This post is a tribute to William Bento who passed away recently not long after he contributed to the publication of “The Counselor …as if soul and spirit matter. This book is a guide to Anthrophosophical Counseling which regards everyone as striving for healing and wholeness in their own individual way. https://steiner.presswarehouse.com/Books/BookDetail.aspx.
In this book William Bento does not approach psychology and counseling within the context of “the human being as broken, fragmented, and disoriented” but “frames his approach within the context of Salutogenesis.” He defines this word as “Salut! Meaning health, vitality and life-force, and Genesis as the continual blossoming and development of this life-force. “Salutogenesis” therefore means, “the capacity to see the human being as a whole being, as a being that has the full potential and capacity for self-generation and self-healing.”
This certainly takes away the judgments we so easily form about the behaviour of others. It should also assist us to view ourselves more kindly. If there is anything this world needs at this time it is more understanding for self and others. This is easily done; we just need to decide to do it.
The key word here is ‘decide’. To make a decision we need to call up our will. If we know exactly how we make decisions, we can make the right decision more often. The will to act (or decide) is stimulated by feelings. A basic example of this would be: I feel cold, I will decide to get warm by putting on a jumper. Another example would be: My feelings are hurt, will I seek revenge? Or if we feel gratitude towards someone we can decide to reward them with a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates. This gives us a good sense of the interaction between will and feeling. Thinking comes into it through the way we enact our decision: The means of warmth, to be revengeful or not, and the kind of reward.
We can become mindful of this process throughout each day as we make the many decisions necessary to navigate life. In this way, we understand that each one of us makes our own individual decisions. As we become more aware of how we make these choices we come to realise what a very powerful position we are in. This realisation is cause for great respect for every human being who has in their heart the motive for self-generation and self-healing. We should never underestimate the effect of our decision to see the human challenge in this way. Love and respect are part of the life-force of this world which affects us all.