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
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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.