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Psychology - Soul
Psychology_barnstarPsychology started out as a science under the burden of a positivistic mimetism of the natural sciences. It was born in defining and delimiting an object (psychological man) which it receives historically through the civilisation of man, and through a lengthy culture of concepts and communication, as that has been structured chiefly by the trends of philosophy.

Wilhelm Wundt and the positivistic foundation of psychology[i] have already been censured over the unattainability of non-self-observation (imaginative simulation of the person being analysed), which - self-observation or otherwise - he lays down as a condition for the observation of the psychological phenomena of man more or less as natural objects.

The non-self-observation of the psychologist as a precondition for the observation and psychoanalysis of the person or phenomenon being analysed is impossible. Furthermore, according to R.D. Laing, there is no pure objectivity even beyond man, except as a subjectivity ignoring its self as such. Laing observed that nothing is more subjective than objectivity which cannot see its subjectivity.[ii]

In search of the nature of consciousness

The primary question which arises in psychology is the issue of the nature of consciousness: whether consciousness is an entity and dimension of the entity or a derivative of organisation of matter and form - if, that is, the dynamic which exists in the consciousness, the feeling of identity, is a materialisation which is located in the biological phenomenon, in each biological entity and which takes a consciously unfolded form in the case of man, with many gradations. These gradations are known as instinct, sense, desire, sensibility, emotion, thought, will, awareness, intuition, or as, transcendental or otherwise, sensory phenomena of the psyche.

At the very centre of thinking on this problem is the need of man to be regulated and to regulate through the psychological dynamic both social and cultural issues and the experiencing of his body.

It is important that we should look at how far reason and the psychic reading of the reality of what is felt, known, natural and transcendental are paralled, and to what extent the psychological stance in intellectual activity and knowledge is intimated, and to what extent it reflects a broader psychism. We need to see, in other words, how far what we are dealing with is a generalised and universal animism and what the relation of the consciousness of individuality is with the subconsconscious, the unconscious, and the super consciousness.

Psychological need itself makes in man a claim for a confirmation of being or of the existence of the soul. The desideratum of the lifespan brings to light issues concerning the cultural fulfilment of the being, and questions of self-knowledge and self-realisation.

At the same time, these are related to matters having to do with illness, pain, death, primeval taboos, the trinity to which Freud drew attention: the taboo on murder, cannibalism, and incest, which has its special dynamic in the Oedipus Complex.

It could be said that the generation of the social, cultural, and systemic environment, that is, of systemic organisation, is a product chiefly of the psychological process on an animal-based human sub-stratum.

Our concern is to see, on the one hand, this human-animal sub-stratum of individuality, of the perception-forming, culturalisation, and animation of man, and, on the other, the biological process of evolution of this sub-stratum, as sought after by the neuro-sciences, modern genetics, biochemistry and biophysics, in the logic of isomorphic approaches, semantically and systemically, with all the dynamic open to research programmes, experimental approaches, and applications.

Animal psychology, to the extent that it is developed and throws light on the phenomena of learning, consciousness, creativity, and sense – 'sensory and delusional' – that is, of the dynamic of animals and their communities still has a good deal to contribute.

The investigation of reactions at the level of plants, moreover, at the level of cohesive nonlocality, which is now being explored in quantum physics and which comes to light in biological phenomena, must become a fertile field of research and theory for the future.

This subject and the phenomenon of nonlocality must now also begin to be investigated by the human sciences, psychology, and psychoanalysis. This is something which had already begun to be accepted by Freud in his book Dreams  and Telepathy.[iii] It would be a good thing for his successors to cease to analyse matters monophasmatically, in a single area or topic.

Twenty-first century: the century of psychology

Sciences habitually advance with their 'own century' in the tracing of their subject-matter, as well as with a synchronism. For this reason it cannot be said that certain sciences have an absolute evolutionary reference, corresponding to other sciences. Thus, psychology emerges in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, and the neuro-sciences, in a similar way, in the eighteenth and nineteenth - in proportion to the physics and mathematics which had gone before - in the analytical, inductive, and methodological field. This, of course, also applies to sciences such as Law, which is very ancient, and to Economics, which is very modern. In spite of their great historical past, and, in part, because of it, are tied down by the managerial circles of vested interest and of narcissism, and seem unable to make use of the dynamic of pioneering or of the differentiation of the evolutionary process from science to science.

More generally, what is needed is an overall phasmatisation of the evolutionary process of and a polychrome approach to the sciences. An example of this new approach is that to the phenomenon of the organism in the sense of a psychosomatic medicine and psychology. Psychosomatic psychology, of course, has not been developed. Psychosomatic medicine exists, as we see a strong reaction on the part of certain systems in the psychological field, precisely as that is shaped by the brain and functions as a phenomenon of communication with the environment.

At the same time, the organism operates as an endogenous algorithm in the consciousness and as a psychosphere, as a holographic dynamic which has, organically, a cybernetic role through the endocrine and nervous system.

Here, of course, the neuro-sciences will advance at a very slow pace, which is useful as a foundation, just as, in any event, animal-based psychology advances slowly. It is - it could be said - a skeletal approach to study, even though it is in the skeletal part, in the end, that we shall discover the soul and the living stone.

For such a task it is also required - according to Edgar Morin - that "we should find the difficult path of the interconnection of the sciences, each of which has not only its own language, but also fundamental concepts which cannot pass from one language to the other."[iv]

The organism as a binary system of energy and information

According to the principle of binarism of systems and in the form of a generalisation, the organism is a binary system of energy and information, a system of vitality, in the end, and consciousness. The organs function phasmatically in the sense of binarism with differing conductivities of interaction, of hierarchical and psychological contribution, both as phenomena which reflect the material base, that is, the energy base, the active animal-rooted aspect, and as phenomena which reflect the psychological base and the neuro-psychological aspect. It is clear that these cannot be detached from one another; they function on terms of one dynamic.

It is precisely here that the new sciences, such as that of informatics and of software organisation, of software systems, which throw light upon the hardware and software zones in the organisation of the organism and the brain, and on their autonomies, where certain issues emerge as primary in the brain, come to make their contribution. These issues are shown up, that is to say, as those of inner contrivance and necessity and not of socio-psychological learning, as was believed in the past.

There is, to put it briefly, a hardware, often much more designing, which brings out a design of manifestation in the human organism, and this logic of cryptography and codifying dynamic indicates, of itself, an endogenous planning and evolution.

There is a need for this research to broaden out with much more imagination, as we have said, and for it to make use of the full range of the sciences and of technological knowledge, of technological potentialities for the design of experiments, as well as of statistics. Carl Jung attempted to put forward such issues through statistics concerning traditional categorisations, regarded at an earlier date as scientific, in the logic of the study, the highlighting, and the interpretative breadth of the theory of synchronicity.[v]

There are many programmes moving in this direction and these are also expressed by thinkers and scientists such as Ervin Lászlo[vi] and Ken Wilber[vii] as documentary parameters and components in the quest for a new world-theory.

Abandoning epistemological and methodological totalitarianism

It is an interesting fact that alternative exoteric - for the authoritative view and science - areas existed in the fundamental thought of great thinkers and founders of science such as Kepler, Newton, Leibniz, Goethe, and many others.

The same is true of modern major thinkers and Nobel prize-winners in the natural biological sciences. The time is ripe for us to be liberated on terms of a pragmatism in this quest, especially, moreover, insofar as we are talking about the phenomenon of the soul, about the soul as an entity or as a superstructure.

These issues are exceptionally ancient and it has never proved possible for them to be eliminated or excluded by an epistemological or methodological totalitarianism.

The cultural necessity has from time to time become obvious enough.

There are in science borderline issues, that is, issues which touch upon more than one science, field, or topic, or on matters of an interdisciplinary nature, or, in addition, on matters which are classed as extreme or marginal and are neglected as insoluble details leading nowhere, such as those identified by Kelvin in the late nineteenth century, which, contrary to his forecasts, served as the starting-point for the revolutions of the twentieth century.

Such borderline issues have led the sciences and their field of research to definitive subversions. During this period theories were developed, such as systems theory and cybernetics, which seek to deal in a unifying manner with the issues in conjunction with methodologies such as the holistic method.[viii]

As Edgar Morin remarks, "contrary to the widely-held notion that a concept has no correctness except in that branch in which it was generated, certain migratory concepts fertilise a new field, in which they will take root, even at the expense of a misinterpretation. Benoît Mandelbrot, moreover, goes so far as to say that 'one of the most powerful tools of science, and the only global one, is misinterpretation treated by a talented researcher'".[ix]

Always, even in the past, the process of evolution for a science has started out from other sciences, even from those which are not directly related. This allogenic dynamic of thought, which is developed between people on a much broader scale through problems and searchings, has brought to the forefront the need for a new approach to man's most fundamental issue: the soul.

This allogenic dynamic frequently lies beyond the bounds of predictability, validity and the terms of validity and beyond the experts, and is the generalised contribution of the human factor, particularly to such an important matter, where intellectual activity has been defined a venture of thinking beyond specialisation.

At the same time, in matters of world-theory features of affinity have been put forward with an undefinable dynamic, in the parallel nature of conviction and reason in thought, even in the most severe scientific algorithm of method, as has been shown by the critical epistemology and self-criticism of scientific method and validity by Kuhn,[x] Feyerabend,[xi] and others. What has also come to light is the world-image as a system of historical approach or knowledge depending upon the period and time.

To sum up: in this sense, we need a new spirit of pragmatism, and in the light of that we can also study the phenomenon of faith, with a pragmatism to which not only students of it  such as James,[xii] but also critical political thinkers such as Brecht, as in his Stories of Mr Keuner, were open.[xiii] Moreover, Brecht himself concealed within him a side of him devoted to Lao Tse.

We encounter points of alternativeness, esotericism, and exotericism even in figures such as Karl Marx[xiv] or Lenin, as we have demonstrated elsewhere.

Ioannis Zisis, Writer

Photo from Wikimedia

[i] Husserl, Edmund, Philosophy as Strict Science [Greek version], publ. Roes, 2000.

[ii] Laing, R.D., Voice of Experience [Greek version], publ. Eleftheros Typos, Athens 1984, p. 13.

[iii] Freud, Sigmund, Dreams and Telepathy [Greek edition], publ. Epikouros, 1983.

[iv] Morin, Edgar, The Well-Fashioned Head ??? [Greek edition], publ. Eikostou Protou, p. 143.

[v] Jung, Carl, Synchronicity [Greek edition], publ. Iamblichos.

[vi] Lászlo, Ervin, Science and the Akashic Field {Greek edition], publ. Archetypo, 2008.

[vii] Wilber, Ken, A Theory of Everything [Greek edition], publ. Kyveli, 2002.

[viii] Prigogine, Ilya, The End of Certainty [Greek edition], publ. Katoptro, 2003.

[ix] Op. cit., [4], p. 150.

[x] Kuhn, Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions [Greek edition], publ. Synchrona Themata, 2008. For a summary of the subject in an article by Dionysis Mentzeniotis: The change in scientific apprehensions and Thomas Kuhn

[xi] Feyerabend, Paul, Against Method [Greek edition], publ. Synchrona Themata, 1983.

[xii] James, William, The Varieties of Religious Experience [Greek edition], publ. Printa, 1999.

[xiii] Brecht, Bertolt, Stories of Mr Keuner [Greek edition], publ. Grammata, 1991.

[xiv] Fischer, Ernst, What Marx Really Said [Greek edition], publ. Glaros, 1975, p. 26.

Extract from a letter from Marx to his wife:
"Temporary absence is good, for in a person’s presence things look too much alike for them to be distinguished. At close quarters even towers appear dwarfed, whereas what is petty and commonplace, seen close at hand, assumes undue proportions. So, too, with the passions. Little habits which, by their very proximity, obtrude upon one, and thus assume the form of passions, vanish as soon as their immediate object is out of sight. Great passions which, by the proximity of their object, take on the form of little habits, wax large and resume their natural proportions under the magical effect of distance. So it is with my love. Mere spatial separation from you suffices to make me instantly aware that time has done for my love just what the sun and the rain do for plants — made it grow. My love for you, as soon as you are away from me, appears for what it is, a giant, and into it all the vigour of my mind and all the ardour of my heart are compressed. I feel myself once more a man because I feel intense passion, and the multifariousness in which we are involved by study and modern education, no less than the scepticism which inevitably leads us to cavil at every subjective and objective impression, is calculated to render each one of us petty and weak and fretful and vacillating. But love, not for Feuerbachian Man, not for Moleschottian metabolism, not for the proletariat, but love for a sweetheart and notably for yourself, turns a man back into a man again. ...
Buried in her arms, revived by her kisses’ — in your arms, that is, and by your kisses — and let the Brahmins and Pythagoras keep their doctrine of re-birth, and Christianity its doctrine of resurrection…


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