Peak Experiences, YOUR Human Potential and Empowerment

An holistic approach  to achieving, developing and actualizing your innate human spiritual potential.

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, and HERE).

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 dealt

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.
Human 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.

"Know Thyself" -Plato
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

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".
My role as guide/facilitator is to help you 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 away."

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   
(On Becoming A Person), Albert Ellis (Rational-Emotive
,  Symbolic Interactionism, and oriental philosophies,    
and many others.

Your journey is
not a selfish endeavour - the more you become a
full" human - the better you are with those around you.
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 possibilities unfold.

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

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

This journey involves, and incorporates, all your human dimensions: mental, intellectual, emotional and
spiritual (I leave the physical to others).
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 barriers.

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.

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   

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

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 above left 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
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

The graphic at the left 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

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 aspects - or the

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.

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

Many humans have made great strides toward accomplishing their potential, and humankind has   made
considerable progress over the centuries.

Shakespeare wrote:
"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)"
-Shakespeare (Hamlet)
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 huge debt.

The Dawn Cove Abbey tradition values the inherent worth, dignity and sacredness of each  person

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    relationships.
  • 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   
  • 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!

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 "connectedness".
  • 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 experience.
  • 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 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 humanism.

  • When combined we have: spiritual humanism. However, other concepts, crucial to the description are
  • 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.

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
Dawn Cove Abbey
Deerfield, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada 2009
Revised 2018, Oak Flats, Ontario
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 © 2007-2017

Questions and comments welcomed.