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Psychology - Soul

The fundamental question of psychology, as that has been posed through philosophical thinking and by human need and evolution, is what exactly the soul is, and in what dimension it is manifested.
If we were to approach the issue of the soul in a Cartesian manner, the soul is expressed with its seat as a small cone or conarium, the pineal gland (the 'third eye'). Here it could be said that Descartes is attempting to prove himself prophetic with a hormonal approach to the matter. Descartes focuses on the soul, on thought, and on reason. Others, however, locate the issue of the soul in the expression of passion. 'Reason and passion' is a favourite as a subject not only in literature, but also in thinking world-wide.

Thus the soul, between brain and heart, is a delusion beyond, in a transcendental physiology and topology. Some reject completely Descartes' one-dimensional approach and demand other approaches, even though, in reality, all the approaches have a synergy and complementariness with one another and should not be seen as a conflict. This position is in agreement with the Jung’s view, when he commented upon the disputes between the different schools of psychology:

"I do not believe for a single moment that I am absolutely right. Nobody is absolutely right where matters of psychology are concerned. You should not forget that in psychology the means by which one observes and judges the soul is the soul itself. …  There are many different kinds of psychology. Total chaos prevails in psychology. Consequently, don't take psychological theories too seriously. Psychology is not a religious faith; it is only a point of view. … The cosmos is vast and there is not one theory only to explain everything."[i]

At the same time, from one point of view, the great mathematician Leibniz, in his 'Monadology' world-theory,[ii] with his ontology generalises and overtakes in the transcendental field not only the Euclidean and Kantian representation of space, but also the world-theory of Democritus. Leibniz said:"Thus there is nothing fallow, nothing sterile, nothing dead in the universe. All the parts of every living body are full of other livings beings, each with its dominant entelechy or soul. Thus there never is absolute birth or complete death. Minds are the images of the Deity, capable of knowing the system of the universe, each being like a small divinity in its own sphere."

It is, however, difficult for this undertaking to be continued and to be rendered relevant to the present. We can, however, note that in the field of the phenomena of consciousness, an developing dynamic of phasmatic specialisation and a phasmatic field of evolutionary learning are observable. This must have happened at the stage of individuation of man as a differentiation from animal intelligence and the intelligence of nature, during the process of the unfolding of the phenomenon of the soul in man and in general.

In philosophy, Being in the ontological field emerges as a factor which organises the evolutionary process. In some schools, Being is the process in its evolutionary mutability. In all the schools, the field of appearances is intermediary either as regards the existential or transcendental field of Being, or as regards the existential and transcendental field of process.

The phenomena of psychology have a fundamental biological character. They are linked with a process of self-producing and identification with a centre which pursues life and its quality as pleasure and which is linked with a dynamic of internalisation. Through this internalisation, life emerges as a fundamental field of instinct. It is the internalisation of being in the interactive sphere of psychological and biological phenomena.

The soul in matter

Life and the soul seem to be particularly interwoven in the primeval shamanistic fundamental cults and world-theories. In these, the psychic and the animal are seen as inherent in stone and minerality or in dimension, that is, in the transparency of dimensions. This has stressed a fundamental dynamic from ancient times to the present. And it is this fundamental dynamic which is reflected in the 'living rock', in the 'living stone', and in the 'philosopher's stone'. It is no accident, moreover, that in the Eleusinian Mysteries a material-animalist psychism was attributed to Demeter's sacred stone, which was described as 'the Unlaughing Stone', or, otherwise, as the ' Grief Stone'.

A study in the work of Mircea Eliade on both 'inner light' and 'shamanism'[iii] would be useful. In this sense, myth and experience advance thought and organise communication, to come now to the structuralist anthropology of Ferdinand de Saussure, who was the first also to demonstrate that language does not copy reality, but is arbitrary, as there is no causal connection between the signifier (the word which is given to an object) and the signified.

In a strange way, the myth of the origins of the human race, if approached  with today's breadth of reflectiveness, awareness, and experience, seems to contain  cryptographically-symbolically much more information than could have been devised by an animal-human mind. With this myth, we come face to face again with certain singularities of a latent dynamic or bio-information which are revealed by the force, the quality, the completeness, and the dynamic of information which we encounter in encoded form in the DNA or in a cell, which, however, is not exactly conscious of its quality, in spite of the fact that is has an instinct of identity and of life. That is, the elementary and the psychological scale show isomorphic dynamic correlations.

The soul and wonder at life

Many are the paradoxes which we are called upon to solve. It is a good thing to retain wonder, as Einstein used to say in observing and correlating the quality of being which can be expressed in a living insect. Arthur Koestler describes how one day Einstein was watching a fly which had landed on his manuscripts, and this was enough for him to become conscious of the miracle of life which was before him - he leapt up in ecstasy, shouting 'Allah!'. It is necessary for us to realise - not in the sense of the unfathomable - how dizzying  in its composition a real living being is when compared with the crudeness and  the simplistic formulation of even the most dialectically and mathematically substantiated knowledge and representations which we have in our consciousness.

In one sense, our undertaking is a sleepwalking one, as Koestler would also have said in his Sleepwalkers,[iv] since the measure and the reference - in dimension and essence -have transcendental ontological characteristics which Leibniz, Pythagoras, and Plato would ascribe to them. They would have attributed an archetypal status of ideas to geometry, the soul, and numbers, woven together in the 'music of the spheres' and the 'harmony of the cosmos'.

Thus, to count and to sing is the same thing, not in the sense of the primacy of measure. The Orphic and the Promethean model of communication, understanding, intuition, and instrumental creativity is a single undertaking - both Orphic and Promethean at one and the same time. The comment of Leibniz is indicative: "Music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting".[v]

Einstein, in his The World as I See It,[vi] notes that "the eternally incomprehensible thing of the world is its comprehensibility." The sense we have of interpretation, the feeling of certainty which exists in the comprehension of the interpretation from the sense to the theory and the experiment is strange, just as strange as this coincidence of ratio in its mathematical and ideal coherence, affinity, and nature. And this coincidence unfolds phasmatically in increasing breadth, and, at the same time, with a sub-phasmatic development.

The soul and a musical reading of the self and of the cosmos

We must speak about a phasmatic eradiating psychology of synthesis, in the sense of the particularity, allotropy, and collectivity of the entity, that is, of an entity which is whole and which composes. However, in this way we are faced with a philosophical and religious assertion in postulating a parallel entity which declares itself rarely - perhaps more rarely than the elementary particles declare themselves as reagents in a particle accelerator. We are speaking of the soul as an entity.

In our day-to-day experience, in spite of the fact that the soul as an entity is a part, it goes through organicity and yet remains more expansive and transcendental, more universal in its position. In religions, we encounter allusions to 'Christ within us', to 'birth from above', to 'birth from the spirit and water', or from spirit and fire. We encounter 'I Am the One Who Is', the identification of divinity with the Logos, with Love, with the 'consuming fire', and with the Spirit.

At the same time, we have discovered - and in a scientific manner - that all things are energy, which is, however, by dispensation so differentiated and formed that it unfolds geospherically, in spite of its exceptional for release and timelessness, in a state of manifested biological evolutionary confinement and in a regime of historicity of duration - of duration and of time which we can and should read in terms of music. If we wish to see psychological phenomena empirically construed, we must be in a position to make a musical reading of our self and the cosmos - that is, to see duration in a unified way.

Within this unified duration, 'now' is complete, it is eternal, just as time is enduring and cohesive, whereas space is transcendental, it is non-local as a dimension.

Ioannis Zisis, Writer

Photo from Wikimedia

[i] Jung, C.G., The Bases of Analytical Psychology [Greek edition], publ. Anagnostidi, Athens, pp. 163 - 164.

[ii] Ubaldo, Nicola, Illustrated Anthology of Philosophy [Greek edition], publ. Enalios, 2007, p. 265.

[iii] Eliade, Mircea, Shamanism [Greek edition], publ. Hatzinikoli, 1978.

[iv] Koestler, Arthur, The Sleepwalkers - Pythagoras, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo [Greek edition], publ. Hatzinikoli.

[v] Kline, Morris, Mathematics in Western Civilisation [Greek edition], publ. Kodikas, 2002.

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