The Great Divide – Psychology and Spirituality (Part 1 of 2)

Separated 1941 – Istvan Farkas

We humans have analyzed ourselves into our component parts – we’re a body, a mind, a soul, a spirit.  Depending on where we’re coming from, one or the other of our parts takes precedence.  For an old school allopathic doctor, the body is the primary focus.  The mind is the focus of a psychotherapist, the soul comes under the remit of a priest and the spirit dwells in the world of a guru or a New Age shaman.   

This causes artificial divisions within our world view.  We are a body and a mind and a soul and a spirit and a lot more besides.  It’s all one package.  And the fullness of life can be accessed through any and all of our component parts. 

Traditional religions have condemned the body as the enemy of spirituality.  Yet in tantric traditions the body is the gateway to the divine.  New Age theory often sees the mind as the enemy, but the mind and the suffering it creates can be our most immediate opening to the world of spiritual awareness. 

The study of spirituality is as old as history.  The study of human behavior is just as ancient, but it became an independent discipline called psychology only in the 1870’s.  Before that it was seen as a branch of philosophy.  That separation, which allowed the study of human behavior and thinking to develop as a science, also creates an artificial divide between spirituality and psychology.   This is a gap we need to close because spirituality and psychology are a seamless whole.   Growth in one area immediately affects awareness in the other and limitations in one area immediately handicaps us in the other.

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