Home Uncategorized Can Basic Goodness Improve Individual Confidence and Inspire Societies to Live in Healthier Ways?

Can Basic Goodness Improve Individual Confidence and Inspire Societies to Live in Healthier Ways?



What if the answer to this question was “yes it can?” In the United States, transpersonal psychology has evolved since the 1960’s to include many aspects of religion and spirituality to provide a more holistic approach to well-being and healing. One of its fundamental building blocks is the belief that individuals have natural or basic goodness. This means they are not born fundamentally flawed or evil, only to spend a lifetime trying to become good enough to finally arrive at a place where they are worthy of accomplishment and love. Can this more holistic approach really help the average person to lead a more fulfilling life? Can it help people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol or any other substance to heal? Other cultures believe it can and does help their societies to live in healthier ways.

For centuries the Buddhist, the Sufi’s, the Indians, the Taoist and other cultures have practiced the belief that individuals have at their core a natural goodness. Consider this quote, “goodness is like water to a Taoist; water flows to the lowest point automatically” Someone who acknowledges their natural goodness and is awake enough to realize they don’t need to promote a self absorbed agenda arrives at the right decision automatically, without needing to think about it very much.

The renowned Buddhist master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche coined the term “basic goodness” in the 1980’s after he brought the Buddhist teachings to the west and presented them in a way that westerners could understand and readily accept. Basic goodness is as fundamental to the Buddhist teachings as is the practice of kindness to oneself and to others.

In contrast, many westerners believe they are born in sin, inherently flawed, and must constantly seek forgiveness in order to be worthy individuals. Some believe they will never be worthy. Where low self-esteem and addiction is a problem this belief can be a great hindrance to the well-being of that individual and to their over-all healing process.

Transpersonal Psychology like Buddhist Psychology seeks to restore a personal belief in natural goodness and wholeness so people can live better lives and feel worthy that they are equal to any life challenge they face. This is especially important in those cases of low self-esteem and addiction where self-love and self-confidence are needed just to begin the healing process.

If you or someone you love has forgotten how unique and important you are in the scheme of life, it is possible to restore a feeling of well-being and to be productive and happy again. If you are willing to do the work and look deeply into the self long enough to make real changes, a good place to start would be a study of “natural goodness or basic goodness,” found in the principles of transpersonal psychology and in the Buddhist teachings.


Source by S. Marie Vernon


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