Transpersonal psychology is an umbrella term, covering a number of approaches, both Eastern and Western. It is interested in the combining of modern knowledge with ancient wisdom. Both the personality and the higher Self, the mechanistic and the depth approach, the masculine and feminine principles, here come together into a synthesis, a living relationship. The inside and the outside are one. It adopts practices for focussing awareness and studies theories of meditation, seeking ways towards wholeness, aiming to make everyday life sacred. It explores the freedom to grow, over too much ‘should –and-ought’ morality. It notes transcendental phenomena. Its essence lies with ultimate or ‘spiritual’ values – compassion, humour and playfulness among them…
Transpersonal experiences may be defined as: “Experiences in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond (trans) the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche or cosmos…”
Issues considered in transpersonal psychology include spiritual self-development, self beyond the ego, peak experiences, mystical experiences, systemic trance and other sublime and/or unusually expanded experiences of living.
A short definition from the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology suggests that transpersonal psychology is: “Concerned with the study of humanity’s highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realisation of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness…”