Mysticism/Psych Course 8: Psychology

The sixth video of the class* brought in psychology for the course and integrated topics discussed so far.

  • Problem: psychoanalysis presents itself as the only/main form; but it is just one of many: cognitive psychology, brain sciences, hypnosis
  • Other places to uncover psychology:
    • Literature,
    • Internet: blogs, outpouring on Facebook…
    • Philosophy (Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard…)
    • Henri Bergson: psychology of energy/creativity.
    • Mysticism is another form of psychology
  • Multiple psychological modernity.
  • Psychoanalysis is not the master-key. Each needs to be interpreted on their own terms. (Comparing is OK)
  • Psychoanalysis has religious roots. Obvious at Jung. Freud worked in a circle too. Protestant structures of thought: a Protestant ethic of saving of saving one’s energy, of delaying satisfaction influenced his ego concept.
  • Freud is indebted to religion, including mysticism. He met a major aesthetic mystic and analyzed him. He had mystical visions.
  • There is interaction between mysticism and psychology
  • Overview:
    • Cover of The Soul's Logical Life: Towards a Rigorous Notion of PsychologyPsychoanalysis is one form of modern European psychology.
    • All forms of modern psychology including mysticism need to be interpreted first and foremost on their own terms.
    • Mystical psychology of European mystical traditions is part of European modernity.
    • Mystical psychology, and psychology in general, are not irrational. You can bring them into a logical structure.
  • Wolfgang Giergrich‘s The Soul’s Logical LifeThe soul has a logical life; part of this logic is historical logic. The soul itself, the psyche, is historical; emerged under certain, historical conditions. The psyche itself goes through historical processes and transitions, and develops with history.

I wonder how Giergrich defines the soul? His point reminded me of Marx’s “it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence but their social existence that determines their consciousness“. So is the soul similarly dialectic? Does the condition under which it develops define it? Is my soul radically different form my ancestors’ who lived in olden days? Interesting idea but how could I (dis)prove it?

* This blog entry is part of my series on the “Modern European Mysticism and Psychological Thought” course I am taking.

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