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Keeping The Account Open: On Metaphysical Mistrust In Transpersonal Psychology (A Response To Hartelius, 2017), Steve Taylor Sep 2017

Keeping The Account Open: On Metaphysical Mistrust In Transpersonal Psychology (A Response To Hartelius, 2017), Steve Taylor

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

In response to Hartelius (2017), I suggest that the evidence for perennialism or essentialism can be tested, and is publicly accessible, through engagement with the spiritual practices that have given rise to cross-cultural mystical experiences with common characteristics. This suggests that essentialism could be included in transpersonal psychology (and psychology in general). I suggest that there is no reason why transpersonal psychology should exclude metaphysical claims, as long as they are inferred or implied by research and evidence, explicitly stated and viewed as secondary. It is impossible to avoid metaphysics, and it is important for transpersonal psychologists (and all psychologists ...


Circular Reasoning Is Not The Uroboros: Rejecting Perennialism As A Psychological Theory, Glenn Hartelius Sep 2017

Circular Reasoning Is Not The Uroboros: Rejecting Perennialism As A Psychological Theory, Glenn Hartelius

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Efforts to present valid evidence for perennialist models do not withstand critical scrutiny. One strategy common to most versions of perennialism points to perceived patterns in reports of spiritual experiences, whether from traditional, clinical, or phenomenological accounts as evidence for such an approach; the shortcoming is that these same patterns are the basis for perennialist premises. Offering one’s premises as evidence for their conclusions is circular reasoning, and does not constitute valid support for an idea. Pointing to similarities between reports of spiritual or other transformative experiences is what inspires perennialist models, but is not evidence for their validity ...


Taylor’S Soft Perennialism: Psychology Or New Age Spiritual Vision?, Glenn Hartelius Sep 2017

Taylor’S Soft Perennialism: Psychology Or New Age Spiritual Vision?, Glenn Hartelius

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Taylor has responded to critiques of his soft perennialism model in relationship to what he has called awakening experiences. The fact that some individuals have this type of experience away from the context of religion or spirituality, according to soft perennialism, is explained by a sort of landscape of experience representing the diverse ways in which one may engage with and experience this essential beingness. While this inspiring vision could possibly be true, just as numerous other speculations about ultimate reality might be true; however, the evidence advanced in support of soft perennialism notion is not valid in the context ...


Bridging Transpersonal Ecosophical Concerns With The Hero’S Journey And Superheroes Through Comicbook Lore: Implications For Personal And Cultural Transformation, Mark A. Schroll, Claire Polansky Sep 2017

Bridging Transpersonal Ecosophical Concerns With The Hero’S Journey And Superheroes Through Comicbook Lore: Implications For Personal And Cultural Transformation, Mark A. Schroll, Claire Polansky

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This paper explores how mythical figures and comicbook superheroes can 1) inspire personal growth, social and planetary change, and 2) explicate aspects of the deep ecology movement and transpersonal ecosophy that invite further academic inquiry while at the same time 3) speak to concerns that ignite the interests of popular culture and personal mythology. Likewise the ecopsychological significance of modern fictional characters in comicbooks, graphic novels, and films will be examined. It is divided into two parts. Part 1 provides a theoretical examination of how definitions of the terms myth and hero and hero’s journey are framed, and their ...


Moving Beyond Materialism: Can Transpersonal Psychology Contribute To Cultural Transformation?, Steve Taylor Sep 2017

Moving Beyond Materialism: Can Transpersonal Psychology Contribute To Cultural Transformation?, Steve Taylor

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The issue of whether it is possible to separate science and metaphysics is discussed, with reference to William James and the writings of quantum physicists. The metaphysical framework of scientific materialism is analysed and some of its key assumptions are identified. It is suggested that these assumptions are becoming increasingly untenable, as is evident by the advocacy of post-materialist science by some contemporary scientists. The main appeal of transpersonal psychology to students and practitioners is arguably its lack of allegiance to a materialist metaphysics. Rather than allying itself to the metaphysical paradigm of naturalistic science or attempting to bracket out ...