Spirituality and Psychology Are
Forces at Odds With Each Other

How do we define the difference of spirituality and psychology? Psychologically speaking, there is a need in the human psyche to understand our lives in terms of the meaning of our existence. We attempt to define ourselves and what we are about in understandable terms and definitions. We experience things and we develop language to label and categorize them, and this is how we gain knowledge. We yearn to identify the world around us in concrete and stable psychological terms, so that we can feel comfort in how we define our existence and meaning in the world. We use philosophy to smooth out the edges of what does not neatly fit using the psychological tools at our disposal and we either hope or pretend that everything will nicely fall into our organized box of wisdom. When we come across things that cannot be explained to our psyche in classical terms, we develop psychological discomfort and confusion. And that is where spirituality and psychology move in different directions.

Psychology is the study of the mind and how it functions or does not function. We have used psychology to label certain behaviors and define, in a clinical sense, what happens when the human mind departs from expected pathways. In strict terms, psychology works against spirituality because it seeks to classify and label any behavior that deviates from the norm as problematic. Further exploration of psychology will reveal how the very fundamentals that founded its existence created problems within mankind that psychology can neither correct, nor allow itself to define. In other words, psychology created its own monsters just as it was creating itself to deal with them, and then merely allowed the monsters to grow while promoting itself as the only way to slay the beasts.

Psychology, and to some extent, philosophy, have set the stage for the very dilemma’s they seek to correct. The question then becomes, how does spirituality play out in terms of psychology? Does one work against the other, or does one take up where the other simply cannot go? Can psychology and spirituality complement each other, or do the two live at odds with one another. In this section we will explore the relationship between spirituality and psychology. We will discuss the dilemma’s created by modern thought and how these dilemma’s prevent us from becoming spiritual beings, and we will attempt to find solutions to these problems.



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