The synergy of psychology and spirituality
Most people think of everyday problems as distractions from everyday life. The truth is that everyday problems are actually the best medium for our spiritual development. By attracting the help and guidance of spiritual forces and using them to solve those everyday problems, you will improve your material and spiritual life at the same time.
To establish the best possible approach, we can draw on the discoveries of modern psychology. As the main findings of psychology have permeated the thinking of our society, we all have enough training to become our own spiritual psychologists. Psychology springs from common sense and refines it. His more careful approach helps us identify the additional beneficial effects that spiritual forces add to our well-planned actions more accurately than intuition alone.
However, we will have to begin by establishing the correct framework, as we are currently in the same state in our understanding of spirituality as psychology was more than 100 years ago. Before the end of the 19th century, no one had succeeded in the scientific study of the mind, despite the remarkable success of scientific study in other fields. Our thoughts, emotions, and behavior seemed too subjective to be studied by the rigorous new standards of the scientific method and its experimental approach.
Sigmund Freud, for example, was convinced that if people could not understand their mental world, it would be because the mind worked according to rules. If he currently did not know those rules, he was convinced that they could be discovered by taking a rational approach. He collected the elements of human thought that seemed incomprehensible and called them the unconscious, which science continues to study today in ever more refined ways. Each step forward resulted in better ways to understand the human mind and solve everyday problems. Today, a reliable body of objective knowledge helps us understand our emotions, improve our relationships, solve otherwise puzzling problems, and develop our own unique potential. Popular books and magazines take the latest research and boil it down to simple, practical steps we can take to build higher self-esteem, make more money, or have better sex.
To begin with we need to affirm that we can rationally understand spiritually. If we don’t do it today, others will in the future. The proof will be that every step forward we take, however, will bring with it some tangible benefit to make our efforts worthwhile. We can then set up our own experiments to test whether or not this is true, starting in situations where we would benefit most from even a little spiritual help. You may choose a purely material or psychological problem that has resisted your efforts to change it. Try your best once again to figure it out, but this time add to it whatever you think might connect you to the spiritual dimension and get its help, for example praying for divine assistance. Any different results will likely be attributable to the spiritual effects their connection caused. And to the extent that your problem has been resistant to change before, you’ll see that it’s very likely, even if no one else sees it, that any positive change you find is likely to be caused by spiritual forces. By applying this experimental approach to a number of different situations in your own life over a period of time, you will gather evidence that I believe will give you more and more confidence in your results.
So choose an area of your life, whether it’s an interpersonal problem, a work problem, or a problem with fears or anger. Focus on the way psychology has found to give the best results, but has failed in the past. Then add whatever element you think does something spiritual to it and see if there are any different effects or not. Don’t expect miracles and try to refine the spiritual element you add to a situation based on the feedback you receive so that the results you get are more and more consistent.
It’s such a simple and straightforward approach like this, why haven’t we done it already? I think it’s because people haven’t approached spirituality in a systematic enough way. We have been bound by the belief that spiritual forces cannot be understood and therefore have not made the effort to understand them. We were content with an intuitive and emotional engagement of spiritual forces. We think we understand spirituality by quickly adhering to one theory or another without first understanding our own experiences. We had not understood that each of our experiences is a datum that can only be understood by appreciating the limits of what it shows and combining our own data with those of others. However, by using the tools of psychology and the Internet to share our small knowledge, progress is possible.
Once we learn how psychology and spirituality work together, our approach to spirituality will undergo a sea change. We can still enjoy the rituals of our tradition, but we will no longer be tied to them because we will see how much more can be gained, both materially and spiritually, by practicing spirituality in everyday life, the original system created for our natural spiritual development. We can feel whole and complete at the deepest levels of our being while being excited about the prospect of learning more and more.