Inner Strength Theory


(2014). "Review: Unifying Psychotherapy, by Magnavita & Anchin."

Reviews a proposed framework for pragmatically unifying psychotherapy.


(2014). "Reducing Uncertainty: Science and Psychotherapy."

Explains the current conflict between evidence-based and humanistic-phenomenological therapies (EBTs and HPTs, respectively) and how they can be accommodated.


(2011). "Transcending the Shamed Self."

Describes and explains an experience of self-transcendence in terms of a life-long battle with shame. Distinguishes shame from eight closely related emotions that are often confused with it.


(2010). "Letting Go: Six Stages."

Identifies six stages in which the practice of letting go of our conscious thoughts and feelings allows a primal sense of existence to emerge and transform our everyday lives.


(2006). "Follow the River of Inner Rhythm," Common Sense, July-August, 16-17.

Explains the Buddhist notion of non-clinging by contrasting our constantly changing inner experience with a sense of abiding, unconditional well-being.


(2005). "Degrees of Separation."

Distinguishes among various aspects of separation and identifies how each contributes to our suffering. Explains the contrast between ego and non-ego and between identification and non-identification.


(2004). "Life and Death."

Comparison of a Buddhist and a Christian readings of the famous saying of Ch'ing-yüan Wei-hsin (Seigen Ishin): “Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.” (The Way of Zen 220 k)


(2003). "Toward a Theory of Spirituality."

Briefly introduces an argument that the core of spirituality is feeling whole: an unconditional satisfaction in life whatever our circumstances may be. Spirituality, then, is a continuum of liberation from depending on particular circumstances for happiness. At the one extreme is the spiritual slave whose happiness totally depends on present favorable circumstances. At the other extreme is the spiritual genius who finds deep satisfaction in life in even the most unfavorable circumstances. This account provides a criterion for distinguishing functional and dysfunctional spiritual forms and practices.


(2003). "Soma: A Naturalistic Theory of Enlightenment."

Explains enlightenment in terms of soma, the state of being somatically awake. Excerpted from Feeling and Time (click here).


(2003). Feeling and Time: Living Whole in the Information Age.

Explains how we can live a deeply felt, meaningful life while participating in our complex technoeconomy. The key is soma (being somatically awake), which is the core of the experience traditionally called enlightenment. Explores the relationship between soma and the brain, as well as the role of soma in developmental psychology.

Does not require any previous acquaintance with the related philosophical, psychological, or spiritual literatures. It explains all its terms in ordinary language. Nevertheless, it does require sustained effort.


(2003). "Buddhism, Science, and Discouragement." [Abridged version: "Buddhism and Science." Inquiring Mind, 20(1),49.]

The contemporary challenge of Buddhism is to show how the inner peace of mindfulness is not only compatible with our complex technoeconomy, but contributes to and is even nourished by it. Buddhism should not escape into a romanticized pastoral past.


(2002). "Review: Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain, by Elio Frattaroli". Journal of Consciousness Studies,  9 (8), 92-93.

Argues against the over-prescription of drugs for mental problems, but gets lost in irrelevant discussions of reductionism.


(2000). "Dynamically Integrating Psychology: Harmonizing the Ensemble of Science and Poetic Imagination."

Argues that psychologists cannot integrate their discipline in terms of contents (the subject matters or methodologies of psychology's many specialties), but they can integrate them dynamically, within each psychologist's own conscious process. This is the integration that psychologists seek at the deepest level.


(2000). "A Pragmatic View of Enlightenment: The Science of Enlightenment, by Nitin Trasi." Network: The Scientific and Medical Network Review, n. 72 .April, 51.

(2000). "Critique of The Science of Enlightenment: Enlightenment, Liberation and God — A Scientific Explanation, by Nitin Trasi." Correspondence.

Trasi's goal is the same as this website's: to "demystify" enlightenment by explaining it in ordinary terms and by describing what enlightened daily living looks like. These links lead to my review and our early correspondence. Click here for his own website.


(1999). "Mindfulness Doesn't Give Answers" (published as "It Ain't Whatcha Do, It's the Way Thatcha Do It"). Inquiring Mind, 15(2), 47.

Brief letter to editor explaining that mindfulness develops skills in managing one's inner consciousness (process) but provides no special expertise in public policy (content).


(1999). "Review: Zen and the Brain, by James H. Austin." Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6 (1), 117-119.

Reprinted in (2000) Realization.org (online magazine), September 7.

Review of Austin's encyclopedic study of the brain mechanisms possibly underlying enlightenment.


(1999). "Three Approaches to Consciousness: Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, System-Cybernetics." Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6 (10), 105-111.

Compares three books in their approach to studying enlightened consciousness.


(1998). "The Hard Problem As Koan."

The "hard problem" is to explain the relationship between consciousness and the brain. This article argues that the problem is insoluble and as such can be used as a kind of koan to shift our attention from the content of consciousness (focusing on solving the problem) to consciousness itself, which shift allows enlightenment to emerge.


(1997). "A Methodology for the Science of Consciousness." The Karl Ja (1977) ”A Methodology for the Science of Consciousness,” Karl Jaspers Forum (online journal), Target Article 2, 17 July 1997.

Argues for critical realism: we do know reality, but always in an incomplete, provisional, and improvable way. Click here for the Karl Jaspers Forum.


(1967). "Bergson's Intuitional Approach to Free Will." The Modern Schoolman, 45, 123-144.

Explains the role of intuition in Bergson's understanding of free will. Bergson's description of élan vital, our consciousness of an inner process deeper than our ordinary experience of choice, reveals an aspect of the path that we take to soma.