The Existential/Humanistic/Transpersonal Psychology of Ernest Becker   [Archived Catalog]
2016-2017 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook

EHTP 2048 - The Existential/Humanistic/Transpersonal Psychology of Ernest Becker

The cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker was an astonishingly brilliant thinker and writer who was interdisciplinary in the truest sense. With a surpassing fund of knowledge and a uniquely passionate and penetrating mind, Becker roamed freely through seeming libraries of works in sociology, anthropology, political science, ethology, psychoanalysis, psychology, religion, and the broader humanities so as to articulate stunning cultural, existential-humanistic, and spiritual truths. Becker understood, like William James and Otto Rank before him, that the fundamental problems in life are existential rather than instinctive. Human beings are conflicted not so much because of sexual or aggressive drives but because we know too much. We have evolved into creatures who think, a simultaneously mortifying and exhilarating occurrence when we consider the implications of what it means to be briefly alive on a planet that spins on the periphery of a single galaxy within the Infinite. We are, in a sense, effete animals who strive interminably to limit overexposure. Although the risks are self-evident, the untold possibilities are ultimately uppermost in Becker's searching and visionary mind. In reading Becker's seminal works, we will consider the universal mind and pervasive humanism of one of the most original and ethically-attuned native psychologists of our time. 3 credit(s)