Lesson 4 - Transpersonal Psychology

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Transpersonal psychology


 

Transpersonal experiences involve an expansion
or extension of consciousness beyond the usual ego boundaries
and beyond the limitations of time and space

Edited from A Guide to Humanistic Psychology by John Rowan
http://www.ahpweb.org/rowan_bibliography/chapter14.html



 


Transpersonal experiences involve an expansion or extension of consciousness beyond the usual ego boundaries and beyond the limitations of time and space.

Spiritual experiences is transpersonal in their nature, but may be distinguished from transpersonal work in Spiritual work, the aim is God, in transpersonal work the aim sometimes is experiences.


 


Experiences beyond the
mind

Transpersonal psychology started off within humanistic psychology, and then became more distinct, with its own separate journals and conferences. Yet if we look at a map of the transpersonal, such as the one given to us by Ken Wilber, we can see that it overlaps with the humanistic.

Transpersonal experiences involve an expansion or extension of consciousness beyond the usual ego boundaries and beyond the limitations of time and space.


Maslow talked about peak experiences, and these form a good entrance point for understanding the transpersonal.
It is very important, however, not to fall into the one-two-three-infinity theory of the transpersonal, where we say that one is the body, two is the emotions, three is the intellect, and everything beyond that is one great mish- mash called "the transpersonal". As the chart demonstrates, there is more than one realm within the transpersonal, and these distinctions are quite essential if we are not to misunderstand our own experience.

Edited from A Guide to Humanistic Psychology by John Rowan
http://www.ahpweb.org/rowan_bibliography/chapter14.html


 




There is a danger of projecting

Mother stuff, father stuff, womb stuff, birth stuff,
Shadow stuff and so on, into the spiritual world

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It’s happening again! Every full moon I mutate into a rabid snarling canine monster You’re lucky. I’m turning into my mother


Although it is possible to go in for transpersonal work at any time in one’s life, Jung thought that it is more appropriate in the second half of life, when there has been time for the other levels to develop fully. Certainly it seems that it is safer to postpone any very deep entry into this realm until the real self has been contacted. Otherwise there is a danger of projecting mother stuff, father stuff, womb stuff, birth stuff, shadow stuff and so on, into the spiritual world, which can lead to frightening experiences. Taken at the right time, however, the transpersonal can be one of the best experiences in this whole field.

Edited from A Guide to Humanistic Psychology by John Rowan



The Atman Project

The Atman project, is, according to Ken Wilber, the journey all life is traveling, back to the divine source.
That is to say, a process in which they are returning back to the place where they come from. And he sees a miniature version of cosmic evolution in a human being’s growth, from infancy to adulthood. He also says "Psychological growth or development in humans is simply a microcosmic reflection of universal growth on the whole, and has the same goal: the unfolding of ever higher-order unities and integrations."

Edited from an article by Guhen Kitaoka

http://www.creativity.co.uk/creativity/guhen



The greatness of Wilber is that he doesn’t talk only about evolution but also about involution.
Although he says that involution is just a reverse process of evolution, he explains extensively, using the notions of Eros, Thanatos, Agape and Contraction ), why beings, while experiencing Nirvana just after their death, have to come back to the amoebae level, only to reverse the process. [This is an idea he shares with the Danish mystic Martinus, only with the difference that Martinus stresses that the return is voluntary]. […]
Wilber summarizes: "Evolution […] is a remembrance of involution -a rediscovery of the higher modes which were enwrapped in the lower ones during the soul’s flight from God."

Edited from an article by Guhen Kitaoka

http://www.creativity.co.uk/creativity/guhen




 

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Ego death

"Ego death can happen gradually, over a long period of time, or it may occur suddenly with great force.
Although it is one of the most beneficial, most healing events in spiritual evolution, it can seem disastrous.
During this stage, the dying process can sometimes feel very real, as though it was no longer a symbolic experience, but instead a true biological disaster."

Stanislav Grof: The Stormy Search for the Self



 

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"Usually, one cannot yet see, that waiting on the other side of
what feels like total destruction of the ego, is a broader,
more encompassing sense of Self."

Stanislav Grof: The Stormy Search for the Self


 

The choice

Are you willing to be sponged out,
crazed, cancelled, made nothing?

Are you willing to be made nothing?
Dipped into oblivion?

If not, you will never really change

F.H.Lawrence: Phoenix

Here quoted from S. Grof: The Stormy Search for the Self

Anything that drastically exceeds the flexibility of the mind causes a crisis

Accordingly the difference between a spiritual emergence and a spiritual emergency is the flexibility of the mind in the relevant areas.
If we shall be of any help in a crisis, we must be able to face the issues causing the crisis, without ourselves loosing our centeredness and grounding
In a situation where the therapist is not afraid or at least not so afraid that grounding and centeredness is lost, the person in crisis will often by himself calm down or go deeper into the experience and see what there is to be seen.
In crisis work there is often no other doing than the ability to be in the challenge, open eyed, centred and grounded.

 

Red Light Symptoms

Quoted from S. Grof: The Stormy Search for the Self

Emergence
Inner experiences are fluid, mild, easy to integrate
Emergency
Inner experiences are dynamic, jarring, difficult to integrate.

Emergence

New spiritual insights are Welcome, desirable, expansive.
Emergency
New spiritual insights may be philosophically challenging and threatening.

Emergence
Gradual infusion of ideas and Insights into life
Emergency
Overwhelming influx of experiences and insights.

Emergence
Experiences of energy that are contained and are easily manageable
Emergency
Experiences of jolting tremors, shaking, energy disruptive to daily Life.

Emergence
Easy differentiation between internal and external experiences and transition from one to other
Emergency
Sometimes difficult to distinguish between internal and external experiences, or simultaneous occurrence of both

Emergence
Ease in incorporating nonordinary States of consciousness into daily life daily life.
Emergency
Inner experiences interrupt and disturb daily life.

Emergence
Slow gradual change in awareness of self and world.
Emergency
Abrupt, rapid shift in perception of self and world.

Emergence
Excitement about inner experiences willingness and ability to cooperate with them using guidance.
Emergency
Ambivalence toward inner experiences, unwillingness and inability to cooperate with them using guidance.

Emergence
Accepting attitude toward change.
Emergency
Resistance to change

Emergence

Ease in giving up control.
Emergency
Need to be in control.

Emergence
Trust in process.
Emergency
Dislike, mistrust in process.

Emergence
Difficult experiences treated as opportunities for change.
Emergency
Difficult experiences are overwhelming, often unwelcome.

Emergence
Positive experiences accepted as gifts
Emergency
Positive experiences are difficult to accept, seem undeserved, can be painful.

Emergence
Infrequent need to discus experiences
Emergency
Frequent urgent need to discuss experiences.

Emergence
Discriminating when communicating Indiscriminate communication about process (when, how, with whom)
Emergency
Indiscriminate communication about process (when, how, with whom)