Sufism and Psychology

There has been a growing realisation of the need to include the higher aspects of man into a framework that includes psychological and scientific breakthroughs through incorporating the person’s relationship to their spiritual dimension. Such a model exists within Sufism and psychology.

Within the ancient teachings of Sufism lies a psychological path which can enrich the spectrum of modern psychology by offering a balanced approach to developing the capacity necessary for accessing the higher aspects of man. This expanded approach to psychology presents an unfolding process of psychospiritual integration and transformation, based on inner reality and inner balance which existed long before the onset of modern psychology.

In Sufi psychology the familiar psychological route of making the unconscious conscious is taken, whilst simultaneously accessing the higher aspects of one’s being. This integrated approach has much to offer in terms of the relationship man has with his ego/self, and consequently with his pathology. Sufi doctrine holds the view that the potentiality for transformation of the self to the point of perfection was placed within us, however it is not usually accessible to us because of our limited perception and identification with our ego/self (false self). From a psychological perspective this would translate as recognition of the turmoil caused by the ego/self and its potential for transformation to inner balance and inner harmony.

In Sufism the path of knowledge of self is not seen as a separate psychological journey from the spiritual journey. It is seen as a vital and necessary process in order to fully realise one’s potential. Its system of psychology offers a means of discovering who we are, where we are going, and identifying the purpose in this life’s journey.