The Institute of Psychosynthesis, London celebrates its 40th anniversary by publishing a new book on Psychospiritual Psychology. This book gathers together a growing body of knowledge around this new psychology; one which recognises the reality of transpersonal experiences as being life-changing or meaning-giving events.
Today, the differentiation between Psychospiritual Psychology and Transpersonal Psychology is much clearer. Psychospiritual psychology – while not polarised with transpersonal psychology – is an attempt to add to it and move the debate on. The term has risen from within the transpersonal perspective and proposes levels, which are not as yet clearly defined or ‘mapped’ – namely Spirit and Will. As the idea has developed we see that in transpersonal psychology there is a well defined personal and collective unconscious, and psychospiritual psychology adds the distinction of a spiritual consciousness – that of the Self.
Psychospiritual psychology regards the Self as a reality, a living entity, direct and certain knowledge or awareness of which can be had. It recognises that the Self is a ‘spiritual being’ imbued with love which can be present to us in both its immanent and transcendent state. It mediates the interface between psyche and spirit and attempts to reconcile two fundamental experiences: the way in which we experience ourselves in our ‘wholeness’ – the way of spirit; and the way in which we experience our separateness – the way of psyche or soul, that aspect of Self which suffers separation.
Central to a psychospiritual perspective is the relationship between the ‘I’ and the Self. There is a marked distinction between consciousness, however transcendent, and the freedom to act in relation to just such a consciousness. Therefore the purpose of individuation has meaning beyond simply the realisation of Self. ‘I am that I am’ shifts the level of causality and brings with it an imperative to act in relation to that which one knows, thus making the ‘I’ an effective servant of the Self as it, at its own level, both realises an ethical consciousness and the imperative to embody this consciousness. In this way a quest for healing or ‘wholeness’ therefore can be seen as a sacred quest towards becoming a moral being.
These ideas and many more are explored in depth in the wide-ranging collection of papers gathered together across the 30 chapters in this book. We showcase both the theory and extensive clinical practice of this psychology. Together they create a kaleidoscope of views, experiences and insights into psychosynthesis and psychospiritual psychology as it is expressed and practiced today.
This book is for psychologists, therapists and students of all schools of psychology who live at the boundaries today between the practice of psychotherapy and spirituality and whose many healthily neurotic clients struggle with issues of meaning-making and wonder about their spirituality.