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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 ...


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 ...


Further Developing Transpersonal Psychology As A Science: Building And Testing Middle-Range Transpersonal Theories, Harris L. Friedman Jan 2015

Further Developing Transpersonal Psychology As A Science: Building And Testing Middle-Range Transpersonal Theories, Harris L. Friedman

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Further developing transpersonal psychology as a science has been impeded by the over emphasis on two approaches to building theory, namely grand theories that attempt to explain everything and mini-theories that avoid explaining much of anything. In between these extremes are “middle-range” transpersonal psychology theories that can better allow for scientific progress. They bracket metaphysical and supernatural approaches common in transpersonal grand theories, and accept the possible generalizability of findings commonly rejected by transpersonal mini-theories. The transpersonal construct of self-expansiveness illustrates one way that middle-range transpersonal theories can lead to a program of cumulative empirical research and empirically informed practices ...


Transpersonal Healing: Assessing The Evidence From Laboratory And Clinical Trials, Marilyn Schlitz Jan 2014

Transpersonal Healing: Assessing The Evidence From Laboratory And Clinical Trials, Marilyn Schlitz

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Transpersonal or distant healing intention (DHI) is one of the most commonly used forms of complementary and alternative healing. While it is popular, its efficacy is uncertain and the mechanism of action unclear. This article provides an overview of both the laboratory research and clinical trials of DHI, summarizing the state of the field. There appears to be support, based on controlled laboratory studies, for a transpersonal dimension to DHI. Results of randomized, controlled clinical trials are more equivocal. While results do not offer clear evidence to support DHI as an evidence-based modality, this provocative field reveals important epistemological and ...


Transpersonal Psychology, Parapsychology, And Neurobiology: Clarifying Their Relations, Douglas A. Macdonald, Harris L. Friedman Jan 2012

Transpersonal Psychology, Parapsychology, And Neurobiology: Clarifying Their Relations, Douglas A. Macdonald, Harris L. Friedman

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Neurobiological advances have resulted in growing interest in many psychological phenomena

heretofore resistant to scientific scrutiny, including within transpersonal psychology and

parapsychology. These advances perhaps can resolve longstanding tensions between these

two psychological subdisciplines, which have generally been treated as disparate. To

implement such a rapprochement requires more than just additional empirical findings,

as theoretical development is also needed. Consequently, we identify some important

theoretical problems, such as conventional assumptions about scientific naturalism and

materialism that potentially undermine substantive advances in further understanding

such phenomena through neurobiology. We also discuss links between parapsychology and

transpersonal psychology that can be forged ...