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RE: Trans-Persnal Psychology -- its coverage == Antiquity of Man -- Modern evidence needed

Jan 29, 1999 11:20 AM
by Dallas TenBroeck

Jan 29th

Dear  Peter:

Sorry I put in the wrong name - but anyway there were many to
read, and thank you for the correction.  I believe I understand
your point in regard to the approach of TRANS-PERSONAL

If, by chance your are familiar with HPB's definitions of the
active and perceptive principle (MANAS - Mind), in humans (as
found in THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY) I have found that it serves to
resolve the differences (not always conflicts) with the theories
and their constant modifications of modern psychology, as new
evidence is disclosed.

As I understand it, the observation of reflexive responses (in
animals, and in mankind of all ages), and the generation of
spontaneous ideas and queries have to be reconciled.  I say this

In Theosophical terms, emotional feelings (KAMA) closely
interacts with the mind (thought, memory, anticipation, logic,
will, etc...)faculty - these are very closely allied in us all at
this stage of our evolution.  Therefore they are not easily
separated.  (Theosophy calls us Kama-Manasic beings - emotions
and mind conjoined).

Mind can be seen as a separate faculty acting as directed by our
WILL, impersonally, as for instance in scientific investigation
and the observation of facts, engineering, physics, astronomy,
etc...  And, especially in mathematics.  There its action is
dispassionate and the search for universal and fully verifiable
truths is constant.

When one inquires into the MOTIVE for such research, one finds
that the "desire to know" moves the individual.  This "desire to
know" may be actuated by various motives.  From pure desire for
facts and knowledge, or the personal desire to prove a special
point and eliminate any facts that are opposed to pre-judged
conclusions.  There is a whole range of motives that are of an
ethical/moral quality in this discipline of the self/mind.

It also invokes persistency or its lack.  Accuracy, or its lack.
Then when one finds that theories have already been evolved to
account for observed facts, and that they have become generally
accepted, one is confronted with the problem of discrepancies in
current observations.  This needs to be accounted for, and, at
this point it becomes a matter of ethical and moral decision.
Are the new facts to be broadcast?  Should one broadcast one's
unpopular findings, or should one bow to the opinions, long
established and used, by the greater majority of one's "peers."
The threat to one's standing and credibility introduces a
moral/ethical decision here.

The integration of morality and ethics with psychological
observation, and the use of the mental faculty, is what Theosophy
speaks of extensively.  In fact (I would say) it is the missing
link in our modern psychological sciences.

The concept that man is an immortal being is ESSENCE as a
Spirit/Soul and that he lives many lives on Earth as
personalities (masks of the Real Inner Man) is something entirely
(or almost entirely) lacking in current psychology, as that is
relegated to "belief" and to "religion."  And if those are
independently studied, they are found to be in most cases
irrational.  But in the search for TRUTH and verity, these
factors become all-important for true and general progress.

WE have at present one very difficult situation.  We start with
material evidence that pertains strictly to this plane of
effects, forms and movements.  These we can observe.  But what
actuates them?  What are the inner and unseen CAUSES that actuate
them - causes that reside (broadly) in the emotional and rational
aspects of man's faculties ?

Now if Man is essentially rational and lives in an emotional
environment the conflict in terms of behavior and choice becomes
clearer (I think.)
But, are we not all of us in exactly that situation ?  And is not
the mind admittedly superior in its power to the emotions ?  does
it not see clearer and anticipate results as a spectrum of
"possibilities," - so that it may choose what it considers to be
optimum in benefit for itself?  At what point does the intense
focus of self-preservation (in the future) and selfishness become
a more universalized one, as the selfish-Self
(Personality-Kama-Manas) sees that acting in terms of the general
ethical/moral "good" (Karmic Law and Buddhi-Manas) serves (in the
long run) to preserve its integrity and continued existence ?

So long as this is set aside we have troubles in establishing an
overview of all relationships in these areas, and as sciences or
points of view (as beliefs or faiths) they remain disjointed.

The ancients (as the modern Theosophists) integrated religion
with science and philosophy.  Generally, they placed the
ethical/moral decision making as foremost in consideration and as
the one factory that serves to assemble an integrated way of

Is these musings are correct, or of any use ?


> From: Peter Merriott
> Sent:	Friday, January 29, 1999 5:50 AM
> Subject: RE: RE: Trans-Persnal Psychology -- its coverage ==  Antiquity of Man -- Modern evidence needed,  please

Dear Dallas,

Actually it was me, Peter, who made that post.

> Many thanks - my brush with "Trans-personal Psychology" had
> showed that they dealt more with the "psychic" [ Kama and
> side ].  The really "SPIRITUAL" [ HIGHER-MANAS and BUDDHI ]
> remained to be identified.

I'm sure that side of it also exists.  There is research being
carried out
on 'altered states of consciousness' of many kinds which includes
transcendent, meditative and 'psychic' experiences.  "However,
the larger
emphasis is on the spiritual nature of the individual and
humanity, and how
this  encompasses our spiritual, psychological and physical
nature.  The
major thrust in Transpersonal Psychology is thus more along the
lines of how
we can use this understanding   to gain a better knowledge of
development, for example  - developmental tasks in relation to
psycho-spiritual growth; interventions in psychological
'illnes'(so called);
working in psychotherapeutic settings with people traumatised by
events, experiencing depression, hopelessness and despair,
crises etc.

> It is my opinion that the impersonal application of LAW - fair,
> just, impersonal and enormously sensitive - to all beings as to
> man's psyche was yet to be discussed scientifically
> (impartially) - as this has often been regarded as the field of
> ethics, morals and therefore "religious."
> Am I correct still on that ?

I'm not sure, to be honest.  I think there is a strong desire to
the funadamental principles (laws) upon which the human
constitution and
life is based and the ethical issues that follow on from those
But, what I have noticed is that while many individuals talk
about reincarnation and the Law of Karma there is very little
discussed on
these topics in academic / clinical forums and debates.  As a
theosphist I
see that as a great ommision.  I also recognise that it is early
days yet
for transpersonal psychology and in order to be establised and
gain a firm
foothold in the world of Psychology it may well have to leave
some things
'on the side' for the time being.

Best wishes,



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