Jacques Vigne

B.R. Publishing Corporation

[A Division of BRPC (India) Ltd.]


Authorization to be put online by:

1)Praveen Mittal, director, BR Publishing Corporation, on 5-2-98

2) Marie Dormann, Service Droits Annexes, Albin Michel, on 11-11-98

Partial or complete publication and sale of this book from this website and by any system of numerisation is not authorized.

Keywords: Spiritual, transpersonal psychology and vedanta and Yoga. Comparison Christianity and Hinduism. Depression, regression, psychosis and spirituality. Spiritual transmission and authority. Christian mysticism and non-duality. Vows of celibacy. Vows of obedience. Meditation

Translated from French: ‘Eléments de psychologie spirituelle’ Editions Albin Michel, 21 rue Huyghens, 74014 Paris, 1993.

Translator: Mrs. Nayana Gupta, 1995.

Revised by Mrs. Kate Zeiss, Department of Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University and Mrs. Anna Hall, Oxford University.


Preface to the Indian Edition v

Introduction 1


1. Can ‘Normosis’ Be Cured?

• The Notion of "Normal" in the East and West

• Schizophrenia in Daily Life

The Hypomania of the Consumer, Protection again Existential Depression

• Paranoia: Animal and Human

• Hysteria and the Need for Attention

• Obsessive Rigidity and the Ego-Consciousness

• To End for Good with the Idea of ‘Normalty’

2. Depression and Spirituality

From Existential Emptiness to Liberating Vacuity

• The Psychological Descriptions of Depression and Their Limitations

• Depression: A Hidden Spiritual Awakening?

• Depression and Liberation in the Course of Spiritual Evolution

3. The Child-Sage

Psychological Regression and Spiritual Progress

• Regression, Symptom or Therapy?

• Psychotic Fusion and Mystique of Unity

• "The Sage is a Child but Without the Seeds of an Ego"

• Return to Self, Return to the Self, and the Point of No Return

4. To Become or to Be?

• Towards a Spiritual Maturity in the Field of Psychotherapy

• The Yoga of Knowledge (‘Jñana Yoga’), a Self-Dissolving


• The Pairs of Opposites and Their Resolution in Unity

• The Ultimate Objectivity beyond the Dizzying Proliferation of Words

• Therapeutic Aspects of the Trance and of Hyperventilation

in Indian Tradition

• The ‘Sahaja Samadhi’, State of Realisation in Ordinary Life

• Yoga, Psychotherapy and Inner Conflicts as 'Consumer Goods'

• The Practice of Meditation, Discovery of One’s Own Spiritual Psychology

5. Crazy Wisdom

• Fortunes and Misfortunes of Inner Experiences

• Beginning of Schizophrenia and Mystical Tendency

• The Genius of the Symptom

• Gentle Craziness, Harsh Craziness, and Holy Craziness

in Tradition

• Towards Therapy as an Initiation



1. How Jesus is Considered by Hindus

• Jesus, Living Liberated Being

• Jesus Considered as an Avatar

2. Dogmatism, Politics and Inner Experience in the

First Centuries of the Church

• Two Points of View on the Evolution of the Dogma

• Towards a Hindu Understanding of the Trinity

3. The Concept of Authority

• "God, the Invisible Bishop, and the Bishop,

the Visible God"

• On Dogmatism and Celibacy: Some Psychological


• Is there a Christian Esoterism?

• What Kind of Obedience Helps Spiritual Progress?

• Centralisation of Authority and the Will for Expansion

• Present Day Decentralisation and the Demand for


4. The Desire for Martyrdom—Pathology or Saintliness?

5. The Spiritual Master and Meditation


1. Stilling the Mind

• A Silence as Vast as the Sky

• Stilling the Mind in Vedanta

• Christianity and Hesychia

2. Psychology of Asceticism

• Excessive Asceticism: The Facts

• Right Asceticism

• Respecting the Body

• Beyond Body Consciousness

• The Psychology of Anguish in Christianity

• The Desire for Asceticism

• Austerity and Powers

• Asceticism and Solitude

• Anguish and Grace

3. The Asceticism for Today

• The Meaning of Chastity Today

• On Mental Pollution

• Hesychasm and Yoga

• Return to Action after Asceticism and Silence

4. The Non-Dualism Hidden at the Core of Christianity

• Elements of the History of Non-Dualism in the West

• Non-Dualism and Christianity: Twelve Points of

‘Parallel Divergences’

5. The Necessity of Non-Dualism Today

• To Contextualize the Question of the Jivan-Mukta

• Signs of Non-Dual Experience among Christian Mystics

• Can the Essence of the Incomprehensible God be

Revealed to the Mystic?

• Non-Dualisn in the West: Theory and Practice

• The Last Counterpoint of the Two and the One

Last Reflections