Relevance.The altered states of consciousness (ASC) phenomena are widespread and have functional significance in the cultural and religious practices. The recognition of the fact that these states exists have become itself the basis of criticism of the «dogmatic» Marxist psychology. The lack of cultural-activity approach in the study of mystical and religious altered states hinders the theoretical equipment of practical work with subjects of these ASC and the making of conditions of interfaith dialogue of full value.
Objective.To examine the methodological potential of cultural-activity approach in the study of altered states of consciousness (including mystical/religious ASC’s) and to consider the methodical means in the solution of corresponding research tasks.
Methods.The methodological analysis of the problem of ASC in religious practices from the cultural-activity approach positions.
Conclusions.The comprehension of culturally predetermined ASC as functional organs of activity derives from Soviet tradition of dynamic systemic formations research and contributes to the notions of structure, function and development of ASC. An application of structural schemas of activity and consciousness to reveal the constitution of means, induction methods and psychological mechanisms of the ASC is justified. Author considers the capabilities of using pattern of psychical processes, action and more fractional units in the ASC analysis. The significance of productive criteria for ASC presence is pointed out, and the capabilities of religious ASC research methods are discussed in appliance with the principles of modern type of scientific rationality. Author analyses specific methods allowing to reconstruct the ASC phenomena in religious practices, their requirements and restrictions. Explanatory possibilities of cultural-activity approach allow to give a holistic and consistent interpretation to the psychical phenomena of the alteration of the state of consciousness.
By: Solenov, Igor V.;
Available Online: 12/01/2018
Based on the psychological analysis of Christian Hesychasm texts the paper educes specific for these religious practice types of altered states of consciousness (states of grace and states of prelest), psychic changes and emergence of appropriate phenomena. The paper explores the possibilities of cultural-activity approach using in revealing the influence of cultural and social factors that determines altered states of consciousness (including specific for religious practice states) and the possibilities of studying this effect mechanisms. Mystical religious state is considered as functional organ of ascetic’s religious activity which provides its goals and tasks implementation. The paper proves that religious world view as well as goals of religious practice and appropriate techniques of mystical religious states induction determines the characteristics and phenomenology of these states.
The article discusses the possibilities of use of the most important categories and principles of the cultural activity approach in the field of health psychology. Biological and psychological understanding of health is compared in it. Besides, modern scientific definition of human health is given. Main methodological approaches to the study of person’s health are considered too. On the bases of Vygotsky’s ideas the view of health as a higher mental function (HMF) is proposed and substantiated. The contents of the concept of HMF, its connection with traditional system and level approaches are revealed. Understanding of health as HMF is compared with existing directions based on Vygotsky’s and cultural historical ideas in the field of health psychology and in clinical psychology of physicality in particular. The final part of the article is devoted to issues of occupational health. The connection of the structure, development and individual style of activity and occupational health, issues of improvement health motivation are investigated with view of activity approach. The methodological potential of the concept of health as HMF and activity approach ideas to health psychology and psychological science in general is emphasized.