Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Challenges Posed by the Easternization of the West: A Critical Comparative Dialogue Between C. G. Jung and Chogyam Trungpa
by Baumann, Ross C., Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2019, 131; 13878940
Abstract (Summary)

What if Western individuals who are interested in Eastern spiritual practices are unknowingly “buying” fragmented components of such traditions? Can a misappropriated or misunderstood spiritual practice cause more harm than good? What are the personal, social, and spiritual implications associated with a consumerist distorted sense of spirituality? These questions have become ever more essential to address as Eastern spiritual practices have become increasingly popular in the West. The popularity of these practices has turned problematic attitudes regarding spirituality into a consumer-market and potentially perpetuates the concept of spiritual materialism—which may be defined as a “distorted, ego-centered version of spirituality” (Trungpa, 1973/2002a, p. 3). This study engages C. G. Jung and Chögyam Trungpa in a critical comparative dialogue to address some of the contemporary challenges associated with the “Easternization of the West” (Campbell, 2007). A comparative hermeneutics informed by critical theory thus shapes this dissertation’s methodological approach. Although a synthesis of Jungian psychology and Eastern spirituality is beyond the scope of this dissertation, the study discusses some central psychological, social, and spiritual implications of the Easternization of the Western world. While the benefits the Western world may gain from Eastern spiritual traditions are acknowledged, this dissertation challenges the commonly held belief that adopting Eastern spiritual notions and practices inherently enhances one’s life and personal growth. While components of this study’s cultural critique may be applied to a wide array of spiritual disciplines, its intended application is toward nongoal-oriented spiritual disciplines, such as those introduced to the West by Chögyam Trungpa.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ferrer, Jorge N.
Commitee: Ferrer, Jorge N., Leary, Richard, Whitfield, Carol
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: East-West Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 80/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: East-west, Easternization of the west, Jung, C. G., Spiritual bypass, Spiritual materialism, Trungpa, Chögyam
Publication Number: 13878940
ISBN: 978-1-392-19775-2
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