Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ego Permeability, Openness, the Transpersonal

     "ego permeability is included as a mediator to address the manner in which ego boundaries (ie the psychological boundary demarcating one’s sense of self from those aspects of experience that are considered not-self) operate & influence how individuals experience themselves. While both conventional & transpersonal approaches to spiritual identity acknowledge the existence of ego boundaries, with the latter being a bit more explicit in addressing the nature of such boundaries in terms of their expandability, neither approach gives sufficient attention to the manner in which the boundaries themselves operate. 
     There are a variety of psychological constructs that have appeared in the literature that directly concern themselves with ego & psychological boundary properties & functions. Though most widely known as Openness due to its representation as a major trait of personality as per the Five Factor Model of personality, this trait, along with the notions of ego permissiveness, boundary thickness, & transliminality all relate to the extent to which the ego boundaries are able, on structural grounds, to permit information from different parts of the total psyche or personality to cross into conscious awareness. To further illustrate this point, specific to the idea of openness ... 'openness is seen in the breadth, depth, & permeability of consciousness, and in the recurrent need to enlarge and examine experience'. Research has shown that malleable/permeable ego boundaries are associated with a number of variables including higher levels of reported spiritual & non-ordinary states of consciousness as well as to both growth enhancing & pathological states."

       MacDonald DA. "Identity and Spirituality: Conventional and Transpersonal Perspectives." International Journal of Transpersonal Studies 2009; 28(1): 86-106.

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