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book

The Unfolding Self
Varieties of Transformative Experience

NEW Edition by Pioneer Imprints 2010, Ross, CA

Ralph Metzner

$12.95

TO ORDER A COPY SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR CLICK HERE

In The Unfolding Self Ralph Metzner unveils the dynamics and archetypes of transformative experience  offering seekers reliable guidance along their own inner path. No comparable psychology of spirituality exists that draws from such a rich lifework of scholarship, experiment and spiritual practice. Drawing from multiple disciplines and ranging acorss the world's cultures, Ralph Metzner goes beyond his roots in transpersonal and depth psychology to uncover universal structures of spiritual transformation. Readers who immersee themselves in these masterful descriptions can catalyze their own process of evolution.


Readers' Comments 

 

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: FROM CATERPILLAR TO BUTTERFLY 

  • Symbols and Metaphors of Transformation
  • Theories of Human Transformation
  • Variations on the Theme of Self-Transformation

One - AWAKENING FROM THE DREAM OF REALITY

  • Our Ordinary Awareness Is Dreamlike
  • Dreaming, Sleeping, and Waking in Everyday Life
  • The Transformation as an Awakening

Two - UNCOVERING THE VEILS OF ILLUSION

  • The World Perceived as Maya
  • The Transformation of Vision
  • Unmasking the Self

Three - FROM CAPTIVITY TO LIBERATION

  • Body and Form as Prison
  • Knots, Ties, Nets, and Bonds in Relationships
  • Strategies of Escape and Liberation

Four - PURIFICATION BY INNER FIRE

  • Fire Deities and the Spirit of Fire
  • Hell, Purgatory and the Fire of Purification
  • Kundalini and the Yoga of Fire
  • The Mystical Fire of Union

Five - FROM FRAGMENTATION TO WHOLENESS

  • Psychic Fragmentation in Ordinary Awareness and Madness
  • Shamanic Dismemberment: Osiris and Dionysos
  • Alchemical Separatio in Meditation and Psychotherapy
  • Approaches to Wholeness

Six - RECONCILING WITH THE INNER ENEMY

  • On Integrating the Shadow
  • Accepting the Unacceptable
  • From Denial to Affirmation
  • Purification and Elimination
  • From Inner Warfare to Inner Peace
  • On Facing One's Demons

Seven - ON DYING AND BEING REBORN

  • Conscious Death and Intentional "Dying"
  • Nearness to Death as Transformative Experience
  • Thanatos and Psychic Death
  • Alchemical Mortificatio
  • The New Birth and the Eternal Child

Eight - FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

  • Enlightenment of the Physical Body
  • The Illumination of the Mind
  • The Self as a Being of Light

Nine - RELATING WITH THE INNER WILD ANIMAL

  • Remembering Our Evolutionary Ancestry
  • Animals in Folklore, Mythology and Religion
  • Tales of Animal Transformations

Ten - UNFOLDING THE TREE OF OUR LIFE

  • The Tree as a Symbol of Self-Unfoldment
  • Climbing the Tree, Straightening the Pillar
  • The World Tree and the Inverted Tree
  • The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge

Eleven - JOURNEY TO THE PLACE OF VISION AND POWER

  • The Myth of the Wanderer
  • Departure and Threshold Crossing
  • Descent into the Depths
  • "Flying" and the Upper Realms
  • Journeys into Nonordinary Reality

Twelve - RETURNING TO THE SOURCE

  • Man as Stranger, Life as Exile
  • The Outgoing Path and the Returning Path
  • The Homeward Journey

Back to Top

Readers' Comments on The Unfolding Self

"Genuine breadth of vision in this revelatory book restores magic and depth to a subject too often reduced to banality and unreality by self-improvement gurus." --Publishers Weekly

"Metzner's breadth of knowledge and rare gift for insight make this book an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of our inner realities." --Frances Vaughan

"For years I've followed a principle: Read anything Ralph Metzner writes. The Unfolding Self confirms that I'm still correct." -- Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Words

"Revelatory...lucid...thorough...scholarly...harvests the riches from a
lifetime of intrepid and discerning spiritual research." -- Publishers Weekly

"The reader of The Unfolding Self can benefit from wise guidance
concerning the realms of non-ordinary consciousness based on Ralph
Metzner's vast learning, purity of purpose, and more than thirty years of
testing the many varieties of transformative experience."
-- Robert McDermott, Ph.D. Editor of The Essential Aurobindo and
The Essential Steiner

The Unfolding Self describes the universal metaphors for transformation that one can encounter in a spiritual journey. This is an excellent book for any individual to see and understand which metaphors of transformation appear in their personal, professional, and inner lives.
--Angeles Arrien, author of The Four-Fold Way and Signs of Life

This book is a valuable guide to the farthest reaches of consciousness.
--Larry Dossey, author of Prayer is Good Medicine and Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine

In The Unfolding Self, Ralph Metzner offers evolutionary metaphors for the transformations that occur as the mind sinks into the heart. A book well worth reading on the journey toward oneself.
--Stephen Levine, author of A Year to Live

This book is a treasure house of ancient and modern wisdom offering a wealth of stories and metaphors that nourish the soul. It is essential reading for anyone exploring spiritual growth and transformation.
--Frances Vaughan, author of Shadows of the Sacred

Read this book if you want to wake up to your full ecstatic potential. It presents profound insights and new pathways that will empower you to live your life ecstatically.
--Margo Anand, author of The Art of Sexual Ecstasy and The Art of Sexual Magic

To hold images of transformation in one's mind is transformational in itself. Therefore, this book is magic and its author, with his depth of knowledge and wisdom, a high Magician! If studied and allowed to impress the mind, Metzner's work will quicken you into an acceleration of your unfolding. This book should be required reading for all seekers of Truth.
--Jacquelyn Small, author of Awakening in Time and Rising to the Call

The Unfolding Self offers a wonderful account of the timeless metaphors that guide and describe profound inner transformation.
--Roger Walsh, author of The Spirit of Shamanism and coeditor of Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision

Praise for the Previous Edition (Opening to Inner Light)

I read this book with real enthusiasm and appreciation.
--Joseph Campbell

Ralph Metzner, long a distinguished leader in the study of the transformation of consciousness, provides a brilliant cross-cultural exploration of the powers of metaphor for characterizing and stimulating psycho-spiritual transformative experiences.
--Michael Harner, author of The Way of the Shaman

Metzner has done a masterful job of unveiling an endless variety of symbols pointing toward humankind as universal desire for wisdom. With metaphor and image, he makes the transformation process come alive.
--June Singer, author of Boundaries of the Soul

A well-written, beautifully organized, and pioneering description of the primordial images that mediate spiritual transformation. Metzner as analysis of religious archetypes ranks with the best works of comparative symbolism in our time.
--Michael Murphy, author of The Future of the Body

Ralph Metzner explores the varieties of religious experience through psychodynamic investigation of imagery. I found his book intriguing, informative, and at times illuminating.
--Elaine Pagels, author of Gnostic Gospels


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