Edward J. Dale Paragon House, 2014 Paperback, 392 pages, $24.95
Edward J. Dale has written a very useful overview of the intellectual currents in transpersonal psychology, a broad field in which different practitioners use different terms for roughly the same approach: Robert Assagioli--psychosynthesis, Ken Wilber--integral consciousness, Abraham Maslow--the farther reaches of human nature, Marilyn Ferguson--the Aquarian conspiracy. Dale provides an extensive bibliography of authors. There are at least two journals which specialize in transpersonal research: Journal of Humanistic Psychology, founded in 1961 and the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology founded in 1969.
All the transpersonal authors hold that it is very likely that the ability to develop transpersonal capacities is universal under the right developmental conditions. These transpersonal characteristics have been developed in many societies and are found in shamanism, in induced trance states, in contemplative prayer-meditation, in the use of natural psychoactive substances, and in more recent times in the use of LSD in psychedelic research.
There is a possibility of a rapid and widespread emergence of transpersonal consciousness in the near future as an increasing number of people undertake spiritual practices of meditation, tantra, Zen, kundalini, and other self-development techniques.
There are basically three avenues leading to current trans-personal psychology. The first is a development growing out of therapeutic work. Assagioli began in the Freudian mode, and was the first translator of Freud's writings into Italian. His work with clients showed that there were deeper aspects of the personality than Freud had stressed and thus a need to find therapeutic techniques which reached these deeper layers. Much the same holds true for Abraham Maslow.
A second avenue has been from that of academic research and experimentation such as the work of Stanislav Grof, author of The Stormy Search for the Self....
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