WELCOME TO

PHL 343 -- AGES AND STAGES OF LIFE
 

The subject matter of this course -- transpersonal psychology or philosophy -- is relatively recent as a recognized study.

        The transpersonal approach seeks to integrate
                the insights of lifespan developmental psychology with
                the wisdom of many traditions of spiritual development.


Such an integration marks a space where philosophy, psychology and spirituality -- East and West -- intersect and mutually enhance one another.

Most stage theories are variants of either a cognitive developmental model (e.g. Piaget, Kohlberg, and followers) or a psychoanalytic model (e.g. Freud, Jung, and followers).
Ken Wilber is an example of a cognitive developmentalist approach and Michael Washburn is an example of a Jungian approach.  We shall read Wilber yet we shall move in a more Jungian, archetypal way.


Distinctiveness of the Course:

         First, I offer a perspective that arises out of the wisdom traditions, seeing stages as tasks.

                       The Modern West                                                        Traditional India
         (life marked by chronological periods)                            (stages here are defined by tasks)

                          childhood                                                             Task of becoming a Student
                          the teen age years                                                 Task for becoming a Householder
                          one's twenties                                                       Task for becoming a Forestdweller
                          one's thirties, etc.                                                  Task of becoming a Sage

         Second, I invite us to notice that the tasks of the first half of life (Student to Householder)
                            are not the same as the tasks of the second half of life (Forestdweller to Sage).

         Third, I offer a model that uses the cycles of the seasons as understood by ancient Chinese medicine to illuminate the
                            seasons of a life.

                 This will allow us to distinguish (as standard transpersonal philosophy/psychology does) between
                                          Pre-Adult tasks       --- Adult tasks -- Trans-Adult tasks.
                                          Pre-Societal stages --- Societal stages  ---  Trans-Societal stages

         Fourth, following Allan Chinen and other Jungian-influenced thinkers, we shall use story and myth
                        to explore both halves of life.
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SYLLABUS

ASSIGNMENTS

ENRICHMENT  MATERIAL

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