Book review: Awareness is freedom: The adventure of psychology and spirituality


In Awareness is Freedom: The Adventure of Psychology and Spirituality, Ivtzan (2015) bridges the gap between these two traditions by arguing convincingly that they are not merely compatible, but complementary. The back-cover states that its purpose is “to support readers in their personal journey of self-growth,” placing it squarely in the self-help genre. For Ivtzan, some aspects of our psychological functioning often imprison us, but meditation can help us develop the ability to remain in a state of awareness, which he considers the key to authentic freedom. The book targets a lay audience, as it covers empirical research sparingly and at times seems to rely on the personal views of the author. When Ivtzan does venture into established spiritual discourses, he borrows notions and practices primarily from Buddhism and Yoga, necessarily leaving out other traditions. Unique exercises and psychological tests accompany each of eight lessons.

Frontiers in Psychology, 10(2814).
Rémi Thériault
Rémi Thériault
PhD Student (Social Psychology)

My research interests include social/implicit cognition, altruism, and dreams.