A Lifestyle Consultant's Course in Natural Living - Sample Lesson 69

Subject: Natural Psychology

By John L. Fielder

Introduction to Natural Psychology

Author: Polly O'Connor

Introduction

"Before we can change things on the physical level, We must first of all change them on the mental level."

The Macquarie Dictionary 1982 edition defines psychology as: “the science of mind or mental states and process.”

It defines science as: “the systematic study of man, etc.”

The Heritage Dictionary 1971 edition defines science as: “knowledge; especially knowledge gained through experience.”

Our definition of natural psychology is:

“The systematic study of the mind or mental states and processes, and the knowl edge thus gained which will lead towards and enhance life and the processes of life, in distinction to that which leads towards the destruction of life and would thus eventually end in the cessation of life (death).”

The basis of a natural psychology is to be found in the teachings of the great Sumerian sage Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, who said, “Do not let us attack the bad, let us improve only the good.”

In other words, we should not waste our time and energy in attacking all those things we consider to be bad and negative, as this is a complete waste of time and energy. Whereas, by using this same amount of time and energy to improve the good things of life, we will so improve the quality of our lives, and those with whom we come into contact, that the negative and bad will become less and less, to the point of extinction.

The concepts of natural psychology are well illustrated by many well-known authors, such as Norman Vincent Peale in his book, The Power of Positive Thinking.

As in all things, to bring about the state of health (wholeness), which is the aim of natural psychology, requires “right education” instead of “mis-education.”

Now this presents us with a grave responsibility, for, as Prof. E.B. Szekely said, in the introduction to The Art of Study and the Method of Learning: “Every man receives two kinds of education; the one given him by someone else, and the other, far more important, that which he gives himself.”

What are these two kinds of education? The first is that which we receive at our mother's knee, that which we are given at school, and in addition, the education we are continually receiving from the media in the form of newspapers, radio, television, etc. The biggest majority of this form of education is occurring unconsciously, as we are not consciously monitoring and selecting the material with which we are allowing our minds to be bombarded. A large percentage of this material is negative and destructive, thus constituting what we would term as “mis education.”

The second form of education is that which we choose to giye ourselves. It is here that we can help to minimise and offset the harm, which is wrought in us by the mis education we have received.

Dr Ralph Borsodi, in his book, The Seventeen Problems of Man and Society, has this to say: “Four facts—four indubitable and indisputable propositions, in my opinion—create the problem, and explain why man must do, and always has done something about it: (the educational problem).

“1. First: that he is not only born, like all animals, with what the biologists call biological irritability, but that immediately after birth he begins to acquire what I call psychological irritability. When confronted with his sensations, his nerves, his sense organs, brains and muscle, react to them; this is what the biologists call biological irritability. But when he perceives, inceives, or conceives anything, it is his mind rather than his brain, which reacts to it; his muscles are frequently not involved at all.

“2. The second fact is that man, unlike all other animals, is not born with a set of instinctual drives strong enough to tell him how to deal with either his sensations or his perceptions, inceptions, and conceptions. He is born with instincts, it is true, but these are in his case so plastic, that he cannot rely upon them to tell him what to believe, what to value, and how to put into practice what he values and what he believes; he cannot rely upon them to furnish him with directives with which to control rationally and hu manely the impulses which spring up in him constantly from his unconscious mind; he has to learn, willy-filly; he cannot escape from the necessity of acquiring some sort of “education (without regard to how much mis education it includes); otherwise he cannot avoid reverting to animal behaviour, dealing with his problems irrationally and inhu manely as animals do, and acting on his animal impulses.

“3. The third is that he has to acquire (he has to learn; he is not born with) the traits—the belief, the values and the practices—of the culture into which he is born. Unfortunately, some of the beliefs of every culture are mistaken, some of the values invalid, some of the practices harmful; too often they de humanise rather than humanise him; too often they prevent rather than help him realise the highest potentialities of Homo Sapiens. Enculturation up to a point is necessary if he is to be adjusted to life in his own culture—instruction of the kind he receives today not only in school, but from his experiences in his home and outside of it in his own community. But while this is necessary up to a point, a system of educa tion which does not more than this is a system not of right education, but of mere indoctrination.

“4. Finally, there is the fact that only by a process of cultivation can he learn to deal with the problem of enculturation and adjustment as he should; only cultivation can • teach him to see his own culture from within, but also from without, impartially and objectively, as if it were a valley which he was examining from the top.

Humanisation

“Man, I maintain, cannot be expected to behave normally, he must be normalised educationally. Since he cannot rely (as can other animals) upon his instincts to behave as members of the species normally should, he often tends to behave worse than he should, or, as in the case of geniuses like Marx and Wagner, his behaviour in one area of living is far above average, and in others, far below it. Super-normal behaviour in one area usually means sub-normal behaviour in others: sub normal behaviour in one area does not mean super-normal behaviour in others—it may mean sub-normal behaviour in all areas; normal behaviour in one area does not mean normal behaviour in all of them.

“The masses, on the other hand, behave not normally, as humane and rational human beings should, but as members of a herd, conforming to herd values and responding as most herds of humans do, to whatever leadership happens to grip them emotionally from time to time. They can be fired to actions of great nobility and, supreme sacrifice, as when masses of Americans responded to the leadership of Lincoln, and masses of Indians to the leadership of Gandhi, But too often in the tragic history of mankind, they have been fired to behave worse than the most feral animals, to behave as masses of religious fanatics behaved under the infectious leadership of Ornar and the Mahdi, of St. Louis and Richard The Lion Hearted, and as masses of fanatic Commu nists and Fascists behaved under the leader ship of Stalin and Mao, of Hitler and Mussolini.

“Normalisation and humanisation cannot be taken for granted. It must not be confused with average, as it usually is. Because animal behaviour, other than man's, is instinctually determined, the average animal—no matter what the species to which it belongs—behaves normally. Average, on the other hand, in the case of man, merely means in accord with the customs or fashions of the group or culture to which the individual happens to belong. Normal behaviour is something entirely different.

“The concept calls for definition scientifically. The behaviour of man is subject to study just as is the behaviour of tigers. If tigers are deprived of their normal diet and instead compelled to eat the herbivorous diet of cattle, they sicken—they react and behave abnormally. If man is mis-educated, as he is today, his tendency to behave abnormally should be no matter of surprise. If he is conditioned, as education today conditions most men, to live in megalopolitan rabbit warrens, and to endure the stresses and strains of industrialised work, industrialised food, and industrialised play, he, too, sickens mentally even more than physically, and reacts and “behaves” abnormally. Alienation is one name for the abnormality this inflicts upon him.

“Normal behaviour for man, as for every animal, requires the use of all faculties of mind and body (not just some of them as in most specialised vocations) in activities and in occupations which use them harmoniously to their fullest potentialities. In the case of man, unlike that of other animals, this calls for no uniformity of behaviour, but for a range of behaviour within the area of normal. Within this normal range the diversity is so great that normality should not be equated with mediocrity.

“And since all of mans distinctly human behavioural traits are acquired and not inherited, the task of equipping him with and instilling in him normal behaviour falls into the jurisdiction of education.

“We are producing plenty of intelligent men, plenty of specialised competent men; but because of our failure to include educa tion in values, we are also producing plenty of cynical men, plenty of venal men, plenty of ruthless men, plenty of neurotic men, and plenty of prejudiced and fanatical men. We need not more, but fewer cynics. A well- educated cynic is the worst of all cynics; the better his education the more harm he can do. Madison Avenue is populated with cynics of that kind; so are the editorial offices (and for that matter the rest of the staffs) of our modern newspapers; so are our impressive TV establishments in their palatial offices and studios and now that our schools of political science are turning into vocational schools for politicians and bureaucrats, so are the public officials who are running both our States and our Republic.

“What we are doing is producing alto gether too few genuinely moral and genuinely wise human beings.

“Some of my experiences in India make me feel that more wisdom is to be found among the illiterate peasants in the villages of the under-developed nations of the world than is to be found among the graduates of the schools and universities of which we in the West are so proud.”

It is well for us to bear in mind that it is our choice whether we continue to mis-educate ourselves once we become aware of this situation, or whether we then choose to practice “right education” as Dr Borsodi has termed it.

This process has also been termed as taking “total responsibility,” that is, taking total responsibility for all that occurs in our lives, and not blaming, nor wishing to blame, someone, or something else for our problems, worries, woes, illnesses etc.

Bearing all this in mind, our lessons in natural psychology are based upon the living out of these concepts, of placing ourselves into contact in every way possible with all the positive forces of nature and the universe.

To further this, we also include “Positive Affirmations” along with “Creative Visualisation,” which enables us to create in our “mind's eye” this positive outlook, by placing ourselves into and living in harmony with the laws of Nature and th Universe, enabling us to achieve the realisation of our affirmations and visualisation.

Allow me at this stage to re-direct your thoughts to our opening lessons covering the Religions and Philosophies. Go back and study them again and note how each one states very concisely the necessity for placing ourselves into contact with all the positive forces of Nature and the Universe if we are to achieve health (wholeness), and life, for to not do so is to put ourselves into contact with the negative forces of nature and the universe, and subsequently death.

To achieve this we need to give ourselves “right education” to replace the “miseducation” we have received up until now.

Still further, the question that we are most often asked is “What is the difference between the psychology as taught in schools, colleges, and universities, and that which you call Natural Psychology?”

We should define the difference as basically being that Natural psychology is based upon the laws of Nature and the Universe, that it considers man as an integral part of this universe, and not above it, as some major religions would teach, that he is bound by those laws equally and as much as all the other forms of life on this planet earth.

And whereas the normal psychological approach considers that the use of mind-altering drugs has an acceptable place and role to play in the rehabilitation of the psychologically disturbed, we consider that there is no place for any medium that only treats the effect and does not remove the cause. Not only does it not remove the cause; it exacerbates the problem by:

  1. Suppressing the natural ability of the organism as it strives to correct the imbalance.
  2. Poisoning a system, which is already struggling to maintain equilibrium.
  3. (And in the case of ECT) further damaging brain cells which may already be under threat from other causes and which are vitally needed in the process of restoration of equilibrium in the organism.
  4. Not considering the role that is being played by medically prescribed drugs, and the food industry, including the chemical sprays and artificial fertilisers and pesticides applied by the farmers in the process of growing our food.

It is in this very area that we need to look for the basic cause(s) of our psychological instability.

In the consideration of these factors, do not let us lose sight of others, which are equally important. How the lack of sunlight can cause mental depression, as instanced in the case of people working on the sunny side of a workplace being happy, whilst those on the shady side were not so. And when the participants changed places, the formerly unhappy ones became happy, and vice versa. How overcrowding produces in animals homicide and suicide, which is evidenced in the overcrowded tenement areas of the world. This and much more.

So we see that for psychological health it is necessary, as in all other areas, that we consider the whole person and not become, again, one-sided.

continued

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