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    • John C. Robinson, Ph.D., D.Min.
    • I am a clinical psychologist with a second doctorate in ministry, ordained interfaith minister, author, husband and father. I started writing books about psychology and spirituality at midlife and I couldn’t stop. Looking back now, I am beginning to see the larger design of my work, like one of my wife’s quilts when it’s hung, all the pieces finally in place, the design evident. Quite without planning, I have been following a single vision of life that I am certain is true, though I can take no credit for it. As music comes through a composer, this vision came through me.

      I wrote Death of a Hero, Birth of the Soul — a description of the male midlife passage — while dealing with my own midlife and specializing with men’s issues in my psychology practice. The book argued that the central developmental task men faced in their forties was to replace the traditional model of manhood — driven, competitive, soul-numbing and exhausting, with a deeper and truer model, one that unleashes the true self and its gifts. This first book also hinted at the possibility of one day living in the divine world, an experience forgotten since theologians convinced the Western World that we had been expelled from the Garden for some mythical figure’s “Original Sin.”

      I then moved more deeply into the spiritual realm. Intuiting that psychotherapy was only half the solution to psychological problems, I wrote But Where Is God? Psychotherapy and the Religious Search. It was meant for psychotherapists of all stripes who either left spirituality out of their work (often dismissing its insights as irrelevant or even pathological) or inadvertently (and unethically) imposed their own spiritual beliefs on their clients. I wanted to heal the split between the defiantly empirical medical model and the sometimes rigid theologies of religion. I knew that psychology more fully appreciated the dark side of religion (the reality of sexual scandals, religiously-rationalized child abuse, spiritual addictions) and that religion better appreciated the forgotten spiritual side of healing (the value of prayer, the healing of Presence, and the importance of ultimate questions).

      After envisioning a spiritually-oriented psychotherapy, I wrote Ordinary Enlightenment: Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life, for I longed to understand the nature of Presence and how to experience it. By the time the book was completed, I knew firsthand what God’s Presence felt like and how it changes us. I had entered the realm of mysticism — the direct experience of divinity — and began to see how this experience can transfigure the world in the most extraordinary ways.

      The mystics from across time and religion often talk about seeing Heaven on Earth. They say that Heaven is already here when we are awake enough to see it, and that this awakening occurs in the experience of the Presence. As I found more and more evidence of this universal realization, I was thrilled and amazed — Heaven on Earth seems to the best-kept secret of the spiritual life! I wondered, “Why doesn’t everyone and every religion talk about this?” I explored this amazing theme in Finding Heaven Here.

      Then, as I started to age, I sensed that growing older continues this same unfolding transformation of consciousness that had begun with midlife. More than that, I realized that aging itself offers the highest levels of spiritual realization if we understand and surrender to its powerful energies. The Three Secrets of Aging describes these energies as initiation, transformation and revelation and argues that they are intrinsic to natural aging. Moreover, as advances in medicine, nutrition and public health increased the average life span by nearly thirty years, we are now witnessing the unfolding of an entirely new stage of life.

      Hoping to make this vision of aging more accessible (and more fun), I wrote Bedtime Stories for Elders: What Fairy Tales Can Teach Us About the New Aging. Drawing on ten old and new fairy tales from around the world, I invite older folks (just like me) to discover the three secrets of aging in symbolic parables.

      It should be evident by now that the vision I have been following represents the call of a profound developmental process driving the second half of life. Aging is changing me, revealing an essence I had long sensed but couldn’t get at until time, loss, and love broke loose the façade I had created so many years ago. In aging, I return to a sacred consciousness that now welcomes me home to myself.

Vision, Hope and Courage in a Time of Crisis

Many of us wrestle with fear, despair, insecurity, and loneliness in this time of sustained global crisis. I worry for the future of the human family and life itself. But these times are also an invitation.

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A Mystical Approach To The Climate Crisis

In mystical activism, we live more and more in the divine flow of here and now, and experience the sacred world in everything we do – raising our children, loving our family and our friends, performing our work, being kind and considerate, caring for community and environment, pursuing climate activism, and even in the simplest human acts of eating and drinking and loving – they are all sacred in awakened consciousness.

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A Body of Work by John C. Robinson, Ph.D., D.Min

Profound shifts in consciousness are driving the accumulated crises of the world. I believe the timeless and universal vision of this work is critical to our survival. 

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Book Review: “Aging with Vision, Hope and Courage in A Time of Crisis”

Here’s a book uniquely aimed at today’s critical challenge. It comes from a writer with a long history of (pious but genuine) infatuation with Creation.

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Aging with Vision, Hope and Courage in a Time of Crisis

As the coronavirus burst upon the scene, I realized that climate change was only one of a new “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” The storied marauders of old – death, plague, war and famine – had morphed into the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, uncontrolled population growth, and the unraveling of modern civilization.

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Resilience: Aging with Vision, Hope and Courage in a Time of Crisis

A journey into the wisdom, maturity, and resilience of age in a time of crisis.

Writing on conscious aging, Dr. John Robinson, 74-year-old psychologist, minister, teacher and author, contributed his decades of experience to guiding the 65+ demographic through these tumultuous times.

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Finding Heaven Here

Finding out that this world is Heaven is crucial for human survival. Otherwise in the frenzy of dissociation, our shadow games will annihilate the planet. John Robinson’s passionate and finely researched book will inspire seekers to open their enlightened eyes and see the world as it is, and start working in Sacred Activism to preserve it.

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Climate Apocalypse: Birthing a New Humanity

What do climate change, the novel coronavirus, and the Earth’s population explosion all have in common? They comprise a Biblically-sized Armageddon calling for an equal Biblically-sized rebirth of sacred consciousness, this time from the deep feminine.

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Climate Apocalypse: Birthing a New Humanity

What do climate change, the novel coronavirus, and the Earth’s population explosion all have in common? They comprise a Biblically-sized Armageddon calling for an equal Biblically-sized rebirth of sacred consciousness, this time from the deep feminine.

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Mystical Activism

In Mystical Activism, we each hold the power to change the world right where we are. To call these “end times” is not hyperbole.

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Help from the Other Side

Mystical Neuropsychology

Throughout history, humans have believed that deceased loved ones, ancestors, spirit guides, angels, and other helpful spiritual beings operate in our lives and are genuinely interested in our welfare. Notwithstanding the advent of scientific materialism, such beliefs are also alive and well today.

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Mystical Activism: Transforming a World In Crisis

In Mystical Activism, we each hold the power to change the world right where we are. To call these “end times” is not hyperbole. We are in trouble and the signs are everywhere: extreme political divisions; xenophobic violence; enormous wealth inequity; poverty and homelessness; racism, sexism, and ageism; arms buildups and unending wars; and, most critical of all, terrifying climate disruption associated with man-made global warming.

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Mystical Activism – Falling in Love with Creation Again

A sustainability leadership professor from the University of Cumbria (UK), Jem Bendell tells us that, at the current pace of runaway global warming, we can no longer assume that humans will figure out a way to avert environmental and societal collapse within the next ten years.

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Humanity’s Ultimate Choice: Which World Do We Want to Live In?

An Introduction to Mystical Activism

Mystical activism begins with mystical consciousness: an intentionally awakened, the thought-free, sacred of awareness of the mystic that transforms the experience of our self, our work, and the world itself.

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Mystical Activism: Transforming a World in Crisis

To call these “end times” is hardly hyperbolic. We are in trouble and the signs are everywhere: extreme political divisions; xenophobic violence; enormous wealth inequity; poverty and homelessness; sexism and ageism; arms buildups and unending wars; and, most frightening of all, escalating climate disruption.

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Heaven on Earth.

A life time of study, a master’s degree and two doctorates (psychology and spirituality), interfaith ordination, numerous articles, nine books, and the wisdom of age, can all be distilled to this:

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What Is Mysticism?

We encounter the word mysticism more often these days as if we were collectively searching for its renewed significance in today’s world. Though long misunderstood in secular and even spiritual circles, mysticism – and the mystical experience – has an essential and profound place in the history of the world’s religions. More importantly, the mystical experience itself opens the door into the direct experience of the divine itself. With these comments in mind, I want to offer a modern explanation of mysticism and its relation to religion and spirituality.

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A New Understanding of Soul

As you probably know, the higher cognitive functions in humans are divided between the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain. The left side deals with speech, language, logic, reasoning, and storytelling – all the processes that we conventionally call mind. The right hemisphere deals with non-conceptual, non-language here-and-now sensory and spatial awareness and thought-free consciousness (I’m intentionally leaving out perceptual-motor functions that are largely irrelevant to my argument). Now here is where it gets really interesting. Do you know about the split-brain research?

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Mystical Activism and Creation Spirituality

In my work as a mystic, I have been exploring a new kind of activism – Mystical Activism. Evolving from the experience of divine Self-realization discovered in the New Aging, it has been foretold in the archetypes, myths and prophecies of the world and must now become a lived reality if we are to survive on Earth. This blog describes the nature and place of Mystical Activism in Creation Spirituality theology and human transformation.

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Who is God?

For eons, humans have viewed God as a huge, external, and all-knowing human-like figure who rewards some, punishes others, and ignores many, and whose actions in the world often seem mysterious and inexplicable. This is the projection model of God: we humans unconsciously created the figure of God in our own image and projected this image “out there.” Worse, this belief assigns the responsibility for change onto a fictional character to whom we keep praying, hoping that this “God” will someday hear us, or do what we ask, or show us why things are the way they are, or something.

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The Two-Way Mirror Analogy of Aging

The Two-Way Mirror was part of my early clinical psychology training in graduate school. Therapy rooms in our training clinic had been constructed with see-through mirrors. You’ve probably seen similar arrangements on television crime shows where those behind a mirror watch a suspect’s interview. What you see through a two-way mirror depends on which side is dark and which side is lit. In my clinical training, therapists and their clients sat in the lit side observed by faculty and other students from the unseen dark side. After the session, teacher and students would discuss how things went.

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Lent and the Mystical Jesus

Lent marks the sacramental period of deep and sincere reflection on the meaning of Easter and the miracle Jesus’ death and resurrection. Its 40-day duration symbolizes Jesus’ 40-day prayer fast in the desert in preparation for the completion of his work on Earth and his ultimate spiritual transformation. For Christians, it’s a time of moderation, repentance or purification in like preparation for the powerful – and mystical – events and significance of Easter.

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Regarding The Three Secrets of Aging

Aging is a transformation of self and consciousness. Surrendering our old identity, schedule and roles, our sense of self changes. Growth possibilities from the unfinished self blossom creating with new interests, goals and life possibilities.

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What Will I Give Back? How to Discover What Your Soul Still Longs to Do

Conscious Aging organizations encourage elders to contribute their time, energy, wisdom, and experience in “giving back” to the world. So when I retired, I was surprised by how much resistance I felt to getting involved.

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Breakthrough – A Novel

When a middle-aged clinical psychologist begins working with a client describing bizarre mystical experiences, his own world changes radically.

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The Divine Human

With our unprecedented longevity, aging has become a new developmental stage in the human life cycle. Conscious sacred aging now offers humanity profound opportunities for psychological, spiritual and mystical transformation, expanding not only our lifespan but our awareness of God as well. What if we discover in this awakening that we are already divine? What if this realization transforms our very nature and purpose in the world? The Divine Human answers these questions and more, revealing the ultimate meaning of the New Aging.

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Book Review – “The Three Secrets” of Aging by John C. Robinson

Review by Carol Orsborn, Editor in Chief, Fierce with Age

This month’s Digest is a special edition, dedicated for the first time solely to the work of one thought leader. I encountered Dr. John C. Robinson’s work on aging 5 years ago. Until then, I thought of spirituality as a solution to the challenges of aging. Over time, I grew to view aging as a spiritual path. But it was John Robinson’s books that opened the portal to my understanding of aging as a mystical experience, in and of itself.

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Responding to the Trauma of the Presidential Election in Four Dimensions

The 2016 presidential election triggered an unexpected and nearly unbearable trauma for over half of the American people. For many, it felt like the death of a loved one, or the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, or the nightmare of 9/11. It felt like a wrecking ball shattering our nation’s fragile architecture of decent human values, urgent climate plans, and steadily expanding civil rights. Like many, I shared my distress wherever I went – in my men’s group, spirituality group, conscious aging circle, and conversations with loved ones, and knew that this threat to our way of life was magnitudes worse for vulnerable peoples – immigrants, religious and racial minorities, and the poor. We discussed protests, marches, political action and civil disobedience. I imagine that many of you had similar conversations in your communities as disbelief, shock, grief, tears, fear, insomnia, and horror fragmented psyches all across our land.

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Book Review: Living the Quaker Way

Timeless Wisdom for a Better Life Today, Philip Gulley

In his highly readable Living the Quaker Way, Philip Gulley graciously welcomes the curious reader into the Quaker faith. His introductory chapter, “What is a Quaker?” is friendly, open, kind, unpretentious, and folksy. I read on expecting a primer on Quaker history, beliefs and practices and was not disappointed. But then I was startled by the change in tone. As he begins to work through the core values of the Quaker faith – Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community and Equality – Gulley becomes eloquently and passionately critical of modern American life, criticism that I entirely agree with.

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The Three Secrets of Aging

The Three Secrets of Aging suggests instead that our final stage of life offers an astounding new evolutionary process: an initiation into an entirely new stage of life, a transformation of self and consciousness, and a revelation of a new – and sacred – world right where we are.

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Finding the Courage to Age

When things get tough, we frankly wonder what kind of courage it will take to grow old and whether we have that courage.

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