Eastern wisdom, inner work, and aging: a contribution in second wave positive psychology

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Cohen, Avraham, & Bai, Heesoon. (2019). Eastern wisdom, inner work, and aging: a contribution in second wave positive psychology. Counselling Psychology Quarterly: A Second-Wave Positive Psychology in Counselling Psychology, 32(3-4), 472–487. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2019.1624253

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This paper proposes to make contribution to second wave positive psychology by suggesting a post-egoic view of humanity that overcomes the positive-negative binary and sees all attributes and qualities of human experience as containing rich and holistic materials for ego transformation. It is pointed out that the ego-based psychology that undergirds much of current positive psychology ignores the mutual nature of human existence and a sense of humanity being continuous with the rest of the universe. Using aging as the context for a case study, this paper makes the case that when aging is viewed from a post-egoic psychological perspective such as is inherent in Daoism, what emerges is a possibility of living a life of wisdom, compassion, joy, and qi-infused creativity through aging as ‘saging.’ This paper affirms that aging is a critical and integral part of human growth and development. Additionally, a creative inner work example is provided that demonstrates a possibility of integrating and transforming negative experience in the service of moving towards a post-egoic self.

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