10.22.2011

Enlightenment and the Genetics of Personality and Temperment

There is a definite, biological structure to the unfoldment of personality into altruism and compassion, what the Buddhists and other spiritual traditions, both East and West, have called Enlightenment or being naturally unselfish!

Personality development is not only possible beyond our current, western, cultural norms but natural. Thoreau, Emerson, Buckminster Fuller, Alfred North Whitehead, Bertrand Russell, and Jiddu Krishnamurti are reviewed by Bob Cloninger in his book, Feeling Good, the science of well being. Bob has collated the current scientific research on the genetics of personality and temperment. He found that the ancient models of personality development as described in Buddhism have a genetic basis.

That there is an accepted biological basis to development of englightment, complete human freedom, may seem like radical philosophizing. However, Erick Erickson, the neo-Freudian psychoanalyst, also outlined this same trajectory of human development in his psychosocioal developmental theories. So has Ken Wilber who outlined a broad picture of the human growth potential. There are many contemporary teachers of this understanding....search under advaita on the internet.

Cloninger's TCI, Temperament Character Inventory, is the most widely used development scale in developmental research today. He has a gene based transpersonal scale--the only widely used transpersonal scale in science. The first 80 or 90 pages are very accessible to the general reader...after that it gets complicated.

'Awakening', or waking up to your innate potential for unlimited bliss, is the natural outgrowth of the process of fully 'growing up'. It means shedding the card board, culturally conditioned false self...who I think I am, for who I truly am.

Enjoy your journey...back to your Self.

Feeling Good
The Science of Well-Being
C. Robert Cloninger



Description:
All human beings have spontaneous needs for happiness, self-understanding, and love. In Feeling Good: The Science of Well Being, psychiatrist Robert Cloninger describes a way to coherent living that satisfies these strong basic needs through growth in the uniquely human gift of self-awareness. The scientific findings that led Dr. Cloninger to expand his own views in a stepwise manner during 30 years of research and clinical experience are clearly presented so that readers can consider the validity of his viewpoint for themselves. The principles of well-being are based on a non-reductive scientific paradigm that integrates findings from all the biomedical and psychosocial sciences. Reliable methods are described for measuring human thought and social relationships at each step along the path of self-aware consciousness. Practical mental exercises for stimulating the growth of self-awareness are also provided. The methods are supported by data from brain imaging, genetics of personality, and longitudinal biopsychosocial studies. Feeling Good: The Science of Well-Being will be of value to anyone involved in the sciences of the mind or the treatment of mental disorders. It will also interest theologians, philosophers, social scientists, and lay readers because it provides contemporary scientific concepts and language for addressing the perennial human questions about being, knowledge, and conduct.

Reviews:
"Cloninger, a distinguished US psychiatrist, starts this book with the question, 'why is it so difficult to be happy?' He is critical of conventional scientific psychiatry's approach to the answer to this question, and throughout the book invokes concepts which science finds it difficult to grapple with--like 'coherence.' He ranges with profound insight widely over philosophy and history plus many other sciences, including mathematics, to take an intelligent stab at the central problems of well-being." --British Journal of Psychiatry "Cloninger, a distinguished US psychiatrist, starts this book with the question, 'why is it so difficult to be happy'? He is critical of conventional scientific psychiatry's approach to the answer to this question, and throughout the book invokes concepts which science finds difficult to grapple with--like 'coherence'. He ranges with profound insight widely over philosophy and history plus many other sciences, including mathematics, to take an intelligent stab at the central problems of well-being." --British Journal of Psychiatry ". . . a product of vast erudition . . . radical, comprehensive, audacious, brilliant . . ." --PsycCRITIQUES "A remarkably ambitious and scholarly masterpiece from a gifted psychiatrist with a deep understanding of human nature. By weaving a fascinating tapestry of philosophy, psychology, mystical experience, the latest neurobiology and genetics, Cloninger has produced fresh and practical insights into the human mind."--Frederick K. Goodwin, M.D., Former Director, National Institute of Mental Health, Host of public radio's The Infinite Mind "In this audacious new book, Robert Cloninger provides a rare synthesis of the biological, the psychosocial, and the spiritual. The author manages to be comprehensive in scope, scholarly in method, yet accessible in his prose style. He forges a new integrative understanding of what it means to be human in a provocative and imaginative tour de force."--Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., Brown Foundation Chair of Psychoanalysis and Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine "...a book that demands slow reading, over time, careful chewing and repeated reference."--Nassir Ghaemi, M.D., M.A., M.P.H., Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Director, Bipolar Disorders Program, Emory School of Medicine