What are some of the core concepts and theory when considering the transpersonal approach?
The work of the transpersonal draws largely from mainstream psychological concepts and theory in order to ground its practice in science. However, unlike mainstream psychological paradigms, the transpersonal acknowledges that “our essential nature is spiritual” (Phoenix Institute of Australia, 2012) and that as human beings we have “valid urges towards the spiritual” (Phoenix Institute of Australia, 2012). The transpersonal approach is based on this notion of the spiritual self as the foundation for our psychological structure of the self and therefore proposes that we exist simultaneously in a multitude of realities, including but not limited to the body, mind, spirit, feeling, fantasy and science. Similarly the transpersonal view of consciousness considers our ordinary, everyday experience of reality as one of many states of consciousness accessible to us at any given time through a variety of methods. It is these fundamental notions which allow the transpersonal approach to transcend time and culture. This is seen in the way the practitioner can be likened to the ancient shaman as both practically engage with the “full spectrum of consciousness” becoming “technicians and navigators” of the multiple states and realities able to be experienced by the human being. The transpersonal approach also considers life as a journey with an origin, landscape and destination or end, “framed by a cosmic background, a canopy of meaning which arches across our lives from birth to after death” (Phoenix Institute of Australia, 2012) and the intuition as a serious indicator and tool for navigating the world. Ultimately the transpersonal aims to transform the individual through integration of experiences that go beyond the ego and ultimately provide “a more satisfying or valuable condition” (Phoenix Institute of Australia, 2012).
Whilst grounded in science and...
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