How Psychology Supports Tantra and Other Traditions

“But that’s not really me.  I only did that because…” and you try to explain why you did what you did. You say it’s because of something in the circumstances of the situation that made you behave as you did.

In psychology, we call this the Fundamental Attribution Error.  This core psychological concept says that when we are trying to explain behaviour, we say other people did something because it is true of their personality or who they are.  When we try to explain our own behaviour, we say it is because of circumstances, or the situation we were in.

In Tantra, or Law of Attraction, or by Abraham Hicks, or by Wayne Dyer,  or a large number of spiritual traditions, there is a belief of non-duality.  We are told that there is no personal “I”.  We are told that every moment, we are a different person than we were a moment ago.  We are told that every interaction we have is co-created.  So, that would mean that if you are warm a loving to one person, and hostile to another, this is the result of your beliefs and those of the other person interacting and creating what you ultimately do.  This is supported by ideas like our inability to cause a thought.  You cannot cause a thought.  They flow, and the part of you that is soul notices them.  Ego may make attributions to them, or judge the thoughts.  But we are unable to actually cause much to occur. And so Tantra tells us to accept what is and not create a separation in our experience of reality.

How does that intersect with the Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE)? What if is demonstrating what Tantra tells us? What if that is the result of the interplay between the inner consciousness observing what is (from within us), and the egoic consciousness trying to explain (backwards) why something happened? When we behave in response to circumstances, and say it is not really true of who we are, could that be evidence of a Conscious Awareness that knows it is flowing, changing, shifting and being lived (as opposed to controlling)? Could we use FAE to show that reality is just the result of our own projections?

Psychology means “study of the soul” in Latin.  When we moved into an experimental method paradigm, we focused on behaviour and less on the soul.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if what we did in psychology actually ended up telling us about the soul?

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