V. George Mathew
Psychology Institute, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 583
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Psychology is the study of consciousness,
mind and behavior. Holigrative Psychology (Mathew, 1997) is a Humanistically oriented system of Psychology which combines modern Psychology with Parapsychology and Psychology of Consciousness as well as ancient Oriental Psychology. Holigrative Psychology represents a naturalistic, humanistic and
holistic approach to Psychology.
Acceptance of the
holistic approach de-emphasizes specific diagnosis of a condition or specific
treatment for a specific symptom or group of symptoms. In a truly holistic
psychology, the emphasis is on overall life-style correction for positive
overall personal growth
should be primarily a person with a high degree of personal integration;
knowledge and skills being of secondary importance. Admission to courses of
Psychology should be based primarily on degree of Stability (personal
integration) of candidates. Training in Psychology should emphasize personal
growth of students more than information and skills. Evaluation of courses also
should be mainly in terms of degree of integration achieved.
uses the hypothetico-deductive method. It considers blind
inductive empiricism often involving dubiously defined variables or testing the
obvious, wasteful and unproductive. The following steps are recommended:
1. Development of a comprehensive intuitive, insightful and
interconnected theory capable of understanding and explaining all empirical
observations and findings. Meaningful hypotheses and variables can be derived
only from a meaningful theory.
2. Heuristic study of all available related literature (academic as
well as popular) from all disciplines for revising and elaborating the theory.
3. Effective, descriptive and insightful communication (writing) so
that the reader gets experiential conviction of the validity of the theory.
4. Discussion of theory and hypotheses by Psychologists for
elaborating the theory, formulation of hypotheses and deducing theorems.
5. Empirical testing of
only crucial theorems.
6. Revising the
hypotheses and theory when necessitated by empirical findings. It is important
to clearly differentiate those parts of a theory which have received empirical
confirmation and other parts which continue to be speculative.
Consciousness and Mind
starts from the external material reality while the Oriental approach regards
consciousness as the base and material reality as an experience in
Reality Is a Continuum Extending From the
Reality is a continuum extending from the
absolute pure consciousness (beyond time and space) to the gross physical
plane. This distance can be divided into several planes, like physical, astral, causal, etc. Ordinarily a man is fully aware only of his
gross physical body, but his personality extends to all planes. The notion of
mind derives from our subtle awareness of those aspects of personality which
are in the subtler planes. Here the term awareness is used in a relative sense
as awareness of something; consciousness is awareness of awareness or pure awareness.
Mind can be conceived as a band of
vibrations (in consciousness). Ordinarily, this has a main (average) vibration
and a number of smaller constituent vibrations. This can be understood in
analogy with the speaking voice of a person which has an average frequency band
with a number of sub-frequencies giving it a uniqueness.
The Principle Of
It is a well-known fact that when two
strings are tuned alike, when one is sounded, the other also vibrates and
produces a sound. Similarly the mind is able to access information which goes
with, is contained by or is associated with a similar vibration.
BASIC PSYCHOLOGICAL PROCESSES
It was the philosopher Henri Bergson who proposed the theory that sense organs perform a
limiting function. Theoretically, the mind can access any information directly
(by intuitive, extrasensory means) from the Universe regardless of space and
time by altering its own frequency and tuning in, without the intermediacy of
the senses. This is what has been called direct knowledge (Aparoksha
Jnana) in the Vedas.
This is possible because all, including the mind, are aspects of the same
reality which is consciousness. Therefore knowing anything external is also a
kind of self-knowledge. Sensing through the sense organs is indirect knowledge
(Paroksha Jnana). However,
when we see a cat, we are not seeing nervous changes in the Occipital area of
the brain, but we are seeing a cat which is a reality in the mental plane of
consciousness. Therefore, even in sensory inform, the essential content of
sensation is extra-sensory. Sense organs and the nervous system including the
brain screen out all other sensations and permit only those sensations
corresponding to the stimuli presented to the sense organs to enter the mind.
In order to deal with the immediate physical environment and protect the body,
the sense organs and the nervous system have evolved to select and limit our
sensations to those corresponding to the incoming nervous stimulation. As an
individual’s identification and level of functioning shifts from the gross to
the subtle, he can have more direct contact with mental reality and experience
extra-sensory paranormal perceptions.
PERCEPTION AND MEMORY
Perception results from organizing,
interpreting and adding meaning to the raw sensations. This is done on the
basis of the relevant "apperceptive mass"
from memory. In other words, perception involves comparison and contrast with
similar sensations in memory.
The idea that memory is in the non-physical,
mental Plane and that brain is only a receiving station is very old.
Theosophists have popularized the concept of Akashik
records which is the storehouse of all
memory. McDougall proposed the notion of "group mind" which is shared by members of a group. Jung proposed a theory of collective unconscious. Parapsychologists have theories about "collective psychism" which
hypothesize memory shared by members of a species. For example, the spider
learns to weave a web by accessing the necessary information from the
collective spider mind. Individual minds have been compared to waves in the
ocean of consciousness. Recently, Rupert Sheldrake (1988), a biologist, has
proposed a theory of formative causation according to which animals having a similar bodily form access information from collective
memory by morphic
resonance. Memory in not in the brain, it
is evoked through resonance from the mental plane, again, the brain being only
an instrument for the purpose.
There is certainly a
correspondence between the mind and the body, particularly at birth, generally.
But there are exceptional situations where the mind can function independent of
the body and though every change in the mind has an effect on the body, the
correspondence is not one to one. Also mind has a primacy over the body, as
mind is more close to consciousness than body. Mind can change rapidly while
the body presumably takes time to change.
Therefore the position
taken here is that similarity of mind and state of mind is more directly
involved in resonance than similarity of bodily form. Extending this theory to
perception, we arrive at the notion that we perceive things in relation to the
collective memories our mind accesses when we experience a sensation. Our minds
are presumably similar to the minds of our ancestors in terms of similarity in
vibration. Therefore we perceive an object in terms of the experiences of our
ancestors with that object or more precisely, the perception of similar objects
evoked in our ancestors.
For example, when we see red color, we sense
danger. This is presumably because of the association of this color with blood,
accident and danger in our ancestral experience. Similarly green color gives us
a feeling of security and pleasantness because green color is associated with
trees and plants which again are connected with food, water and the like
essential for survival. Ancestral experiences are most important when we see an
object for the first time. When we see an object for a second time, we access
our own previous experiences with that object and see it in the light of our
previous experience. In other words, we perceive any stimulus through our own
previous experience as well as through the collective experience of our
An ordinary human being cannot perceive
anything raw, or as it really is. If that object is very new and was never seen
by any human subject, still he will see it in terms of objects similar in human
experience. If no similar objects came in human experience, he will see it in
terms of his near animal ancestors closest to him in evolutionary history,
nearest to his mental vibrations, who experienced a
very similar object or situation. Paths of vibration similarity go down along
familial, communal, racial and evolutionary lines. At any point of time, the
diverse memories and action tendencies accessed by the person are integrated
and the person functions in a unified manner. As an individual’s mind changes,
the kind of memories or experiences it accesses or emphasizes also undergoes
A newborn calf is not surprised at being
born. It is almost like some in-built familiar expectancy fulfilled. It is
happy to be born. It readily senses and perceives stimuli, makes appropriate
responses, gets up, walks, runs and seeks its mother, and drinks milk. Instinctual mechanisms are not in the brain; they are accessed through the
principle of sympathetic
vibration from a storehouse of similar
vibrations. A human child, within a couple of years of life, masters the complex
task of language acquisition only because of the accumulated experience of
ancestors. If all human beings at all times spoke the same language, a baby
might have spontaneously spoken that language, as most birds spontaneously
produce their typical bird call. But since human beings spoke different
languages at different times and even now speak different languages, what the
baby accesses is readiness to learn any language which it hears. Presumably the
baby will find it easier to learn a language spoken by people having a mental
vibration similar to his own either in the present or in the past. An animal at
any new situation is likely to behave like its ancestors have effectively
behaved in the past. At each age level now known as critical or sensitivity
periods, depending on ancestral experiences, the animal shows expectancies
(search images) and readiness to acquire certain connections called imprinting. According to this theory if the species typical experience changes
over several generations, the critical periods also will change. For example,
now human beings reach puberty around the age of 12; but if the age at marriage
is made twenty for several generations, onset of puberty may slowly get shifted
Chromosomes and genes are structures in the
body corresponding to similar structures at the subtler levels mediating
transmission of access to ancestral experiences. The 46 chromosomes in the
human cell correspond to a certain "band width" of the human mind.
The fact that 23 chromosomes come from the father and other 23 from the mother
probably means that we do not have equal access to all our ancestral
experiences. Our mental vibration is determined by a 50% selection of
vibrations from each parent. Chromosomal abnormalities do influence behavior as
they form part of the physical level counterpart of the total accessing
mechanism which we call the mind.
Inheritance is both a general predisposition
as well as specific responses to specific overall situations or fields of
experience. From the holistic point of view, any experience or response made by
an individual influences his personality as a whole and this in turn influences
his offsprings. For example, if a man commits a
murder at a particular age, this changes his whole personality and this change
in some way influences the personality of a son born to him. If his son’s
personality does not change much from the personality of his father, when he
reaches the particular age when his father committed the murder, and he faces a
very similar situation he may also feel forced to commit the murder.
FORMATION AND CHANGE OF PERSONALITY
Personality is the relatively enduring
pattern of behavior. Responses are either inhibitory (I), excitatory (A) or
free from both these limitations (S). By generalization, the responses of an
individual tend to be mostly of one of these three types, or a systematic
mixture of these three. Thus, the personality of an individual can be broadly
described in terms of the three components.
Right from birth our mental vibrations
change as a result of experience. This in turn is transmitted on to our
children also. Transmission of acquired characteristics has been a bone of
contention among biologists. Before Darwin
proposed evolution by natural
selection, the Lamarckian theory of transmission of acquired characteristics was
widely accepted. A substantial amount of experimental evidence is available in
support. McDougall, at the beginning of the twentieth century, demonstrated
that successive generations of houseflies could be taught the same task with
progressive ease. Similar well-controlled experiments conducted later on have
verified the same hypothesis across several species. According to this view,
heredity is experience cumulated over several generations. Heredity and
environment are thus continuous.
There is also some evidence showing that at
the physical level itself structures change as a result of experience. For
example, the observation of "jumping genes" is a verification
that genes change position altering the expression of characteristics. However,
many biologists are reluctant to accept the idea that experience causes genetic
change because there is no known mechanism by which experience can alter germ
cells. However, this is no issue at all for Parapsychologists; there is
sufficient experimental evidence for psychokinesis - the mind on matter effect. Just as changes at the
physical level change the mind, mental changes make for alterations in the
physique at micro as well as macro levels.
Experiences are held together in memory in
terms of their similarity of vibration, or the common vibration in which they
occur. There is considerable experimental evidence showing that people tend to
remember things more in the same situation or circumstance in which they had
the original learning or experience. For example, if you memorize something at
a particular place, drinking coffee, you are likely to recall more of what you
learned at the same place (recreated as much as possible as before), again
drinking coffee. If you undergo intense experiences changing your vibrational structure, you may experience considerable amnesia for earlier events. There is what is known as state specific learning.
Cases are on record where a person has two
personalities each surfacing alternately. In one case, each of the two
personalities had a characteristic heart rate, allergy, visual acuity and
brain-wave pattern and a dog could sense which personality was operating and
react accordingly. Acquired characteristics (both adaptive and maladaptive) and
mentality are passed on to offsprings. The child may
show some effect of it in terms of mentality from birth onwards but may access
it in a more characteristic expressed form at an age where the parents acquired
it. It is common observation that often a morbidity generated by the parent and
transferred on to a child may produce more distress in the child than in the
parent because the child is influenced by it from an early age. For example,
alcoholism. If the grand parents and parents were alcoholics, the child may
show characteristic mental deviations (lack of self-control, feeling of
worthlessness) right from childhood and unless special attention is given to
the personal growth of the child involving compensatory good behavior, leading
to change in the vibrational level, he is likely to
start drinking at the age at which his predecessors started drinking, as a
squirrel goes up a tree, when it is old enough to do so. Even a simple act, if
repeated by descendants at a certain definite age in every generation, makes
for a cumulative change in temperament across generations and that act itself
tends to get a compulsive power at that age in descendants. The effect,
however, can be completely nullified by changing the vibrational
quality of the descendant of the last generation by exposing him to a different
set of experiences right from infancy.
Every action has a reaction. Everything we
do makes for an alteration of our mind. Yoga is an attempt to degrossify, and purify the vibrations. Karma yoga is based on the principle that selfish actions increase our insecurity
and increase identification with the gross level while non-selfish and detached
actions make for subtle vibrations. Devotion purifies emotions and removes fear
which ties one to the gross and replaces it by love thereby releasing the
bondage to the limited self. Mind control and meditation also still the mind thereby taking one gradually to pure consciousness.
Yoga is cultivation of awareness through
insight, which makes for self-transformation of mental vibration. One who has
reached subtler levels of consciousness can at will tune his own mind and
access any information or make any alteration at the physical level.
At any point of time,
an individual accesses ancestral experiences in line with his mental quality or
vibrations. As his mentality changes, the kind of ancestral experience he
accesses also changes. The more a person’s mind carries high frequency
vibrations, the more he is a victim of instincts. If his mind becomes
relatively pure, then he ceases to be a victim of ancestral experiences or he
becomes free from instinctual pressures.
QUALITIES OF MIND
Ancient Indian thought, particularly Sankhya
Yoga, speaks of three qualities (gunas) in all nature: Inertia (Thamas),
Activation (Rajas) and Stability (Sathwa). An
individual’s mind also can be described and differentiated from minds of other
people in terms of the extent to which it has these three components.
No doubt, there are contrasted brain
processes going parallel with the contrasted behavioral inhibition (resulting
from fear) in Inertia and behavioral excitation (resulting from compensatory
aggressiveness) in Activation. Stability (freedom from both fear as well as
need for compensatory aggression) possibly involves brain transcendence through
quiescence. Fear is responsible for dissociation, rigidity, defensive ego and
compensatory desires. Freedom from fear leads to flexibility, spontaneity and unitiveness which is the same as self-control or will. In
terms of the analogy of vibrations, ‘I’ may be regarded as a band of
consciousness constituted by a few independent weak vibrations of high
frequency, ‘A’ one strong predominant medium frequency vibration and ‘S’
several well integrated weak low frequency vibrations. S involves greater
sensitivity (similar to Weber-Fechner law which
postulates greater differential sensitivity at lower levels of sensation),
awareness, flexibility and control). Inertia is compulsive Thamas,
Activation is compulsive Rajas and S is relative absence of I as well as A.
Pure S or SS (Gunatheetha state) is the absence of
any particular vibration at all. An SS individual, can at will create any
vibration in his mind and usually, when he functions in the relative plane,
creates a network of low frequency vibrations.
‘S’ generally involves maximum capacity with
minimum of desire, dependence or involvement (in the matter of sex or any other
activity or work). I involves minimum capacity with wishful thinking. ‘A’ is
medium capacity with maximum desire, egoistic effort or indulgence. According
to the Sankhya concept, the sum of the three qualities is always a
constant; differences are in terms of the relative strengths of the three
components. The IAS Rating Scale (Mathew, 1995) measures the relative predominance of these three
characteristics in an individual.
1. I: Inertia
Root fear (death or survival anxiety,
existential insecurity) at this level or type of personality is accompanied by
defensive non-awareness or inhibition. Inertia is introverted instability or
proneness to develop introverted type of maladjustment under stress.
This is characterized by lethargy, laziness,
fear, inhibition, anxiety, shallowness of emotions, low initiative, low self-confidence,
low self-respect, etc. People having a large degree of I lack energy; they are
slow, late, not venturing, shy, withdrawn, weak-willed, suggestible,
submissive, masochistic, intropunitive, and so on. They are unable to
refuse, assert or argue individually; but are collectivistic and show hysteric collective aggression. They show blind conformity and inability to mix
with strangers. They do not have strong emotional ties. The strong emotion they
show is fear. They believe in fate and luck (external locus of control) and are superstitious. They have least awareness
and show poor moral control and they have simple sensuous values only.
Mentality characterized by high I is most susceptible to dissociation, as the
vibrations are not well integrated by the unitive overall awareness process.
Ordinarily, each constituent vibration is modified by the general vibrational quality of the mind and each new experience
modifies the total vibrational quality a little bit.
The person with high I has a loosely structured mind and it may have more than
one relatively independent component. He has least control of his own mind and
therefore may function like different persons (multiple personality) in different situations with different patterns of
memory and action tendencies. He is also capable of having circumscribed amnesia for events.
- A: Activation
characterized by restless overactivity, uncontrolled
energy, high drive, and inability to remain alone or silent. Activation is
extraverted instability or proneness to develop extraverted types of
maladjustment under stress. Persons having high A are compulsive mixers,
impatient, hasty, risk taking, rash, adventurous, analytical, efficient in
planning practical things for the future, competitive, go-getting, assertive,
aggressive, maniacal, proud, egoistic, rebellious, dominant, individualistic,
greedy, possessive, dogmatic, etc. They show considerable sportsman spirit.
They recognize, admire and encourage excellence in others, and allow others to
keep the benefits and earnings of rightful effort. Their predominant emotions
are anger and passionate, possessive love. They often show intense ambivalence.
They have a high degree of practical intelligence and mechanical ability. They
show organizational abilities and strong group identifications. They show
inability to be restful. They value power, are autocratic, need rigid external
moral control, have moral conflicts, and so on. They are ready to die to defend
their honor or the group. They believe in self-effort and freedom of the will
(internal locus of control). They are usually struggling all the time and have
mental conflicts. They are sadistic or extra-punitive; they have good anticipation and
awareness of material things. The two sub-types of ‘A’ are the physically
aggressive type (manifested often as interest in sports or war) and the hyperintellectual type (showing interest in science and
The ‘A’ type
person has more awareness (of physical, practical things) than the pure ‘I’
type person but less than that of pure ‘S’ type. His mind has more integration
than the ‘I’ type. However, he also experiences some dissociative
tendencies like often losing temper or getting into mood swings altering the
mode of functioning; but he will have at least some awareness or memory of his
experiences when he changes the mode of functioning.
- S: Stability
Stability is characterized by high
self-awareness, sensitivity, freedom, flexibility and control. Stability is
stress tolerance and freedom from fear and maladjustment tendencies.
People having a high
degree of ‘S’ are present-centered, egoless and non-conventional. S is action
with Sakshibhava (witness mode as against Karthrubhava or egoistic doership
mode) and deterministic acceptance of events.
Persons having a high degree of S can be
fast or slow, can work or rest as they choose or as the situation demands. They
can be very sociable or be alone with equal ease. They can assert if they want
to. They show meta-motivation and are capable of detached action. They are wise,
mature and intuitive. They are creative, self-actualizing, holistic, balanced,
even-tempered and dispassionate. They are capable of the deepest (at the same
time detached) emotion and their predominant emotion is altruistic love or
compassion. They are relaxed, peaceful, self-sufficient, democratic, fair,
unselfish, tolerant, altruistic, transcending, and broad-minded. They have a
natural moral sense based on mature love. Their autonomy operates within their
awareness of inherent morality. They believe in the value of self-effort, which
results from will, which in turn is regarded as part of the pre-determined
chain of events in nature. They are impunitive. The
two sub-types are artistic and philosophical.
The pure S type person has a very well
integrated personality. He may be able to function differently in different
situations, but with full control, awareness and memory. From the holistic
point of view, cognitive (intellectual), affective (emotional) and volitional
(will) capacities are mutually dependent and a Stable person has all these
potentialities though the actual skills (ex. mechanical ability or musical
talent) he has depend on specific ancestral experiences as well as practical
training. Usually high S persons find more satisfaction in actualizing their
artistic or philosophical potentialities than in exercising practical skills in
dealing with material things.
Stability is Sakshibhava (witness-mode with deterministic and mature
acceptance of event sequences), as different from egoistic action with Karthrubhava. Both Inertia and Activation involve Karthrubhava, Inertia characterized by diffidence and
Activation by compensatory explosive aggressiveness and impulsivity.
IAS Trait Concepts
The concept of introversion-extraversion in modern Psychology as well as
the Thriguna theory of Sankhya does not take into
consideration the internal motive for external behavior. Thamas
is inactivity and introversion is withdrawal and inactivity. Rajas is activity and extraversion is externally observed activity
as well as mixing. Some psychologists consider extraversion and introversion as mere preferences for
activity or inactivity.
A psychologically and
mathematically meaningful concept does not mix unrelated things. Inertia is
non-activity because of inability to mix. A person who can easily mix if he
wants to, but does not mix because of mere preference is considered Stable.
Similarly only a person who mixes or is active out of dependence on the group
or a compulsive need for activity is considered Activated, a person who can mix
or not mix, act or not act with equal ease is considered Stable.
FORMATION AND DISSOLUTION OF MIND
The mind is formed as result of the
formation of the three qualities I,A and S. Gradual dissolution of the three
qualities through personality change results in pure consciousness.
Chakra (Fig.1) gives a model of the
formation and dissolution of mind including both the materialization phase and
the spiritualisation phase.
Fig. 1. POORNA CHAKRA
Pure consciousness or the pure field
(Picture 0) is the absolute state and it forms the basis of all relative
experience. Therefore it is given at the centre also. The pure field is also
the field of all possibilities. Accessing the pure field makes paranormal
intervention possible. Individual consciousness (ego) or experience of the
separate limited self (P. 1) is a superimposition on the pure field. The first
quality to be formed is Inertia (I) (P. 2). The second quality to be formed is
Activation (A) (P. 3). The position of a person on each of these two the can be
marked on two axes. Stability (S) is the central point and this can be obtained
by subtraction of the other two from a constant. Experiencing a set of
characteristics of personality and identification with it, attachment to it and
involvement with it produce feelings of limitation which induce fear of death
as well as compensatory desire for unlimitedness (P.
4). Desire leads to dynamic effort and action (P. 5). Material aggrandisements only increase the desire and consequent
struggle, making the person all the more restless and confused (P. 6). Finally
the person reaches the point of rebirth or conversion from materialism to
spiritualism (P. 7). The Materialism - Spiritualism Scale (Mathew, 1980) can be used to
measure a person’s materialistic Vs. spiritualistic
The momentum of materialistic desire and
action cannot be nullified all on a sudden, but its direction gets reversed,
the person directing his activation into spiritual quest (P. 8). Spiritual
pursuits gradually reduce the confusion and the person gets some insight into
his personality and condition (P. 9). Further personal growth leads to cessation
of compulsive spiritual activities, but spiritual desires remain (P. 10). With
further evolution, even spiritual desires disappear and the person becomes
aware of his root personality (P. 11). Then he gradually loses A or the
aggressive component of his personality (P. 12). This is frequently referred to
as the aesthetic state. At last, with more spiritual awareness, he loses the I
component also, but retaining the feeling of a separate limited self (P. 13).
Further purification of awareness leads him back to the pure field (P. 0).
The aesthetic state of
consciousness is associated with nullification of Activation (aggressiveness,
masculinity). This is the reason why the aesthetic disposition is often
accompanied by femininity, sex-role interchangeability, androgyny, unisex
temperament, and the like. This may also, under some situations create sex-role
confusion or lead to maladjustment or homosexuality. Absence of rigidity or
dogmatism and the experiential orientation also make people with a moderate
degree of S vulnerable to addictions (like alcoholism) which suppress the brain
and deautomatise providing temporary release from instinctuality. These drugs in the long run damage the
system. People with a very high degree of S do not need these drugs for achieving
transcendence. Beauty is close to truth because the aesthetic state comes close
to pure consciousness, the absolute basis for all relative experience. Art also
becomes a channel for the release of surplus energies resulting from unfinished
sequences in a person who has partially transcended instincts and instinctual
sequences. The aesthetic experience is also associated with the experience of
increase of integration resulting from ego dissolution. Perceptions which
reduce fear and increase security (now or in ancestral experience) and
therefore make for real or symbolic integration or change towards purity of
consciousness produce aesthetic feelings.
Identification with the limited self
activates the self-processes of self-importance, self-value and
self-centeredness. All mental processes (like sensation, perception and memory)
operate through this exaggerated picture of self (often called the ego). The
ego identifies with the body at the conscious level; but the identification
extends to all the subtle levels. All notion of external value derives from the
basic self-value. Reality is experienced only when this personal equation is
nullified through the dissolution of the ego. The Figure 2 illustrates the
Fig. 2. SELF-PROCESSES ACROSS DIFFERENT
S is basically harmony
across the different planes. I & A represent two types of disharmony. An individual
is an apparent continuous projection across all the planes. Any disharmony
increases rigidification. S increases flexibility of
the point of operation across the planes. When a person is fully harmonized he
can consciously and voluntarily shift the point operation to any desired plane.
Separate individuality increases as we proceed from pure consciousness towards
the physical plane. Re-harmonization involves getting harmonized with the group mind, species consciousness, etc., step by step.
HOLISTIC NATURE OF
Though from the point
of view of measurement, we speak of cognition, emotion and motivation as
separate processes and intelligence, emotional stability and self-control as
independent qualities, from the holistic point of view, all good qualities go
together. Empirical studies also generally report a positive association among
positive qualities. Intelligence is the way an emotionally stable person solves
problems. Self-control is the way an emotionally stable person deals with
himself. Many people do not like this stand because then they have to face the
easily detectable unpleasant truth that they are less than perfect. On the
other hand, acceptance of the specificity theory takes away the responsibility
for self-improvement and an overall assessment of self.
theorists accept generality to varying degrees. Behaviorists accept habit level
and a few of them accept the primary trait level also. British Psychologists go
up one more step and speak of the dimensional level or type level.
Most psychologists in the West speak of four
independent dimensions: intelligence, extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticism.
However, there is considerable evidence linking emotional factors like freedom
from inhibitions with efficiency of intellectual functioning. Even physical
factors like general health, sensory acuities, and reaction speed have been
found significantly related to intelligence. There is a tendency for all
positive qualities to be positively correlated. Extraversion emerges as a separate factor in Western studies only
because extraversion is measured by questionnaires in which questions
measure what is externally observed instead of the reason for such external
behavior. In other words these questionnaires do not differentiate between a person
who mixes with others or is active because of free choice and a person who does
the same thing compulsively because of inability to rest or be alone. When
properly measured in terms of the initiating root personality, extraversion ceases to be an independent dimension. Therefore we
are justified in speaking of a holistic level single factor of personality
namely Stability. At the dimensional level there are two factors I and A (here
named in terms of the negative pole).
An overall general factor of personality in
terms of Instability-Stability does not preclude the possibility of more
detailed measurement at lower levels. For example, at the second level,
Instability can be measured in terms of I and A. Again according to the
hierarchical model, we can go further down and measure the detailed differences
across several lower level constructs in the hierarchical organization or
structure of personality. The lower we go in the hierarchy, greater will be the
number of constructs and greater will be their intercorrelations,
provided the variables are pure and not a mixture of unrelated things.
Differences in specific experiences make for differences in positions on
different traits of personality, while generalizations make for integration.
Differences on positions on traits down the hierarchy are likely to be largest
in the case of I type persons and least in the case of people with a high
degree of S. In other words, the degree of scatter itself can be considered a
measure of instability.
MODEL OF PERSONALITY ORGANISATION
model of Personality organization
The hierarchical model
of personality organization has been there for long time in Western Psychology,
but they do not conceive a single holistic level factor at the top. In
Holigrative Psychology, there is a single holistic level factor which includes
all desirable characteristics. All desirable characteristics go together and
show a positive correlation. This factor represents Integration and is termed
Stability. At the next lower level (type level) there are two factors: Inertia
and Activation. These two factors have been named using the negative poles;
Stability is the absence of Inertia and Activation. The factors at the still
lower levels have not been named.
The different levels of
the hierarchy probably can be described using cognitive level, affective or conative level concepts. The cognitive level components for
example can be, starting with the holistic level: Jnana,
Wisdom, Knowledge, Information and Observation.
MOTIVATION AND EMOTION
Identification with, attachment to and
ego-involvement with the limited self produces fear of death. At the I level,
the main emotion is this fear, which is largely inhibited through non-awareness.
The I person has low self-confidence and his wishes are not very intense and he
is not willing take risks for the sake of actualizing
his wishes. His wishes very often remain at
the immature daydream level. He is totally dependent on his immediate group.
His ingroup and outgroup
perceptions are rigid. His sexual responses are occasional and situationally induced. High I people lack the sportsman
spirit; they collectively pull down anybody who does not conform, tries to get
ahead or excel.
At the A level, a part of the root fear gets
transformed into aggressiveness, manifesting as the emotion of anger, intense
possessiveness, etc. The A person has a high degree of linear intelligence,
determination and physical courage to work towards attainment of his practical
goals. He is individualistic and competitive but at the same time has a need
for differential identification; but his ingroups and
outgroups are multiple (caste, religion, locality,
nation) and to some extent flexible. The main source of motivation for the high
A person is insecurity and need for compensatory self-aggrandisement. He is
generally in a state of high drive. Sex is part aggression. At the
physiological level, centres for sex and aggression
are close together; stimulation of one leads to stimulation of the other. Fear
and compensatory aggression increase sexual drive. Need for reproduction is
intensely felt when there is a threat to one's own existence (ex. rape during
wartime). Sex is a catastrophic reaction. Many plants flower when there is a
sudden threat to survival conditions. Also, at the social level, across several
species, there is a tendency for animals brought up together to avoid
copulation with each other. In human societies also, marriage is between two
persons belonging to mid-way groups; not the same extreme ingroup
or extreme outgroups. The territorial phase of the
reproductive sequence involves competition. Therefore sexual drive is highest
for A people. They are highly protective of women belonging to their own family
(or ingroup), but they cannot have sex with them
(because sex is part aggression). There seems to be an inverse relationship
between drive level and performance. Therefore the sexual performance of A
people need not be the best (like alcohol increasing drive and reducing
performance) because fear also inhibits performance. High A people have the
quality of sportsmanship. They generally play fair and respect the opponent and
respect property rights of others.
The high S person has to some extent got
over his root identification with the limited self (intuitively) and therefore
has no great fear. His main emotion is selfless love. He identifies more with
"all" (all human beings, animals, etc.) than with specific groups.
His motivation stems largely from compassion and the joy of doing something
rather than reduction of fear. He is self-sufficient and shows meta-motivation. His sexual capacity may be high, but he is also capable of
transcending the instinct to the extent to which he has overcome root fear and
compensatory aggressiveness. He is sensitive to subtle influences and
experiences a variety of subtle but deep emotions including the aesthetic.
Any information (fact, connection, association
or observed relationship) is of possible survival value. Therefore any act of
learning whether conscious or subliminal, involves reduction of fear and therefore is drive reducing. The main
type of learning in the case of people with a high degree of I is contiguity learning. This type of learning is found in A people also
because they still have the root fear though a portion of it has been
transformed into aggression. This continues in the case of high S people also,
because they too have a minimum of the basic fear so long as they continue to
exist in the body.
Learning essentially is
emphasizing a connection (between stimuli and responses) in mind. What one
perceives as important is emphasized and therefore learned. Heredity is
learning accumulated across generations.
learning, or learning by positive
reinforcement is mainly applicable in the case of high A
people who have strong aggressive drives.
High S people have the highest degree of
awareness and control and the p (postponement) factor of intelligence
associated with vicarious trial and error. They are most capable of cognitive learning single trial learning, or learning by insight. They
resort to previous mechanisms of learning only when situational factors do not
allow cognitive processing. They learn by increase of positive affect rather
than reduction of negative drives.
High I people have least intelligence and
creativity. Their behavior is in line with inherited instinctual mechanisms. They are least capable of abstraction or
People with a high degree of A have very
good practical intelligence. They are efficient in quickly solving practical
physical and social problems. They are creative in problem solving in material
things and organizational matters. They are good at science and technology.
High S people have high flexibility and are intuitive. They have artistic and philosophical
creativity. They can, if they want to, use their intelligence in solving
practical problems also.
There is an inverted U relationship between
global capacity on the one hand and desire or competitiveness on the other
hand. At the lowest level of capacity, desire/competitiveness is also low. This
is the I position. At moderate levels of capacity there is highest
desire/competition. The moderate level of capacity makes the person have enough
confidence to compete. This is the A level. The highest level of capacity (S)
makes the person aware of the wastefulness of desire/competition, and the
person shows self-sufficiency.
VALUES & CONCEPT
The main I value is
conformity to group norms and sensuous pleasures. Power and money are valued in
A societies. Personal qualities like courage, sacrifice for the group, etc. are
also valued. S societies value qualities of mind like artistic ability,
philosophical wisdom and spiritual qualities. Conformity is considered normal
in I societies, competitiveness is normal in A societies and selfless
creativity is normal in S societies.
MORALITY, RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY
Morality is the
result of intuitive awareness of natural instinctive sequences of behavior,
modified by current social norms.
As the “I” type
of person has least awareness, his morality consists largely of conformity to
group norms and standards. The main motivating factor is punishment and
ostracism. The “A” type of person is torn between the need of selfish
individualistic gain, pressure for conforming to the group and inherent species
moral code (of which he has some awareness). The “S” type of person has a clear
notion of inherent species code in form of a conscience which is his main
guiding principle, though he may make a compromise with immediate group norm
and his own individual needs. To a high ”S” person whatever increases
attachment to the gross level and gross body and the limited separate self is
unethical and whatever loosens up this tie-up, opening oneself to the other
extreme of unitive pure consciousness is moral.
In “I” type
collectivistic societies, God is a master who should be propitiated through
sensuous things like food, offerings and sacrifices so that he is pleased and
gives boons. In “I” societies religious rituals are
noisy and involve violent orgiastic behavior. In societies where people have
too much of “A”, God is an ego projection. God is pleased by flattery. " A " type people also project their groupism and
need for differential competitive identification in religion. You have to pay
allegiance to `your' god pledging loyalty to him, denying other gods or
religions. For “A” persons religion is largely a perpetual conflict between
egoism & surrender, guilt & pride and competition & love. Religion may be ritualized or
intellectualized in “A” societies.
Religion may become an obsessive concern and religious identification
plays a role in intergroup conflicts in “A” societies..
In Stable groups, God is seen as elevation
of mind, unity, consciousness, transcendence or love, encompassing all. In high “S” cultures, there is little
ceremonicity or occultism. People live
in harmony with themselves and all nature.
They may be very active and productive in the world and worldly things,
at the same time detached. The main
characteristic of high “S” is ease of cutting oneself from the relative plane
and easy transcendence. High “S”
cultures tend to be spiritual and not religious.
The social behavior of I groups is governed
by tradition and there is no great deal of initiative involved. High A people
on the other hand are aggressive mixers. They are adventurous and risk taking
and good at organizing groups. Therefore they take initiative and interact with
all kinds of persons for a variety of purposes. High S people, on the other
hand have awareness of the effect of interactions with different persons in
different situations on themselves and therefore are selective and inclined to
limit their acquaintances to a few close friends.
Social Control and Politics
In ‘I’ groups social control is effected by tradition and current
group norms. As people lack awareness and lack innate moral sense, external
control through fear induced by superstitious beliefs is required. However, as
people in general blindly conform, there is no need of effort in enforcing
rules. The situation is largely one of laissez-faire. Every high ‘I’ group has its own method of social
control involving ostracising offenders or a system
of minor punishments. Group norms may deviate from the species code in
different ways depending on local peculiarities and history, but in general,
they tend to conform to species experience. High I individuals are highly
dependent on the group. They crave attention and approval by others. They lack
inner control and therefore when the external control system which controls
their behavior through fear is absent, their behavior
tends to break down. Leaders of high
‘I’ societies are generally selfish and pleasure oriented and
try to exploit the group for their own personal benefit.
societies, on the other hand, require strong authoritarian rule and strict enforcement
of rules with a system involving harsh punishments and rewards, for the
maintenance of law and order, because people are individualistic. These groups
are also subject to rapid social change resulting from innovations as people
are enterprising and open to experimentation.
High ‘A’ leaders increase intra-group cohesion by competition with rival
groups. Ideologies also may play a role
in increasing group cohesion. Highly
competitive elections and the multi-party system have evolved in ‘A’ societies.
tend to be democratic as people are stable and cooperative and behave naturally
in accordance with the species norm of which they are intuitively aware and
there is no great need of external social control. ‘S’ societies evolve through
the development of culture in terms of art and philosophy. ‘S’ leaders do not care for personal
aggrandisement and they do not exploit the group for their own pomp. Usually the most enlightened person is
elected or nominated unanimously as the leader, administrator or king.
When different societies
interact, by sympathetic
vibration and conscious imitation,
personality of individuals change.
When I and A groups interact, people of the I group generally lose their social
control because people discard the belief system instrumental in maintaining
law and order and the administration is not sufficiently strong enough to deal
with the newly acquired individuality of persons. I groups usually get enslaved
by the A groups. I groups also start blindly imitating the A groups. When A and
S groups interact, S groups lose at first, because they are not aggressive
enough to fight and they are not prepared. But in the long run, S groups come back
to power, directly or indirectly, usually using their intellectual capacities
to control the high A groups.
I societies tend to be static while A
societies develop materialistically. S societies evolve mainly in terms of
increased harmony and development of mental and spiritual qualities.
People should be made aware of their
personality and the factors shaping their personality so that they will
gradually feel motivated to improve their behavior.
FACTORS AFFECTING PERSONALITY
Individuals are born with a certain
personality pattern (IAS) as starting point, which gradually undergoes change
as a result of interaction with the environment. Environmental factors or
influences can be broadly divided into physical, social and psychological.
1. PHYSICAL FACTORS
A. The Physical Setting
Instinctual responses are associated with a
natural environment in which these responses were reinforced across countless
generations and therefore are properly elicited only in these natural settings.
Man's natural environment involves nearness to the forest and natural water
resources like rivers and ponds. Ethologists have
brought in the concepts of behavior needs which are related to a type of
environment and behavior starvation. For example, an animal has not only need
for one type of food, but also a need to use certain behavior acts to procure
that food. A polar bear in the wild catches fish from the sea. In captivity,
the bear will eat fish served in a plate. Its need for food is satisfied, but
it is deprived of the behavioral need to catch fish and so it will start
showing compulsive movements associated with catching fish from water. Many
human hallucinations and dream symbols are search images associated with
unachieved instinctual targets and many compulsions and ceremonies are
expressions of frustrated behavioral needs. In artificial urban settings
instinctual expression breaks down or become perverted. In extremely artificial
settings, man's behavior becomes like that of fish out of water.
Each type of deviation from the ideal often
produces different types of departures from the ideal mentality. In too hot a
climate, it is unpleasant to do hard work because of perspiration and overheating
of the body. Therefore in the tropics people tend to develop I and become
lethargic. They also tend to have thin bodies because fatness also produces
In places which are too cold, people develop
the habit of hard work to generate body heat. Idling makes one freeze. Also in
the cold regions of the earth people have to think ahead and prepare warm
clothes and store firewood and food for winter, have to organize themselves for
hunting when food is scarce and have to compete individually for survival.
Therefore people there develop Activation. In places with a moderate climate,
people tend to develop a Stable temperament.
Foodstuffs have been classified as producing
one of the three qualities. Here it is suggested that eating too much of cooked
food, particularly cereals, produces Inertia, and eating non- vegetarian and
highly spicy food produces Activation while the best food for Stability is a
vegetarian diet having a large proportion of raw food including fruits,
vegetables, nuts, and sprouted seeds taken in moderate quantity. Meat eating
produces aggressiveness perhaps because our ancestors had to aggressively act
to kill animals for food, and therefore non-vegetarian food accesses
Those who live in the right natural
environment automatically get the required exercise because they have to use
their body in cultivating the land, cutting firewood, fetching water,
collecting produce and so on. Too little exercise produces Inertia, and too
much exertion leads to Activation while moderate exercise is required for
Stability. Many psychological problems in modern times result from too little
exercise, overexertion or frequent oscillation between too little and too much
2. SOCIAL FACTORS
A. Population density
Each animal has its own pattern of social
behavior. Animals of colonial species maintain an optimum colony size. When the
colony size increases beyond the tolerable limits, the colony divides into two
and if this does not happen, there is population stress, violence and
behavioral dysfunction. Suicidal tendencies are noted under overpopulated
conditions even when there is no food scarcity. This may be the result of
experience of the need to bring down colony size to the optimum during species
evolution. Crime and suicide rates have been found to increase with
urbanization even in the case of human beings. It is hypothesized that too
small a population density tends to induce Inertia, overcrowding produces
Activation and an optimum size promotes Stability. The optimum size for human
beings seems to be a village type situation where everybody knows everybody
else by name.
B. Economic System
Poverty certainly induces Inertia, and
affluence induces Activation, while the middle class is associated with Stability.
Economic factor is also related to the issue of need satisfaction, that is, the
extent to which diverse needs (like for example the need for privacy and need
for socialization) are adequately met. Totalitarian Socialistic patterns of
society have been observed to create Inertia, capitalism to induce Activation
and a market economy type situation where those who make profit use the money
for altruistic purposes seems to be most conducive for Stability.
C. Socio-Political Factors
There is a close similarity in personality
types created by different methods of child-rearing in home situation and
personality types fostered under different types of political systems.
The laissez-faire type of situation, characteristic of I groups, may
lead to hysteric collective outbursts or lawless, disorderly violence
(mobocracy) which is different from the organized
violence in people of A type. People who get misguided to flout laws or
disrespect authority and override rights of individuals through collective
violence lose self-respect and tend to develop I. Autocrats are Activated type
of people under whose regime also people may develop Inertia. Public sector
culture characterized by bureaucratic domination also induces I. However,
oppressive kinds of totalitarian rule is characteristic of A societies where
people successfully organize themselves and overthrow the system through
organized revolution. Competitive societies where people are encouraged to
compete with each other induce A. True democracy where people are free and at
the same time laws are properly enforced and authorities are respected, induces
feelings of self-respect, responsibility and commitment in people and they tend
to relate to each other through cooperation and develop disciplined Stability.
Women kept under severe oppression by males
often show hysteric type personality characterized by high I.
3. PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS
A. Personality of Associates
Mental qualities are contagious. By the
principle of sympathetic
vibration and by imitation, our mind
absorbs the qualities of those with whom we associate. People are influenced by
the company they keep. People are advised to mix with others with a great deal
of Stability (Satsang). The
personality of children get moulded in line with the
personality of parents. The psychic field which develops when people interact
is determined largely by the personality of the people involved and only to a
lesser extent by the quality of their interaction. The position taken here is
that personality of people and the genuineness and authentic quality of their
relationships are more important in creating desirable personality changes in
members than specific methods of interaction (eg.
counseling techniques) that they may artificially adopt.
B. Quality of Interactions
Parents who reject children or follow the laissez-faire method of child rearing and parents who are
oppressive induce Inertia in children. Parents who are punitive and encourage
competition promote Activation. Parents who use the method of democratic
acceptance induce self-respect and Stability in children.
Sensuous selfishness is characteristic of
Inertia. Competition and power struggle are characteristic of Activation. Activation
also involves passionate and possessive relationships. Detached, mature and
unselfish love based on equality and friendliness is characteristic of
Stability. A person's personality gets shaped according to the nature of
interrelations with other people at home and outside. The nature and quality of
group support the person gets from his friends plays a crucial role in
determining the adjustment and personality of the person.
C. The Moral Environment
Morality refers to the code of conduct of the
species evolved through the entire span of species history. One feels guilty
about uttering a lie, stealing something or acting in an unfair or unjust
manner because of punishments received by ancestors for similar acts.
Acting in line with current group norm,
contrary to basic species code (or absolute morality) or being forced to act
against one's conscience increases I, as I is defensive non-awareness. Breaking
moral codes for selfish gain or for the sake of one's immediate group increases
A, often associated with guilt feelings and conflicts. Acting in line with
moral principles, with detachment, for the sake of `all', in an altruistic
fashion, strengthens S.
Instinctual behavior often follows a
sequence of behavioral acts. For example, reproductive behavior under natural
settings starts with the first stage of territoriality which involves
competition, test of strength, proving one's worth, getting a job, earning
money and so on. Second is pairing or mate selection followed by marriage.
These two stages are public. The third is courtship during which there may not
be any sex act. The fourth is mating. The fifth is child-rearing. One
reproductive cycle continues till the child grows up and is able to take care
of itself. In human beings, life-long pairing has evolved because of the long
period of growing up of children and the fact that the developmental periods of
the later-borns overlap with those of the earlier
ones. Conflicts occur because of several reasons. Among many mammals, for
there is the pattern of the victor who
becomes a leader, mating with all females and the others not mating at all.
Such tendencies in evolutionary history may produce a tendency in people who
are highly successful and come to positions of power and leadership to seek
more than one mate, contrary to the more common human social practice of
pairing. Sometimes the chain of behavioral acts in a sequence may get
interrupted for no fault of the person himself also. For example the wife may
leave the husband because she falls in love with another man, for no fault of
the husband and the husband experiences interruption of the reproductive
When a person experiences an interrupted
sequence or intense behavior starvation, not because of his own fault, or witnesses
something shocking to his own conscience or moral sense, and he is totally
unable to do anything about it, he has a traumatic experience. This produces
Inertia. On the other hand, if a man does something contrary to the ethical
code because of his own greed or temptations, he tends to get Activated. Acting
in line with moral code increases awareness and moral sense and Stabilizes
The mother-child bond is formed soon after
birth. If the mother abandons the baby with somebody else everyday and goes for
work, this is likely to create guilt (A) in her and distrust and feelings of
worthlessness (I) in the child. There is some evidence that such children when
they grow up fail to form long-standing pair relationships in or outside
MEASUREMENT OF PERSONALITY
Rating Scale (Mathew, 1995) has 35 sub-scales. This can be used for
self-rating of personality or for "other rating" (rating the
personality of another person). Rating ability is higher for people with high
Stability. Therefore, the best method of measurement is "other
rating" made by high S people who have sufficient acquaintance with the ratees. Self-ratings are more useful in giving people an
awareness of their own personality and IAS concepts in Awareness programs for
A short form of the IAS Rating Scale
is available for use in interview situations.
Selection And Training Of Raters:-
First level selection: Using "other
rating", people with high S are selected.
Training: Training consists of observing ratees for some time in real life or raters together
interviewing ratees using items in the IAS rating scale
(Short Form) and then making ratings.
Second level selection: Raters whose ratings
show relatively high agreement with the average ratings of each ratee by all
raters are finally selected.
It is recommended that average of ratings
made by a minimum of five raters after direct observation or interview or both
is best. If the raters do not have sufficient acquaintance with the ratees, they can be requested to observe the subjects for
some time before making the ratings. If this is difficult, the raters can
together interview the ratees using the items in the IAS rating scale
(short form) and then make ratings.
Instincts are interactive sequences of
experiences and responses (action-reaction chains) expected on the basis of
ancestral experience. The main instinct is that of self-preservation and
reproduction is its part. In a general sense, the whole of life can be viewed
as sequences within a broad sequence based on evolutionary processes involving
recapitulation of ancestral experiences. Stress is the result of arrested or
interrupted sequences. Malimprinting is a
special cause for suspension of sequences. Stress involves threat to life,
frustration, arrest of personal growth, etc. Any change in behavioral sequences
which causes suspension of sequence creates stress and tension build-up. For
example the purpose of sex is maintenance of family and reproduction. The
normal sequence involves two persons of opposite sexes meeting, marrying,
living together and sharing reproductive behavior with social approval.
Separating in between is disruption. Interruption of the sequence releases
surplus energies which find an outlet in the form of abnormal behavior. Sex
outside marriage, sexual
perversions, masturbation, etc. start the
reproductive chain without consummation and therefore are maladaptive. Change
in sex roles and alterations in sex typical behavior (in dress, temperament, etc.)
over time in society causes misfit between search images based on ancestral
experience and actual perceptions. This increases the incidence of malimprinting like homosexuality and other sex perversions. Normal sequence of the reproductive chain requires continued pairing,
child rearing, etc. without which there is interruption of sequence and release
of surplus energies which seek outlet in the form of abnormal behavior.
Maladaptive forms of behavior, if repeated
across generations, strengthen it. Pathological symptoms are usually
expressions of a problem or channels for exhausting surplus energy. Usually a
person with a maladjustment will have many symptoms which are interchangeable
(symptom substitution, displacement).
The best solution to correction of malimprinting or interrupted sequences is to access more basic and
more stable mental vibrations. This can be done by changing as many different
aspects of behavior as possible in such a way as to increase overall Stability.
Specific direct procedures, to alter a specific maladjustment, if necessary at
all, should be undertaken in the context of overall personality change.
PERSONALITY AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
An individual facing immediate stress which
he cannot handle through normal means, tends to break down into a defense in
line with his root personality (IAS pattern). Surplus energies of unfinished or
interrupted sequences and cumulative tension resulting from immediate pressures
seek outlets in line with the personality pattern of the person. Imbalances and
incongruities in development or growth (for example, some aspects promoting S
while others promoting I or A) also create distress. These also can be regarded
as arrest of the general sequence of personal growth.
An extreme mental process (accompanied by
the corresponding brain process) when prolonged, requires the opposite for
balancing out or release, similar to the mechanism of afterimages in
perception. For example, a prolonged manic state automatically leads to a depressive phase.
Similarly, Catatonic withdrawal needs release through Catatonic excitement. Extreme inhibition requires some form of hysteric excitement for release.
The mind-body system, at any point of time
seeks out the defence or outlet of least cost. People
with a high degree of I have recourse to hysterical mechanisms. They can easily forget unpleasant incidents, and act like
different persons in different situations to escape feeling guilty. These types
of defenses are not available to people with A and certainly not for high S
people as they have more awareness and integration.
Manic type defenses are characteristic of A
type persons while such defenses are not available to people with high S as
they have more moral sense and self-awareness. S type of persons often convert
stressful situations into growth-promoting experiences because of their stress
tolerance and capacities for adjustment.
Schizophrenia is total break down of personality. Therefore,
people with any personality may ultimately break down into schizophrenia, if the simpler and earlier defenses do not succeed
in handling that degree of stress.
Pure S people have a high degree of stress
tolerance and so they do not easily break down, as a result of physical. Because
of their sensitivity, they are aware of the effects different actions and
interactions have on themselves and so avoid situations which lead to a
deleterious effect. However, sometimes they may not be able to escape
stress-inducing situations. A child with a high degree of S may not be able to
escape a subtle stress-inducing situation because matters are not in his
control. Continued stress resulting from awareness of and sensitivity to subtle
pressures like moral conflicts resulting from being forced to act against his
conscience or being exposed to contrasting vibrational
fields or vibrational fields not suited to him, sets
in him some degree of I or A. With high S and a certain degree of I, the
schizoid process starts. A pure S person would get normalized as soon as the
distressing psychological situation is rectified. If he has some degree of I also, in addition to high S, he may break down into schizophrenia. This can be compared to people with a high degree
of general health not being susceptible to small ailments like common cold or
headaches, but still vulnerable to accidents or serious strong infections. The
fact that high S people have schizophrenia as the primary defense does not mean that schizophrenics as a group will
have more S than other pathological groups or that S groups
will show a greater incidence of schizophrenia. On the contrary, the actual incidence of any
pathology including schizophrenia will ordinarily be very small in S groups, because of
their high stress tolerance and integration. Even in a pure I group there can
be a very high incidence of schizophrenia, if the stress to which the people are subjected is
too high to be handled by simple hysteric devices. Perhaps the root personality type which is found most
frequently among schizophrenics in modern cultures is the I + S combination.
The primary defense of the I + S combination
also happens to be schizophrenia.
Piecemeal procedures are likely to show more
effect in the form of removal of a symptom in persons with a great deal of I in
their root personality, as they function in a less integrated manner. But the
side effect of such procedures is that they strengthen the dissociation.
Holistic methods are most effective in case of people with high S, because they
function as a whole.
Removal of the immediate stress or stresses
would tend to normalize the person in the sense of symptomatic relief, but
often this would be difficult. Forcing the symptom to disappear by direct
piecemeal methods like deconditioning
would not be very helpful because this would only result in symptom
substitution or worse defenses. Therefore the only feasible alternative is to
alter root personality(IAS Pattern).
PERSONALITY AND MALADJUSTMENT
The hypothetical positions of the different
psychiatric syndromes as primary
defense on the IAS triangle are given in
The figure represents the primary types of
defensive maladjustment in each position. The position of schizophrenia in the figure can be particularly misleading. It
should be borne in mind that even people with other root personality
combinations may develop schizophrenia, if their more characteristic primary defenses fail.
Fig. 4. PSYCHIATRIC SYNDROMES AS PRIMARY DEFENCE
H - Hysteria Ps - Psychopathy Pa – Paranoia D-Depression M - Mania
Sc - Schizophrenia An - Anxiety MD - Manic-Depressive PS - Psychosomatic
O – Obsessive-compulsive
Suicide: High I people do not have
the courage for suicide. Typical escapist type of suicide cases have the I+A combination (psychopathy). Aggressive self-sacrifice for the sake
of group or for an ideal is characteristic of high A people. High S people may
end their lives through non-violent means (indefinite fasting) without any
aggression directed outwards or inwards.
Since the I,A and S factors are influenced
by a number of factors, and are always changing, individual differences are
large in any group. Nevertheless, since people belonging to a given social
group share somewhat similar ancestral as well as present influences,
systematic group differences are seen.
Women have more I and men more A
(particularly physical aggressiveness), though this difference is becoming
smaller as a result of social change. This no doubt is creating problems of
homosexuality and weakening of family ties as the connection between search
images and observed characteristics of the opposite sex shows divergence. The
solution seems to be strengthening S in both sexes.
Older people, if they live in accordance
with moral laws and under ordinary normal conditions, generally show increased
People belonging to the white races show
predominance of A (intellectual and organizational component), and moderate S
(philosophical component). Mongolians show high A (physical component) and
moderate S (aesthetic component). Black races have low A (particularly the intellectual
component) and moderate S (the aesthetic component).
In India, there is a tendency for all groups
to show at least moderate I. Brahmins show a combination of moderate or high S,
moderate I and moderate or high A (intellectual component). Kshatriyas
show maximum physical A and the business communities show high overall A,
compared to other communities.
Aspects of modernization, particularly
modern education strengthens A (particularly the intellectual aspect) and to a
lesser extent S. Primitive societies particularly in the Orient and women in
general have changed from I towards A and S. What is required is a change
towards S in line with principles of Personal Growth.
Personal growth is the holistic and
humanistic approach to personality development. Personal growth implies change
from I or A to S. Contrary to some popular suppositions, the position taken
here is that S is not the mid-point between I and A; it is transcendence of
both. Also it is not necessary to go from I to A to go to S; it is possible to
move from I to S directly. Many popular personality development programs like
assertive training have exercises which seem to see A as the ideal position.
Here I and A are seen as two deviations from the ideal state of S.
Contrary to popular supposition, I is not
inferior to A. High I people have simple minds and they do not have as much
egoistic rigidity as the high A people (especially of the hyper intellectual
type of A). The dissociability of high I people
itself is a kind of flexibility. I people often have more artistic talents
(particularly capacity to imitate) than A people, though the artistic nature of
I people is very plain and not as spiritual as
those of high S people. High I people are
generally happy and contented so long as they do not have any immediate threat
as their fears are kept in check by superstitious beliefs and ceremonies,
unlike high A people who are generally discontented and restless. The main
block for I people (to go to S) is lack of motivation and absence of the
concept. The main block of A people is wrong concept of S as an egoistic
achievement, over motivation and inability to let go. I is low integration
because of dissociability and A is low
integration because of conflicts.
Fig. 5. MODEL OF PERSONAL GROWTH
A diagrammatic representation of personal
growth involving change from I or A to S is given in Fig.4. S involves high sensitivity
and therefore some vulnerability to develop I or A. Pure S (relative absence of
I and A) denoted by SS is Super Stability (the Gunatheetha
State) which is the same as pure consciousness. SS may be regarded as absolute
sensitivity at the same time with absolute integration, stress tolerance,
invulnerability and transcendence. The zero point on S indicates maximum
instability which has to express
itself as deviations in the direction of
either I or A. SS is the end-point of personal growth.
People with different initial personalities
should emphasize different practices to change their personality. For example,
a person with predominance of I, should take the required physical exercise,
need to develop autonomy by learning to function independently of the group by
moving away from the group periodically, learn new languages to come out of
cultural conditioning and practice passive morality (honesty, dependability,
etc.) to develop S. He may also need externalized ceremonial forms of religion
for control. A person with high A should practice active morality (channellise his energies through social service activities)
and gradually replace religious practices like ordinary prayer which partly
reinforce insecurity, by the practice of mindfulness. Counseling and
psychotherapy have become very popular in competitive A societies because of
the need for social interaction to convert competitiveness to cooperation
through personal interaction for growth. Meditation (direct increase of pure awareness) is the most important practice for an S person to
increase S. Progress from high S to SS very often is by insight and not the
result of any intentional, linear or effortful process. Existential questions
arise naturally in the mind of a high S person leading to either gradual or
sudden disappearance of self-processes. A high S person, as a result of the
high degree of self-sufficiency, also reaches the "break off" point
where he transcends the dependence on most of the conditions for the
maintenance and development of personality. For example, he may be able to
break off totally from society and live in a cave, without losing any S.
Absence of motivation
for growth and inability for sustained effort is the block for people with high
I, while too much of motivation and too hard struggle are blocks commonly found
in the case of people with high A. Moderate motivation and effort are necessary
in the case of all people with relatively low S for progress. Any kind of
preconception, desire or effort becomes a block for further progress in the
case of a person with relatively high S.
Personal growth essentially involves
improving and purifying the vibrational quality of
mind. Deliberately digging up the past (eg. reliving
traumatic experiences) is not only unnecessary, but can even be harmful also.
However, often there may be spontaneous revival of forgotten incidents when one
gains stability and has the capacity to review them straight. Repression and
dramatic revival of forgotten memories, however, occurs only for people with
too much I in their root personality. Similarly deliberate cathartic exercises
also can be harmful as they may strengthen the wrong kind of emotions.
Spontaneous catharsis may occur when personality changes as result of more
acceptable naturalistic practices like cultivation of awareness.
Holigrative Psychology sees interrupted
sequences of instinctive behavior as the cause of behavioral problems and the
primary solution for this lies in personal growth.
IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL GROWTH
The importance of the holistic approach is
being recognized even in the case of physical health. The body to a some extent
functions like an assemblage of machines, but the mind is more unitary and
represents the unifying function of the system. Therefore, in the case of
psychological well-being and psychological growth, the holistic approach is all
the more important because mental problems are not only the result of holistic
dysfunction but often the problems themselves serve as `defenses' which hold
the precarious balance of personality and mere removal of a part `symptom' may
worsen the condition of the person as a whole. It is true that sometimes
specific maladaptive habits may develop by specific faulty learning, in which
case they disappear automatically in the absence of reinforcement; they
continue only if they serve a functional purpose. It is an unwarranted
generalization that since behavior which resembles dysfunctions like a phobia
can be induced experimentally, therefore every dysfunction is learned. In fact,
it is not even possible to explain in detail how most dysfunctions are acquired
by the conditioning hypothesis. Most dysfunctions appear spontaneously as an
expression of a defensive need, through the mechanisms of channellisation,
displacement, symptom substitution, etc.
Any specific behavioral event is the result
of a number of factors including root (basic) personality, life-style, specific
habits and the immediate situational stimuli. Any behavior dysfunction or
problem also in most instances has a multi-factor etiology. There would be only
very few instances where removal of a single problem or symptom (which is often
difficult, even if possible) would result in complete normalization, except in
the case of high S persons. Malimprinting and interrupted sequences are difficult to rectify
directly. On the other hand, improvement of basic personality (in terms of
increased awareness and stress tolerance) would automatically lead to the
solution of a number of problems as well as increased capacity to deal with
specific problems. Also, improvement in personality leads to greater awareness
and self-control making it easier for the person to identify and correct
specific habits or behaviors causing difficulty. Better adjustment and better
interrelationships are made by better people. For example, good marriages are
made by good people. Poor interpersonal communication results when people have
"unlikable" personalities. Mere training in interpersonal
communication without personality change and forcing people to have more
interpersonal communication may only worsen the situation. A child may find it
difficult to tolerate interaction with his parent who is a habitual criminal.
Any kind of attention, including the best "technique" of child
rearing may be experienced as distressing or causing dissonance by the child. The position taken here is that changing root personality
is more important than changing more specific aspects of behavior, in the case
of behavior of individuals as well as interpersonal interaction.
Another reason for emphasizing holistic
integration of personality (as different from symptomatic relief) is the fact
that symptoms of distress are in most instances a homeostatic mechanism of conserving the level of personality integration.
For example, an individual suffering from a bereavement reaction can be made to
come out of the depression by antidepressant drugs, laughter therapy, a comic show or tickling. If the person himself
uses these, he can come out of the depression also, but the cost will be personality regression. Suffering, like enduring the depression caused by
bereavement may be preferable to coming out of the depression by tickling
cures. Distressing symptoms (like guilt) often serve a purpose like fever in an
infective illness. A newly married woman who discovers that her husband and the
husband's people are not suited to her (in terms of her vibrational
level) may develop a headache or show frigidity. These symptoms result from the tension of her resisting a fall in her vibrational level. If by symptomatic treatment she is
"cured" of the headache or frigidity, she may experience a disintegration of personality. What is required
in such situations is to improve her personality so that she will develop
sufficient stress tolerance to handle the situation without the headache
instead of removing the headache and make her regress in personality. Improving
the personality of husband might be necessary for her to perceive him as a "victor"
and accept him as a suitable husband. Similarly, a mother who has given birth
to a defective child should be encouraged to "enjoy the suffering" of
having a defective child for the sake of personal growth rather than solve the
problem easily by strangling the child. Exciting, sensationalising
procedures of behavior change usually do not stabilize personality; on the
other hand if they have any lasting effect that is likely to destabilize
personality. Sudden removal of a distressing symptom which serves a defensive
in some instances can even wreck the already
tenuous balance of personality.
Disadaptive symptoms continue to trouble a
person because of a causal function, though the cause may not always be of the
readily identifiable type. The homeostatic mechanism of the system generally will not permit a totally
non-functional dysadaptive act of behavior to
HOLISTIC VS. ANALYTIC PROCEDURES
Any procedure which
attempts to change the personality as a whole would be considered holistic.
Similarly, a procedure which involves cognition where the subject understands
the situation as a whole leading to a change in overt behavior (like insight
learning) would be considered more holistic than a situation involving
conditioning of an overt response without the subject having any awareness of
what is happening.
Artificial manipulative methods of piecemeal
behavior modification (often with gadgets like the biofeedback or the shock
imparting conditioning apparatus) may be
useful to create a specific behavior change. But again the cost of subjecting
the person to a manipulative dehumanising mechanical
handling of behavior may involve deterioration of the whole personality,
particularly when such methods are used indiscriminately for a long time.
Imagine a child being brought up in big Skinner box (real or symbolic) and the
parents and teachers imparting reinforcements with cold mechanical precision.
Such procedures decrease awareness.
According to the theory of vibrational planes, we are functioning in the astral body
when we dream and in the causal plane during deep sleep. Ordinarily we are able
to experience these states only through the dissociative
mechanism of sleep, because of certain
vibrations in our mind which stand as a block to our unitively
shifting awareness to the subtle levels. We have to gradually process and
weaken all those tendencies which tie us to the gross level and the gross body
if we are to achieve unitive shift in planes. If our system is not ready and we
use artificial methods to force ourselves into conscious shifting of planes,
the result may be extreme insecurity or anxiety leading to mental derangement
or confusion of various sorts.
Those who attain personal growth through
comprehensive holistic procedures like yoga are able to achieve and sustain psi capacities (including inner physiological control) without any
undesirable side effects. Ordinarily we are not able to have awareness of our
inner physiology or control the same and we do not have psi capacities because our whole system is not ready for such
things and therefore those capacities are blocked. Those who use piecemeal
artificial methods like the use of psychedelic drugs open themselves to experiences
for which the system as a whole is not ready, and may experience a "bad
trip", damage their brain or suffer behavior disorganization. Similarly,
those who learn to control one isolated physiological response through biofeedback soon lose the control or develop some kind of
imbalance as the system as a whole cannot tolerate it.
changes involving hypnosis may succeed in temporarily
altering a symptom, particularly in the case of people with more I, but such procedures may increase I in the person. On the
other hand, behavior change brought about by a conscious decision following a
discussion and change in convictions is more holistic and therefore likely to
be more permanent. Efficient learning and change of behavior or growth results
from maximum utilization of holistic higher cognitive mediations.
The position taken here
is that holistic and naturalistic approaches are to be preferred and that
symptomatic treatment procedures (like the use of psychiatric drugs) be used
only when holistic naturalistic methods fail and even then within the larger
context of holistic procedures. Even animals learn by insight when given the
option or when experimental make that possible. Even in situations like in the
case of demented people, the general approach should be that of using specific
(conditioning) methods within the more general holistic (cognitive) procedures.
Root disease of the
whole person (and healing) and self-actualization (through personal growth) from
the holistic point of view may be regarded as two ends of the same continuum.
Many theorists have time and again spoken of emphasizing the positive end
instead of the negative. The anti-psychiatric movement opposes the medical view
of mental illness. Diagnostic labeling is supposed to be harmful from the point
of view of growth. Freud went to the extent of saying that medical training is
a handicap in the practice of psychoanalysis. The concepts of mental disease,
treatment and cure came into psychology by the accidental coincidence of the
early theorists like Freud, Jung and Adler happened to be medical people.
Psychologists giving consultation are better termed facilitators than
therapists or counselors to maximize making people feel responsible for
improving their own functioning.
People living close to
nature naturally tend to use naturalistic methods to solve psychological
problems. When there is bereavement, friends visit the person and give him
support of a naturalistic social environment. After heavy work or after a tough
experience people go to a scenic spot or the beach to relax. Use of artificial
methods itself implies a loss of touch with one's real nature and tends to
A whole lot of manipulative and effortful
procedures involving egoistic desire, intentionality, purpose, activation,
deliberateness, attachment, and goal-orientation, attempting to alter specific
behavioral aspects have been found to be relative ineffective or having
undesirable side-effects, sometimes after a short period of apparent initial
improvement which is the result of suggestion, novelty and expectation. Blind
unidirectional, purposive effort to alter one's own behavior is often wasteful.
For example, willful effort to increase concentration, tires the person and he
becomes less able to concentrate. Suggestions and autosuggestions (with or without hypnosis) were once very popular, but were abandoned because it (eg., I am
beautiful) reminds the person that he is really the opposite (I am ugly, that
is why I am repeating to myself that I am beautiful) and therefore produces the
opposite effect of reinforcing the original thought (I am ugly). People who try
to make themselves happy (eg. by effortfully
trying to laugh) after some time discover that they soon become more unhappy.
Those who run around with the urgent need of getting peace of mind become all
the more disturbed. Relaxation is pleasure and body centered and involves
The concept of relaxation training appeals
only to a superficial pleasure-centered society. Those who try to force
relaxation by muscular relaxation
procedures find that the other systems in
the body tense up or that they develop other dysfunctions like compulsions
(symptom substitution). If they use biofeedback to relax
all physiological systems and mental procedures to relax
the mind, they find that the improvement does not sustain or that there are
cellular level changes (psychosomatic) or they develop other pathological or morbid
symptoms. For example, a visualization may produce initially an apparent
relaxation, but as the person uses it again and again in an effortful manner,
it tends to lose its relaxing potential, as people develop tolerance to drugs
and after some more time, it may even produce the opposite effect. Any direct,
effortful, linear intention, set of "doing something", or action
orientation (including the one to become happy, peaceful or relaxed) increases
the already existing unhappiness or tension by one more degree. Very often such
attempts are self-defeating and lead to obsessive behavior or a vicious circle
of desire, effort, expectancy, evaluation, frustration and further
intensification of effort. Termination of the practice in most instances leads
to rebound effects or relapse. A strong determination to "do"
something, act or control oneself itself increases Activation and tension.
In many situations, trying to solve a
behavior problem of an individual in isolation, without considering the persons
with whom he interacts itself would be an incomplete, piecemeal, analytic
approach. The holistic approach would require altering the personality of all
the relevant persons. For example, improving parents would be highly helpful in
attempting to solve the problems of children. Considering husband-wife as a
unit is necessary in the solution of family problems. Participation of all
people who live, work or interact together in a personal growth program would
be a very efficient approach to improve the functioning of each person.
Quiescence and transcendence of instincts (Stability) can be achieved only
through compliance and moderation. Total denial or acting contrary to instincts
induces tension and dissonance leading to arrest of growth or regression.
IMPORTANCE OF BALANCED GROWTH
People who have been traditionally exposed
to different types of influences on personality for a long time get used to
this and they show a characteristic IAS personality pattern. But when the
factors change either by volition or by accident, some strengthening I or A
while some others tending to strengthen S, there is imbalance which itself can
lead to stress.
We have conflicting motives because we have
in us widely different and often conflicting tendencies in our
ancestral experience which we access when we
have different states of mind. Exposing ourselves to contrasting environments
and stimuli in rapid succession induces different tendencies. People who live in places where the night temperature is very low
and day temperature is very high, have a short temper and cyclothymic
temperament. Those who frequently shift to and fro between an
air-conditioned building and high outside temperature also are likely to
develop instability. The territorial
instinct makes us come together in cities
and compete and hoard while at other times we want to seek privacy and
solitude. Rapid shift of environment or mixing opposites itself can create
problems. For example, rapid shuttling between the city and village, eating
meat along with fruit, being very selfish and acting like altruistic at the
same time, trying to force relaxation in a person who continues to resort to
unfair and anti-social practices in his business. An unethical act may produce
little stress in a high I person; but the same act can induce lot of tension in
a person with high A and the same act can lead to a very serious crisis in a
high S person, in spite of his high tolerance for more direct physical or
social kinds of stress because such an act is in contradiction to his
nature. People who frequently get exposed to
situations producing very different vibrations develop what is generally called
Since the way a person experiences or
handles the different physical, social or psychological factors or conditions
influence his personality, and personality in turn determines his mode of
handling them, changing one isolated aspect without changing the others would
be difficult. Such efforts are likely to cause imbalances and if pressed can
even wreck the equilibrium. In yoga, a person who loses equilibrium because of
such imbalances in development is called a `yogabrashta'. Therefore, the best method to change personality
is holistic, simultaneously becoming aware of all the factors related to
personality, leading to automatic change of behavior in all the aspects.
PRINCIPLE OF SIMPLE DETACHED AWARENESS
The principle of detached awareness as a
technique for naturalistic, holistic and Holigrative personal growth is part of
most Oriental traditions, particularly Taoism
and Buddhism. Increase in awareness increases self-awareness and
thus directly increases Stability of personality. Aggressive approaches are
characteristic of Psychology in a A society, the
characteristic S approach to improving behavior is detached awareness.
Awareness is passive. It is simply directing
attention to something. It does not force effortful change. It does not
evaluate or condemn. It increases harmony. It is synthetic. It does not induce
the rigid all or none approach. But gradual beneficial changes follow or set in
as a natural consequence of increasing awareness of what is good for oneself in
the long run. For example, when you become aware of tension, it disappears
automatically, if it is non-functional and a mere residual habit. On the other
hand, if it is functional, or defensive, practice of awareness leads to
awareness of the causes and awareness of the causes automatically leads to
corrective behavior (for example avoiding stress inducing situations, or a
change in values or life-style).
If non-awareness itself is defensive,
becoming aware would tend to make the person realize the reason for the use of
non- awareness as defense, again leading to improvements in behavior. Awareness
automatically makes for the Buddhist principle of moderation or adopting the
middle path. This makes a person follow the mini-max principle (easy minimum of the bad habit and maximum of the
good habit) which is the opposite of the all or none approach. The sequence is
awareness, acceptance and transcendence. Awareness becomes a habit and induces
a series of sequential changes gradually leading to awareness of one's
personality, factors affecting personality, needed change and actual behavioral
change in several different aspects.
Awareness is holistic in the sense that
awareness of the particular strengthens the general habit of awareness and this
gradually leads to increased overall awareness and finally this leads to pure awareness which is the end-point of personal growth.
Awareness is also Holigrative in the sense
that awareness increases transcendence and Stability. Increased Stability gives
the person strength to face everything and stress tolerance so that the person
automatically has to correct his behavior so that he can face himself with the
Some amount of desire and intentionality
concerning personal growth automatically develops in people at lower levels of
S following awareness of the possibility of growth. High A people cannot do
anything without egoistic effort and so at the initial stage they may approach
personal growth with a great deal of linear manipulativeness.
Higher levels of integration and stability involve the nullification of the
self-processes making for identification, attachment and ego involvement by
AN AWARENESS WORKSHOP FOR PERSONAL GROWTH
This is an attempt to increase detached
awareness of various factors influencing personal growth by theoretical
presentations as well as practical demonstrations. When people are exposed to
the congenial naturalistic environments (Physical, Social and Psychological)
they sense their own responses and become aware of the effect such
naturalization has on their behavior, which will make them alter situations and
habits needed for behavioral improvement. In other words, through lectures and
demonstrations people are sensitized to the value of naturalization for
normalization and personal growth which will encourage them to put into
practice as much as possible of what they become aware of during the
participation. This is a program of experiential re-education, making people
aware of the value of correcting their life-styles.
People very often
expect piecemeal solutions to isolated specific problems. They have to be told
that piecemeal solutions hardly ever work. They are on the other hand made to
realize the importance of generalized awareness for overall personal growth.
They are taught
self-reliance for applying the general principles of awareness for a variety of
specific problems like short temper, impatience, disorderliness, lack of
self-confidence, poor concentration, sexual problems, problems associated with
human relationships, etc.
Usual `treatment' procedures may involve
putting a person through one act in some sequence (of instinctual behavior) which
he has missed or is missing, causing disturbance. The awareness program is not
`treatment', but making the person aware of all interrupted sequences so that
he can in real life make all the corrections required for holistic development
The holistic nature of personality also
makes simultaneous handling of different factors more efficient and easy.
Removal of blocks in one area would automatically pave the way to improvement
in other areas.
Cumulative Nature Of Cause Of Psychological
Stress in different areas of adjustment
often adds up to produce psychological dysfunction as a single manifest
problem. Increasing harmony in different areas at the same time, similarly, has
a cumulative effect in increasing Stability as a whole and quickly producing
Value Of Group Procedures
Interaction Theory (Mathew, 1997)
states that the purest relationship among individuals is friendship (detached
love) among peers or equals. Any
other relationship can be seen as a certain amount of this pure factor plus
some other component. Also from the age of about four, human beings
increasingly need peer group support and are influenced by peer groups. Very
often problems result because of the absence of the right kind of peer group
support. Peer relationships tend to be democratic and therefore most conducive
for personal growth through the development of Stability. Therefore the Awareness
Program is best conducted for about 16 persons who are homogeneous with respect
to the objective (general personal growth or any specific problem) as well as
age, sex, socio-economic status and so on so far as possible. Around 16 is an
optimum number of participants for small group procedures.
Since the whole procedure involves
naturalization, the ideal physical setting is one involving closeness to the
elements of nature, away from big cities, overcrowding, noise and pollution.
Usually duration ranges from one whole day
(or a total of 5 hours on different days) to ten days depending on the
objectives. For solution of small problems or for supportive procedures a
shorter duration would suffice. For example patients about to undergo surgery
or women about face labor may be available only for a short duration. Even
though the group has a specific objective (say deaddiction),
still the emphasis is on general personal growth, in accordance with the
holistic approach; we start with the whole person and gradually proceed to the
Naturalization is not a very simple matter.
For example several of your immediate ancestors might have been meat eaters and
therefore sudden giving up of meat may itself cause problems. However, a smooth
transition, if achieved would give the person a feeling of homecoming and serve
to improve mental characteristics and access purer vibrations.
COMPONENTS OF THE AWARENESS WORKSHOP
There are six main components. These may be
used singly or in combination depending on the objective as well as
availability of time.
The Self-Awareness Questionnaire (Mathew, 1997) enables a
person to look at his own behavior and select an objective for the program. The
Facilitativeness Rating Scale (Mathew, 1997) assesses the
quality of an individual's interpersonal interaction. The IAS Rating Scale,
Materialism - Spiritualism Scale and several other tests can be used depending on
the objectives of each program.
Participants are given training in preparing
a vegetarian diet with a high proportion of raw food. They are also made aware
of the method of achieving a smooth transition in food habits, how to avoid a
change-over crisis and use of the mini-max
principle in overcoming addictions and
correcting habits in a smooth manner in the context of a holistic improvement
of efficiency and goodness of daily routine.
This involves teaching a few yogic postures
and a set of aerobic exercises to tune up the system. The total exercise
program requires only about 20 minutes. The need to develop exercise tolerance
gradually, to take moderate exercise regularly and to avoid extremes is
Integration Technique (Mathew, 1997)
This is a specially designed
technique of meditation. Meditation is spontaneous total quiescence resulting from direct
increase of neutral awareness.
The usual meditation techniques can be successfully practiced only by a person with some
degree of initial Stability. HIT is a specially designed highly flexible
six-step technique which is useful to people at all levels. The maximum time
limit is 15 minutes. In the Awareness Program, in the morning there is group
practice of HIT, and in the evening, individuals are advised to practice alone.
The method involves directing awareness in six directions starting from
external environment to pure consciousness. The practice of awareness for 15
minutes once or twice a day gradually makes the person more mindful throughout
the day, altering his personality to the final point where after months or
years of practice the formal practice itself becomes unnecessary.
Group Interaction Technique (Mathew, 1997)
This procedure promotes awareness of group
interaction. It sensitizes the participants to the value of a natural peer
group social environment and the need to cultivate authentic relationships and
to develop facilitativeness in interaction. The
procedure for each day starts with a lecture by the Organizer on a selected
topic relevant to the objective of the program and then the participants
discuss how what has been said applies in the case of each individual. In the
first session the group discusses as a whole, followed by division into
successive subgoups, finally ending in pairs, all by
self-selection. There is a final plenary session of all participants each day
for sharing insights and final comments by the organizer.
6. Fine Arts and Philosophical
When the program is residential, the
participants are encouraged to participate in sessions of fine arts like music,
drawing and painting, dance, drama (involving themes of personal growth
relevant to the objectives of the program), etc. and philosophical discussions,
of their choice, in the evenings. Again the mini-max principle is employed to determine the optimum degree and
level of participation of each person depending on his tolerance level based on
personality. The levels are being passive spectator, learning to perform,
active performance participation, teacher level and the level of creation.
Every program has an initial pre-program
assessment and a final assessment and evaluation at the close.
The Holigrative Community Centre
Community Centre attends to the personal growth/mental health needs of the
community. The professional plays the
role of an Organizer and catalyst.
Clients are helped through group programs in group settings. Volunteers with maximum S (Stability) in the
community form the important resource persons.
Meetings or sessions involve MGIT using multiple “therapist” as well as
multiple clients. The group
sessions generate strong motivation and force for effective change. Different types of multiple groups are
formed using peers having a similar problem and family groups as well, in
addition to groups involving high S persons.
The Holigrative community Centre attempts to promote holigration
in the community. It supposes that
members of the community influence each other and the most effective way to
correct or improve
individuals is through the community itself. Peer groups and friendship relations are
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Mathew, V. George (1995). "IAS Rating
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Mathew, V. George (1997). "Holigrative
Psychology." Department of Psychology, University of Kerala.
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