A Psychological Study of the Mandala in Early Jewish Holy Literature
Paper given before the American Academy of Religion, March 21, 1991 and then, later for a sub-division of the American Psychological Association.
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A Response to Kahn and Hobson
The following is a critique of the article Self-organization and the Dreaming Brain by David Kahn and J. Allan Hobson that appeared in The Harvard Mental Health Letter of May, 1994 (Volume 10, Number 11).
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Freud's Irma Dream and the Possibility of Biochemical Pathways from Diseases to Dreams
A later version of this paper was published in Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams, Volume 5, Number 4. December, 1995 (267-287)
In the time of sleep ... small impulses seem to be great ... Since the beginnings of all things are small, obviously the beginnings of diseases ... must also be small. These then must be more evident in the sleeping than in the waking state. (Aristotle On Prophecy in Sleep)
I would like to thank Dr. Dietrich Hoffmann for discussing tobacco chemistry with me and for editing the sections on tobacco chemistry in a rough draft of this paper. I have included his suggestions, but I may have missed some, and so I take responsibility for errors.
Longer observation (6): Everything is Real: Speaking informally, in ordinary language, not scientifically or even logically, we can say, from a psychological angle, that everything is real, but, at the same time, it is also part of the Imagination, part of our Thoughts, and filled with our Feelings and Emotions.
On the Problem of Determining the Simultaneity of Mental Processes and Brain Processes
Short idea (93): To explore the idea of experience, it is useful, for a few minutes, to pretend that the following idea is true, even if it is false: Every experience you have is part of your body. Every sound you hear is part of your body. If you are driving a car and look out and see green grass and green and brown trees — and whatever you are currently looking at — this is all part of your body. Under this view, your body has different layers, to use an imperfect word. There is the visual layer, the sound layer, the skin layer, the muscle layer, the inner organ layers, the heart layer, the lung layer, and so on. Each embodies it's own unique type of experience. The central part of this idea is that there is a layer of sights and and a layer of sounds that are each part of your body but are experienced as outside of it — as outside the skin and what is inside the skin.
Longer observation (12): A Suggested Model of Memory: Here I would like to make a suggestion for a possible research approach to Memory.
I use the word Experience the way other psychologists use the words mind or the word psyche. The concept of experience is difficult to define. It includes all our thinking, all our feeling, everything in our imagination, all our sensations, and everything else that separates us from being completely unconscious.
Longer observation (14): An Objective Measure of Success?: Here is a mathematical formula offered as an expression of the amount of success in a person's life: s = (h-l) + w + gwh - d
Read more: Longer observation 014: Is there Objective Success?
Short idea (113): From a developmental point of view, I think that Sensation must have been the first adaptive psychological function to appear (every living cell senses — as do human infants). Imagination assumes Sensation and builds on it, and I think it must have been the second function to appear (dogs dream). Thinking assumes Imagination and Sensation and integrates them into itself, and, I think, it must have been the third of the functions to appear (language is needed for thinking; infants don't yet have language). Reflection, Evaluating, Moral and Ethical Reflection, and Planning integrate Sensation, Imagination, and Thinking, and I think it is the fourth function to arise and probably does not arise in everyone. Wisdom couldn't develop without being able to build on the previous four functions and there would also have to be character traits present such as courage. And, if there is any psychological function further along than Wisdom, perhaps some Unifying function, it would develop, if at all, only after everything else was in place and functioning.
What is Seeing?
We all perceive the world, and most of us see all day long and depend on our seeing, but most people rarely give seeing a second thought. There are doctors and medical researchers who study the eyes and the parts of the brain involved with vision in order to help people with sight problems. The other side of the picture is that seeing (and hearing and tasting and the like) has a bad reputation in religion. The senses are seen as tempting us from our deeper selves in which we can, it is thought, find connections to deeper things. The senses, it is thought, connects us with the outer world, the physical world, and take us away from the inner world, the soul, the mind with their images and thoughts of spiritual realities.
Genetic Engineering, the 2 Genes: CACNA1C and CACNB2, and the DSM
Read more: Genetic Engineering, the Two Genes: CACNA1C and CACNB2, and the DSM
A Psychological Approach to the Theories of Theoretical Physicists, in Particular, to a Current Theory of The Multiverse
1) I see this article as in the spirit of Wolfgang Pauli's, The Influence of Archetypal Ideas on the Scientific Theories of Kepler (in The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche, C. G. Jung and W. Pauli, Pantheon Books, New York, New York, 1955).
Read more: A Psychological Approach to the Theories of Theoretical Physicists
Explanation of the "Big" Dream Section
When Carl Jung, the psychiatrist and student and colleague and friend of Sigmund Freud, spoke to a member of a tribe in a remote part of Africa (to which no white man had ever gone), he was told that there are small dreams and big dreams.
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My Way of Categorizing (for the purposes of Psychology)
This article is a psychological article, but it contains a philosophical component.
What is an Archetype? — The Connection of Archetypes with Ideas and Universals
The word archetype was introduced into psychology by the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung. Though the word has entered popular jargon and is used by many in the profession, it has negative connotations for many. A clear definition might help lead to constructive discussion of the concept.
The Error of George Berkeley's Tree in the Park Argument
The so-called Tree in the Park Argument or Master Argument of the Irish philosopher, Bishop George Berkeley (1685-1753), has been analyzed and rejected by most philosophers, but it remains intriguing to many lay people. The following is Berkeley's presentation of the argument from his 1710 book, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. The conclusion of the argument is that there are no material substances, that is substances "existing unthought of or without the mind," and the argument is trying to prove that we can't even conceive of such things existing independent of mind. It is worthwhile for us who are studying things from a psychological angle to show the fallacy of his argument in a way that helps us remember the differences between imagination and perception and between the real and the unreal (and the ideal).
Short idea (152): An introspective exercise I did made me think that thinking is a branch of the imagination and that reason is a branch of thinking. However, it is just as possible that thinking and fantasy are offspring of the same parent (maybe the need to grasp the future). Or that they both come from the same root or need. Or that they are two forms of the same thing.
(Psychological Paradoxes & Puzzles — 6)
"Inside" and "Outside": Paradox, Puzzle, Psychological Meditation?
Stages vs Cycles
This is a brief note to mention the difference between processes, stages, progress, and cycles. It is a question in many of our minds if some process is a stage in a progression or a stage in a circular cycle. If we gain something through hard work, have we progressed, or are we going to wind up back where we started? We all know that life is a series of stages, but, again, do we wind up where we started, or is there something to hold on to at the end? And so on ...
Or is it a spiral process where we advance but also double back on where we've been (as Jung discussed at some point in his writing)?
(Psychological Paradoxes & Puzzles — 10)
A Paradox from the Theory of Evolution
Two Approaches to Understanding Psychology
We live in a world full of things and forces. Throughout history, thinkers have tried to organize all this according to some system that comes into their minds. For example, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) invented a way of organizing living things that has remained useful to this day. Another example is the Periodic Table for organizing the elements which was invented by Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev (1834-1907), the Russian chemist Today it is taught to every high-school chemistry student. At some point in history, it became evident to certain people that, besides the external world, there is an inner world that has been called the Psyche or the Mind. Not every thinker believes that there is such a thing, but among those who do, some have tried to organize the vast array of inner things and forces according to various systems that have occurred to them. For the last six years or so, it has been an interest of mine, an hobby, to try to figure out a useful system for organizing human experience.
What if Brains have Minds of their Own?
The study of the brain is, from the point of view of an old-time psychologist, the latest in a line of psychological crazes. Many of the crazes have produced fruit, but none have solved our deepest problems. Unquestionably, neuroscientists have made many interesting, important, and useful discoveries, and there are many more to come. Our children and our children's children will, almost certainly, benefit from these discoveries. At the same time we must remember it is a new field and that, as with all new fields, the imagination dresses it up as a cure all. I would never disparage where neuroscience has been, where it is, and where it is going, but I do want to offer five cautionary notes to those following the developments in the field.