Best spiritual system for psychological development

Pai Mei Beard Swipe, modified 3 Years ago at 9/7/20 10:28 PM
Created 3 Years ago at 9/7/20 10:28 PM

Best spiritual system for psychological development

Posts: 13 Join Date: 9/7/20 Recent Posts
I've been intaking quite a lot of info lately on how being really good at concentration, insight, and other practices....or even being enlightened won't fix your psychological, emotional or behavioral problems.   I was really kinda surprised by this in a way.  

To me it's always seemed like all the building blocks you need to get good at concentration and insight practices are the same building blocks you need to fix psychological and behavioral issues (such as: acceptance, being aware of your own patterns, building grit, forgiving yoursef, dropping judgement and expectations, dropping rumination / being in the moment, reframing etc) . One of the most effective forms of therapy CBT, is even heavily based on meditation elements.

A lot of people seem to turn to meditation and related systems specifically for help with improving their psychological and behavioral patterns, and it seems like they are not necessarily effective in fixing these...  So I'm wondering...

1) Where are the current spiritual / meditative systems going wrong? What are they missing or not doing to integrate these elements properly in terms of psychological health and behavioral modification?

2) What would a framework / method / system specifically designed to reach a sort of "enlightenment" but specifically in terms of psychological & behavioral development look like?  Does some system already exist that specifically and comprehensively attempts to tackle this besides psychology and buddhism?

To me I think it would maybe look similar to buddhism or the 8 limbs of yoga, but you would add additional limbs / categories that specifically tackle: 
- methods / maps for overcoming fears and resentments
- methods / maps for healing traumas
- methods / maps for dealing with emotional deregulation

3) Should enlightenment even be a goal for someone who is looking more for psychological and behavioral improvement?  
shargrol, modified 3 Years ago at 9/8/20 8:02 PM
Created 3 Years ago at 9/8/20 8:02 PM

RE: Best spiritual system for psychological development

Posts: 2567 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Good questions. No perfect answers from me, but here's some ideas...

Most of the failings of spiritual systems is they claim that final perfection is possible. The smart systems don't claim perfection (e.g., "a zen master's life is one mistake after another.) Most of the big psychological problems come from denial, denying some aspect of self --- which allows it to grow big and powerful. So "perfection" systems tend to have the most problems.

Psychological pathologies are mostly defense mechanisms that protect the person from some feeling of anxeity by covering it up with some other action Because the seed of all of these defense mechanisms is an initial feeling of anxeity ( or struggle or suffering or dukka), systems which increase bodily sensitivity and resiliance to dukka will help support teasing out these defense mechanisms. But I also think it makes sense to conciously train the awareness of when we fall into a defence mechanism trance.

Even when psychology is starting to get cleaned up and there are mostly mature defence mechanisms... that doesn't mean one's worldview is well developed. Humans continue to refine their worldview well after young adulthood --- if they keep maturing. So modern systems also need to consider adult development as part of the training  [url='14%2097p%5B1%5D.pdf]'14%2097p%5B1%5D.pdf 

So ultimately, the approach that's needed for a system that trains psychological development would need to be soooo huge and complex that it would be nearly impossible to put down on paper.

That's the bad news. The good news is the only way of maturing psychological, developmentally, and in the world of meditation is to simply pick out the one problem you want to work on and then work on it. The way these things go is that one thing leads to another and "a journey of 1000 miles is complete just by making steps" --- you see what I mean?

So no great answer, but maybe this gives you some ideas.
Pai Mei Beard Swipe, modified 3 Years ago at 9/9/20 12:02 AM
Created 3 Years ago at 9/9/20 12:02 AM

RE: Best spiritual system for psychological development

Posts: 13 Join Date: 9/7/20 Recent Posts
I think you are probably right. Most likely a system that could cover every psychological thing would be too colossal to be practical.  At best I think someone maybe could make maps and methods for specific aspects,  say emotional deregulation in general.  But even something like just becoming a master over fear, could be massive unto itself and have an entire path built around it.  

Something else I thought of in regards to why spiritual systems often fall short, is I think they don't do enough real world application. For example, it's one thing to put yourself in a sense of metta when you are on the cushion, it's another thing entirely if you're being yelled at by a shitty boss or being attacked on the street.  This principle comes up in martial arts a lot.  For instance you first master a skill in isolation then you do it under increasing amounts of pressure and chaos.  Only then do you really have something that truly works.  

It seems like you would need ways of "pressure testing" many of the skills and elements you learn in meditation to really make them strong.

That was something I liked about the Carlos Casteneda books, they talked about how in some instances people in their lineage would find "petty tyrants"(assholes with lots of power)  and other hostile situations to deliberately put themselves in order to hone their skills and mental states.  They specifically mentioned just because you reached high levels of awareness it didn't mean you would be better at execution in the real world unless you practiced that too.