Since the 1970s, the center of a melding of psychology and spirituality has been the former Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, now Sofia University. Now the institution is in the midst of a life-threatening crisis.
Below is an excerpt from a call to action by none other than Dr. Charles Tart, one of the founders of the field (and a good friend of NDE research for all its decades). Since reading his post, I have been in touch with a faculty member who confirms that the situation is as dire as described, possibly moreso. Details, not included here, paint a truly harrowing portrait of what looks remarkably like intentional dismantling.
Here is the excerpt from Tart’s blog:
Now Transpersonal Psychology is under serious attack.
The main center for Transpersonal Psychology has been the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now called Sofia University) in Palo Alto, California. It is a source of inspiration for burgeoning transpersonal centers all over the world. Founded in the 70’s by Professor Robert Frager, it currently has about 40 main faculty and 500+ students working on Masters and PhD degrees in various aspects of Transpersonal Psychology. Faculty and student research grows our knowledge base, our graduated students put it into practice in a variety of ways, from psychotherapy to industrial consulting to education, etc.
Two and a half years ago our well-loved President, Tom Potterfield, unexpectedly died and was replaced by a new President. Since then things have gotten so bad that 100% of the faculty and most of the staff (all of whom may lose their jobs as a result of daring to protest) have signed a petition of no confidence in the current President and Board of Trustees, feeling they have lost touch with the humanistic and spiritual values that started the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, created a climate of fear, and have mismanaged the institution such that we have gone from substantial reserve funds to likely having to close down soon for lack of funds. This is detailed in the petition referred to below, asking the Attorney General of California to intervene.
In solidarity with the faculty, staff, students and alumni of Sofia University, if you believe applying scholarship and science to the spiritual with the aim of making our world a better place is a worthwhile cause, please read and sign the petition to the Attorney General (reproduced below for reading convenience, but go to the site to sign it). You don’t have to be a resident of California or even a US Citizen to sign and show your support!
PLEASE PASS THIS PLEA ON TO ANYONE YOU THINK WILL CARE!
Charles T. Tart
His complete blog post and the gist of the petition are at http://blog.paradigm-sys.com
If you would rather go straight to the petition, here is the link:
Much is at stake. When we have all finished shaking our heads at the frustration and imbecility of it all, please consider adding your voice to the petition.
Thanks to Allen Katzoff for alerting me to this appeal.
Sheila Joshi says
We can’t allow them to mess up our amplituhedron! 🙂
Nan Bush says
Guillermo Garcia says
I do agree completely, a man’s amplituhedron is his castle.
Nan Bush says
LOL Thanks for this!
Jill Whitehead says
Sophia University, Palo Alto, California, is not accredited. Hmm…
Nan Bush says
The school has accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and begun the process for APA accreditation when the new president took over. I have no information about where that process stands now. Keep in mind that because of its focus on spirituality, ITP/Sofia are considered highly suspect if not downright fraudulent by many academic associations. Accreditation for any alternative school is always difficult, and with non-materialist subject matter, it becomes even harder. (I am thinking of the number of top-flight NDE and Transpersonal Psychology researchers and scholars whose academic careers have suffered because of their topic.)
For balance, here is a portion of a comment written by a former student: “I’m an ITP grad (residential Ph.D. program), and highly recommend the school… When I graduated in l997, ITP had the highest first-try pass rate on the MFT exams of ALL California grad schools (including Stanford, UC Berkeley, etc.) It was WASC accredited when I attended (& is now in the process of getting APA accreditation). Many in my Ph.D. cohort are now psychologists and had no problem sitting for their boards and getting licensed, despite the lack of APA accreditation…”
That said, APA accreditation is a major plus for anyone planning on a career in a clinical practice or other conventional setting. Those for whom the subject matter is a passion will consider the risk worth taking; for others, it may be foolhardy.
how can i escape from the fear of hell?
for 10 years i have panic attacks because of this fear.
Nan Bush says
Toma, the quickest suggestion I can make is to go to the main page of the Dancing Past the Dark website, at the top of the screen click Articles, and then click the one called Untangling Hellish Visions. It is about how our ideas about hell began, and how they have changed over time. (In other words, there is no definite, for-sure description or idea of hell, or even if it exists.)
This suggestion takes just a bit longer–go to Amazon.com and look up Julie Ferwerda and her book Raising Hell. She is an Evangelical who has done a great job of taking a more careful look at the Bible and ideas about hell. It’s a treasure!
I have some more ideas that I’ll put in a post in a couple of weeks. Stay with us here. I think we can help.