Psychotherapy, psychological health, & self-fulfilment: a Buddhist Perspective

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The science of psychology is believed to consist of objective and meaningful knowledge about a realm of our own direct experiencing with which we are all intimate and familiar, yet about which we also feel we have very little understanding, and no real insight, and so feel inclined to submit to psychology as if it were revelatory and definitive. Society’s default attitude to psychology is one of deferential, if occasionally grudging, respect. The quasi-medical arm of psychology – psychotherapy - is accorded a similar authority even when it appears to employ questionable methods and dubious reasoning. Yet our submissive, compliant attitude to these disciplines is deeply counterproductive to any serious quest for authentic metaphysical knowledge and self-fulfilment, because it effectively neutralises sceptical enquiry and intellectual self-reliance, both of which are essential precursors to, and indispensable features of, any meaningful commitment to metaphysical gnosis. And if one is to achieve clarity of thought and observational accuracy, it is especially important to approach one’s psychological capacities directly – without intermediary - in an independent and self-reliant spirit, free of the misguided and inappropriate interventions of psychology and psychotherapy, however well intended they might be. One should never allow one’s judgement to be distorted by specious theories formulated by people who can never know more about you than you can know about yourself.
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Archival date: 2015-03-17
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