The Concept of Liberation in Psychology

I have been in psychotherapy for a very long time and have acquired a philosophical interest in some of the ideas behind the various psychological schools of thought. Inherent in them all is the concept of “liberating” the patient or client. I am sure no professional would ever put it this way, but psychologists are…

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The Desire for an Idealized Self

Both the religiously inclined and secular types strive to acquire a splendid false self. Between the two groups, the terminology may differ, but the game remains the same. The case of C. S. Lewis reveals that the desire for a splendid false self leads to self-alienation. (Photo: public domain) English author and academic C. S.…

Imagination Can Stimulate Will

I have written several posts about authentic will and illuminated its roots in the psyche. As a way of discovering what you will, I have put forward the idea of employing resonance. That is, look around for those things that stir feelings of joy, delight, bliss or enchantment and there you will find what you…

The Ship as Metaphor for the Self

The authentic self comprises the unique set of our most potent and precious emotionally important ideas. We acquire the basics of these mental constructs as children when, through our behaviour, our genes interact with our physical and social environment. Their uniqueness is what makes us all natural individuals. (Yes, without even trying, if we can…

Sartre on Freedom

French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre saw freedom, not just as a state of being or of mind, but as something with a distinct psychological or philosophical purpose. In his existential classic, Being and Nothingness, he writes, "Freedom is the way human beings put their past out of play by secreting their own nothingness." Sartre had…

The Zen Man

In her Diary of Vowels, Jungian analyst Helen M. Luke describes a type of person she refers to as “the Zen man.” According to Luke, "He is ... one who does everything with his whole heart, with complete commitment and devotion – or, in Jung's words, one who lives his hypothesis to the bitter end,…

The Constant Self Is Real

When feelings such as loneliness, loss, and placelessness assail them, people often get into serious emotional trouble. It is interesting to note that, when some people experience such feelings, they do not turn inward for an explanation of their own emotions. They do not even turn to psychology or philosophy, external knowledge bases which would…