Level 2: The Alchemy of Individuation
Your journey of developing as a coach continues with the Advanced Coaching Program Level 2. Level 1 introduced the foundations of the Aletheia approach to unfolding. In a way, Level 1 is like getting a new vehicle. In this case, a vehicle for unfolding the full depth and wonder of our humanity. Pretty cool! Even cooler, in Level 2, we hop into our new vehicle and take a trip - a developmental adventure of sorts. The wonder of travel is that we don’t arrive from our trip as the same person who departed.
The journey of individuation
Broadly speaking, all human beings travel two developmental journeys. The first is the Journey of Individuation and the second is the Journey of Spiritual Realization. In Aletheia we travel both journeys. Individuation is the unfoldment of a healthy ego that has a mature sense of self-in-relation, of differentiation and integration, and of autonomy and contact. On this journey we encounter boundary and relational issues, seemingly unavoidable trade-offs and dilemmas, phases of grandiosity and self-doubt, questions about worthiness, place, purpose, love, power, belonging, meaning, and identity. Individuation issues constitute nearly 100% of presenting issues that your clients bring to you as a coach.
Developing a healthy ego requires deepening our self-awareness, finding and relaxing ego defenses, compassionately attending to our emotional wounds, deepening relationships, opening our bodies, hearts, and minds, and stabilizing our ground in Presence. This is a journey of discovering and unfolding our individuality and uniqueness within an ever-deepening relatedness to others and situatedness in the world. The complex intimacy, career, political, and social challenges that we all face call for individuation.
Whereas the Journey of Individuation is about developing a healthy ego, the Journey of Spiritual Realization is about deconstructing ego to unconceal one’s Ultimate and True Nature. (In Aletheia, the Journey of Spiritual Realization is supported by Nondual Work, the focus of the Advanced Coaching Program Level 3.) As practices of yoga and mindfulness become more popular, and awareness of profound spiritual realizations become more well known, many people try to skip individuation and head straight to enlightenment. Psychologist John Welwood coined the term “spiritual bypass” to refer to this ineffective strategy. Trying advanced practices can result in a few peak experiences. However, without addressing the underlying individuation issues, spiritual realization is not sustainable. In unfolding our full humanity, the work of individuation cannot be skipped.
Individuation is not easy. It requires sincerity and integrity. It requires a willingness to examine yourself and to explore what’s lurking in the shadows of your personality. Nevertheless, the payoff, so to speak, is priceless. Through individuation, we discover the wonder of who we are. Through individuation, we take our place in the world. Through individuation, we learn how to truly relate to each other and be nourished by each other.
“Individuating is an imperative that drives us forward and, if successful, releases us from the trap of endlessly repeating patterns that have conditioned us.” - Murray Stein, Jungian psychoanalyst
The Alchemy of Individuation
So how does individuation occur? Carl Jung, who popularized the term, teaches that individuation unfolds through a spiraling process of separatio and conuinctio, analysis and synthesis, differentiation and integration. In separatio, we differentiate and identify the various parts of ourselves. And, in conuinctio, we integrate them through the experiential emergence of deep archetypal patterns that bring us into deeper contact with our innate Wholeness. More and more, as we individuate, we recognize and embody this very Wholeness as Presence. Through individuating we find a sense of place, purpose, belonging, meaning, and identity. Our relationships and life take on a profound sense of fulfillment. We feel interwoven into the fabric of humanity and empowered to offer our special gifts and talents. Through individuating we find our true vocational calling.
In Aletheia, we practice individuation through Parts Work, Process Work, and Presence Work. Many of the terms and images used to describe the psycho-spiritual transformations that occur during individuation are borrowed from alchemy. The original alchemists aimed at transmuting base metals into gold. For us, our Parts are the base metals that are transmuted into Process and further refined and purified into the noble gold of Presence. Thus, we call Level 2 “The Alchemy of Individuation.”
The Enneagram of Unfolding Individuation
In Aletheia, we understand and practice four kinds of ego transformation: 1) transmutation, 2) translucence, 3) transfiguration, and 4) Divine Translation. Transmutation is the 9fold kind of transformation. The 9fold style is most commonly depicted using the ancient 9-pointed enneagram symbol. Level 2 is a deep dive into transmutation through working with the Enneagram in a unique way. (The other kinds of transformation are taught and practiced in Level 3 when we focus on Nondual Work and the Journey of Spiritual Realization.)
The origins of the enneagram symbol have been lost to history. The symbol was known in Ancient Greece to Pythagoras and to the Sufis of Persia. This symbol was re-introduced to the world by the Armenian spiritual teacher Gurdjieff and used as a way to model living processes. The Bolivian mystic Oscar Ichazo developed the Enneagram into a psycho-spiritual typology. And Claudio Naranjo integrated Ichazo’s Enneagram with insights from Western psychology and brought it to Esalen where it traveled to all regions of the world. Today, there are many hundreds of books on the Enneagram of personality fixations, passions, virtues, and Holy Ideas. However, Gurdjieff’s original use of the enneagram as a process model has been largely sidelined.
In Aletheia, we use the Enneagram as Gurdjieff might have to understand individuation as a living process. And, through this, we gain access to the deeper source of wisdom that Ichazo, Naranjo, Almaas, and others teach about psycho-spiritual transformation. This particular teaching on the Enneagram of Unfolding Individuation is unique to Aletheia. Furthermore, while most enneagram-based trainings only teach the view or model of the enneagram, in Aletheia, we also teach a practical method for transmuting and unfolding Parts into Presence. The view is universal but the method of individuation is particular to our uniqueness.
In the enneagram, there is an outer flow that runs in a clockwise direction around the circle. In Level 2A, we explore how this outer flow corresponds to the stages of the separation-individuation process described by psychologist Margaret Mahler. According to Mahler’s research, children undergo what she terms the “psychological birth” at around age three. At this age, the foundational layers of ego structure have formed through a complex interplay between nature and nurture. Our psychological birth brings the practical capacity to grasp ourselves as a separate self. The rest of childhood and early adult life is built on top of this foundation.
We can experience developmental disruptions during the first three years of life that remain embedded within these foundational layers of ego structure. In a sense, the natural unfoldment of certain facets of our Being was disrupted during this phase of development. There is also an inner flow represented by the inner triangle and inner hexagram (aka the spider web). The inner flow expresses a path of integration and embodiment of Presence that generates a healthy and mature individuated ego. Working through this inner flow is the focus of Level 2B. Using our method, in Levels 2A and 2B, we are able to reactivate the unfoldment that was disrupted and learn to integrate and embody all facets of our Being as we individuate.
What happens in Level 2?
In Level 2, we undertake an experiential study of individuation from two angles. First, we identify the constellation of Parts that compose our fixations and practice integral unfolding in the manner that you learned in Level 1 using Parts Work, Process Work, and Presence Work to transmute them into Qualities of Presence. Second, we work with special meditations and somatic practices that directly evoke and support embodiment of the Quality of Presence we are working with. You will first apply this twofold approach to accelerate your own individuation. Then, you will learn how to skillfully bring this approach to your coaching clients.
In Level 2, you cultivate the art of coaching embodied unfoldment.
In total, Level 2 is composed of 20 days of training. These 20 days are divided into two 10-day courses taken separately and in sequence:
Level 2A: The Outer Flow of Separation-Individuation
Level 2B: The Inner Flow of Integration and Embodied Presence
Level 2A and 2B are further divided into three in-person sessions. (When offered internationally, these courses are divided into two 5-day sessions or sometimes one 10-day retreat.)
Overview of Level 2A: The Outer Flow of Separation-Individuation
Day 1: Overview of the Alchemy of Individuation
Day 2: Point 9 - Absolute Trust/Universal Love
Day 3: Point 1 - Unconditional Love
Day 4: Point 2 - Contactful Love
Day 5: Point 3 - Value and the Outer Shock
Day 6: Point 4 - Strength
Day 7: Point 5 - Knowingness
Day 8: Point 6 - Personal Will and the Inner Shock
Day 9: Point 7 - Joy
Day 10: Point 8 - Passion
Overview of Level 2B: The Inner Flow of Integration and Embodied Presence
Day 1: Point 8 -> Point 2 - Pleasure
Day 2: Point 2 -> Point 4 - Compassion
Day 3: Point 4 -> Point 1 - Unique Brilliance
Day 4: Point 1 -> Point 7 - Abundance
Day 5: Point 7 -> Point 5 - Clarity
Day 6: Point 5 -> Point 8 - Power
Day 7: Point 3 -> Point 6 - Impersonal Will
Day 8: Point 6 -> Point 9 - Samadhi
Day 9: Point 9 -> Point 3 - Fulfillment
Day 10: Embodying an Individuated Personal Presence
Each session is followed by two months of solo and cohort practice, coaching supervision, and integration. In total there are six 90-minute private coaching supervision calls with the course leader. Participants are required to meet monthly with a small cohort to practice Aletheia Coaching. Furthermore, participants are encouraged to practice Aletheia Coaching with their own coaching clients. Ongoing contact between faculty and participants will be enabled through Slack to keep the practices alive and the learning continuous. Each program is accompanied by a workbook that details the view, the method, and the specialized meditations and practices used for each Quality of Presence. There will be some additional required reading and a large annotated bibliography of resources for those who want to dive even deeper.
Most participants in the Advanced Coaching Program (ACP) are already certified through an International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited program. Certification as an Aletheia Coach is available but is optional. Upon completion of ACP Levels 1, 2A, and 2B, you are eligible for certification. Details about the process for certification will be offered during these courses. The fee for certification is $750 USD.
The cost of Level 2A is $5,000 USD, inclusive of tuition, supervision, materials, and required reading.
The cost of Level 2B is $5,000 USD, inclusive of tuition, supervision, materials, and required reading.
Check the schedule for current offerings.