The development of psychology (kind of essay)
I'd like to get a clearer view of contemporary psychology and it's future development. Later, instead of development of psychology, I become concerned with psychology of development. It is a bit long, serious reading, but hopefully interesting and I'm very sincere, as always. If people like DG or Hamby can write much longer and tedious articles than that and people does read them, why couldn't I? So let's begin.
I don't exactly mean the psychology's quantity only. For example, by development, I don't mean only the number of mental diseases found, medically described, and extinguished by drugs. This is not what I understand as a development.
I will speak only very generally. I'm not exactly interested in history of psychology. I only want to make something sure. Thus my description will be a bit metaphoric.
As I understand it, the first around the beginning of 20th century was interest in pathologic states of mind. The interest was in the deep, dark, violent and horny aspects of human behavior, which came on surface in persons of captured and uncaptured psychopaths and perverts. Or it was found suppressed within innocent patients, knowing nothing. My countryman, Sigmund Freud, could be a great figure of that time and direction. But not even he was reputedly brave enough to try this psychoanalysis on himself.
Next greater development could be perhaps described as a normal psychology. Well, if a person is capable of a simple work, basic housekeeping and hygienic habits, watching TV, procreation and keeping the state's financial offices satisfied, then he or she is considered normal, in our society. This direction of psychology is something under which I'd include an everyday psychology of lying on psychologist's couch and confessing, a psychology of commercials and marketing, or a psychology of seduction. This kind of psychology is typical by a fact, that it very well describes the majority of humanity. However, it is limited. Let's take a person, who has a house, college degree, family, savings, career, friends, and suddenly a lot of free time. He achieves all that in his, let's say, 40's. Such a person achieved everything he can, and a great question arises, what now? What next? Is it all there is to achieve in life? Are all the decades awaiting me just a countdown to death? Let's leave him for a while with that question.
Now I'll maybe sound a bit Jungianish, but what is the purpose of psychology? Keeping psychopaths in line? Maybe, when necessary. Making people capable of the basic actions described above? Maybe, when necessary. But what is the real purpose? Making people better. Not more obedient, not more credulous, not more competitive. Just...more perfect.
The science has well described concepts like altruism or morality, and they're well explained in evolutionary terms. It is proven without doubt, that these concepts are real and that they're beneficial for our kind.
So where is the psychology of that? Where is the science, focused on supporting the beneficial traits in individuals, groups and society as such? Where are the models of designing our institutions in such a way, that they support these values? Let's say, I wake up one day, and I decide that I want to be wiser, more kind, patient, more aware, more intelligent, more empathic, and so on. Then I go to the library, or on the internet, and I search for a real scientific methodology for achieving these things. What do you think I'd find there? If I speak in scientific terms, then bullshit, bunkum, crapology, nonsenses, and so on. In other words, New Age and religious stuff. Nothing more. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Where is the psychology of geniuses, saints, visionaries and heroes? Where is the scientific method of becoming more like that? Maybe this is, where the science becomes limited. At this point, too many of it becomes too similar to the ancient and recent "crapology". Some scientists are disgusted by that and they put their hands off, and some are seduced by that and they basically go into illegality and disgrace of their former colleagues. From what I heard, the study of psychology on the university (the rigid scholastic bastion) is mainly the history of psychology and it's failed attempts. They're interesting, but not useful as such. They only say what does NOT work. There are certain doctrines, and saying otherwise may get an unfortunate student thrown away from the exams. It is somewhat better now, but during the communism era, psychology stopped on the Pavlov's experiment with dogs, food and a signal.
Of course, we can describe a majority of humanity with the common psychology, but there is an increasing amount of people, who does not fit into that. There are non-normal, non-pathologic states of mind, which have no contemporary scientific explanation. By coincidence, these states of mind are very thoroughly described by what the skeptics calls 'crapology'. By the law of supply and demand, intelligent, mature and curious people are forced to stray away from the realm of solid science.
By that people, I can mean that person in his 40's, who already achieved "everything", but is not even nearly satisfied with that.
Such a person then has a problem with something, that our society is infested with - materialism. Who achieves "everything" in terms of materialism, may no longer consider it attractive. Such a person then may become brave - or desperate, to try some things which are not so solidly founded on science. Again, it is a perfectly natural thing, which happens to many people. I hope this is not getting too much far-fetched.
And somehow, a strange thing may happen. Such a person can turn away from the official culture, values and science, and found his life on completely different values. He will defend these values as more progressive, beneficial, harmless, etc, than the values of majority. It is very doubtful that this person will return to the same life style and opinions as before. This means a change of life style, friends, hobbies, habits, and so on. A common psychologic knowledge would only dismiss this as a midlife crisis, and destroy a great opportunity for self-development. Again, I must emphasize, that the true purpose of psychology (and everything) is to become extraordinary, not to stay ordinary. From that point of view, our whole civilization is a scientific failure. It is founded on irrational principles, destructive, or at best, stagnant. Our knowlege of ourselves (psychology) is thus primitive. Knowing oneself was always held as a great virtue in many ancient civilizations. Gnothi seauthon, Self-mastery, Satori, and so on, such a concepts were so popular. How can we turn back to them, or better said, how our scientists can be un-blindfolded in that direction?
Maybe it is scientifically correct, that there is no sense of life. Maybe it is correct, that we are a separated biological machines, on a tiny, unsignificant planet in extremely big, hostile universe. But I dare to object, that this is no solution to any question. Because these very "answers", are, in fact, a dangerous problems demanding a solution. If we do not know the sense of life and our purpose, we do not know how to relate to each other correctly. We, as a humanity, are destroying ourselves, no matter how justified the evolutionary theory of morality is. The killers, victims and drug addicts does not care what Richard Dawkins says. It is no excuse that there is no sense of life. If there is one, we are obliged to find it, if there is none, we are obliged to invent it. And by that, I mean on a proven, scientific basis, with which it becomes a reality to all people. It will become impossible to treat our fellow man worse than an animal in industrial breeding, if we know that person's purpose. If we see ourselves correctly and act upon it, we will estabilish right human relationships. Then we can eliminate a global psychopathic behavior. Sometimes, whole nations should be put on a psychologist's couch, or even into a straight jacket. When you look at the history of humankind and analyze it as one person, you will see an agressive, sadistic, power-hungry, schizophrenic mass murderer, prone to all kinds of delusions, physical diseases, and states of inactivity and stagnation. There is a lot wrong with the world. How can I trust all the methods which allowed this to continue in existence?
I represent a way of thinking which gradually gains importance and public support, though it is still in minority. I think it is a correct, justified and important worldwiew, which is desperately needed in the world of today. The world is in many crises, which are basically a crisis of development. I am, above all, concerned with development. There is not only the developing itself, there is also a development of a ways of development. And one such a major shift in ways of development is now just about to come. I tried to explain in simple words and perhaps scientifically correct meanings, what is wrong with the mindset which is prevalent on this forum and in the world. You guys, the representants of skepticism, probably think that denouncing religion and embracing the contemporary science makes you the smartest in the world. You may not think it consciously, but you behave like that, and so it is with whole academic community. But rejecting one old tradition and accepting another old tradition is not a solution, it is also not nearly enough. The demands of development requires a creation of not only new institutions and traditions, but also of new methods, ways of thinking, models of behavior, moral values, cultures, and so on. I am waiting for your opinion.
Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.