Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Janus - A Worthy Icon For The Self-Dev Industry?

The Self-Development Industry Can Do With An Icon!

An Icon For The Industry
Every industry has an icon that represents it. The icon could be mythological or historical, and usually stands for values that the industry espouses. For example, the winged-staff-with-two-snakes is a graphic symbol associated with Medicine:

Caduceus Graphic

Or whenever you see the symbol of a wheel like this:

Dharmacakra - Symbol of Buddhism

... you know that you are interfacing with Buddhism.

Underpinnings Of The Industry
Looking back, from the vantage point of the first week of the first month of a new year, one can see the distance that the self-help self-development industry has traversed. Although nobody seems to have undertaken any formal study that traces the trajectory this industry has followed over the years; clearly it is an offshoot of the general field of alternative medicines and New Age movement, with transpersonal psychology, psychosynthesis and perennial philosophy being the strong underpinnings, upholding the edifice. The movements of Integral Theory and Integral Psychology seem to have strongly influenced self-development, holistically covering the entire spectrum of body, mind psyche and spirit in their totality, without shying away from exploring the unconscious and conscious dimensions of the psyche.

Emile Coue William James
Sigmund Freud Abraham Maslow

Of late, cinema has become a powerful medium, with documentaries such as "The Secret" and "What The Bleep Do We Know?" capturing popular imagination like never before. These movies have attracted public attention to the possible benefits of self-help ideas and products in a very short span of time, something that would have taken further decades of marketing to achieve.

What The Bleep Do We Know? The Secret (Movie)

So the next time, guys and gals, when you decide to pop in that CD to burn yet another hypnotherapy session, or create a subliminal recording that resolves the deepest issues hidden in a subject's psyche, or write that ebook best-seller that gets regurgitated twenty times and sold under the name of twenty different authors, or generate that .wav brain-entrainment file that elevates the listener to nirvana, ... pause for a moment to fill your heart with the pride of the rich legacy that your business is founded on!

Janus - A Worthy Icon?
Which brings me back to the theme of this blog post. Perhaps it is time for the self-help self-development industry to create a distinct insignia of its own? Something that the public can identify instantly with, like the Caduceus staff or the Dharmacakra graphic?

Janus, as is well-known, is a two-headed Roman God. Janus has the ability to look in two opposite directions simultaneously, and process the information received holistically (ah, well, that must be how it works). Janus symbolizes the progression of past to future, of the ebbing of life from one condition to another. The month of January, the month of making resolutions, is of course, named after this God.

The raison d'etre of the self-help self-development industry is in alignment with what Janus stands for. Progression of past to future, on the vehicle of a resolution. Perhaps Janus could be a worthy icon for us?


A Happy New Year To You! May Your Resolutions Be Achieved This Year! :)

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