Molly Young Brown: Growing Whole

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Growing Whole
Self-Realization for the Great Turning

By Molly Young Brown

Review by Walter Polt
From AAP News, May 2009

Why is psychosynthesis now more important than ever? Molly Brown’s new version of Growing Whole gives an answer, improving on her earlier 1993 edition in many ways.

A Forward-Looking Frame. Molly has updated the subtitle from Self Realization on an Endangered Planet to Self-Realization for the Great Turning. Yes, she tells us, the danger to the planet has become clear; we are in a “Great Turning” from an “Industrial Growth Society” to a “Life Sustaining Society.” This places urgent, daunting demands on human intelligence and cooperation and makes psychosynthesis awareness and practices more vital for all of us. Psychosynthesis does not just tackle the dangers in the upheavals to come but also highlights their “potential for transformation.”

Heart of the Matter. Whether you’re looking for an introduction to psychosynthesis or sweeping guidance for navigating the emerging ups and downs, get this book, open it up, and hang on. In addition to imparting revealing theory, important landmarks, and startling insights from masters around the world, Molly leads you in ready-to-use meditations and exercises that will have you rubbing elbows with powerful parts of your being, discovering your next horizon, and linking with the leader in yourself.

You will smile and chuckle. You’ll find reassurance both real and tongue-in-cheek. For example, after an exercise that guides you in “Acknowledging Your Gifts,” she comments, “Don’t worry if this sounds corny; no one else needs to hear it, and besides, it’s for a good cause.” That’s Molly! If you have read, studied, or worked with her, you already know her writing is always her, right there, talking face-to-face with clarity, passion, and humor—a writer with the practical talents of a veteran coach, therapist, and trainer.

Changes from the earlier edition are frequent and gratifying. These two examples are reason enough to get this new version: Assisted by colleagues Anne and Tom Yeomans, Molly slightly modifies Roberto Assagioli’s “star diagram,” bringing to life how we can use our will to coordinate and choose among our psychological functions and forces as we grow. And her new section on Grief and Sorrow is wise, useful, and reassuring.

New and Old Design. Ted Slawski’s striking design gives you a deeply touching cover and makes the text easier to read. He italicizes the ground-shifting exercises sprinkled throughout, making them easier to spot and return to. Yet the exercises are unchanged, so you can still use Growing Whole: Exploring the Wilderness Within (at this moment still available “new or used” on Amazon). This Audio and Guided Journal companion to her first version of Growing Whole lets you close your eyes, listen, and go deeply into imagery, new learning, and new choices.

In summary, this book offers a time-sensitive message (and process) from one of our valued psychosynthesis leaders and a prime tool for our psychosynthesis community and colleagues—to use and encourage newcomers to use. .


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