You and I: Psycho-Spiritual Health and the Voice of Love
As therapists, we regularly observe the extent to which our patients are distanced from a voice of love or compassion toward themselves and others (e.g., inner good voice, benevolent superego, good internal object, spirit of love, God). We believe the extent to which one realizes an intimate relationship to this voice (through the tangible mediation of loving others) is the defining measure of psycho-spiritual health. As such, the curative power of "love" is grounded in a tangible relationship
... ith a self-transcendent good that is not reducible to simply subjective experience, affect, behavior, or social interaction. To that end, the present paper aims to examine some individual, group, and collective psycho-spiritual health implications of a case wherein a patient experienced a moment of "spiritual perfection," during which he felt "immersed in a self-transcendent spirit of love" that brought with it a sense of self-actualization. While the experience lasted, the patient reported a vivid sense that intentional wrongdoing harmed himself far more than others, and psycho-spiritual health was directly bound with loving others. Methodologically, we approach this case from both a multidisciplinary and psychologically integrative "phenomenological" viewpoint that may speak to our patients as well as to a more professional audience, with two primary goals in view: first, to define and demonstrate the importance of this "love," and second, to elucidate the process by which individuals might operationalize and examine it in a reasoned, methodological, and testable fashion. Through this case, we hope to provide readers with an appreciation for the utility of such an experience and knowledge, in particular as it relates to overcoming issues related to addiction, freedom, and power that can enable us to become more and better than we are.