What is psychological health and growth? Western psychology tends to define psychological health as the absence of various forms of extreme disturbance or disruption. ‘Normal” levels of dissatisfaction, upset-ness, are considered to be both acceptable and part of everyday life. It is only when someone experiences a psychological state that drifts into total disorientation, violence, suicidal thoughts, or disassociation from the expectations of society that psychology labels the behavior as unhealthy or harmful.
There is, however, another way to look at the issue of psychological health and growth, and that is to affirm the development of positive attributes as representing health. Thus, the individual can find and implement measures to create forward looking and positive directions in his life, and contextualize the obstacles or issues that arise as challenges to be met and overcome along the way.
Western psychology has a very rudimentary view of human psychology, perhaps due to the fact that as a science it has been around for a very short period of time and has not yet had the opportunity to look into the vast ranges of human psychology and the complexity of the various aspects of our being and their interaction with one another. Nowadays, as Western psychology has developed, more emphasis is being placed on the wider field of human growth and empowerment, and thus, Western psychology is entering a field long known to the yogic practitioners of India who long ago codified the actions of mind, life and body and found ways to enhance the developmental powers of existence. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras set forth a systematic approach to psychological development, for instance. Many yogic practices are based in a deep understanding of human psychology.
In the present volume, Dr. A.S. Dalal bridges the gap between Western psychology and Eastern spirituality as he explores the detailed inner workings of human life and provides at the same time a way of understanding, based on the ground-breakiing work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, which puts the human potential for self-exceeding front and center.
Dr. Dalal has compiled this book from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother after first providing a detailed introduction and outline of their approach to facing issues, overcoming disturbances and enhancing peace, creativity, growth and satisfaction in life. He calls upon the principles of yogic psychology to show us the way beyond reactions of anger, fear, anxiety and depression, as well as how to achieve positive mental health and psychological growth.
Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth