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Psychology: writing, acting, speaking - PDF ebook

Psychology: writing, acting, speaking 



Excerpt from the introduction:
PSYCHOLOGY has been called the science of the twentieth century- This is perhaps true in so far as progress in psychological knowledge has been far greater during the past forty or fifty years than during many other centuries together. 

But it is not at all true in the sense in which it is usually intended, nor is there any sign at present of its becoming true before the twentieth century is over. For what the statement implies is that, just as physics profoundly influenced the thought of the seventeenth century, the chemistry that of the eighteenth, and biology that of the nineteenth, affecting the general outlook on life characteristic of those times, so psychology is supposed to be influencing the thought and outlook of the present century. 

I do not share that opinion, and I should give another explanation of the reasons that have engendered it. Essentially man is a very unpsychological animal, now as much as ever. What masquerades as psychological curiosity has quite another meaning than a true desire to know. I am alluding here to the greatest discovery ever made in psychology, one inseparably connected with the name of Freud. It is that we are unconscious of the mainspring of our mental activity, for what we call our mind the only mental activity we know is only a carefully selected portion of a larger whole, the greater part of which is " unconscious "; furthermore, that without our knowledge of them there exist exceedingly powerful forces aimed against our becoming aware of the deepest layers. 

When we think we are curious about the " workings of the mind," and are rather inclined to talk about the " psychology " of this, that, and the other, we are for the most part merely being impelled (by the forces I hinted at) to invent a pseudo-knowledge, a series of rationalizations or false reasons which pretend to describe the motives of ourselves or others, but which actually are substitutes for true knowledge and designed as a cover to keep this hidden. 

There are special methods of investigation known as psycho-analysis that enable us to penetrate through to the deeper layers of what in a far broader sense we must still call the mind. They are found to be composed of strange and fantastic primitive strivings, wild impulses, and dark fears, which take their origin in the beginnings of life, and^ doubtless are descended from a remote ancestry. The conscious mind is a derivative of the unconscious one, much modified by the impressions of the experience. 

The unconscious mind profoundly influences our conscious likings, interests, preferences, aims, beliefs, and last but not least our codes and standards of life. The deep aversion to self-knowledge, unknown as it is, has many interesting consequences. psychological origin. 


With an Introduction by
PROFESSOR ERNEST JONES, M.D.

Edited by
R. D. COOLE, B.A.(Oxon.), and
PAUL CHADBURN, BA, B.Litt.



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