Existential Personalistic / Cosmoartistic Anthropology is a theory and method developed by Antonio Mercurio and collaborators in the Institutes and Centers affiliated to Sophia University of Rome, in Italy and throughout Europe, Russia, Asia, and now in the USA at MBW LifeArt Consulting, first known as the International Center for the Development of the Person. 

It incorporates certain basic principles and techniques, such as talk therapy, group therapeutic approaches, and experiential methods  developed in such fields as psychoanalysis, analytical psychotherapy,  humanistic psychology and psychotherapy, and the utilization of creative exploration/the arts.

It underlines the importance of taking into account the whole person – conscious and unconscious mind, body and spirit – while offering innovative and important ways of thinking of the meaning of human life, death and immortality.

Download your gift of "Hypotheses on Ulysses"

Antonio Mercurio shows how Ulysses’ epic journey can offer wisdom about how to heal our traumas and grow into Persons capable of loving ourselves and others, creating Beauty and contributing to Life in new ways.

Translated into English by Martha S. Bache-Wiig

This approach emphasizes focusing not so much on our traumas and pain as pathologies we must either ‘cure’ or ‘fix’, but as precious energies that nudge us to evolve into more being.

Practitioners in this approach undergo many years of theoretical and practical training before acquiring their diploma, and their own growth is a foundation for how they later understand and help others. 

As Antonio Mercurio says, “the purpose of pain is to create”; our wounds from the past can actually be seen as powerful motors that push us do the work necessary to integrate our I Person (psychological, and corporeal dimensions) and become ever more attuned to our Personal Selves.

As we become conscious of the various forms of conditioning we are each subject to, and of our own reactions to them that are so often unhealthy for ourselves and others, we can learn to transform them, bit by bit, by accessing the love and wisdom found in the Personal Self, and living in ever more authentic and creative ways.

We can stop feeling like Victims and become Artists of our lives and of Life itself. By learning the art of embracing all of our experiences and personal characteristics as elements that can be integrated into a coherent whole, we create ever new ways of being and interacting and renewing beauty, truth, love and wisdom for ourselves and others.

Existential Creativity is the Art of embracing our wounds and conditioning and shaping them into something new for ourselves and others; new ways of thinking, acting and being, where we are focused not on mere survival, on retaliation for our hurts, and on domination of either ourselves or one another, but rather on creating new levels of love, freedom, truth and beauty that bring us not only greater wellbeing, but develop the energy of our souls.

As we heal our wounds and increase this subtle energy, we not only feel better ourselves, but we can inspire and encourage others to do the work necessary to achieve this new way of life.

Everyone has an Artist within – an existential artist, that nudges us to evolve past the pain of our wounds and the blockage it can cause, and instead learn how to choose to create love and beauty for ourselves and others, day by day.

The traditional forms of creativity that humanity has developed so far – music, the visual arts, dance, theater, poetry, film, etc. – serve to inspire us to reach for more beauty and harmony in our lives, and those who develop themselves as artists on this level learn much about the discipline , focus and patience that becoming an artist requires.

Existential Artistry takes much from the process of creating works of art that the more traditional art forms require. Here, too, just like to play the piano one must spend hours to first learn the notes and how they can fit together before we can play a complete song, to heal and evolve past our wounds we must first learn basic techniques that can help us first become aware of our trauma and how it conditions us. Then we need yet other tools that can help us free ourselves of its effects by creating new visions for our lives, and taking the actions we need to take to begin to develop them (here what comes to mind is when, for example, someone who has been addicted to a dysfunctional behavior or to substances begins to want to break free of their damaging effects, and so begins to become open to getting help, like going to a therapist, a treatment center, a 12 step or other types of recovery programs – or all of the above!).

Once we have broken free of the damaging effects our wounds still may have on us we can begin to create ever more complex and beautiful lives. Just as a pianist over time progresses in the difficulty of the pieces they can play with mastery – both technique and emotion combined – an Existential Artist becomes ever more proficient at weathering the pain life throws their way (and Life is always full of challenges, asking us to continue to grow in our love for ourselves and our willingness to accept the Laws of Life, not as martyrs, but as Artists), and at creating ever more evolved levels of beauty for themselves and others. 

Each one of us has our own journey and each one of us is here to create some unique contribution to Life. Whether it be big or small, recognized by wider society or simply seen and understood within ourselves, we are all a precious part of the whole, cells in this amazing Great Being we know of as Life itself, and that contains so many mysteries, despite the incredible understandings science has brought us and the wonderful insights we have gained thanks to the devotion of philosophers and religious people throughout the millennia. 

As we become ever more fully integrated in our individual Artistic I, capable of harmonizing our inner selves and thus creating greater wellbeing and harmony in our outer lives, we are called to take things a step further, and to become conscious participants in the evolution of the Universe itself. 

 Cosmoartistic Anthropology is the name given to the complete body of A. Mercurio’s thought. It embraces all of the earlier approaches developed within the Sophia University of Rome throughout the years, and emphasizes the development of an ever fuller expression as individual human beings by offering a context in which to cultivate our ability to work together as precious cells within the great organism which we are all a part of.

Our ability to create primary beauty, the beauty of life expressed through psychological and physical wellbeing and the ability to enjoy it is only a first step; Cosmo Art encourages us to create secondary beauty, a type of material and immaterial energy that can only be created through the conscious choice made by two or more human beings to activate their ability to love freely and responsibly, and that responds to both the human and the cosmic desire to overcome the endless cycles of life and death, and obtain immortality.

Learning to love ourselves as unique, creative beings, and to love someone else – meaning to support and enhance the unfolding of them as Persons as we continue to become Persons ourselves – is Existential Creativity taken one step further, and it opens up ever widening doors of possibility, for individuals, for couples and families, for communities and nations, for humanity as a whole. 

Mercurio sees Homer’s The Odyssey and the love story fraught with obstacles of Ulysses and Penelope described there as a book of wisdom that offers precious information as to how to create this kind of secondary beauty. The type of energy released when two people create glorious concordance, the highest form of creative love that a couple can achieve, lays the groundwork for this new paradigm, based on mutual understanding and respect, rather than on the entrenched patterns of dominance and control that humanity has been enthralled with for millennia and that no amount of technological advancement on its own can correct.

One of his groundbreaking works, Hypotheses on Ulysses, takes a penetrating look at the story of Ulysses and Penelope in a new light that can serve as a beacon for men and women today.

Hypotheses on Ulysses can be downloaded above as a gift to you from Antonio Mercurio, and other books by Antonio Mercurio such as Love and the Person, a Theory of the Couple RelationshipTheory of the Person and Existential Personalistic Anthropology, and The Cosmo Art Dialogs, a Revolutionary Idea about Human Life and the Life of the Cosmos  , are available on Amazon in Kindle format, both in Italian and in English.