Response or Comment
This paper attempts to correct the unwitting reliance of much transpersonal psychology upon Indian texts that were indigenously specific to sannyasins (nonhouseholder, monastics). This includes teachings from advaita vedanta, yoga, and many Buddhist schools on releasement from desire, the diminishing role of the ego, guardedness toward “the mellow-drama” of “worldly” life (as Ram Dass famously cast relational involvements). Some forty years of the unwitting over-application of such teachings to modern non-monastic lives has helped create an artificial split in transpersonal and East-West spirituality teachings involving “engaged/ embodied” and implied “un-engaged/un-embodied” spiritual paths. This article describes the value system and lifelong spiritual developmental path of the married householder (grihasthyin), where healthy ambition and egoic traits such as loyalty and lifelong commitment are emphasized en route to a balanced “ego-dissolution” and “ego-development” within the crucible of lifelong marriage, daily family life, and conscious aging. Thus, “spiritual bypass” issues are highly age-specific. Suggestions for a grihasthya-based marriage therapy are also described, drawing from forty-four years of clinical practice, as well as from the two-thousand-yearold Greco-Judeo-Christian soteriological (spiritually-healing) psychology based in admiration, gratitude, longing, apology, and forgiveness.
Sovatsky, S. (2019). The path to enlightenment of sacred married home life: Grihasthya dharma as a guiding ideal for the transpersonal marriage therapist. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 38(1), advance publication.