2002 Indic Colloquium
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Stuart Sovatsky

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6225 Doremus Ave
Richmond, CA 94805



(510) 232-8262



(510) 482-4282

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Background Information

Stuart Sovatsky received his Ph.D. in Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is currently a Research Fellow at the Transpersonal Graduate Schools Consortium. His interests include psychology and Tantric Hinduism. He is the author of Eros, Consciousness & Kundalini (Inner Traditions 1994) and Words From the Soul: Time, East/West Spirituality and Psychotherapeutic Narrative (SUNY 1998).


Toward a Psychology of Impermanence: The Five Ashrama Social Body of Sanaatana Dharma, and the Kundalini Yoga Developmental Body

I will relate my clinical concerns for the maturation of individuals, marriages and families to one of most primordial unifying differentiations of Sanaatana Dharma (The Eternal Ordering-way, the indigenous name for Hinduism, and all of Indic vidya), the intergenerational, four quatercentenary ashramas or "stages of life": the pre- and pubescent learner (brahmacharyin), the householder, young-adult parent (grihastin), mentoring, midlife grandparent (vanaprasthin), and blessing-bestowing, retiring great-grandparent (elder-sannyasin.) I will also discuss the role in the "world-family" (another connotation of Sanaatana Dharma) of the "inwardly married" lifelong sannyasin, according to the developmental model of Kundalini Yoga. In the process, I hope to clear up several confusions in transpersonal 'Euro-Hinduistic" psychology, including "ego" and its "transcendence" and "spiritual emergence/Kundalini awakening" that have emerged due to 19th and 20th century historical factors surrounding the development of Euro-Hinduistic concepts in America. This will include the image of a "stressed-out" America, the psychopathic hermeneutics of psychoanalysis and its offshoots, the instant-enlightenment images of the psychedelic era, the quirks of "new age/transpersonal" book publication, and the massive adaptation of Hatha Yoga to some 17 million "stressed-out" Americans.

Read the entire Sovatsky paper in PDF format (57K, 18pp.)