Spiritual Self Knowing

In psychology the self-awareness stands for the level of cognition necessary to identify oneself as an individual. Throughout the process of exploration of the self, clients become more comfortable with who they are, they become more accepting of their self and in effect – become calmer and autonomous in various facets of their life. The self-consciousness can be described as intelligence, that enables us to recognize oneself from the various perspectives.

It would be difficult to write about theories of the self without a historical overview of general mental health development. It seems that in ancient civilizations, such as the Mayan’s or Incan’s, the concept of self-awareness was considered for the most obvious form of existence. The relationship with self was understood from spiritual, psychological, medical, and moral speculations. This holistic trend is practiced by today’s alternative medical models such as Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine or homeopathy. Shamans are defying the seven levels of consciousness, Mayans developed the pyramid of consciousness and Hindu and Buddhism practices support the theory of the seven centres Chakras.

Western-Eastern Consciousness

Kirlian’s (1939) photography discovery enabled science to document the energo-magnetic extensions o physical world for botanical, animal and human species. What used to be described as chakra, energy, aura or Chi – today has serious implication in quantum physics and no longer is considered for cultural or religious fantasy. So far the state of western psychotherapy was restricted by a nineteenth-century physical and biological scientific model, which is far too narrow to encompass human consciousness. However, current trends in the existential-humanistic theories have validated the 2000 years old self-models and took real interest in religious and spiritual interventions with the prime example of techniques called Emotional Freedom and Mindfulness.

The humanistic psychology and Eastern philosophy focuses on the individuals’ potential and stresses the importance of growth and self-actualization. The common belief of both Eastern and Western philosophy purported that all individuals are innately good and that mental and social problems are the result of deviations from this natural tendency. According to both modalities each person has the capacity to change their behaviour and have the internal mechanism to heal and grow as individuals. Each person is viewed as an indivisible whole – a gestalt.

Western-Eastern Consciousness

Kirlian’s (1939) photography discovery enabled science to document the energo-magnetic extensions o physical world for botanical, animal and human species. What used to be described as chakra, energy, aura or Chi – today has serious implication in quantum physics and no longer is considered for cultural or religious fantasy. So far the state of western psychotherapy was restricted by a nineteenth-century physical and biological scientific model, which is far too narrow to encompass human consciousness. However, current trends in the existential-humanistic theories have validated the 2000 years old self-models and took real interest in religious and spiritual interventions with the prime example of techniques called Emotional Freedom and Mindfulness.

The humanistic psychology and Eastern philosophy focuses on the individuals’ potential and stresses the importance of growth and self-actualization. The common belief of both Eastern and Western philosophy purported that all individuals are innately good and that mental and social problems are the result of deviations from this natural tendency. According to both modalities each person has the capacity to change their behaviour and have the internal mechanism to heal and grow as individuals. Each person is viewed as an indivisible whole – a gestalt.

Self Actualisation

Maslow’s (1987) approach to self-actualizing was extremely organized, he had devised a pyramid system of needs. More basic needs are found at bottom of pyramid and the self actualization need is at the top. This theory seems to mirror the ancient chakra system model of the self. The chakras are the energo-magnetic centres in the body, which are absorbing primary life energy (Chi, prana, Ruh, etc.). This energy information is broken down and sent to the nervous system, glands, endocrine system, blood and subsequently rest of the body. The energetic influence on the somatic functions has also implications on the mental and emotional planes, and chakra model serves with holistic description of the links between the psychological wellbeing and physical body.

Traditionally chakra is translated lightly from the Hindi language as a wheel or circle of energy and can coincide with the psychological theory of the self-realization. Doctor Myss (1996) in her theory, explains that chakras are the analogy of individual maturation through seven distinct personal growth stages, enabling eventually the realization of the presence of the Devine (God). Mastering each stage of the chakra results in disintegration of the physical world, and understanding of the personal and spiritual powers that become integrated with the self.

Safety & Survival

According to the both theories the first levels of needs will pertain to basic belonging and survival skills. Those are expressed in the physiological needs such as including sleep, water, food air and reproduction. At this level personal need presents themselves as issues around family life, sense of belonging and connectives to the group. Those are described in psychology to be formed by early experience of early social environment, but also recognised by feelings of disparity in the scenes of security, support, loyalty.

The second chakra level is concerned with survival of species (sex, procreation) but also relationships with another human being and own ability to artistically create. In Maslow’s (1987) theory the second stage is pertaining to prevention from the threat of danger experienced by us as a need for routine, predictability and structure in life. The pathological conquest for security shows correlations with overindulging, need for instant gratification (sex or substance misuse addicts, disturbed relationship with food), or power manipulations (such as sexuality being used as a means of control).

Safety & Survival

According to the both theories the first levels of needs will pertain to basic belonging and survival skills. Those are expressed in the physiological needs such as including sleep, water, food air and reproduction. At this level personal need presents themselves as issues around family life, sense of belonging and connectives to the group. Those are described in psychology to be formed by early experience of early social environment, but also recognised by feelings of disparity in the scenes of security, support, loyalty.

The second chakra level is concerned with survival of species (sex, procreation) but also relationships with another human being and own ability to artistically create. In Maslow’s (1987) theory the second stage is pertaining to prevention from the threat of danger experienced by us as a need for routine, predictability and structure in life. The pathological conquest for security shows correlations with overindulging, need for instant gratification (sex or substance misuse addicts, disturbed relationship with food), or power manipulations (such as sexuality being used as a means of control).

Belonging & Esteem

Maslow(1987) recognized the third pyramidic level of development for needs of belonging to the group, and dependence on significant others namely family or peers. This issue can be deeply imbedded in the childhood, but also, I can expect them in the work peer pressure environment and with teenagers, who rely on social acceptance. The early adulthood is filled with third chakra tasks, of self discovery (changing the image, taste of music or hair style) but also asserting the personal power. If this need is not fulfilled the individual may feel lonely or isolated and pathologies further into risky behaviours and sexual promiscuity, choices to be silent, invisible, taking bulling or abuse.

The fourth level in the Malsow’s (1987) humanistic approach recognizes that individuals need to satisfy two types: esteem from others and esteem to the self. Chakra interpretation however, applauses the individual for detachments from needs of being successful, competent , recognised for own achievements and abilities. A person who matures to this stage is able to engage with life situations in an empathic and self-loving connection, rather than through desires and ego needs. This stage is often patronised by victimhood attitudes, holding on to past hurts and not recognising the wounds cannot hurt perpetrators but rather the self.

Creativity & Clarity

In the fifth chakra people are experiencing freedom of expression, including speaking, singing, writing, playing and composing music. This is an inner place, where people are no longer hesitant, shy or self-sabotaging their expression, suppressing their own truth and silencing inner wisdom. This is the stage where the honesty comes in focus with own thoughts, beliefs and actions. It is the point in self-growth where a person is faced with the responsibility and consequences of own choices. The next step would be the realisation that despite our endeavours we are submitted to the Destiny, Divine Will and Higher Knowledge. This recognition of Divinity marks a paradigm change in human psyche, it submits the ego to Destiny and reduces further desires for control.

The sixth Chakra marks the end of the personal journey through discovery of the self, God and life. It’s accomplishments provide a deeper understanding, broader vision and acute intuition. Traditional shamans call it ‘the knowing in your knowing’ stage. According to Pendergast (2000)this stage enables clients to discriminate between their own truth and illusions of false believe system. This in psychotherapy calls for evaluating the belief systems through own inner judge. It is a definite shift of discriminating between past injustice, imposed behavioral rules and enables personal responsibility to change and following of our own path. In reality, we all experienced this more than once on our own personal journey, through choices of leaving jobs or relationships that were no longer serving a purpose.

Creativity & Clarity

In the fifth chakra people are experiencing freedom of expression, including speaking, singing, writing, playing and composing music. This is an inner place, where people are no longer hesitant, shy or self-sabotaging their expression, suppressing their own truth and silencing inner wisdom. This is the stage where the honesty comes in focus with own thoughts, beliefs and actions. It is the point in self-growth where a person is faced with the responsibility and consequences of own choices. The next step would be the realisation that despite our endeavours we are submitted to the Destiny, Divine Will and Higher Knowledge. This recognition of Divinity marks a paradigm change in human psyche, it submits the ego to Destiny and reduces further desires for control.

The sixth Chakra marks the end of the personal journey through discovery of the self, God and life. It’s accomplishments provide a deeper understanding, broader vision and acute intuition. Traditional shamans call it ‘the knowing in your knowing’ stage. According to Pendergast (2000)this stage enables clients to discriminate between their own truth and illusions of false believe system. This in psychotherapy calls for evaluating the belief systems through own inner judge. It is a definite shift of discriminating between past injustice, imposed behavioral rules and enables personal responsibility to change and following of our own path. In reality, we all experienced this more than once on our own personal journey, through choices of leaving jobs or relationships that were no longer serving a purpose.

Devine Consciousness

The seventh chakra develops the awareness of the Divine, God, the Creator. According to Johari (2000) it is the very moment when one becomes aware of the divine principle that governs the entire universe. This specific moment enables the self to realize the integrity of spiritual and physical life. A person might experience the sudden feeling of lightness or being frozen in the present moment. I recognize it as a moment when clients decide that their energy is far more precious and consciously decide not to retell the old stories of hurts or sabotaging.

Self-actualization is the individuals’ ability to recognize and reach all of their variety of potentials. Maslow (1987) suggested that unless an individual is ‘doing what they were made to do’ ( accomplishing pyramidic milestones) , they cannot feel completely fulfilled. Humanists suggested this is because self-actualization is the weakest of needs and easily impeded. Accordingly, to chakra teachings the only thing that prevents an individual from reaching their full potential is a blockage of energetic centres (Chakras) , resulting in repeating unhelpful thoughts, beliefs and action patterns.

Universality of  Wellbeing

Overall, the two theories are very similar in their description of the self-actualization process. They both suggest similar characteristics and traits of a self-developing individual. Humanistic and Eastern psychotherapies are exploring psychological problems of human but also aid with theories explaining the aetiology of mental health and somatic pathology. Eastern approach additionally, offers additional transpersonal element, which opens the person to further inner dimensions – spirituality. Irrespectively of the individual belief systems, both of those methods statistically contributed to greater quality of mental, emotional, spiritual and religious wellbeing

Overall, the two theories are very similar in their description of the self-actualization process. They both suggest similar characteristics and traits of a self-developing individual. Humanistic and Eastern psychotherapies are exploring psychological problems of human but also aid with theories explaining the aetiology of mental health and somatic pathology. Eastern approach additionally, offers additional transpersonal element, which opens the person to further inner dimensions – spirituality. Irrespectively of the individual belief systems, both of those methods statistically contributed to greater quality of mental, emotional, spiritual and religious wellbeing