Paths Beyond Ego: Transpersonal Vision (New Consciousness Reader) Paperback – 1 Oct 1994
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About the Author
Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D.is professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology at the University of California at Irvine. He has published over a hundred articles and twelve books on science, philosophy, religion, and ecological issues, and his work has received over a dozen national and international awards.
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Although easy to read, this is a rigorous work that integrates scientific and psychological thinking with the spiritual traditions to create a comprehensive transpersonal vision of the highest possibilities of what human beings can be. The media is full of the wonders of physical technology, while this book offers a much needed counterbalance by examining the less commonly known wonders of psychospiritual technology. One of the most interesting questions this book explores is how something non physical like spirituality can be studied with scientific rigor rather than being left adrift in the realms of arbitrary belief, superstition, and dogma.
"Paths Beyond Ego" examines some of the major ideas, practices, goals, and experiences, that underlie the spiritual traditions and the new discipline of transpersonal psychology. It does this in a non-denominational way that avoids getting lost in the beliefs and details of any particular path or religion. The editors paint a broad interdisciplinary overview of what leading researchers of consciousness are exploring today, including; personal growth, transpersonal psychotherapy, spiritual emergency, addiction, meditation, enlightenment, gurus, lucid dreaming, psychedelics, science and spirituality, ethics, philosophy, mysticism, love, near death experiences, service, and ecology.
I have used this book as an introductory text for university undergraduates, who rated it highly, as well as an introduction to transpersonal thinking for "growth oriented" therapy clients. I have also recommended it to corporate managers and trainers who wanted a quick overview of how "normal every day consciousness" can be developed by practice into much more effective "higher states of consciousness" through self awareness, self transcendence, and ultimately, enlightenment.
For those who find the gems in this collection of fifty essays engaging and want to go deeper, you will have both the "big picture" and a reading list with which to select among authors and longer works that will take you there. In this field, theory is only proven by personal application of the understanding it offers, so if you are inspired by the possibilities of inner exploration, and ready to move beyond theory into actual exercises and practices, Dr. Walsh's newest book, "Essential Spirituality," is an excellently written, user friendly, and highly recommended place to start. (Recommended by Wilber, Grof, Tart, Ram Dass, Jampolsky, Arrien, and other leaders in the field, with a forward by the Dalai Lama.)
If you are interested in blurring the boundaries of science and mysticism, this book is for you. Paths Beyond Ego is considered one of the basic "textbooks" for Transpersonal Psychology. Additional information about Transpersonal Psychology can be found in Maslow's: "Toward a Psychology of Being" and it's extension: "Farther Reaches of Human Nature".