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Boris Bratus 1
  • 1 Lomonosov Moscow State University, 9/11 Mokhovaya Str., Moscow, 125009, Russia

Are Psychology and Spirituality Incompatible?

2019. Vol. 16. No. 3. P. 470–478 [issue contents]

The article examines the place and role of spirituality in the formation of psychological knowledge. Usually this topic does not arouse enthusiasm among modern psychologists. They attribute it entirely to the area of religion and philosophy, which, according to their views, has no direct relation to specific psychological problems. The author demonstrates that the discussion focuses on two intersecting levels: horizontal (“how?”, “why?”) and vertical (“what for?”, “what is the point?”). The author proposes to postulate this interaction as something that initially exists in human activity. In fact, it is about two types of being – extensive and non-extensive, material and spiritual, where the material type is expecting to be spiritualized, while the spiritual – to be materialized. In the mundane consciousness, this duality of being has been reflected for many centuries in the concept of the soul, in which purely sensual moments (the soul suffers, exults, becomes angry, etc.), as well as spiritual fervors, transitions to history, culture, and religion have been intertwined. Psychology as a science is focused on the horizontal dimension, and proceeds from it as the main and only prerequisite for development. Meanwhile, psychology has a pronounced general humanitarian component, which means, according to German scientific tradition, that it can be attributed to the sciences of the spirit (Geisteswissenschaft). Thus, we are talking about a process that is common in the formation of science – the axiomatization of something that cannot be proved, but from which it is necessary to proceed in order to construct the subject area. Each science has a system of such axioms. Without the axiomatic recognition of the duality of being, Psychology will remain an epiphenomenon, but not the essential condition for understanding the development and formation of the human phenomenon.

Citation: Bratus B. (2019) Psikhologiya i dukhovnost' – dve veshchi nesovmestnye? [Are Psychology and Spirituality Incompatible?]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, vol. 16, no 3, pp. 470-478 (in Russian)
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