The Perennial Quest for a Reviewed by Daryl S. Paulson

It was only a matter of time before someone compared and contrasted the works of Sri Aurobindo and Ken Wilber. Joseph Vrinte has done this in a rather balanced and fair manner, providing specific criticisms to the works of each.


The book, consisting of twelve chapters, a preface, acknowledgements, epilogue and bibliography, is particularly valuable in that Vrinte has in depth knowledge of the works of both Ken Wilber and Sri Aurobindo.

Yet, it is clear that Vrinte is partial to Aurobindo’s Integral Philosophy!

Reflections upon Psycho-spiritual obstacles on the journey to the Divine

Details of the Book Name: Reflections upon Psycho-spiritual obstacles on the journey to the Divine
Page: 385 – ISBN:
Price: INR 699
Cover: Paperback
Edition: 2021
Publisher: Auroville Press Auroville 605101 TamilNadu India

Buy at aurovillepress@auroville.org.in

Content: click here

ABSTRACT

This book is offered as an explorer ’s source book in the mapping of various psychological problems inherent in the practice of Sri Aurobindo’s integral sadhana. There are possible dangers in working with spiritual and psychological domains simultaneously and the various pitfalls are extensively elaborated in this book, because knowing about them can lessen the dangers. Questions and critical notes are not written in a mood of despair or frustration and they are certainly not meant as a criticism against the devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, on the contrary they are questions that entered the mind of the author during his research-work and long connection with the Ashram and thereafter living in Auroville for the last twenty-two years.

The author could not have asked these questions personally to Sri Aurobindo because the latter left his body when the author was just born, and later on he never came “in silence” to the author to answer these questions. The questions are not merely based on an academic, theoretical analysis, but they are as much related to the author ’s experiences, reflections, observation and perceptions during his practice, using it as a means to organise, understand and comprehend them in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s metaphysical vision. The author, as a scholar-practitioner, while attempting to practice the discipline of this study, navigates his way through various difficulties most seekers are confronted with during their practice, either in the beginning or later on.

READ MORE

The perennial quest for a psychology with a soul

perinnieal-questDetails of the Book Name: The Perennial Quest for a Psychology with a Soul : An inquiry into the relevance of Sri Aurobindo’s metaphysical yoga psychology in the context of Ken Wilber’s integral psychology
Page:
568 – ISBN: 81-208-1932-2
Price: INR 895
Cover: Hard bound
Edition: 2002
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
41 U.A. Bungalow Road,
Jawahar Nagar, Delhi 110 007 INDIA
Buy at http://www.amazon.com Select Books and search for Joseph Vrinte

Content: click here

ABSTRACT

This work aims at creating an impetus for a wider and richer understanding of Sri Aurobindo’s and Ken Wilber’s views, without jumping to general conclusions concerning ‘essential’ differences and ‘ultimate’ identities; it endeavours to maintain the autonomy and multi-dimensional richness of each discipline. The reflections and critical comments aim to analyse and to clarify various discrepancies between them. The author does not assert the superiority of one view over the other and does not want to argue whose thought is the correct one. He goes beyond allegiance to any one approach, as each model contributes something of value to the understanding of the complexity of Being. The author has broad sympathy with the aims and intentions of both thinkers, and tries to supplement this sympathy with a critical impartiality.

The subject matter of this book is so vast that it would be presumptuous to attempt to deal with it comprehensively and it would be pre-posterous to pretend a final solution to a set of ideas as comprehensive as these worldviews. The author is aware that the contents of this comparative study may appear offensive to the followers of Sri Aurobindo, or be interpreted by Ken Wilber as a mis-representation of his works, but this study only aims at indicating some possible potentials of both integral thinkers that are not being utilised. He tries to stimulate a fruitful dialogue and evaluates this dialogue in a sympathetic manner when he refers to the intentions of both thinkers.

READ MORE

The Quest for the Inner Man: Transpersonal Psychology and Integral Sadhana

concept-of-personalityDetails of the Book Name: The Quest for the Inner Man: Transpersonal Psychology and Integral Sadhana
Page: 282 – ISBN: 81-208-1502-5 Price: INR 200
Cover: Paperback
Edition: April 1996
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, INDIA
Buy at http://www.amazon.com Select Books and search for Joseph Vrinte

Content: click here

ABSTRACT

Transpersonal psychotherapy is characterised by the acceptance of the spiritual and cosmic dimensions of the personality, and the possibility of the development of higher states of consciousness. The transpersonal psychotherapist examines the negative influence of psychological conflicts on spiritual development, and the positive influence of spiritual practices on intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts.

By including spiritual development in the therapeutical level the transpersonal psycho-therapist moves towards the dynamic process of self-transcendence where the individual is seen against his cosmic background.

Sadhana, the spiritual practice or discipline of Yoga, is related to the gradual unfoldment of the divine consciousness present in each and every being and which ultimately leads to the Divine life. Sri Aurobindo’s integral sadhana aims at the growth of a new consciousness and new inner life in which the surface personality, if looked at from the true and larger consciousness, becomes an instrument for its own perfection.

It is not an escape from the world to God, but a transformation of the seeker’s integral being into the terms of God-existence, i.e., to transform one’s entire being into God, ‘so that in a sense God Himself, the real person in us, becomes the Sadhaka (spiritual practitioner) of the Sadhana’.
In this critical survey the author tries to reveal unexplored features of two different but often overlapping approaches.

It is not always evident whether apparent similarities or divergences in their views are a matter of ideas or simply of terminology, and this work attempts to give the reader a clear insight and a deep appreciation of their respective psychological views.

READ MORE

The Concept of Personality in Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga Psychology and A. Maslow’s Humanistic / Transpersonal Psychology

Details of the Book Name: The Concept of Personality in Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga Psychology and A. Maslow’s Humanistic/Transpersonal Psychology
Page: 224 – ISBN: 81-215-0647-6
Price: INR 275 Cover: Hard bound
Edition: 1995
Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Post Box 5715, 54 Rani Jhansi Road,
New Delhi 110 055, INDIA
Buy at http://www.amazon.com Select Books and search for Joseph Vrinte
Buy at http://www.addall.com

Content: click here

ABSTRACT
The aim of this work is, in the first place, to make a comparison between the psycho-logical insights underling Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga and the Humanistic and Transpersonal psychologies developed by Abraham Maslow, together with their respective views on the various levels of human consciousness; in the second place, the intention is to pinpoint and reveal hitherto unexplored features in the works of both – a very extensive task of which only a little has been done – with reference to the writings of some other authors who have interpreted the psychological aspects of either Sri Aurobindo or Abraham Maslow.

In attempting to measure some of the basic postulates of these two thinkers it is essential to bear in mind that the psychologies of Sri Aurobindo and Maslow are founded on two different kinds of knowledge. Both based their psychology on authentic experience, but Sri Aurobindo expressed his insights largely in the language of Indian metaphysics, while Maslow used the Western empirical approach, struggling with the language of science.

Maslow’s metaphysical assumptions do not go beyond the intellect; they are based on speculations about the ultimate reality and have only limited spiritual value. For Sri Aurobindo, it is only by going beyond mind that each of us can contact and know the ultimate reality; only spiritual intuition and experience can reveal the nature of truth. Intellectual thinking, as an instrument for expressing the nature of truth, comes in only secondarily, as a judge of generalised statements drawn from supra-intellectual experience.

Throughout this work we are dealing with two different but often overlapping philosophies, and a crucial element in this comparison is the language that each employs. It is not immediately evident at any given point whether an apparent similarity or opposition in their views is a matter of ideas or simply of terminology.

Sri Aurobindo, born in the 19th century and educated in the classical tradition of the Occident as well as self-educated in the tradition of his native cultural heritage, employs the English of the intelligentsia of his time supplemented by the specific terminology of the Hindu tradition, sometimes in the original Sanskrit and sometimes in various translations.

Maslow, on the other hand, although he had read a great deal on eastern thinkers, was a citizen of the United States of America, where the development of language was diverging from the British mainstream. He thus employed a syntax and nomenclature which was far more idiomatic, colloquial and immediate in its impact than that of his predecessors in the field of psychology: his language had almost nothing in common with the language of Sri Aurobindo, classical scholar and mystic seer in the Hindu tradition.
It should be emphasized here that this thesis is not a comprehensive study of the complete works of the two thinkers, but rather a critical survey of some of their points of agreement and divergence; care has been taken not to lose sight at any point of what is essential in their respective visions.

READ MORE

Review by Dr. P. V. Krishna Rao

JOURNAL OF INDIAN PSYCHOLOGY
THE QUEST FOR THE INNER MAN: TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOTHERAPY AND INTEGRAL SADHANA

by Joseph Vrinte

 

Joseph Vrinte’s ‘The Quest for the Inner Man: Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Integral Sadhana’ is a significant contribution in the tradition of Geraldine Coster, Alan Watts, Fingarette, Jacobi and Swami Ajaya among others, who juxtaposed the Western and Eastern esoteric psychologies. Like them, Vrinte, a native of the Netherlands, is also very sympathetic towards the philosophical system of Aurobindo and finds it meritorious though he does not claim sole allegiance to it. Dedicated to the Mother, this book is a sequel to ‘The Concept of Personality in Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga Psychology and A. Maslow’s Humanistic/Transpersonal Psychology’ (Vrinte, 1995), which attempted to present a theory of personality embedded in the complex metaphysical thought of Sri Aurobindo. To what extent it made some sense to psychologists is a matter of their conception of a scientific theory. If some principles or techniques derived from a theory are found to be applicable, then the heuristic value may outweigh the hermeneutics of a traditional theory. What is more a practical matter than psychotherapy to psychologists?

The book is a comparative study of transpersonal psychotherapy and Sri Aurobindo’s sadhana. Bringing together transpersonal psychologies and Sri Aurobindo’s integral psychology required their reconstruction and systematic formulation for an intelligible comparison, and Vrinte’s successful attempt at that makes this book valuable to an intelligent layman as well as to a practicing psychologist. Psychotherapists in India who have an identity crisis or at least some cognitive dissonance because of their knowledge of cultural relativism and application of Western concepts and tools in their practice, will once again be reminded of the potential of some of the native systems for adoption in their practice.

The book consists of eight chapters. It begins with a general introduction to psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is described both as an art and science of healing human suffering or illness and also as an endeavour at the development of higher human potentials in psychologically well-integrated individuals. The second chapter is an introduction to various psychotherapies—psychoanalysis, behaviour therapy, rational emotive therapy, cognitive therapy, humanistic and existential therapies. A survey of therapies for a volume like this is bound to be selective. Vrinte’s choice is representative and the description of the central ideas of various therapies is clear and concise.

The third chapter is devoted to the transpersonal approach in which Vrinte discusses psychotherapy and spiritual growth, transpersonal psychology and psychotherapy. It is followed by a description of the systems of various leading transpersonal psychologists, namely, Maslow, Assagioli, Wilber, Grof and Washburn. In a critical evaluation of their thought, the author states that “By including the spiritual development in the therapeutical level, transpersonal psychology reintroduced spirituality in the present materialistic society” (p. 129). He cautions the transpersonal psychotherapists who turned to the oriental heritage for inspiration, that “transpersonal psychotherapist in his analysis must not confuse the meaning of spirituality with the spiritual way, as the authentic elements of the spiritual way falls outside the frontiers of therapy” (p. 130).

According to Vrinte psychologising the conceptions and techniques of spiritual disciplines “may divest them of their spiritual values, and by misunderstanding or misinterpretation may easily lead to real dangers” (p. 130).

Chapter five is an introduction to integral yoga psychology of Sri Aurobindo and describes its aim as the spiritual growth and transformation of consciousness in that direction and presents the structure of individual personality according to Sri Aurobindo. The next chapter is on the practical discipline, sadhana, the aim of which is discovering Self of God within and rising out of the lower life of ignorance into the felicities of the higher realms of the spirit. While aspiration, self-opening, capacity, faith, and surrender are the foundations of it, purification, liberation and perfection are its constituents. The three means to the object of sadhana are work, knowledge and meditation, and love and devotion. All these and the process of transformation have been described in this chapter without an attempt to psychologise them.

The rest of the book compares sadhana and the transpersonal approach (chapter 7) and concludes (chapter 8) on the theme of the book. While discussing the psycho-spiritual concepts in transpersonal psychology and Sri Aurobindo’s writings Vrinte finds them complementary and not contradictory in dealing with the different ranges of human development. In the final conclusion each of the transpersonal thinkers are contrasted to Sri Aurobindo on some of their cardinal concepts. Sri Aurobindo goes beyond the psychologists. Transpersonal psychologists differ in their metaphysical orientation from that of Sri Aurobindo and it is evident in the former’s failure to ascertain the ultimate nature of the mind and consciousness. “By confining themselves only to verifiable psychological facts they withhold the transcendental metaphysical reality, and the fundamental truth of man remains therefore partially hidden for them” (p. 263). Then, what is the accomplishment of the fourth force in psychology? According to the author “in exploring issues such as introspection, intuition, subjectivity and spirituality, the transpersonal psychologists move beyond the mechanistic model of the scientist, but they nevertheless hold on to and use methods and assumptions of modern science in order to prove the validity of these phenomena which cannot be studied by empirical methodology alone” (pp. 264 & 265).

The convergences and divergences of integral yoga and transpersonal psychotherapy have been pointed out with the insight characteristic of Vrinte. The reader is left with the impression that transpersonal psychology falls short of integral yoga and that what constitutes the “ultimate reality” or the transcendental domain is unclear or unknown to the former. It is not so to the latter.

The concepts and tools that are relevant to psychotherapy in the writings of Sri Aurobindo have already been cognised and discussed (e.g., Dalal, 1991). This book directly contrasting some psychotherapists and Sri Aurobindo, at a much higher conceptual level is bound to have an impact on seeking psychologists and the seekers of the divine.

REFERENCES

  • Dalal. A. S. (1991). Psychology, Mental Health and Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press.
  • Vrinte J. (1995). The Concept of Personality in Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga Psychology and A. Maslow’s Humanistic/Transpersonal Psychology.
  • P. V. Krishna Rao
    Institute for Yoga & Consciousness
    Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530 017

Review by R Gopalakrishna

REVIEW ON THE BOOK “THE PERENNIAL QUEST FOR A PSYCHOLOGY WITH A SOUL” by Joseph Vrinte
The Hindu, Tuesday, November 11, 2003
TRANSCENDING THE PSYCHE

The book under review deals with the aspects related to the transpersonal psychological movement and Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga in three parts.
Psychotherapy has been compared with spiritual disciplines, especially with the eastern technique of meditation with special reference to Sri Aurobindo’s metaphysical system. The challenges and difficulties in the process of spiritual development are highlighted from the perspective of metaphysical psychology.
Ken Wilber’s psychology and Sri Aurobindo’s metaphysical yoga psychology are the concerns in the study. As a transpersonal theoretical psychologist, Ken Wilber endeavours to synthesise eastern and western thought, which has apparently contradictory outlook.
He depends on the data available from contemporary fields of enquiry such as biology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, theology and ecology than expounding a metaphysical theory.
The main ambit of this book is to eliminate the boundary lines put up between psyche and body, organism and cosmos by man who unnecessarily limits his sense of identity.
To elucidate his basic tenets he explores the metaphysical foundation of the integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo with reference to the theory and practice of the yoga of works, yoga of knowledge, the yoga of devotion and the yoga of self-perfection. He examines the sadhana of integral yoga by pointing out the difficulties faced while practising.
There is a dialogue between Ken Wilber’s integral views and Sri Aurobindo’s metaphysical vision. The author contends that Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga aims at a divine perfection where the divine becomes the direct guidance of the sadhana.
Wilber shifts his stand in his integral psychology due to the influence of Sri Aurobindo. The entire spectrum of consciousness is taken into consideration in its ascending and descending orders in the integral sadhana, according to Sri Aurobindo, which was endorsed by Wilber.
However, Wilber points out the shortcomings in the theory of Sri Aurobindo that it lacks interrelations of cultural, social, intentional and behavioural aspects. Sri Aurobindo’s analysis did not proceed on the level of inter-subjectivity (lower left) and inter-objectivity (lower right).
The author proceeds to elaborate Sri Aurobindo’s views on science, his metaphysical vision, views on the individual and collectivity, sociology, culture, religion, ethics, his future vision and Ken Wilber’s world-view.
Both these scholarly writers agree on elevating the human spirit from the empirical realm through the actualisation of the higher human qualities.
The soul, being endowed with divine consciousness initially develops individuality due to its association with matter. Once it realises its true nature through yogic modalities, it is elevated to its original state, called by Sri Aurobindo, the “illumined mind”.
Wilber also subscribes to this view with slight variation since his approach is psychological while Sri Aurobindo’s is metaphysical.
This book is an objective presentation of two great scholars belonging to two different traditions but having similar thinking especially in spiritual lore. Those who are interested in the pursuit of self-realisation and about the total inner framework can read this book and enrich their knowledge.

R GOPALAKRISHNA

Review by Professor Manoj Das (Padmashree)

The HINDU 30.7.1996
The phenomenon that is man
“The Quest for the Inner Man”,
by Joseph Vrinte

“What is the scope of your study?” a traveller asked Socrates (470-399 B.C.). “To know the phenomenon that is man,” was the reply of the great Athenian savant. The Indian laughed and when asked to explain that strange conduct, said, “How can you know man without knowing God?”

This account left by Aristoxenus, a disciple of Aristotle, continues to retain its relevance when we study the Indian approach to mind and consciousness vis-à-vis the Western approach. The Indian mysticism and philosophies, speaking broadly, have maintained that the phenomenon can be best known only by knowledge of the Spirit hidden at its core and, significantly, several Western Schools of psychology have, in the near past, woken up to hitherto ignored or unsuspected dimensions of consciousness.

Another bright development in psychology is the effort of bringing together the essential truths in different theories, as Maslow did in trying to “integrate into a single theory Goldstein and Fromm.” Such schools of thought come under the category often described as transpersonal psychology, which “takes Spirit as the basis of Reality and in its therapeutical approach concentrates on the restoration of the lost control with the spiritual Self.” Further, as this highly informative work says, “It is characterised by the acceptance of the spiritual and cosmic dimensions of the personality and the possibility for the development of consciousness.”

At this point emerges the irresistible relevance of Sri Aurobindo to modern psychology, for taking cognisance of his visualisation of man as a potential supramental being, psychology can no longer confine itself only to the evolutionary nisus active behind it. Several mental and emotional problems can perhaps be traced to man’s psychic need for growth, about which the conventional psychotherapist may continue to be unenlightened.

Dr. Joseph Vrinte who is a mental health worker in Amsterdam, has devotedly carried on research in comparative fields of Indian and Western psychology and his present work, like his earlier dissertation entitled, “The concept of Personality in Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga Psychology and A. Maslow’s Humanistic/Transpersonal Psychology” is an impressive compendium of developments in psychotherapy and, what is more, a pioneering work in evaluating and enriching the discipline in the light of a revolutionary concept of our time regarding the future of man. Transpersonal psychotherapy and Sri Aurobindo’s psychology are not the same, but “despite these differences between the two views, both in their search for the higher and deeper meaning of the inner dimensions of human existence maintain that man is a never-finished product of evolution with endless potentialities for inner growth, and has the capacity to cultivate the psyche’s higher aspirations or a spiritual reality beyond the grasp of the pragmatic human intellect.”

Manoj Das

Date: 14th January 1997
From: Shri Manoj Das C/o Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry 605002
To: Shri Manoj Dasgupta, Trustee, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry 605002
Manoj-da,

I had read Joseph Vrinte’s ‘The Quest for the Inner Man’ earlier and went through the controversial lines once again.

I appreciate the objections raised by some friends. When read in isolation, the lines in question may sound a bit offending, as if the author is pointing at some negligence on Sri Aurobindo’s part.

But read in their proper context, they are not the author’s personal views, but a reference to what might appear to be so, in the perception of Transpersonal Psychotherapy. This is an academic thesis and comparison and contrast are a must in such exercises.

We have to take into account the spirit behind this work. It is a spirit of goodwill and not of the slightest hostility. It is a laudable scholarly work and its reader would, in many ways, be helped to understand Sri Aurobindo.

I suggest that we should not object to selling/distributing this book. I had a discussion with Jugal-da and he too is of the same opinion. Mr. Joseph Vrinte is most willing to explain his point to anyone interested.

Manoj Das

Review by Sri D. Raja Ganeshan

The HINDU, Tuesday, July 11, 1995
Perceptions of Personality

A mental health worker at various institutions in Amsterdam and a citizen of the Netherlands the author Joseph Vrinte, has had his higher education in Sanskrit and philosophy in India. This book is based on his research here.

The first chapter is a biographical account of Sri Aurobindo and Abraham Maslow. The author is candid in not omitting the psychologically significant fact that Sri Aurobindo’s mother “collapsed into hysteria” during his early childhood, which led his father to heavy drinking. The psychological significance in turn derives from a decisive pattern discernible in the biographies of most philosophers — from the Buddha through Pascal, Rousseau, Tolstoi, Rabindranath Tagore, John Dewey, to Bertrand Russel and Jean Paul Satre: they have either lost their mothers in early childhood or have had poor maternal care. As for Maslow, he has himself gone on record regarding this aspect of his early childhood: that he had a schizophreno-genic mother and that he used to wonder how come he did not go mad.

The second chapter offers a comparison of the theories of personality in the schools of humanistic and transpersonal psychologies in contemporary Western thought with the concept of personality in the Upanishads, the Sankhya and the Yoga schools in the Indian tradition. This chapter as a whole is pivotal to the author’s thesis. The last four pages of this chapter (pp.65-68) summarising and contrasting the concepts of personality in the East and the West attest to the author’s understanding of the subject.

The third chapter presents Maslow’s theory of personality. Vrinte has done well to highlight the significant contributions of Maslow to our understanding of the psychodynamics of personality; emphasis on the hierarchical nature of man’s needs which become motives when they are activated; the study of healthy personalities as a complement to the original psychoanalytic approach through sickness; and, on holistic inner experiences as against discrete empiricism which is the dominant paradigm in contemporary Western psychology.

Maslow’s theory of need hierarchy is to the effect that unless a man’s lower needs — like food and shelter, security and belongingness — are satisfied his higher needs for self-actualisation — like becoming an artist or scientist — will not be activated. It is to the credit of Maslow that he was aware of the Eastern tradition, which upheld ascetic discipline — that is, control of the lower needs — as the sine quo non for self-actualisation.

The fourth chapter is a presentation of Sri Aurobindo’s ideas on “the nature of Being and the process of transformation”. As the author observes, “Sri Aurobindo’s views of personality is a systematisation as well as elaboration of earlier Indian views on the subject based on his own Yogic explorations and experiences”. However, the relationship between the contents of this chapter and the earlier Indian views given in the second chapter is not properly highlighted. Despite the acknowledged difficulties of Sri Aurobindo’s stylistics Vrinte has succeeded in offering an acceptable topography of Being and an outline of the dynamics of its transformation in the corpus of his writings. The next chapter goes beyond the individual to the social dimension as it is treated by Sri Aurobindo and Maslow. It is presented in terms of ‘Sri Aurobindo’s Divine Humanity and His Vision of a Spiritual Society’ and Maslow’s “Transpersonal Humanism and Eupsychia’. Sri Aurobindo certainly made for a stronger bonding between man and society in his soteriology than has ever obtained in the orthodox Indian tradition. But in his primary emphasis on the individual as against the social unit Sri Aurobindo remained true to the Indian tradition.

‘Eupsychia’ is Maslow’s version of an ideal social order. Its distinct characteristic is ‘synergy’ — the resolution of the dichotomy between selfishness and altruism and, by implication, between the individual and society. Vrinte has rightly pointed out that unlike Sri Aurobindo, Maslow has not paid attention to the problem of accommodating individual differences — in the psychological sense of the phrase — within a framework of unity. Maslow’s lingering affiliation to the Western tradition is evident in his two-pronged approach to normative social change — simultaneously through individuals and institutions. Both ‘Eupsychia’ and the ‘Ashram’ are utopian but both dwell on non-materialistic, psychological processes unlike the earlier utopias. As Maslow explores the unfolding possibilities of ‘Eupsychia’ he reaches beyond basic human needs into the trans-human realm. Vrinte has duly highlighted the differences between the two thinkers in terms of the importance of the individual, the relation of the individual with society and their visions of the future of humanity.

The final chapter offers a critical estimate of the new dimensions in the concept of personality as it is seen by the two thinkers. Both of them, as Vrinte points out, ‘brought the depths of inner reality out of the exclusive sphere of religion, and stressed the need for its systematic investigation’. The outcome of systematic and penetrating scholarship, Vrinte’s book, would certainly interest other scholars in the East and in the West, but not the general reader. The author should have consulted books that are now available on rendering a scholarly thesis into a popular book before he committed this work to publication.

D. Raja Ganesan

Review by Professor R. S. Srivastava

Professor R. S. SRIVASTAVA
M.A. (Phil.), M.A. (Indian Phil. & Religion), D. Litt.
Ex-Head, Department of Philosophy
Ex-Dean, Faculty of Humanities
Ex-Chief Editor : Research Journal of Philosophy
Ranchi University, Ranchi (India)
President : Indian Philosophical Congress
President : Akhil Bharatiya Darshan Parishad
Date 7.5.1993
435-F NEW NAGRATOLI
Ranchi 834001
BIHAR INDIA
TELEPHONE (RES) 312471

THE CONCEPT OF PERSONALITY IN SRI AUROBINDO’S INTEGRAL YOGA PSYCHOLOGY
AND A. MASLOW’S HUMANISTIC / TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGY
by Joseph Vrinte

Joseph Vrinte’s monograph offers a very faithful exposition of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga psychology and Maslow’s humanistic psychology. The Eastern spiritual mystic and Western empirical psychologist diverge vastly in their levels of approach. For Sri Aurobindo man is rooted in the Divine and for Maslow in the human psyche. The treatise rightly shows that Maslow’s metaphysical assumptions do not go beyond the intellect and man’s transpersonal state is the extended form of mental consciousness. The eminent psychologist remains ever tied to the intellectual principle, which has no spiritual value.

Joseph Vrinte sincerely represents Maslow’s picture of transpersonal humanism, a society of high individuals having large collective ideals. The pursuit of man is to be the most perfect man in whom society aims at integration, and the destiny of mankind lies in the full actualisation of human potentials and formation of a eupsychian society.

Sri Aurobindo’s integral personality is the Gnostic personality. Joseph Vrinte differentiates between Maslow’s man as biological organism and Sri Aurobindo’s divine being. The Gnostic society of the divinised man transcends Maslow’s eupsychian society. The author shows that the future of man and society is to become superman and Gnostic society, whose roots lie in Sachchidananda.

Joseph Vrinte’s work is unique and surpasses all published books on the subject. The monograph is rich in content, lucid in expression, and charming in style. The monograph deserves all praise from the scholars who pursue their researches in the study of man.

R. S. Srivastava
Dt. 7.5.1993