Modern, Positive, and Enlightenment Psychology
Modern psychology emancipated itself from philosophy in the second half of the 19th century to find more effective ways of dealing with mental abnormalities. It made its first public appearance as Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis was a child of its time. For example, Freud believed that the sex drive was the primary drive, but that appeared so only because of the rampant intellectualism and suppression of sexuality in the Victorian Age. There were no such problems in Asia, for example.
Freud didn’t believe that it was possible to fix mental disorders. Karl Jung begged to differ and took psychology to the next level. Today, we can avail of many treatments, like medication, psychotherapy, group therapy, hypnosis, and behavior modification.
Modern psychology contents itself with the classification and treatment of abnormalities. It has, is, and will be a pathology. Modern psychology can’t define what is normal. Normality is a ghost. In fact, there is no English term for a normal state of mind. I tried to find one for my Esprit Value Chain graph, and ended up calling it common sense.
Everybody is different. Abnormality is the norm. How to decide whether a psychological trait is a bug or a feature? This is where modern psychology draws the line: A person requires treatment if it is harmful to itself or society. Hmm … harmful can be a blur too, especially in the context of enlightenment.
Positive Psychology looks beyond pathology by examining and cultivating healthy states of mind. Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.
Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, promotes this new field of study in his TED talk the New Era of Positive Psychology:
In the words of the Inspiration and Enlightenment Workshop, positive psychology nurtures the four soul values, love, happiness, purpose, and beauty, and encourages people to pursue their heart’s desire.
Enlightenment Psychology goes beyond modern and positive psychology. The latter concern themselves with the avatar and subconsciousness. The goal of Enlightenment Psychology is evolution. It promotes heightened awareness, the realization of the soul and Higher Self, and access to other realities. The ultimate attainment is nothing short of cosmic consciousness.
On a side note, the fulfillment of the heart’s desire is an important part of enlightenment, but it is not a central concern. It is a puzzle piece.
Freud identified three spheres of mental activity: the ego, the super-ego, and the id. The id is subconsciousness, prone to the pleasure principle. The ego represents our conscious individuality that tries to mediate between the id’s desires and the external world. The super-ego represents education, religion, morale, and civilization.
Not much has changed since then. Howard Garner identified nine intelligences, but they appear, more or less, to be faculties of the three spheres:
- Naturalistic Intelligence
- Musical Intelligence
- Logical-mathematical Intelligence
- Existential Intelligence
- Interpersonal Intelligence
- Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence
- Linguistic Intelligence
- Intra-personal Intelligence
- Spatial Intelligence
The Enlightenment Psychology Model
Enlightenment Psychology agrees that human personality has three levels, but identifies the super-ego with the soul and Higher Self. Education and experience are part of the avatar’s make-up. Enlightenment Psychology recognizes emotions and intelligence as separate spheres of activity.
The Enlightenment Workshop derives its psychological model from the Tree of Life:
In their book The Yoga Aphorisms of Patajali, How to Know God, Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood illustrate these faculties as follows:
Manas [mind] notices that a large animate object is quickly approaching. Buddhi [intelligence] decides: “That’s a bull. It is angry. It wants to attack someone.” Ahamkara [ego/avatar] screams: “It wants to attack me, Patanjali. I see this bull. I’m frightened. I’m about to run away.” Later, from the branches of a nearby tree, ahamkara [ego/avatar] may add: “Now I know that this bull, which is not I, is dangerous. There are others who don’t know this; it’s my own personal knowledge, which will help me to avoid this bull in the future.”
Everything is Consciousness
According to Enlightenment Psychology, the Godness creates and maintains the universe in Its mind, just like you produce a little universe in your mind. The universe around you, and everything in it, is made of consciousness. We partake in a grand, collective dream.
The Godness’ Mentality
Enlightenment Psychology is able to describe, in detail, the Godness’ mentality. Like us, the Godness has a mind, emotions, rationality, and subconsciousness.
We are not separate from the Godness and the universe. The Godness forms the inner and higher levels of the totality of our self. Think of the Godness as the Self of our higher self. That is why we can raise our awareness to the Godness’ level and reach cosmic consciousness.
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