Experiencing the Self

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSHS2017024

Semester and Year Offered: Ist Semester, 1st year for Psychology and 3rd Semester for Gender Studies

Course Coordinator and Team: Rajinder Singh and Anshumita Pandey

Email of course coordinator: rajinder[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: Interest in engaging with one’s self, emotional states and of others

Aim: To develop awareness about one’s self which would contribute in relationships and life.

Course Outcomes:

  1. Higher awareness about human predicaments and paradoxes of life and capacity to bear them.
  2. To develop capacity to reflect and engage with one’s life and that of others
  3. Nascent understanding of interdependence in life.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Introduction Experiential activities-the students will be introduced to the course and a free floating discussion will be generated in class, where in the course facilitators will attend to moments of living, these may be arrived at by focusing on dreams, fantasy, phantasy, crisis, falling in love, trauma, joy, exhilaration, sadness, suffering & grief etc. What is self? – An ever nebulous question to be engaged with & to be revoked again again, so how do we reach an experience of selfhood. An activity is introduced
  2. Self in Psychoanalytic thinking-an engagement with some of the themes like- living, playing, form and formlessness, dreaming, fantasizing, void & trauma, desire body & sexuality, Self & its objects will be initiated through few selected writings.
  3. Reflective Self- Existential Writings- An experiential exploration of themes of meaning, futility, acceptance, rebellion, choice and choicelessness, angst, loss, death etc will from the nucleus for this section through stories or novella.
  4. Buddhist notion on Self- Interdependent self – co-existence, presence of all forms of existence in any one entity. The significance of appreciating the inherent emptiness of all of our existences. Living by approximating the non-self position, compassion & selfhood, reaching out to others.
  5. Synthesizing the frameworks- In this section connections between Buddhism, Socially critical perspectives and experiential traditions on self are engaged with.

Assessment Details with weights:

  1. Home assessment (autobiography)-35%
  2. Term end Viva- 40%
  3. Attendance and Class participation- 25%

Reading List:

  • Philips, A. (1988). On Flirtation. Cambridge, Mass: Harward University Press. · Camus ,A. (1972). The Plague. London: Penguin books. ·
  • Camus , A. (1970). The Rebel. New Jersey: Routledge. ·
  • Epstein, M. (1995).. Thoughts without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective. New York:: Harper Collins Publishers. ·
  • Epstein, M. (2001). Going On Being. New York: Harper Collins Publishers. ·
  • Epstein, M. (1999). Going to Pieces without Falling Apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness. London: Thorsons.. ·
  • Frankl E. Victor.(1984). Man’s Search for Meaning. New York: Beacon Press. · Gottlieb, R. S.(1999). A Spirituality of Resistance. New York: Temple Univ. Press. · Gyatso, T. (1995). Awakening the Mind: Lightening the Heart. New Delhi: Harper Collins. · Gyatso, T. (1997).. The Heart of Compassion. New Delhi: Full Circle. · Hanh, N Thich.(1999). Interbeing. Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism. New Delhi: Full Circle. ·
  • Hanh, N Thich.(2001). Our Appointment with Life New Delhi: Full Circle.
  • Hesse Herman. (1978).Siddhartha. London: Penguin books. ·
  • Kafka, F. (1980). Metamorphosis and other stories. New York: Washington Square Press. ·
  • Winnicott, D. W. (1958). Collected Papers: Through Pediatrics to Psychoanalysis. New York: Basic Books.
  • Winnicott, D. W. (1965) Maturational Processes and the Facilitating Environment. New York: International Universities Press.
  • Winnicott, D. W.. (1971)Playing and Reality. London: Taivstock Publication


  • Wherever it will be possible, literary writings or movies/documentaries will strengthen and complement the readings.