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I’ve been interested in mental well-being and spirituality in general, and contemporary (New age, Western esoteric, “holistic”, etc) spirituality in particular. Existential stuff. Misc, diverse. This is a good place to start if you want to know more.

Spirituality & Psychology



Reflective, exploratory conversations on the border between psychology and philosophy of life.

A little about my own background

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Stefan Hellsten
Clinical Psychologist
Stockholm

I have an interest in psychology and spirituality. An overview: Psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychology originated with Sigmund Freud. At the beginning of the 20th century, he developed psychoanalysis in theory and clinic. Others have further developed his ideas: Donald Winnicott, Wilfred Bion, Melanie Klein and others. Humanistic psychology emerged partly as a counterforce. Instead, focus on the “healthy”: Abraham Maslow. The next step was transpersonal psychology, which was even more (as I understand it) open to higher aspects of man: Stanislav Grof, the experimentation with drugs for personal development and psychological healing. From this, integral psychology has emerged. Ken Wilber. Positive psychology: Míhály Csíkszentmihályi. Religion has always existed. Therapeutic: Spiritual care, Christian deep meditation. In the 1960s and early 1970s, what we now call new age and new age emerged. Inspired by Eastern spiritual practice and theology – yoga and meditation, reincarnation and karma, gurus and disciples. And Theosophy, among others: Madame Blavatsky. Important names in this context: Jiddu Krishnamurti, who was raised by Theosophists Annie Besant and Charles Webster Leadbeater and predicted to become the new World Teacher. He dropped out in his thirties. In connection with this, the Theosophical Society went through a crisis. Rudolf Steiner defected and founded the Anthroposophical Society, which we know through Walldorf pedagogy, biodynamic cultivation, Vidarkliniken, etc. A Scandinavian of the same genre: Martinus Thomsen, “Martinus”, whose doctrine is usually called Martinus cosmology. At the intersection of newness and psychology/therapy, we have phenomena such as: Pre/trans fallacy (Wilber), spiritual bypass/bypassing (John Welwood). Even what are commonly referred to as “therapeutic sects”. Who should be included here is not clear: Scientology by L. Ron Hubbard, et al. Div spiritual gurus/inspirers/teachings/systems that focus on personal/spiritual development should also be included: Byron Katie, Deepak Chopra, The Secret, The Miracle Course – A Course in Miracles. Many of the things that fit within the holistic spirituality have also received great acceptance among the public. Interest in yoga, meditation, astrology, etc. Reincarnation and karma. Several studies have shown that as many as 25% of people in the West embrace the belief that you are reborn, live life after life. There is also an anti-cult movement, more or less agitated. Many with their own experiences, so-called defectors, or affected relatives, but also psychologists, psychotherapists, etc. who are interested in this area. In Sweden among others: Håkan Järvå, Helena Löfgren, Anette Nyman, Clas Svahn. Abroad Steven Hassan, among others. In this context, the religious skeptic, Sigmund Freud should be highlighted, of course. Magical thinking in all its expressions. In recent years, the term Conspirituality has begun to be used. A mix of New Age Spirituality and Conspiracy theories. Not least in the wake of Donald Trump and the conspiracy culture that has thrived around him. QAnon. Here, things like Chem trails, notions about the danger of vaccines for Covid-19 are also sucked up, 5G, Illuminati, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and others, up. It is suggested that this mix of newness and conspiracy thinking in Swedish could be called “konspirationsandlighet”.