There's a fascinating article I found on Integral Options Cafe by Thanissaro Bhikkhu about egolessness, which compares it with western psychological ideas. He doesn't attribute John Welwood to the idea of spiritual bypassism, but we can fogive that. I downloaded the PDF (couldn't find the original source page). Interesting.
While I don't think that top Buddhist teacher's health egos proves that nobody from the east needs therapy, only Buddhism, I do agree with this suggestion: "One way would be to read the ancient texts with new eyes. Instead of assuming that the not‐self teaching is counseling egolessness, how about assuming that it’s part of a regimen for developing a healthy ego?"
This is also interesting: "As for the concept of not‐self, the Buddha would advise using it whenever unskillful attachment to things or patterns of behavior got in the way of your happiness. In effect, he would have you drop unhealthy and unskillful ways of self‐identification in favor of ways that were more skillful and refined."
Finally, "If you open your mind to the idea that the Buddha was actually advocating ego development instead of egolessness, you see that there’s nothing lopsided or lacking in his understanding of healthy ego functioning. In fact, he mastered some ego skills that Western psychology has yet to explore, such as how to use right concentration to satisfy the desire for immediate pleasure; how to develop an integrated sense of causality that ultimately makes a sense of self superfluous; how to harness the ego’s drive for lasting happiness so that it leads to a happiness transcending space and time."
Now do you need psychotherapy to become enlightened? I don't presume to know what people need, but I have found both of them very useful, complimentary projects and areas of thought. I'm not trying to take over Buddhism with psychotherapy or vice-versa. For me, there is great synergy between the two areas, modes of personal development. I have no problems with Thanissaro Bhikkhu not going to therapy.
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1 year ago