A short note before we start
author: Matthijs Cornelissen
last revision: DATE, 24 July 2016
In the Introduction, we have seen what psychology presently is, what it could be, and how we can study it most effectively. We have also looked at the entirely different philosophical foundations on which psychology can be built, what the Indian tradition can contribute, and why we have chosen for the integral vision of Sri Aurobindo. It is the perspective from which we will look at the hugely complex reality that is our human mind and life, self and personality. So now, with all this background knowledge in place, it is time to start our real business, and take up the core issues of psychology. This is, however, somewhat difficult as in Psychology everything is related to everything. As we have seen in the chapter on Integrality, we can understand the parts only if we understand the whole first.
Unfortunately this cannot really be done in a book where the narrative is inherently linear. So we'll have to start from somewhere, knowing quite well that the choice of that starting point is actually quite arbitrary. We will try to make up for this defect by giving lots of cross-references to the rest of the field. You can take these links up as you encounter them, or leave them for later, as you wish.
For this book we have chosen to start with "Knowledge", and there are many good and noble reasons for doing so, but in the end I'll have to admit that this may actually be no more than a personal preference. So if you would like to start with another issue, say "Who am I?", "Why are we all so different, from where do our feelings and qualities come?" or "What is right action", please do. Good places to start Part One of this book are chapter 6, "Knowledge"; chapter 10, "Who am I?"; chapter 12, "Rasa, the taste of existence"; and chapter 14, "Action and Agency".