|Dr. Lindy McMullin|
Educational Psychology & Therapeutic Research
Self-development requires starting from within.
Maslow’s adapted hierarchy including self-education after belonging needs(McMullin, 2017)
Drawing on ancient wisdom traditions, psychosynthesis, dynamic and depth psychology, I assist those who wish to explore the inner self. I train both adults and children to use the imagination to bring about catharsis and self-identification; introduce the quantum field of possibility & potential and lecture and run seminars and workshops on the transpersonal perspective that follows through from Abraham Maslow’s humanistic psychology.
In accordance with the above, I use the Hymn to Demeter with lyre music playing in the background over five sessions with clients. My Ph.D. research was done using this fragment and results were most encouraging.
The idea of the transpersonal was first born through James (1985) during his Gifford lectures at Edinburgh. He argued that radical empiricism was needed to investigate religious experience as part of psychology. In the 1960s, the term radical empiricism was used to refer to areas of human experience that moved beyond the ego and personality into the realm of the spiritual, mystical and religious. A seminal inquiry by Boucouvalas (1980) identified four levels or spheres: individual, relationships/group, societal and planetary/cosmic. Archetypes are essential in assisting with the development of self in a holistic approach that is concerned with the embodied person. It also suggests that, as psyche is part of a greater whole, each individual may affect this whole by re-envisioning their own inner world.
Archetypes as described by Jung (2008) are archaic, culturally imbedded images charged with strong emotional tones that attach importance to symbols and symbolism. There is a plurality of meaning associated with symbols that could have different interpretations in various cases. Jung saw symbols as being regressive as well as progressive, messages coming from the unconscious that had value and purpose of a spiritual nature. Von-Franz (1995) described the awakening of consciousness in creation myths as movement from above to below and below to above. This upward and downward movement played an important part in myth, acting as a reminder of the downward directional movement into the lower unconscious and the ascendant direction towards transpersonal development (Assagioli, 2008); in development, as Assagioli pointed out, the lower was of equal importance to the higher, and becoming aware of both brought about a change in consciousness. All comprehension and all that was comprehended remained part of a psychic world where the archetype was not inactive but a real force charged with a specific energy, as Jung (2008) described it. This energy was what fuelled change and could often be misinterpreted unless integration became part of the process. Not only that, but integration could not occur in stages; it was more of a process, with later experiences drawing on previous experiences, thus requiring more multi-dimensional acts of interpretation.
Myth acknowledges fate and necessity that in Neo-platonic thought was expressed as soul, which could mean both personal and world soul. The universality of archetypal images imply more than personal consequence. By raising the soul beyond its egocentric confines, the word archetypal points to something of value. There is both an intentional force, as in the case of Jung’s (2008) instinct, and the mythical field of personifications, as in the case of Hillman’s (2004) Gods. In his book, Re-Visioning Psychology, James Hillman (1992) invites a “return to Greece” as a path to further spiritual development both for the individual and society. He refers not just to a geographic Greece or historical time, but to what he terms an “inner Greece”.
According to Hillman (1992), this return is a model of integration, an inner Greece that is seen to be a historical and geographic psychic region that can assist in rediscovering the archetypes of mind and culture. He recommended reading and absorbing documents and fragments of myth since, he suggested that they had witnessed something of the imaginal, thus supporting the revision of psychology to move beyond egocentricity. By “fragments” he meant writings such as hymns and early Greek epic poetry that had survived intact, especially those restored and ascribed to Hesiod and Homer.
In order to actualize the self, one must have self-esteem; however, it is my firm belief that without self-education it is impossible to reach self-actualization. I create individual programs for clients according to their needs, using Active Imagination, Sacred Symbols and Myth. A typical session lasts 90 minutes and takes place in a warm and safe environment, using psychosynthesis and transpersonal techniques to enhance being and learn more about the self.