In the past, psychologists, and particularly psychiatrists, looked on the human psyche as something to be objectively and ‘scientifically’ studied using the tools of reason and rationality. Medical doctors focused on the body and not even on the whole body, just the part that was broken or diseased. Priests focused on the immortal soul and New Agers took the collection of functions Freud called the ego and made it the enemy of spirit.
Fortunately that divide is being bridged. Doctors now ask about their patients’ stress levels and living situations. Psychiatrists such as Gerald May pioneered the inclusion of spirituality into the treatment of people with mental illness and addictions. New Agers are gradually recognizing the importance of rationality and soon they may even stop seeing the ego as an enemy to be obliterated.
In time maybe we will all recognize that we are all a wonderful scramble of everything, a magnificently blended, if not always fully functioning, whole with no dividing lines where everything belongs and everything has a purpose.
That said, let’s start exploring the role our psychology plays in our spirituality.
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