Zensitively is the art of living in peaceful, natural harmony with one’s sensitivity, individuality, and being.
To understand the idea behind the Zensitively revolution, it is necessary to first understand the problem it tries to solve:
There are hundreds of different approaches to psychotherapy, coaching, counseling, and spiritual development. It was never easier to find a method and a path and start a journey of self-development, healing, and growth. Yet still, despite all these options, most people who are on these paths are as unfulfilled as ever. Why?
The Problem of an Overly Technical Approach without Deep Roots
Why do most psychotherapeutic approaches fail to look at individuals from the perspective of their potential?
Why is coaching and consulting often so commercial, a business filling the pockets of the coaches instead of truly leading the client to soar new heights?
Why are most spiritual approaches so full of wishful thinking and wild imagination, instead of grounding the individual deeper in reality?
The reasons are complex but can be summed up nicely with a single analogy: because you need gold in order to find gold.
Fragments of Truth
What is necessary is a deep and profound understanding of the exact mechanisms that are at play when it comes to nurturing self-development, healing, awakening consciousness, and strengthening the emotional system. And this understanding is totally missing.
Well, not really. Bits and pieces of it have been here and there for millennia. If you know where to look, the history of humanity is full of individuals describing a path towards thriving. It’s just that the public never wanted to have any of it.
Heraclitus wrote about it in ancient Greece, yet he was considered obscure. Lao Tse wrote a masterpiece on it in Ancient china (the tao te ching), yet it is treated mainly as beautiful poetry instead of a guide on living. Socrates managed to employ it as a dialogue, yet his methods are long-forgotten. Dr. Émile Durkheim explained the immense role of society on the psyche, yet although he is credited for being the founder of classical sociology, his radical ideas were rejected by mainstream sociology.
Standing On the Shoulders of Giants
Zensitively would not be possible today without a long history of people who have devoted their lives to truth, wisdom, and understanding. Here are five of the many influential thinkers that prepared the soil for Zensitively's blossoming:
Martin Buber was an Austrian Jewish and Israeli philosopher best known for his philosophy based on relationship and dialogue. Buber describes how our perceptions, being, and existence are fundamentally dependent on how we relate to the people around us – that is, the Other.
In this way, our lives are largely shaped and co-determined by our connections with others. His conception of what constitutes true, authentic dialogue is a foundation of the Zensitively method.
Buber was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature ten times, and the Nobel Peace Prize seven times.
Søren Kirkegaard was a Danish philosopher, poet, and profound thinker who is considered as the founding father of existential philosophy. He taught that truth cannot be learned by thinking but must be experienced. His strategic approach to truth reflects deeply the philosophy behind Zensitively:
“Kierkegaard's strategy was to [...] make everything more difficult. Instead of seeing scientific knowledge as the means of human redemption, he regarded it as the greatest obstacle to redemption. Instead of seeking to give people more knowledge he sought to take away what passed for knowledge.”
— Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Heraclitus was an Ancient Greek philosopher, who, according to Hegel, was so important that "the origin of philosophy is to be dated from Heraclitus". He is famous for denying the "law of non-contradiction" and creative philosophy that was considered obscure by the people of his time.
His paradox-based, creative approach to philosophy is an essential aspect of the Zensitively method.
Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist who is credited for establishing sociology as an academic discipline. He postulated the enormous impact of society upon the human psyche and laid the ground for understanding human psychology as determined to a large extent by social conditioning and collective consciousness - a term coined by him.
In his book "Suicide", he argues that suicide is mainly a sociological fact instead of a psychological one, emphasizing the importance of the connection between people rather than the individual's feelings and motivation.
Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, the author of the Tao Te Ching, and the founder of philosophical Taoism. One of the most important figures of Eastern philosophy, his ideas of non-doing (Wu wei) and a universal force (Tao) shaped Eastern philosophy for millennia.
His combination of beautiful poetry with deep, existential philosophy in the Tao Te Ching established the book as a classic, making it the most translated book after the bible.
Rejection of the Greats
The list of great individuals providing bits and pieces of the path towards fulfillment is long: Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Jiddu Krishnamurti, G.I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, Martin Heidegger, G.W.F. Hegel, Søren Kierkegaard, Albert Camus, Martin Buber - it was mostly the radical thinkers who were rejected in their times, who had the gold that is needed to find gold.
If one of these individuals established schools and institutes during their lifetimes (like Plato), these schools (or in some cases, even the individuals themselves) did not survive for very long - and they certainly never became mainstream. Even psychologists such as William James or Abraham Maslow did not attempt to or manage to establish paths of therapeutic self-development. It was all bits and pieces, scattered around the desks, heads, and books of the most gifted and awake individuals of our history.
This is where the Zensitively revolution begins.
The Importance of Gabriel Raam’s Philosophy
The birth of Zensitively would be impossible without the great creative philosopher Gabriel Raam. One of the important aspects of his philosophy is his unique hermeneutic approach leading to a real understanding of the philosophies and teachings of the great masters. Luckily, his approach was not that of a scholar, but that of a living person with the wish to understand these truths as they appear in life. He understood that philosophy was about life, not about academic texts and the world of thought.
In this unique way of combining hermeneutics with phenomenology, the amazing bits and pieces of truth that were collecting dust in the public libraries suddenly were resurrected:
- The Socratic dialogue is no more an ancient tale told by Plato, but a real method that can be learned and employed today.
- Existentialism is no longer just another stream of philosophy but an actual outlook on life, with enormous, unmatched healing powers for the individual as well as one of the only ways to derive real, authentic meaning from an otherwise mechanical life.
Finishing the Puzzle
Yet, what is even more profound than putting the puzzle together was that Raam supplied the missing pieces to form it all into a complete system. For example, what had almost been completely neglected in both philosophy and psychotherapy was the extreme dominance of the emotions upon people, which made their development oftentimes an impossibility or at best an act of chance. Raam called this “the lack of an emotional immune system.”
By drawing from many tools such as Zen, guided imagery techniques, and mindfulness techniques as well as developing his own, he then established a method to develop an emotional immune system and develop one‘s consciousness. He outlined his approach in 10 books and over 300 articles ranging from the art of communication to consciousness development.
This is how thirty years ago, a radically new and fresh path of self-development was born. But this was not yet the birth of Zensitively.
What is necessary to change a Person is to change the awareness of himself.
— Abraham MaslowAmerican psychologist, 1908 – 1970
Bringing Psychology and Sociology Back to Philosophy
It was more than a decade ago that Nazim Kilic, who studied clinical psychology and psychotherapy in Hamburg, became increasingly frustrated with the lack of profound understanding that his field provided. He had also studied philosophy on the side and was as well-trained in many alternative therapy and self-development methods as in the classical ones. But there was something missing in these approaches, something that caused him to feel lonely and lost in the world of academia, statistics, and experimental studies: real, profound understanding.
Starting a journey into the unknown, he began digging for a knowledge that was deeper, a knowledge that must be there, as it was outlined over and over in many of the classics. As he had read about it from all the great masters throughout history - it couldn’t be that there had been no attempt to reconcile and develop these nuggets of truths into a coherent system.
Reconnecting Psychology to its Roots
This is how he found Gabriel Raam, his philosophy, and his system. Studying with him intensely for the next decade, he not only became an expert in his philosophy, but he began to see that the more he used Raam’s methods instead of those of classical psychotherapy, the more succesful and effective his approach to helping highly sensitive people became. Soon, it replaced the psychological approach completely.
This is when he understood that psychology, during the middle of the 19th century, had taken a wrong turn that had caused it to become so ineffective and superficial: it distanced itself from its philosophical roots and imitated the natural sciences.
It couldn’t be effective because it considered none of the great understandings that were required for a true therapeutic self-development as part of it’s field of study.
Decline and Decoupling
Neither the works of Dr. Émile Durkheim, who showed that it was society that shaped the psychology of individuals more than anything; nor the amazing discoveries of the existential movement, culminating in the explosion of understanding through Martin Heidegger and Martin Buber, had taken hold in psychotherapy. Spirituality had fallen into the dark times called the „New Age“, where wishful thinking and dreaming replaced the struggle of developing one’s higher faculties. Philosophy itself, as Heidegger complained in the 1960s, had been largely replaced by cybernetics.
The few psychologists and doctors who went into these fields usually had only a rudimentary, superficial understanding of its meanings, and couldn’t be the spark of the revolution that was necessary.
Psychology was not supposed to become a human-centered form of physics, it was supposed to be a branch of philosophy, just like it had been for millennia prior to the 19th century.
Philosophy is not about sitting on a stone and thinking. It is a means of finding meaning in a meaningless life and thriving despite the fact we are in the process of dying. It is approaching life through paradoxes.
The Birth of Zensitively
By the time all of this became apparent, Kilic’s practice was already full and thriving. He had specialized on highly sensitive people, whose specific needs and unique potentials Raam had outlined in many of his books and articles. What was new, however, was that psychologists, coaches, and doctors heard of him and started working with him by becoming his clients. Soon, they expressed the wish and desire to learn and work with the same methods. To accommodate this demand, Kilic had to expand his practice into an institute that is focused on teaching the craft he had learned and perfected.
After years of teaching psychologists, doctors, and coaches in Hamburg, it became clear that this new, highly effective approach was not to be contained by the borders of one city. This is how Zensitively opened its virtual gates to people across the entire globe, teaching the art of living with inner peace.
Zensitively has no desire to grow and become mainstream, it is quite happily small and cozy - yet it welcomes anyone wishing to grow, thrive, and live in inner peace with open arms and an open heart.
If that is you, we invite you to reach out to us, either in your quest to thrive as a highly sensitive person or with your wish to learn a profound, highly effective, and new way of helping those who need you the most.