Your Journey Inward: A Review of The Inner Camino by Sara Hollwey and Jill Brierley
The overlaps between Jungian and shamanic ideas and principles are numerous. As a Jungian analyst and shamanic practitioner, I am always interested to find that other branches of psychology and other wisdom traditions incorporate similar concepts. The Inner Camino, from Findhorn Press, has much in common with Jungian and shamanic ideas I’ve written about in my own book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life. Between them, the authors—sisters Sara Hollwey and Jill Brierley—have backgrounds and experience in Vedanta philosophy and yoga, clinical psychology, and anthroposophy. Based on their clinical practices and extensive training in various mind-body disciplines, Hollwey and Brierley have written an excellent guide to taking a spiritual, interior journey toward inner wisdom that allows readers to experience transformation and freedom from old patterns. The title of their book derives from the traditional spiritual pilgrimage to the city of Camino de Santiago, also called The Way of the Stars. Unlike that traditional pilgrimage, however, the one they write of is purely internal—yet has powerful effects on the choices and decisions a person makes that end up becoming part of a life story.
The Inner Camino sheds light on how to live free of the biases of ego, the aspect of the self that is mostly concerned with everyday matters. The goal is to operate from inner wisdom, which is a sense of oneness with all that exists and a knowing that transcends the wisdom of the mind. Hollwey and Brierley acknowledge the difficulties in maintaining a bias-free perspective as one attempts to walk along an inner path. However, their suggestions and perspectives can aid us to become more accepting and effective in dealing with ourselves and others.
The exercises, presented in a well thought out and practical way, allow readers to develop their intuitive awareness and reframe their everyday challenges. This reframing makes it easier for anyone to make choices that serve themselves and Spirit. By tapping into the intuitive consciousness, it’s possible to detach from an identification with the ordinary world and gain a perspective based in the awareness of one’s spiritual connection to everything in existence. As a Jungian analyst, I would say we learn to relate to life more from the viewpoint of the self and less from that of the ego. As a shamanic practitioner, I recognize in The Inner Camino a shamanic-like perspective. We are always interconnected with the whole, and it’s important to address concerns and problems from their origins upstream in the world of Spirit and oneness.
I highly recommend this book to all who want to break free of the stories that trap them in the values and priorities of this world rather than their own inner spirit, affecting their decision making in ways that do not serve their best interests. The Inner Camino is for those who have forgotten their inner knowing but also those who aspire to deepen their inner journey. Its real-life examples illustrate how connecting to transpersonal realms can make our everyday experiences richer and more satisfying. Rich with wisdom, this guide to consciously weaving together both inner and outer journeys is elegantly written and eminently practical.
As you think about your own story, can you see how it has been an inner journey to a deeper knowing and understanding of your true nature? Do you wish to go deeper into that inner journey? If you were to do so, what changes would you make in your life today? And what’s holding you back from making those changes?
Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD, is a retired clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst, a businessman, and a shamanic practitioner, author, and philanthropist funding over 60 charities and more than 850 past and current Greer Scholars. He has taught at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and been on staff at the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being.
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