this means. There is something inside which seems to say, “There’s got to
be a better way.” And just as ominous as the other is positive, “I’ll give it one more try; if
this doesn’t work, I may as well die.”
For both the patient and therapist, the crisis is a double edged sword. The
existential and psychological crisis provides the motivation and energy for change, and
can (indeed must) be utilized immediately for therapeutic work. There is little time for
prolonged assessment and evaluation procedures disconnected from therapeutic

involvement. And while there is the energy pushing for change, there is another part
waiting for a reason to withdraw and fail.
The crisis is a place of pain and depression for which no escape is seen. The old
ways do not work now, for the crisis was precipitated by the death of an illusion that
functioned to sustain them for awhile.
But beware progress. For in it also lies the seed of hopelessness and despair.
Once they begin to feel the reduction of pain and tension, and the lifting of depression,
they may easily choose again the path of illusion, not uncommonly seen this time in
transference issues. And further, if the therapy falters, it may precipitate a withdrawing or
self-destructive course of events, which may not easily be reversed.
Nevertheless, assuming the best, the crisis is both powerful and necessary. And it
is productive, for its essence is the reversal of projection. The borderline has been thrust,
unwillingly, back upon their self, and must now learn the strength of their own support. It
is this need that can ultimately bring them home, home again to their own Heart. This,
always, is the ultimate goal.

7.2 Stage IV. The Heavy Heart

Whereas the previous stage of crisis precipitated, and hopefully sustained, the
reversal of projection, the Heavy Heart signals the breakthrough of denial.
Once these two processes have begun, a new degree of awareness begins to flood
the consciousness. No longer does the borderline see their self, their life, or their
relationships in the same way. They are now unable to utilize the same defenses against
the pain of abandonment, nor ignore the true anxiety of coming to depend upon
themselves. Gradually, more and more illusions about themselves and others begin to die.
The emptiness, the hollowness, the pain experienced as they abandoned their own
Heart are gradually replaced by clearer and more frequent glimpses of their true essence.
Yet as their illusions of self and others begin to fade, being no longer tenable and
therefore less useful, they enter a period of true grieving and recognition of loss.
It is during this period that a “heaviness” is experienced in the Heart Center, as
primary emotional energy begins to return. It is accompanied by the sadness and
depression of genuine grieving, but without the same sense of hopelessness that

contributed to the anguish experienced prior to the initiation of the recovery process.
While they recognize they are now headed home, they intuitively know the road may be
long ahead of them.
It is important to recognize that this heaviness is not the leaden slowness of
feeling, thought and action characteristic of clinical depression. In fact, there can be a
certain lightness and buoyancy in this stage.
However, there now can be periods of true terror. The path to recovery is
becoming clearer; but with it comes the recognition that, to be ultimately successful, one
must eventually surrender completely to the Heart, a feeling akin to the beginning
parachutist who, once airborne for the first time, realizes that to reach the ground they
must eventually jump. There must eventually come a moment which is truly a leap of
faith. And the terror of that moment for the borderline must never be underestimated.
During these times, gentle are the ways of successful psychotherapy.

7.3 Stage V. The Strong Heart

As awareness of their true center increases, and recognition of their own power
dawns upon them, primary emotional energy continues to return and stabilize. No longer
do they experience a capricious shifting and vacillation; and no longer do they feel the
need for dependence upon another’s energy or support for their survival.
They begin, now, to grasp, perhaps for the first time, who they really are, to come
to terms with the individualistic nature of their own being, and may reassess their values,
priorities, choices, goals, and relationships. They become, tentatively at first, but later
with greater strength of will, “self” centered in a way that provides the final thrust
“away” from unhealthy dependency relationships and “toward” competency and self-
It is during the initial phases of this necessary stage of the recovery process that
others may regard them, with no small dismay, as selfish, ungrateful, and uncaring, as
they separate and individuate, often creating the stimulus for another person’s own
abandonment depression. It is during this period that family therapy may be helpful or

This period may be experienced as a time of great testing, as they see the anguish
precipitated in their personal relationships. Although periods of uncertainty and
vacillation may again produce the illusion of their own weakness, there comes an
increasing recognition that there is no real option to return. Leaden heaviness is being
transformed to tensile strength.
The Strong Heart is the stage during which primary emotional energy reconnects
and stabilizes in the Heart Center. The energy, once utilized almost exclusively for
defending against the pain, emptiness, anxiety, anger and depression associated with
abandonment, is neutralized upon returning to its true home, being now available for
fulfilling one’s purpose, meaning, or function in this existence. The primary experience is
that of freedom, coming as it does from the recognition of one’s strength, for
individualistic self-expression.
This stage is usually considered the successful end of orthodox psychotherapy.

Interpersonal and Spiritual Transformation

Where traditional psychotherapy ends, a process of transformation begins, for the

journey of the recovered borderline is not yet complete. They have progressed from the
point of a Broken Heart, the endless anguish of their Abandoned Heart, through the crisis
of their Awakening Heart, they have been drawn now beyond into the Heavy Heart, and
have discovered self-reliance in their Strong Heart.
They may stop here, if they choose. But once they begin to sense internally the
recovery process, they may decide to make the commitment to continue. There now is a
certain peacefulness, a gentle sweetness in their strength, which calls them onward
toward an unknown end. Once they surrender to this inward calling, there is no turning
7.4 Stage VI. The Full Heart
Primary emotional energy, once having returned to its home, begins to undergo a
natural transformation. Thus neutralized and freed from the bondage of specific
emotions, it begins to fill the Heart Center completely. No longer are there subjective
sensations of emptiness. No longer is there a need to take. Only felt is a need to give. At

times the awareness of love becomes an ache so strong it feels unbearable, stretching,
pushing out, beyond the body’s boundary, a pregnant fullness yearning, unseen labor
preparing for its birth.
Primary emotional energy knows no boundaries. Directed by the single desire to
give, it bursts forth and flows, performing, without the need for conscious volition, its
only function of connection. It’s only purpose is the extension of wholeness it now
experiences, given now freely to others.
The individual with a full heart begins to sense, and then see, a change
take place in those around them. Often without being able to explain why, people are
drawn to them, sometimes just to sit and talk, at others to fulfill more specific needs. And
in so living, the individual begins to sense more clearly their own unique purpose,
meaning and function. They may change occupations, or relationships, or experience
their fulfillment where they are. Whichever is the case, it seems as if it’s done with ease.
Manipulative patterns quickly fall away, and trust in life replaces tension and anxiety.
They soon become aware that they are different now, transformed sometimes
beyond all recognition, within the context of their relationships.

7.5 Stage VII. The Light Heart

While release from the bondage of specific intense emotion results in the
transformation of relationships, and trust begins to take the place of fear, the need to
manipulate the world and self through thought begins to dissipate.
At first in fleeting moments, then in longer instances, thoughts drop away. Yet far
from experiencing an empty void, one’s space, once occupied with thought, is filled with
momentary flashes of a gentle golden light.
Surprise replaces fear, followed more and more by peaceful joy.
Extension of the self, more and more complete, reaches toward infinity.
Limitations drop away. The recognition now: “I am the Light.”

and the
Recovery Process

Psychotherapy within the context of this model is a mix of the traditional, the
innovative, and the transpersonal. Each is viewed as having its special function within the
whole. Neither one, by itself, is sufficient, I believe, given the recovery goals and
processes outlined above.
Some specific comments regarding psychotherapy are interspersed throughout the
preceding text. However, it may be useful to discuss psychotherapy in terms of some
general principles and procedures applicable to working with borderline patients.

8.1 The Traditional Viewpoint

First, nothing is implied by this model to suggest the need for discarding either
ones knowledge, training, or experience from a traditional, clinical viewpoint. It is only
asked that the therapist be open to the possibility that man, in addition to a bio-psycho-
social being, is also an energy-matrix system capable of responding sensitively to
awareness, thought and choice. It is also useful to assume that this energy, far from being
tightly constrained, has a certain plasticity capable of moving within and extending
beyond the boundaries of the physical body. Beyond that, the model, particularly as
presented in the original paper, should speak for itself.
The question of the model’s validity should rightly be raised. In this regard, it
should be noted the model does not assume the validity of objective, external viewer
confirmation. At this point, it only hopes for a fair degree of internal consistency, or
construct validity, and leaves the idea of content validity open to the reader.
What the model does purport, however, is that for many borderline patients, there
is a certain subjective validity, in that clinical use has demonstrated a high degree of what
we might term “empathic validity. “ This is to say that the earlier version speaks
significantly to the patient’s subjective experience of the disorder. The model should

therefore be considered phenomenological in nature, and any tests of validity should take
this characteristic largely into account.
In terms of actual process, I have found some general procedural guidelines
helpful. These are:

Guideline 8.1.1
Allow the patient, from the start, to tell their story as completely as time allows,
without unduly exploring personal history beyond the major developmental and social
issues of the disorder.

Guideline 8.1.2
Allow opportunities to briefly summarize the patient’s experience, and to help
them become aware that their disorder is not only understandable, but that hope exists. I
have found it useful to encourage expectation of recovery within certain time limits,
leaving room for individual differences. I am beginning to see patients move toward full
recovery within three months. However, follow-up observations are lacking at this time,
so that my optimism remains guarded. I also believe that those patients who respond
immediately to the model should be considered in the high functioning range, and have
relatively few tertiary or third order symptom constellations involving depleted
interpersonal and economic resources.

Guideline 8.1.3
Being aware of transference issues, and to work with them as they arise, is useful
practice. Although I do not encourage transference, I know that it can and does occur, and
must be dealt with appropriately and in a timely manner.
The borderline patient is prone to splitting, and may view the empathic and caring
therapist as a love object. Equally as quickly they can demonize the therapist by
projecting upon him/her the painful feelings associated with recovery, viewing the
therapist as a new source of pain. This shift in perceptions during early phases of therapy
can occur quickly and unexpectedly, not only over time, but in a single session.

Guideline 8.1.4
I have found that therapy is most effective when the patient is made an active
partner in the process. I have found it helpful for them to know where they have been,
where they are now, and where we can expect to go in the future.
I have thus found it useful to share with them the model, both in written form and
verbally. The result has been a cognitive map they can utilize both during therapy and
also beyond. Many patients have reported that they have referred to the written materials
months and years later as a reminder and guide.

8.2 The Transpersonal Viewpoint

The essence of therapy is the return of primary emotional energy, through the
vehicle of awareness, to the patient’s Heart Center.
My observation, not frequently shared with patients, is that my own internal states
and thought/feeling processes are at times coupled synchronistically with theirs, as if an
inductance had taken place between one system (mine) and another (theirs).
This observation has led me to be particularly careful of my own thought and
feeling processes while working with these particularly astute and sensitive patients.
This can work both for and against therapy. However, I have found in general the
more fully I am returning awareness to my own Heart Center during therapy, the more
mutually fulfilling and healing is the therapeutic session and process overall.

8.3 The Innovative Viewpoint

In therapy with borderlines, my own stance is quite eclectic. If it works, use it.
I encourage keeping one principle clearly in mind: The goal is always to return
awareness (eventually at least) to the Heart Center. Whatever helps to accomplish this is
good therapeutic practice.
There is much room for innovation, and creative psychotherapy is often needed.
Individual differences are more the rule than the exception, and we must ever be alert to
respond to an immediate need, take advantage of a strength, or respond sensitively to a
The intuitive approach notwithstanding, following are two innovative techniques

that were developed or utilized in response to an issue of theory, rather than an
individual’s uniqueness.

Technological Advances and Recovery:
Hemispheric Synchronization

(Hemi-Sync) as a Partial Treatment Modality for

Part-Whole Object Relations in the Borderline Pathology

Object-relations theorists have contributed significantly to our understanding of

the borderline personality. Perhaps their most important contribution is the hypothesis,

generated from theory and clinically substantiated, that the borderline has an all-or-

nothing, “all-good” vs. “all-bad” perception of relationships, which can shift back and

forth quickly, dramatically, and destructively. The “all-good” perception is rewarding,

motivated by desire for oneness and, because it often involves infantile sexuality, is

considered regressive. The “all-bad” perception occurs where the relationship is viewed

as incapable of fulfilling the oneness fantasy, is therefore punitive, and elicits a profound

withdrawal response. The relationship is therefore viewed as existing in two “parts,”

rather than as a “whole.” Each “all-good” part-object percept, and each “all-bad” part-

object percept is emotionally charged and volatile. However, there is virtually no affect

“in-between,” a cognitive-affective state that corresponds to the feeling of emptiness and

void in the Heart Center. Object-relations theorists identify this “in-between” state as

abandonment depression. Missing is a recognition that neither of these two percepts are

accurate representations of the actual psychosocial reality of any relationship.

Furthermore, when the borderline is in one of these two states, there is virtual amnesia of

the other part. When the borderline views you one moment as his savior, capable of

fulfilling his oneness fantasy, he does not have a concurrent memory of his anger and

emotional withdrawal a few hours before, and vice versa.

It is this dynamic that contributes significantly to the cyclical, fluctuating quality

of the borderline disorder. It is also the most difficult aspect to manage effectively in

therapy. Several years are thought to normally deal with this dynamic from a

psychoanalytic orientation, the solution of which lies in gradually confronting first the

withdrawal part and then the regressive part, each time dropping the patient existentially

into the reality of their abandonment depression. Gradually, the no-affect state is filled

with an expanded sense of both external reality and self, leading eventually to the

reinforcement of competencies that can be truly supportive of the self.

Because of the treatment time ordinarily involved, and the therapeutic complexity

of transference issues, I felt that a need existed for a conceptually useful and

pragmatically effectual bridge, which could span the void, emptiness and cognitive-

affective amnesic state.

As serendipity would have it, I discovered this possible bridge in the form of a

relatively recent advance (i.e., 1975) in audio technology, discovered and patented by

Robert Monroe (author of Journey’s Out of the Body), through the Monroe Institute of

Applied Sciences.

Basically, the technology, used originally to generate EEG patterns known to

correspond to specific altered states of consciousness, consists of listening to “pulses of

sound (which) help create simultaneously an identical wave form in both brain

hemispheres” (adopted from an Institute publication). This process is called Hemi-Sync,

short for hemispheric synchronization. Sound patterns are introduced into both ears

stereophonically, each ear receiving a slightly different audio pattern. Because the sounds

entering into the right and the left ear “cross over in an “X” pattern to be processed by the

opposite hemisphere, and because each audio pattern is slightly different, the two

hemispheres of the brain must act in unison to process the discrepancy. The result is an

internally generated electrical signal, which is some predictable product of the two

slightly different audio inputs.

For example, if you hear a sound measuring 100 (cps) in one ear and another signal of 125 in the
other, the signal your whole brain will “generate” will be 25. It is never an actual sound, but it is
an electrical signal that only can be created by both brain hemispheres acting and working
together. (Institute publication)

Further, Monroe states “If the ‘25’ signal is one that produces a certain type of

consciousness, then the whole brain - both hemispheres - is focused in an identical state

of awareness at the same time.” The process has been applied to sleep disturbances,

stress-tension reduction, control of pain, accelerated learning, and rapid psychotherapy,

among other uses.

I had been utilizing a Hemi-Sync tape personally for some time for personal

reasons. It was during one of these 30 minute sessions that I began to wonder if the part-

whole object-relations split, which is a component of the borderline differential

diagnosis, was at least partially a function of asynchronistic left-hemisphere / right-

hemisphere information processing. It is a neurological / anatomical pathology in which

normal pathways, perhaps involving the corpus collosum, were either inhibited or un-

connected developmentally. If so, then appropriate Hemi-Sync sound patterns might be

useful in assisting the borderline patient to overcome one of the most difficult and

insidious aspects of the disorder.

Tentatively, with the utilization of a Hemi-Sync tape 4 , I began to apply this

hypothesis in therapy. Clinical observations at this time, with a limited number of

patients, have been hopeful and in some instance dramatic. In conjunction with normal

psychotherapeutic procedures, in addition to cognitive mapping of the disorder utilizing

written materials, the actual recovery process has begun within the first three sessions.

One such instance is a 33-year-old female patient, with a severe history of the disorder

since age 13, including several suicide attempts and history as a psychiatric inpatient,
The tape utilized for this procedure is termed “Concentration,” and was chosen because it has minimal verbal commands
that might prove distracting, or might otherwise complicate the results.

multiple marriages and inconsistent career patterns. To date, there have been 20 sessions,

two to three times a week. Symptoms have significantly diminished, including pain from

five spinal disk operations. She has moved steadily through six of the seven hypothesized

stages, with some indications of movement into Stage VII.

Although the model predicted the stages of recovery and transformation, it did not

predict the speed of her process. Present indications suggest that full recovery and

termination will be possible within three months of the crisis that originally brought her

to therapy.

Altered States of Consciousness
and Recovery

10.1 The Constricted Self and Expanded Awareness

An important part of the borderline disorder is a severely limited or constricted

sense of self. We might symbolically conceptualize this self as a “doughnut” of two

concentric spaces, one smaller circle inside a much larger one. The small inner circle

contains the borderline’s “self” which is composed of very few good self-aspects. The

outer, much larger circle contains all the goodness that he seeks, but which exists outside

the self.

The outer circle is in essence the process of projection, i.e., a fantasy of the

people existing “out there” who have the resources and capability to provide him with

both good feelings and security.

The inner circle is in essence the process of denial, in which the true nature of the

self has been hidden from awareness. An important part of the recovery process is to

assist the patient expand the inner circle. The larger the inner circle, the less projection is

required for the patient to maintain equilibrium, thus shrinking the outer circle.

Under normal conditions this is a slow and labored process, met with much

resistance if approached directly. There is much invested in the constricted self, for it

serves to justify continued projection, as well as the lack of normal developmental


A recent therapeutic innovation is the Expanded Awareness Exercise. In addition

to the above theoretical position, developed by object-relations theorists, its usage is

based on the “Law of Awareness,” presented in earlier sections of this monograph, which

states that primary emotional energy provides the connection necessary in all

relationships; and further, that this energy responds to awareness. It does not matter

whether the “relationship” connection is with a person, place, or thing. Nor is it

necessarily limited by distance, direction, or intervening structures, which would

ordinarily, block perception.

The exercise, which is presented verbally during a state of physical relaxation,

simply provides the rationale (see below) for a step-by-step extension of awareness, via

the vehicle of imagination – outward, upward, backward and downward in a gradually

expanding sphere of 360 degrees.

Having the patient sit comfortably, I usually begin by directing their attention

forward, on a horizontal plane, following normal lines of sight, and to simply observe

where their own awareness ends or is constrained. Normally they respond by indicating

the boundaries of the room, at an angle no greater than 45o-50o (25o to right and left).

Using this as the departure point, we extend awareness horizontally sideways to

180o. This is comfortable for them, not presenting an unusual situation. Their response

may be a smile: “Oh, of course, I can see 180o“.

Gradually, we begin to “probe” forward, beyond the walls, asking them to

remember or imagine what is beyond. The next step may present some difficulty,

accompanied by anxiety. The direction now is to repeat the process, but this time do it

horizontally behind them. It is not unusual for them to have a “goose bump” sensation, or

to actually express their paranoia about “not wanting to know what’s behind them.” To

counteract this, I direct them to look forward again, remembering what was there, and

then either physically or in imagination slowly turn around so that what was “in front” is

now “in back,” and they can view directly what was behind them. This they accomplish

easily, and often report a “rush” of energy as their horizontal awareness extends to 360o.

Typically, they “have the hang of it” now, and approach the exercise in a playful


Using the same basic procedure, we gradually extend awareness upward (to

create a half sphere) and then “below,” toward their feet and into the earth, and beyond,

out the other side of the earth. The earth’s surface usually provides an understandable

point of resistance, but with gentle coaching is easily overcome.

The final result, from a technical point of view, is an infinite sphere of awareness

extending outward in all directions from their own “center” toward the stars, and beyond.

Subjectively, they report feeling supported by space, at peace, yet uncommonly


Using the analogy that their awareness rides on gentle waves of light, and that this

light is now a gentle gift for all it touches, they begin to experience first a warmth and

then a fullness in their Heart Center. Not uncommonly nor surprisingly, they find, for the

first time, a way of “loving” all that is, without risk to their sense of self.

10.2 Expanded Awareness Exercise

Of all the techniques utilized, the following expanded awareness technique,

which can be read silently by the patient or aloud by the therapist, also produces some of

the most visibly profound and long lasting effects.

There are times when our sense of self becomes constricted, when it may seem there is more
goodness or O.K-ness “out there” (i.e., not-me) than there is “in here” (i.e., me-ness). During these

times we may feel small, or weak, or tense, or depressed, or angry, or abandoned, or not very
competent, or even ugly.

This is a simple and easily performed exercise to counteract these feelings about our self. But
before we describe, and then do, this expanded awareness exercise, let’s discuss what we mean by
“awareness” and “expanded.”

Awareness occurs whenever and wherever we focus our attention. Since we can literally
“place” our attention anywhere we choose, our awareness has no limits--no limits at all. We can
choose to make our attention come in very, very close to us, so that it does not go beyond our own
skin. Then our “self,” at that moment, may seem quite small. Or, ~e can choose to allow our
attention to “move” out and out and out, all the way to the stars, and beyond. Then our sense of
self seems very, very large. It is expanded. Even to infinity. And then something very special can

Before we go on to describe how we can do this, there are some helpful things to know. These
helpful things are what we call “paradoxes.” A paradox is something that may seem contrary to
common sense but is actually true. What we sometimes think is a mystery of life is often a
paradox. An example of a paradox we may already know is “the faster I go, the ‘behinder’ I get.”
In other words, the harder I try (and perhaps the more tense I become), the less able I am to
accomplish what it is I’m trying to do. The opposite of this is what we sometimes call “effortless
effort”-- that when we just let go, and let ourselves “be,” and do whatever it is we’re trying to do
in a relaxed way, then it just comes along; it just happens, so to speak.

This expanded awareness exercise has a paradox or two (actually four). The first paradox has
to do with ‘‘outer’’ versus ‘‘inner’’ awareness. When we try to increase our awareness in an
“outer” way, we will probably use our eyes, or maybe our ears, and try to see a long, long way, or
hear a very faint sound. But soon, when we do this, we discover that we have some very definite
limits (and remember, we were talking about “infinity”). Perhaps our eyes aren’t that good (maybe
we’re near sighted). Or perhaps our eyes are 20/20, but the weather isn’t. Maybe it’s foggy, or
rainy, or smoggy or snowing up a blizzard. Then we’ve got a problem. Our awareness is limited.
Even on a clear day, with our eyes open, we can’t see forever. Remember the horizon? So what
can we do? We can shift from “outer” to “inner” awareness.

So here is the paradox. When our eyes are open, there is just so much we can see. Even on a
clear day. But when we close our eyes, we can shift from “seeing” to what we’ll call ‘‘vision.’’
Vision is infinite and, at first, involves using our imagination. We can “imagine” that we can see
anywhere we want to. Even to the stars. And beyond.

The second paradox is that when we first close our eyes, we think it is dark. But if we wait a
short while, and pay attention, we can begin to see light. (Yes, even in a dark room, at night). This
light starts out as tiny little pinpoints. But the more we pay attention to them, the more they will
grow, or coalesce, so that more and more of our inner vision is filled with this light.

This light is related to awareness. When we let this light grow, even just a little, we can then
imagine that this light is moving, oh so very gently, out beyond us, away from us. And with our
imagination, we can let this light go wherever we want it to. It can go all the way to the stars. And
beyond. It has no limits. It can travel to infinity. (And you know how far that is). Our awareness,
then, if we let it, if we allow it and give it just a little direction, can expand in all directions around
us, going outward, beyond all conceivable limits, in an infinitely expanding sphere - above,
around, behind, and below us.

It is now that something very, very special can happen--if we let it. Whatever we become
aware of, when we use this inner vision, can become a part of us; and we can become a part of it.

When we let this happen, when we allow our awareness to expand, we have actually allowed our
own self to expand. We have, all of a sudden, shifted from feeling small, weak, tense, depressed,
angry, abandoned, or ugly--to feeling infinitely expanded, strong, relaxed, joyful, loving,
supported and very, very beautiful. Can you imagine feeling as beautiful as the Milky Way?

Our awareness, then, and so too our own sense of self, expands -riding gently upon waves of

And now, another paradox. Our awareness, riding as it does upon this light, is always going in
two directions. It is always going out. And it is always coming back. (That’s really nice to know,
just in case we’re afraid of getting lost out there somewhere). But there’s more to it. When it goes
“out” first, then it comes back, bringing with it all we need to know. It also brings back a gentle,
but very powerful energy. We start to feel buoyant, stronger, and more energetic.

But--and here’s the catch--if we try to bring the light and energy to us first, like we felt we
needed it a whole lot, and had to “take it,” it will come to us. But remember it always goes in two
directions; so it goes away from us, too. And if we keep this up, if we continue trying to “take it”
first, before we “give it,” then we can begin to feel less and less energy, until we feel exhausted.
Then we’re not really doing what we started out to do. But don’t worry. If this happens, just stop
for awhile, and then start again, this time sending it out first, and simply allowing it to come back,
bearing its gentle gifts.

The final paradox involves something very important and dear to us. It is awareness of our
“self,” our own Center. This is important to us for several reasons. The most important is balance.
In order for us to be healthy, and effective, and happy, we have to be balanced. Being aware of our
Center gives us this balance.

We also need to know our own individuality. Sometimes we call this being centered. Well, if
we are expanding, even to infinity, what happens to our unique sense of self? Will it get lost “out
there” somewhere? No. Not if we remember a very simple rule. We always start the expanded
awareness exercise from our physical center. This is usually located in that soft spot just below the
sternum (breastbone), but above the stomach. This is our Heart Center. And it is a very special,
very loving, very joyful, and very healing place. The paradox is this: When we start by focusing
our attention there (instead of between our eyes, for example), and then in an ever expanding
sphere -- around, above, behind and below us -- gently allowing our awareness to expand from our
Heart Center, it will always (remember, always) come back to that point. When it returns to our
Heart, it will increase rather than decrease our sense of self, individuality, and centeredness. But--
that sense of self will now include a new sensitivity and caring for others--something we may not
have had before.

And, remember--it is a very gentle, strong, caring, loving, healthy place (and way) to be.


Toward a Psychology of Wholeness
Transformational Stages of Psychospiritual Development

Robert M. Lewis, Ph.D.

Behavioral Science Applications

San Diego, California

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness i

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Lewis, Robert M. Toward a Psychology of Wholeness. San Diego: Behavioral Science Applications,
First Edition, 2007

Copyright © 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
All rights reserved.
No portion of this work may be reproduced by any medium without the express written permission of the author.

Printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Cover Art and Graphics by Robert M. Lewis

Illustrations by Vincenzo G. Adragna and Robert M. Lewis

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness ii

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table of Contents

Preface…………………………………………………………………………………............................. 4
Prologue……………………………………………………………………………….............................. 5
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
The Soul in Space………………………………………………………………………………………... 17
The Soul in Time…………………………………………………………………………………………. 27
Transformational Stages………………………………………………………………………………….. 30
How to Use the TSPD……………………………………………………………………………………. 41
Endnotes……………………………………………………………………………….............................. 44
Epilogue…………………………………………………………………………………………………... 47
Addendum………………………………………………………………………………………………… 48

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness iii

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis

hortly after completing a landmark series of papers presented to the Association for
Transpersonal Psychology titled collectively The Abandoned Heart (1982, 1983,
1984), which described a unique interpretation of the borderline personality
disorder, it became apparent that additional research was needed, along with a theoretical
foundation for the model.

Additional clinical observations were gathered during the course of a private practice in
which both the borderline syndrome and co-dependency issues merged theoretically and
the framework for a formal model was gradually put into place.

In the process of this work it became increasingly likely to this clinician and researcher
that there was much to be gained by hypothesizing an energetic-information processing
structure to the human soul that contained at least seven subsystems, two of which—the
Spiritual Heart Center and the Solar Plexus—were fundamentally involved in both
borderline and co-dependency issues.

This work is the report of that research, which was conducted over an approximately 20
year period, during the course of which were illuminated many surprises not anticipated
when the work first began in 1981.

Throughout this report the reader will notice the occasional use of several simple
mathematical concepts. These are included out of necessity to show the formal structure
and inherent logic of the soul in space and time, but are not needed beyond that to
comprehend the psychosocial and psychospiritual implications of the concepts for every
day life. If one feels uneasy with information conveyed as mathematical symbols, that
portion of the discourse can easily be skipped altogether, or returned to as one feels the
need for a greater understanding of the logic behind the model.

It is with these thoughts that I release the reader to explore the concepts further and,
perhaps, to experience the many surprises—as I once did—that are contained herein.

Robert M. Lewis
March, 2007
San Diego, California


D uring the early war years of the 1940s a young boy sat cross legged in the middle
of an empty road on a hill overlooking Main Street in Julian, California, once a
mining town during the brief gold rush years of Southern California.

The late spring sun shown warmly on his bare back and blue jays chattered endlessly in
the live oaks above his head. They were interrupted only by the echoing rat-a-tat-tat of a
lone red headed woodpecker drilling holes in a nearby pine tree that served as a vault for
its annual stash of acorns.

Wafting lazily from the road was the warm acrid—but to him delectable—aroma of fresh
asphalt and road tar laid down earlier that day by a county road crew, whom he had
watched with unabashed curiosity and admiration.

There was no place the boy would rather be. His family was at work or school and it was
here he came to be alone with his thoughts as he stared aimlessly across the short valley
and toward the hills rising 4500 feet above sea level to the west.

Having taken his daily ration of the natural beauty around him the boy leaned back and
looked skyward into the pure azure atmosphere that beckoned above the Cuyamaca
Mountains and which drew his thoughts, ever expanding like helium in a blue party

Soon he was thinking, not about the sky, which itself filled his heart with joy, but the
inscrutable realms that surely lay beyond, where the night time stars twinkled with the
secrets of their enigmatic mysteries. How far did the sky go, he wondered? What lay
beyond the stars and where did the sky end, and if it did how could that possibly be—a
brain numbing thought that introduced the ideas of infinite impossibilities. He wondered
where it all ended but more. He yearned to know how it all began and his young heart
ached to know the answers. It was here, on this sunlit hill, that his first thoughts of
creation were born, forming preverbal images he could not possibly articulate.

And hence began a life’s journey, unable to rest until the seeds of thought sewn that day
sprouted into coherent form that finally made sense to him.

This work is the summary of that journey, which along the way became an insatiable
thirst for understanding—not the exquisite mysteries of the physical universe—but rather
the sublime secrets of the human soul.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 5

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis

s proposed in this work, the term “wholeness” is a hypothesized state of being
available to every human from the moment of birth to the moment of physical
death—and beyond. The state of wholeness exists independently of the
biological, psychological or social condition that any human being finds itself at any time
during its developmental history. This state of being is our birthright, but normally exists
beyond the reach of our awareness until such time that we determine, through our own
decision making process, to become aware of this state and to make it a living part of our
own reality.

It is hypothesized that we were created from a state of original wholeness, present at the
moment of creation, and in fact are intended to be whole. However, we labor under a
burden that consistently and effectively draws our attention away from this awareness:
we were born into this world as biological-psychological-social organisms. The very
nature of our bio-psycho-socio self filters and distorts our awareness of wholeness and
redirects our attention toward the temporary world of duality and separation, which is the
antithesis of the original state. Each time we learn a word for a new and exciting object
in this world, for example, we learn to separate it from all others. Each time we see the
boundary state, or the form, of another human and learn their name, we have separated
that person from all others. Each time we learn the name or visit a street, a city or a
nation, we have learned to separate that piece of geography from all others. And hence,
the original state of wholeness from which we were created, and of which we were
intended to be aware, recedes further and further from our awareness and our thoughts.
From birth, the very nature of our sensory and cognitive processes impels us into the
world of perceived separation.

Of course we can effectively argue that our sensory and cognitive discrimination of
object groups into their respective parts is necessary in this world and essential for our
survival. It would likely be disastrous to walk down the wrong street and into the wrong
house and give the wrong person a kiss! We need the art of sensory differentiation and
cognitive discrimination.

Our educational system is predicated on this view, and in fact the student with a doctorate
has, in all likelihood, learned more object and process names and functions than one who
has simply finished high school. We cannot possibly argue that this learning is
dysfunctional or that we should not pursue it with all vigor. Nevertheless, there is a cost.
There is a price to pay for our education that goes beyond school tuition. Wholeness is
our birthright, but a belief in separation, no matter how well intentioned initially, leads us
further and further away from that which gives us peace.

How, then, can we reconcile these two disparate views of our essential nature? The
answer lies in the very nature of original wholeness itself.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 6

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Back Engineering Wholeness: The Nature of Original Creation

Here we will insert another of several basic assumptions. They are assumptions because
we cannot present a credible proof. Neither can we proceed without them. They are
presented to acquaint the reader with an understanding of the author’s starting point, at
least from the viewpoint necessary to establish this as a dynamic model, which is
preliminary to creating a working theory capable of developing testable hypotheses
generated from a coherent set of propositions. In so doing we make it clear that this
information is not presented as fact, but rather as a presumed plausible framework for
understanding other observations about the human condition that otherwise might remain
an enigma.

Let us first begin with the assumption that there was indeed an original state of creation,
one that pre-existed the Big Bang, so familiar to modern cosmology. Following the first
instant of the Big Bang, energetic forces and subatomic particles quickly formed and
coalesced into larger and larger units of energy and matter, leading to the visible universe
of which we are now aware. Of course, the term “quickly” refers to time scales that
range from microseconds to years counted in the billions. During these epical periods,
quarks, electrons, photons, atoms, molecules, galaxies, solar systems and, of course, the
earth, were formed. Energy and matter co-acted to form the visible universe in which we
now reside. Only later did matter and energy co-act further to create bonds and networks
capable of forming and processing organized bits of energy and matter, or information, in
such a way that viable self-directed life as we know it could arise.

Let us presuppose, however, that prior to the Big Bang another state existed. Let us also
presuppose that this state was undifferentiated. It existed without parts of any kind, and
without parts there was no space and consequently there was no time. The fabric of
space-time did not exist as we know it.

Let us further suppose that this state, although not particulate—because particles infer a
space-time fabric—was instead, vibratory. 1 It was vibratory at the energetic level in a
way analogous to the vibrations of air molecules as they are affected by an orchestra.
They are felt and heard but not seen, but are nevertheless interpreted by the listener as a
coherent whole filled with significant information that affects the listener physically and
affectively at many levels. Of course, this analogy breaks down quickly under scrutiny,
because the air molecules are particles, and both the source of the music and the listeners
themselves, as well as the auditorium and its acoustics, are particle and space-time
dependent. Nevertheless, there is something to be gained from the analogy, incomplete
as it may be.

With apology to the physics of string theory, we nevertheless begin to see echoes of this specialty within
these ideas. For a highly technical discussion of some connections between string and information theories,
see: Samir D. Mathur, Ashish Saxena and Yogesh Srivastava, Constructing `hair' for the three charge hole,
in Nuclear Physics B, Vol. 680, pages 415-449. A review of this article can also be found in Ohio State
Research News, March 2004.
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 7
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Let us further assume that this vibratory state was self-organizing. The vibrations
themselves, being without any limits imposed by a space-time continuum, or dependent
upon the physics of a material universe, would, could and did organize into networks
capable of both producing and processing infinite amounts of information. As infinite,
this matter-free information generating and processing suprasystem—the original state of
wholeness—homogenous yet dynamic, co-acted with itself to further create infinite
matrices or probability states in which all conditions of life and choice existed as
possibility. It was only later in this creation scenario, following the coupling of parts and
individual choices, that possibilities became (and become) probabilities.

We will also assume that the vibrations themselves were coherent wave forms capable of
producing and self replicating within the entire matrix to form a holographic infinite
multi-verse. The vibratory patterns, rather than linear, coalesced into geometric
resonance states or quasi-crystalline structures imbedded within a holographic matrix 2 in
which any bit of information in one area of the matrix was also available in all areas, and
the information of the whole was also imbedded naturally in any conceivable portion of
that whole.

Being an infinite information processing suprasystem, original wholeness was self aware.
Being whole and self-aware it had a primal imperative: to create that which was
possibility. In other words, the original imperative of wholeness was to extend itself.

However, being whole, it could only create its likeness. Wholeness could only beget
wholeness. It could not create parts that extended beyond itself. To do so would be to
create a state of separation, an act impossible for wholeness. It therefore was faced with
a creative dilemma. Its imperative was to create, yet physical creation as we know it is
replete with uncountable parts and thus was impossible for original wholeness to create
from its volition alone.

Original wholeness needed a co-creator. It needed to recreate itself, an infinitely

complex stem cell 3 of sorts, with all possible permutations within its core. The “one” of
wholeness needed another “one” of wholeness to complete its creation imperative. Once
this mirror image was created, the remainder of the creative process could ensue.

In this one instant unity became duality. One became two; yet the second wholeness
unavoidably retained all characteristics of the original wholeness. Here the first one plus
the second one became two; still, the two remained one, with all information within one
passing simultaneously between and being present within both.

Thus we are reminded of Fibonacci, the famous Italian mathematician and the number
series that bears his name, which begins with one, with another one added, and then the
one and one make two, and the one plus two make three, and the two plus three make
five, and so on, each previous two numbers summing to create the following number,

A similar viewpoint has been explored in The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, HarperCollins
Publishers, 1991.
Stem cell: an undifferentiated cell from which specialized cells, for example, blood cells, develop.
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 8
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
until we finally arrive at a permutation in which the last number divided by the
immediately previous number creates the transcendental number Phi. Phi is the ratio of 1
: 1.618, which is the Golden Mean, and forms the foundation of what we now often refer
to as Sacred Geometry. It is this geometry that will form the basis of much of the work
that follows.

Table 1
The Fibonacci Number Series Resulting in the Transcendental Number Phi

0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144 233 377 610 987 1597 2584 4181

6765 10,946 17,711 28,657 46,368 75,025 121,393 (196,418) (317,811)....

(…extended to infinity…) 4

Note that in this series, for example,

(317,811) / (196,418) = 1.618(0339887383030068527324379639…), which is the exact value of

Phi carried to as many places as one cares to calculate. The value of Phi is an approximation in
early portions of the number series, but eventually becomes precise at the 28th and 29th
permutations in the series, when counting from 0. From there, it continues to be exact on into
infinity. Also in this series, 1/Phi (.618) and Phi2 (2.618) are similarly created. 5

Table 2
Permutations of the Fibonacci Series, Phi, and Derivations of Phi

28th = A
29th = B
30th = C
31st = D
32nd = E
33rd = F

Derivation of Phi
1. B/A = 1.618 Phi
2. C/A = 2.618 Phi2 Phi + 1
3. A/B = .618 1/Phi Phi – 1
4. √A/B = .786 √1/Phi √Phi – 1
5. A/C = .382 1/ Phi2
6. A/D = .236 1/Phi3
7. A/E = .146 1/Phi4
8. A/F = .090 1/Phi5

For more information on the Fibonacci number series and its relationship to Phi, see:
http://www.halexandria.org/dward093.htm by Dan Sewell Ward, Copyright 2003.
Of all the transcendental numbers in mathematics, Phi is the most unusual. It is the only value, for
example, that when squared retains its original identity, and likewise, when divided into one also retains its
identity. That is, where Phi = 1.618, Phi2 = 2.618; and where 1/Phi = .618.
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 9
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
As will be formalized later, these permutations, singly and in combination, create patterns
that define the geometry of the soul in space along the vertical axis of the human torso.
Thus it is suggested that the Fibonacci number series is a fractal set that corresponds with
processes inherent to original spiritual creation. It is further suggested that, when ordered
or organized by constraints inherent to the series, a coherent sacred geometry is formed
that becomes the structure of the human soul in space and time.

At the very instant of completion, during which the infinite multi-verse became whole
unto itself, the energetic imperative of creation became too powerful for any conceivable
restraint. The Big Bang exploded into the void. Duality overcame the homogeneity of
original wholeness. It thus created the time-space fabric and the conditions necessary for
particles and parts, necessary for physical creation, to manifest in the forms we now
recognize. Yet, the state and condition of original wholeness remained intact.

Back Engineering the Soul: The Extension of Creation and Wholeness

The quintessential nature of wholeness is to extend itself. Having replicated itself as the
first act of extension, thus creating its dual expression, it continued the creation
imperative by creating fractal 6 portions of itself from the fabric of its holographic matrix.
These fractions of wholeness, referred to now as the soul, thus were bequeathed the very
nature of wholeness from which they sprang. The inheritance of the soul is the
wholeness of its creator.

The soul, having been created following the dual expression of wholeness, took on two
essential imperatives. (1) The soul was incapable of leaving the oceanic environment of
its original state, while at the same time (2) being endowed with the capacity to enter into
physical form for the purposes of experiencing the results of dualistic creation. In its
physical form, the soul would exist in a bio-psycho-socio environment that would, by its
nature, pull the soul away from awareness of wholeness and toward the perceived state of
separation and eventual amnesia of that wholeness.

These fractal portions, or souls, were inevitably endowed with seven creator functions, or
subsystems, for the express purpose of: (1) allowing its inheritance of wholeness to be
always available to the soul through awareness; (2) as information processing devices
capable of communicating with the state of original wholeness, even while in a physical
body, thus acting as a transceiver for sending requests and receiving guidance for the
return journey to its original state of wholeness, and (3) a method for the soul to fulfill its
quintessential purpose of co-creation by extending wholeness within the environment in
which it resides.

Fractal: a geometric shape or pattern that can be repeatedly subdivided into parts, each of which is a
smaller copy of the whole. Fractals are used, for example, in computer modeling of natural structures that
do not have simple geometric shapes, such as clouds, mountainous landscapes, and coastlines. A subclass
of Penrose tiles, used to solve a unique problem of geometric repetition in space, uses Phi as the basis for
its solution.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 10

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
From the human perspective, wholeness is perceived as 1) energetic and creative, capable
of participating in the extension of wholeness, 2) willfully intentional for the purpose of
expanding wholeness, 3) integrative, with a core sense of personal self or being, 4)
compassionate and giving, with the wholeness not only of self but of others the essential
goal, 5) truthful and capable of receiving and giving guidance for extending wholeness,
6) visionary, capable of perceiving the larger wholeness in which the self is imbedded,
and 7) transformational, with the extension of wholeness as its essential and final purpose
of expression at each level of reality in which it resides.

Wholeness is experienced personally as internal peace, equanimity 7 , harmonious balance,

fullness and expansiveness, with humor toward the natural vicissitudes of one’s life. It
also functions in the now and the here of life, and is thus associated with what Abraham
Maslow has termed “self actualizing” behaviors. 8

It may, but does not necessarily, translate directly to specific forms of health or personal
wealth. The actual conditions of one’s personal life may differ from the human ideal
belief system because an individual may be using alternative conditions to further an
awareness of wholeness within one’s self or the world at large. A physical disability or a
condition of poverty does not disqualify a soul from being aware of the wholeness that is
its birthright or from offering wholeness to others. The fruit of a soul aware of its
wholeness is an increased sense of wholeness within others with whom that soul comes in
contact, as well as some degree of greater wholeness within the world and environment in
which it resides. A soul aware of its own wholeness and of the wholeness of its original
creation is incapable of withholding that wholeness from any person or aspect of its
environment. It flows naturally from that awareness. The one caveat to this assertion is
the soul’s humanity itself, which may function to attenuate 9 or dampen 10 its own
awareness of wholeness from moment to moment, thus affecting its ability to offer or
extend that wholeness to others.

Subsystems of the Soul

The seven subsystems of the soul are reflections of characteristics contained within its
creator. The functions of these subsystems are:

1 Creative Energy for Wholeness

2 Will for Wholeness
3 Being for Wholeness
4 Giving for Wholeness
5 Truth/Guidance for Wholeness
6 Vision for Wholeness
7 Unfolding of Wholeness

Equanimity: calm temperament; evenness of temper even under stress.
Maslow, Abraham, Toward a Psychology of Being, 3rd Edition, John Wiley and Sons, 1968, 1999.
Attenuate: to reduce the size, strength, or density of something, or to become thinner, weaker, or less
Dampen: to deaden or stifle something, or to become deadened or stifled
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 11
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Subsystem 1: Creative Energy for Wholeness

The first subsystem of the soul provides a source for creative energy that must be first
understood before it can act on behalf of wholeness. In the normal human condition, this
energy is most often experienced as psychosexual and is used to experience sensory and
emotional pleasure. However, it does have additional expressions.

When used for procreation, it is best understood as a means of creating children whose
parents nurture their wholeness, which is a means of further extending wholeness by
proxy within the physical world.

However, this energy can also be used for driving the creative process of the artist, writer,
musician, physician, priest or plumber. All work that is completed for the good or well
being of another has a component of wholeness driven by this energy.

The highest forms of creative energy expression are those that are used to extend
wholeness to others and to the world in which we live. First subsystem energy is the
foundation for all subsequent subsystem functions, which sequentially evolve into higher
and higher forms and processes for the extension of wholeness.

Diminishment at this level serves to diminish the energy available for all levels.
Conservation and focused expression at this level serves to amplify one’s awareness of
personal and original wholeness and extend it to others.

Subsystem 2: Will for Wholeness

Once the soul has a sufficient reservoir of creative energy at its disposal, it is available
for the use of purposeful intent or will. Will or intentioned focus is the power source for
the soul and is available from the second subsystem. It is akin to the difference between
electricity (creative energy) and voltage (will), since a voltage differential is defined as
the ability to perform work.

However, will or intention can be used for the purpose of separation as well as
connection and wholeness. When used for separation, however, it ultimately results in
the collapse of will, to the detriment of the soul, because separation draws down the
energy available at the first subsystem for creative endeavor. When used for wholeness,
it increases creative energy and strengthens the ability of the soul to perform its intended
mission as a co-creator of wholeness.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 12

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Subsystem 3: Being for Wholeness

Being is the function of the third subsystem. It is the integrity of the individuated
personal self. Strong being energy results in a confident sense of self possession, and is
unique to each individual.

Unfortunately, being energy is often mistaken for romantic love and may be mutually
exchanged with a partner for the unconscious purpose of preventing abandonment in the
relationship. The end result of this misuse is a diminished sense of self knowledge and
personal power. These dynamics are discussed in greater detail in a later section of this

Subsystem 4: Giving for Wholeness

Creative energy, will for wholeness and a strong sense of self produce emotions
associated with fullness and overflowing, with a natural desire to offer this intrinsic sense
of wholeness to others. There is no need to take what one needs from others since there
are no perceived needs. This sense of having one’s needs fulfilled results naturally in a
heartfelt desire to offer this fullness as a gift to others. As this occurs at the energetic
levels of the soul there is a sense of being loved and a desire to offer this love, at first to a
selected few and then to greater and greater numbers until, ultimately, the gift of
wholeness is offered without equivocation to all. When offered, the healing of self and
others occurs naturally and spontaneously because it is wholeness that is being offered
and received.

The foundation for this fullness of heart is developed naturally during the early stages of
normal childhood development from parents or parent surrogates who are themselves
whole and therefore overflowing with the desire to offer wholeness to those entrusted
with their care.

When a child has parents who themselves feel incomplete and needy, the child may
experience a paucity of this natural healing and growth enhancing energy. When this
occurs chronically the child will experience this loss as pain. Many children, especially
those particularly sensitive to the sensations or cognitions of loss, may attempt to remove
awareness of the pain itself by disengaging from an awareness of their own Heart Center
with disastrous results. This strategy of removing awareness from one’s own Heart
energy is termed The Abandoned Heart. 11

Lewis, Robert M. The Abandoned Heart: A Dynamic Energy-Shift Model of the Borderline Personality
Disorder. San Diego: Behavioral Science Applications, 1982, 1983, 1984, 2000. Also see:
http://www.borderline-personality.info .

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 13

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Subsystem 5: Truth /Guidance for Wholeness

When the self is experienced naturally as whole and is offering wholeness spontaneously
to others it becomes amenable and receptive to higher truths associated with wholeness. It
can then act as a source of genuine guidance for others who are open to the path of
wholeness. These individuals become the natural teachers and healers of the world.

It is not necessary, however, to be formally ordained into this ministry. There are many
who, in the natural course of their lives, offer this form of guidance to those around them
in inconspicuous, subtle and understated ways that do not bring public attention to their
gift. The life lived quietly in wholeness is itself one form of guidance, uncomplicated by
words or imperatives, as they act as modest models of a transcendent existence.

The ability to offer truth to the world undergoes several developmental stages. During
the first stage the individual becomes increasingly willing to speak their personal truth
without veiled facts or intentions. This form of honesty then allows higher spiritual
truths to become known to the individual and expressed in ways that guide both
themselves and others along the path of wholeness.

The lack of truth telling has a cascading, debilitating effect on the self, soul and
relationships. Heart energy becomes masked and love attenuated; the self as a strong
individualized being becomes weakened; the will for wholeness is dampened; and
creative energy is attenuated, less and less available for endeavors that further the cause
of wholeness.

Subsystem 6: Vision for Wholeness

When in contact with the truth of wholeness, Wholeness reciprocates with images and
directions that assist us see the larger perspective that Wholeness has in store for us and
for those entrusted with our care. This form of vision, however, is not external but rather
internal, and is accessed in our more quiet moments, devoid of frantic egoistic thoughts
about what we think the world “ought” to be.

Subsystem 7: Unfolding of Wholeness

Approximately every eleven years, a time frame coincidental to the periodic phases of the
solar cycle, the preceding developmental work of the soul is integrated prior to the next
essential stage and phases of psychospiritual development.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 14

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 3

Summary of Basic Assumptions

Assumption Description
1. Man is more than a physical body. Man has an underlying matrix or
energy/information processing system with a functional and discernable

2. This matrix is an independent system that may co-act with but is not
ultimately dependent upon the bio-neurological structure or function of the
efferent-afferent sensory systems, the central and peripheral nervous systems
or the motor system for its organizational and functional integrity.

3. This energy/information processing system has at least seven subsystems that,

like subsystems of the physical body, co-act to form a whole that is greater
than the sum of its collective parts.

4. Each of the energy/information processing subsystems in the adult human is

organized spatially along the vertical midline of the torso, beginning at or near
the base of the spine and ascending upward to the top of the head.

5. Each of the seven subsystems has a predictable spatial organization within the
human body. They co-act with each other spatially (in space) and temporally
(in time) in a predictable manner.

6. This organization is based on the simple mathematics of Phi, or The Golden

Mean. Phi is a transcendental number, or ratio, that equals 1:1.618. As a
ratio, it produces patterns often seen in nature, such as the spiral of the
Chambered Nautilus and the seed arrangements of the Sunflower.

7. The natural patterns imposed by Phi are seen in Pythagorean and Platonic
geometry and have been replicated in the religious art and architecture of the
Renaissance and the mathematical intricacies of the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Phi as a mathematical function is imbedded in what we sometimes refer to as
Sacred Geometry. It is viewed as the quintessence of balance and harmony.

8. The natural functions of the energy-matrix subsystems, in addition to their

spatial orientation, also co-act and unfold over time throughout the course of a
person’s development.

9. This temporal unfolding or development of the subsystems is also a function

of Phi.

10. The natural unit of temporal development or evolution of the energy-matrix

subsystems during the human life time is hypothesized here as the so-called
“Phi-Year,” which equals 1.618 years or approximately 591 days.

11. When seen in its entirety, this temporal development or unfolding of

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 15

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
subsystem functions over time closely approximates what we know of the
normal healthy human developmental cycles discussed in classical social
psychology and psychiatry.

12. This developmental sequence of the energy-matrix subsystems over time is

referred to here as the Transformational Stages of Psychospiritual
Development, or simply TSPD.

13. The ultimate function of the transformational stages is to return the soul
inexorably to an awareness of its wholeness and to its relationship to original
spiritual creation.

14. These transformational processes are negentropic, that is, they co-act to move
the psychological self and the soul away from chaos and towards unified
balance, harmony and an awareness of spiritual wholeness.

15. The soul is defined herein as a self-aware energy-information processing

matrix comprised of seven subsystems with discrete definable properties that
co-act with but are not dependent upon the bio-psycho-social self ordinarily
defined as human. The soul, as defined here, acts as a mediator of awareness
between the human self and its original state of spiritual creation and ultimate

16. This awareness of one’s relationship to the creative source occurs when
certain conditions exist in the functional processes of the subsystems and
results in states of psychological wholeness and, ultimately, spiritual

17. However, when the functions of these natural processes are distorted and an
awareness of one’s original spiritual creation is obscured, there occur
predictable processes of psychological, behavioral and personality
malfunction and psychopathology.
18. Distortions of the natural state of psychospiritual transformation are entropic,
that is, they inexorably move the psychological and spiritual self towards
imbalance, disharmony and an ultimately chaotic organization of the self.

19. The purpose of this treatise is to develop a unified model of psychospiritual

development, which is predicated upon the primary assumption of an
underlying matrix of spiritual wholeness.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 16

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
The Soul in Space
Spatial Orientation of the Seven Subsystems

T he subsystems of the soul are oriented along the vertical midline axis of the torso,
from the base of the spine to the top of the head.

Table 4

Subsystem Resonate Function Location

Frequency 12
1 4 Creative energy for Base of spine
2 6 Will for wholeness Approximately two inches
below the navel
3 10 Being for wholeness Approximately two inches
above the navel (Solar
4 12 Love / Giving for Beneath the breast bone /
wholeness sternum (Spiritual Heart
5 48 Truth / Guidance for Laryngeal / thyroid level
Wholeness of the neck
6 96 Vision for wholeness Approximate center of
forehead (e.g., pineal
7 960 Unfolding wholeness Top of head
7a Unknown Pattern for wholeness Exact location unknown,
(e.g., spiritual DNA) and may exist in, for
example, an additional
(e.g., fifth) dimension.
May be analogous to
double helix of physical
DNA. Hypothesized to
contain over riding pattern
for soul development.

Observed clairvoyantly to resemble circles with equally divided “petals” or divisions, such as pieces of a pie.
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 17
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 5

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 18

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Functional (Negentropic) and Dysfunctional (Entropic) Processes
Associated with the Seven Subsystems

The foremost criterion for evaluating the successful functioning of any or all of the
subsystems is the degree to which it contributes to a life directed by the goal of
wholeness. A fully functioning subsystem contributes to an awareness of wholeness of
both the self and of those in our immediate environment. Fully functioning subsystems
are negentropic 13 , and thus add to the self-organizing and self-regulating capabilities of
the self-in-relationship to the environment. Dysfunctional subsystems are entropic 14 ,
gradually becoming a disorganizing force within the soul and the life of the individual.

Fully functioning negentropic subsystem processes appear to have an energy flow pattern
opposite of dysfunctional entropic processes. In Table 5, above, these flow patterns are
denoted by the arrows. For example, creative energy for wholeness is increased and
harbored by allowing this energy to come into and accumulate at the level of the first
subsystem. As creative energy increases, much as a voltage differential might in an
electric system, the capacity for will also increases; the sense of self or being becomes
stronger; the strength of the spiritual heart and the capacity for love and giving increase;
truth and guidance for wholeness become an integral part of the well-lived life; the
capacity for imaging true wholeness increases; and the developmental sequences
associated with wholeness become strengthened and formalized.

When allowed to dissipate through misuse, however, weakened first subsystem energy
ultimately collapses the will for wholeness, weakens the sense of self or being, weakens
the sense of fullness and healing associated with the Spiritual Heart, undermines the
capacity for knowing truth and offering guidance for wholeness, diminishes ones inherent
vision for true wholeness, and disrupts the unfolding of the ultimate healthy
developmental sequence. These entropic processes contribute to psychological and social
dysfunction, among which are the seeds for personality disorders.

The Golden Mean (Phi) as Geometric Method for Determining the Spatial Location
of the Fourth Energy-Information Processing Subsystem:
The Spiritual Heart Center

The Golden Mean and The Golden Spiral, both based upon the Phi ratio of 1:1.618, lies
at the foundation of all sacred geometries. Although geometry is a favored method of
determining Phi, there are in fact two additional commonly accepted ways. One method
is algebraic, in which the square root of five, plus one, divided by two, equals Phi.
Symbolically, this is seen as (√5 + 1) / 2 = 1.6180338…. Like Pi, there is no end point to
the calculation, but is commonly accepted as simply 1.618.

The term negentropy is the inverse of entropy, and is often used in living systems theory to denote inputs
to an open system that contribute to its increasing complexity and/or self-organizing and self-regulating
Originally used in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy refers to inevitable reductions of
organization within a closed system. See also: http://www.entropylaw.com/
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 19
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
In his illuminating and beautifully illustrated book Sacred Geometry, Robert Lawler

Ancient geometry rests on no a priori axioms or assumptions. Unlike Euclidian

and the more recent geometries, the starting point of ancient geometric thought is
not a network of intellectual definitions or abstractions, but instead a meditation
upon a metaphysical Unity, followed by an attempt to symbolize visually and to
contemplate the pure, formal order which springs forth from this
incomprehensible Oneness. It is the approach to the starting point of the
geometric activity which radically separates what we may call the sacred from the
mundane or secular geometries. Ancient geometry begins with One, while
modern mathematics and geometry begins with Zero. 15

As described earlier, the second method for determining Phi is based upon a well known
Fibonacci number series, in which the numerical sequences themselves yield Phi. The
series begins with 1. The second number is also 1. From thereon in the series each two
preceding numbers are added to produce the next number, such that 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13,
21, 34, 55… and so on. When we take the last number and divide it by the previous
number, the result yields Phi, or 1.618. Although in this example, 55/34 = 1.6176470…,
which is a close but not exact approximation of Phi, by the 28th derivation in the series
the calculation is exact and remains so to infinity.

As a transcendental number, Phi is more unusual than most numbers of which we are
commonly aware, such as Pi. For example, when we divide the number one by Phi
(1/1.618), the outcome is, astonishingly, Phi – 1, or .618. When we square Phi (1.6182),
the outcome is, once again to our astonishment, Phi +1, or 2.618. In each case the
identity is exact, to as many places one wishes to carry out the calculation.

However, for our present discussion, it is the geometric method for calculating Phi that
concerns us, and the identity 1/Phi = .618, for, as we shall see, these calculations will
form the foundation for determining the spatial location of the Fourth Subsystem of the
soul, commonly known as the Spiritual Heart Center.

How can this be? Dan Sewell Ward, in his exceptional and highly recommended web
site http://www.halexandria.org offers a quote from Michael S. Schneider pointing to the
heart of the matter:

The body’s structure is a mirror of our psyche, a denser expression of the

energetic patterns of our soul. Body and soul somehow partake of the same
design. But in what way can a mathematical ratio permeate our souls? Through
beauty. A deep part of ourselves recognizes in flowers and dancers the beauty of
the mathematical infinite and sees in it the endlessness of our own depths.
Natural beauty resonates with the archetypal nature within us. 16 17

Lawlor, Robert, Sacred Geometry, Philosophy and Practice, Thames and Hudson, London, 1982.
Schneider, Michael S., A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe, Harper-Collins Publishers,
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 20
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
While conducting a private practice in individual and family therapy during the 1980’s I
observed that clients experiencing loss of a profound love, when speaking of the
emotions associated with that loss and with that love, inevitably pointed to the center of
their chest or thorax, approximately beneath the sternum or breast bone. Further, it
seemed plausible that this location was similar to what Eastern spiritual traditions refer to
as the Fourth Chakra, or Spiritual Heart Center. The term chakra is Sanskrit for
“spinning wheel or circle,” and refers to a subtle energy center identified with human
love and compassion. In Eastern philosophical and religious traditions, this center has
been viewed clairvoyantly as having twelve equal parts, or “petals,” similar visually to
the equal portions of a pie. In this work, however, we will refrain from further use of this
Sanskrit term, preferring instead to westernize the concept by couching any associated
phenomena in terms of energy and information processing system characteristics.

In a leap of intuition, I sensed that this location along the midline of the human torso was
identical to the visual impressions I had when reading descriptions of the geometry of Phi
in Peter Tompkins’ Secrets of the Great Pyramid 18 , upon which the following graphic
(Figure 3) is loosely based.

I eventually wrote three papers describing this phenomenon entitled The Abandoned
Heart, which were presented to the Association for Transpersonal Psychology in 1982,
1983 and 1984. 19 See also www.borderline-personality.info. 20 The papers described an
inherent logic of energy shift patterns that seemed to be associated with shifts of
awareness away from or back toward the Spiritual Heart Center, particularly when loss
experiences had become chronic. Shifts of awareness away from the Heart Center, which
are maladaptive attempts to ameliorate the pain of loss, produced various forms of
psychopathology, the sum of which were definable as the borderline personality. These
shifts of awareness away from the Heart Center were conceptualized as “abandoning
one’s own heart,” with deleterious consequences. Shifts of awareness back toward the
Heart Center produced healing and healthier patterns of thought, emotion and behavior.

See also: http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_251_300/fibonacci_numbers.htm
Tompkins, Peter, Secrets of the Great Pyramid, Harper Colophon Books, 1978. Previous hard cover
version published by Harper & Row, 1971.
Lewis, Robert M. The Abandoned Heart: An Energy Shift Model of the Borderline Personality
Syndrome, Parts I, II, & III, Behavioral Science Applications, San Diego, CA, 1982, 1983,1984.
Robert M. Lewis, Ph.D, http://www.borderline-personality.info, Copyright 2003.
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 21
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 6

Instructions for Using the Geometry of Phi

to Determine the Location of the Fourth Subsystem.

To create Phi using this simple geometric method, refer to the graphic below (Figure 3),
and perform the following steps:

Step Description Summary

1. Using the distance between the base of the spine and the top of the head, CG, of
an adult human, create an equilateral rectangle (i.e., a perfect square). Give this CGHD
vector an arbitrary value of 1 measurement unit.
2. Recreate this square and place it directly below the first square, creating the
second square CDIJ. The vertical sides of the resulting rectangle GHJI will CDJI
then have the value of 2 measurement units.
3. Divide the lower square in half along the horizontal axis AB. AB
4. Draw the angle BC. BC
5. Place the point of a compass at B, and the pencil end at C. BC
6. Using the compass, draw an arc from C to E. BCE
7. Draw a horizontal vector at intersection E to location F on the human torso.
8. The distance JE will equal 1.618 the distance between JH. JE
9. The distance DE will then equal 1/Phi, or .618. DE
10. The vector EF will indicate the location of the Fourth Subsystem, or Spiritual
Heart Center, along the human torso. EF
11. When investigating this subsystem location with human subjects, one can
dispense with the formal geometry. Simply use a flexible tape measure to
determine the distance between the base of the spine and the top of the head,
either in inches or centimeters, and multiply this distance by .618. The .618 CG = F
resulting location is the Spiritual Heart Center.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 22

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Figure 1

The Logic of Phi and the Spatial Location of the Remaining Subsystems

The next phase of research involved another intuitive leap. If one can locate the Fourth
Subsystem using Phi and the derivation 1/Phi, I wondered, was it then possible that Phi or
its derivations might underlie the spatial orientation of the remaining subsystems?

The Third Subsystem: Being and the Betrayal of Being

As I continued my private practice, working first with victims of emotional loss, and then
with increasing numbers of clients with a diagnosis of borderline personality, I noticed
there were times when clients, rather than pointing to their Heart Center, pointed instead
to their third subsystem, or solar plexus area, the center of which lies approximately two
inches above the navel but below the diaphragm. Initially puzzled, for I did not expect
this behavior, I asked the client to describe the sensations they were experiencing. Rather

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 23

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
than emotions associated with love or its loss, clients with this behavioral characteristic
invariably described a deep ache or pain associated with turmoil or disengagement
involving a significant relationship. As these issues were explored further with many
clients, it became increasingly apparent that they were dealing with two associated issues:
a struggle to define some essence of their own being; and, second, the enmeshment of
their being with that of another significant person. In addition to the deep ache or pain,
clients also described a sensation of emptiness and diminished sense of self.

It was these observations that reinforced the idea that the solar plexus center also played
an important role in the dynamics of self, relationships and, possibly, personality
disorders. Consequently, I decided it was time to explore whether Phi or a derivative
might determine the spatial location of the third subsystem.

Rather quickly I discovered what I believed to be the answer. Recalling that 1/Phi
determined the location of the fourth subsystem or Heart Center, I experimented with
several additional derivations. The answer soon became apparent. By taking the square
of 1/Phi, or .6182, the result of .382 did indeed locate this center exactly when using the
same measurement parameters used to determine the location of the Heart Center.

Further, I observed that 1/Phi + 1/Phi2 equaled exactly one. That is, .618 + .382 = 1, or
Unity. Intuitively, this suggested a mathematical unity between the fourth and the third
subsystems. In other words, there seemed to be indirect evidence of an interaction effect
that warranted further study.

Whereas pathological energy dynamics associated with the fourth subsystem had been
described as an abandoned heart, the pathological dynamics associated with the third
subsystem were described as “the betrayal of being.” While the individual suffering from
a borderline personality disorder had abandoned their own heart, the individual with
symptoms associated with the solar plexus had abandoned some essential sense of self.
They had betrayed the integrity and self possession of their own being, often with
disastrous results. The resulting pathology is similar to those dynamics associated with

Further exploration unveiled the following energy dynamics associated with the third
subsystem and the betrayal of being, offered below as an incomplete summary:

1. In the normal, healthy individual, there is a sense of fullness and strength of

being, or centeredness, occurring at the third subsystem, or solar plexus.

2. People struggling with their sense of self, however, experience emptiness,

weakness or pain at the third subsystem.

3. People with a diminished sense of self often seek others with the same disorder.

4. Two people with the same disorder of emptiness will seek to be filled by that
person’s energy of being, forming an energy-based co-dependency.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 24

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
5. In a significant relationship, both parties will attempt to place their own energy of
being into the other, and require that the other person place their energy of being
into them.

6. This dynamic of energy exchange is possible because the energy of self obeys the
Law of Awareness. The energy of being will go where we place our awareness,
which is then leveraged by intent or personal will.

7. The primary motivation for this energy exchange is the fear of abandonment. The
unspoken agreement between the two parties is “I want you to fill me up and
make me feel whole with your energy of being and, in return, I will place my
energy of being inside you. In this way we will be connected and will never leave
each other.” This motivation forms the basis of an unconscious and therefore
unspoken agreement or social contract between the two parties. When broken, the
sense of pain and betrayal is immense, triggering episodes of fear and anger that
in themselves may endanger the relationship.

8. The initial response during this energy exchange, however, is joy and
exhilaration, and is usually described by the two parties as “being in love.” It is
given cultural currency by most of our pop songs and lyrics, which confirm the
misplaced idea that “I need you and can’t live without you.” The idea is given a
certain self-fulfilling validity once one’s energy of being is given over to another.
Because one’s own energy of self is no longer present, the individual feels empty
and devoid of self, which naturally leads to confusion, loss of vitality, depression,
anxiety and eventual loathing of both self and the other person. Only by taking
more and more energy of self from the partner is this feeling of emptiness
ameliorated temporarily. It becomes the psychological equivalent to a fix in
which each partner ultimately becomes addicted.

9. After a period of time, problems begin to develop with this energy dynamic.
First, each person becomes focused and eventually obsessed with their partner, for
within the other is one’s own being. The individual may reach a state in which
they know more about the partner than they do themselves, and may make
statements such as “I don’t know who I am anymore.”

10. There often follows a period of self doubt and then resentment, followed further
by an increasing desire to reclaim one’s being energy or sense of self. However,
because this underlying desire in not usually conscious, their also results a period
of guilt because the very idea of reclaiming one’s own being seems to be an act of
betrayal against the partner. This betrayal can become real, however, when the
dynamic is not recognized for what it is and one partner seeks out another
individual who they believe may help them regain some essential sense of self.
The actual betrayal, however, is toward one’s self and the “being energy” of

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 25

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
11. When one of the partners begins to tug at their being energy for the purpose of
bringing it back to one’s own center, it temporarily loosens from its location
inside the solar plexus of their partner. When this occurs, the partner never fails
to sense the process. The resulting emptiness and pain produces anger at the
partner who is in the process of retrieving their own energy. Relationship fights
often then occur, frightening both parties by raising the specter of abandonment,
which was the original motivation for the exchange. The result frequently is a
recommitment to exchange energy selves, which ends the fight and is perceived
as forgiveness and ends with the mutual act of “making up.”

12. This vacillation dynamic may recur many times, and in fact may never be
resolved. Fortunate are those who finally regain their own centers of self, for only
then can they share the true nature of love with another from a position of
personal strength, thereby supporting the warmth, compassion and harmony of
energy that flows naturally from the spiritual heart center. Contented is the
relationship in which both partners have a strong sense of self, capable then of
sharing with each in committed love.

Table 7
Location of all subsystems as function of Phi

Subsystem Function Derivation of Phi and Location

Distance from Base
of Spine 21
1 Creative energy for Base of spine
wholeness 1/Phi5 = .090
2 Will for wholeness Approximately two inches
1/Phi3 = .236 below the navel
3 Being for wholeness 22 Approximately two inches
1/Phi2 = .382 above the navel (Solar Plexus)
4 Love / Giving for 1/Phi = .618 Beneath the breast bone /
wholeness 21 (or Phi – 1 = .618) sternum (Spiritual Heart
5 Truth / Guidance for Laryngeal / thyroid level
Wholeness √1/Phi = .786 of the neck
6 Vision for wholeness Approximate center of
√3 1/Phi = .852 forehead (e.g., pineal gland)
7 Unfolding wholeness Top of head
√4 1/Phi = .960
7a Pattern for wholeness Phi = 1.618 Exact location is unknown, but
(e.g., spiritual DNA) there are theoretical reasons to
7b Phi2 = 2.618 believe that the distance from
(or Phi +1 = 2.618) the base of the spine may be
equal or close to either Phi
or to Phi2
7c Communication with 6/5(Phi2) = Pi Strangely, the final contact
Creator Principle = 3.1416 point may be a value identical
to Pi, since 6/5 Phi squared is
equal to 3.1416.

These values have been determined experimentally, and represent a “best guess” set of assumptions.
Note that “Being” plus “Love” equals Unity, that is, .382 + .618 =1. Serendipitously, this in itself can
serve as a functional definition of Spiritual Creation.
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 26
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
The Soul in Time:
Transformational Stages of Psychospiritual Development (TSPD)

O nce the spatial orientation of each subsystem as a function of Phi and its derivations
had been observed and formalized and the framework for energy-shift dynamics
stabilized, there arose naturally another intriguing question: Does the sacred geometry of
Phi, hypothesized earlier to emanate from original spiritual creation, also have an
influence on the temporal evolution of the soul over a normal human life span? 23 24

Both perplexed and excited by this possibility, I was unsure how to proceed with this line
of research. The questions were many, the most notable being “If Phi indeed had an
influence, in what unit or measures of time would it become manifest?”

After several false starts, a promising hypothesis emerged. Was it possible that an
influence of Phi, if any, was simply linear and associated in some way with the solar
year? This did not seem implausible since most biological systems are directly affected
by the solar cycle during the course of a lifetime. Although gestation periods differ from
species to species, for example, they are nonetheless consistently precise and repeatable
within that species. What if, then, each subsystem either 1) evolved within its own
spiritual “gestation period,” or 2) had a predictable structured temporal influence on
human psychospiritual development? In either case, what repeatable period of time
might this be?

I eventually decided to explore the possibility that, in terms of human psychospiritual

development, there might exist what I later termed a “Phi-year” of 365 days (i.e., one
year) times the value of Phi, or 365 x 1.618, which equals approximately 590 days. I
confess that there was no logical reason for this decision, other than intuition.

I further hypothesized that each subsystem, beginning with Subsystem 1 and continuing
in sequence through Subsystem 7, had its own gestation period of 590 days, or 1 Phi-
year. And further, because each subsystem was functionally different, each succeeding
Phi-year would have its own unique developmental characteristic or influence on the
course of a normal human life span.

It may not be unreasonable to presuppose an interaction effect between Phi as a temporal variable and
human endeavor. See, for example, http://www.davidmcminn.com/pages/summ2.htm in which it is
asserted that Phi and the Fibonacci numbers have been associated with market forces and the Elliott Wave.
(See footnote 20). The Spiral Calendar is based on lunar years and the square root of Phi. This technique
gives numerous turning points in the markets and is linked to Moon - Sun cycles. Moon - Sun eclipse
cycles can be related to Phi and the Fibonacci - Lucas numbers. This offers theoretical support for the use
of these factors in financial forecasting via such techniques as the Elliott Wave and the Spiral Calendar.
Elliott Wave Theory interprets market actions in terms of recurrent price structures. Basically, Market
cycles are composed of two major types of Wave: Impulse Wave and Corrective Wave. For every impulse
wave, it can be sub-divided into 5 - wave structures (1-2-3-4-5), while for corrective wave, it can be sub-
divided into 3 - wave structures (a-b-c). See: http://www.acrotec.com/ewt.htm

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 27

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 8
TSPD Shown as Color Grid
Illustrating the Co-Action of Stages and Phases
Through the Repetition of 1.618 Year Phases Over Time.
Each Stage of seven Phases is 11.326 years.


Note that for each Stage there is also one Phase, illustrated by the arrow, color coded with the same
characteristics as the Stage in which it is active. Beneath the multicolored bands that represent the seven
phases is a colored bar that represents the subsystem influence over the entire Stage. The confluence of
Phase and Stage in this color coded model suggests that during this time period the active Stage/Phase
variable is particularly emphasized.

The process begins at birth (Stage I) and evolves toward Stage VII, thus taking the individual through the
79th year, which is consistent with current actuarial tables of average life span.

Table 9
The Seven Stages Color Coded in Sequence

Stage I Stage II Stage III Stage IV Stage V Stage VI Stage VII

Energy for Will for Being for Love for Truth for Vision for Unfolding
Wholeness Wholeness Wholeness Wholeness Wholeness Wholeness Wholeness
Birth to 11. 327 to 22.653 to 33.979 to 45.305 to 56.631 to 67.957 to
11.326 22.652 33.978 45.304 56.630 67.956 79.282

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 28

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Stage I

The first application of this hypothesis was to take 590 days and multiply this time period
by seven. The result can be seen in Table 11. The initial test would be to see if a
correlation existed between the function of each subsystem and what is already known
about normal or typical human development. The assumption was that major influences,
if they existed, would be readily observable and would correlate with what we already
know about human development.

I was foremost intrigued to observe that 7 x 590 days equaled 11.326 years, a
developmental period that falls approximately within the onset of puberty (10-12 years).
I next noticed that the second “Phi-year” (age 1.618-3.236), hypothetically influenced by
“Will,” coincided with what we commonly and affectionately refer to as “The Terrible
Twos” in childhood development, which can be interpreted as the exertion of will, but in
a negative form. 25

In another example, ages 4.8 to 6.5 years (approximate) occurs during Kindergarten to
first grade, and is influenced by the 4th subsystem or Heart Center. It is during this time
that children are especially open to developing relationships. Further, it is also during
this period that borderline personalities with childhood onset first describe their chronic
pain that eventually leads to their abandoned heart during that time period also associated
with the 4th subsystem of the Spiritual Heart Center.

With the original hypothesis of a Phi-year influence strengthened but not confirmed, I
proceeded to duplicate this seven phase approach for a total of seven “Stages” equaling a
final total of 79.28 years. (See Tables 8 and 9) It did not go unnoticed that this value was
close to the actuarial normal life span utilized by insurance companies, especially for
females, hinting further that this approach was probably neither random nor without

Although the hypothesis of a seven stage sequence (each with its seven phase subsystem
sequence) had been formalized, there remained the question of how each of these stages
would be functionally different from each other.

The answer seemed to emerge from its bas relief when I asked the question, “What if
each Stage of seven Phi-year Phases (11.236 years) was also influenced in temporal
sequence by each of the subsystem functions?” If so, then Stage I, from birth to 11.236
years, would be influenced throughout by the accumulation of “Creative Energy for
Wholeness.” In other words, the function of early childhood was to garner sufficient
creative energy and wholeness to support a full future life.

Young children, while exerting their will, often do not have a positive goal toward which they can direct
the force or intention of their will. Hence, their only option to express personal will is to resist by verbally,
behaviorally or symbolically saying “no” to a direction or request from another.
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 29
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Stage II

Similarly, Stage II (ages 11.33 – 22.65 years), or the period commonly known as
“adolescence,” would be influenced throughout by the development of “Will,” in addition
to the seven subsystem Phase influences. (See Table 12) For example, the Will for
Creative Energy (puberty), the Will to exert ones Will, the Will for Independent Being,
and so forth. It did not go unnoticed, for example, that the fourth sequence (i.e., the
Heart Center), occurring between ages 16.18 to 17.8, coincides with what we
affectionately refer to as “Sweet Sixteen,” which is a social metaphor for an acute interest
in romantic relationships.

Further, the period of adolescence ends by age 22, and is the normal age for graduating
from college, after which the individual is expected to focus attention on “self-in-
relationship-to-work” where the expectation will be to further develop a strong sense of
individualized Being.

Stage III

Enter, then, Stage III: Individuation for Wholeness (Being) between the ages of 22.65 to
34.00. (See Table 13) It is during this period that Young Adulthood is attained, which is
the development of Being for Wholeness, Survival and Independence. By age 34, the
unique self, strong and independent, would have emerged, ready to face the remaining
challenges of life.

Stage IV

Stage IV, Giving for Wholeness (Love, Healing) ushers in the period of Mature
Adulthood, in which energies are normally directed outward toward one’s family and
work. (See Table 15) It is also during this period that humans often face a most
formidable crossroads known culturally as “The Midlife Crisis” at the approximate age of
40. It is during the age range of 38.8 to 40.5 years that we are faced with a double
influence of the Heart Center, first as an overall eleven year Stage imperative and also as
a shorter Phase 4 influence.

If the TSPD has validity, we might interpret a mid-life crisis thusly: During the Stage IV,
Phase 4 influence, might it be possible that we become more acutely aware of what we
genuinely love or are attracted to? If we had chosen a career in, for example, accounting
or engineering for its potential financial rewards, but had forsaken our true love for art,
music or nature (or vice versa) might it be possible that an internal conflict could ensue?

If so, then we might also expect that during the following Phase 5 influence of “Truth on
Behalf of Wholeness” (ages 40.45 – 42.00), a felt imperative might develop to either
speak of this truth openly and/or act upon it. When this occurs abruptly or unexpectedly
within the context of work or home, there could easily follow an aftermath of conflict
with self, co-workers or domestic partners. This same reasoning would also apply to
issues of relationship, in which a person recognizes they have fallen “out of love” with

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 30

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
their partner and/or “in love” with someone else who displays characteristics more in
sympathy with earlier but latent or non-expressed preferences.

No two people are identical, of course, so we would expect wide variance in the details
and eventual resolution, with the general exception of the timing brought about by the
confluence of Stage and Phase influences. We might expect, however, that persons who
early on held true to their path of wholeness would be less likely to experience the
nudging of Heart Center influences as conflict inducing, and more likely to find
compatible ways to enhance and extend their capacity for love-giving, healing and self-
expressions within parameters that do not unduly introduce conflict, abandonment or
betrayal into their existing social milieu.

Stage V

Moving beyond Stage IV, the natural expression of Stage V influences is toward
mentoring and teaching. In whatever field of endeavor, the outcome should be directed
toward not only skills but the extension of wholeness.

During early phases of this stage (see Table 16), one may observe an increased tendency
toward speaking one’s personal truth which, if previously hidden or veiled, may cause
some consternation or conflict with close associates. Although early attempts at speaking
truth may be perceived as blunt or even tactless due to the force of pent up desire for
congruency or simply inexperience, later phases typically become tempered with
compassion and the desire to assist with another’s growth. Eventually, for the well
prepared, wholeness itself will bring insights of the greater truths that lie beyond
perceptions of the physical world.

Stage VI

During Stage VI (Vision for Wholeness) there is an increasing tendency to look beyond
or beneath the errors or blemishes of another’s life. When one sees beyond the external
to the latent wholeness within, one is then practicing spiritual forgiveness, which is a
potent healing force (see Table 17).

While paying less attention to the foibles of others does not mean that one supports
anomie 26 , anarchy, chaos or nihilism, as some may fear, it is nonetheless an important
ingredient of wisdom, which may allow the recipient to move beyond the cultural labels
of past mistakes.

This is often the influence that grandparents, for example, can bring to their extended
families and broader social systems to which they belong. While an essential function of
parenting is to teach behavioral controls, the vision for wholeness brought to the child by
elders can offer the necessary perceptions of unconditional love that are necessary for
healthy childhood development.

Anomie, a social condition characterized by an absence or diminution of standards or values. See also
chaos and nihilism in http://www.answers.com/topic/anarchy-disambiguation .
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 31
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Stage VII

Stage VII (Transformation: The Final Stage) is typically a period of retirement,

reflection, introspection and resolution. One’s life may be reviewed and evaluated within
the broader context of understanding that longevity and wisdom allow. It is during this
period that previous gains are solidified and mistakes reassessed in the light of self-

Where significant relationships have been broken, rapprochements may now be desired,
and the soul prepares for the final stages of its journey – into the light of wholeness from
which it originally came and for which it yearns to return.

Before proceeding, it is important to note that the Stages and Phases of psychospiritual
development do not imply “fate.” Each individual has complete control over its own
destiny. They are not imperatives, but rather subtle nudges, hints and encouragements
that speak to us from the still small voice of spirit within. Nevertheless, they can be
ignored or overridden using our own formidable will. However, to neither listen to or to
ignore the whispers that come from deep within has its own attendant risks, among which
are the entropic processes of a gradually disorganizing self.

Following are detailed descriptions of each Stage with its seven Phase influences, a
process we have termed:

The Transformational Stages of Psychospiritual Development


Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 32

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 10
Physical-Life Awareness Sequence:
Stages I – III 27

Table 11 28

Stage I:
Creative Energy for
Childhood Development
Creative Energy for Wholeness
(Survival and Expansion)

Ages 0.00 to 11.326 years

Phi Phase Stage/Phase Phase Description Age Range
Code (Years)
1 1 S1P1 Creative Energy for Survival 0.00-1.618
(Biological Wholeness)
2 S1P2 Will for Creative Energy: 1.618-3.236
2 Will for Survival / Negative Will
(The “Terrible Two’s”)
3 3 S1P3 Creative Energy of Being: 3.236-4.854
Independent “Self” as Vehicle for Wholeness
4 4 S1P4 Creative Energy of Relationship: 4.854-6.472
Extension of Self as Vehicle for Wholeness
5 5 S1P5 Creative Energy of Truth: 6.472-8.090
Expression of Truth as Vehicle for Wholeness
6 6 S1P6 Creative Energy for Vision of Wholeness: 8.090-9.708
Envisioning Personal Wholeness
7 S1P7 Creative Energy for Unfolding 9.708-11.326
7 Wholeness:
Stage I Completion

The seven stages align themselves naturally into two groups of three, while the seventh stage stands
alone. The first sequence of stages includes Creative Energy, Will and Being, ranging from birth to age 34.
This is termed the “Physical-Life Awareness Sequence.” The second sequence includes Heart Center,
Truth/Guidance and Vision for Wholeness, ranging in age from 34 to 68 and is termed the “Psychospiritual
Awareness Sequence.” Unfolding of Wholeness is the final stage. Although coincidental, it is perhaps
nonetheless useful to note that the colors in Sequence One are warmer while the colors in Sequence Two
are cooler, suggesting the changes from physical to spiritual awakening.
Table 6 is color coded to assist the reader understand the progressive influences of each subsystem
during the first 11 + years of life. The same principles apply to each succeeding Stage.
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 33
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 12

Stage II:
Will for Wholeness

Development of Will for Wholeness
(Will for Survival)

Ages 11.326 to 22.652 years

Phi 29 Phase Stage/Phase Phase Description Age Range
Code 30 (Years)
8 1 S2P1 Will for Creative Energy: 11.327-12.944
Will for Psychosexual Energy (Puberty)
9 2 S2P2 Will for Wholeness: 12.944-14.562
Development of Will as Vehicle for Wholeness
10 3 S2P3 Will for Being: 14.562-16.180
Development of Will for Independent Self as
Vehicle for Wholeness
11 4 S2P4 Will for Relationship: 16.18-17.798
Development of Will for Extension and
Love-Giving as Vehicle for Wholeness
(“Sweet Sixteen”)
12 5 S2P5 Will for Truth: 17.798-19.416
Expression of Personal Truth as Vehicle for
13 6 S2P6 Will for Envisioning Wholeness: 19.416-21.034
Idealism as Vehicle for Wholeness
14 7 S2P7 Unfolding of Will for Wholeness: 21.034-22.652
Stage II Completion

Each Phase influence has been assigned a unique reference number for research purposes. The “Phase
Influence” has been called a “Phi,” which equals a total of 7 x 7, or 49 total Phi, throughout the TSPD.
Also for research purposes, each Phi has been assigned a Stage/Phase Code. For example, Phi 8 = S2P1
(i.e. Stage II, Phase 1).
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 34
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 13

Stage III:
Individuation for Wholeness
Young Adulthood
Development of Being for Wholeness
(Being for Survival and Independence)

Ages 22.652 to 33.979 years

Phi Phase Stage/Phase Phase Description Age Range
Code (Years)
15 1 S3P1 Creative Energy for Being 22.653-24.270

16 2 S3P2 Will for Being 24.270-25.888

17 3 S3P3 Integration of Being: 25.888-27.506

Evolution as Independent Self
18 4 S3P4 Being in Relationship: 27.506-29.124
Self as focus in Relationship
19 S3P5 Personal Truth of Being: 29.124-30.742
5 Expression of Personal Truth as Vehicle for
20 6 S3P6 Envisioning Truth of Being: 30.742-32.360
Self-Assessment as Vehicle for Wholeness
21 7 S3P7 Unfolding of Being 32.360-33.978
(The Unique Self)
Stage III Completion

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 35

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 14

Psychospiritual Awareness Sequence:

Stages IV – VI

Table 15

Stage IV:
Giving for Wholeness
(Loving / Healing)
Mature Adulthood
Giving and Healing for Wholeness
(Love and Compassion for Wholeness)

Ages 33.978 to 45.304 years

Phi Phase Stage/Phase Phase Description Age Range
Code (Years)
22 1 S4P1 Creative Energy for Giving and Healing 33.979-35.596

23 2 S4P2 Will for Giving and Healing 35.596-37.214

24 3 S4P3 Being for Giving and Healing 37.214-38.832

Integration of the Giving Self
25 4 S4P4 Love-Giving for Healing 38.832-40.450
Compassion as Vehicle for Wholeness
26 5 S4P5 Truth for Giving and Healing 40.450-42.068
Higher Truth as Vehicle for Wholeness
27 6 S4P6 Vision for Giving and Healing 42.068-43.686

28 7 S4P7 Unfolding of Compassion for Healing 43.686-45.304

Stage IV Completion

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 36

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 16

Stage V
Truth for Wholeness
Later Adulthood I
From Personal Truth
to Guidance for Wholeness
--Receiving/Giving Truth for
Wholeness (Guidance)—

Ages 45.304 to 56.630 Years

Phi Phase Stage/Phase Phase Description Age Range
Code (Years)
29 1 S5P1 Creative Energy for Truth/Guidance 45.305-46.922

30 2 S5P2 Will for Truth/Guidance 46.922-48.540

31 3 S5P3 Being for Truth/Guidance 48.540-50.158

32 4 S5P4 Compassion for Truth/Guidance 50.158-51.776

33 5 S5P5 Communicating Truth/Guidance 51.776-53.394

34 6 S5P6 Envisioning Truth 53.394-55.012

35 7 S5P7 Unfolding of Truth 55.012-56.630

Stage V Completion

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 37

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 17

Stage VI
Vision for Wholeness
Later Adulthood II
Wisdom and the Vision of Wholeness
--Vision of Wholeness (Forgiveness)–

Ages 56.630 to 67.956 Years

Phi Phase Stage/Phase Phase Description Age Range
Code (Years)
36 1 S6P1 Creative Energy for Vision 56.631-58.248

37 2 S6P2 Will for Vision 58.248-59.866

38 3 S6P3 Being for Vision 59.866-61.484

39 4 S6P4 Compassion for Vision 61.484-63.102

40 5 S6P5 Truth/Guidance for Vision 63.102-64.720

41 6 S6P6 Envisioning Wholeness 64.720-66.338

42 7 S6P7 Unfolding of Vision 66.338-67.956

Stage VI Completion

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 38

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 18

Transformation Awareness Sequence:

Stage VII

Table 19

Stage VII
The Final Stage
The Unfolding of Wholeness
for Transformation (Freedom)

Ages 67.956 to 79.282 Years

Phi Phase Stage/Phase Phase Description Age Range
Code (Years)
43 1 S7P1 Creative Energy for Transformation 67.957-69.574

44 2 S7P2 Will for Transformation 69.574-71.192

45 3 S7P3 Being for Transformation 71.192-72.810

46 4 S7P4 Compassion for Transformation 72.810-74.428

47 5 S7P5 Truth/Guidance for Transformation 74.428-76.046

48 6 S7P6 Vision for Transformation 76.046-77.664

49 7 S7P7 Unfolding of Transformation (Freedom) 77.664-79.282

Stage VII Completion

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 39

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 20

TSPD Shown as Overlapping Stages

Illustrating the Circular Nature and Interaction Effects
of the Process Over Time.


Stage Stage

Stage Stage

Stage Stage

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 40

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
How to Use the TSPD

T he TSPD has been shown to be useful for an individual as a traveler might use a
roadmap to determine their current position along their journey, or to regain an
overview of the distance and landmarks already traveled. 31

You can start the process by selecting the Stage that contains your current age (See Table

Next, go to the Table that contains your Stage and, in the right hand column, select the
Phase that contains your current age. (See Tables 11 – 19).

As an example, if you are currently 35 years of age, proceed to Table 15 (Stage IV:
Giving for Wholeness). In this example, if you are less than 35 and a half, you are
currently in Stage IV, Phase 1 “Creative Energy for Giving and Healing.” Typically,
when in the first Phase of a Stage, the promptings, if you experience them, are more
general than specific. You may have had idle thoughts about assisting a friend, joining a
volunteer group, or in general wondering how you might be more helpful to others in
your life. If you are more than 35.5, your thoughts may have taken the form of action in
which you are exerting your will in that direction. If 37 +, you may have begun to
restructure your self perceptions and sense of Being to incorporate the view of yourself as
someone who organizes helping opportunities into your life.

You can also assess past actions or important events in your life using the same
procedures, but with retrospective results.

Is the TSPD Useful for Understanding Relationships?

The process is also useful for understanding current or past relationships in which either
convergence or divergence of life journey markers may have played a part.

Although this question has not yet been studied in depth, the initial response to the
question is yes. Assuming the validity of the material for individuals, it is reasonable to
also assume that two individuals in a close relationship who are not the same age might
benefit from understanding the stage and phase not only of themselves but also their

One of the greatest risks that any relationship faces is the tendency of each individual to
assume that their particular set of traits or patterns is of greater value or benefit than those
of another. It is wise to understand not only the similarities of the relationship but also

A software engineer, Kirk Kryger, has created a simple software program that will plot the entire TSPD.
By simply entering in your birth date and, if you choose, dates of important events in your life, you will be
able to create and print your current profile. You may reach Mr. Kryger to discuss ways to obtain a copy of
the program by going to his website http://www.toltectraders.com/ . You may also contact him at Toltec
Trading Company, 7135 Navajo Road Ste 1205, San Diego, CA 92119, 760-207-5814.
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 41
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
the differences, and to assume that each partner has qualities that can be of benefit to the
whole as the two dissimilar patterns interact synergistically.

Is the TSPD Valid when the Person is Older than 79 Years?

The answer to this question has not been the subject of research. Nevertheless, it is
suspected that once an individual reaches 80 or more the TSPD re-cycles back to the
beginning. For example, at age 80 the individual may once again have an opportunity to
increase and harbor “Creative Energy” that can be used for new additional life tasks or
perhaps those that had not been completed during the first 79 years.

The same assumptions regarding the TSPD would continue to generally apply as the
person continues to advance in age, so that by age 85, for example, there would be
additional opportunities for strengthening one’s sense of Being on behalf of wholeness.
These are seen as opportunities to revisit earlier decisions or mistakes and make
corrections, or to have new experiences not possible earlier in life.

Does a Person’s Age at Death have Meaning within the TSPD?

Once again, the answer is unclear but it is suspected that it might. To use a well known
illustration from history, Jesus is said to have died at or around age 33. Using the TSPD
for interpretive purposes, we might conjecture that this was in fact a propitious time for
this event since he had by that age completed the first three Stages, or the “Physical Life
Awareness Sequence.” Since his spiritual development is presumed to already have been
complete, it would have served no purpose to move forward into the next period, or the
Psychospiritual Awareness Sequence. Living his life during the first sequence allowed
him to demonstrate his mastery of the physical awareness stages of development.

Is the TSPD Valid in Longer Time Frames?

This discussion has focused on the time frame of 7 x 7 phases equaling 49 phases, for a
total of 79.282 years. If this time frame is valid, might there also be longer periods of
psychospiritual influence over the course of human events? In order to begin answering
this question, it was hypothesized that significant human events might fall into 7 x 79
year eras or generational cycles, or 555 years. It was further hypothesized, given the
spiritual focus of the TSPD, that spiritual leaders might come along approximately each
555 years. Below is the initial result of this study:

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 42

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Table 21
Candidates for Spiritual Leaders during 555 Year Generational Stage Influences

Stage Spiritual
Influence Leader Birth Date % 555 yrs Comments
1. Unknown x
2. Moses 1200 BC .86 Second Stage Influence. Considered one of
the early great prophets that led his people
through sheer will.
Solomon 1000 BC .80
Second Stage Influence. The Bible portrays
Solomon as great in wisdom, wealth, and
power, which may have been due to the
influence of Will.
3. Siddhartha 563 BC .98 Third Stage Influence. Although there are
Buddha many Buddha’s, he is considered the first.
His contribution may have been the
fulfillment of Being, with focus on solar
plexus: “He has the demeanor of a great man.
His navel is without blemish. He has a deep-
shaped abdomen. He has clockwise marks on
the abdomen.”
4. Jesus 0 BC 0 Fourth Stage Influence. May be significant
to note that his social influence is perceived
as one of compassion, healing and the
spiritual heart. Resonant frequency of 4th
Center is 12, equal to the number of apostles.
5. Mohammed 570 AD .97 Fifth Stage Influence. May be significant to
note that the religion he founded is
characterized by the five pillars of Islam.
Formal call to prayer is five times a day.
6. Unknown x It is unclear whether we have had great
spiritual leaders during the past 1665 years.
Muslims believe that Mohammed is the last

The results of this study, although not definitive, are nonetheless provocative and suggest
that further hypotheses along this line of inquiry are warranted.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 43

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis

The Language of Phi

It was with some astonishment I observed that not only does Phi and its derivations
define the spatial orientation of each subsystem, as well as the transformation of the
soul through time, but that the derivations may be viewed as a virtual lexicon emanating
from Original Creation, including its own syntax. In short, there appears to be a
‘language of Phi.”

It was as if the simple mathematics of Phi, associated with the subsystems of the soul,
echoed Genesis of the Old Testament: “In the beginning was the word.” This simple
lexicon with syntax is laid out below:

Table 22
The Lexicon of Phi = 1.618

Derivation of Phi Meaning

1. 1 Unity = Wholeness
2. 1/Phi + 1/Phi2 = .618 + .382 = 1 Love + Being = Unity
3. (√5 + 1) / 2 = Phi = 1.618 Unity + Love = Creation Principle
4. 1/Phi = Phi – 1 = .618 Love
5. 1/Phi2 = .382 Being
6. 1/Phi3 = .236 Will
7. 6/5 Phi2 = Pi = 3.1416 Ratio of diameter to circumference of circle

Table 23
Syntax of Phi

Language Units Meaning

Unity + Love (1.618) Creation Principle
Being + Love (.382 + .618 = 1) Unity / Wholeness
Will + Being (.236 + .382 = .618) Love
Unity + Will + Being (1 + .236 + .382 = 1.618) Creation Principle
Unity + Unity = 2 Relationship Principle
Unity + Unity + Love = 2.618 Extension Principle
√5 (2.236) Relationship Principle + Will
√5 + 1 (3.236) Trinity Principle + Will
(√5 + 1) / 2 (1.618) Unity + Love = Creation Principle


“In the beginning was Unity. When Love was added to Unity, the Creation Principle was
born. Love was the outcome of Will and Being. When Unity was extended by itself to
produce a second Unity, the Relationship Principle was born. When Love was added to
the Relationship Principle, the Extension Principle was born.”
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 44
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
General Systems Theory as a Framework for Understanding
Characteristics of Original Creation

Since this is a study involving a model of Spiritual Creation, it might be useful to explore
a particularly vexing disagreement that exists between several of the major religions.
Specifically, how can the idea of a “Triune God” (i.e., Trinity) co-exist with the essential
assumption of a “One God” theology?

I will suggest here that the difference is readily understandable and does not pose an
inherent contradiction. The answer lies in understanding some primary characteristics of
living systems described by General Systems Theory. 32 33 34 35

A living system can be defined as a coherent collection of subsystems and processes, i.e.,
an organized self-directing, self-organizing and self-regulating whole that, collectively, is
greater than the sum of its parts. At the very foundation of systems theory is the
observation that three essential characteristics must first exist before a system can be
considered viable. These characteristics are:

1. Degrees of Freedom. That is, there must be more than one part to the system and
the parts must be able to co-act in more than one way. The parts of a system may
number from two to infinity. However, infinite degrees of freedom can also result
in randomness or chaos.

2. Constraints. Where there are degrees of freedom, there must also be constraints,
or rules of organization, that guide the system and prevent randomness from
becoming ruinous chaos.

3. Communication. Whenever two or more parts of a system exist, there must also
be communication possible among those parts, which is necessary for self-
organization and self-regulation to occur and to maintain its goal-directed
function. It is this communication that provides feedback to the parts of the
system thereby preventing what otherwise would become the entropic spiral of
disorganization and the eventual dissolution or death of the system.

Thus we can hypothesize that when a religion posits a Triune God (e.g., a Holy Trinity)
within the context of a One God theology, it is speaking to these three essential
characteristics. First, degrees of freedom refer to the creator principle in which multiple,

Buckley, Walter. (Ed.) Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist: A Sourcebook.
Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1968.
Miller, James G. Living Systems. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.
Lewis, Robert M. Information Processing, Humanism and the Helping Relationship: The Application of
System-Theoretic Models to Counseling and Counselor Education. Unpublished doctoral dissertation,
University of Wisconsin, 1973.
Lewis, Robert M. “Human Information Processing: The Essence of Counseling.” Counseling and
Values, Volume 19, No. 2, February 1975.
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 45
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
perhaps infinite, possibilities are available to the system. However, to prevent infinite
possibilities from becoming random and chaotic, constraints on the variables are also
necessary in the form of rules governing the behavior of the system and its organization.
And finally, to prevent the variables from becoming isolated and therefore impotent to
affect system behaviors, communication among the parts is required.

Thus the Triune God of Christianity, for example, may be viewed as a description of the
general system requirements of Degrees of Freedom, Constraints and Communication, in
which the Creation Principle (i.e., God) equals the degrees of freedom of the system, the
Son equals the necessary constraints required for system coherency, and The Holy Spirit
is the medium of communication that exists between all parts.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 46

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis

T his report is the culmination of an odyssey that has taken a virtual lifetime to
complete. It is based on questions that are designed to explore the nature of
original spiritual creation and the consequent nature of the human soul in space
and time.

Nevertheless, it is not presumed to be infallible, for this level of Truth is still ultimately
unknowable. It is, however, a “best guess” model that begins with a set of explicit basic
assumptions that are linked to each other with rigorous logic. And it is with this logic
that the research is extended to its conclusions.

If the reader can accept the assumptions as being plausible, then it is likely the remainder
of the work will be understood, if not accepted. If, however, one cannot accommodate
the beginning assumptions, or at least entertain them transiently through a “willing
suspension of disbelief” as one might do when viewing a movie or theatrical production,
then the remaining observations and conclusions will be viewed as moot.

It is not my intention to convince. My purpose only is to report what I have observed and
to utilize the forms of logic that apply especially to system processes and to take them to
their natural conclusions. I am still in awe of the many coincidences and serendipities
that have been bared along the way, hidden jewels strewn along the journey’s path found
in unlikely places.

These jewels remain with me still, self-illuminated and sparkling as each facet has been
unveiled and stored in those receptacles of the soul that seeks its own self-awareness and
an understanding of its place within the womb of its creation.

I have found that in accepting my own wholeness and in extending an awareness of this
same wholeness to those around me that my own path has been illuminated before me. It
is my hope that those who read this work will be encouraged to seek the peace of their
own wholeness and to share this awareness with each of those with whom they journey.
It is through this sharing that we speed the return to Original Wholeness we all ultimately

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 47

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Fibonacci Numbers, the Golden Mean and the Golden Spiral

Author’s Note

Several months after completing this work I became acquainted with a web site that
richly describes the abundance of examples in nature displaying the Golden Mean and the
Golden Spiral, which is related to the Fibonacci Number Series described earlier.

It is included here for those not familiar with the mathematical and natural beauty of Phi
and its derivations, and adds credence for its application to spiritual creation and to
human affairs, as suggested in this work.

I personally find it intriguing that the author of the site is a Muslim scientist and
mathematician, since this fact broadens the cultural milieu in which these truths are

The author, Adnan Oktar, who goes by the pen name Harun Yahya, gives de facto
permission to quote his work as long as it is included in its entirety. Out of respect for
this request, I have included his web page, below.


Fibonacci Numbers: A Measure of Beauty

By Harun Yahya
[Allah has appointed a measure for all things.] (Qur’an, 65: 3)
The Wikipedia encyclopaedia describes beauty as ‘the phenomenon of the experience
of pleasure, through the perception of balance’. Everyone admires beauty in nature and
the unique balance found in it. Some say that this balance and perception of beauty is
due to the Golden number or the ratio that gives certain things their exquisitness.
If a pleasing or exceedingly balanced form is achieved in terms of elements of
application or function, it is there that we may look for a function of the Golden
Number. The Golden Number is a product not of mathematical imagination, but of a
natural principle related to the laws of equilibrium.[1][1]
What do the pyramids in Egypt, Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of the Mona Lisa,
sunflowers, the snail, the pine cone and your fingers all have in common?
The answer to this question lies hidden in a sequence of numbers discovered by the
Italian mathematician Fibonacci. The characteristic of these numbers, known as the
Fibonacci numbers, is that each one consists of the sum of the two numbers before

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 48

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
Fibonacci numbers
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233,
377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, …
Fibonacci numbers have an interesting property.
When you divide one number in the sequence
by the number before it, you obtain numbers
very close to one another. In fact, this number is
fixed after the 13th number in the series. This
number is known as the “golden ratio.”
233 / 144 = 1.618
377 / 233 = 1.618
610 / 377 = 1.618
987 / 610 = 1.618
1597 / 987 = 1.618
2584 / 1597 = 1.618
The Golden Ratio
When conducting their researches or setting out their products, artists, scientists and
designers take the human body, the proportions of which are set out according to the
golden ratio, as their measure. Leonardo da Vinci and Le Corbusier took the human
body, proportioned according to the golden ratio, as their measure when producing
their designs. The human body, proportioned according to the golden ratio, is taken as
the basis also in the Neufert, one of the most important reference books of modern-day

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 49

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
The Golden Ratio in the Human Body

The Golden Number is not mathematical

imagination, but a natural principle
• Nose related to the laws of equilibrium
• Length of face / distance
between tip of jaw and where the
eyebrows meet
• Length of mouth / width of
• Width of nose / distance
between nostrils
• Distance between pupils / distance between eyebrows

Golden Proportion in the Lungs

In a study carried out between 1985 and 1987,[i][5] the American physicist B. J. West
and Dr. A. L. Goldberger revealed the existence of the golden ratio in the structure of
the lung. One feature of the network of the bronchi that constitutes the lung is that it is
asymmetric. For example, the windpipe divides into two main bronchi, one long (the
left) and the other short (the right). This asymmetrical division continues into the
subsequent subdivisions of the bronchi.[ii][6] It was determined that in all these
divisions the proportion of the short bronchus to the long was always 1/1.618.

The Golden Rectangle and the Design in the

A rectangle, the proportion of whose sides is equal to
the golden ratio is known as a “golden rectangle.” A
rectangle whose sides are 1.618 and 1 unit long is a
golden rectangle. Let us assume a square drawn
along the length of the short side of this rectangle and
draw a quarter circle between two corners of the
square. Then, let us draw a square and a quarter
circle on the remaining side and do this for all the
remaining rectangles in the main rectangle. When A rectangle, the proportion of
you do this you will end up with a spiral. whose sides is equal to the golden
ratio is known as a “golden
The British aesthetician William Charlton explains rectangle”
the way that people find the spiral pleasing and have
been using it for thousands of years stating that we find spirals pleasing because we are
easily able to visually follow them.[iii][7]

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 50

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
The spirals based on the golden ratio contain the most incomparable designs you can
find in nature. Examples we can give of this are the spiral sequences on the sunflower
and the pine cone.
The Design in Sea Shells
When investigating the shells of mollusks, which live at the bottom of the sea, the form
and the structure of the internal and external surfaces of the shells attracted scientists’

The internal surface is smooth, while the outside surface is fluted. The mollusk’s
body is inside the shell. The outside edges of the shell augment its rigidity and,
thus, increase its strength. The shell’s form is astonishing in its perfection
highlighting the beauty of its creation. The spiral idea in shells is expressed in the
perfect geometrical form, in a surprisingly beautiful, “sharpened” design.[i][8]

The shells of most mollusks grow in a logarithmic spiral manner. There can be no
doubt, of course, that these animals are unaware of even the simplest mathematical
calculation, let alone logarithmic spirals. So how is it that the creatures in question can
know that this is the best way for them to grow? How do these animals, that some
scientists describe as “primitive,” know that this is the ideal form for them? It is
impossible for growth of this kind to take place in the absence of a consciousness or
intellect. That consciousness exists neither in mollusks nor, despite what some
scientists would claim, in nature itself. It is totally irrational to seek to account for such
a thing in terms of chance. This design can only be the product of the Almighty Allah.

An example of perfect geometry

Growth of this kind was described as “gnomic growth” by the biologist Sir D’Arcy
Thompson, an expert on the subject, who stated that it was impossible to imagine a
simpler system, during the growth of a seashell, than which was based on widening and
extension in line with identical and unchanging proportions. As he pointed out, the
shell constantly grows, but its shape remains the same.[i][9]
One can see one of the best examples of this type of growth in a nautilus, just a few
centimetres in diameter. C. Morrison describes this growth process, which is
Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 51
© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
exceptionally difficult to plan even with human intelligence, stating that along the
nautilus shell, an internal spiral extends consisting of a number of chambers with
mother-of-pearl (calcium carbonate and conch Olin secreted by the mantle of mollusks)
lined walls. As the animal grows, it builds another chamber at the mouth of the spiral
shell larger than the one before it, and moves forward into this larger area by closing
the door behind it with a layer of mother-of-pearl.[i][10]
Growth in a spiral form in the animal world is not restricted to the shells of mollusks.
Animals such as antelopes, goats and rams complete their horn development in spiral
forms based on the golden ratio.[i][11]

The Golden Ratio in the Hearing and Balance Organ

The cochlea in the human inner ear serves to transmit sound vibrations. This bony
structure, filled with fluid, has a logarithmic spiral shape with a fixed angle of

α=73°43´ containing the golden ratio.

The Golden Ratio in DNA

The molecule in which all the physical features of living things are stored, too, has
been created in a form based on the golden ratio. The DNA molecule, the very program
of life, is based on the golden ratio. DNA consists of two intertwined perpendicular
helixes. The length of the curve in each of these helixes is 34 angstroms and the width
21 angstroms. (1 angstrom is one hundred millionth of a centimetre.) 21 and 34 are two
consecutive Fibonacci numbers.

The Golden Ratio in Snow Crystals

The golden ratio also manifests itself in crystal structures. Most of these are in
structures too minute to be seen with the naked eye. Yet you can see the golden ratio in
snow flakes. The various long and short variations and protrusions that comprise the
snow flake all yield the golden ratio.[i][12]

The Golden Ratio in Space

In the universe there are many spiral galaxies containing the golden ratio in their
The Golden Ratio in Physics
You encounter Fibonacci series and the golden ratio in fields that fall under the sphere
of physics. When a light is held over two contiguous layers of glass, one part of that
light passes through, one part is absorbed, and the rest is reflected. What happens is a
“multiple reflection.” The number of paths taken by the ray inside the glass before it
emerges again depends on the number of reflections it is subjected to. In conclusion,
when we determine the number of rays that re-emerge, we find that they are compatible
with the Fibonacci numbers.[i][13]

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 52

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
The fact that a great many unconnected animate or inanimate structures in nature are
shaped according to a specific mathematical formula is one of the clearest proofs that
these have been specially designed. The golden ratio is an aesthetic rule well known
and applied by artists. Works of art based on that ratio represent aesthetic perfection.
Plants, galaxies, micro-organisms, crystals and living things designed according to this
rule imitated by artists are all examples of Allah’s superior artistry. Allah reveals in the
Qur’an that He has created all things with a measure. Some of these verses read:
[Allah has appointed a measure for all things.] (Qur’an, 65: 3)
[Everything has its measure with Him.] (Qur’an, 13: 8)

**The author, who writes under the pen-name Harun Yahya, has published many
books on political, faith-related and scientific issues. Some of the books of the author
have been translated into English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese,
Albanian, Arabic, Polish, Russian, Bosnian, Indonesian, Turkish, Tatar, Urdu and
Malay and published in the countries concerned. Visit his website at
www.harunyahya.com or contact him at info@harunyahya.com
[1] Mehmet Suat Bergil, Doğada/Bilimde/Sanatta, Altın Oran (The Golden Ratio in
Nature/Science/Art), Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayinlari, 2nd Edition, 1993, p. 155.
[2] Guy Murchie, The Seven Mysteries of Life, First Mariner Boks, New York, pp. 58-
[3] J. Cumming, Nucleus: Architecture and Building Construction, Longman, 1985.
[4] Mehmet Suat Bergil, Doğada/Bilimde/Sanatta, Altın Oran (The Golden Ratio in
Nature/Science/Art), Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayinlari, 2nd Edition, 1993, p. 87.
[5] A. L. Goldberger, et al., “Bronchial Asymmetry and Fibonacci Scaling.”
Experientia, 41 : 1537, 1985.
[6] E. R. Weibel, Morphometry of the Human Lung, Academic Press, 1963.
[7] William Charlton, Aesthetics: An Introduction, Hutchinson University Library,
London, 1970.
[8] “The ‘Golden’ spirals and ‘pentagonal’ symmetry in the alive Nature,” online at:
[9] D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, On Growth and Form, C.U.P., Cambridge, 1961.
[10] C. Morrison, Along The Track, Withcombe and Tombs, Melbourne.
[11] “The ‘Golden’ spirals and ‘pentagonal’ symmetry in the alive Nature,” online at:
[12] Emre Becer, “Biçimsel Uyumun Matematiksel Kuralı Olarak, Altın Oran” (The
Golden Ratio as a Mathematical Rule of Formal Harmony), Bilim ve Teknik Dergisi
(Journal of Science and Technology), January 1991, p.16.
[13] V.E. Hoggatt, Jr. and Bicknell-Johnson, Fibonacci Quartley, 17:118, 1979.

The works posted on this page reflect solely the opinions of the authors.

Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 53

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis
An alternative view of the Golden Rectangle, or Golden Spiral, where ф = Phi = 1.618.

Note that the values expressed, although in a different format, are the same derivations of Phi that define
the spatial location of the subsystems of the soul, as hypothesized earlier in this work.

This image is based upon the work found at http://www.krysstal.com/formulas.html


Toward a Psychology of Wholeness 54

© 1985, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2007 by Robert M. Lewis