Into the Open



Into the Open: Mentoring Mystic Aspirations offers readers a new way to think about creativity–your own and others’. The “mystic” is a creative thinker driven to restore vitality to stagnant organizations by finding new approaches, new inspirations, and new resources.

  • Develop a unique creative spirit in your own life and among the people your supervise or mentor
  • Grasp new ideas about how the creative mind works
  • Study the historical people who embodied the “mystic aspiration”
  • Change the way you interact with others and respond to complex situations

Supervisors, mentors, and support providers will benefit from this new outlook on the great human urge to create.

(Kindle Version, from

Product Description

Into the Open: Mentoring Mystic Aspirations offers readers a new way to think about creativity: your own and others’.

A “mystic” is a creative thinker driven by underlying concepts and goals. The mystic seeks to restore vitality and purpose to any organization or system that has become stagnant and institutionalized by finding new approaches, new inspirations, and new resources.

“Mystic aspirations” generate new avenues to address all your endeavors and to help the people you mentor develop their own creative spirits.

Into the Open: Mentoring Mystic Aspirations provides a thorough understanding of the “mystic” and offers concrete strategies for enhancing and empowering the mystic aspiration.

Be prepared to think about yourself and the people around you differently.

This powerful and practical book will

  • take you through a comprehensive discussion of the mystic aspiration, its foundation, and the historical figures who used their own mystic aspirations to change the way we perceive the world even today;
  • help you identify the mystics in their organizations, as well as their own creative potential; and
  • offer you guidance on how best to strengthen and focus your and others’ creative energies to drive organization change.

Shenkman has more than 40 years of experience in coaching and mentoring executives in technical, creative, and entrepreneurial fields. Into the Open is Shenkman’s fourth book on mentoring and leadership.

490 pages
6″ x 9″

Table of Contents

PART ONE:  The Basics of Mystic Aspirations (who and what are “the mystics”?)

Chapter 1: Meeting the Mystic: Energies of Pure Vitality

Mystic aspirations steer a person into certain life practices, shape desires, and help them identify optimal choices. This chapter introduces the key indicators of a mystic aspiration.

Chapter 2:  Opening to the Mystic Mind

Experiences that mystically aspiring mentees are likely to convey:  the common themes that are presented in the course of mentoring.

Chapter 3: The Mystic’s Aspiring Mind

A highly technical chapter that explains how mystics gather resources and organize their energies. It provides mentors with a format by which to sharpen listening and interpret what they hear from their mentees.

Chapter 4: The Development and Expression of Mystic Aspiration

Chapter Four presents the life-orientations and preferences for decisions, actions, and relationships that mystically aspiring people need to be aware of.

PART TWO: The Mystic Family (the origins and foundation of the mystic aspiration)

Chapter 5: The Mystic Awakening: The Beguines and Meister Eckhart

Chapter Five summarizes some of the key figures that launched and embodied the mystic aspiration and creative impetus, beginning with key thinkers in the 13th century.

Chapter 6: Science, Spinoza and the Twilight of the Classical Mystic

Chapter Six tells of the eclipse of the mystic figuration as it is exploited by institutions and as it becomes presumptively incorporated into Enlightenment thinking. Spinoza is singled out as the one thinker who keeps this impetus in the forefront of our increasingly analytical and technical frameworks, as well as in our notions of “freedom” and “justice.”

Chapter 7:  From Precept to Concept: Mystic Aspirations as Philosophy

This chapter covers the resurgence of the mystic impetus to empower new conceptions of thought, human values, and schema for understanding our place in the universe. This resurgence is possible because mystically global conceptions contribute to the unleashing of the creative, mystic aspiration.

PART THREE: Mentoring Mystic Aspirations (what do you do with mystics, even if it’s you?)

Chapter 8:  The Story of the Mentoring Encounter with Mystic Aspirations

Chapter Eight outlines the process of mentoring mystic aspirations.  It sets out the parameters, limits and prospects mentoring offers. It sets down practices that mentors are advised to adhere to.  This chapter and the next two are based on my 15 years of experience doing this work.

Chapter 9:  Three Mystic Regimens

This chapter sets out the “goals” of mentoring mystic aspirations.  The intent is to help a person onto a life path that is able to sustain the demanding roles this figuration entails, and to establish practices that increase a person’s effectiveness in real life situations while exerting her aspirations in whatever profession or situation she is in.

Chapter 10: The Mentoring Process: Sketch and Summary

This chapter provides a summarizing overview of the process of mentoring mystic aspirations, including suggested exercises, milestones and topics to be covered in a session’s conversation.