Who is Robert Augustus Masters?


Robert Augustus Masters was born in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1947. From an early age he was an avid artist and dreamer, but in high school switched under pressure to the sciences, which he stayed with until he found himself at the age of 21 in a Ph.D. program in Biochemistry. A year later, only a few hours after a dream of ecstatic dying, he left his doctoral program, and began an odyssey of intense travel, initially outer, then inner.

As he did so, his passion for the arts reemerged, especially through writing. He began meditating, doing yoga, and exploring cutting-edge therapies. By 1977 he was working as a therapist and bodyworker. From the beginning, his approach was integral and spontaneous, creatively combining the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Structure was not (and still is not) preset, but was (and still is) allowed to emerge in accordance with individual and group needs.

With the publication of his critically acclaimed, hard-hitting book The Way of the Lover in 1988, Robert became increasingly well known for the depth, creativity, efficiency, and transformative power of his sessions and groupwork, and his work soon spread worldwide. Two more books, Love Must Also Weep and Truth Cannot Be Rehearsed, soon followed.

In 1994, his life abruptly and dramatically changed, following an extremely harrowing near-death experience (described in his groundbreaking book Darkness Shining Wild: An Odyssey to the Heart of Hell and Beyond: Meditations on Sanity, Suffering, Spirituality, & Liberation), after which he resumed his work, but in a more radically inclusive and compassionate manner.

Evolving in fitting parallel with Robert’s work has been his writing. In 2021 his essay Wrathful Compassion: Transpersonal Approaches to Anger won the Editor’s Award for the best article of the year in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. His latest books (besides Darkness Shining Wild) are Divine Dynamite: Entering Awakening’s Heartland, Freedom Doesn’t Mind Its Chains: Revisioning Sex, Body, Emotion, & Spirituality, and Anger: An Integral Exploration. His poetry runs rampant through all his writing, keeping his prose on its toes.

Robert’s passion is to fuel, illuminate, support, and articulate the living of a deeper life, a life of love, integrity, and full-blooded awakening. Much of his teaching is rooted in finding freedom through intimacy—intimacy not only with others and with various states, but with all that is. There is deep joy for him in passing on what he has learned, most recently through his apprenticeship programs (in Integral Counselling) and his newsletter. Details on this and his groupwork can be found at his website.

Robert is also a father, husband (in such deep partnership with his beloved wife Diane that he’ll soon be writing a new book about deep relational intimacy) table tennis warrior, runner and dumbbell-lifter, wild salmon chef, fussy sleeper, and lover of the profoundly superficial. His next project is a book of his poetry that includes a CD of his more lyrical poetry set to music and sung by Diane, who is a professional singer/energy-worker with a gift for accessing the sacred through sound.

“An extraordinarily poetic writer with great insights.”
—Ram Dass

“Masters transforms the spiritual landscape with the mind-bending freshness of his prose. With the dexterity of the true master, he shatters complacency and razes the familiar with startling beauty.”
—Jenny Wade

Robert Augustus has appeared on Integral Naked:

Radical Intimacy and the Search for a More Integral Wholeness4/17/2021