This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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An integrative model of personality and personal growth

V. George Mathew — Integrative Psychology Institute, Thiruvananthapuram.

Indian approach to Psychology is naturalistic, holistic and humanistic. Most Indian systems work well only in the hands of a person with siddhi (high degree of personal growth and intuition). The psychologist in the Indian tradition is a yogi who has a high degree of personal growth and intuition. Mere book learning will not make a person a psychologist. The Integrative theory sees “Stability” (integration) as the single holistic level factor of personality. “Instability” (action or rest with karthrubhava) is of two types and these are two type level factors: “Inertia” is compulsive inactivity or thamas and “Activation” is compulsive rajas or overactivity. Free action or rest (action or rest with sakshimathrabhava) is Stability. Personal growth is increasing Stability which involves decreasing Inertia and Activation. This reformulation makes it unnecessary to postulate a fourth gunatheetha state. Pure “S” (Inertia and Activation zeroed out) is the same as enlightenment. Effective yogic practice is what is required at a given time to decrease Inertia or Activation of the person and depends on the existing personality of the practitioner. The combination of practices which is most effective, changes as the persons personality pattern changes. What is effective for a person with one type of personality can even be harmful for a person with a different combination of the three components. The role of the psychologist lies in identifying the personality pattern of the aspirants and suggesting the combination of practices most useful at a given time for a person.

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