Preamble: It is All About Paradox.
Each breath we give and receive reminds us that every aspect of existence involves paradox. This means physics is fundamentally about paradox, psychology is primarily the art (skill) of transcending paradox and philosophy is the loving of the wisdom revealed .
This, in turn, means we are all psychologists and philosophers to some degree, just as we are all considerable physicists. And this awareness is empowering and a source of true hope.
Psychology is the study of the breath, spirit, soul. It arises from Greek psykhe + logia “study of”.
Philosophy is the philo- “loving” (see philo-) + sophia “knowledge, wisdom”.
And what is wisdom? It arises from sophron “prudent, self-controlled” . It is the consciousness that informs us how to act as stewards of the flows and balances of energy that sustain humankind.
Physics is the study of the arising of all or nature. It arises from Latin physica (natural science), which arises from Greek physika (nature), which arises from phyein (to bring forth).
And what is nature? It is of nasci, which means the begetting or giving birth.
And what is spirit? It arises from spirare, which is to do with the ability to blow, breathe, expire.
And what is psyche? It arises from psykhein –to blow or breathe.
And what is science? It arises from ancient Indo-European skei- “to cut, to split”. It describes how we are continually separated, divided from all with the arising of self-awareness. Self-knowledge rends our sentience of existence asunder even as it reminds us in our universality.
Psychology. Physics. Philosophy. Wisdom. Nature. Spirit. Psyche. Science. The original use of these symbols all share similar meaning and involve paradox. They are all tend to remind us of the incredible, animating force that enables the universe(s), which we experience as energy. Energy is paradox: no one knows what energy is and yet every one of our billions of cells is vitally intimate with energy. This is a central paradox of our existence.
In many ways psychology is simply the study and art of transcending paradox. We are all experienced at transcending paradox. For instance, we all breathe. This constant experience makes every human being a skilled psychologist.
Respiration involves expiration and inspiration, each action arising from the other. Our act of breathing sustains our spirit (see spirare) in profound and unthinkable ways.
Each breath subtly reminds us that every living element respires in various ways and ultimately all forms only exist while their unique balance of in-flowing and out-flowing energy is sustained. We all interconnected and conspire i.e. share our breath.
We are alive only as long as we can use energy to contract our diaphram muscle to exhale (expire) and generate a vacuum within us. The universal potential sustains us there after because“Nature abhors a vacuum”. We inhale without effort and are refreshed in and by the greater universe. Thus our breath teaches us a vital lesson: giving to and trusting in existence is living.
Expiration. Inspiration. Each action arises from the other and so every breath reminds us of the intangible vitality, the arising and passing of all forms, our interconnection with all and our ability to transcend paradox.
This is why ancient wisdom defined psychology as the study of the psyche i.e. the spirit, the soul, the breath. Inherent in this definition is the recognition that psychology and physics are inextricable from each other. Human beings are active elements of the universal flux.
Psychology of Delusive Hope
The “psychology” symbol has been radically altered in accord with this syndrome. It has been stripped of its vital associations with physics, the ways and principles of the universe.
The Human Condition
The human psyche can be understood as a dynamic system comprised of three elements:
our relatively vast subliminal sentience comprising more than 50 billion interactions of information in any moment;
our trace self-awareness (thought process) comprising of a few thousand interactions of information in that instant;
and the ego, which is the active interface or intermediary of these two dimension of our being.
In brief, the ego only exists when our psyche is fragmented by self-awareness and thought. Born of division, it abhors all reminders of our mortal nature and thus strives to deny our fundamental interconnection with the continuous universal transformation. The ego’s potent, pivotal role in the information flows of our psyche means it can generate incredible self-deceits and ingenious rationales denying the principles of physics. The incapacity of the thought process to transcend paradox exacerbates the ego’s propensity to perpetuate unhelpful division. Hence the ego can thus easily generate delusions and have each of us be our own worst enemy.
The ego and our thought process trap us in paradox and beget delusive hopes that inform our language and behaviour in unsustainable, even lethal ways.
Psychology of True Hope
As with the waves on the ocean and the clouds in the sky, the human psyche appears to be extremely chaotic at first glance. The ego’s incredible self-deceits and ingenious denials of reality perplex and confound us.
However universal constants become apparent when we observe that the seas and skies are of each of the other, moving in seamless dance to the inaudible music of the principles of physics.
Similarly our psyche is actually very consistent, as proven by the fact that our billions of cells have sustained their fundamental form through billions of years of eonic change. This phenomenal achievement of constancy in change occurred because the cells managed to act in harmony with the principles of physics and transcend paradox.
Therein resides true hope. The wisdom of the principles of physics, especially the Conservation of Energy Principle, can enable us to transcend the paradox of language and behaviour. Never disproven despite the most intensive scrutiny over millennia, the Conservation Principle provides an invaluable measure the sustainability of both our language and our behaviour. Equally it provides an invaluable tool for rectifying both so each informs the other in wisdom.
No meaningful discussion of psychology can occur without reference to the role of compassion in the human spirit. This state of being is characterized by inclusiveness and humility, honesty and forgiveness, sharing and generosity. These qualities provide the requisites for the state of science to exist in us, enabling all manner of sustainable learning i.e. civics.to occur. It enables us to embrace the deceits and trickery of the ego with kind humour, for which it has no defence.
Compassion also reminds us that no person is a psychologist though we are all psychologists to the degree we can transcend paradox and act in truly sustainable (civic) ways.
Revised 18 Nov 2017