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Thomas R. Verny MD, DPsych., DHL, FRCPC, FAPA introduces this article beginning with these words, "It gives me great pleasure to introduce our readership to a seminal paper by an old friend of APPPAH and one time editor of the Journal, Charles D. Laughlin, PhD. The paper is a tour de force of the diverse aspects of the self."
Abstract: The anthropology of the self has gained momentum recently and has produced a significant body of research relevant to interdisciplinary transpersonal studies. The notion of self has broadened from the narrow focus on cultural and linguistic labels for self-related terms, such as person, ego, identity, soul, and so forth, to a realization that the self is a vast system that mediates all the aspects of personality. This shift in emphasis has brought anthropological notions of the self into closer accord with what is known about how the brain mediates self-as-psyche. Numerous examples from the ethnography of the self are given, as are neuroscience research reports on the structure of the self. Engagement with the self is seen as an essentially transpersonal one, as self-awareness penetrates the mysteries of the transcendental self.
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