Transpersonal Psychology: transcending the Ego to conquer the Self
Transpersonal psychology considers that light and darkness are two sides of the same coin. That is why it works with your “shadows”, with those characteristics or qualities of your being that were repressed and forgotten in your subconscious.
How do you get to connect with your true Self? A transpersonal therapist proposes you: to know who you think you are to “dismantle” your “character” (with his lights and his shadows).
How to do it? With transpersonal techniques such as gestalt dialogue, emotional catharsis (to heal the wounds of the past), learn to live the "here and now" and meditation.
Welcome to Rocío Castro González. She is a transpersonal therapist and a Buenasterapias Collaborator. He lives and works in Seville. This is his first article. You will enjoy it!
How many times have you wondered who you really are! How many unanswered questions have you asked yourself about yourself. Where do I come from? Is it me, all these attributions that form my person? Why do I have to be like that, if I don't like it?
Questions like these appear in our mind and are reflected in our thoughts from time to time. They look for deep answers. But often we can only respond in a vague and subtle way. Then such issues disappear and remain in the forgetfulness of our mind and heart, like a state of drunkenness and reverie that, suddenly, separates us from the real world. Although yes, it leaves us, deep down, deep down in our heartbeat, a feeling of restlessness, longing and even of discomfort, very difficult to define.
Well, dear reader, these questions may have answers, and that task is responsible for transpersonal philosophy and psychology.
What higher levels of meaning, what sense and deep message does the world transmit to us and are we ignoring?
We do not see things as they are, but as we are. This is why we must train ourselves in observation and contemplation, transforming our way of being and transcending our ego to reach our true Self . Opening ourselves, then, to that hidden and perennial wisdom and to that high stage of consciousness that brings us closer to the true mystery and sense of existence.
Transpersonal means "beyond the personal." Transpersonal psychology considers that the psyche is multidimensional, so there are different levels of consciousness, each attributed with different characteristics and governed by different laws.
In this context, the goal of the transpersonal therapist will be to work with the patient according to his level of consciousness, guiding him to open himself to his inner dimensions and discover who he really is.
Starting from the patient's level of consciousness, we help him overcome the conflicts of that level of consciousness, in a continuous state of observation and willing to lead him to new experiential levels as they present themselves.
We try to give importance to the human psyche in terms of its spiritual or cosmic dimensions and the evolutionary potential of consciousness.
How does this spiritual dimension manifest in our person or physical self?
Through the search for the meaning of life, peak or mystical experiences, intuition, creativity, nature, joy, sensitivity to emotions and certain experiences not previously experienced, tolerance and openness towards different ways of perceiving the real, Equanimity and acceptance towards moments of crisis and kindness or solidarity with others and nature itself, among many others.
All these experiences and sensations move us towards spiritual contemplation. Towards the ability to start looking for answers to something beyond our perceived reality. In short, towards consciousness. And it is so, having these awakenings, when we discover that there are different levels of consciousness, and we open ourselves to the path and to our integral growth, since we wake up towards a broader vision of reality.
Within transpersonal therapy, the primary objective is to really know who we are. Reach our Self, and, of course, for that, we must first transcend our ego .
Once the subject renounces his position of belonging to the family and assumes his independent position, it is when the mental ego is created.
We would say that our personality is defined and full of attributions about our person, positive and negative, both external and own. We could say that we have already created our character, which will accompany us throughout our lives, developing in autonomy and becoming more rigid over the years, since we feel more comfortable in our he.
However, the more rigid our character is and the more he reaffirms himself in who he thinks he is, the more he tries to emerge our "self" or Self, as CG Jung calls it, pointing towards "the outside", through the experimentation of these dimensions Spirituals discussed above.
In this process that CG Jung calls, the Individualization Process, that awakening of consciousness begins. That conscious path to the light that will lead us to self-realization and true knowledge of who we really are. Our Self, our real Self, our Self. The I am because I am.
According to CG Jung, that individuation process would be achieved, in short, transcending our ego. Through that mask or character that we have created over the years and that we believe we are, to finally reach our Self .
However, transcending the ego is not an easy task. To do this we must first take an action of responsibility, commitment and sincerity with ourselves and work in our shadow.
What is the shadow?
When we talk about shadow, we do it about those characteristics or qualities of our being that were buried, repressed and forgotten in our subconscious. We do not know them and when they start to glimpse, they baffle us and can even cause us some fear and, therefore, rejection.
The human being tends, in an innate way, to create an ideal image about himself and adorn it with many positive attributions. We always look for positive qualities and attributions to complete our person. But the truth is that we are not just that. We cannot always look for light, since light is also composed of darkness . Light and darkness are the same. There cannot be one without the other, because then there would be no balance. It is the principle of polarity. And what it is about is that, once, the shadow comes to the surface, let's integrate it. Because that is where the Being becomes complete . A unit. And, of course, he comes to recognize himself.
Follow that repetitive and insistent exaggeration and walk to the entrance portal of your most recent shadows.
Human beings tend to project on the other what we do not recognize and reject in ourselves. Look at the emotional outbursts caused by the external actions of others, that is, what bothers you about one or those people, and there you will be in front of your shadow. That is the elaboration. Assume that it is ours and not the other's.
And, of course, since projection is an unconscious process, once we realize that they are projections, they disappear. It is then that our conscious connects with our unconscious to be able to transcend and integrate certain aspects of ourselves that we do not recognize. This is an example of becoming aware and practicing the realize . Fundamental basis to realize a conscious path and reach our true Self .
However, the shadow is not only worked individually. We must work on the relationship with others and our environment. That is to say, not only must our effort in integrating the shadow in our personality with the individual unconscious, but also with others and the collective unconscious.
“If they love you while you act for not being yourself, but the representation of another character, they don't love you, they love what you pretend to be”
In the next articles, I will delve into the concept of shadow and transcendence of the ego, as well as its therapeutic work to reach that end.
Transpersonal psychology, in short, seeks to integrate all those therapies, as well as meditation techniques and thinking lines of perennial wisdom of traditional teachings, appropriate to each patient and the moment of personal growth in which they are. We try to work on the internal development of the patient and on the capacity for growth that he harbors within himself. To do this, we must first know well who we think we are, who our character is, its lights and its shadows. And also know the foci of neurosis to attend, those exaggerations that are nothing more than behavioral pathologies, erroneous behavior patterns, sought and acquired reaffirmations, etc.
Our ego is the common thread that will take us to ourselves, to our true Self!
A few days ago I was told by someone very dear who wanted to leave far, far away, since he feels that need to find himself. And, I, impassive, answered what we do not want to hear or, at that time, we do not understand, since "realizing" has not yet arrived:
- And why do you want to go so far to “look for yourself”, if you are already “finding” yourself in “Ti”?
I leave you a personal reflection on a passage of ancient wisdom and perennial philosophy of Tao Te Ching:
“The Tao is the original darkness and chaos, prior to the Non-Being that gives rise to the Being.
It is duality.
The nothingness, the emptiness.
The perpetual and eternal that is above any reason or sentimentality.
It is the opposite, the contradictory.
The disorder that gives rise to order.
What seems to be and is not. Being the form and therefore false.
There is only the Non-Being.
We live from the intrinsic appearances of unconsciousness.
Being in the invisible and crooked and in those recesses through which water escapes and nobody wants to walk or explore, where we will find the truth “
Transpersonal Psychology: transcending the Ego to conquer the Self