Why Follow Psychology?

“O. what a world of unseen visions and heard silences, this insubstantial country of the mind! What ineffable essences, these touchless rememberings and unshowable reveries! And the privacy of it all! A secret theatre of speechless monologue and prevenient counsel, an invisible mansion of all moods, musings, and mysteries, an infinite resort of disappointments and discoveries. A whole kingdom where each of us reigns reclusively alone, questioning what we will, commanding what we can …[1]”

Sollow Psychology is reference to the natural process of realizing and expressing ones own capabilities, and creativity through self-actualization. The act of following natural, psychological progression through introspection and mindfulness.

This journey is often an isolated one, involving long solitary periods of reflection and internal monologue, which may be a necessary process for contemplation. However, I have been amazed to find people from all over the world who appear to be on exactly the same path and have painted some of the very same conclusions in a vast number of subjects.

We are meeting people daily who are open and excited to share stories of their journeys, realisations and inspiration and who have appreciation for finding so many on the same path.

We are told today that consciousness is our identity. It is here where we spend most of our time, it is here where we ask questions, keep secrets and ponder the purpose of existence. To accompany our daily meditations, we need only reach for a book, or the internet in order to expand our monologue to fascinating conversation.

The many mysteries that remain in modern day neurology and psychology,  the influence of developing ideas in areas such as evolutionary psychology and the blurred boundaries of the mind matter dichotomy add fascination to the realms of a subject which is ever growing and accessible to anyone with a desire to explore further.

The mind can be defined as an embodied and relational process that regulates the flow of energy and information. What we know is that when you focus attention on specific areas of the brain, you activate circuits and that in itself stimulates growth of neurons and synapses in these areas. Regular, mindful, focused mental attention can change the architecture of the brain and in turn improve insight, your ability to balance emotions and even your body’s immune response.

What we plan to provide in this site is more depth into the history of self actualization, the commonality between worldly disciplines, thoughts and essays and ideas to motivate positive, progressional thought. To share stories and influential materials and enhance the journey we’re all traveling together.

A Short History
Psychology as a study of the mind and behavior dates back to Ancient Greek philosophy. According to Aristotle, the philosophical study of human nature itself originated with Socrates, who turned philosophy from the study of the heavens to a study of the human things. [2] Plato, Aristotle’s teacher, developed insights into the human mind.  He developed the Theory of Forms in which it was stated that the psyche defined the mind and the soul.  With the Theory of Forms, Plato then developed a framework of human behavior as he attempted to learn and study how humans reason and how impulses are developed.

The ancient Greeks had many schools of thought. Socrates advocated self-knowledge as the path to happiness. Plato’s allegory of the cave influenced western thinkers who believed that happiness is found by finding deeper meaning. Aristotle believed happiness, or eudaimonia is constituted by rational activity in accordance with virtue over a complete life. The Epicureans believed in reaching happiness through the enjoyment of simple pleasures. The Stoics believed they could remain happy by being objective and reasonable, and described many “spiritual exercises” comparable to the psychological exercises employed in cognitive behavioral therapy and positive psychology.

These analytical thinkers studied how human personality and character were expressed and Aristotle’s writings about how people perceive the world became the basis to many principles of modern psychology.

Humanistic currents have been present in the modern science of psychology from its very beginning and throughout its history. The founder of psychology, Wilhelm Wundt, embodied humanistic principles in the “folk psychology” of higher mental processes and cultural life. Such American pioneers as William James, with his nonreductive description of human experience, and John Dewey, with his holistic emphasis on the self-directedness of the person, produced strong and generative humanistic psychology. The first to coin the term humanistic psychology was Gordon Allport in the 1930s, when other personality psychologists such as Henry Murray and Gardner Murphy and such neo-Freudians as Erik Fromm and Karen Horney were also developing new approaches to psychology. These psychologists were introducing an image of the person, in contrast to the determinisms of behaviorism and orthodox psychoanalysis that highlights conscious experience and the potential for creative self-determination and responsible social engagement. The orientation crystallized as a deliberate movement with the leadership of Abraham Maslow, who in the 1950s facilitated communication among a professional organization of an increasing number of like-minded psychologists. Because these psychologists were unsatisfied with the limits of psychoanalysis the study of psychopathology, and behaviorism, based on experimentation with animals – Maslow named this new psychology of the healthy and thriving human being “the third force.” The movement gained visibility when, in a strenuous debate with B. F. Skinner on theoretical issue of freedom versus determinism, Carl Rogers powerfully argued for the human being’s capacity for self-determination. Journals and professional societies emerged in the 1960s, and humanistic approaches to psychology have since been developing in virtually all its subfields.

Affirming the scientific character of psychology, humanistic psychologists have engaged in a careful dialogue with the humanities and allowed works in philosophy, literary studies, art criticism, and theology to play a formative role in their own work. From the beginning of the movement, James Bugental, Clark Moustakas, and Rollo May drew inspiration and insights from phenomenological and existential philosophy, literary works, and the fine arts. Although psychologists have drawn heavily on the tradition of secular humanism, many humanistic psychologists have acknowledged the spiritual potential of the human being. Similar to William James who, as a general psychologist, extensively investigated religious experience, Maslow’s study of “peak experiences” led him to gather knowledge of human transcendence and the study of religion from a psychological perspective [3]

Why Follow Us Here?
The Follow Psychology blogsite has been created to allow curious people to gather, browse articles and ask their own questions of mind and of thought, feeling, and behaviour. Questions that have arisen in mind since the rise of human consciousness, and can today be shared for better understanding.

“Theoretical psychology begins the day you reflect on the consciousness and probe the mind for answers on how and why you feel the way you do.”

Humans have the intellectual and spiritual capacity to think about things beyond themselves and as such, we believe that everybody here, reading this, is qualified to subscribe and contribute to the content and discussion and help us to grow a base from where to learn and progress.

Namaste.

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Notes:
[1] Julian Jaynes The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
[2] Aristotle Metaphysics
[3] The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology