Guiding Principles and Strategy
Theoretical Position and General Strategy of the ITA
The International Transpersonal Association (ITA) seeks to promote a transpersonal vision in research, scholarship, education, and those therapeutic and practical spheres in which a spiritual orientation is beneficial. It aligns itself with no single approach, be it religious or scholarly. Rather it encourages a diversity of perspectives through which insights from spiritual traditions might be effectively integrated into modern culture.
Irreducibility of consciousness
- To emphasize the central importance of the quality of human consciousness and experience, the value of self-actualization, and the evolving nature of consciousness at both individual and collective levels.
- To acknowledge lived experience as valid sources of scientific data, and develop new methodologies for their rigorous study.
- To recognize spiritual needs and impulses as integral aspects of human nature.
Integrity in the spiritual path
- To respect every individual’s right to pursue, if they are so inclined, the spiritual path of his or her choice and to encourage practices of self-discovery, provided that doing so in no way brings harm to others.
- To foster a recognition that systematic self-exploration conducted with integrity and honesty will lead to the recognition of the unity underlying creation and result in a better adjustment of the individual to family members, fellow humans, and nature than might be achieved through externally imposed and enforced rules and restrictions.
Challenge of transformation
- To foster a broader recognition in society at large of the value of those strategies of self-transformation towards enhanced personal well-being which also promote collective harmony and constructive dialogue toward reconciling and honouring differences.
- To encourage the further development of such strategies as are associated with the world’s spiritual and mystical traditions, and to develop and disseminate new, safe and effective techniques of in-depth self-exploration and transformation.
- To encourage the use of these strategies (both old and new) as valid resources to complement strategies of problem-solving which rely entirely on manipulation and control of the external world.
- To encourage and emphasize complementarity, synergy, inclusiveness, and cooperation versus elitism, antagonism, and competition.
Forward through exploration
- To maintain an open-minded approach to the exploration of the world and the human mind unimpeded by rigid adherence to existing paradigms. This principle is based on the recognition that reality is infinitely more complex than any one scientific theory can describe, and that, whilst theoretical models can usefully integrate the data known at a particular time, they are at best only temporary approximations of the structures and processes to which they relate; they can never provide an accurate, exhaustive, and final description of objective reality.
- To promote the above through appropriate educational initiatives, scholarship and research, and applied practices.
Specific Goals of the ITA
To promote the above guiding principles through appropriate strategies of
- Research and scholarship
- Applied practice
More specifically the ITA will seek to:
- Create a global network of transpersonally-oriented organizations that co-operate in the promotion of conferences, lectures, seminars, workshops, and media with a transpersonal focus.
- Expand the network of such organizations through the inclusion of groups that are inherently aligned with the transpersonal vision, such as holistically oriented therapists, medical practitioners, scientists, educators, philosophers, artists, economists, politicians, sociologists, and so on.
- Facilitate international exchange of information where this relates to the sphere of the transpersonal. This is to include the establishing of a Global Learning Hub, and the sharing of ideas etc through web resources and guest lecturers, researchers, students, books, journals, articles, films, and tapes.
- Publish an international journal reflecting the basic philosophy of the ITA.
- Organize and coordinate international research projects focusing on cross-cultural comparison of various transpersonal phenomena, such as spiritual practices, healing ceremonies, culture-bound forms of transpersonal states, rites of passage, attitudes toward death, near-death-experiences, paranormal performances, etc.
- To encourage the establishment of Chairs and Departments at universities and other teaching facilities, that will further promote transpersonally-oriented courses and training.
- To continue the tradition of organizing and promoting International Transpersonal Conferences. In the past, such conferences have been held in Iceland, Finland, Brazil, Australia, India, Switzerland, Japan, the USA, Czechoslovakia, and Ireland.