HOLIGRATIVE PSYCHOLOGY

(Abstract)

V. George Mathew

Holigrative Psychology Institute, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 583

Copyright reserved 2004

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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

.

The Psychologist 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.

Methods of Holigrative Psychology

Holigrative Psychology 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.

Primacy of Consciousness and Mind

Western perspective starts from the external material reality while the Oriental approach regards consciousness as the base and material reality as an experience in consciousness.

Reality Is a Continuum Extending From the Absolute

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 Sympathetic Vibrations

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

SENSATION

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 ancestors.

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 corresponding changes.

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 to 20.

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. Jnana 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.

  1. A: Activation

This is 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 technology).

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.

  1. 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.

Meaningfulness of 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.

The Poorna 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 orientation.

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.

THE EGO

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 different planes.

Fig. 2. SELF-PROCESSES ACROSS DIFFERENT PLANES

 

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 PERSONALITY

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.

Western personality 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.

 

THE HIERARCHICAL MODEL OF PERSONALITY ORGANISATION

Fig.3 Hierarchical 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.

LEARNING

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.

Instrumental type 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.

INTELLIGENCE

High I people have least intelligence and creativity. Their behavior is in line with inherited instinctual mechanisms. They are least capable of abstraction or metaphysical speculations.

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 OF NORMALITY

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.

SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Social Interaction

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

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.

Highly Activated 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.

‘S’ 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.

Cultural Interaction

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.

Social Change

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.

B. Climate

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 overheating.

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.

C. Food

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 aggressiveness.

D. Exercise

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 exertion.

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 example wolves,

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 sequence.

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 personality.

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 marriage.

MEASUREMENT OF PERSONALITY

The IAS 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 personal growth.

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.

PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

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 Fig.4.

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 PaParanoia 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.

 

GROUP DIFFERNCES

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 S.

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

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 function

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 continue.

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.

Similarly behavioral 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 increase dissonance.

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 directionality.

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 neurosis.

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 awareness.

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 detached awareness.

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 of personality.

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 Problems

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 overall improvement.

Value Of Group Procedures

Social 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.

Physical Setting

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.

Duration

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 specific issues.

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.

1. Testing

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.

2. Diet

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.

3. Exercise

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 stressed.

4. Holistic 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.

 

5. Multiple 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 Discussions

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

The Holigrative 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 maximally emphasized.

 

 

REFERENCES

Mathew, V. George (1980). "Materialism - Spiritualism Scale." Department of Psychology, University of Kerala.

Mathew, V. George (1995). "IAS Rating Scale." Department of Psychology, University of Kerala.

Mathew, V. George (1997). "Holigrative Psychology." Department of Psychology, University of Kerala.

Sheldrake, Rupert (1988). "The Presence of the Past." Harper Collins.