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The transpersonal is a phenomenon or experience "in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond (trans) the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche or cosmos".[1] The term is highly associated with the work of Abraham Maslow and his understanding of "peak experiences", and was first adapted by the human potential movement in the 1960s.[citation needed]

Among the psychological sciences that have studied[clarification needed] transpersonal phenomena are Transpersonal psychology, Humanistic psychology and Near-Death Studies.[citation needed] Among the forerunners to the development of transpersonal theory are the school of Psychosynthesis (founded by Roberto Assagioli), and the Analytical school of C.G Jung.[citation needed]

In integral theory, transpersonal refers to stages of human development through which a person's self-awareness extends beyond the personal. Integral theorists include Ken Wilber, Michael Murphy, Michael Washburn, Allan Combs, Jean Gebser, Don Beck, and Clare Graves. The work of all of these theorists is inspired, in varying degrees, by the writings of the Hindu philosopher Sri Aurobindo.[citation needed]

Transpersonal states[edit]

Transpersonal psychology considers[clarification needed] the concept of transpersonal states of awareness.[citation needed] Stanislav Grof defines these as "The common denominator of this otherwise rich and ramified group of phenomena is the feeling of the individual that his consciousness expanded beyond the usual ego boundaries and the limitations of time and space."[2] These include mystical states and near-death experiences also subject to the psychology of religion.[citation needed] The idea of altered "states" of awareness is pivotal[peacock term] to this research. The conceptualisation, and other signifying processes of altered forms of awareness are studied in transpersonal psychology.[citation needed] Transpersonal psychotherapy consists of moving between these states,[citation needed] and learning techniques for disassembling and reassembling on different states/situations of altered reality montage for the purpose of healing, which can be brought about by transpersonal psychotechnologies.[citation needed] This clarifies[peacock term] one of transpersonal psychology's roots in early psychedelic work, some of these psychotechnologies include research with psychedelic plants and chemicals such as LSD, ibogaine, ketamine, peyote, ayahuasca and the vast variety of substances available to all human cultures throughout history.[3] It can also be said[by whom?] that the attempts by transpersonal psychology is an intercultural approach to medicine and ethnobiology understood as a discourse raised from the academic community of the globalised university sector of knowledge production encountering the so-called herbalist shaman or alchemist.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Walsh, R. and F. Vaughan. On transpersonal definitions. Journal of Transpersonal Psvchology. Vol. 25, No2, pp. 199-207, 1993.
  2. ^ Grof, Stanislav. (1975, 1993). Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking, London: Souvenir Press.
  3. ^ Winkelman, Michael J, and Thomas B. Roberts (editors) (2007). Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogens as Treatments Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood. See: "Part III. Transpersonal Dimensions of Healing with Psychedelic States" Vol. 2.