A compilation of my psychology blog posts.
History of Psychology
A Brief History of Madness: . If we want to contextualize its position in history, we would treat it as just another human experiment (not a source of ultimate truth) that began with mesmerism and strange forms of pseudo medicine, and then evolved to psychotherapy, behaviorism, and finally cognitive science and neuroscience.
Psychoanalytical (Freudian) Psychology
The Denial of Death: “The man of knowledge of our time is bowed down under a burden he never imaged he would ever have: the overproduction of truth that cannot be consumed.”
The Inflated Ego: Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called ‘Ego’ –
Eros and Thanatos: Like Schopenhauer, Freud thought the “goal of life is death,” and the preservation instinct is itself an aspect of the death instinct.
Understanding Sublimation: “The task in sublimation is that of shifting the instinctual aims in such a way that they cannot come up against frustration from the external world.”
Between Pleasure and Pain: ‘the life-histories of men and women … [as] an essential character-trait which remains always the same and which is compelled to find expression in a repetition of the same experience’.
The Narcissistic Personality of our Time: Narcissus spent hours staring at his reflection until he turned into a flower, or so the Greek myth goes. Today, we think of Narcissus…
Analytical (Jungian) Psychology
The Philosophy of the Actor “Of all kinds of fame the least deceptive is the one that is lived.”
The Road to Individuation: “Here we have our present age bent on the extermination of myth…. Man today, stripped of myth, stands famished among all his pasts and must dig frantically for roots.”
The Autotelic Life: “Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness.”
Humanistic Psychology (Adler, Maslow)
The Defense Against Grandiosity: “For some people this evasion of one’s own growth, setting low levels of; aspiration, the fear of doing what one is capable of doing, voluntary self-crippling, pseudo-stupidity, mock-humility are in fact defenses against grandiosity.”
The Anatomy of Fear: The general feeling of fear masks what is truly behind our unwillingness to change. That is why Adler’s final recommendation was to never ignore one’s life tasks.
The 7 Lessons of Jordan Peterson: But what happens when you get too much order? A degeneration into tyranny. And too much chaos? A degeneration into nihilism.
The Maps of Meaning Lectures: A series of lectures that study the role of mythology in shaping man’s construction of meaning in life.
The Role of Myths: Campbell shows us what the myths of the past have in common. He identifies an archetypal story structure that explains the patterns most great myths and folk stories follow.
The Psychology of Learning
Read the Classics First: “There are too many mediocre books which exist just to entertain your mind. Therefore, read only those books which are accepted without doubt as good.”
Be Bored With a Book: “The trick is to be bored with a specific book, rather than with the act of reading.”
Should You Be A Fool? The life pattern of being willing to be a fool, to go into the unknown, is called the “will to stupidity” by Nietzsche.
Reality Reveals Itself to You: Alternate between states of self-consciousness.
Ascent: The prisoner repeatedly goes through the painful process of readjusting his vision. Analogous to this experience is how human beings learn new things.
Insight Through Contradiction: ‘If you shape your life according to nature, you will never be poor; if according to people’s opinions, you will never be rich.’
Judgement and Decision Making
The Experiencing Self: Alexander the Great went to visit Diogenes of Sinope, and promised to grant him whatever wish the philosopher desired, to which Diogenes replied, “Stand out of my light.”
Everyone is Biased: Everyone sees only part of the truth, everyone acts on limited information, everyone is partly irrational.
The Psychology of Persuasion
Don’t Tell People What To Do: Mark Twain said, “It was not that Adam ate the apple for the apple’s sake, but because it was forbidden. It would have been better for us – oh infinitely better for us – if the serpent had been forbidden.”
How Not to Win Friends: Things are different now. There’s an oversupply of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” disciples.
The Psychology of Work & Creativity
In Defense Of Idleness “Few understand that procrastination is our natural defense, letting things take care of themselves and exercise their antifragility; it is my soul fighting the Procrustean bed of modernity.”
A Psychology of Work: One of the best and purest joys is having a rest after labor.