Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘integral psychology’

Traditional Roots of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga

Debashish Banerji

Abstract: Sri Aurobindo’s teachings on Integral Yoga are couched in a universal and impersonal language, and could be considered an early input to contemporary transpersonal psychology. Yet, while he was writing his principal works in English, he was also keeping a diary of his experiences and understandings in a personal patois that hybridized English and Sanskrit. A hermeneutic perusal of this text, The Record of Yoga, published by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, uncovers the semiotics of Indian yoga traditions, showing how Sri Aurobindo utilizes and furthers their discourse, and where he introduces new elements which may be considered “modern.” This essay takes a psycho-biographical approach to the life of Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), tracing his encounters with texts and situated traditions of Indian yoga from the period of his return to India from England (1893) till his settlement in Pondicherry (1910), to excavate the traditional roots and modern ruptures of his own yoga practice, which goes to inform his non-sectarian yoga teachings.

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The Metaphysical Instincts & Spiritual Bypassing in Integral Psychology

Bahman A.K. Shirazi

Abstract: Instincts are innate, unconscious means by which Nature operates in all forms of life including animals and human beings. In humans however, with progressive evolution of consciousness, instincts become increasingly conscious and regulated by egoic functions. Biological instincts associated with the lower-unconscious such as survival, aggressive, and reproductive instincts are well known in general psychology. The higher-unconscious, which is unique to human beings, may be said to have its own instinctual processes referred to here as the ‘metaphysical instincts’. In traditional spiritual practices awakening the metaphysical instincts has often been done at the expense of suppressing the biological instincts—a process referred to as spiritual bypassing. This essay discusses how the metaphysical instincts initially expressed as the religious impulse with associated beliefs and behaviors may be transformed and made fully conscious, and integrated with the biological instincts in integral yoga and psychology in order to achieve wholeness of personality.

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