a definition of Transpersonal Psychology tracing the origins of Transpersonal Studies through the historical records of civilisations
transpersonal psychology: studies of definitions and historical roots
Transpersonal was first used in 1905-06 (by W. JAMES in R. B. Perry Thought & Character) .. "That an idearepresents an 'object' may mean that it represents something either: Trans-personalas, when my object is also your object"; transcends the personal, transindividual
Just because the English word "Transpersonal" did not exist before English became a Language of its own doesn't mean that the principles of Transpersonal Psychology aren't as old as the recorded history of man's endeavours ..
In EVERY Cultural record, there is always something MORE .. something BEYOND how we see ourselves and how we appear to others .. something trans (beyond) personal (the personal)
the essence of transpersonal is as old as the records of civilisation
- If one is to study the Cuneiform of the Sumerian Civilization, one finds the principles of Transpersonal Psychology.
- The same can be said for the recordings of Egyptian Medicine from the Third Dynasty where all of the Vital functions of the body were given "personalities".
- Even 10,000 years before the Common Era, the Bonn civilization knew of what we now call personalities.
- BCE, Lao Tzu defined the personalities and their formations in the Tao.
- The Old Testament records the personalities of "good", "evil" and other dualities
These are just some examples of how the personalities were known and, due to the way of expressionin each of these cultures, described.
The Greeks Myths were the beginnings of Transpersonal Psychology .. that study of the mind and its constructs .. as we now know it in its Westernized form and structure.
Transpersonal is Universal
- Before Christianity, the word "persona" was used to denote the theatrical mask first used in Greek drama by Roman Players .. 100 or so years BEFORE the birth of whom we know as Christ ... and we know of this through the writings of Cicero who defines 4 meanings of "persona" ...
- as one appears to others but not as one really is
- the part someone plays in life
- the assemblage of personal qualities that fit a man for his work or role in life
- distinction or dignity.
The original Shamans of the High Country of what is now Southern Russia walked between the worlds ofthe personal, pre personal and transpersonal long before the likes of Allport defined the "Mask" interms of the outer appearance of man .. or his stimulus value for others (or himself} .. a deceptive masquerade or mimicry.
Behavioural system of Physiognomy was described by Aristotle.
Buddhism, itself, when viewed from this perspective, can be seen not so much as a form of Spirituality or even as a religion, but as a study of the Transpersonal Process.
Beyond the masks
Transpersonal refers to that part of us which is beyond the masks .. masks we put on in society, masks we put on in the tribe, masks we put on in our family and relationships .. and ultimately, masks that separate us from who we truly are.
but before we can understand the masks of others, we have to know what masks or filters we are looking through -- the New Testament refers to removing the plank from your eye before you go looking for the splinter in your brother's.
In EVERY tome of man's "spiritual journey" .. whatever creed, colour, epoch or era focuses on the principle that beyond the Mask or the personality, there is some essential inner entity or quality that makes us uniquely human.
By viewing all of these approaches throughout history we are able to ascertain all of the qualities that are universally applicable to human being kind to fellow human ..
This, is the Trans-Personal Essence .. which was our essential nature before (pre-personal) we ever learned behaviour .. or had it thrust upon us.