Profiles of Changemakers: Dr. Margaret Placentra Johnston

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20120109 PORTRAIT Margaret Placentra Johnston by Len Spoden Photography

margaret-johnson-faith-beyond-beliefDr. Margaret Placentra Johnston has a passion for Vision. Working as a practicing optometrist for the past three decades and having a personal interest in further developing spiritual clarity, Dr. Johnston seeks to bring people to healing and personal transformation from the physical to the spiritual realms.

It was in the 1990s when Dr. Johnston read M. Scott Peck’s book “Road Less Traveled,” that she first became acquainted with the stages of spiritual development. “I was absolutely floored by the book,” Dr. Johnston shares. “Having been brought up catholic I went to a catholic college on purpose because I needed to know more about my religion. But when I got to college, I learned to question everything and I reasoned myself out.”

As Dr. Johnston studied “Road Less Traveled,” she came to the realization that everyone who goes through a questioning stage, then something happens to reengage that person with faith. “I had never met anybody like that who went beyond beliefs to the mystic level,” Dr. Johnston says.

“We all have spiritual beliefs colored by our geographical area. Every culture and place in the world has created a religion,” Dr. Johnston shares. “But more than just practicing a religion, people around the world are seeking connection with something larger than themselves.”

Inspired by the stages of spiritual development as written about by M. Scott Peck, James Fowler, St. Teresa of Avila, Ken Wilbur, and other theorists and authors, Dr. Johnston set out to share this concept in her first book entitled, “Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind,” as a message for the masses and a vision for a world that moves beyond religious intolerance and division to greater awareness and connectedness.

“Our tribe is expanding to people on the Internet and around the world,” Dr. Johnston points out. “As our tribe expands, we need a larger picture, we need to stop thinking so small, and we need to remain open to new perspectives.”

In her forthcoming second book entitled “Rx for Spiritual Myopia: An Eye Doctor’s Prescription for Seeing Beyond the Societal Ills of Our Time,” Dr. Johnston continues to develop her concept of expanding our spiritual vision. Stay tuned for more.

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