Professor Charles T. Tart, one of the founders of Transpersonal Psychology, long ago noticed that many people might consciously aim at high spiritual goals, but their progress toward realizing such goals was often seriously hindered by various psychological factors, ranging from conscious and unconscious attitudes developed by each of us in our personal life to general cultural attitudes and beliefs inculcated in and shared by most of us who live in the current era. In the early 1980s he created an experiential exercise, The Western Creed, for his classes and workshops, designed to sensitize spiritual seekers to some of the major cultural obstacles we moderns share in our search. When you don’t know you have a semi- or unconscious attitude that interferes with your search, it hinders you and there’s little you can do about it, as you tend to project the problem as “out there”.
When you know that some of your beliefs and attitudes may be hindering your search, you have an opportunity to try to understand and do something about them.
Transpersonal Psychology, still a very young and incomplete branch of knowledge, attempts, on the one hand, to take the spiritual heritage of humanity as being real and of enormous importance, while also considering all that we know about human psychology, our good and bad points, on the other. Its long-term goals include separating the real from the unreal in the spiritual area as well as discovering how psychological factors can both help and hinder the realization of the spiritual in actual life.