This post attempts to explain the one-sided error existing in modern psychology, i.e., Psychoanalysis, Ego Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Object/Relations Theory, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Transpersonal Theory, and Integral Theory, etc.; all schools of psychology that do not recognize the eternal soul in addition to ego exist in a materialistic one-sidedness. Jung recognized this one-sided error when he was working with Freud. Their difference in theories drove Jung and Freud to break their ties. Modern psychology finds its roots, if it ever researched its lineage, in Freud’s theories while Jung’s theories were deemed too mystical for science. This may be true about Jung’s work but to slice our psyche’s in half is a travesty.
We are both material and spiritual beings. We are influenced by instincts (Freud) and archetypes (Jung). We are both individual (ego) and collective (soul) beings. By nature the physical world is dual (dark and light, good and bad, etc.) and the spiritual world is nondual; thus we exist in duality and the nondual. Our egos are concerned with surviving in the physical world; our souls are concerned with redemption in the mystical world. Ken Wilber (Integral Theory) distinguishes these two selves by calling one the inner self (soul) and the other the outer self (ego). Transpersonal theorists have wrongly stacked these selves on top of each other in a hierarchy of development: pre-personal, personal, and transpersonal. I posit they stand side-by-side with one foot in the space-time world (manifest) and the other foot in the eternal world (unmanifest).
In previous posts I have connected the ego to the left-brain and the soul to the right-brain but that is not completely accurate. It would be more accurate to discuss the connections our brain has to our heart. Most people are familiar with the triune brain: reptilian (brain stem), mammalian (limbic/emotional-cognitive), and primate (neocortex/verbal-intellectual). In the last 40 years or so in brain research a fourth part of our brain, called the prefrontal cortex, has been identified. This part is responsible for the synthesis and integration of the lower brain systems; it is the executive center of the brain. But that is not the end of the brain’s development journey. There is a fifth developmental stage involving the heart. About 60-65 percent of the heart is made up of neurons. The heart’s neurons connect with the limbic system, the emotional brain, which has a direct connection with the right hemisphere of the brain. This hemisphere is responsible for dreaming, intuition, and creativity, the activities often attributed to soul.
The heart cells are unique in that they produce strong electromagnetic signals extending as far as twelve to fifteen feet from the body in the shape of a torus. The heart acts as an axis to this torus. (See Figure.) “This torus function is apparently holographic, meaning that any point within the torus contains the information of the whole field” (Pearce, 2002, p. 58). The torus is our connection to the eternal realm. In fact, the earth, the solar system, the galaxy and perhaps even the universe is formed in the shape of a torus. “Some scientists conjecture that all energy systems from the atomic to the universal level are toroid in form. This leads to the possibility that there is only one universal torus encompassing an infinite number of interacting, holographic tori within its spectrum” (p. 59). The universal torus encompasses the solar system which encompasses the earth which encompasses the human (mind and heart).
In the end, I am not faulting modern psychology for making this split. They have clung to the brain as the biological correlate to psyche; and traditionally religion held sway over the soul and everything spiritual. In its effort to overcome the oppression of the Church science claimed matter as its playground leaving the spiritual for the Church. Needless to say, the Church has utterly failed caring for the soul. The time has come for us to expand our understanding of our psyches to include the toroid soul which ironically houses the time-space bound ego self.
Main Source for this post is Joseph Chilton Pearce’s (2002) The Biology of Transcendence.