Shadow, Self, Spirit

Essays in Transpersonal Psychology

Shadow Self Spirit

Shadow, Self, Spirit

Essays in Transpersonal Psychology

Revised and Enlarged Edition (2021)

Michael Daniels

390 pages
Imprint Academic


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About Transpersonal Psychology

Transpersonal Psychology concerns the study of those states, processes, and events in which people experience a deeper sense of who they are, or a greater sense of connectedness to nature, other people, or the spiritual dimension.

Michael Daniels taught the subject for more than 30 years and this book brings together the fruits of his studies. It will be of special value to graduate students, and its accessible style will appeal also to all interested in exploring the spiritual dimension of human experience.

From the Preface

A Needed Revision

The first edition of Shadow, Self, Spirit was published in 2005. Though it was well received and has remained a key text for several international Masters level programmes in transpersonal psychology, further developments in theory, research and practice during the last fifteen years indicate the need for a new edition. An important landmark during this period was the publication of The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology. Its encyclopaedic coverage of the discipline (706 pages, 38 chapters, and 57 contributors) makes it an essential resource for all academics, professionals and advanced students.

Shadow, Self, Spirit has a more defined remit and purpose. As the product of 30 years teaching transpersonal psychology to undergraduate and postgraduate students, it aims to introduce the area to those initially unfamiliar with the subject, as well as providing commentary on some of the discipline’s more important and advanced debates and controversies. Throughout, I attempt to present the ideas of others as accurately and clearly as I am able, while overlaying these with my own interpretations and perspectives.

As well as revising and updating all chapters from the first edition, I have added a new chapter (Chapter 2) and incorporated additional ideas and material from other writings, conference presentations and selected contributions. In revising the text, I have also taken the opportunity to address some of the criticisms that have been made of my own position. These criticisms focused mainly on (1) my metaphysical agnosticism or seeming ambiguity, and (2) my apparent scientism and prioritizing of phenomenological methods. I hope in this edition to have clarified my (somewhat modified) arguments on these issues.



1.  Approaching Transpersonal Psychology

2.  Perspectives and Vectors in Transpersonal Psychology

3.  Holism, Integration and the Transpersonal

4.  Transpersonal Psychology and the Paranormal

5.  The Shadow in Transpersonal Psychology

6.  Towards a Transpersonal Psychology of Evil

7.  Maslow and Self-Actualization

8.  Self-Actualization, Myth and the Transpersonal

9.  A Psychohistory and Phenomenology of the Soul

10. The Transpersonal Self

11. On Transcendence and Metaphysics

12. Varieties of Mystical Experience

13. Whither Transpersonal Psychology?




About the Author

Michael Daniels, PhD (b. 1950) was formerly Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Co-Director of the Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology Research Unit at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) where, in 1994, he co-founded the ground-breaking MSc in Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology.

A chartered psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, he served as Editor of Transpersonal Psychology Review from 2008 to 2013.

He taught in higher education for more than 30 years, in the areas of humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology, parapsychology, research methods, personality theory, developmental psychology, and counselling. For six years (1993–1998) he also trained and practised as an honorary psychotherapist (psychodynamic) in the National Health Service.

His publications include numerous articles and chapters, and three books: Self-Discovery the Jungian Way: The Watchword Technique (1992/2015), Shadow, Self, Spirit: Essays in Transpersonal Psychology (2005/2021), and The I Ching Oracle: A Modern Approach to Ancient Wisdom (2017).

He retired in 2010 and moved to the Isle of Man where he pursues a variety of professional and leisure interests.

Praise for the Revised Edition (2021)

"A fully updated edition of one of the most rigorous, integrative, and important books in transpersonal psychology ever published — a must-read for students, scholars, and practitioners."

Jorge Ferrer PhD, clinical psychologist, author, public speaker, and educator. [Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 53,(2), 2021, 245.]

"Michael Daniels’s book Shadow, Self, Spirit is an essential book for students of transpersonal psychology – perhaps the clearest, most wide-ranging and well-written overview of the topic that has yet been written."

Steve Taylor PhD, author and senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University.

[Taylor, S. (2021). Book Review. Shadow, Self, Spirit: Essays in Transpersonal Psychology. Transpersonal Psychology Review, 23(2), 63-74. Full review]

Praise for the First Edition (2005)

"This is a splendid book, ranging widely across the whole spectrum of Transpersonal Psychology. It will surely become a standard text and do much to render Transpersonal Psychology readily accessible to all those who wish to understand this profoundly important area of study."

Professor David Fontana, Foundation Chair, British Psychological Society Transpersonal Psychology Section.

"Michael Daniels has written a book that is certain to become a landmark in the development of Transpersonal Psychology. He not only surveys the current state of the discipline with great lucidity, but also addresses with considerable insight some of its most challenging and topical issues."

Les Lancaster, Professor of Transpersonal Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University.

"A superb contribution to the literature ... a must read."

Dr Tony Lawrence, Coventry University.

"One of the best-written and most comprehensive books on transpersonal psychology that I have come across ... Daniels's Shadow, Self, Spirit is one of the brightest accomplishments in the recent transpersonal literature."

Louis Hoffman PhD, Colorado School of Professional Psychology.

"Best textbook of transpersonal psychology ... full of remarkable insights."

Victor Roldan, transpersonal teacher.

"A major survey and analysis of classic and contemporary transpersonal theories, authors, and topics. This book may well become the standard textbook in the area for many years to come."

Jorge Ferrer, PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies.