I’m pleased to announce that my book was recently acquired by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Hard cover and kindle editions of my book will be released in the spring of 2019. The title of the book will be changing to The Promise of Wholeness: Cultivating Inner Peace, Mindfulness and Love in a Divided World. The content will remain the same – look for a blog post with new insight on the title coming soon!
For a limited time, paperback copies of my original author’s edition of Henosis will remain available with free shipping.
The Psychological Wisdom and Eternal Principles that Lead to Lasting Peace and Wellbeing
Henosis: (Ancient Greek: ἕνωσις) is the classical Greek word for mystical “oneness”, “union”, or “unity.” In Platonism, and especially Neoplatonism, the goal of henosis is union with what is fundamental in reality: the One (Τὸ Ἕν), the Source, or Monad.
Henosis is the Greek word for oneness/unity. The missing links between the wisdom of ancient philosophy and the startling insights within modern psychology to transform suffering, transcend circumstances and increase our capacity for love are explored in Henosis: Aligning Current Psychological Wisdom with Eternal Principles to Awaken Lasting Peace and Wellbeing.
Most philosophical studies of ancient wisdom lack enough practical applications and many popular psychology books simply skim the surface of the human experience. Licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist Eric Ehrke offers us a new foundation for profound living based on classical teachings and enriched by modern scientific/psychological breakthroughs. He presents us with a new worldview steeped in the brilliance of the Greek philosopher and metaphysician Plotinus (204-270 CE), grounded by the work of Plato, and supported by modern thinkers such as Carl Jung and Viktor Frankl. The principles and values it takes to be happy and whole endure, but gentle makeovers are needed to modernize the message. Clinical examples from Eric Ehrke’s forty years of psychotherapy practice and personal stories from courageous individuals are also significant contributors throughout the book.
The author uses the concept of Plato’s Theory of Forms, that template of actualized wisdom and/or the complete realization of an ideal principle, to organize the book, presenting eight forms (illusion, love, cherish, grace, equanimity, empathy, incorruptibility, and henosis) in a practical way to enrich our lives. In homage to contemporary culture, we also examine such subjects as the philosophical underpinning of the original Wizard of Oz book series and learn how the work of Plotinus and Plato support this modern fairy tale.
To the psychological canon Ehrke adds many new teachings, such as the Primary Love Template and Somatic Empathy Theory, and new critical exercises for infantile, childish and adolescent stress responses and his foundational: “Camel Wave Meditation” and the “Wise and Loving Inner Voice Meditation.” As Ehrke begins to share Henosis with the community of his peers at local and national conferences, Henosis will become a guidebook for psychology students, counselors, and therapists. At a time, when societal norms are struggling, Ehrke aligned eternal wisdom, sound psychological principles and practical solutions and created a handbook of consciousness guiding us to lasting peace and wellbeing.
At 103,000 words, the manuscript for Henosis is complete.
Click in each section below to open it for reading.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Ancient Perspectives
Merging the Great Philosophers into Christianity
Monotheism and the Philosophy of Plotinus
The Ancient Origin of the Word Henosis
The Plot in Us
A Primer on Forms
Mankind Enslaved by Shadows
Interpreting Plato’s Allegory of the Cave
The Quest for Unification
Now That You Have Been Introduced to Henosis, What’s Next?
Chapter Two: Illusion and the Paradox of Being Human
The Form(s) of Illusion
Protagonists and Antagonists
The Primary Love Template
Enchanted by the Victim/Perpetrator Paradigm
Fear and Courage
Passive versus Active Anger
The Codependent Relationship of Dogma and Anger
Reflections of Love and Misery
Liberating Dysfunctional Patterns
The Paradox of the Human Soul
The Relationship of the Soul to Our Personalities
The Abandonment Imprint
Reconciling with the Form of Illusion
Form Synopsis: Illusion
Chapter Three: Merging Humanness with Love
The Form(s) of Love
Unlovable as a Primary Love Template
The Heart Revises Our Templates for Love
An Expanded Form of Love
Form Synopsis: Love
Chapter Four: The Cherished Human
The Form(s) of Cherish
Receiving the Form of Cherish
Can I Cherish Myself Flaws, Claws and All?
There Is No Place Like Home
Using the Form of Cherish
Form Synopsis: Cherish
Chapter Five: Innocence and Grace
The Form(s) of Grace
Oneness in Diversity
Paradoxes of Power
The Dolphin Diagnosis
The State of Grace
Can We Create the Form of Grace?
Form Synopsis: Grace
Chapter Six: Mindfulness, Soulfulness and Equanimity
The Form(s) of Equanimity
Equanimity Versus Bullies
Psychological Henosis (A.K.A. the Zone)
“Match Play” in the Field
Hansel and Gretel: Models of Equanimity
Surviving Ordeals and Enduring Love
Duality and Purpose of Illusion
Form Synopsis: Equanimity
Chapter Seven: The Brain: Logic, Presence and Emotional Intelligence
A Storybook Brain Dilemma
Logic Versus Emotional Intelligence
Three Major Functions of the Brain
Function One: Reptilian Brain
Function Two: Emotional Brain
Function Three: Higher Brain
The Gut-Brain Axis
Chronological versus Emotional Maturity
Infant Stress Response
Visualization: Soothed by the Heart of Mother
Child Stress Response
Think-Feel-Do Three-legged Stool Exercise
Adolescent Stress Response
Short-Term versus Enduring Solutions Discussion
The Emotionally Mature Adult
The Empathy Round Table
The Oneness Paradox
Chapter Eight: The Empathy Paradox
The Form(s) of Empathy
Emotional (Affective) Empathy
Somatic Empathy Theory
Connecting Not Attaching
Ignorance about Empathic Velcro
A Personal Account from an Empathic Child
Somatic Empathy Within Families
Somatic Empathy Self-test
Somatic Empathy Solutions
Fibromyalgia as a Form of Corrupted Somatic Empathy
Empathy Without Suffering
Empathy Awareness Lies on a Continuum
Form Synopsis: Empathy
Chapter Nine: Human Incorruptibility
The Form of Incorruptibility
Terror in Oz
Good Intentions, Corrupted Solutions
The Never-ending Story of Suffering
The Terrorist Continuum
Evil is in the Eye of the Beholder
Victims and Terrorists Flip Flop Roles
The Freedom to Choose Always Remains
War and Peace
Turning the Other Cheek
Rehabilitation and De-radicalization
Form Synopsis: Incorruptibility
Chapter Ten: Incorruptibility Leads to Henosis
The Form of Henosis
Milestones Feeling Like Millstones
Individual Transformation Impacts Collective Henosis
Sacred Antagonists and Incorruptibility
We Already Have What We Need
Henosis Is Our Home
Form Synopsis: Henosis
Concluding Remarks and Hopes
Addendum #1—Camel Wave Mediation and Follow-Through Instructions
The Camel Wave Meditation
Suggested Intentions and Form Phrases
Combining Breath with the Forms to Heal Specific Physical, Emotional or Mental Problems
Hour-by-Hour and Day-by-Day Monitoring
Addendum #2—Wise and Loving Inner Voice Meditation
Steps to the Wise and Loving Inner Voice Meditation
Chapter One Summary
Chapter Two Summary
Chapter Three Summary
- Hold onto your principles and allow love to transform and transcend illusion.
- Remain connected to goodness, oneness, and all of divinity
- Embrace everything with love and then surrender to what transpires.
Expanded forms of love enable us to conquer illusion, rise above delusion, and prepare us for lasting peace and wellbeing. Many times conflict looks like a challenge to love one another more, but it is usually a reminder to fly straight and develop more self-love. Humanity is an aspect of divinity disguised as friends and strangers. We can emulate henosis by experiencing unity within ourselves.
Chapter Four Summary
Chapter Five Summary
Chapter Six Summary
Chapter Seven Summary
- Infant stress response (Soothed by the Heart of the Mother visualization)
- Child Stress Response (Think-Feel-Do Three legged Stool Exercise)
- Adolescent Stress Response (Short Term versus Enduring Solutions Discussion),
- The Emotionally Mature Adult (The Empathy Round Table)
Chapter seven concludes by considering the oneness paradox, the challenge of focusing not on our differences but on our similarities and how this is an important paradox of being human.
Chapter Eight Summary
Chapter Nine Summary
Chapter Ten Summary
- Understanding the role of illusion in facilitating growth can lead us to rich personal and/or collective experiences of unity with attention paid to the forms of illusion and equanimity.
- Maintaining a loving heart, mindfulness, and sovereignty through the forms of love, cherish, and grace.
- Positive and negative experiences make us incorruptible as we are assisted with understanding the brain and are strengthened through the forms of empathy and incorruptibility.
Oscar Zoroaster, the actual wizard from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz reminds us about the illusion of power, where principles becomes negotiable if the end justifies the means. Dorothy Gale, on the other hand, provides a shinning example of henosis embodied in the midst of Job-like hardships. Chapter ten looks at sacred antagonists and incorruptible solutions that recreate our henosis home. Henosis is an enlightened form because it incorporates each of the previous forms.
- We review how the forms assist us Illusion reveals our lies and every delusion we bury in our unconscious.
- Love is what we are and what we take with us when we die.
- Cherish is a grammar school primer containing the essence of love.
- Grace is being present in a state of awe and loving innocence.
- Equanimity combines, balances and harmonizes the forms through mindfulness.
- Empathy is oneness with awareness of which illusions belong to whom.
- Incorruptibility incorporates principles, values and each form in all situations.
The book reminds us that life on earth challenges us to master the forms to achieve henosis, which happens to be a unifying, divine presence embodied in every atom of existence. Henosis is the alpha and omega of life that opens the doors to the secrets of the universe and creates lasting peace and wellness in your life.
“. . . rich with understanding and perspective . . . With his forty years’ experience as a psychotherapist and seeker of hidden truth, Eric Ehrke merges classical teaching with modern psychology to create a new framework for a revitalized humanity.”
Jennifer Read Hawthorne
Writer and coauthor of 5 books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series
“Eric Ehrke creates a tapestry in Henosis, weaving Platonic forms, Plotinus’s ideas, with Jungian and modern psychological thought. . . quality and depth . . . the time and thought needed for each chapter are investments in further understanding the glory of being human.”
David B. Henderson, Ed.D
owner, NorthStar Consultants
“Eric Ehrke gives us an open and detailed account of what he has learned over a lifetime about bearing pain and learning to love the world and all its creatures. In addition to a good understanding of modern developmental psychology and neuroscience, he has dug deeply into the history of philosophy, especially Plato and Plotinus, and shows how all of us move through many illusions to a larger understanding of all of Being, achieving Henosis (oneness with everything)—-or at least as far as we can do it, with or without the kind of thoughtful psychotherapy he practices. It is humbling and refreshing to realize that in this larger context we are all working through some of the same dilemmas as the citizens of ancient Greece and Rome. (In fact, people were probably doing it before then, but we don’t have their written records.) Although the exercises and extensive bibliography of the book show the impressive research Mr. Ehrke has done, he has the grace at times to tell an anecdote about his own personal experience which brings the account down to earth in the present. This is a book worth studying and meditating on.”
Dr. William Houghton
“It is rare when a book embodies the very potential it claims to awaken in its readers. Henosis takes us on a journey of the human quest for soul—it is a living, breathing labyrinth of self-discovery and awakening that shatters illusions and asks us to question everything. And in the end, its message is the antidote for a new humanity.”
Kara Catrelle LCSW
“Well-researched, Henosis is based on the premise of Unity Consciousness or the inherent goodness/love of every person. Through the teachings and applications of tested meditation exercises included in this book, based on the mind/body/soul connection, the reader can embrace self-discovery and ultimately reach that timeless quest for Soul. Eric Ehrke writes from a deep humility, sharing not only his own teachable experiences but also those of his clients, helping us to transform ourselves and discover what stands in the way of loving others.”
Marjorie Schramm, MS,CAEH
“Beyond the haze of illusion, revise our templates for love, and turn difficulties into blessings. With great depth he also speaks of the cherished human and how to create a state of grace for ourselves and others. His emphasis on our inherent goodness and how to maintain our principles in the midst of serious challenges offers a new and empowered understanding of individual happiness and well-being.”
AlixSandra Parness, DD
Founder and Director of Inner Focus Mystery School for Deliberate Creators
“The writing in Henosis is extremely concise and packed with meaning, full of wisdom and profound insights. The author’s powerful personal stories grab the reader and offer new perspectives to bring swift personal change. His philosophical understanding is very clear and easily woven into modern psychology to supports his examples. This is a profound read that offers solutions and illuminates our hidden lives.”
Jay Cleve, Ph.D
Out of the Blues: Strategies That Work to Get You through the Down Times & Path of the Sacred Pipe: Journey of Love, Power, and Healing
“Henosis is a challenge to go deeper into the historical, philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of our individual and professional journeys. Eric Ehrke’s writings are a personal impetus to take time from my daily multitasking for deeper thought and reflection. I welcome his insights and inspiration.”
Past President of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), Collaborative family lawyer and mediator at Hansen & Hildebrand, S.C. and co-founder of the Family Mediation Center