From the self to the Self An exploration of the process

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Acknowledgements, My utmost gratitude goes to all those who have generously contributed to this research. sharing their lives and stories with me It has been a privilege to be in your company Your. wisdom and selfless service has inspired me and changed my life uplifting the soul and. bringing much joy, My gratitude goes to my supervisor Mark Thorpe for his support and belief in the value of. this research, To my husband Phillip Cottingham for his faith in the project and endless patience He. supported me in more ways than I can say, To my spiritual teachers Sathya Sai Baba and Sundareswara. The rishis and sages who continue to guide and support in the inner consciousness. Abstract 1, 1 The Psychology of the Self An introduction to Indian psychology 4.
Introduction 4,Why research Indian psychology 4,Prior methods used in research of IP 5. The importance of this study within a psychological context 6. The pursuit of happiness 7, The nature of the Self a comparison between Western and Indian psychology 9. IP s contribution to a global psychology 10,The basis and scope of the study 10. Understanding Indian Psychology The Voice of ancient wisdom defining Indian. psychology 15,The living tradition 15, The ancient becomes modern the emergence of Indian psychology 16. The Living Science a viable academic scientific discipline 18. The Problem of Consciousness an unending search 18. The Primacy of the Self Consciousness as the ultimate reality in IP 19. Understanding the self in the context of Western psychology self ego 21. Evolving perceptions of the self 21, Bridging the Gap IP s distinction from and contribution to Western psychological theory.
and practice 26, Personal Harmony and Global Survival Exploring the relevance of IP in a modern. One Self or many selves 28, The Personal to the Transpersonal the self to the Self 30. The value of spirituality in psychological health 32. Fostering the Heart towards a spiritual psychology 33. The Cry from the Heart the need for synthesis 37,Filling in the Gaps IP s contribution 37. Alternative or Synthetic What is it IP has to offer 38. One Foundation for a Global Psychology IP s potential in the current human condition. 2 Ancient Indian Texts 41,Introduction 41,What are the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita 41. From the self to the Self An exposition of Self realisation based on the Katha Upanishad. A journey from the outer to the inner 43,The five sheath model of human personality 44.
Annamaya Kosha The physical sheath 47,Pranamaya Kosha The energetic sheath 48. Manomaya Kosha The mental emotional sheath 51,The choice of manomaya kosha 52. Vijnanamaya Kosha The wisdom sheath 53,Anandamaya Kosha the bliss sheath 54. Brahman 55,Transcending the personality 56, 3 Methodological Approach Bringing the Self to the field creating the Self in the field 60. Introduction 60, Shining a Light on ancient methodologies The ontological basis of investigation into.
Indian psychology 60,Interpretative research approach 62. Ethnographic context 63,Research design 68,The Hermeneutic Circle 69. The Hermeneutic Spiral 71,Analytic method 72,Thematic analysis and coding 72. Rigour and validity 75,Systematic study design 76,Establishing rapport 76. Variety of perspectives 76,Validation of emerging theories 76.
Enhancing credibility of data 77, Strengths challenges and weaknesses of the research design 82. Strengths 82,Challenges 83,Weaknesses 83,Research process 85. Criteria for participation 85,Contact and recruitment 87. The interview setting 88,Ethical considerations 88. 4 Findings 90,Introduction 90, Relationship with participants as a cultural phenomenon 90.
The emergent themes 91,Theme 1 There is a need for ego transcendence 92. Sub theme there is a need for dis identification with the personalities and roles of the. ego self 96,Sub theme I am not the doer 99, Theme 2 Desire and attachment are the root causes of unhappiness 102. Theme 3 Mental and emotional self mastery are essential attributes 105. Theme 4 Character and values are the basis for spiritual life 108. The value of values 108, Sub theme Values are expressed as selflessness an observed phenomenon 109. Sub theme The importance of selfless service 110, Theme 5 Spiritual practices are essential to the process of Self realisation 111. The Four Yogas Jnana Bhakti Karma and Raja 111,Theme 6 A teacher is necessary to the process 116.
Sub theme The guru comes in different forms 116, Sub theme The outer guru leads to the inner guru 120. Theme 7 Realisation is constant integrated awareness 122. Mithya the mirage is it real 122, Sub theme Attaining Self realisation is difficult 122. Sub theme The Self is always there 124, Sub theme Being awareness and bliss Sat chit ananda are the nature of Self. realisation 125, Sub Theme Happiness is the expression of the true nature 126. Sub theme Transcendence is involved in universal identification the non dual state 130. Sub theme Love is the essence of the spiritual process and the nature of the Self 131. Profile of the Realised person 132,5 Discussion 135.
Introduction 135, Self realisation as an evolutionary stage in psychological development 135. Transcendence as an applied psychology for ancient and modern times 138. Annamaya Kosha the physical sheath 141,Pranamaya Kosh a the vital sheath 146. Manomaya Kosha the mental emotional sheath 148, Vijnanamaya Kosha the higher mental discriminating sheath 152. Anandamaya Kosha the blissful sheath 154, What value does this ancient science have for our knowledge understanding and. practice of psychology 170, A Teacher is Necessary Can the guru disciple relationship translate to Western.
psychology 173, The realised master and the guru disciple relationship 173. Conclusion 177, Indian Psychology An ancient paradigm for a new universal psychology 177. Reference List 179,Index of Figures and Table,Fig 1 Aspects of the Self 45. Fig 2 The Chariot Model 49,Fig 3 Being and Becoming 53. Fig 4 The Upanishadic Map of Self realisation 58,Fig 5 The Hermeneutic Circle 70.
Fig 6 The Hermeneutic Spiral 71,Fig 7 The Psychology of Transcendence 137. Fig 8 The Origins of Distress 150,Table 1 Interview Settings 88. Index of Appendices,Appendix 1 Participant Profiles i. Appendix 2 Interview schedule v,Appendix 3 Information sheet for participants vii. Appendix 4 Statement of Consent x,Appendix 5 Debriefing Statement xii.
Appendix 6 Glossary xiii,Introduction, The concept of self has been explored through many different theoretical frameworks in. both philosophy and psychology over the centuries Indian psychology has based its concept. of Self on an eternal beingness beyond mind or intellect This thesis explores the. contribution such ideas could make to the development of a global psychology that. potentially could enhance the theoretical basis and provide effective solutions for many of the. problems that beset modern humanity,Background, The field of IP is a developing one and as such has provided very little empirical studies to. support its claims The discipline of psychology has attempted to explore the self through. various methods and understanding some based on philosophical stances others based on. understanding of biology in particular neurobiology there is little consensus of what the. self or consciousness is and how it interacts with the whole person Indian psychology has. approached this from a different stance one that is rooted in the experiences and information. supplied by ancient seers who described the Self as being greater than and beyond the. realm of everyday experience, Three questions formed the core of this investigation Is the process of Self realisation. actualisation still consistent with that described in the Upanishads What is the experience. of practitioners What value does this ancient science have for our knowledge. understanding and practice of psychology, I have attempted to answer these questions utilising a qualitative methodology with an. heuristic approach in that I as the investigator have fully immersed myself in the world of. IP and the practitioners of Vedanta the participants who effectively practice the. fundamental principles in their daily lives This is proffered as a research paradigm consistent. with the principles and framework of IP Questions were framed and semi structured. interviews were conducted These were recorded then transcribed and thematic analysis was. applied to the transcript using coding as well as utilising a hermeneutic approach that. allowed for a more complete understanding to emerge Some ethnographic observations have. been integrated with the data to shed light on certain aspects of the participant s stories and. views This data was finally synthesised with a literature review of the Upanishads and. Bhagavad Gita two ancient Indian texts, Seven core themes have been identified from the data These are there is a need for ego.
transcendence desire and attachment are the root causes of unhappiness mental and. emotional self mastery are essential attributes character and values are the basis for spiritual. life spiritual practices are essential to the process of Self realisation a teacher is necessity to. the process realisation is constant integrated awareness. Discussion, This centred on the applicability of findings to the development of global psychology This. applicability potentially could be based on a model of Self realisation that emerges from the. synthesis of the findings with the ancient texts The emergent model summarises the process. as having five important components related to the koshas sheaths or levels of existence. whereby negative tendencies are transformed through spiritual discipline into positive life. outcomes This has the potential to free us from the existential prison of the relative self or. Conclusion, The study has successfully synthesised the body of evidence that addresses the core issues of. psychology with spiritual understanding based in Vedanta and expressed in the emergent. discipline of IP The model developed from the findings shows potential to enable. psychologists and psychotherapists to develop new approaches to many of the. mental emotional issues that affect modern human beings In short it has the potential to. guide people towards happiness, 1 The Psychology of the Self An introduction to Indian. psychology, This thesis has arisen from a perceived need to extend what may be termed Western. psychology WP into a more global application Indian psychology IP 1 has been. developed to create an indigenous psychological framework based on ancient teachings and. understanding This thesis utilises IP as a framework for the identification of areas in which. ways of exploring the Self have been developed in ancient times and how this may be. applied to a modern global psychological setting,Introduction.
This first chapter investigates the value of researching the field of IP It attempts to describe. IP from ancient to modern times elaborating on its important core that of pure. consciousness or Self This is then compared with the concept of self in WP enabling IP. to be clearly distinguished to WP and IPs current and potential contribution to trends in. psychology to be identified The value of spirituality a significant aspect of IP in relation to. psychological health is also considered drawing on research from both India and Western. countries The emerging science of IP is evaluated as a viable scientific discipline. Why research Indian psychology, Until recently the study of consciousness see page 19 in terms of an inward psychological. process has been approached from two seemingly opposite and possibly incompatible. perspectives It has been described in ancient Indian texts as the highest science der von der. Malsburg 1997 indicating that there is value in investigating consciousness from an IP. perspective Prior to the last four decades consciousness was viewed as outside the scope of. psychological research Kak 1995 However the recent advances in neurophysiology. modern physics and computer science have revealed that consciousness enters and affects the. See Glossary for definitions of these terms, scientific process in the form of the observer effect Ferretti Musio 1999 Kak 1995. Scott 1995 This indicates a more significant role for consciousness within scientific. processes suggesting that there is more to consciousness than a purely neurophysiological. phenomenon The possibility of an explanation being found in the ancient sciences of yoga. and Vedanta has in part motivated this study which is an exploration of the experiences of. yoga and Vedanta practitioners in relationship to the ancient Indian texts. Prior methods used in research of IP, While there is now a growing amount of literature on the nature of higher consciousness. from both a Western scientific perspective Tolman 1927 and also that of modern research. within Indian psychology Rao 2004 Rao Paranjpe Dalal 2008 there has been little. consideration given to the process or the stages of growth in attaining such higher states of. consciousness, There has also been little attempt to incorporate the Indian concept of consciousness within a. Western psychological framework Sinha 1965 was one of the first researchers who related. of Indian psychology A thesis in fulfilment of a Master of Philosophy Auckland University of Technology Auckland New Zealand Jenny Cottingham 2015 Acknowledgements My utmost gratitude goes to all those who have generously contributed to this research sharing their lives and stories with me It has been a privilege to be in your company Your wisdom and selfless service has inspired me and

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