Human Spiritual Potential: Actualizing & Achieving (Activating) your Human Potential
For people who have chosen to go on a journey of personal growth: one that is a process
of transitions and constant series of transformation - towards the fulfillment of deep,
inner needs of empowerment (see Maslow's Hierachy of Needs, below).
It will be the biggest challenge you will ever face: for you cannot make it happen, you can
only let it happen: a very hard lesson - and we can help.
- You’ll confront your beliefs, biases, prejudices and fears. You will also encounter
your unresolved “issues” and baggage” (these are called barriers).
Realizing and achieving your potential is the most difficult journey you will embark on because of the
barriers you are encumbered with, and by: living in a culture of dysfunction is very much like living
amidst insanity. Unless we make intelligent choices, that insanity will overtake us as well.
The "issues" are most generally connected to the wounded inner child, and will remain barriers until
Humans are not just physical/mental beings. They have many dimensions that are integral parts of who
they uniquely are: physical, mental-intellectual, emotional and spiritual (and physical). “Integrating” all
of them will be a major part of your challenge.
This is a rather lengthy article, because it is an important and involved, concept.
|An holistic approach to achieving, developing and actualizing your innate human spiritual potential.
|Humanity's potential is infinite
We have no idea of what human beings
are capable of becoming.
People living in a world free of fear
and communicating freely will
Create a world that will be
Beautiful beyond imagining.
My role is to help make that journey easier for you: through Workshops, Clinics and Seminars, as well
as through mentoring, coaching and counselling.
There are no "perfect" people, or wholly actualized people - but there are people who are in the
process of actualizing their potential. Full potential is an unknown - it is an ideal to work towards:
a lifetime task.
- The universe (multi-verse) unfolds as it should. People unfold as they should - depending on
the choices they make in life, and their reactions to life: you can either be at the mercy of
everything that comes along - or take charge - the choice is yours!
All your current and previous beliefs, values, habits will be challenged. You can benefit from the
synergy of togetherness of community here. And you will be transformed & find empowerment!
Liberation and Freedom do not come without a price.
Henry David Thoreau said, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because
he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far
Going beyond “culturally prescribed rules” entails a lot. This journey may be the hardest task and
challenge you will ever face.
For here is where you encounter - yourself!
Activating, Developing & Achieving our potential is a journey: not a destination. What it is instead is
a process journey of overcoming the barriers and obstacles to growth and development: a journey
with positive consequences and benefits.
"Human Potential" is an often-encountered concept: frequently a mis-used and misleading interpretation
of it. As such, it is widely promoted.
- The things is, no one can "give" you increased human potential - not matter what their claims are.
Only you can increase it, and it will be a long, and often difficult journey. It is not some
grandiose endeavour: it is where you encounter & confront yourself!
The journey of unfolding human potential towards self-empowerment is a transformative one: this means
you will be transformed. In the process, you will transcend who you are, what you believed, and how you
lived your live previously.
Your most difficult challenge will be yourself!
Facing your inner "self" is a daunting, and frightening task. It is
not something that a few seminars, books, or a quick course can
It means "stepping outside the box" - a very difficult thing to do
for most people.
- What it will all end up looking like is impossible for anyone
else to predict: we are each different, and we will each
arrange and build the contents of "our box" based on who we
are, and who we are becoming.
There are barriers and obstacles (see below; also, explore the
website for detailed information on some of the major barriers and
obstacles). The benefits, however, make it entirely worthwhile.
I take this journey seriously, both personally, and when walking
with someone who has asked for guidance on theirs: I have built
what I know on such minds (and works) as Maslow, and Carl Rogers
(On Becoming A Person), Albert Ellis (Rational-Emotive
approach), Symbolic Interactionism, and oriental philosophies, and
Your journey is not a selfish endeavour - the more you become a
"full" human - the better you are with those around you.
There are barriers and obstacles to
developing your potential!
- The main barrier is our own internalized
thought and belief system.
- Our culture is another.
- Other people and circumstances in our
lives present yet one more.
All of those shape your attitude and belief as
to what is possible for you - what is
appropriate for you, what is "right" for you -
and what is not possible. See below for more
This means that, admirable as the goal of
actualizing human potential is, the possibility
is, in a way, a fallacy. As Colin Wilson states, it
is a lie propagated by our intellect and the
ideology around us. We are bound by our
culture, and our belief and value-systems.
Achieving your fuller potential means coming to terms with those - and then transcending them.
It begins with yourself: in Plato's words, "Know Thyself" - for unless you fully know who, and
what, you are, you have no basis for moving forward.
Discovering the answers to that - may well be the journey: Acknowledging Human Potential
starts with valuing the inherent worth and dignity of each person; the sacredness of human
potential and the empowerment it brings into all the dimensions of life. There are transition
stages toward transformation.
There is nothing mysterious or new about that. Using the concepts behind the judeo-christian
(and other) teachings of becoming actualized people, as a base, the goal and journey will be
learning to transcend them.
Your intellect (mind) is a major internal obstacle: it believes that we are separate: yet our
deep inner self knows we are not - that we all are part of everything, and everyone around us -
past, present and future.
The journey is one of "learning" - and that learning is the process through which we activate
and expand our "human spiritual potential" - always in concert with the "divine" - however we
understand it: it still remains humanistic. In the search for our full human potential, we will also
go far beyond the constrictions of our culture.
Emotions present a huge barrier as well: in fact, our lives consist in large part of a constant
struggle and tension between our reason and our emotions: and unless we have achieved a degree
of empowerment, inner discipline and control, whenever there is a clash between our reason and
our emotions, emotions almost always "win".
Culture (and all its ramifications) will be one of the biggest obstacles we have to deal with -
because it has "determined" so many of our internal beliefs and values: including what we
believe is possible for us - and what is impossible: barriers and blocks to transformation!
The graphic top right illustrates this somewhat.
Other Barriers are: Daily life with all it's challenges and unexpected situations; Stress;
Family/Marital/Relationship problems; Illness; Financial problems; Grief; Addictions, and
many others. All of these are among the things we have to deal with, or set in order, to
continue our journey.
The drive toward developing and realizing our full human
potential is a life-long process, as we've seen:
reaching for the divine with our human limitations.
It is a journey that very much involves what Abraham
Maslow characterized as the "hierarchy of needs" the
five broader layers are:
- the physiological needs,
- the needs for safety and security,
- the needs for love and belonging,
- the needs for esteem, and
- the need to actualize the self, in that order
The graphic at the right illustrates his concept. (See
below, and Maslow for expanded detail and information,
as well as Peak Experiences).
Spirituality and Spiritual Humanism recognize the inter-connectedness of all things: an holistic
blend of humanism-theism.
Realizing (achieving) our full human potential requires development, growth and integration of all
the dimensions of life that make us human: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual: that is the
holistic way. It may not be possible to do so fully - we don't know the limits" see below
When we are fully integrated, we are fully whole. When there is no complete integration, there is
no complete wholeness. Wholeness is known as "holistic", which in essence means, to incorporate all
aspect - or the "whole".
There is a major "caution" here, however: generally, the "potential" we can reach is prescribed by
our culture. Transcending those cultural prescriptions are a major challenge. More on this coming.
And since no-one is separate, or an island, (see graphic above with YOU in centre); and we all live
among others, as we achieve various stages of actualizing our potential - others should be able to
notice, or see the changes. There are always outward signs of change - in behaviour, actions attitude
etc. In catholic spiritual terminology that is a sacrament (outward sign of an inner change).
Without the integration of all our dimensions, success toward wholeness will always elude us: we will
not realize (achieve) our full human potential. Yet, we are well on the way, for even in the christian
scriptures it is written: "Then the LORD God said, "See, the man has become like one of us".
Genesis 4; and "I said, You are gods (God)". Psalm 82:6.
Culture: our culture, through education, the media, advertising etc constantly points out to us
what our "potential is" (actually, they are telling us what it "should be" - "they" know what's
best for us. The graphic to the right illustrates their version.
While, of course, those are all important elements and components of human life - but if we leave
them just as they are represented there - we shall always have that vague restlessness inside us -
that tells us "there is more".
Many humans have made great strides toward accomplishing their potential, and humankind has
made considerable progress over the centuries.
"What a piece of work is man (humankind)!
How noble in reason!
How infinite in faculty!
in form, in moving, how express and admirable!
in action how like an angel!
`in apprehension how like a god!
the beauty of the world!
the paragon of animals! (creatura)"
There has always been a quest for developing human understanding and potential: Paul said,
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then
shall I know even as also I am known. He could only have been referring to how humankind
would expand their knowledge & potential in the centuries to come. Always in the process of
expanding their potential - always having the goal to actualize their potential fully.
There will be transformation: you will be transformed - become a different person. But, in
many ways it will be a solitary journey. Others in your will not join you, nor will they
necessarily understand your quest. Barriers will be erected, and a gulf will emerge between
you and them. These, most likely, will not be your doing - but theirs.
This is a most important consideration for you, because there is no "undoing" or reverse in
this. Once someone has "seen farther" than those around them a separation or gulf will exist.
But - there are others on that same journey, and once you are in progress, you will encounter
some of them. These will become your "new family" so to speak.
Those who are in the process of developing their full human potential are aware: aware of who
they are, aware of where they are at all times. They live in the moment - yet always aware and
in touch with the greater context of their lives like the message of Richard Alpert (Baba Ram
Dass) in his book, "Be Here Now".
I believe in "A healthy mind in a healthy body": an approach based on "Re-uniting Mind,
Body & Spirit"; that reality is triune, not just dualistic: it is holistic. This makes us
"humanistic", and theistic (not everything in life is reduced to "either-or" choices, it can also
be "both-and" or "and-also" (Jung and Buber).
Physical health is a direct reflection of mental-spiritual health. Helping empower people is
my goal. The "oneness of body and mind/spirit is a core, driving concept at Dawn Cove
Abbey. I am firmly established in the old non-split tradition that blends humanism and
theism: the drive to realizing, and actualizing our full Human Potential - in all its dimensions.
Other names in the Human Potential field are: Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis and Abraham
Maslow, and Carl Gustav Jung: these men had a profound effect on how we understand
people, and how we help people improve their lives. All these men have also had a profound
influence on my training and my approach in helping people heal and grow. I owe them a
The Dawn Cove Abbey tradition values the inherent worth, dignity and sacredness of each person
The Dawn Cove Abbey tradition is:
- a humanistic - spiritual (not religious) community helping men, women, and children who are on
a transformative journey of: holistic personal growth.
- Humanistic: because I believe that people are the agents, and our human cultures and
institutions are the agencies.
- Spiritual (connectedness): because I believe everything (and everyone) is inter-connected -
the web of life.
Features of spirituality
Intra-personal (our inner connection or integration): self-worth, respect for self and
others, authenticity, honesty, truth, humility, a sense of purpose, initiative, the will to succeed,
commitment to inner growth, desire for meaning, self-awareness (physical, emotional,
intellectual), being in the moment, self-transcendence, confidence, enthusiasm, moral code
and ethics, increased awareness of others, self-determination, integration, intuition, passion,
compassion, love, hope, faith, wholeness, openness
Extra-personal (our connectedness with others): recognizing the unity of all things, being
connected with something larger than self, harmony with the universe, having just relationships
with others, helping others to self-actualize, developing more responsible interpersonal
- We live in a world where kindness, decency, concern and consideration are viewed with
suspicion, and are often mistaken for weakness.
- In our current socio-cultural world, these qualities appear to be more and more an
exception, than a rule.
- My desire is to help promote understanding to change that through knowledge, understanding,
personal growth and healing.
All your current and previous beliefs, values, habits will be challenged. You can benefit from the
synergy of togetherness of community here. And you will be transformed! Liberation does not come
without a price.
Empower yourself today. You are a seeker and remember:
- "Ask, and you shall receive" - all you need to do is to ask: for help, an ear, someone who
cares, etc - we can provide both.
- "Seek, and you shall find" - in your search for new answers outside the box, the Dawn Cove
Abbey Community can help you.
- "Knock, and the door shall be opened" - all you need to do is write, email or call - with no
obligation: help on your journey.
Going beyond “culturally prescribed rules” entails a lot. This journey may be the hardest task
and challenge you will ever face. For here is where you encounter - yourself!
This site is like a book: with chapters (materials, articles, documents, etc) around a
common theme. The theme is human life, empowerment, blocks, barriers, and achievement,
into an integrated whole. It represents the culmination of my life work: it is a
"never-ending-story" book, because life is dynamic, never static - and full of surprises.
The site grows steadily as items are added, or revised.
Klaas Tuinman MA
Dawn Cove Abbey
Deerfield, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada
Spiritual & Humanism: combining these two usually mutually exclusive concepts results in
"spiritual humanism". While they have generally become opposite, competing concepts and
practices, it was not, and is not, necessary for them to be so. Both are much misused, and both
are very much misunderstood.
When they are combined and integrated they result in Spiritual Humanism, which includes: *
Spirituality * Humanism * Religion * Psyche & Soul * Morals/Ethics. These are "separate", yet
very much related and connected concepts.
.Spirituality: is an inner sense that there's greater than oneself: it is a recognition of a meaning
to existence that transcends one's immediate circumstances - it above all deals with a sense of
- It's a sense of meaning and purpose, a sense of self and 'that which is greater than self'. It
can include practices such as meditation and 'bonding rituals' which support such identity
and relationship. It produces a sense of 'belonging' (identification with).
- In a broad sense, spirituality is concerned with matters of the spirit. It may include belief
in supernatural powers, the way organized religion does, but its emphasis is on personal
- It is a way of living that emphasises a constant awareness of the spiritual dimension of
nature. Yet it does not acknowledge a contractual relationship between the material
world and the spiritual.
Humanism: is an approach to life with an emphasis on human culture, education and reason.
- It began during the Renaissance (see Glossary) with a revival of interest in classical
Greek and Roman literature, culture, and language. Human nature and the dignity of man
were considered to be the ultimate thing, and the present life was emphasized as a worthy
event in itself.
- This was in stark contrast to the previous (medieval) emphasis on the present life as simply
being a preparation for a future life.
- This approach rejected supernaturalism and instead stresses the individual's dignity and
worth and capacity for self-realization through reason.
- The emphasis in humanism is entirely on human interests rather than on religion or the
world of nature.
- Humanism that believes that the human being is the supreme being is known as secular
- When combined we have: spiritual humanism. However, other concepts, crucial to the
description are involved.
- Humanism, because it is humans and their cultures and institutions that are the agents
and agencies through which the sacred operates.
Humanism believes in the perfectibility of human nature and view reason and education (see
below) as the way to achieve that - always bearing in mind that without the spiritual component
the enterprise will fall short, or fail. It tries to achieve its goals without hiding the distasteful,
and often horrible realities of life, and the importance of differences in power and wealth: so
does Spiritual Humanism.
Spirituality (Dawn Cove Abbey definition): self-worth, respect for self and others,
authenticity, honesty, truth, humility, a sense of purpose, initiative, the will to succeed,
commitment to inner growth, desire for meaning, self-awareness (physical, emotional,
intellectual, spiritual), being in the moment, self-transcendence, confidence, enthusiasm, moral
code and ethics, increased awareness of others, self-determination, integration, intuition, passion,
compassion, love, hope, faith, wholeness, openness. Also, a belief in God (However you understand
Him/Her, - "Universe", "God", the "Force", "Allah" or a "Higher Power", etc, for example).
Spirituality is above all, recognizing the unity of all things, being connected with something
larger than self, harmony with the universe (some call it God, other use different names),
having just relationships with others, helping others to self-actualize, developing more
responsible interpersonal relationships (Chief Seattle referred to it as the "web of life").
Historically, and likely before, people have always had a strong spiritual aspect or component
in their lives. The spiritual drive within each human produces the motivation to continue under
whatever circumstances: it is the source of hope, love, kindness, decency, respect and concern
for all life, and true stewardship of the material world in which we live.
"Human Potential" is a concept already familiar to millions - but perhaps not exactly in those
words. At Dawn Cove Abbey it is not a new-age practice: it is anything but new: it is based on the
concepts behind the Judeo-Christian teachings of becoming "better" people. It is this that led
Shakespeare to exclaim, "What a Piece of work is man" - see above.
It is accomplished by following the teachings of holy scriptures, and of "doing unto others", and
"treat our neighbour as ourselves" - which means "learning" - and that learning is the process
through which we activate and enlarge our "human spiritual potential". It is always in concert
with the "divine" (God, or "Higher Power" - however we understand it.
-Klaas Tuinman M.A.
|Peak Experiences, Human Potential and Empowerment
|The Dawn Cove Abbey Tradition: Helping People Rediscover Themselves
Established in 1995, in commemoration of Abbey Dawn in Kingston, Ontario.
Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside Assistance For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman MA, © 2007-2017
Questions and comments welcomed.
People’s emotional, mental, and spiritual states are closely tied-in with their physical being: which is
why so many illnesses and ailments are classified as “psychosomatic” – meaning that the body reflects
the turmoil going on inside a person.
As humans, we can choose to either be driven mostly by our feelings and emotions, or we can choose
to take charge (control) and guide those emotions and feelings with reason. The choice is ours: either
way, there is no escaping the fact that it is CHOICE.
There is one journey – but each person will take a different path: not because they are male, female,
child or senior – but because we are all unique, individual beings, see "Rules For Being Human".
The journey to actualizing and expanding your human potential is one that has no end because life is
dynamic, and life around us is dynamic; as is our ability to understand things. Nothing is static.
As you increase our knowledge and understanding, we begin to see new possibilities. As we explore and
incorporate them into "who we are at the moment", we will be transformed again - and see yet other
possibilities - constantly transcending what we knew and understood before.
And this process will be repeated time after time. No one knows what a human who has achieved their
full potential "looks like": no one has ever achieved it. That is why it is a journey, and not a destination!
"Human Potential" is a concept the embraces two levels: the potential an individual can strive to
expand, and the potential the whole human race can strive for.
These are two separate, but related things. I believe that in order to accomplish #2, the first
requirement is for people (#1) to make changes toward realizing their full potential
(self-actualization and empowerment).
It is a journey with no end - because we do not yet know what the full potential consists of, what it
"looks like", and whether or not perhaps it expands as new milestones are reached, and new
This page concerns individual human potential: a journey of transformation: inner transformation
- which will lead to outward, visible changes.
It is a journey, or process in which you restructure the "reality" that was shaped by your culture.
The combination of inner/outer changes are examples of what we mean by a sacrament (an outward
sign of an inner change).
There is no aspect of your "reality" that will not be potentially challenged:
your beliefs, values, sense of right and wrong - customs, ethics, etc.
Your sense of "reality" will be changed.
Unfolding your human potential can be done in many ways: it involves all the dimensions of what it is to
be human: holistically (also see Seminars/Workshops).
This journey involves, and incorporates, all your human dimensions: mental, intellectual, emotional and
spiritual (I leave the physical to others).