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It may be surprising that the term silence arises within the framework of this metatheory. This is because there is hardly anything so effective in making unconscious processes accessible to the conscious mind as the seeking and fostering of silence. With this we mean all explicit and traditional forms of silent meditation, as well as rather implicit forms such as quiet hiking and other forms of movement, including ‘being in the present’ during a counselling situation. All forms have in common that the effect in the consciousness only arises when the silence is sustained for a period of time and is regularly cultivated. Therefore, personality development can occasionally be advanced through silence, without the need to ‘do’ something. Conversely, when people avoid silence, because they believe they cannot stand it, or it seems unattractive, one can investigate the hypothesis whether unconscious processes should remain unconscious.

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