The Search For The Knower

The belief that the self has an untouchable core plays a crucial part in modern psychology, particularly in the setting of psychotherapy.

In therapy, a patient will at best undergo superficial change as long as he confronts only the superficial layers of himself. To break through and accomplish major change, he has to unveil the “central nucleus – that whorl of the self which possesses absolute wisdom and self-knowledge.”

At first, only the therapist realizes that a core of wisdom and self-knowledge exists. The patient himself, under the influence of his mental distress, is alienated from this part of his psyche. Therefore the therapist’s role (I am speaking here of classic “couch therapy”) is to give the patient the courage and freedom to bring his deepest self to light.

In almost every case, the first step is to convince him that the deeper self is real. The patient must be shown and then made to experience that part of his mind which transcends crises, which registers life with crystal clarity even when the conscious mind is reeling in bewilderment and panic. It is not an easy exploration.

Ever since Freud, depth psychology has proceeded on the notion that the knower is buried under layer upon layer of painful experiences. It cannot be confronted directly; therefore it must be tricked out. The patient is thus presented with dreams, slips of the tongue, and free associations that betray what is actually happening under all the layers of disguise.

One of the great cultural differences between East and West is that the quest for the knower, which we undertake as a cure for the disorders like neurosis or depression, is a normal goal of life in the East. In India, finding the knower is considered life’s great adventure.

Adapted from Unconditional Life: Discovering the Power to Fulfill Your Dreams, by Deepak Chopra (A Bantam Book, 1991).


Terry Vanderbush
Terry V5 years ago

thank you

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Kate Withers

This is all too true, it's such a shame that the majority of Western-based health care do not realize it as fact.
After many years of suffering partly due to side-effects and symptoms caused by western medication and treatment, I have worked this out for myself. However the problem I am faced with is that because I have been unable to work for so long and am still unable to do so (until I start heading in the right direction physically and mentally) I have absolutely no funds and so can only get psychotherapy on the Uks National Health Service free. However the therapy they give has been proven over and over to be ineffective with me.
So it's down to self-help - of which there seems to be plenty of material available for on the internet and public libraries, actually TOO MUCH is available and I now feel swamped as I just don't know where to begin.
It's a long hard struggle, but I'm doing my best to fight my way through somehow - as I know that finding 'the knower' is how I can help myself and then go on to doing what I really want, which is to help others.
Why can't western medicine see beyond their 'scientific' approach to treatment, stop putting things into us (drugs or behavioural/cognitive regimes) and start looking at what is deep within which needs dealing with what's rooted and locked within ?

Charles G.
Wilde Thange6 years ago

Our intelligence is in the world speaking to us if we can't hear it is because we are looking inward too hard for answers... the inward answers speak to us from outside...because we are all one...with our world...

Maree Ann P.

I liked this commentary i recently last year in fact had a complete nervous breakdown and was put in a mental institution at the time i didnt know what i was doing or where i was for that matter, but i have since recovered an owe this to the Psychiatrist and Mental Health Workers at Cowra and Orange, I was starving myself as well i was 45kgs when admitted i am now a healthy weight but still watch what i eat!!

Melanie Clark
Melanie Clark6 years ago

I have to say something about this, and I must say that I have been very lucky for finding some really great therapists, except for one (the last one I had). I have finally figured out that hiding behind things, such as drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, do not work. You can only hide for so long before it catches up to you. You can even run away, but then again it will eventually catch up with you as well.

I have been through a lot the past 10 years that I have lived here in South Florida, and I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, don't get me wrong, I do have my days of feeling sad, lonely, and anxious, but I have learned how to cope in many different ways, such as listening to music, exercising, walking, and taking my children out on walks as well. I have also learned how to become creative in cooking. There is always ways to find how to not be depressed, anxious, sad, etc. You just have to figure it out and/or find a good therapist who will guide you in the right direction.

All's you have to do is keep an open mind and to see the truth through your very own eyes.

dawn w.
Dawn W6 years ago

Ive been in therapy since age 16,when I had a complete emotional meltdown,breakdown,whatever you want to call it.The therapy described in this article is the kind of therapy I've been searching for,I know it's what I need,but none of the therapists I've seen (too many) seems to get it. And they wonder why I'm not getting any better.I wish I could find someone who practices that kind of therapy.

Frank Y.
.6 years ago

I have met the inner person in me and it is me! He says, "Hi. Get over yourself."

Maria Papastamatiou

Quite interesting.

I Care For The World