With awe and wonder you look around, recognizing the preciousness of the earth, the sanctity of every human being on the planet, the ultimate unity and interdependence of all beings... Love swells in your chest and shoots out of your heart chakra, linking you to everyone/everything.... This conocimiento [awareness] motivates you to work actively to see that no harm comes to people, animals, ocean-to take up spiritual activism and the work of healing.
(Anzaldúa, G., 2002).
In the above quote, Chicana feminist, Gloria E. Anzaldua describes what she calls “Spiritual Activism”. Anzaldua proposed that the seemingly disconnected worlds of inward-focussed spirituality and outward-focused political activism could be combined to effect social change in the world. This is an important consideration, especially when many have been critical of spirituality in this sense, arguing that it induces political apathy or indifference to the needs of others and for social change.
Transpersonal psychology, with it’s focus on spirituality, spiritual experiences, and their transformational ability to move us beyond the limited boundaries of the ego and to access an enhanced capacity for wisdom, creativity, unconditional love and compassion, is ideally placed to contribute to this movement. This work is of vital importance given the current global political climate, and growing awareness of social issues and injustice.
Our 2021 conference will explore “Transpersonal activism” and how we as scholars and practitioners can implement our work in the social and political realms.
Anzaldúa, G. (2002). Now let us shift…the path of conocimiento…inner work, public acts. This bridge we call home: Radical visions for transformation, 540-578.