Blume (2014) explored the development of psychology and the human centered beliefs about creation which placed humans at the top of the creation hierarchy. Using the Eurocentric models of psychology, ideal healthy human behavior assumed elements of individualism, autonomy and independence to explore how different factors form an interplay in defining human behavior in psychology. The value of the three concepts (individualism, independence and autonomy) has been challenged. Blume (2014) floated the debate on cyclical psychology as compared to linear psychology. In the old paradigm, progress was viewed as a linear and positive. However, the paradigm has several limitations. It fails to align with the indigenous worldview which needs to be incorporated in the discussion. Psychology should also focus on cycles and their importance in life.
The second argument focuses on the discussion of life as a lesson and not solely focusing on the results. Most arguments focus on the results and in the process ignore the indigenous worldview which focuses on the process. According to Blume (2014) indigenous people believe in the orderly unfolding of life. Life as a lesson psychology focuses on the meaning of each moment in life. It explores the cycles of life and the lessons that humans should draw from them. The third element is balancing between individuality and communal goals. The Eurocentric approach focused on the individual while the indigenous worldview focused on the communal goals. Communal goals employ ethical approaches ensuring that the best action taken has the best interest of the public. Other elements included include timelessness and the meaning of different moments in psychology. Sustainable psychology also needs to be reviewed based on the indigenous worldview. The planet has limited resources which must be conserved for the future generations. Humans should not be selfish in their actions. Blume (2014) concluded by describing sacred psychology. In the argument he claimed that he was not proposing religiosity but the belief that all things are important to various purposes in the universe.
The article presents important arguments that need to be considered to ensure that psychology adopts a holistic approach that covers different people. Blume (2014) highlighted the focus on Eurocentric psychology on individualism, independence and autonomy. However, this approach is flawed considering that humans are not totally independent in the universe. Their actions have far reaching consequences which must be contained and managed. For instance, merging that element with the one on sustainable psychology, humans are supposed to conserve the environment and ensure that they leave the world a better place for future generations. Advocating for independence and individualism is not totally wrong. It is important to incorporate elements of the indigenous worldview and focus on the universe as a system and humans as a small section of the universe that is there for a short period of time. Blume (2014) introduces an important argument on time. The fact that humans are in the universe for a short period shows that they should not consider themselves so important that they should destroy it. Furthermore, much focus on the individual should be discouraged as compared to the indigenous worldview which focuses on the whole society. The best actions should be weighed and evaluated based on the utility they have to the whole society. The Eurocentric approach to psychology is therefore deficient since it focuses mainly on individualism, independence and autonomy hence promoting selfishness, greed and the idea that humans are the center of creation.
Blume, A. W. (2014). Sharing the light of the sacred fire: A proposal for a paradigm shift in psychology. Journal of Indigenous Research, 3(1) Article 4, 1-5.
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