Skip Navigation

The Transpersonal

The Transpersonal tradition

Elsewhere in this inquiry I have looked papal Catholicism, the Israeli Judaism, American Fundamentalism, and touched on some features of Islam. What I tended to find, as one of the titles says, was ‘Too much god and not enough love’.

These ‘heritage religions’ seemed static, and defensive, closed systems founded on faith, a belief that the physical occurrence of extra-reality events, such as Jesus’ miracles and his death and resurrection were irrefutable facts. I was a little shaken to recognize faith as a group hypnotic phenomenon, manifest through a rich variety of ecclesiastical trance inductions.

While I know firsthand that the lived experiences of some, even many people in each of these takes on spirituality features love, care and generosity, the institutions that frame them seem uniformly to be cultures of domination.

Living from love seems to have a low to zero priority for institutional islamism, christianism and judaism, which are preoccupied, as it increasing seemed obvious, with preserving existing power relations. Alongside this ‘Saints’ such as Augustine, had projected their personal distress about sexuality and gender relations onto the beliefs and daily life of countless generations of the faithful, corrupting the whole notion of spirituality.

Might there be a different kind of institution, a place where we could honor those times when we experience a deeper or wider rapport or communion with others, that included the personal but was not limited to it; where the personal, political and ecological could intersect, be held with their contradictions, where living from love, and life as an inquiry could find a home?

The notion of the Transpersonal provides such a space, I see it as more of a tradition and less helpfully as ‘Transpersonal Psychology’ where it often seems to being sheltering under the umbrella of science and academia.

I came to the Transpersonal through an initiation into the Guardjieff/Ouspensky and TM traditions, and making a TV film drama about an episode in the life of Carl Gustav Jung that took me deep into the Jungian tradition; this was followed up and consolidated through work with John Heron, Ian Gordon-Brown and Barbara Somers.

The Transpersonal tradition acknowledges the value of open-ended inquiry, of living from love, of there being dimensions to human life and consciousness of which we are only dimly aware, and that communion and participation with others can be enjoyed without them being manifestations of the classic psychological defenses of denial, splitting or projection.

Here are some links that will fill out this account of the transpersonal tradition.

John Heron

Michael Daniels

<< | Up | >>

Bookmark with: RSS Delicious Digg reddit Facebook StumbleUpon
This document was last modified on 2005-11-08 10:10:03.