The problem of psycho social — transcendence from private and personal to the communal and collective humanity — The missing link from a transcendental — perspective

Suma Parahakaran

The work of Habermas [1962,1989, 1992,1995] and recent reviews in terms of the understanding of the psycho social and the rational nature of an individual becomes the foundation of this study. The notion of the excluded, that is the importance of the role of self- regulation in an individual’s life and their contribution to the master piece of life in the individual’s futuristic transcendental outcomes becomes the next focal point of the study. As Nikola Tesla stated “Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more”. The transcendental nature of a human mind permits the human individual with a rational mind to permeate through the intelligence of Self- consciousness to social consciousness.

 The idea of stretching rationality beyond one’s psychological realms has its limits and it does not provide the interventions of various physical, psychological, social and economic perspectives which are reduced to ‘normal’ limitations within the space and given time of a limited rationally thinking human individual.This paper establishes its foundational expressions by  Habermas’s  work on “communicative rationality” as critically examined by  Rienstar & Hook (2006) to link and expound on the eastern perspectives of a being in his or her individuality and their transcendental nature to a collective social consciousness.  An example is the work of Ariely (2009) who critically examined the danger of hidden forces which he reflected that shape our decisions, including the causes of the economic crisis. The current state of capitalism, greed and fall of human transcendence that separates the individual from harmonizing with the wider social consciousness is because of the state of our social psychological being and the disharmony it has on individual’s irrational decision making. This is expected when other hidden forces prevent the growth of a higher and rational psychological nature of an individual and of several individuals towards a level of higher consciousness. Susen [2011] critically examined work of Habermas [ 1962, 1989] and concluded that in ancient Greek thought, the public although seemed to be separated from the private, [polis, Oikos], the public sphere had free citizens having open interactions in the political realm while the private sphere were based on the free interactions of individuals in the domestic realms.

The notion of a psychosocial individual was formally derived from the field of psychology [Wilbur, 1998]. The different views of a human being as defined from psychological perspective constituted of a material self which included body- brain and the psychological level with the senses, memories, perception, emotions, cognition and affective loading. [Wit, 1991]. Rienstra & Hook [2006] in their article on “Weakening Habermas: the undoing of Communicative Rationality” critically reviewed Habermas’s theory of communicative action, which according to Habermas, agents are expected a position of clear reasoning, preference of ranking along with idealistic perspectives. According to the researchers, what the texts show [Habermas’] “is that the communicative rationality Habermas expects is not an ideal but a necessary and pre- reflexive element” [pg.2]. This explains that there is a state of transcendence of nature waiting for a more rational and maybe a supreme being.

According to Rienstra and Hook [2006],

Deliberation involves discussion in which individuals are amenable to scrutinizing and changing their preferences in the light of rational argumentation (not manipulation, deception or coercion) from other participants.

 The above is an integrative aspect to express the transcendental nature of the human mind. Rationality does not come without experience and hence the growth of the human mind has to be weaved with aspects of the nature of society and not in isolation. The researchers then emphasize on the problem of plurality that “The central human values that inform an individual’s life programmes are notoriously difficult to reengineer” …” [pg.6] and this happens from the perspective of Habermas that the agent can isolate themselves from personal beliefs if they find a better way of life when the individual is able to provide a better argument that helps rationalise a better view of life [pg.6]. This becomes an avenue for understanding why and how an individual has to proceed to obtain a higher realm of rational thinking through certain practices which have to be empirically experienced.

Founding on the works by Jumsai [2003] the researcher describes the components of the affective nature of a human being which comprises of values, beliefs, attitudes (Parahakaran, 2013). Thus, the nature of an individual’s psychological levels transcends to a subtle level of the mind that can strengthen self-regulation opposing the needs of the ego of the individual and transcends to a more spiritual in nature, transcending from the mental and emotional level. Thus, psychological ego is an important step to gain access to the spiritual level. This transcendence contributes to the growth of awareness, attention, retention and meta-cognition and strengthened emotional capacity. The psychological levels include perceptions, emotions, memory and conation and may not strengthen those which the rational human being requires to transcend when the ego of the individual does not permit to. This process becomes the crux of this paper and defines transcendence of a person through an experiential level leading an individual to a nature accepting the larger sphere of social consciousness.

The rational mind as defined by many is responsible for logically reasoning out why and how of things. However, to integrate positive aspects and provide space for values (god like quality) such as goodness, generosity and an overall view of contributing to larger groups of people which is leader like requires a higher mind that encapsulates all of the psychological components, rational and the higher transcended perspectives which motivates the individual to move to social consciousness.  Jumsai (2003) stated that transformation is evident when there is transformation of Human Values which were defined as the five values of Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Non-violence.  Thus, Human consciousness that can transcend to the capacity of entering the supreme kind of consciousness it has removing the boundaries of its nature from a personal to a nature of value filled social consciousness.

Look, my thumb touches my forefinger. Both touch and are touched. When my attention is on the thumb, the thumb is the feeler and the forefinger—the [felt]. Shift the focus of attention and the relationship is reversed. I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness—love; you may give it any name you like. Love says: “I am everything.” Wisdom says: “I am nothing.” Between the two my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both. [Nisargadatta,  1983, pp. 268–269].

Methods and Findings of the Study

This paper is in three different phases. The first phase explains the mental and rational state of an individual from a psychological and rational agent to a state of a more socially transcending phase. The second phase explains the psychological interventions of an individual against its own better transcendental growth because of the external forces [ policies, capitalism, social patterns]. The third phase expounds on the growth of a higher psychosocial human being transcending to grasp and grow attaining the state of qualities of a harmonious socially conscious individual.