Spiritual bypassing is a concept that is commonly used in the field of psychology. It is the practice of using or manipulating spiritual and religious beliefs or practices to avoid undesirable situations. These undesirable situations might take the form of painful feelings, unattended and unresolved wounds, and developments needs of the individual.
Central to the principles of Tonglen is the concept of bodhichitta. That is, every human heart has got an inherent tendency to love and care for some people. For instance, a father’s heart develops a natural tendency to love his children. Bodhichitta concept holds that in life healthy and enjoyable moments does not persist throughout as people sometimes face painful moments such as public ridicule or death of loved ones. Out of man’s natural tendency to avoid these painful moments, people develop defensive mechanisms that help them to overcome their vulnerability to these situations. This is where we find concepts like spiritual bypass.
The best answer to spiritual bypass is Tonglen. Tonglen overcomes spiritual bypass variable of hardening the heart by purely inculcating virtues of love and compassion among its adherents. As opposed to man’s natural tendency to run away from his painful realities, Tonglen practice encourages adherents to face them head on. Tonglen therefore advocates that people should not over indulge on their own problems, but should take other people’s situations and begin to appreciate how wonderful human beings have a shared responsibility. When people begin to put themselves in other people’s shoes, then the painful barriers and burdens of the heart wears off.
In adopting Tonglen practice as a remedy for spiritual bypass, therapists must take into consideration the fundamentals that hold the practice together. These are sitting meditation, making aspirations and practice of equality. Sitting is the starting point in Tonglen practice. It is away of talking to your own mind and meditating on the outcomes. This helps in developing personal compassion. Making aspirations, on the other hand, help participants to stay on course with their motives for bodhichitta. Participants do this by applying lojong slogan of “one at the beginning and another at the end”. That is, participants have to start and end the day by reaffirming their commitment to overcome painful barriers and reach out to many people as much as possible. Lastly, equality practice puts all participants at the same level, that is, what is harmful to one person, is also harmful to all others.
Question Two: Personality
Ordinary personality is a term that has eluded many people. From the video, the narrator literally clears off the air by saying that the essence of personality is not what we have learnt in the environment through socialization or normal learning processes. What we learn in the environment can change but real personality does not. This means that, ordinary personality is something humans are born with.
I do accept that there are moments when I have viewed myself beyond ordinary personality. Being a religious adherent, there are moments I have failed to find personally developed answers, hence turning my attention to personality beyond human comprehension.
In many regions or sections of the world, spirit is a term that no word or metaphor can fully comprehend. That is, the optimum level of ordinary human understanding is actually the beginning of spiritual world. This means that ordinary human beings have a tendency to turn their attention to spiritual archetype for solutions and answers to their problems when they are out of options. Spiritual archetype has the capacity to change or influence how therapists view their clients and their problems. For instance, the therapist may resort to some kind of spiritual counseling to heal a client with metaphysical views. Generally, in events where normal therapeutic procedures fail to yield results, both the client and the therapist may opt for metaphysical answers.
I find Dr. Fred Skinner’s assertions that man is not free as far fetched and invalid. My first reason for disapproving Skinner’s assertions is that, his statement assumes that no one should be held accountable for their actions since their actions are predetermined. To put it into contemporary perspective, Skinner’s assertions undermine the establishment of deterrence institutions that controls human actions. Therefore, on this ground, I find Skinner completely out of the topic of human actions.
Secondly, Skinner’s assertions outlay a simplistic remedy for war. In the event that every action of human is determined by factors that are external to his control, then engaging in any war is futile as it is likely to yield no result, even when one party comes out a victor. Looking at Skinner’s assertion on this ground, then it becomes evident that all wars that have happened in the world have not brought any substantial outcome. This is not true when one gives critical analysis of various wars that have happened in the world. They have yielded results, with some parties loosing and others gaining.
In the second part of the question, I don’t agree with Skinner’s assertion that human behaviors can be shaped the same way animal behaviors are shaped. This is like reducing man to the same level with other animals. What Skinner forgot is that human beings have innate reasoning capabilities that differ from person to person. Therefore, saying that human behaviors can be shaped in the same way animal behaviors are shaped does not make any sense. He ought to have known that every individual apply unique interpretation to a given situation. Some other ways people learn behaviors include culturalization and formal learning. Culturalization shapes behaviors through socialization where behaviors are passed from generation to generation. Formal learning is where people learn behaviors through formal systems liked education.
In part four, it is obvious that Kelly would have discarded Skinner’s theory for being abstract and lacking scientific interpretation. Of the two theories, I prefer Kelly’s theory of personal construct since it allows considerable application of scientific methods. It is difficult to infer research done on animals to normal human beings as Skinner did. Such hypothesis cannot survive in the contemporary world. I therefore prefer Kelly’s work over Skinner’s work.