Tag: Susan Gordon

Symbols of Transformation and Psychospiritual Growth


During the religious holidays of Passover, Good Friday, and Easter, we are reminded of the I-Thou relationship of faith and the symbols of transformation and transcendence at the core of Judeo-Christian tradition. According to Jewish folklore in the 15 chapters of Exodus, the Passover Seder commemorates freedom from Egyptian bondage 3,500 years ago when Moses… Read more »

Myth: The Mind-Body Connection


Herakles fighting the Hydra. (Walters Museum) The word myth has various definitions and meanings. Henry Murray’s (1960) Myth and Mythmaking began with a definition that I particularly like from the work of Mark Schorer in “The Necessity of Myth” from his writings on William Blake: Myths are the instruments by which we continually struggle to… Read more »

Joseph Campbellês Myth of the Hero


Giambologna’s Hercules and the Dragon Ladon. In Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), he posits the existence of a Monomyth, a word he borrows from James Joyce referring to a pattern that is the essence of and universally common to, heroic tales in every culture. He outlines the archetypal episodes that subdivide… Read more »

The Growth-Oriented Dimension of the Person


Photo by Thamizhpparithi Maari. What makes life worth living? Is it the depth of one’s capacity to love and trust, the ability to forgive and make amends, the realization that life is momentary and nothing can be grasped, the satisfaction and recognition of accomplishment, self knowledge, the power to accept what we cannot change, or… Read more »

Sunyata: Transcending the Stream


Photo by Susan Gordon. Dedicated to Eugene Taylor, Ph.D., who would have celebrated his 67th birthday today, October 28, 2013. Within the framework of personality and consciousness understood by existential-humanistic and transpersonal psychologists, and non-Western epistemology (Berdyaev, 1944, 1951; James, 1902; Jung, 1933; Maslow, 1966, 1970, 1971; May, Engel, & Ellenberger, 1958; Taylor, 1978, Watts,… Read more »

Revisiting a Person-Centered Science


Through the work of existential-humanistic and transpersonal psychologists Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and Rollo May in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, the psychotherapeutic hour became a living laboratory in which the individual’s discovery of the growth-oriented, self-actualizing dimension of his or her personality was educed. Rogers, Maslow, and May gallantly challenged the reductionistic, university-based, experimental… Read more »

The Neurophenomenological Self


Photo by Jessie Eastland. What is Embodiment?Embodiment refers to the bodily aspect of human subjectivity, the kinesthetic awareness of our body as the vehicle through which we experience the lived-world. It is not a cognitive understanding of self in the world, but a proprioceptive, tacit, prereflective, intersubjective awareness connecting the mind, brain, and physical body… Read more »

Neurophenomenology and Its Applications to Psychology


What Is Neurophenomenology? Neurophenomenology combines phenomenology and neuroscience to study experience. The term neurophenomenology, first used by Laughlin, McManus, and d’Aquili (1990), was distinguished as a new research direction for the neuroscience of consciousness by Francisco Varela (1996) and colleagues in the mid-1990s. The field of neurophenomenology has expanded exponentially around the central question of… Read more »