Founder of Transpersonal Psychology : LUSENET : Transpersonal Psychology/Consciousness : One Thread

Who was the founder of Transpersonal Psychology?

-- Leah Wingard (, February 20, 2000


I have heard many theories as to the origin of Transpersonal psychology and the majority of them refer to Carl Jung. As a therapist his work was mostly neo-Fruedian. However, as a person and scholar, Jung had written about many fascinating contemplations and perspectives on live and the constructs of the interpersonal relationship between the individual and the greater whole; and in essence humankind's relationship with the universe and the cosmos. This later was integrated into psychotherapy, using the approaches that adhere to one's social, personal, AND spiritual ways of living. One canb argue that it's a branch of existentialism but it is in itself the fourth mode of theoretical approaches.

-- Brad Behm (, February 24, 2000.

There is no one founder of Transpersonal Psychology. The field has arisen through the efforts of many thinkers to find a means by which spirituality can find validity and expression within the cultural knowledge process. As well as Carl Jung, one of his contemporaries, Roberto Assagioli also made significant contributions to the field. His book "Psychosynthesis" is a classic of Transpersonal literature. Also Victor Frankl (his book "Mans Search for Meaning" sold 9 million copies), Rollo May, Abraham Maslow (The further reaches of Human Nature), plus some authors from around the time of the psychedelic movement, they've all made significant contributions.

-- Daniel Fox (, February 29, 2000.

In addittion to naming sources, I would like to mention Stanislov Groff, and Ken Wilber, the modern-day leaders in the field of Transpersonal Psychology. Check out "Spectrum of Consciousness" by Ken Wilber, or Groff's most cited book, "the Holotropic Mind.". It's the most cited source (Spectrum) in the research I have done with TP.

-- Brad Behm (, March 22, 2000.

In addition to those vital sources already mentioned, a physician (and friend of Walt Whitman) Richard Maurice Bucke MD wrote an interesting book published first in 1901 called Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. Triggered by his own experiences, it is a study of spiritual states of consciousness and the figures in history that display heightened spiritual faculties. (ISBN: 0-7661-0298-X)

The line we may draw to distinguish between 'Transpersonal Psychology' and spiritual/mystical traditions that also aim towards the relief of suffering through reconnecting to the divine source may be a rather arbitrary one. For instance Carl Jung was inspired and informed by the symbols of spirit and techniques of integration found in Alchemy. Indeed, the esoteric components within many religions contain relevant information and techniques for the modern investigator. In a sense spiritual adepts may well know and understand the territory to a far greater degree than Western investigators approaching the transpersonal on a purely intellectual level.

-- Daniel Fox (, March 25, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ