why strengthening our minds on a spiritual level became a global need
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In this article and podcast episode I would like to give a definition of Spiritual Psychology and point out why I think that strengthening our minds on a spiritual
level became a global need.
Mindfulness did not save us. Maybe Spirituality will.
I remember very clearly the time when I tried to convince the professors at my former university in Berlin, Germany that the topic of my diploma thesis “Mindfulness Meditation” is something worth for scientific research. At that time there was still very little acceptance of such an “esoteric” topic and my impression was, that a "serious" psychologist or institute teaching psychology did not want to be associated with something the western world did not have enough prove yet, that it actually worked and has significantly positive effects on peoples mental health.
Meanwhile, there is thousands of studies which proved, that mindfulness was not only a cute little trend in the life of some bendy Yogis, it became part of every innovative therapy or coaching method as it is considered an essential tool for individuals and companies who are aware of the importance of mental wellbeing.
So, people learned to become more mindful. It was kind of the Megatrend in the last 10, 15 years. CEOs meditating in their lunchbreaks and taking their shiny shoes off to go for a mindful walk in the park. Influencers posting on social media about being "off for some digital detox" and doing a silent retreat for a couple of days which they would speak about in a live video later on. Even health insurance companies offering to pay for mindfulness trainings, because they recognized that on the long run it is cheaper than paying for peoples Burnout.
But somehow we made a big mistake. A mistake mankind seems to make over and over again without getting it: we were using mindfulness. We were consuming it. We made it another thing to do, another tool to reach a certain state – to be more relaxed, more productive, more emotionally balanced, to sleep better, to work faster, have better relationships … but what we miss, is to give back what mindfulness taught us and to actually LIVE what we should learn through mindfulness: which is to be more (self-)aware, act more responsible, be more respectful and empathetic towards one another and to cultivate a deeper connection to ourselves and the world around us.
The world, the nature shows us in many ways, and in very harsh and in-your-face-ways by now, that this behaviour of just taking and consuming - things as well as people - as if it was all a big all-you-can-eat-buffet is not doing our environment any good and especially is it not doing our souls any good.
How Spiritual Psychology can help
Speaking about soul - let me catch the link to my definition of Spiritual Psychology now.
Why did I tell you all of that stuff about mindfulness before heading over to the definition of Spiritual Psychology? Well, in my opinion, lived (not used!) mindfulness IS spirituality. It is the awareness of the energies within us and the acknowledgement that every individual is connected with a global field including forces and energies which we can`t understand or perceive just with our minds.
By modern textbook and learned in the very first lesson at university, psychology is defined as the science of mind and how it influences our behaviour.
As I said, this is the modern definition. An older one in the Oxford English Dictionary defined Psychology as "the science of the nature, functions, and phenomena of the human soul or mind." Here we have the soul, which is cut out of modern definitions because the focus throughout the years was put more and more on rational explanations and laws which can be tested and understood. Because people became obsessed with the power of controlling and rationally understanding.
So what the new definitions of Psychology miss, is the very origin and ancient meaning of the word "psychology" which is a combination of the Greek words "psyche" and "logos". Psyche originally meant "breath" and later got the additional meaning "soul". Logos originally meant "word" and later turned into "discourse" and "science".
You see, originally, Psychology was defined as the discourse about breath and soul. I don`t know how you perceive this, but for me, there is a beauty in this ancient definition which deeply resonates with me.
But what was done over the years in the field of Psychology, was that what could not be scientifically explained, understood and replicated was simply cut out. The soul cut out of the very definition of Psychology because we can`t test it. The soul cut out of what Psychologists are supposed to do when they work with people because also this needs to be of course always reasonable and by no means influenced by any spooky stuff which we can`t grab with our rational thinking.
I think that our souls can`t breathe any more with all those rational ways of trying to understand and control the world. That`s why I consider Spiritual Psychology as so important and define it as ...
... science of mind, behaviour AND SOUL of ALL BEINGS and the exploration of the energies on an individual, global and transcendent level.
Here you go ;) Let me know if this makes sense for you and if you also find it so important to integrate spiritual education and awareness in our daily lives.
What we need to shake off to come to our senses again and give our souls some space
Perceiving the world as it is now, I think it is about time to conquer back the space for our souls and the respect of the soul of our planet and strengthen our minds on a spiritual level. This is why I think we need to give Psychology its original spiritual aspect back and strengthen ourselves with Spiritual Psychology.
Why do I consider this as so important? Well, what I experience on a daily basis now mid 2021, is people pumped up with anxiety and being collectively traumatized of the experiences which COVID-19 brought to our life.
What happens when you are experiencing anxiety for a longer time or what happens, when you experience a traumatic event is, that this stress is kind of stored in your body, in your mind, in your whole system and in your soul. You might not even be aware of this stored traumas or stress, especially when a lot of others around you are in the same state. You perceive this as normal. And what you missed, is to actually finish the natural Stress-Response-Cycle to get back into balance.
You can watch this with animals sometimes, when a dog for instance is approached by another animal in a frightening way or experienced stress another way, what happens, is, that the dogs shakes it off in the end by shivering. That shaking finishes the Stress-Response-Cycle.
I think what most people did not do is to shake the stressful and frightening experiences of the last months off and how they deal with the underlying stress instead is with trying to control as much in their lives as possible.
People started more and more sticking to the in my opinion deeply dangerous believe, that controlling their life by following certain rules and behavioural guidelines, will bring release or at least not more stress. But what we miss on this way of defining rule after rule are two things: 1) our soul can`t breathe any more within all these limitations and 2) the underlying chronic stress prevents us from coming back to our senses again, feel what we need and what we believe in and especially from gaining back our energy.
Becoming aware again what our souls need is so essential in healing from the experiences we collectively went through lately and we can start by literally shaking the stess off our bodies and becoming aware what wants to go and which world we want to create without that anxiety and wish to control everything.
I am very much looking forward to hearing your opinion about this topic!
All the best for you!!
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