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The ‘unfolding’ of Etty Hillesum’s developing consciousness is considered from an integral and ‘evolution of consciousness’ perspective. The work of several pioneers in the field is drawn upon: Sri Aurobindo, Indian yogi and sage; Jean Gebser, the European non-dual cultural theorist; and A.H. Almass and Karen Johnson, the developers of the Diamond Approach, an original, contemporary spiritual path geared toward the soul’s realization. This path combines Eastern teachings and practices with the concepts of Western depth psychology and sees development as occurring in spiraling and overlapping stages. Etty’s spiritual and psychological journey is examined in the context of these stages. Her evolutionary process is informed by the Diamond Approach’s method of inquiry, which is similar to Etty’s process of “hineinhorchen” or “hearkening” to herself. This exploration will offer a contemporary yet ancient perspective that tracks Etty Hillesum’s own radical evolution of consciousness that we glimpse in a mere ‘moment’ in time, that is, indeed, timeless.


Barbara Morrill, PhD, is core faculty and Chair of the ICP Program at CIIS. She is a Clinical Psychologist licensed in CA, and has been in private practice for 20 years. Barbara has spent much of her life exploring women’s social, psychological, and spiritual development, with an emphasis on intergenerational trauma. Her dissertation was entitled: Quest for Wholeness: The Individuation Process of Seven African American Women: A Case Study. Her study of Etty Hillesum began in 2000, culminating with a presentation at the 2008 International Transpersonal Congress, New Delhi, India, entitled “Being in the Face of Annihilation: Transformation Through Writing as Inquiry in the lives of two Dutch Women During the Holocaust: Etty Hillesum (1914-1943) and Jetteke Frijda (1925-present)”.Her continued study has been about the Evolution of Consciousness as well as spiritual practice/community with The Diamond Approach with A.H. Almaas and Karen Johnson. She presented in January, 2014 at the Second International Congress of the Etty Hillesum Research Center at Ghent University in Belgium.