In this book, Michael Washburn provides a psychoanalytic foundation for transpersonal psychology. Using psychoanalytic theory, Washburn explains how ego development both prepares for and creates obstacles to ego transcendence. Spiritual development, he proposes, can be properly understood only in terms of the ego development that precedes it. For example, many difficulties encountered in spiritual development can be traced to repressive underpinnings of ego development, and significant gender differences in spiritual development can be traced to corresponding gender differences that emerge during ego development.
Washburn draws on a wide range of psychoanalytic perspectives in discussing ego development and uses both Eastern and Western sources in discussing spiritual development. In rethinking transpersonal psychology in psychoanalytic terms, he explains how essential elements of Jungian thought can be grounded in psychoanalytic theory.
Michael Washburn is Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University, South Bend.
"The author has an original theory of human development and self-actualization first expressed in outline form in his Ego and the Dynamic Ground and in this book presented in its fully developed and mature form. It is now more impressive for the range of materials it integrates, for the clearness of its thought, and for the way it brings into unity Freudian thought and the highest experiences of the great mystics of both West and East. " — Harold G. Coward, University of Victoria
"The scholarship is impeccable, the theoretical dimension is rigorous, and the critical thinking is strong. " — David M. Levin, Northwestern University
"Washburn's successful rapprochement of two of the most important psychodynamic traditions—psychoanalysis and transpersonal psychology—constitutes a major theoretical contribution to psychology. " — Steven M. Rosen, City University of New York, College of Staten Island