Psychological Health

The Asian ideal of health extends beyond pathology reduction to encompass existential and transpersonal concerns. Health is defined primarily in terms of three changes: (1) the reduction of unhealthy qualities, especially the three poisons, (2) cultivation of healthy qualities, and (3) maturation to transpersonal stages of development.

Asian psychologies emphasize that specific healthy mental qualities must be deliberately cultivated to ensure psychological health and maturity, for example, concentration, compassion, and mindfulness. The quality of mindful-ness—precise awareness of the nature of the stimuli being observed—might be regarded as a highly developed form of the Freudian "observing ego."

Psychological health also includes maturation to transpersonal stages and capacities. These include, for example, postformal operational cognition and wisdom, postconven-tional morality, transpersonal emotions such as encompassing love and compassion, and metamotives such as self-transcendence and selfless service.

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