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Psicologia Transpersonale


«Psychoanalysis and the different thought lines resulting from it are only a timid attempt of a beginner, if compared to what is an immemorial art in the East»

- Carl Gustav Jung (1959)



Transpersonal psychology is a quite recent science of mind. It was born around the end of the Sixties as “the fourth power” of psychology, to underline its availability to meet the oriental themes and the creation of a wider consciousness model. In fact, behaviourism (the so-called “first power”) denies the possibility to free one’s own mind from any kind of conditioning, whereas the Freudian orthodox psychoanalysis (the “second power”) reduces each spiritual experience to a kind of regressus ad uterum. On the basis of the humanistic psychology (the “third power”) and of the work of Anthony J. Sutich and Abraham Maslow (with his researches on the “peak experiences”), transpersonal psychology aims not only at “treating” “mental illnesses”, but also at exploring a new vision of reality and at deeply investigating the highest levels of personal and collective consciousness (levels that, during the centuries, the different cultural traditions have defined with a range of expressions, from mystic ecstasy to oceanic experience, from nirvana to satori, from Kingdom of Heaven to cosmic consciousness).  

In this meaning, the thought and transpersonal research movement concerns the growing of the so-called “wealthy” and functioning person and the self-fulfilment processes of potentiality and capacities development of the human being (not considered by the other “powers”).
This exploration is really eased by the possibility of an authentic comparison between the western psychology (the existential, humanistic and gestalt ones in particular) and the Oriental psycho-philosophies, based on meditative techniques (Sufism, Buddhism, yoga).
In fact, convergences between some psychotherapeutic approaches of transpersonal psychology and many Oriental spiritual techniques are remarkable.

Only to mention some of them, let’s think about the elaboration of an “holistic” model, that joins the body/mind and person/environment dichotomy; the development of the insight as an important learning and action mean in reality; work through psycho-physical energies; the


interest in the Ego (a harmonious “numinous” dimension that transcends and, at the same time, involves the conscious ego and the unconscious one) and the interest in the expansion processes of awareness, beyond the egoic capsulation (in the conviction that man is not only a historic-geographical result, but that he contains the seed of eternity in himself); and so on. 

Transpersonal psychology’s forerunner is Carl Gustav Jung, who began a prolific exchange of channels with the Oriental world. We could not understand Jung’s philosophy if we do without, for example, his analysis of mandalas (images showing circular diagrams with a complex scheme, that reproduce the universe in a microcosmic way; in this meaning, they are psychocosmograms). Mandalas Jung’s study has been decisive for the whole Ego psychology, archetypes’ psychology. According to Jung, when man reaches the highest point of his existential process, the identifying, he experiences a transfer of his centre, from himself to the Ego. He will then be able to embrace the archetypes that live in his inner geography.
Furthermore, let’s consider Jung’s interest in Yi Jing (the Book of changes in the Chinese tradition), that pushed him to theorize the concept of synchronicity (another main point of analytic psychology meaning the coincidence or the great correspondence between a psychic and a physical event, without a causal relationship between them).
We could also mention the clues between Jung’s collective unconscious and the store-consciousness (àlayavijñàna) of yogàcàra Buddhism.

Transpersonal psychology, compared to its Swiss precursor, emphasises even more the link with the Oriental spiritual traditions (mostly Sufism, Tantrism, yoga, Vedanta, Taoism, Zen).
What it wants to underline, through the use of these traditions teaching, is the emergence of the natural push, which is latent in everyone, to develop a different logic, a different vision of the world, more significant than the present one.

Filosofia Comparativa

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