Part One — How do we know?
A short note before we start
author: Matthijs Cornelissen
last revision: January, 2019
In the Introduction we have seen what psychology presently is and what it could be. We have also noted that the consciousness-centred understanding of reality that supports the Indian civilization is far more "psychology-friendly" than the materialistic philosophy of science that developed over the last couple of centuries in Europe and the USA. Finally we have explained why we have chosen for the integral vision of Sri Aurobindo to represent the Indian tradition. 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. Unfortunately this interconnectedness is difficult to render in a written text where the narrative is inherently linear.
To allow a non-linear aproach to the contents of this text, we have provided besides the linear contents on the homepage of Infinity in a Drop, also a clickable "Metro map" in which you can see some of the most important issues together in one graphical overview. In case you want to have a quick look at an issue that is of special interest to you, you can try to locate it on this "Metro map", click on it, and jump straight to the file in which it has been described. (Within the linear contents of Infinity in a Drop, you can find a link to the Metromap on the right, just before the INTRODUCTION.)
If you want to go through the material in a more systematic manner it may be better to continue following the linear contents on the homepage of Infinity in a Drop.
The first chapter of Part One deals with the basic nature of knowledge: its different types, modalities, realms, degrees of awareness, objectives, and stages. The second chapter deals with the difficult issue of how to make subjective, inner knowledge more reliable. The third chapter deals with some practical issues regarding first-person, yoga-based research and how it relates to research in other disciplines. The fourth and last chapter looks at the result of all these efforts: the "higher" types of knowledge which the practice of yoga can make more accessible so that they can be studied more systematically.
While this material is in progress, readers can resort to two stand-alone articles that are available elsewhere on the IPI website: “What is knowledge? A reflection based on the work of Sri Aurobindo” and “Research about yoga and research in yoga: Towards rigorous research in the subjective domain”.
There are many good and noble reasons for starting this text with the question "How do we know?", but if you would like to start with another issue, say Part Two, "Who am I?" Part Three on "Meeting Others" or Part Four on "Self-Development", that too would be fine.
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