More than 40 years ago, my wife Elisabeth and I discovered Jungian psychology as an approach to a path of inner development. We later obtained further guidance through the sustained practice of Za-Zen with P. Hugo Enomiya Lassalle and P. Niklaus Brantschen, Tao Yoga with several teachers, instruction by Indian masters, as well as the experience of reincarnation therapy in the US.

The diversity of these paths allowed us to experience prior unity as the primal ground of all religions and spiritual traditions. In this prior unity, a secure and inalienable state of belonging awaits us; a source of unconditional love and wisdom, where each and every one of us is personally known.

This abundance needs to be shared with the world ever anew through the totality of our feelings, thoughts and actions. In order to be able to do this from a heart increasingly open and free, it is imperative to sufficiently integrate our shadow, the unloved parts of our nature, our individual and collective imprints and hurts, so that the emotions arising from our unconscious are no longer able to cloud our view or dominate our behaviour. This has to be undertaken again and again with increasing awareness, guided by the challenges of the everyday. Concepts based on division – within and without, good and evil – will then give way to a more comprehensive, integrative perception.

Through simultaneously experiencing the truth of prior unity and meeting the challenges of the everyday, a new understanding of collective co-responsibility is attained. The cooperation of dedicated world citizens is now becoming essential, irrespective of ethnic, national, political and religious dividing lines, locally as well as globally.

It is my conviction that in our time, enlightenment has ceased to be the privileged status of a holy few. Prior unity as an experience accessible to all and the open-hearted embracing of our shadows are the two essential prerequisites for the democratisation of enlightenment.