A Spiritual Life with a Psychology to Match
Beyond the cloistered walls of monasteries, nunneries, churches, hidden caves, and meditation halls, there lives a people whose lives are spiritual. These people are not the saints and mystics, the clerics, the religious. They are never dogmatic. Their gods are not demanding, harsh or full of should’s and should not’s. Their gods do not blame or take a seat at the head of any table. These people, the ones who are deeply spiritual, carry their gods inside, like the explorer carries the compass. They have breathed divinity into their bodies and into their lives. They touch that which is godlike both in immanence and in transcendence. The kitchen is their hall of worship; the walk around the block, their pilgrimage; the acts of goodness they perform are their spiritual practice. These are amazing people. They are good people. They are spiritual people. They are us.
And if this is true, and I do believe it is, we can ask ourselves simply to notice that this is who we are. To be embodied in our own humanity and divinity, in one lone body, one lifetime, one particular set of circumstances, is to be truly spiritual.
And finally, the field of psychology has firmly embraced an orientation that supports a spiritual life. For most of the years of this field, psychology has aimed its vision towards family of origin, trauma, parenting, developmental glitches and biological bases. All of these are still and truly primary issues that many people face in the quest for healthy lives. But side by side with those are issues of purpose, meaning and values, existential issues and spiritual issues. These can cause our dis-ease as surely as our childhood issues can. And perhaps even more importantly, spiritually oriented psychology can work with issues across the board.
To be clear, positive, spiritual, transpersonal, contemplative psychology (many names, many versions) are not religiously oriented. There are specifically religious counseling modalities, such as Christian counseling, Buddhist psychology and the like, but this is not what I am referring to. This larger field, this fourth force as it has been called, is an invitation into psychology that looks not only at the historical and biological issues, but also at the existential and spiritual issues that face each human being. (The first three forces have been named as psychoanalysis, behaviorism and humanism.)
Welcome to the evolution! Each of us, as individuals, evolves in this lifetime, with the deep invitation to become truer and truer to our Self’s Call. The human species, we most fervently hope, is evolving towards greater wisdom and compassion and away from fear and greed. The field of psychology, with movements into transformative work, in psychotherapy, in coaching, in energy work and in healing is offering a guidepost.
Join the Evolution!