What is Transpersonal Psychology?

Meditation by a lotus flower

 

Silently and serenely one forgets all words

Clearly and vividly That appears…

the Truth of silent illumination

Is perfect and complete”

 

Hung Chih

 

 

 

Transpersonal literally means beyond the personal. This is not intended to exclude the basic personality of individual development and its evolutionary stages. In other words, transpersonalpsychology focuses on the full “spectrum” of inner reality and states of consciousness. According to the research and therapy experience of S.Grof, K.Wilber and R.Assagioli transpersonal psychology integrates transcendent aspects of the human experience within the framework of modern psychology. It is also possible to define it as a spiritual psychology or as “development beyond conventional, personal or individual levels” of personality. In fact transpersonal can be defined also as an experience “in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of human kind, life, psyche o cosmos”. (Walsh, Vaughan, 1993).

 

Other researchers of the transpersonal experience include the non-ordinary states of consciousness (Grof). But issues considered also in this field include “self-development”, peak experiences, mystical insights, psychedelic trance, as well as spiritual crisis, religious conversion, spiritual practises and other sublime and/or unusually expanded experiences of living. Finally, transpersonal psychology attempts to integrate all the deep spiritual experiences within modern psychological theory, confirming the principal assertions of western and eastern philosophy – so called Perennial Philosophies – and formulating new theories of the body-mind and the soul.