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Participation and the Mystery: Transpersonal Essays in Psychology, Education, and Religion
Ferrer, Jorge N.
SUNY Press / Softcover / 2018-01-01 / 143846486X
Person-Centered and Experiential Therapy & Counsel / Spirituality and Inspiration
price: $40.00 (may be subject to change)
386 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-4 weeks

A groundbreaking and hopeful new look at contemporary spirituality, transpersonal psychology, integral education, and religious diversity and pluralism.

Participation and the Mystery is both an introduction to and expansion of Jorge N. Ferrer’s groundbreaking work on participatory spirituality, which holds that human beings are active cocreators of spiritual phenomena, worlds, and even ultimates. After examining the impact of his work since the publication of Revisioning Transpersonal Theory, Ferrer discusses the relationship between science and transpersonal psychology, the nature of a fully embodied spirituality, and the features of integral spiritual practice. The book also introduces a participatory philosophy of education and applies it to the academic teaching of mysticism and a novel approach to embodied spiritual inquiry. Critically engaging the influential work of Stanislav Grof, Ken Wilber, and A. H. Almaas, Ferrer concludes with an original solution to the problem of religious pluralism that affirms the ontological richness of religious worlds while avoiding the extremes of perennialism and contextualism, offering a hopeful vision for the future of world religion. Participation and the Mystery is an invaluable resource to anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of participatory approaches to transpersonal psychology, integral and contemplative education, contemporary spirituality, and religious studies.


“…these brilliant new essays are required reading for anyone seriously interested in spirituality, psychology, religion, mysticism, philosophy of science and education … the volume is highly stimulating and thought-provoking in articulating a participatory perspective across a number of disciplines and challenging us to become more integral, embodied and responsible.” — Paradigm Explorer

“…a fine book, serving as a compelling addition to Jorge Ferrer’s distinctive approach to transpersonal psychology. For those who are unfamiliar with the field, this volume might well serve as an initiation to further reading. For those conversant with transpersonalism, there is a rich and wide-ranging engagement here with relevant fields of research, and Ferrer advances and elucidates his previous work in a number of new and valuable ways.” — Reading Religion

“The range of ideas expressed in this compelling series of papers is extensive.” — Journal of Analytical Psychology

“In Participation and the Mystery, we are given the opportunity to dive into the engaging, provocative, and stunningly erudite thought of Jorge N. Ferrer, arguably one of the premier transpersonal theorists of our time. Building on the key essays written after the publication of his seminal work, Revisioning Transpersonal Theory, Ferrer shows us how his compelling and extremely fertile participatory model can be applied, with intriguing and rewarding results, to multiple, highly distinct fields of discourse. Read this book if you want your worldview to be both challenged and enriched.” — G. William Barnard, author of Living Consciousness: The Metaphysical Vision of Henri Bergson

“Ferrer is a leading figure in transpersonal psychology. His participatory perspective explains both the deep commonalities and the creative diversity of spiritual traditions. It provides a way to understand the general phenomenon of spirituality without falling prey to ideological dogmatism or the tendency to privilege one’s own spiritual tradition or practice over others. Ferrer’s work deserves to be widely read.” — Michael Washburn, author of Transpersonal Psychology in Psychoanalytic Perspective

“This is an important collection of essays from one of the leading contemporary thinkers in transpersonal studies. Ferrer’s participatory approach represents the most significant development in transpersonal theory and practice to have emerged this century, and this book is the ideal introduction to Ferrer’s work. It will become required reading for all students of transpersonal psychology, as well as for anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of transformational practice, transpersonal education, spirituality, and religion.” — Michael Daniels, author of Shadow, Self, Spirit: Essays in Transpersonal Psychology

“Rich and thought-provoking, this book ranges widely through Ferrer’s reflections on the participatory worldview in relation to psychology, education, and religion.” — Andrew O. Fort, Texas Christian University



Part I. Transpersonal Psychology

1. Participatory Spirituality and Transpersonal Theory

2. Transpersonal Psychology, Science, and the Supernatural

3. Toward a Fully Embodied Spiritual Life

4. A New Look at Integral Growth

Part II. Integral Education

5. The Four Seasons of Integral Education (with Marina T. Romero and Ramon V. Albareda)

6. Teaching Mysticism from a Participatory Perspective

7. Embodied Spiritual Inquiry: A Radical Approach to Contemplative Education

Part III. Spirituality and Religion

8. Stanislav Grof’s Consciousness Research and the Modern Study of Mysticism

9. Participation, Metaphysics, and Enlightenment: Reflections on Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory

10. Religious Pluralism and the Future of Religion

Coda: A Secret Poem For You
Appendix One: Participatory Spirituality And A. H. Almaas’s New Diamond Approach
Appendix Two: The Soft Perennialism of S. Taylor

About the Author:

Jorge N. Ferrer is Professor of East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is the author of Revisioning Transpersonal Theory: A Participatory Vision of Human Spirituality and the coeditor, with Jacob H. Sherman, of The Participatory Turn: Spirituality, Mysticism, Religious Studies, both also published by SUNY Press.

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