The Spiritual Path: An Introduction to the Psychology of the Spiritual Traditions

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9780820703077: The Spiritual Path: An Introduction to the Psychology of the Spiritual Traditions
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The Spiritual Path focuses on themes important for those dealing with fundamental life questions in their own lives, or in their professions as spiritual caregivers, psychologists or psychotherapists. Using an interreligious approach, Han de Wit offers psychological insights from the world's spiritual traditions to show how spiritual practices serve to cultivate our fundamental humanity. De Wit asks essential questions concerning that "fundamental humanity": Why is it that some people experience and radiate an increasing measure of joy in their lives, while others become increasingly anxious and fearful? And why do some people become wiser and more compassionate as a result of their experience of suffering, while others break down under that same suffering? How can these two such differing psychological manifestations occur under similar circumstances? And can individuals influence these psychological outcomes, or does this lie beyond human control? The Spiritual Path describes an "inner flourishing"--an awakening in the human person that is specifically spiritual--and the life's journey that is taken in light of such an awakening. By taking such a journey, de Wit argues, and living this "contemplative life"--a way of life for all times and all cultures--individuals can foster their own "inner flourishing" that may result in greater clarity of mind and joy in life. In this way, The Spiritual Path is both theoretical and practical. By acknowledging and utilizing the psychological insights found in spirituality, we are able to seek and find the spiritual path even as we live in the everyday world.

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'The Spiritual Path' focuses on themes important for those dealing with fundamental life questions in their own lives, or in their professions as spiritual caregivers, psychologists or psychotherapists. De Wit's interreligious discussion presents psychological insights from the world's spiritual traditions, showing how spiritual practices serve to cultivate our fundamental humanity. De Wit argues that the "spiritual way of life" - a way of life for all times and all cultures - provides a way for individuals to seek and find the spiritual path as they live in the everyday world.

This book addresses essential questions: Why is it that some people experience and radiate an increasing measure of joy in their lives, while others become increasingly fearful and anxious? And why do some people become more compassionate as a result of their experience of suffering, while others break down under that same suffering? How can these two such differing psychological manifestations occur under similar circumstances? And can individuals influence these outcomes?

Dr. Han F. de Wit has written widely on the connections between psychology, religion and spirituality and is particularly involved in the interreligious dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity. He is also the author of 'Contemplative Psychology'.

About the Author:

HAN F. DE WIT taught theoretical psychology for many years at the Free University of Amsterdam. Dr. de Wit has written widely on the connections between science, religion and spirituality, and is particularly involved in the interreligious dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity. He is also the author of Contemplative Psychology.

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