David Isaacs, Ph.D.

COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGIST AND RESEARCH DIRECTOR OF CHAKRA INSTITUTE

ISAACS--David, cognitive psychologist and research director of the Chakra Institute, a New Hope, PA-based center for yoga and spiritual practice, died December 5, 2018 at Madison Center, Matawan NJ after a long illness.

He was 82. He was the co-author, with Sri Shyamji Bhatnagar, of "Microchakras: InnerTuning for Psychological Well-Being" (Inner Traditions; 2009), the definitive guide to human subtle anatomy. David Israel Isaacs was born September 23, 1936 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. He majored in psychology at McGill University, earned a master's degree at Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. at the City University of New York.

His 1975 dissertation was entitled "Self Reports of Day-dreaming and Mindwandering: a Construct Validation." He was a professor of psychology for 29 years, until retirement, at the University of Bridgeport. Dr. Isaacs never married. He is survived by two brothers: Nachum Isaacs, of Bnei Brak, Israel; Paul Isaacs, of Toronto; and many nieces and nephews. Private services and burial were held at Fernhill, the family cemetery in Saint John, NB. Dr. Isaacs gave intellectual energy to the Chakra Institute and its founder, Sri Shyamji Bhatnagar, with whom he was associated since 1979.

He believed that the Tantric-Vedic tradition of India could inspire the old objective science of psychology into becoming a new subjective science of the Self. "David's contributions to uplifting mankind in this age of Kali Yuga will always be remembered," said Sri Shyamji Bhatnagar. "Ram Nam Satya Hai!"

Published in The New York Times on Dec. 16, 2018

Dr. Isaacs has been a student and associate of Sri Shyamji since 1979. In 2009 he co-authored Microchakras with him. Dr. Isaacs received his Bachelor's degree from McGill University where he majored in psychology. The dedicated members of the faculty there inspired him to make psychology his career. Looking back on those years, he says that he saw the science of psychology at its best.

Following McGill, he went to Northwestern University where he earned a Master's degree and experienced the science of psychology at its worst. The psychology department at that time was dominated by the most narrow form of Behaviorism and a fascination with research of the most trivial sort. His Master's thesis, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, added to this tradition.

The next adventure in academia began when he joined the psychology department at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. He remained there for 29 years, until retirement. While at Bridgeport, he commuted to the City University of New York where he earned his doctorate, specializing in Personality and Cognitive Science. His doctoral dissertation was on Daydreaming and Mindwandering and was done under the guidance of one of the leading authorities in the field.

In 1979, Dr. Isaacs met Sri Shyamji and was introduced to his potent theory of Microchakras as well as his incredible talent for microtonal chanting. He  also introduced by Sri Shyamji to the Tantric-Vedic tradition of India with its profound wisdom. Of greatest importance to psychology was the Vedic teaching that the Self cannot be understood as an object, since it is the paramount and irreducible Subject.

As long as psychology directs its attention to the external world and remains only an objective science, it will never discover the Self. On the other hand, if the senses are stilled, and attention is directed inward, layer upon layer of interfering thoughts may be slowly removed. Then, in pure silence, the Self may be experienced.

This is a difficult path strewn with many obstacles. A new and subjective science is required to aid the increasing numbers of people who choose to follow it.
 B. Alan Wallace has clearly documented how modern science became fixated on objectivity to the exclusion of subjectivity:The Taboo of Subjectivity: Toward a New Science of Consciousness.

The vast majority of people today are trapped in the minds of the first three chakras and focused only on needs for security, interpersonal exchanges and ego power. A significant minority does permit their fourth (heart) chakra to express love and concern for others. The highest three chakras (centers of profound creativity, intuition and transcendence) remain dormant in most people. In a future civilization,
the majority of members would draw freely upon the energies of all seven chakras.

Dr. Isaacs was working with  Sri Shyamji and other members of the Chakra Institute to help bring about this future.