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Epstein, M. (2013). The Devil We Know. Psychoanal. Perspect., 10(2):285-290.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 10(2):285-290

The Devil We Know

Mark Epstein, MD

Spiritual psychoanalysis is a difficult concept to define. Traditional Buddhist psychologies and philosophies warn about some of the most common traps. In particular, they caution against reifying ecstatic experiences and turning those reifications into more entrenched notions of self. This approach plays into dissociative defenses and creates a spit between the “spiritual” and the everyday. Joining Buddhist and psychoanalytic thought requires an appreciation of the central psychological insight of the Buddha: that of shunyata or “emptiness.”

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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