Longer observation (7): Science and Self-Knowledge: It is easy to have views about things, even strong views, even certainties, and to be wrong. Science does not guarantee truth, but the scientific method is an attempt to subject our views, even our certain views, to a slow and methodic and public scrutiny, filled with checks and safe-guards to try to filter out as many false views as possible.
Short idea (107): I think psychology could (and should) be a meeting ground for all religions, a common ground. The deepest religious experiences are experiences, vague perceptions of the deepest levels of our psyches, and can, I think, be taken as psychological perceptions. Here are five explanatory points: 1) Religious dogma is not the same as living religious experience. 2) My view implies that no religion has exclusive access to reality; each is a different window into reality. 3) Religion should not feel in competition with science or with other religions; they are all searching for reality. 4) Religion is not "primitive superstition" but an attempt to express truths that are difficult to express in ordinary language. 5) Religion should be viewed as bringing to light new areas for scientific research; it should not feel pushed into standing against science in order to defend the objective territory it knows it has found and knows it has been exploring for millennia, often heroically.
Short idea (172): Linear (or active) Thinking is a chain or line of thought in which we use thoughts to solve a problem. Associative (or passive) Thinking is a line or chain or thoughts linked together by previous associations. Both Linear and Associative are step by step processes with each link in the chain, each point on the line, connected to the previous one by an understandable connection. There is another type of thought that we might call Archetypal in which an idea "pops into ones head," and it seems completely unconnected with any previous thought. It "came out of no where," as it were, "out of the blue." If, on examining a new archetypal thought, it does seem connected with ones previous thoughts at all, it seems more as if it is an observation or commentary or insight about the line of thought that came before. It may seem as if it came from outside oneself, almost as if it was the point of view of another, often more intelligent and wiser, person.
(Psychological Paradoxes & Puzzles — 11)
A Paradox: The gods are real and they are not real
If Freud and others are right, it is as if we have two minds, that is two ways of thinking. Typically, one is active at night when we are asleep, while the other is dominant during the day when we are awake and alert. The two ways of thinking are as different as night and day. The purest example of the night-time mind would be a dream, and the purest example of day-time thinking would be a rational, logical, scientific chain of thought. In sleep we relax away from the strict rules of rational thought and reality testing only to shoulder them again when we begin to awaken. Being rational and logical requires work, whereas, in the night-time mind, whatever is is real, and no evaluating is required. It is possible for the night-time mind to emerge and even take over in the day, and it is also possible for a person to think logically within a dream. For most people this may happen sometimes, and for some it may happen quite often. For some people, the rational, reality testing mind may be all but absent, even in the day, and waking consciousness then takes on a dream-like feeling where impressions and intuitions and feelings and inclinations rule without challenge and without control.