Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Integral divine transformation of the entire being

Sri Aurobindo

The adjective integral was first used in a spiritual context by Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950) from 1914 onward to describe his own spiritual teachings, which he referred to as Purna(Skt: "Full") Yoga. It appeared in The Synthesis of Yoga, a book that first published in serial form in the journal Arya and was revised several times since.[10]
Sri Aurobindo's work has been described as Integral Vedanta, and psychology,[11][12] as well as the Integral Psychology (the term coined by Indra Sen) and Psychotherapy that emerges from it.[13] His writings influenced others who used the term "integral" in more philosophical or psychological contexts.
In the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, integral yoga refers to the process of the union of all the parts of one's being with the Divine, and the transmutation of all of their jarring elements into a harmonious state of higher divine consciousness and existence.
As described by Sri Aurobindo and his co-worker The Mother (1878–1973), this spiritual teaching involves an integral divine transformation of the entire being, rather than the liberation of only a single faculty such as the intellect or the emotions or the body. According to Sri Aurobindo,
(T)he Divine is in his essence infinite and his manifestation too is multitudinously infinite. If that is so, it is not likely that our true integral perfection in being and in nature can come by one kind of realisation alone; it must combine many different strands of divine experience. It cannot be reached by the exclusive pursuit of a single line of identity till that is raised to its absolute; it must harmonise many aspects of the Infinite. An integral consciousness with a multiform dynamic experience is essential for the complete transformation of our nature. — Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, p. 114
Aurobindo's ideas were further explored by Indra Sen (1903–1994) in the 1940s and 1950s, a psychologist, and devotee of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. He was the first to coin the term "Integral psychology" to describe the psychological observations he found in Sri Aurobindo's writings (which he contrasted with those of Western Psychology), and developed themes of "Integral Culture" and "Integral Man".[14]
These ideas were further developed by Haridas Chaudhuri (1913–1975), a Bengaliphilosopher and academic who founded in 1968 the California Institute of Integral Studies.[15]
For example:
In 1945, Sen resigned from the University and moved to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where his family had already been staying for two years. In following years, through lectures, published writings, and personal contacts, he presented Sri Aurobindo's work to academia and universities, where it became well known for the first time.
In a series of professional papers published from the mid-1930s through the '40s and '50s, he coined the term Integral psychology, to describe the psychological observations contained in Sri Aurobindo's Yoga psychology and philosophy.[4] He also was concerned with the formulation of integral education as presented in the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.[5]
His papers, which were sent to Sri Aurobindo and later The Mother before publication, were presented at scientific congresses or published in Ashram journals.[6] It was not until 1986 that these papers were published, by the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education in book form, as Integral Psychology: The Psychological System of Sri Aurobindo. This has since been issued in a second edition. The field of Integral psychology was later taken up and developed by Haridas Chaudhuri when he founded the Integral Counseling Psychology program at what is now the California Institute of Integral Studies, in the 1970s. Wikipedia
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