Just what is psycho-spiritualism?
Well as the name indicates it’s a blend of psychology and spirituality.
There has been a lot of interest in psychotherapy circles about the so-called ‘forth movement’ which refers to the arrival of Transpersonal Psychology. Inspired by the works of Jung, the Transpersonal Movement recognises the importance of a spiritual aspect to human psychology.
For me this approach to exploring what can be called ‘the human condition’ makes eminent sense – already to the rationally minded.
Human perception and experience, I would argue, lie at the heart of human behaviour. How we as individuals integrate our human drives and motivations, with our values and attitudes results in both our external behaviours and the tensions which underpin them (our self-regulation).
Those scientists who speak of the God-Gene, our genetic disposition for belief in the supernatural, nevertheless need to recognise that the very presence of this hypothesised neuro-logical driver is reflected in the behaviours in which we include. So perhaps whether the ‘reality’ of a deity is a topic for metaphysics, the range of perceptions and experiences (hence behaviours) which grow out of ‘a belief’ is very real indeed.
Being able to question the character of our mystical (spiritual) experiences is one thing, not feeling them is something else thoroughly. It could be suggested that to deny some of these feelings and ways of knowing would be the same as denying our emotions. So whilst neurologists can point to the ‘mirror neurons’ which seem to be responsible for our feelings of ’empathy’ it does not follow that ’empathy’ is a fiction.
The integration of mind and body, the way we relate to ourselves, others and the Cosmos can be reduced to simple neuro-biological roles and leave us with the question ‘what more is there?’
The Transpersonal Psychologists were happy to recognise, and analyze, the character of experiences that were ‘beyond’ self – experiences of ‘the mystical’.
For me it makes total sense for us, as individuals, to learn from our experiences – that, I feel must include an ability to question from both a rational (objective) standpoint and from a mystical (subjective-symbolic) perspective.
Integrating personal experiences so as to promote “personal development” and “transformation” is how we learn and grow.
Understanding that there are differing ways of experiencing and talking about the world is, I suggest, the first step in reducing prejudice and promoting creative and collaborative futures.
So Psycho-Spiritualism, I guess is one way of re-framing Rational Mysticism, but placing it firmly within the area of ‘coaching’, ‘counselling’ and ‘personal transformation’.
A psychic, for me, is someone who is able to work psyhco-spiritually, by recognising the need to total sensory perception; questioning and experiencing.
Psycho-Spiritulaism exists outside of a single meta-physical construct and recognises the concept that human language is unable to convey some of the more complicate spiritual ideas the individual can experience.
Frequently spiritual teachers will use metaphors for these experiences.
The sad fact is that these metaphors often become the ‘dogmas’ which define religious conviction and limit spirituality.
Many of the most persistent of spiritual teachings are psycho-spiritual in character. The ‘frame work’ of behaviours (commandments) and beliefs (ways of framing mystical experiences) start off as ’empowering teachings’ and become straight-jackets which ensnare the fundamentalist.
Psycho-Spirituality is about acceptance of, and learning from, the teachings of others whilst discovering personal relevance.
A number of years ago some personal reflections became encapsulated in the following phrase…
“True learning is about exploring the understandings of others and bathing in the light of their experience’
Like so many insights the ideas were probably rolling around in my unconscious mind before presenting themselves as fully formed ideas – that’s the strength of the mind.
How such insights translate into attitudes and behaviours, well that’s, perhaps, something else.
Psycho-Spiritual Coaching or Counselling is an integrative approach to self development, personal exploration and change which takes a Rational Mystical approach. It recognises the psychological and spiritual.