Religion vs. Psychology

Topics: Meaning of life, Emotion, Human Pages: 5 (1800 words) Published: April 28, 2005
Spirituality and psychology are two complex subjects to discuss and they become even more complicated when you try to relate one to the other. Psychology deals with the processes of sense perception, thinking, learning, cognition, emotions and motivations, and personality, focusing on the behavior of individuals. Spirituality, on the other hand, is all inclusive. "Spirituality is living one's life from the realization that the body/mind/ego personality we have been taught to identify with is just the tip of our iceberg, our little head sticking through the window of the senses into this world, whereas our true body is the universe. It is recognizing that our perceived world is mostly an illusion, a shared dream we are asleep in, and that the goal of life is to awake to our real Self which is vast and multidimensional--already intimately connected with all of creation, with a twin shadow self that is already scripted, mostly primitive, and hidden from us, but that this whole Self is already One with this mystery we call God/dess whose essence can hardly be understood, but to which we give names as Eternal Wisdom, Ultimate Reality, Birther of all Life, S/he Who Is, etc." So, how can someone take two complex subjects and use one to enhance the other in their life? Is it possible to use a school of psychology to enhance the spiritual life of a person? By analyzing one school of psychology (Rational Emotive Therapy) and by focusing on how it can keep one from focusing on negative and selfish thoughts/acts, how it can make one focus on the things that matter most in life, and how it can help one in spreading a positive way of living, we will see that it is possible for RET to enhance our spirituality. However, we must first learn what RET is all about. Rational Emotive Therapy is amazingly simple. All it entails is for an individual to perform self analysis on their way of thinking and to eliminate all the grandiose words from their vocabulary. By taking the musts, always, nevers, and everyones from our vocabulary, and by replacing them with desire, prefer, and hope, we are more likely to understand that many of our problems and barriers are self made. Instead of viewing each problem in our lives as the end of the world, using RET allows us to step back from the situation and to take a realistic view at the situation. By mapping out the circumstance at hand (A), the emotions we are feeling (C), why we are feeling this way (B), the emotions we wish to feel (E), and by debating rationally why the situation is not as bad as it may seem (D), we prevent ourselves from overreacting and from holding ourselves back. RET allows us to accept that we are fallible human beings and we are allowed to make mistakes. What is prevents us from doing is lingering on those mistakes too long and from using them as excuses for not achieving our goals. It allows us to reward ourselves because of who we truly are, not by what we do or who others may think we are. RET encourages straight thinking and rational living, two things that, by doing careful self analysis, can be amazingly simple.

There is not one person alive who has not encountered a less than desirable situation in life. Nobody is flawless and everyone has made at least one mistake that they wish they could take back. However, a problem many encounter is they worsen these mistakes by lingering on them instead of learning from them. They worry that others may see them as less than they really are and that they are inadequate because they are not perfect. Albert Ellis, the creator of RET, says people, "upset themselves about their seriousness upsetness. In fact, they may have biological tendencies that encourage them to make a ‘magical'…jump from ‘I badly failed' to ‘I am a failure-a bad person!'". This type of thinking is both negative and selfish, putting everyone's focus on them and their problems. What the individual does not understand is that to the rest of the world, their problem...
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