[Bottom of Page] | [Job as Psychology] | [Burning Coal Home]

Reappraisal of Psychology

[ The Roots of Modern Psychology ] [ The Art of Compromise ] [ Ego and the Self-Life ] [ The ID ]
[ Getting Grounded ] [ Discovering God ]

The Roots of Modern Psychology

The foundations of Psychology as we know it today are seriously flawed by an antipathy to psychological principles and understandings that have been carefully crafted over several mellenium. Instead of learning from his ancestors, Freud, the most influencial force in the foundations of modern psychology, struck out in violent opposition to centuries of wisdom.

For anyone who believes in God it is important to recognize that Freud was more than an atheist, he hated the notion of God. For Freud, "God the Father" was the ultimate Trojan Horse of tyranny. He explained away spiritual phenomenon and even emotional trauma as hysteria, imaginations of the mind. All of spiritual reality becomes smoke and mirrors in Freud.

True reality for Freud is the instinctual drive. Freud set sex in the highest position. Some of his students preferred other instincts. Among others, Adler saw the root instinct as a "will to power".


The Art of Compromise

Accommodating the self to the world, perhaps best describes Psychotherapy. Jesus did not compromise or accommodate. You came to Him or you did not. True healing cannot take place until you are cleansed, purified and placed under protection. A half dosage of anti-biotics can be worse than none at all.


Ego and the Self-Life


The ID

Freud's concept of the ID suggests a primitive pre-conscious pre-historic place in the mind. the concept continues to be a foundational concept of modern psychology.

I believe this place is actually our spiritual interface. Through Adam our spirit is dead to the Spirit of God and at the very least numb to the rest until we are reborn in Christ. Then a gradual re-awakening of the spirit occurs. The spirits that do get through our spiritual darkness are those which draw us down (figuratively) by energizing our "primitive" passions: anger, pride, gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, envy. These same spiritual forces suggest self-criticisms, criticisms of others, and repeat negative thoughts ("tapes"). Continual give and take with these thoughts can create obsessions, compulsions and even spiritual domination (schizophrenia).

When we open our spirit to the Holy Spirit through submission to Christ Jesus, a great bright light begins to penetrate the former darkness. The process may be quite rapid or may take years. It becomes possible to recieve the Gifts of the Spirit (discernment, healing, foreign tongues,...) through the same spiritual interface. What was a low spot in our person is now the highest point. God enters and guides us. God can perform great wonders through us.

Unfortunately, even the most Spirit filled among us often have bases or "ground" through which unclean spirits are still able to operate. Very few of us can pretend to complete freedom from temptation. Our victories in other areas of the self-life encourage us to greater pride rather than less. The Leviathan of Pride is religious pride.

Religious pride poisons churches, causes denominational splits, religious persecution and warfare, causes the saved to shun the unsaved and even others of the saved. Religious pride stops personal growth and in every way blocks access to the Holy Spirit.


Getting Grounded

"The laws of cause and chance trip the balances of the world sending them through the cycles and stages of transformation." (Menninger, 1978, pg.208. Quoting Max Born from Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance. London: Oxford University Press, ©1949.)

Its a very big world that we live in. As news becomes ubiquitous, the size of this planet, the number of cultures, conflicts and crises seems overwhelming. Most of us have long since given up the notion of being a 'Renaissance Man' able to stay on top of all fields of knowledge. It is only possible to grasp a fraction of what is on the surface.

But suppose we could see all the bare facts, we are immediately confronted with the dichotomy between presentation and substance. All the world's a stage. Are we seeing what we think we are seeing or is this person or company or organization or ... something other? The incredible advances in publishing, especially on the internet, means that resellers and dot-coms can have a fabulous presentation, even when their business viability, if there is a business, is nil.

It is hard to get well grounded when the world keeps changing. The angst of the unpredictability of life is increased by the speed of change around us. But there is another very important factor involved, increased personal freedom. Our personal freedom to say or do what we like, particularly in Europe and America, has increased to astonishing levels.

The intellectual approach to this angst, is existentialism. I recognize that all of life is ephemeral and somewhat absurd and withdraw to my own ivory tower. From there I report on the life-stream as it passes by.

Get Off of My Cloud

The popular approach to angst is "do your own thing". Fritz Perls suggests, "You do your thing, and I do mine. If by chance we meet, groovy." And of course there's the ubiquitous: "I'm OK, You're OK". Why do we all know these trite quotes, the "get off of my cloud" mentality is foundational to our current culture.

Much of psychotherapy involves making your own ship watertight so that we can bob on the currents of life.

I Am that I Am

There is another approach: get down to bedrock. Philosophers and theologians look to the source of all that is: "the Ground of Being" which stands before all differentiation (Arieti, 1976, pp.102-3). Abraham Maslow calls this Being, that is being with a capital B, (Maslow, 1952, pp.54-5). This is an aspect of God the Father, The ground of being is what is there before any being comes to be. Theologian Paul Tillich suggests, "the God beyond particularized being" (Tillich, 1975, pg.25), and "beyond-beyond" (Tillich, 1952, pg.182). It is the impulse, the prehension, the urge and desire, which pushes being apart from non-being. It is Aristotle's "Unmoved Mover", the prima causa.

The "ground of being" is simply the creative urge of God, which is expressed in all things (Romans 1:20). You can know the Father by that which He has created, but you cannot peer into the ground of being. Creation erupts from beyond being and is thus beyond our frame of comprehension. The astro-physicist examines the universe back to the first nano-seconds of existence, but not beyond. The Creator simply is, or as expressed to Moses, "I AM that I AM", (Exodus 3:14).

The name of God is 'power' in many cultures: Wakan Tanka (Dakota), Oladumare (Yoruba), including Hebrew's YHWH. The power of God ripples below the surface of all things. He is the ultimate demiurge who holds the electrons in place around protons and neutrons, who move the earth around the sun, who sets the stars, and forms the child in the mother's womb. The power of God enters physics from outside of physics. God is seen in all things, but remains beyond comprehension. We cannot gaze into the power beyond comprehension; we rest on, abide in, and submit to the power. God knits our life into one seamless web, (Lévy, 1979).

In a side note, the so-called "Death of God" theology relies on an uncomfortableness with that which is before being. An ontology which attempts to trap God within being, even infinite being, confounds itself. According to theologian Altizer, since there is no infinite Being, in the sense of a consistent whole---there is no God. "A radical finitude has appeared which has dissolved the very meaning of transcendence." He concludes, "the death of God [is] a final and irrevocable event", (Altizer & Hamilton, 1966, pp.126)." He instead imposes the 'Word', "which is reconciling all things to itself", (Altizer & Hamilton, 1966, pg.132), a placeholder for what was God. Making God manageable, by pulling the function of God within the realm of our mental grasp, kills the very principle of a rock solid ground to stand on, by imposing our perceptions, in this case of the 'Word', in His place. I believe that it would be better to drift in the boat of self-indulgence, than to pretend to righteousness.

If we are to accept our position and meet our needs at the most basic level, then we must eagerly seek out the place where our own unique character and circumstance meets with the creator power. Only then are we able to transcend the momentary and the circumstantial. We must seek out the center of creation, the demiurge---God, (Allport, 1950, pg.64).

"Just as man, as a social being, cannot in the long run exist without a tie to the community, so the individual will never find the real justification for his existence and his own spiritual and moral autonomy anywhere except in an extramundane principle capable of relativizing the overpowering influence of external factors. The individual who is not anchored in God can offer no resistance on his own resources to the physical and moral blandishments of the world." (Carl Jung, 1964, pg.258).

What Jung is saying above, it that we need God as much as we need each other, because only God remains unshaken when the wind blows. Unfortunately, Jung has casually demoted God to a principle, beyond this world, but a principle never-the-less. I'm not quite sure where he thinks this principle comes from, but for us, principles must arise from God at work in this world. As Jung culls the world for Archetypal principles, we seek the nature and desire of the Father.


Discovering God

Unfortunately, connecting with God is not as easy as turning on a light switch. At first, our relationship to God depends on our concepts, our practice and the company we keep. It is all too easy to reshape our concepts to something personalized, humanized and shaped to our own personal pleasure, (Jung, 1963, pg.369), but to make God over into our own 'fictive construct' on account of our misled understanding, or worse to assuage our unGodly desires, is dangerous, (Bahm, pp.275-6; Wm.James, 1961, pg.263).

This is not to say that all concepts are wrong. Often our understanding of God is developed through successive analogies. As Jesus taught us the heart of the Father through parables, no one of which provides a complete picture, so, primitive tribes see aspects of the divine in their natural surroundings. Such embellishments may help to make the concept clear, (Jung, 1963, pg.369). Our interaction with our world becomes lively through the inner dynamic set in place by the story, custom, deference and we become "response-able", (Cox, 1967, pg.227).

This said it must be noted that there are several enormous dangers, which far outweigh any presumed blessings. Most obvious is that the religious system having enshrined an image of God, instead of God, becomes ossified and cannot grow to a deeper relationship with God. The Aborigines are still worshiping their Kangaroo spirits and crocodile spirits, as they did thousands of years ago. Their culture, their lives, their knowledge of God is stuck in prehistoric limbo, a living museum piece. The relationship to God gets sorted out into strict legal patterns which may or may not have anything to do with current social and religious situations.

More serious, is the tendency of religions divorced from God to drift. The result is that religion soon enshrine demonic entities in opposition to God. The Hawaiian god Pele and the Northwest Coast Indian's Cannibal Giant come immediately to mind, as do Mayan and Indian gods. The result is that entire societies become subject to demonic entities, spirits opposed to God. It is worth noting here, that God expended a great deal of effort and meted out a great deal of punishment trying to keep the Hebrew people true to Him and Him alone.

Don't believe that the creation of false gods is relegated to pre-industrial society. Adoration of teen idols or certain cars aside, we can often build mental images of God, which because they have slipped off the mark somewhere are meta-physical concepts of God, which stand as a barrier to coming to the living God. As Altizer above, who has enshrined "the Word" in the place of God, self-satisfied believers pride themselves in their understanding, when they neither worship God, nor transform to the call of God.

"To [the metaphysical] God man can neither pray not sacrifice...he can neither fall on his knees in awe nor sing and dance. Accordingly, godless thinking that must give up the god of philosophy...is perhaps nearer to the divine God." (Martin Heidegger, quoted in Cox, 1967, pg. 219).

Reason and logic create an image of God which is without life. It doesn't speak to us in our changing circumstances, or comfort us in our torment. The image fills a void on the mantel of understanding and that is all. Avoiding the God of reason and logic, we arrive first at God expressed in power and the names that have denoted His power down through history. The memory of the action of God remains in the lives and the 'psycho-social heritage' of those who honored God, (Cox, 1967, pp.211-219; also: Lévy, 1979). The Bible is the absolute best source for understanding the heart of the Father there is. The reason is the close working between God and the prophets, as well as the anointing under which the word was written and the care with which it has been preserved.

One of the first keys to understanding God, is to read the Bible.

*All Bible quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated.

Wm W Wells: Monday, November 27, 2000

[Top of Page] | [Job as Psychology] | [Burning Coal Home]
Copyright © 2000-2001 Wm W Wells. May be copied freely without alteration. Please credit the source.