The "Spiritual" Bashing of Psychology - Psychological Criticism

Excerpt from Chapter 10 - Psychology

Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization, said, "I think it would be a good idea." Mohandas K. Gandhi, 1869-1948

Many New Age folks love to bash psychology. The bashing, obviously self-serving, serves the purpose of keeping such "spiritual" folks unknowingly ensnared in their old psychological dramas they are so sure they are beyond. Such putdowns have included:

"Freud was obviously a chauvinist pig. The ego is sick and needs to be avoided wherever it shows up. As for psychology - been there, done that. Psychology is a very limited and limiting way of looking at things. Anger and other uncomfortable emotions are unspiritual; meditate them away! Wherever you have a psychological problem, just shine God's love on it long enough and it will be healed."

"As for psychology - been there, done that! Psychology is a very limited and limiting way of looking at things." Ah yes! That reminds me of someone who says; "Today I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time and stuck my big toe in the water. Now I know everything about the Pacific Ocean." Psychology is a rather large topic, which many seek desperately to pigeonhole; for if I pigeonhole it, then I can act as if I had nothing further to learn from it. Then I do not have to look at my remaining psychological issues.

Many New Age folks have said, "Anger and other uncomfortable emotions are unspiritual; meditate them away!" All heavy/uncomfortable emotions are suspect to these folks: anger, rage, hate, pain, grief, sobbing, hopelessness, helplessness, tears, shame, or guilt. I remember several years ago being in a half-day "spiritual" retreat in which it was supposedly OK to be emotionally expressive. I did wind up feeling some grief and pain from my infancy. What a surprise to find that a few seconds after my grief started, the leader of the group started leading the rest of the group in a spiritual song. Such deeper levels of childhood pain were obviously uncomfortable for that leader, and he attempted to rescue the group from it also. He probably told himself he was helping my healing process with such song. In truth, it just felt peculiar, out of place and mildly antagonistic to my process. However, I knew enough so that I just continued feeling my grief for about 2-3 minutes more until it reached its natural healed end. Such "spiritual" patterns of avoidance of difficult emotions are really little different from those of the overeater, alcoholic or addict who grabs the handiest fix to avoid such emotions.

"Wherever you have a psychological problem, just shine God's love on it long enough and it will be healed." This is probably the all-time favorite psychological approach of many "spiritually-minded" folks. It usually works temporarily. In truth, it just hides the problem until the next time, the same way such difficulties can be hidden by smoking, drinking or drug use.

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© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze

 

This Chapter
  The "Spiritual" Bashing of Psychology - Psychological Criticism
  Keep It Simple Stupid
  Nature of Trauma
  Your Wish Is My Command
  Search for Approval
  Untying Trauma Knots
  Later Stress
  Reducing/Resolving Stress = Therapy Result
  Psychological Tools - Specific Evaluation
  Valuable vs. Neurotic Ego and Ego Development
  Admiration Trap
  Feelings Never Lie Trap
  What You Resist Persists
  Go for Inner Peace of Mind
  Excited State = Trap
  Forgiveness Trap - Total?
  The Compassion Trap - Not Just Buddhist
You Might Also Enjoy:
  Purpose of Spirituality
  Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  Spiritual Purpose Traps
  Short Prayers - Avoid the Law of Attraction Trap
  Unanswered Prayers
  Bodily Damage - Serenity Prayer
  Anonymous Groups - Serenity Prayer
  Cults, Religious & Not
  The Unhealthy Spiritual Guru or Shaman
  Cult Research Results - America & the World
  The Perfection of Now

Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "Someone call you a name? Whenever you hear such a name directed your way, thoughts along the lines of, "The name-caller is feeling weak right now" will help to prevent a possible hurt for you."