On Transpersonal Psychology: Science, Consciousness, Spirituality—Interview with Les Lancaster

LISTEN to the full interview with Les Lancaster here (approx. 35 mins)

Though Les Lancaster has a long history as a neuroscientist, he has always been fascinated by mysticism and spirituality. He ultimately found a way to bring his two passions together through the field of Transpersonal Psychology, and currently serves as the Founding Director of The Alef Trust, an online graduate school offering transformational programmes and open learning courses for in consciousness, spirituality, and transpersonal psychology.

Transpersonal Psychology is interested in what goes beyond on that small part of ourselves that we know as the “ego,” notes Lancaster. So what is it about consciousness that goes beyond the immediate sense of the ego? And in an applied sense, how do we assist people in making these journeys which go beyond that immediate sense of the personality, to explore the farther reaches, the deeper nature of mind, and the world of which we’re a part?”

In this interview, Lancaster discusses the origins and aims of Transpersonal Psychology and compares and contrasts it to Depth Psychology, both of which have been highly influenced by the work of Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung. He also delves into the connection between science and the transpersonal, suggesting we simply must recognize that there is something more to our world than the purely physical if we are to engage in the work of spirit and soul, and to reap its many benefits.

Finally, Lancaster touches on the work of Transpersonal pioneer, Stanislav Grof, as well as on breathwork, mindfulness, consciousness, shamanistic traditions, Buddhists texts, Kabbalah, and near-death experiences, among other topics taught in masters and PhD courses, and in open learning classes at The Alef Trust.

Les Lancaster
Les Lancaster

Brian Les Lancaster is a Founding Director and currently Academic Dean of Alef Trust. He is also a Professor Emeritus of Transpersonal Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, and Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the U.S., and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Centre for Jewish Studies at Manchester University, in the U.K.  He is currently a Board member of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and has previously been Chair of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society and President of the International Transpersonal Association. Les is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Sacred Science Circle.

Masters (MSc) programs at the Alef Trust begin in late September. Learn more about The Alef Trust at www.AlefTrust.org.

LISTEN to the full interview with Les Lancaster here (approx. 35 mins)

Full written transcript coming soon!

Find additional interviews from Bonnie Bright, Ph.D. at depthinsights.com/podcasts

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About Bonnie Bright


Bonnie Bright, Ph.D., earned M.A. degrees at Sonoma State University and at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she also received her Ph.D. She is the founder of Depth Psychology Alliance™, an online community for everyone interested in Jungian and depth psychologies, and of DepthPsychologyList.com, a free database of Jungian and depth psychology-oriented practitioners. She is also the creator and Executive Editor of Depth Insights™, a scholarly journal, and regularly produces audio and video interviews on depth psychological topics. Bonnie has completed 2-year certifications in Archetypal Pattern Analysis via the Assisi Institute; in Indigenous African Spiritual Technologies with West African elder Malidoma Somé; and she has trained extensively in Holotropic Breathwork™ and the Enneagram.