Intelligence and Its Assessment
Charles Stephen Knause

Intelligence and Its Assessment

Introduction

In order to have any kind of a logical discussion regarding the various types of tests traditionally used to assess intelligence it might be wise to proceed by first not offering up a definition of precisely what intelligence is in a theoretical sense but rather is an operational definition. According to Gregory (2013) however there are two particular problems with seeking to use an operational definition of intelligence which are the fact that such operational definitions resort in many cases to such circular logic as intelligence is what is measured by IQ tests and that the convenience of being able to resort to an operational definition of intelligence as opposed to a real definition has the effect of inhibiting “further progress in understanding the nature of intelligence” because the resort to such short-hand methods short-circuits all attempts to get at a real definition.
Given the nature of that particular problem the other option at hand is to delve into what Gregory, p.135 calls the “Expert Definition of Intelligence” that forms the basis of a subheading under which the science based views of a couple of generations of expert views on the nature of intelligence can be conveniently found. A sample of such would include the following:
Spearman (1904, 1923): a general ability that involves mainly the education of
relations and its correlates.
Binet and Simon (1905): the ability to judge well, to understand well, to reason
well.
Terman (1916): the capacity to form concepts and to grasp their significance.
Thorndike (1921): the power of good responses from the point of view of truth
or fact.
Wechsler (1939): the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposively,
to think rationally, and to deal effectively with the environment.
Piaget (1972); a generic term to indicate the superior forms of organization
or equilibrium of cognitive structuring used for adaption to the physical and
social environment.
Eysenck (1986): error-free transmission of information through the cortex.
The early theories in the modern age about the nature of intelligence within the emerging new field of psychology came out of an era called “the brass instrument era” of psychology precisely because brass instruments made to order for the measurement of everything from A to Z were in fact made of brass. One of the most important early pioneers in the field of a science based psychology was J. McKeen Cattell who as a student of Sir Francis Galton saw intelligence as a kind of sensory keenness. This theory was based upon reaction time and movement time in relationship to environmental stimuli. Charles Spearman’s Two-Factor Theory of Intelligence was a distinct advance along the path to unraveling the mystery of defining the nature of intelligence. It relied upon a definition that theorized that intelligence consisted to two distinct factors that Spearman label a single general factor g and various specific factors represented as s₁, s₂, s₃, etc. Spearman’s help in inventing factor analysis as an analytic research methodology for the investigation of the nature of intelligence may have been his most important and long reaching contribution to this somewhat esoteric field of psychological endeavor. The CHC-Three Stratum Theory of Cognitive Abilities that takes its initials from the originators of the theory Raymond Cattell-John Horn-John Carroll and is probably the most advanced cognitive theory. It is based upon the idea of fluid intelligence, crystalized intelligence, and domain specific intelligence, along with other such concepts as visual-spacial abilities, auditory processing, broad retrieval memory, cognitive processing speed, and decision/reaction speed as independent theoretical constructs. There are at the same time such other highly credible theories such as: the (SOI) Structure of Intellect Model (Guilford, 1967), the (PASS) Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, and Successive Theory, various information processing theories, as well as such theories of multiple intelligences as that put forward by Howard Gardner (1983, 1993) that theorizes that there are seven distinct types of intelligence that he calls: (1) linguistic, (2) logical-mathematical, (3) spatial, (4) musical, (5) bodily kinesthetic, (6) interpersonal, (7) intrapersonal. Finally, Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (Sternberg, 1985b, 1986, 1996):
….takes a much wider view of the nature of intelligence than most previous theorists. In
addition to proposing that certain mental mechanisms are required for intelligent
behavior, he also emphasizes that intelligence involves adaption to the real-world
environment. His theory emphasizes what he calls successful intelligence or “the
ability to adapt to, shape, and select environments to accomplish one’s goals and
those of one’s society and culture” (Sternberg & Kaufman, 1998, p.494; as cited
by Gardner, p.156).

Individual Tests

In this paper three different intelligence assessment batteries have been chosen for examination which are the following: the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales: Fifth Edition (SB5), the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (WAIS-IV), and the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT). Some of the other individual IQ tests that could have been examined that are also widely used are the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude-4 (DTLA-4), the Cognitive Assessment System-II (CAS-II), Kaufman’s Brief Intelligence Test-2 (KBIT-2), Raymond Cattell’s Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CFIT), and Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM). The Wechsler Scales of Intelligence include three other individual IQ assessments other than the WAIS-IV. These are the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children -IV that is appropriate for children aged 6 through 16, the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-III (WIAT-III) that is appropriate for children ages 4 to adults age 50, and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-R) that is appropriate for ages 3 through 7. The three other Wechsler tests are: (1) the Wechsler Memory Scale that was launched in 2009, (2) the Wechsler Test of Adult Reading, and (3) the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI).

Group tests

There are a number of highly rated group administered intelligence tests that include the following: (1) The Army Alpha Test (Verbal Ability), (2) The Army Beta Test (a non-language test), (3) The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), (4) The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT), (5) The Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT), (6) Raven’s Progressive Matrices, (7) Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CFIT), (8) The Leiter International Performance Scale, (9) Goodenough-Harris Drawing Test (G-HDT).
Additional intelligence assessment tests
The following are highly reliable and valid intelligence assessments that are much less widely used or used in only certain highly specify situations: (1) the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC), (2) the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT), (3) the Henmon-Nelson Tests of Mental Ability, (4) Stoelting Brief Intelligence Test (S-BIT), (5) Merrill-Palmer Scale-Revised, (6) Sloesson Intelligence Test-Primary Memory (SIT-P), (7) Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT), (8) Cognitive Assessment System (CAS), (9) Test of Memory and Learning (TOMAL), (10) Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI), (11) Beta III, (12) Comprehensive Test of Nonverbal Intelligence (CTONI), (13) Wide Range Intelligence Test (WRIT).
The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales: Fifth Edition (SB5)
According to Walsh & Betz (2001), p.162- “The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, probably the best-known intelligence test in the world, is the direct descendent of the original Binet-Simon scales, first developed in 1905.” The SB5 consists of 15 subtests with 6 of these being core tests that are administered to all age groups with the remaining 9 being administered selectively to the appropriate age group. These 15 subtests include the following: Vocabulary, Bead Memory, Quantitative, Memory for Sentences, Pattern Analysis, Comprehension, Absurdities, Memory for Digits, Copying, Memory for Objects, Matrices, Number Series, Paper Folding and Cuttings, Verbal Relations, and Equation Building. The test is owned and published by the Riverside Publishing Company. The SB5 was revised to incorporate the factor structure of the (CHC) Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory of intelligence that has been previously mentioned in the introduction. According to Williams, McIntosh & Dixon, Newton, Youman (2010), p. 1071-
This measure was considered to be a significant improvement over the previous edition
(Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, Fourth Edition [SB-IV]; Thorndike, Hagen, & Sattler,
1996; as cited by Williams et al. (2010) in many ways. First, to address concerns about
incomplete factor structure of the SB-IV ( Kline, 1989; McCallum, 1990; Thorndike,
1990; as cited by Williams et al.), the SB5 was constructed based on the CHC
hierarchical theory of intelligence (Becker, 2003: as cited by Williams et al.). The SB5
maintained the Full Scale IQ score composed of verbal and nonverbal abilities; however,
it also measured five CHC constructs of intelligence: Fluid Intelligence (G f ), Crystalized
Knowledge ( G c ), Quantitative Knowledge ( G q ), Visual Processing ( G v ), and Short-
Term Memory ( G sm ) ( Roid, 2003a, b; as cited by Williams et al.).

History of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales

According to Gregory, p. 174- “the Stanford-Binet: Fifth Edition (SB5) has the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious pedigree of any of the intelligence tests.” Walsh & Betz, describe the Stanford-Binet Inelligence Scale as “probably the best-known intelligence test in the world, is a direct descendent of the original Binet-Simon Scales, first developed in 1905.” Alfred Binet (1857-1911) and Theophile Simon (1873-1961) were the two Frenchmen who were commissioned in 1904 by the French Ministry of Education to develop an assessment device that would enable mentally handicapped children, i.e. retarded children to be identified early on in the educational process (Walsh & Betz, p.147). This happened at the same time as the Galton-Cattel approach to intelligence was declining. The difference between the two approaches was that Binet-Simon thought of intelligence as a higher type of mental process that involved both judgment and reasoning ability as opposed to the kind of reaction time/sensory-motor capabilities that formed the basis of the Galton-Cattel theory of intelligence. Some aspects of the Galton-Cattell reaction-time approach were retained by Binet & Simon with the launch of the first Binet-Simon Intelligence Test in 1905. In regard to this,Walsh & Betz, p.147 state the following-

“Thus, while the first Binet-Simon intelligence test in 1905, retained Galton’s tests of weights discrimination and short term memory, it emphasized the capacity to make good judgments, to reason well, and to use common sense…..In addition to their emphasis on judgment and reasoning, Binet and Simon contributed the essential notion that the capacity to demonstrate the ‘higher mental processes’ should increase as the child aged…”

This was the beginning of the modern approach to understanding and doing intelligence assessment based upon this concept of IQ invented by Binet-Simon that took the chronological age of the child and dividing that into the overall test score and then multiplying that by 100. It was however, actually Stanford University psychology professor Lewis W. Terman who revised and standardized the original Binet-Simon test in 1916 so that it could be used in the United States who was responsible for this very specific formulation of IQ that we recognize as such today and still continue to use in spite of some subtle conundrums. Curiously enough, the actual formulation for calculating the IQ score that Terman incorporated into the revised Binet-Simon test that became the Stanford-Binet had been suggested to him by an associate by the name of William Stern. The exact formula for calculating IQ is present in the following manner by Walsh & Betz, p. 148- “… the 6-year old scoring at the 3-year old level would have an IQ of 50 (MA/CA x 100 = 3/6 x 100 = 50), while the 6-year-old scoring at the 9-year-old level would have an IQ of 150 (MA/CA x 100 = 9/6 x 100 = 150).” [ MA= mental age: CA= chronological age].

Validity & reliability of the SB5.

Commenting on the SB-IV, Walsh & Betz indicate that the standardization sample used for the SB-IV was “5000 individuals aged 2 to 23, selected to be representative of the U.S. population in 1980.” The same authors also indicate that the SB-IV is highly reliable. According they state that “The internal consistency reliability of the composite scores range from 0.95 to 0.99 across age levels.” The scores for the cognitive areas range from 0.80 to 0.97, and the scores for the individual subtests are in the high 0.80s and low 0.90s “except for reliability ranges from 0.66 to 0.78 depending on age group.” The same source indicates that the test-retest reliability coefficients are 0.91 and 0.90 and that these scores were obtained using a sample of 57 five-year-olds and 55 eight-year olds. The validity data available on the SB-IV indicates a high correlation ( r = 0.81) with the IQ scores of the earlier versions of the Stanford-Binet test series. In regard to validity correlations with other intelligence tests the same source indicates that the SB-IV shows “excellent differentiation among gifted, learning disabled, and mentally retarded examinees.” (p.167). The SB-IV can therefore be assumed to be a highly reliable IQ test especially for the testing of children and “for the diagnosis of mental retardation, and for the prediction and explanation of academic achievement.”

The SB5’s validity and reliability was measured using a high-achieving sample in Williams et al. Accordingly they state that the SB5 “exhibits good reliability. Specifically, the reliability coefficients for the Full Scale IQ score was high (.97 to .98).” In addition to this, they state that the reliability coefficients of the subtests, IQ and Factor Index Scores for individuals within the age range of the sample used ranged from .76 to .98. The Test-retest coefficients as measured within 1-27 days after the first test were between .76 and .93 for a sample size with ages ranging from 6 to 20 years old. The Full Scale and composite IQ scores of the SB5 were also compared with previous versions of the Stanford-Binet as well as with the Wechsler scales and the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Ability (WJ-III-COG). According to Williams et al. “All analyses provided strong evidence of validity.” Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were used for concurrent validity studies with the results showing correlational coefficients “at or above .78 when the Full Scale IQ was compared to other validated full scale scores (Roid, 2003b; as cited by Williams et al., p. 1072).
The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (WAIS-IV)

According to Walsh & Betz, the original Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale was published by David Wechsler, a psychologist at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, in 1939 and was called the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scale. According to Gregory, p.160- “In describing the development of his first test, he (David Wechsler) later wrote, “Our aim was not to produce a set of whole new tests but to select, from whatever source available, such a combination of them as would meet the requirements of an effective adult scale (Wechsler, 1939; as cited by Gregory).” According to the same source many of the scales on the original Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scale were perhaps “borrowed” from the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales as well as the Army Alpha and Beta tests. Indeed Gregory states on p.160 that-“Readers who peruse Psychological Examining in the United States Army, a volume edited by Yerkes (1921) just after World War I, might be astonished to discover that Wechsler purloined dozens of test items from this source…” Gregory then goes to relate the fact that many of these scales purloined by Wechsler have survived to the present day in spite of the various test revisions that have taken place since that time.

In spite of this or maybe because of it, Wechsler can be thought of as a pragmatic researcher who used whatever he could find elsewhere to put together the kind of adult intelligence assessment that he felt would have long term validity and reliability. In so doing, he may not have been mistaken as according to Hartman (2009), in his review of the newly launched WAIS-IV for Applied Neuroscience, applies the term “gold standard” to the entire family of Wechsler intelligence scales.

History of the WAIS-IV

David Wechsler (January 12, 1896 – May 2, 1981) was the American psychologist who developed the various Wechsler Intelligence Scales while working at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. After five years in private practice Wechsler became the chief psychologist at Belleview Hospital in 1932 where he remained on the staff until 1967. Wechsler who had been born into a Jewish family in Lespezi, Romania, immigrated to the United States with his parents as a child. Wechsler’s career as a psychologist began with a stint with the U.S. Army where he was assigned the job of Army psychologist at Camp Logan, TX to aid in the screening of new draftees after the U.S.’s entry into World War I. It was there that he had the opportunity to work with such other prominent psychologists of that era such as Karl Pearson, Charles Spearman, Edward Thorndike, and Robert Mearns Yerkes. Wechsler scored the Army Alpha Test which was one of two test given to new draftees in WWI that had been developed by the U.S. Army as a group administered test for intelligence. After WWI, Wechsler undertook extensive research work in the field of experimental psychology at the University of Paris. In 1925 he received his Ph.D. from Columbia where he had studied under Robert S. Woodworth. The Wechsler Intelligence Scales were based upon many new concepts in regard to intelligence testing. He rejected the concept of global intelligence that had been proposed by Charles Spearman and divided the concept of intelligence into two components: verbal intelligence and performance intelligence. Wechsler’s original theories continue to be reflected in the latest addition to the various Wechsler Intelligence Scales, the WAIS-IV.

Validity and reliability of the WAIS-IV

The three types of validity that are used to describe test validity are: (1) content validity, (2) criterion validity, (3) construct validity. Content validity according to Drummond & Jones (2006), can be defined as evidence that the items on any given type of test are representative of some defined universe or content domain and that they can measure the theoretical constructs that such items are supposedly designed to measure. Criterion validity is important because it should demonstrate that the various test scores are systematically related to one or more external variables (criteria). Criterion validity can in turn be broken down into two other distinct categories that are (a) concurrent validity, and (b) predictive validity. The third major type of validity that needs to be evaluated in regard to any such psychometric testing and/or assessment device is construct validity that according Drummond & Jones can be defined as having a meaning when one asks the question- “What do the scores on this test mean or signify?” Accordingly they state on p.56 that the term construct is used to describe a grouping of variables or behaviors that make up observed behavior patterns ( such as intelligence, anxiety, motivation, self-concept). A construct itself is not measurable; only the behaviors or variables that comprise it can be tested and therefore measured.

According to Hartman (2009), the WAIS-IV was normed using a sample size totaling 2200 that consisted of 13 different age groups ranging from 16 to 90 years-old. In spite of Hartman’s over the top enthusiasm for the WAIS-IV in his review for Applied Neuropsychology equating the WAIS-IV with the “Return of the gold standard” in IQ testing; there are no numbers whatsoever in regard to validity and/or reliability to back up his enthusiasm. In this case one wonders what the real unstated purpose of such gushing enthusiasm really was all about. Sudarshan, Saklofske, Bowden, & Weiss (2016) is a more sober, scholarly analysis of the WAIS-IV that undertakes and is based upon “Factor analytic studies of the Wechsler subtest scores in terms of broad CHC abilities” that according to the authors “highlights some controversies, such as (a) discriminant validity of Gv and Gf, (b) the multiple loadings Arithmetic, (c) the difficulty distinguishing short-term memory from long-term memory, and (d) the dual loadings of Similarities on Gc and Gf.” Sudarshan et al. go on to state that- “Controversies of these types are not unexpected because the Wechsler scales have always reflected the fact that the various facets of intelligence are not orthogonal.” The problem with this hyper-technical research study designed to study “a suitable baseline model which was admissible in all nine age groups in the standardization sample” that it is more concerned Confirmatory factor Analysis of the CHC Five Factor Model of Intelligence than the standard determinations regarding reliability and validity. Sudarshan et all does render some extremely important findings in regard to the CHC Five Factor Model that the revised WAIS-IV is based upon and that finding based upon the methodology of CFA, is that the model of intelligence employed in the WAIS-IV is the best possible fit for the entire span of nine different age groupings that the test was designed to serve. There are 15 different subtests included in the WAIS-IV that include the following: (1) Similarities, (2) Vocabulary, (3) Information, (4) Comprehension, (5) Block Design, (6) Visual Puzzles, (7) Picture Completion, (8) Figure Weights, (9) Matrix Reasoning, (10) Arithmetic, (11) Digit Span, (12) Letter-Number Sequencing, (13) Symbol Search, (14) Coding, (15) Cancellation.

The Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT)

Unlike the SB5 and the WAIS-IV that are both individual tests, the WPT is a group test designed to be administered in a group setting although it can also be administered on an individual basis to all prospective new hires on a case by case, one person at a time depending upon the situation at hand. The genius of the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT) is that it only takes examinees 12 minutes to complete. According to Walsh & Betz- “Because of the fact that the WPT is a speeded test the test publishers ( E.F. Wonderlic & Associates) recommend an age adjustment to scores, such that examinees over the age of 29 receive from one to five additional points depending on their age.” (p.180). According to this same source “the WPT was adapted from the Otis Mental Ability Tests in 1938.”

History of the WPT

According to Walsh & Betz (2001), p. 180-The Wonderlic Personnel Test has its origin in the Otis Mental Abilities Tests as does the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT). The same authors go on to state that- “…the WPT was adapted from the Otis Self-Administering Tests of Mental Ability in 1938.” The WPT was authored by E.F. “Al” Wonderlic who according to the Wonderlic corporate website was the first Director of Personnel for Household Finance Corporation. Wonderlic Incorporated was founded in 1937 by Al Wonderlic. According to the same source Wonderlic “founded the company as a result of some work he was doing as a doctoral student in psychology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where” the Wonderlic corporate website claims that “he developed our first test which is called The WPT was used by the U.S. Navy for use in the selection of candidates to undergo pilot training. During the same time period the Douglas Aircraft Corporation working with Wonderlic and the National Industrial Conference Board (now known as The Conference Board) publishes E.F. Wonderlic’s second study on the scientific analysis of job applicant abilities as a continuing business practice.
Today, Wonderlic, Inc., 400 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 200, Vernon Hills, IL is still the owner and sole publisher of what it calls “the world’s first short-form cognitive ability test, the Wonderlic Personnel Test.”

Reliability and validity of the WPT

According to Bell, Matthews, Lassiter, Leverett (2002), who conducted a study of the WPT as a measure of fluid or crystalized intelligence, the scores that are purported to measure cognitive ability and have been found to correlate with scores from the other more established tests of intelligence. The authors state on p.113 that- “It has been shown to have good concurrent validity by being highly correlated with the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS; Wechsler, 1955) and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale -Revised (WAIS-R; Wechsler, 1981) (e.g. Dodrill, 1981; Edinger, Shipley, Watkins, & Hammet, 1985). In a study that was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Health, Dodrill (1983) states that- “Thirty normal adults were administered both the Wonderlic and the WAIS on two occasions 5 years apart. Test-retest reliability was .94 for the Wonderlic and .96 for the WAIS FSIQ.” Dodrill goes on to state that the two tests were similar “in terms of reliability of clinical classification” but that the Wonderlic based upon the test-retest study had demonstrated fewer practice effects than the WAIS.” The purpose of Dodrill (1983) was to determine the long-term stability of IQ scores of the WPT in comparison with such (FSIQ) tests as the WAIS. The study design was a simple test-retest design that indicated what has already been previously stated as the study’s conclusions which were that the WPT showed similar reliability to the WAIS

Other Factors in the Assessment of Intelligence

This issue of test bias has been around for quite a while and goes to the very heart of not just the measurement of IQ, i.e. intelligence but perhaps the even more important questions of what is intelligence and can it really be measured if there is an unknown and/or unknowable factor involved that no construct can adequately capture or address. As far back as 1974 Schmidt & Walter (1974) would write about racial and ethnic bias in IQ tests and show how the standard IQ tests were used to determine the future options available for the examinees. All too often the less than stellar results on such standard IQ assessments as the Stanford-Binet intelligence assessments, the Wechsler tests, the WPI, or any of the other IQ assessments meant that due to the low level of performance on such assessments the future of African-American youth and as well as the children of other minorities was to a large extent now pre-determined due to the opportunities that would now be closed off to them owing to such sub-par performance. The points made by Schmidt & Hunter are worth examining in regard to what they have to say about the need for some sort or selection criteria to be used by colleges, universities, businesses, governments, etc. for admissions and hiring. According to these two authors, at the time the article was written there were two principle arguments being made along the following lines: Cleary (1996) as cited by Schmidt & Hunter, p.1-
“A test is biased for members of a subgroup of the population if, in the prediction of a criterion for which the test was designed, consistent nonzero errors of prediction are made for members of that subgroup.”

In other words, the test is biased if the criterion
score predicted from the common regression line is considerable to high or too low for members of the subgroup. With this definition of bias, there may be a connotation of “unfair,” particularly if the use of the test produces a prediction that is too low. If the test is used for selection, members of the subgroup may be rejected when they were capable of adequate performance.

Schmidt & Hunter contrast the following theory put forward by Thorndike (1971)-
“Thorndike’s definition holds that a test used for educational or employment selection is fair only if, for any given criterion of success, the tests admits or selects the same proportion of minority applicants that would be admitted or selected by selection on the criterion itself or on a perfectly valid test. For example, if it is known, based on past experience, that 37% of minority applicants equal or exceed the average majority group member(s) in actual performance on the job or in the educational institution, and if the selection ratio is such as to admit 50% of the majority applicants, the test must admit 37% of the minority members to be considered fair.”

Although these arguments do seem arcane, tedious, and maybe even pointless to some the amount of energy and passion expended in regard to the whole argument of test bias, is an indication of just how explosive such issues of fairness can be and what might be the end result of decades of anger and resentment about being shoved aside so that unqualified minorities can be given an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of what African-American’s call “White skin privilege” and the benefits that ensue from such! Be that as it may, the point that Schmidt & Hunter make is that even if tests are done away and are replaced with standard interviews, bias will still continue to play an active role in the parceling out of opportunities to both the majority and minority members. These two authors indicate based upon their research and that of others that the testing process as “rotten” as it may seem in the eyes of some, actually does provide the best model of predictive validity for colleges, universities, businesses, and government seeking qualified candidates who will be successful and productive contributors to their endeavor.

With Flauger (1978), this issue that he raises in regard to test bias is that there are many different types of bias and that the reason why minorities vent so much misdirected anger at test publishers is because they are “overinterpreting” the results. By claiming that all achievement and abilities tests are bias, minority members are not just overinterpreting the results but using such overinterpretation as a means of refusing to accept responsibility for what they themselves can change if they take the test results seriously for what they really are. Flauger suggests that all too frequently minority group members are using such claims of bias as a kind of surrogate for other issues of injustice that may affect their community and thoughtlessly (because unconsciously) blaming the test designers who in Flaugher’s opinion actually are doing minority group members a service by pointing out those areas of low preparedness and achievement that they can only begin to address, if and when such minority group members begin to see ability assessments for what they really are not what their imagination is overinterpreting as some kind of condemnation of them personally and/or their particular minority group as a whole.

The Question of Genius

George D. Stoddard was the former president of (NYU) New York University, chancellor of Long Island University, and a recipient of the G. Stanley Hall Award from the American Psychological Association. In chapter XII: “Concepts of Genius” of his book, The Meaning of Intelligence, what he says regarding genius curiously echoes the theory of such proffered by the English historian Thomas Carlyle. According to Stoddard (1943), p.299-

“An extreme love for humanity can be combined with an ordinary ability to master difficult and complex affairs. There are turning points in history when a supreme example carried to the point of martyrdom will raise a man to the rank of social genius, within his era or thereafter. Sympathy, courage, vitality, character, and appreciation of the beautiful, on occasion, hold a high place in the furtherance of human aspirations; under the right circumstances they lead to a cultural contribution surpassing purely intellectual achievements. The glory of the race lies in its great minds and in its great hearts.”

Indeed, that is a curiously interesting definition of genius for the reason that Stoddard suggests that the mind/brain alone may not be the sole repository of that highly elusive quality that we tend to just assume is a quality of mind. The heart, the soul, and the spirit all seem to be synonymous with this elusive quality that is maybe bigger than the brain (but not the mind) that Stoddard is attributing some aspect of genius to. Perhaps the only scientific theory that can do justice to what Stoddard is alluding to would be the various theories of multiple intelligences chief of which would be the theory of Howard Gardner and the last two theoretical constructs that are interpersonal intelligence & intrapersonal intelligence that curiously enough Gardner and others have suggested constitute the self looking outward and/or the self looking inward. One can hardly think of a less likely recipe for genius other than Gardner’s body-kinesthetic intelligence. Perhaps, genius is so difficult to define in the abstract and why it is so elusive is because generally speaking we (as humans) are forever looking for it in all the wrong places. Certainly the idea of the white lab coated scientist with Einstein as its exemplar qualifies as case in point for what the architype seems to suggest to us. After reading Stoddard’s description of such that may or may not have been influenced by the philosophical musing the the English historian Thomas Carlyle, two or three names come to mind almost immediately. Those names are Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.

As if to add emphasis to this point Stoddard states on p. 300 the following-

“The fragmentary evidence available on the childhood of great contributors to human progress leads to the supposition that, as a rule, they would have done well on intelligence tests, and that their outstanding potentialities would have been clearly revealed in measures centering in the nine attributes. Characteristically the great artist is a man of great ideas, and this can be said of the engineer, architect, musician, or humanitarian. But, at any level of creative work, strength of feeling, rightness of attitude, and a long-time devotion to ideals may have polarized an organism whose attracting powers were at first ordinary.”

As the scientist increasingly applies his special methodology in evaluating laws, customs, and politics, he will recognize in the world today a shortage of complex intellects that are well-disposed. However, the kind of abstracting ability that operates within the limits of a predetermined scientific procedure is reasonably abundant

Simonton & Song (2009), is another study of the theoretical concept of genius based largely upon the previous work done in regard to the classification of such by the renowned Stanford University psychologist Lewis Terman who published a multivolume study in 1925 entitled Genetic Studies of Genius. It was Terman who in 1916 had launched a completely revamped version of the Binet Test created by Alfred Binet in Paris with funding from the French Ministry of Education as the first in the series of Stanford-Binet Intelligence Assessments that are still in use today as the most widely used and recognized IQ test in the world. Genetic Studies of Genius is a five volume work, but according to Simonton & Song, the second volume does not list Terman as the author but rather Catherine Cox. According to Simonton & Song, p.430- “Although Cox’s (1926) magnum opus is titled The Early Mental Traits of Three Hundred Geniuses, she actually studied 301. This sample was composed of two groups. The main group consisted of 282 creators and leaders who were the primary subjects of the data analysis.” Simonton & Song then go on to explain that the other group that Cox studied were a group of 19 historical figures who use had been necessary for an initial pilot study that was necessary in order to properly calibrate the procedures that Cox intended to use in the much larger study. Multiple regression analysis was used by Cox to predict the childhood IQ of these 282 “eminences” who were separated into 10 different groups based upon the nature of their achievements. The 10 classification categories that Cox used were the following: politicians, revolutionaries, commanders, religious leaders, scientists, philosophers, informative writers, imaginative writers, composers, artists. In publishing for the first time the results of Cox’s The Early Mental Traits of Three Hundred Geniuses, Simonton & Song listed in the “Discussion” section of their research report the conclusion of Cox’s unpublished study. The first conclusion was that there was an indirect relationship between physical health and mental health. In their words- “…although achieved eminence was not a function of either health indicator, eminence was a function of IQ, and the latter was a positive function of mental health and a negative function of physical health.” While this may seem confusing it seems to suggest that these individuals with high IQs were willing or somehow compelled by the nature of their own genius to sacrifice their physical health either in pursuit of eminence or that probably they valued it less than the other goals that they were drive to achieve due to the nature of their genius.

Simonton & Song claimed that there was one domain of the 10 that Cox had chosen for classification purposes of classification that was the lowest in terms of mental health and that was the class of imaginative writers that included poets, novelists, and dramatists. According to Simonton & Song- “Yet this group displays unusually high rates of adult psychopathology (Ludwig, 1995; see also Jamison, 1993: as cited by Simonton & Song), so this adverse effect implies that this unfortunate personal trajectory begins at a very early age.”

Protzko, Kaufman, & Shenk (2011), is a review of a book entitled The Genius in us all: Why everything you’ve been told about genetics, talant, and IQ is wrong. According to the reviewers, Shenk’s book will make most people feel good because according to the author “genes are reactive to the environment in what is a constant interaction between nature and nurture.” While the reviewers are happy to concede that such an interaction does indeed occur they make a point of stating that-“In fact, there is actually no evidence for a G x E (Genes x Environment) interaction in the heritability of IQ. The work of Fischbein (1980) and Eric Turkheimer and his colleagues (2003), on which Shenk bases some of the data on such interactions, does not provide evidence for such an interaction.” The reviewers conclude that what Shenk is offering up to the public as an unbiased examination of the role that genes and the environment play in regard to the social construct of genius, is not an unbiased picture at all but one that picks and choses carefully what studies to include and/or cite in order to defend the author’s preconceived ideas on the nature of genetics and the environment.

Reference
Bell, N.L., Mathews, T.D., Lassiter, K.S., & Leverett, J. P. (2002). Validity of the Wonderlic Personnel Test as a measure of fluid or crystallized intelligence: Implications for career assessment. North American Journal of Psychology, 4(1), 113-120.

Brant, A.M., Corley, R.P., DeFries, J.C., Haberstick, B.C., Wadsworth, S.J., & Hewitt, J. K. (2009). The developmental etiology of high IQ. Behavioral Genetics, 39 : 393-405.

Dodrill, C.B. (1983). Long-term reliability of the Wonderlic Personnel Test. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 51(2), 316-317.

Drummond, R.J., & Jones, K.D. (2006). Assessment procedures for counselors and helping professionals, 6th Ed. Upper-Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Furnham, A. (2002). Dissimulation, intelligence and personality. Social Behavior and Personality, 30(6), 527-532.

Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory in practice. NY: Basic Books.
Gottfredson, L. & Saklofske, D.H. (2009). Intelligence: Foundations and issues in assessment. Canadian Psychology, 50(3), 183-195.

Gregory, R.J. (2013). Psychological testing: History, principles, and applications, 7th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Hartman, D.E. (2009). Test review: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale IV (WAIS-IV): Return of the gold standard. Applied Neuropsychology, 16, 85-87.

Matthews, G. & Deary, I.J. (1998). Personality traits. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

McGrew, K.S. (1997). Analysis of the other major intelligence batteries according to the proposed comprehensive Gf- Gc framework. Ch.9:Contemporary intellectual assessment:Theories, tests, and issues, (D.P. Flanagan, J.L. Genshaft, & P.L. Harrison, Ed.), pp. 151-179. NY: The Guilford Press.

Muijtjens, A.M. , Schwirth, L. W. , Cohen-Schotanus, J. & van der Vleuten, C.P. (2007). Origin bias of test items compromises the validity and fairness of curriculum comparisons. Medical Education, 41, 1217-1223.

Nisbett, R.E. (2009). Intelligence and how to get it: Why schools and cultures count. NY: W.W Norton & Co., Inc.

Nolen, J.L. (2003). Multiple intelligences in the classroom. Education, 124(1), 115-119.

Protzko, J., Kaufman, S.B. & Apostel, C.L. (2001). Review by John Protzko, NYU, & Scott Barry Kaufman, C. Leo Apostel, Free University of Brussels. DOI: 10.1037./a002110

Schmidt, F.L. & Hunter, J.E. (1974). Racial and ethnic bias in psychological tests: Divergent implications of two definitions of test bias. American Psychologist, Jan. 1974, 1-8.

Schneider, J., McGrew. (2013). The Cattel-Horn-Carroll (CHC) model of intelligence v2.2: A visual tour and summary. Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP).

Simonton, D.K. & Song, A.V. (2009). Eminence, IQ, physical and mental health, and
achievement domain: Cox’s 282 geniuses revisited. Psychological Science, 20(4), 429-434.

Stoddard, G.D. (1945). Concepts of genius. Ch. 12: The Meaning of Intelligence, pp. 299-315. NY: MacMillan & Company, Inc.

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Yong, E. (2013). Chinese project probes the genetic of genius: Bid to unravel the secrets of brain power faces skeptici

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Research Proposal

Research Proposal

Introduction– Psychologists have a moral and professional obligation to explore the usefulness of alternative non-pharmacological treatment modalities with the patients that they see and treat. There are now a number of alternative treatment modalities available that clinicians can prescribe for their patients either as an alternative or adjunct to conventional pharmacological treatments. Exercise has been proven to be as useful as anxiolytics and antidepressants for alleviating mild to severe forms of anxiety and depression that often co-occurs. Berger & Owen (1998) and Doyne, Ossip-Klein, Bowman, Osborn, McDougall-Wilson, & Neimeyer (1987), have proven that various forms of exercise can be useful in reducing anxiety and depression. One question however that still needs to be decided is which form of physical training exercises might be best for the treatment of certain forms of DSM-5 diagnosable conditions?

Literature review– (Martinsen ,1989A, 1989B & Doyne et al.) compare aerobic to non-aerobic exercise while Berger & Owen compare four different exercise modes. There is no consistent agreement however in regard to the most effective mode. More importantly, the neurophysiological chain of events that lead to the repair and re-creation of formerly degraded neurotransmitters as a result of such diagnosable conditions as PTSD, GAD, unipolar and bipolar depression, as well as such psychotic disorders as schizophrenia through regular physical exercise needs to be more fully explored and understood by both researchers and clinicians. For exercise to be fully recognized as a treatment modality for the previously mentioned conditions, the neurophysiology involved with using exercise as a means to full recovery of neurophysiologically well balanced health has to be well understood at the research level. Numerous past studies (Markoff, Ryan, Young, 1982; Coppen & Prange, Whybrow & Noguera, 1972, ; Pargman, Baker, 1980; McMurray, Berry, Vann, Hardy, Sheps, 1988; Ismail & Young, 1977; Farrell, Gates, Morgan, & Maksud, 1982; Fuxe, Hokfelt, & Ungerstedt, 1959; Gordon, Spector, Sjoerdsma, & Udenfriend, 1966; Grossman, Price, Drury, Lam, Turner, Besser, Sutton, 1984; Randford, 1982; Sutton, Young, Lazarus, Hichie, Maksvytis, 1969) have proven that the neurochemical basis for affective disorders can positively impacted by an exercise program. These same studies cited here prove conclusively not only that there is a neurological basis for improvement but map out many of the actual pathways involved. In the face of such overwhelming evidence some have speculated (either correctly or incorrectly) that the pharmaceutical industry may feel that their financial interests are being challenged through the prescribing of such alternative treatment modalities.
The 41 studies that are included in the reference section of this proposal can be separated into two main groups. The first group would be characterized as those RCTs that involving comparing an exercise program to standard drug treatment for anxiety and depression with a subset of this group being involved with RCTs that seek a determination as to which particular form of exercise might be most effective at alleviating the symptomatology of these conditions. The second major group deals with the neuropsychology of anxiety and depression as well as the neuroscience involved with the physiology of exercise. These are the two sides of the coin so to speak that form the background to years of previous research. The earliest study cited is Michael, Jr. (1957) to be followed by Cureton (1963) both of which can be considered to be foundational studies. The two most recent studies are Heinzel, Lawrence, Kallies, Rapp, & Heinzel (2015) and Stanton, Raeburn & Happell (2013).Steptoe, Kimbell, & Basford (1998) is a “naturalistic study.” Stanton, Reaburn, & Happell (2013) is a “narrative review.” The four meta-analyses are Arent, Landers & Etnier (2000); Heinzel, Lawrence, Kallies, Rapp & Heissel (2015); Mutrie & Biddle (n.d.); Yeung (1996). Kostrubala (1976) is a book that helped to popularize running in the 1970s.

Impetus for the study– Although there are some experimental studies that compare various modes of exercise (Stanton, Reaburn, & Happell, 2013; Berger & Owen, 1988;Doyne,Ossip-Klein, Bowman, Osborn, McDougall-Wilson, & Neimeyer, 1987; Martinsen, Hoffart, & Solberg, 1989), there seems to be a lack of consistent evidence supporting any particular mode as the most effective for the most commonly diagnosed clinical conditions such as anxiety disorders, unipolar depression as well as bipolar depression, as well as such serious psychotic disorders as schizophrenia where according to Martinsen (n.d.),institutionalized patients in Norway diagnosed with schizophrenia have shown marked improvement as a result of having a prescribed exercise program. A more thorough and complete understanding of the neurophysiological basis for prescribing exercise as a fully accepted treatment modality for the previously noted behavioral conditions has to be put into place if clinicians can have confidence in the reliability of such a treatment modality.

Research question– For the purposes of this study the focus will not be upon determining the neurochemical pathways involved with the alleviation anxiety and depression in a clinical sample of (n=25) subjects in an experimental group and (n=25) in the control group for a total of (N=50) participants but rather which of the three forms of exercise or combinations thereof, i.e. weight training, aerobic conditioning (running, cycling, swimming), or Yoga is most effective at alleviating anxiety and depression.

a. Ho: Exercise has no effect upon such clinically diagnosed behavioral conditions as PTSD, GAD, unipolar and bipolar depression.

b. H1: Exercise will either fully alleviate or reduce the effect of PTSD, GAD, panic disorder, unipolar and bipolar depression and can therefore be useful as an alternative treatment modality in addition to or as a replacement for prescribed psychopharmacology.

c. H2: Of the three types of exercise cited, i.e. Yoga, aerobic, and strength training; aerobic training is best based upon RCTs to be more effective than the other two for the alleviation of anxiety and depression.
Variables- The three forms of exercise cited constitute the three different levels of the IV. Co-occurring anxiety & depression as well as unipolar depression and anxiety alone represent the three levels of the DV.

Methodology

A 3 X 3 Within-Subjects Factorial Design will be employed. Subjects will be recruited from membership of the Volusia/Flagler YMCAs, the psychology department at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Florida as well as the psychology department at the University of Central Florida’s Daytona Beach campus. All potential participants will be interviewed and briefed by the researcher prior selection. A copy of this research proposal will be submitted to the KU IRB for approval and/or revision. SPSS software will be used for data analysis. The Profile of Mood Survey (POMS) and the Beck Depression Inventory will be given pre and post treatment to each participant at each phase. Other self-report measures may be used if deeded appropriate that have consistently demonstrated a history of reliability and validity. All participants will be required to sign an informed consent form that will be included in the appendix of the research study. The participants will be briefed at that time on the specifics of the study so that all questions that they might have about their participation can be answered. Contract information will be provided by the study’s author/researcher in care there might be additional questions after the study has been completed.

References

Arent, S.M., Landers, D.M., Ethier, J.L. (2000). The effects of exercise on mood in older
adults: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 8, 407-430.

Bakeland, F. (1970). Exercise deprivation: sleep and psychological reactions. Archives of GeneralPsychiatry, 22, 365-369.

Berger, B.G., & Owen, D.R. (1989). Stress reduction and mood enhancement in four
exercise modes: Swimming, body conditioning, Hatha Yoga, and Fencing.
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 59(2), 148-159.

Blue, R.F. (1979). Aerobic running as a treatment for moderate depression. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 48(1), 228.

Brown, B.S., Payne, T., Kim, C., Moore, G., Krebs, P., & Martin, W. (1979). Chronic response of rat brain norepinephrine and serotonin levels to endurance training. Journal of Applied Physiology, 46(1), 19-23.

Coppen, A., Prange, A.J., Jr., Whybrow, P.C., & Noguera, R. (1972). Abnormalities of idoleamines in affective disorders. Archives of General Psychology, 26(5), 474-478.

Cureton, T.K. (1963). Improvements of psychological states by means of exercise fitness
programs. Journal of the Association for Physical and Mental Rehabilitation, 17,
14-17.

Doyne, E.J. Ossip-Klein, D.J., Bowman, E.D., Osborn, K.M., McDougall-Wilson, I.B.,

Neimeyer, R.A. (1987). Running versus weight lifting in the treatment of
depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55(5), 748-754.

Ellison, G.D. (1977). Animal models of psychopathology: the low-norepinephrine and low-
norepinephrine & low serotonin rat. The American Psychologist, 32, 1036-1045.

Farrell, P.A., Gates, W.K., Morgan, W.P., & Maksud, M.G. (1982). Increase in plasma beta-
endorphins and beta-lipotrophin immunoreactivity after treadmill running in humans.
Journal of Applied Physiology, 52, 1245-1249.

Fokins, C.H., & Simes, W.E. (1981). Physical fitness training and mental health. The
American Psychologist, 36, 373-389.

Fokins, C.H. (1976). Effects of physical training on mood. Journal of Clinical Psychology,
32, 385-388.

Folkins, C.H., Lynch, S., & Gardener, M.M. (1972). Psychological fitness as a function of
physical fitness. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 63, 503-508.

Freemont, J., & Craighead, L.W. (1987). Aerobic exercise and cognitive therapy in the treatmentof dysphoric moods. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 11(2), 241-251.

Fuxe, K., Hokfelt, T., & Ungerstedt, U. (1970). Morphological and functional aspects of central monoamine neurons. International Review of Neurobiology, 13, 93-126.

Greist, J.H., Klein, M.H., Eischens, R.R., Faris, J., Gurman, A.S., Morgan, W.P. (1979).
Running as a treatment for depression. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 20(1), 41-54.

Gordon, R.S., Spector, S., Sjoerdsma, A., Udenfriend, S. (1966). Increased synthesis of
norepinephrine and epinephrine in the intact rat during exercise and exposure to cold.
The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 153(3), 440-447.

Grossman, A., Bourloux, P., Price, P., Drury, P.L., Lam, K.S., Turner, T., Thomas, J., Besser, G.M.,& Sutton, J. (1984). The role of opioid peptides in the hormonal responses to acuteexercise in man. Clinical Science, 67, 483-491.

Heinzel, S., Lawrence, J.B., Kallies, G., Rapp, M.M., & Heissel, A. (2015). Using exercise to fight depression in older adults. GeroPsych, 28(4), 149-162.

Ismail, A.H., & Young, R.J. (1973). The effect of chronic exercise on the personality of middle-aged men using univariate and multivariate approaches. Journal of Human Ergology, 12, 45-54.

Ismail, A.H., & Young, R.J. (1976). Influences of physical fitness on second and third order
personality factors using orthogonal and oblique rotations. Journal of Clinical
Psychology, 2, 268-273.

Ismail, A.H., & Young, R.J. (1977). Effect of chronic exercise on the multivariate relationships between selected biochemical and personality variables. The Journal of Multivariate Research, 12, 49-67.

Johnson, W.B. , Fretz, B.R., & Johnson, J.A. (1968). Changes in self-concept during a physical development program. Research Quarterly, 39, 560-565.

Jones, L.G., & Cale, A. (1999). Changes in mood and cognitive functioning during long distance running- an exploratory investigation. Physical Education Review, 12(1), 78-83.

Kostrubala, T. (1976). The Joy of Running. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippencott Co.

Lichtman, S., & Poser, E.G. (1982). Effects of exercise on mood and cognitive functioning.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 27(1), 43-52.

Markoff, R. A. Ryan, P., Young, T. (1982). Endorphins and mood changes in long distance
running. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 14(1), 11-15.

Martinsen, E. (1989). Comparing aerobic and non-aerobic forms of exercise in the treatment of clinical depression. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 30, 324-331.

Martinsen, E. (1987). The role of aerobic exercise in the treatment of depression.
Stress Medicine, 3, 93-100.

Martinsen, E.W. (no date). The effects of exercise on mental health in clinical populations.

Martinsen, E. W., Hoffart, A., Solberg, Y. (1989). Aerobic and non-aerobic forms ofexercise in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Stress Medicine, 5, 115-120.

McMurray, R.G., Berry, M.J., Vann, R.T., Hardy, C.J., Sheps, D.S. (1988). The effect of running
in an outdoor environment on plasma beta-endorphins. Annals of Sport Medicine,
3(4), 230-233.

Michael, E.D., Jr. (1957). Stress adaptation through exercise. Research Quarterly, 28, 50-54.

Mutrie, N., & Biddle, S. J. (no date). The effects of exercise on mental health in nonclinical
populations.

North, T.C., McCullagh, P., Tran, Z.V. (1990). Effects of exercise on depression.
Exercise and Sport Science, 18, 379-415.

Pargman, D., Baker, M.C. (1980). Running high: enkepalin indicated. Journal of Drug Issues,10, 341-349.

Ransford, C.P. (1982). A role for amines in the anti-depressant effect of exercise: a review.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 14(1), 1-10.

Stanton, R., Reaburn, P., Happell, B. (2013). Is cardiovascular or resistance exercise better to treat patients with depression? A narrative review. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 34,
531-538.

Steptoe, A., Kimbell, J., Basford, P. (1998). Exercise and the experience and appraisal of daily stressors: A naturalistic study. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 21(4), 363-374.

Sutton, J.R., Young, J.D., Lazarus, L., Hickie, J.B. & Maksvytis, J. (1969). The hormonal response to physical exercise. Australasian Annals of Medicine, 18, 84-90.

Yeung, R.R. (1996). The acute effects of exercise on mood state. Journal of Psychosomatic
Research, 40(2), 123-141.

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A Unified Theory of Addictions

The behavioral theory associated the phenomenon of impulse-control disorders called Feeling-State Theory marks a critically important development within the academic research field of behavioral addictions that constitutes a kind of unified field theory of addictions. This behavioral science theory of addictions is every bit the equal of such other famous theories put forward in Physics such as Albert Einstein’s Theory of General and Special Relativity as well as Werner Heisenberg’s invention of Quantum Theory as a way of demonstrating to the disbelieving Einstein that God does indeed play dice and that indeterminism is an integral aspect of the nature of things. Such an all embracing comprehensive theory of addictions that has been put forward by Robert Miller has the serendipitous effect of also advancing present day theories of mind that indicate more often than not that mind is not synonymous with the brain.
One wonders what impact such a theory put forward in 2010 by Robert Miller, 575 Plymouth Road, San Marino, CA 91108 will have on the mega-billion dollar addictions treatment and recovery industry or has had in the six years since the initial publication of this comprehensive theory on addictions in 2010 in the journal Traumatology. Being the cynic that I am in regard to such dubious enterprises that claim either religious faith or some minor science grounded approach as the ideological/empirical basis for the questionable methodologies employed, I would be quite surprised indeed is Miller’s Feeling State Theory had over the ensuing six year period gained any standing at all in the mad rush of the owner/operators of the addiction recovery centers to cash in big time on the ignorance of the addicted and thusly tormented celebrity sports figures and the other so called “celebrities” that constitute the enormous cash cow that such ilk has been milking quite successfully for a very long time now.
Perhaps it’s time to get down to the actual science involved and away from the P & L statements for awhile so that an actual unified behavioral theory on addictions can be explained in language simple and straightforward enough for any mega-millionaire sports celebrity to understand and appreciate. In an effort to achieve such simplicity and straightforwardness, I will seek to refrain from the use of the standard boilerplate technical jargon (when possible) that is typically and far too often deployed by one professional in the field to impress another or at least gain through the use of such elitist academic psychobabble a measure of legitimacy that such authors assume they would not have sans elitist psychobabble. The public’s cynicism in regard to the use of such convoluted speech patterns is therefore seen by this author as a commendable virtue. There is however, an appropriate place for the necessary and required deployment neuroscience terminology and other physiological brain pathway arcana.
The article under discussion that appeared in the journal Traumatology, 16(3), 2-10; is entitled “The feeling-state theory of impulse-control disorders and the impulse-control disorder protocol. My readers may be better off with a few worthy quotations from Robert Miller’s article than any paraphrases constructed by this authors that could inadvertently leave out some curious but essential detail. On page 3 Miller states the following-
Schmitz ( 2005 ), proposes a biologically based theory of the etiology
Of the ICDs or what he calls “behavioral addiction.” Behavioral addictions
Are hypothesized as using the same neurological rewards/pleasure pathways
as do substance-related disorders. These specific neurocircuits have been
identified as part of the reward/pleasure pathways involved in the reinforcing
properties of drugs of abuse and drugs of craving. The neurotransmitters
dopamine, opioid peptides, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
are integral parts of the reward pathways (Koob, 1992). Substances such as
cocaine and alcohol stimulate the neurotransmitters in these pathways so that
the individual experiences reward/pleasure. ……………
The reward deficiency theory postulates that individuals can have “malfunctions in the reward/pleasure neurocircuits” that causes individuals so effected to be less able to find pleasure/reward with such natural reward/pleasures as good food/normal sex. Such individuals are driven to seek “unnatural rewards such as illicit drugs and thrill-seeking to overcome the neurocircuit deficiencies.” Such other impulse control disorders (ICD) as gambling, thrill-seeking, compulsive buying, hypersexuality, stealing, binge-eating disorder, and other forms of ICDs.
This theory makes an important contribution to an overall better understanding of contemporary ideas regarding theories of mind. According to Miller (2010), p.3- “Margaron (2004) argued that the biologically based explanations are too reductionistic and that pleasure should be understood as the result of complex mental processes involving the interaction of the body with the environment rather than a fixed biological predisposition.” The Feeling State Theory of Impulse Control Disorders was developed by Robert Miller. “The theory postulates that ICDs are created when positive feelings, linked with specific objects or behavior, form a state-dependent memory. This state dependent memory, composed of feelings and the event, form a unit called a ‘feeling state’ (FS). The FS is hypothesized to be the cause of the ICDs.”
Feeling State Theory (FST) is based upon the important principle that each and every person’s psychological history has an important influence upon the formation of ICDs. Although ICD’s are thought to result for positive events, they require underlying negative personal beliefs by the person so affected for the impact of the positive event to have such a major impact upon the personality. The youth growing up under constant emotional and psychological abuse from parents, siblings, etc. designed to convince him that he is a looser is unduly influenced as a result of winning $10.000.00 in a game of poker. Gambling then takes the form of an ICD. Other examples about regarding the perhaps almost infinite number of negative feeling states in the affected person who is at risk (so to speak) for an eventual positive FS (feeling state) of the right type spontaneously generating an ICD.
My only objection is to what Miller is proposing as a behavioral treatment modality that is known as Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Based upon previous academic work at the graduate level in a masters level (LMHC) mental health counseling program at Stetson University, EMDR has been proven to lack validity as well as efficacy. There are other behavioral treatment modalities such as Cognitive Therapy (CT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Gestalt Therapy, Existential/Humanist Therapy, and various psychoanalytic approached that are better suited to produce valid and efficacious results than EMDR.
Schneider, & Irons (2001), is an excellent study of what they label as “sex addiction” for both the curious and the thoughtful who may have a serious professional and/or scientific interest in addictions theory and an overall interest in one unified theory of addictions that encompasses both chemical and behavioral addictions.
References
Miller, R. (2010). The feeling-state theory of impulse control disorders and the impulse-control disorder protocol. Traumatology, 16(3), 2-10.

Schneider, J.P., & Irons, R.R. (2001). Assessment and treatment of addictive sexual disorders: relevance for chemical dependency relapse. Substance Use & Misuse, 36(13), 1795-1820.

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Anti-Anti-Nietzsche

I have previously written on the topic of Friedrich Nietzsche under a title that I now regret as ill chosen and that showed my own lack of knowledge and seriousness regarding Friedrich Nietzsche and his life’s work as a philosopher, social critic of his times, and public intellectual extraordinaire. The title that I chose for that piece was Anti-Nietzsche which sounded very clever to me at the time but in actual fact as I look back somewhat embarrassedly at that article; I realize that it said more about me and my real lack of knowledge on the topic that I sought to address in my usual often sarcastic style. I am hoping to make amends for that ill informed piece now.

Friedrich Nietzsche was a true genius something that I will never be able to claim to be. My attempt at a thoroughgoing understanding of the existential and phenomenological philosophy of Nietzsche has been pursued in a highly unorthodox manner that is typical in some ways of the manner and means that I often choose to penetrate a body of thought that for me at least has filled me with foreboding from the start so that I really had no other methodology for approaching this topic that in my own mind’s confused way had put a big sign on Nietzsche saying- FORBODEN!

I read about three-quarters of Thus Speke Zarathustra and stopped reading it because I was not psychologically or intellectually inclined to think favorably of any so called “philosopher” such as Nietzsche who delivered his dark but highly lucid philosophy in verse and aphorisms. Poetry was poetry and philosophy was something else altogether different! What kind of a 19th century German idealist put his philosophical contribution to the ages in verse or poetry? Only someone with such an unencumbered vast view of the Cosmos and man’s pitiful place within it could have conceived of such a project as Zarathustra as a means to honor the immensity of such an inner vision. Honesty is what Nietzsche and his magnum opus is all about, but honesty is not something that the common man or woman of our age traffics in.

Since we live in an age that the British political novelist George Orwell characterized as a “time of universal deceit,” it’s easy to see why such personal, intellectual, and philosophical honesty as Nietzsche bought to bear in his life’s labor found so little support amongst the masses who preferred the universal deceit of the age to any kind of personal encounter with the truth. Jean Paul Satre’s famous term bad faith is another way to characterize this uniquely post-modern need for self-deception that maybe constitutes the public’s need for some sort of new “opium of the masses” that can replace the old one that no longer offers any sort on analgesic relief to the masses from the harsh realities of daily living that they face in a valueless world devoid of any real sense of meaning.

As we all know and should be willing to admit if only to ourselves, Truth is something that few people are really emotionally and/or spiritually able to deal with in its full measure. We can however, handle small to medium sized doses of it in varying degrees based upon any given person’s individual capacity for such. Nietzsche however, was quite different in that respect as he was not at all afraid to look the Medusa full on and right into her horrid eyes that (like Merlin’s dragon an age or two later that symbolized life itself) was impossible for any human to look at directly  without being turned to stone (or maybe a pillar of salt) instantly!  The strength of the little professor with the big mustache was that he was not turned to stone instantly although over time the burden of his monumental truth regarding humans and their pitiful little place in the vast and limitless Cosmos did wear him down to the point that in the end only a burnt out psyche remained that had nothing more to say, indeed it had given its all in the service of that inner vision that few to this day really are capable of honoring for what it really was and is in our own day fraught with the existential anxiety of a people caught up in a civilization wholly without a values compass to guide them and sadly forlorn and adrift in the limitless sea of Cosmic possibilities.

The second work of the brilliant Swiss-German philologist that I was able to comprehend and appreciate was The Genealogy of Morals. I had always wondered where these various “dos and don’ts” came from? Where they innate to human nature as some seem to imply or were these rights and wrongs the result of the deists and the millennia of oppression and conformity that their (immoral) moral codes have been enforcing on a suffering humanity? Is the organized cruelty of religion and its moral codes  actually Freud’s necessary evil that he felt was required in order to bring about the sublimation of primitive drives and instincts thus rendering the human beast capable of living in and producing the kinds of advanced societies and higher civilizations that we all benefit from today? Yes, Freud may have been right but so was Nietzsche when through the careful use of the science of philology he discovered that the moral codes that we live and suffer under today have nothing to do with right or wrong per se but are just a highly arbitrary set of rules used by ruling classes down through the ages to impose their will on the vast herd of human cattle that they ruled over.

According to such contemporary atheists as Richard Dawkins, morality is the sour fruit of religion. For Nietzsche it is a form of cruelty imposed on people through the most obscene and diabolical forms of violence imaginable in an age so far distant from the present era that we call it the stone age; but it was in the most ancient of pre-historic times ( a mere micro-second on the face of Eternity) that the social conditioning of the masses began with a deluge of blood and gore that the ancient ruling formerly nomadic herders deemed necessary to inculcate their “law” into the teaming herd of humanity that they now ruled over by right of the endless tribal feuds that epitomize the nomadic lifestyle in conflict with the settled life of the city that still exists in its existential purity in certain pristine areas of the planet.

The past for most people is indeed as big a mystery to them as any so called “future” that they may imagine themselves to be the heirs of. Indeed it is more probable to suggest that, to paraphrase Freud, the future is indeed an illusion for this vast human herd that more probably than not faces the grim prospect of outright extinction bought about by any number of easily predictable factors that now function as a kind of silent atomic doomsday clock that has been set in motion ages ago by the internal logic of these very selfsame methods of social conditioning of the masses that I am discussing here. Such a methodology epitomizes and constitutes the so called (immoral)moral domain that is in fact a form of cruelty aligned with religion born out of the blood and gore of our Neolithic past as the type of social conditioning that has left its mark within each and every psyche but more importantly as a record of sorts within the collective unconscious of the seemingly domesticated human herd that has consistently found new ways of re-balancing the old equation in a new way though the acts of creative genius that mark its progression through history and the ages.

The various factors that supposedly make up the deadly silent atomic doomsday clock have been labeled appropriately enough The Human Extinction Protocol. There is nothing that can stop it as much as the rulers and their mandarins may find it necessary to deceive themselves and by so doing perhaps hope to deceive us as well if we have a will (or rather the lack of one) that allows us to become so easily and happily deceived as is the wont of the well tamed herd without compass or rudder forever applying the principles of bad faith to all it encounters driven by sheer and utter necessity to find new forms of belief to replace the dead father god of their elders. Contrary to the protestations and the pretensions of some post-modern Marxists would be saviors  of their multi-cultural masses this human herd too often appears to be completely domesticated. Are its members equally incapable of thinking for themselves as individuals and being the kind of truly authentic self actualized human beings that Jung once thought was possible for each and every human being?Toward the end of his life Jung knew this was nonsense and that it was only the rare exception where such authentic self actualization was possible. For a similar reason Nietzsche coined the term superman, a term that like its originator enjoys the sad fate of being very much misunderstood by the so called masses who see in it a mere comic book figure in place of the Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Moses figure that Nietzsche actually had in mind when he originally coined the term.

If it’s true (and it is) that knowledge is power as well as emancipation and ultimately self actualization, then one can begin as a result of this a priori understanding to see why the ruling class that of late has colonized America finds it so necessary to actively encourage ignorance in a large enough portion of the working class herd! Perhaps it’s so that this rabble will to be able to shout down through the use of violence and other tactical means all genuinely healthy developments within that portion of the American working class that at present  seeks to liberate itself from under the iron heal of the kind of contemporary capitalist oppression that increasingly makes life impossible for all other parts of the society that it rules over. The sole exception is that element of the most mentally, socially, and psychically degenerate elements of the herd assumed incorrectly to be located mostly in the South. It’s this element that the corporate power structure actively seeks to cultivate as the dead weight of ignorance that acts as a kind of ballast for the kind of highly unstable version of capitalism that personifies the American variant which is probably more of a hybrid than most people realize except perhaps those members of the American working class who have had the opportunity that wealth affords to the few to travel abroad to see how capitalism gets done elsewhere.

The contest now in America is which of these two factions within the working class herd or labor commodity ( to indicate how the actual capitalist views the matter) will win out and it need’s perhaps to be stated again that the class rulers do indeed play favorites and in this case they cast their vote and the full weight of their covert (and often overt) support in favor of ignorance and stupidity of the most venal and degrading kind imaginable that this yahoo segment exhibits because this is what gets the job done and they know it from generations of past experience in dealing with the particular herd animal that makes up the basis of their real social wealth! This of course can never be stated openly by the capitalists (out of cunning respect for their herd animals) regarding the real source of capitalist wealth. An anthropological account of human history reveals the intriguing fact that it’s the world’s various nomadic peoples down through the ages that have transformed themselves from herders of animals to herders of people after such notable nomads as the ancient Hebrew tribes under Joshua overran Jerrico, the first great center of human civilization to exist on our planet! It was the conquerors who ended up being conquered by the wisdom and ways of a superior civilization and culture but not before they left their own mark upon it by way of their laws, morality, and such.  Another perfect example of this is the jonnie-come-lately nomadic herders of the central Asian plains, the Turkic tribes, who morphed into the rulers of the Ottoman Empire under the influence of the powerful narcotic of Islam that an aeon or two later did the same thing to the city of Jerusalem.

So it’s in the nature of things for capitalism and the capitalists themselves to have a kind of sociopathic character that they inherited from their ancestors that they routinely exhibit in numerous and sundry ways that they assume is just what nature has decreed as the normal course of things (Social Darwinism) and that the working class herd is brutally and subtly conditioned to accept. Thinking follows behavior according to behavioral scientists and in this they are of course correct! The most important thing is to make people behave, thinking is quite incidental to this!

The real crisis of the West that Nietzsche addressed with his famous line out of the mouth of Zarathustra that –“God is dead!” is merely to admit that the Christian religion no longer obtains in the West that for 2000 years was guided by Christianity and the Christian ideal in all its affairs so that today a psychic and spiritual vacuum exists in the West that will not be easily filled. This crisis of values is the greatest spiritual and moral crisis that the West has ever had to face in its 2000 years of existence and one that it most likely will not survive. This epochal crisis that has never occurred in the West before presents unique moral, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual challenges for the individual. The chief counter to this crisis that presents itself to the individual caught up within this crisis and struggling in his/her own way to find meaning in their lives is the mindless curse of religious fundamentalism that asserts itself against all the higher human values that have survived and/or been built up through the ages.

This monstrous force of darkness and outright evil seeks to return humanity to a true dark age from which there will be no return possible. This of course is one vector (or factor) of The Human Extinction Protocol that must be fought against and countered using the ever present gifts of creativity and genius that has marked human progress down through the ages to the present era. Such religious fundamentalism while acting as a dynamic social force is in fact a negative spiritual/psychic value whose impact on the human psyche is as deadly as any asteroid impact that did away with the dinosaurs 500 millions years ago. The name of this psychic/spiritual asteroid is indeed Wormwood and the name alone is indicative of its orientation to all living things but most especially human living things!

The inner workings of the Divine Light within has always been with us through the inspired (and inspiring) actions of the Collective Unconscious that is the true guiding force of human history that has always had (and continues to have) the Divine spark of genius capable of finding within the material substrate of culture and the environment the creative means of mitigation required in order for some form of social peace to exist between  the human herd and its overseers. Indeed it is the hidden light of this Divine genius within the species that has enabled culture and civilization to exist. Jung defined the Collective Unconscious as something unbounded by either time or space and therefore encompassing a totality within the Cosmic structure of things that brings balance, completeness, and wholeness to the human condition.

This and this alone is what in the final analysis makes life possible for us individually and as a species in spite of a seemingly infinitude of pain and suffering that not only individuals can be subjected to but humanity as a whole has been and continues to be subjected to by the ignorance and blindness of its rulers over the long ages of its existence. It is this ignorance and blindness that is the very source of evil in all its many varied forms and permutations. It’s the human condition caught up in the social milieu of such evil seeks that projects this evil onto wholly fictitious inventions in order to escape the harsh reality of its own impotence that such unprojected evil presents to the individual human psyche.

Myths and legends abound that date from the earliest times of antiquity that seek not to remind us of our own impotence in the face of such monstrous evil by deflecting it onto something else that we seemingly do have power over.This process enables the psyche to take some measure of comfort in a comfortless world. Such is the genius of the Collective Unconscious in that it has given (and continues to give) us every reason to live in a milieu where death would seem more rational in the face of our own personal and social impotence.

Unfortunately there is in all too many an element of cruelty that is a result of the kind of deformed personality structure that as individuals and in the collective have all become the misbegotten inheritors of. Try as we might we can not disassociate ourselves from ourselves but the message of the Collective Unconscious handed down to us in the myths and legends that date to pre-history is that we can transcend our own individual egos and seek for the many mansions of love and kindness within that can define us in contradistinction to the individual deformed ego structure of many. Wilhelm Reich theorized that this innate tendency toward cruelty is the direct result of the kind of sexual repression that has since time immemorial been a part of various religious creeds of these former animal breeders and herders who as the aeons passed became the rulers over the human herd of today obsessed with sex and the elements of breeding that were (and continue to be) an inescapable aspect of the ancient breeder/herder mentality that still animates the sociopathic nature of the religious creeds that have been enforced on the human herd over the ages through violence and other means meant to turn the human being into the docile herd animal that he/she has become devoid of Eros the life-force and possessed by Tanthos  the destructive urge that Freud referred to as the death wish. Sexual sadism is the result of such sexual suppression that forms the sole basis of contemporary moral codes that serve no other purpose that to suppress Eros the life instinct.It is this which is routinely inflicted on the millions of young men locked up in the prison industrial complex and from time to time inadvertently captured in pirated photos such as the notorious Abu Grahibb pics that just showed the demons doing their jobs as jailers. On Sundays they call it “God’s work” as if there is a difference!

The dessert religions of the Semitic nomad tribes of the former Aramaic/Syriac Civilization  promised its adherents “life after death” if they would only suspend any true authentic attempt to live in the only life they had and ever would have. This trick based upon the capacity for magical thinking in defiance of facts and logic that does have a certain kind of value in certain kinds of situations worked well at swindling the masses out of the only real life that they would ever have in favor of some cleverly invented after death life that demanded great personal sacrifice on the part of the creed/cult’s adherents to gain admission to this nether-world patriarchal kingdom of the imagination. It was through the demonization of sex that the Patriarchy of the ancient era condemned the principle of the Divine Feminine to live in exile, humiliation, and shame. Indeed shaming in regard to the normal self-regulatory value of sex had the effect of producing the kind of one sided warped personality structure that typifies the mentality of post-modern men and women.

By subjecting the life force inherent in sex and the principle of the Divine Feminine to their brutal and costly control the animal herders now in charge of the human herd have transformed human nature into something that it never should have become, i.e. a source of pain and embarrassment inflicted on us all for the crime of being human or what their religious creeds refer to as “our” original sin which is truly theirs and theirs alone. Such is the present contradictory nature of human nature today in that we can see and realize all these things through the expansion of our intellect and other higher powers that are aided by the Divine Feminine while at the same time being wholly incapable of healing this original wound created through the actions of the herders and their innate anti-life orientation that seeks control over the most intimate and subtle processes of our lives  regardless of the costs of such hoped for control for humanity or indeed for themselves who suffer too from the moral, social, and emotional/psychic/spiritual affects of their own policies.This is true in the economic sphere as well.

Such is the fate of humanity but most especially Westerners in particular with the end of the Christian Aeon. As previously mentioned one reaction aimed at recapitalizing or doubling down the bet on the form of organized religion that has served the West well for 2000 years are the various unhinged forms of religious fundamentalisms currently plaguing the world and attempting to drag Westerners and others into the black hole mass insanity and Neolithic backwardness from which there is no escape. Almost directly counterpoised to this one bad choice is an equally bad other choice that presents itself in a way that utterly captures the human psyche desperately seeking true intimate contact with another that need not be sexual but is always an aspect of the sacred in some manner that remains unexplainable but nevertheless real.

This other pole of attraction is the role that the business of pornography plays in the lives of the working herd cut off from the real source of joy and satisfaction that comes only to those who are not operating under the influence of such an unhealthy and ultimately demeaning compulsion. The spiritual, moral, social, and psychic minefields that we Westerners are now exposed to on a daily basis often defy any attempt on our part to seek out some new understanding of who we are and our role in the Cosmos no matter how insignificant it may be in actuality; the fact that such a possible role or new identity superseding the old at least has the promise of being something real. This, of course, is the very opposite of what the depravity of pornography has to offer the typical individual of our era who is usually completely alienated from all that is human and of most value to him/her that can not be found in the hyper commercial environment of consumer driven capitalism which is perhaps the most viable pseudo-alternative facing the individual person seeking to find meaning in such an increasingly meaningless world as consumer capitalism holds out to us like a mirage of water in the dessert to the person of our time dying of spiritual, emotional, and psychic thirst.

___________

Of all the areas of our lives that are given over to clever methods of self deception and outright mendaciousness when dealing with other people on this topic, it would far and away be sex and matters related to sex that qualifies. The general assumption of the shaming sadistic (immoral) moral codex that we carry around in our heads and that Freud labeled the Super-Ego is the way that our minds and psyches have become colonized by the very self-same agents of repression that since Neolithic times saw human slaughter and wanton cruelty as the means of social conditioning required to put terror into the minds of the new sort of herd animals that these once nomadic tribes now ruled over as a ruling class elite capable and able to resort to other forms of cruelty as well in order to enforce their rule of so called “law” over their new herd of humans.

Once such a class of social tyrants has colonized the minds and psyches of the class(es) that it is intent on repressing the battle has been won. African-Americans in the so called “new” world supposedly “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1492 C.E.  and bought to this “new” world in chains from West Africa were in particular subjected to this process in the modern era as no other peoples in the modern world have been. This process of the oppressor colonizing the minds of the oppressed by way of the history of chattel slavery in the Americas is really a window into out own most ancient and primitive past where a similar process occurred in a time so far removed from the present that it constitutes what we call pre-history. Nevertheless the lesson is there for us to learn from if we care too and not to care to is to chose to live the life of the proverbial village idiot which in fact is the life that most in the majority culture chose to live despite whatever formal education they may have had that for all intents and purposes only furthers the cause of ignorance at both the individual level and the social level.

The sexual mores that we live with and accept as for the good of all are pure rubbish and nothing more. Indeed these high faluttin garbage “ideas” that make up the basis for a whole new class of crime and criminals by the criminal justice industry in America to make profits off of can be proven to be of very recent vintage indeed as American Historian Howard Zinn points out in his A Peoples History of the United States. The American colonial era was an era of such wanton and open public and private displays of sex and sexual relations that our Victorianism would be aghast at. It was the case that in all such previous eras that families on the land often shared one large room as their living quarters where it was not uncommon and was pretty much the case that children growing up in such circumstances witnessed every possible variety of adult sexual behavior that in fact became their education in regard to such whether they like it or not and I supposed that most liked it.

The deeply pathological display of anti-sex hysteria created by the criminal justice industry as a convenient pretext for the warehousing of an ever larger portion of the working class male population has been aided and abetted by both the religious troglodytes as well as the so called “radical” feminists who have a pathological hatred for all outward forms of male sexual expression. In either Mississippi or Alabama a few years ago, one genius in the state legislature tried to pass a state law making it a felony for any male to have an erection in public. We’re not talking public nudity here just any sort of an obvious lump in the pants that may be indicative of such a state of male arousal that can then be used to create a whole new class of sex criminals amongst the many other classes of such that already exist in such a backwater of reason and logic.

As Michelle Foucault pointed out in his The History of Sexuality Volume One- Westerners have passed from an era where they actively had sex to the present era where they merely talk about sex. This endless talking about sex at both the individual level and the overall social level has indeed replaced normal healthy sexual behaviors. The reason for this is fear. The fear is that either they will catch some sort of venereal disease or that they will either violate the unwritten moral law of some actually written law regarding sex such as all the various state laws criminalizing various forms of oral sex as sodomy. This replacement of real sex with merely talking about sex goes hand in hand with the rise of pornography as a global capitalist enterprise whose yearly gross is now $.5 trillion. Indeed the major portion of so called cyber-space is now taken up with porn.

The colonization of our minds by our tyrants is what has enabled this to happen and perhaps even to seem “normal” to some extent if one considers the fact that this is indeed a new “normal” that it not normal and healthy at all but deeply pathological but nevertheless indicative of the nature of capitalism that seeks to turn every thing imaginable into a commodity that can be bought, sold, and traded at the retail level as well as on global exchanges. Perhaps only the Romans in their most decadent era were capable of such monstrous perversities as these that fuel the greed driven needs of a whole new generation of so called high tech entrepreneurs. Pornography today has become another so called “industry” that produces nothing but furthers the existential shame that a sex obsessed (immoral) morality inflicts on us by demonizing normal health life affirming behavior. Accordingly a whole plethora of very real sexual perversion grow out of this highly unnatural state that are further exploited by the criminal justice industry in the kinds of campaigns of mass hysteria regarding supposed “sexual predators” (this definition certainly would not be used to describe the capitalist guttersnipes of the $.5 trillion/year global porn industry) rapists (both real and imagined), pedophiles, and all the rest of the degenerate sludge that pours out of the usual standard mouthpieces used to promote such mass hysteria.

Never once has there ever been any sort of a real discussion of the present day values of the kind of go-go American style capitalism that not only epitomizes such social sludge but is the driving force behind it! How much longer will we allow our own minds and the minds of our children to be colonized by the oppressive values of our oppressors who see us as a mere labor commodity where sex can only have legitimacy if it is being used to produce more human flesh for their exploitation or their outright commodification of sex by an “industry” that buys, sells, and trades this commodity globally to the tune of $.5 trillion/yearly? This is the real face of capitalism that spares nothing and no one in its never ending quest for profits above all else. It’s time to overthrow and permanently abolish such a system before it abolishes us!

 

 

 

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The Psychology of Meaning

The Psychology of Meaning

Charles Stephen Knause

Keiser University Graduate School

Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA

December 13, 2015


 

Abstract

The goal of this article is a review of the literature that in someway either comments on or impinges in some other way on the slow but steady evolution of a psychology of meaning within a milieu that has to a large extent been pretty much dominated by behaviorism in all its various permutations beginning with the structuralism of E. B. Titchener and culminating in our own time with the great advances made by Social Learning Theory. The period covered is from the late 19th century and the origins of psychology as a science distinct from philosophy to the present era.

Keywords: psychology of meaning, structuralism, behaviorism


 

The Psychology of Meaning

The goal and purpose of this paper is to review ten pier reviewed articles that have been published in some of the many APA sponsored scholarly journals. Some of these articles have been published fairly recently as opposed to a few others that date back to the first few decades of the 20th century when this idea/concept of a psychology of meaning first began to have currency, at least within the hallowed halls of academia as well as amongst the select group of professionals outside of academia engaged in clinical practice or research not necessarily connected with any particular educational institution. Readers can also find in the references section additional source material used to underscore and/or support the conclusions or explanations used by this author in regard to the interpretation, relevance, and explanations used to buttress this authors conclusions in regard to this review of some of the literature available from pier reviewed scholarly sources on the topic of meaning and in particular the emergence of a psychology of meaning.

Such a psychology exists and has indeed existed for some time outside of the officially sanctioned types of numbers driven behaviorist schools (of APA sanctioned and supported psychology) that practitioners and researchers in this alternate field of psychology not sanctioned by the APA, would claim is not psychology at all but just various means of social control that more or less compel the kinds of behaviors that are socially acceptable because according to Fromm (1955) such a select group of behaviors conform to the iron will of what Fromm (1955) labels anonymous authority. There is nothing at all liberating in these behaviors that are rather enforced through a system of rigidly controlled rewards and punishment that form the basis for all the various forms of behaviorism that seek not the liberation of the individual but rather the suppression of whatever may be individual and unique in each and every person in order to create the kind of mass conformity that exists in all totalitarian states such as those that we in the Western world all live under today.

The most practical way to proceed with the literature review that is the subject matter of this paper is to present each of articles to be critiqued in the time order in which they were originally published (with a couple of exceptions). All of these articles are various expert’s commentary that in some manner deal with the issue of meaning in psychology. Not all of these expert commentary articles reflect the same kind of thinking in regard to this term meaning. They are not all from the same era or period and as already suggested do not mean the same thing when they use term meaning. With this being stated up front and clearly in this introduction, there is therefore no further need to state if the article is an empirical study that employs the standard format of so called “scientific” rituals along with the usual ritualized mathematicalization of something for which logical formalism of math may be quite useful but without the standard use of  differential equations for purely decorative purposes. It might also be worth informing the reader up front in this introduction that the publication date for any particular article may be in some cases decades later from when the author penned it.

Higginson (1937) is an interesting and well informed critique of Edward B. Titchener and his structuralist approach that was the dominant paradigm within the newly established academic science of psychology that had only too recently been a subheading under philosophy. True to his hyper-reductionist mode of thinking that assumed that for purposes of what could be what we call today “public relations” psychology in order to be a first rate respectable science had to employ and ape the means and methods of the physical sciences and the physical science par excellence was, of course, psychics. The debauched rational that Titchener’s self-talk produced was structuralism would find the so called atoms of consciousness that would conveniently correspond with the real atoms of the world astounding nuclear physicists whose finest fruit was the atom bomb and the threat that such a monstrosity of evil represented for the continuance of the human race. What an abominable object of idolatrous worship these early  structuralists had chosen for themselves. While some readers may find such comments as these irrelevant to the facts, I would beg to differ with them and merely say that understanding the faulty logic of Titchener and his structuralist doctrines says everything that is needed to more fully understand the reason expressed in the following-

“Consonant with his emphasis upon the importance of the analytical approachto a scientific psychology and upon the necessity of describing universal and fixed structures of the mind, Titchener could find no legitimate place for meaning within the field ofpsychology. He accordingly states that “science aims at truth; it deals with facts, with thenature of things given, not meanings.” As a result he was forced to hold that the “truth”and the “facts” of psychology must concern solely the irreducible and static processesof the human mind, namely, sensations, images, and feelings.”

Further along at the end of the same paragraph Higginson states what the faulty logic of Titchener and the structuralists naturally leads to in regard to any discussion about meaning- …After dealing in elaborate descriptive detail with such structural elements for aboutninety pages, he finally concludes that “sensations and simple images are all meaningless.”

Higginson (1937) is a brilliant riposte that deals a death blow through exposure to the mindless and ultimately meaningless pseudo-logical explanations resorted to by Titchener and his structuralist cabal. The article represents the healthy pushback by those who see meaning as something that is central to living and the very essence of what any equally healthy psychology should reflect.

The structuralism of Edward B. Titchener eventually gave way within the academic field of psychology to the functionalism of William James although James has always been associated with the philosophy of pragmatism. In spite of the fact that James’ principle role was as an academic psychologist, his various contributions to the school of philosophy known as pragmatism can not be minimized. James was a bold and inventive theorizer whose theorizing was often far off the mark, and his highly effusive literary manner of writing probably had something to do with his brother Henry being on of the greatest American novelists of all times. The fact of the matter is that the long drawn out tedious arguments that James uses in his lecture on free will vs. determinism that constitutes the article under review “The dilemma of determinism” lacks the great precision and genius of thought that characterizes The Varieties of Religious Experience. Nevertheless the debate on the question of free-will vs. determinism that forms the basis of the James lecture is important because it is indicative to the revolt within the academic field of psychology against the structuralism of E.B. Titchener and the beginning of a slow but consistent evolution of a psychology of meaning in the U.S. along cognitive/behavioral lines.

This author takes complete exception to the arguments put forward by James that are all to frequently couched in outdated terminology and phrases borrowed from scripture that are supportive of his banal misbegotten concept of free-will. Nevertheless the influence of William James as the head of the psychology department at the newly established Clark University in Worchester Massachusetts was responsible for the introduction of both the psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud and the analytical psychology of Carl Jung to an enthusiastic American audience at Clark University as a result of the now famous Terry Lectures.  Both psychoanalysis and analytic psychology are premised upon the human need for meaning and for that reason were responsible for bringing this whole question to the fore regarding the need for a psychology of meaning to counterbalance the avowed meaninglessness of behaviorism that was above and beyond all else merely various forms of conditioning and de-conditioning that began with Ivan Pavlov and grew to complete fruition with the Social Learning Theory of Albert Bandura and others at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Indeed both academic and clinical psychology is not in an either/or type of a situation in regard to the advanced methods of Social Learning Theory to explain the nature of social conditioning as the determining factor in regard to who we are and who we become, and an evolving psychology of meaning that seems to have coalesced around Jung’s analytical psychology, to a lesser extent around the loose surviving remnants of Freud’s psychoanalysis, the latest insights and advances in cognitive/behavioral science, and most especially perhaps the existentialist therapies such as Viktor Frankl’s Logo Therapy that have made excellent use of the outstanding work of the philosophic works of those modern and post-modern philosophers known as the Existentialists.

   The third and final article from this series that deals with the developments and tendencies within the new academic science of psychology are all dealing with events and happenings that occur with the first two decades of the 20th century. This would not be at all clear to a reader who was to consider only the date of publication as that date was in regard to two of the three at least three and possibly four decades after the events chronicled by the two authors in question in fact actually transpired. The final article that describes the intellectual currents percolating in the minds of the central figures from this early era whose genius even though it was not wholly correct in its assertions regarding the often competing systems of psychology that  each of these central figures,  E.B. Titchener, William James, Carl G. Jung, Sigmund Freud and a few others sought to establish for their own unique systems of psychology; the fact of the matter is that their important pioneering work within the field did yield supremely important results for the new infant science of psychology.

Sir Aubrey Lewis (1900-1975), who was at one time professor of psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London details the early work of C.G. Jung in an article that was eventually publish in 1957 in the Journal of Analytical Psychology, the pier reviewed scholarly research journal founded by Jung and his associates as the principle scientific journal for Jung’s trademarked brand of psychology the principles of which were guarded and protected every bit as the trademark brand of the Freudian system that had the exclusive use of the term psychoanalysis that for many years appeared to be the premier brand in regard to psychological systems created as they were in an effort to promote meaning as the central and most important way to bring about the kind of psychic wholeness that both systems say is the only real means to recovery for those affected by the psychological sickness that they both termed neurosis. That however was in the early days when Jung was the dutiful disciple of the older Freud who played the role of the father figure to all those chosen and called disciples, students, nincompoops, and the mere coterie of near useless hangers-on whose own irrational unconscious thinking regarding Freud as some sort of psychiatric messiah figure in spite of the fact that Freud was never a psychiatrist, or psychologist but a physician trained as a neurologist.

In Aubrey (1957), he sees in Jung looking back to the early years of Jung’s career an equally messianic type of figure as Freud’s devotees saw in him. The piece is useful because it indicates precisely the three principle research goals that young Jung had for himself that had nothing to do per se with founding the Western worlds most dynamic personal psychology of meaning that grew from merely a personal psychology to a psychology based upon Jung’s concept of the Collective Unconscious that encompassed all of human history past, present, and future. The ultimate implications of Jung’s analytical psychology and his joint intellectual excursions with the nuclear physicist Wolfgang Pauli dealing with Jung’s theory of synchronicity have scientific implications that speak directly to the kind of scientific revolution that Thomas Kuhn had in mind when he wrote The Structure of  Scientific Revolutions. Indeed whereas The Major Works of Sigmund Freud take up only one 884 page volume in the University of Chicago/Encyclopedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World; The Collected Works of C.G. Jung make up twenty volumes, with each volume in the Collected Works averaging between 500 to 600 pages in length. Jung’s Collected Works are published by the Princeton University Press in conjunction with the Bollingen Foundation set up by the Jung’s family to be their heir of his literary estate.

According to Sir Aubrey, p.120-

“When he came to Burgholzli as director in 1898, he was resolved to study the human relationships which enter so closely into the texture of mental illness, and to continue Forel’s work in advancing mental hygiene by combating social evils, especially alcoholism.”

One paragraph later on the same page we have another clear and precise explanation of Jung’s work at the Burgholzli clinic at the University of Zurich that worked only with those patients that we would today label highly resilient as opposed to patients whose outcome was considered “less hopeful.” Sir Aubrey states the following-

“The first product of Jung’s work at Burgholzli was his study of so-called occult phenomena; then came several papers on simulation and hysteria, another on chronic mania, and the well known series on word associations. The monograph on dementia praecox closes the list of publications I shall mention here.

Latest Theories from the Cognitive/Behaviorists

The final series of articles up for review are all been published since 2000 and therefore tend to represent the real state of psychology today besieged on all sides by the desperate need for a psychology of meaning that can be of value in dealing with the most important existential crisis Western Civilization has ever had to face before. DeGrandpre (2000) is an attempt to invent a science of meaning that will be governed by the logic and rules of behaviorism. The author’s major contention is that meaning is a social construct that becomes internalized and therefore has to be dealt with as such. DeGrandpre sees meaning as the end result of an interplay between the individual and that individual’s environment. He goes on to quote Jerome Bruner (1990) in regard to Bruner’s statements about the so-called “cognitive revolution” that Bruner speculates about in an article written twenty-five years ago in a world that today is teetering on the edge of a possible (some would say certain, inevitable, etc.) nuclear apocalypse that is just one part of what some present day Earth scientist have labeled The Human Extinction Protocol.

Being wholly agnostic in regard to such dire predictions and so called end-time speculations allows one to be more rational in regard to how we deal with this whole issue of meaning which means that the cold bloodedness of DeGrandpre’s p.723 approach to defining meaning as referring to two general constructs that are “interwoven”; should not be arrogantly brushed aside but analyzed to the core in a totally dispassionate manner. DeGrandpre seemingly resurrects E.B. Titchener’s Structuralism by way of his own use of the term structures of meaning to lend structure to his own particular formulation as to what exactly “meaning” means. The end result is interesting and useful and is as follows- 1) Phenomenology of stimulus contexts that motivate behavior 2) Motivational qualities of stimuli to guide individual behavior 3) Claims that meaning refers to the co-development of these two factors 4) During childhood the self becomes an interpretive being guided by meaning, rather than a rational being guided by information.

The combination of these above named factor and how they work together to produce meaning is neatly summarized by the author on p.723 (top right, 1st. par.) as follows-

“Taken together, the phenomenal and motivational qualities of meaning making, help explain our ability to act effectively in a changing and complex world, which we experience as inherently meaningful even though both these aspects of meaning are typically acquired.”

Reinforcement as a “dialectic of meaning” according to the behaviorist explanation being proffered is according to DeGrandpre- “The most durable and far-reaching of all behavioral principles.” The overly technicalized terminology that DeGrandpre is intent on resorting to makes his rationale overly opaic. It also seems to be conveniently deployed to cover-up for a behaviorist still bound to the Structuralism of a bygone era utterly out of his dept but nevertheless hoping that his hyper-technical expository minus the usual decorative equations will so impress readers with what Marx called its “vulgar materialism” that readers will be forced to adopt the attitude of the philosopher who stated in regard to Christianity- “I believe because it is ridiculous.”

Existentialism & Existential Therapy

Molden & Dweck (2006) seems more like the kind of highly polished and professional psych product that gets routinely turned out at the Stanford Research Institute, home to the originators of Social Learning Theory. The two authors quote Kelly (1953) in regard to his theory of personal constructs based upon the concept that everyone possesses a unique set of conceptual representations that they use to scan any given environment for meaningful information. They also quote Osgood (1962) in regard to defining semantic differentials as the basic foundation on which meaning is built. Now we seem to be getting somewhere in regard to Molden & Dweck’s use of the science of semiotics to unlock what almost seems like the neurophysiology of meaning but not quite! Much of the study deals with the social meaning that we take from relationships that are quite often bound up with individual concepts of self-regard. The study is an expose in regard to meaning within a developmental frame of reference that could conceivable be of great value to school psychologists and/or high school guidance counselors.

Roberts (2007) is the only research report that goes to the core of what meaning means for us today in the Western world by way of a completely honest and healthy presentation of the life’s work of three of the most important figures from the world of psychiatry, philosophy, and clinical psychology. These three revolutionary thinkers who broke the standard mold in regard to the concept of meaning and how it is thought of and/or applied are Thomas Szasz, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Viktor E. Frankl. The purpose of the article is stated on p. 277 to be-

“….this paper seeks to present an accessible introduction to one of the most salient features of modernity; namely, the erosion of those traditions that gave life a meaning or a purpose and that provided people with ready answers to the problem of how they ought to live.”

Roberts (2007) introduces his readers first to Thomas Szasz who made himself famous as the anti-psychiatry psychiatrist and author of the book The Myth of Mental Illness that redefined the nature of the personal crisis that countless millions of Westerners get caught up in and are thusly labeled as “mentally ill” by a mental health industry that puts profits before people but whose role is social control over the masses.  The genius of Thomas Szasz is on display in regard to how he compares and analyses the disease concept and the totally different ways this concept has been interpreted. Roberts (2007) cites Szasz (1983), p. 15 in his paraphrase –

Thus in the case of physical illness, this norm is said to be “the structural and functional integrity of the human body” (Szazs 1983, p.15), whereas the attribution of mental illness is said to be based on a judged “deviance” from certain “psychosocial, ethical, or legal norms (Szazs 1983, p.17). What is important to note is about these two types of “norms”is the implication that, in the case of physical illness, the norm and the deviation from that norm is, as it were, a matter of “value free, objective facts,” whereas in the case of mental illness, the norm and the deviation from that norm is a matter of “value laden, objective judgments”.

The author goes on to explain how these transgression are indeed real but they represent attempts to deal with the problem of living in an era where the traditional Christian culture and its values are no longer relevant. Roberts (2007), p.279 introduces his/her readers to Friedrich Nietzsche and his poorly understood and greatly undervalued statement that “God is dead” in Thus Spake Zarathustra. Roberts states on p.279 that-

“For the purposes of this paper, however, it is enough to suggest that by proclaiming that God is dead, Nietzsche (1974) was proposing that Western civilization was undergoing one of its most profound historical and cultural events; namely the demise of the belief in the existence of God.”

Further down on p.279 in the next paragraph the author states that –

“Writing in 1887, Nietzsche (1974) suggested that recognition of the ‘death of God’,and certainly the full implications of this event, would elude many people; as he made clear:

“The event itself is far too great, too distant, too remote from the multitude’s capacity for comprehension-…Much less may one suppose that many people know as yet what this event really means” (p.279). However, Nietzsche (1974) suggested that its repercussions would, given time, affect more and more people so that, at least initially, we would begin to experience a profound ‘instability’ and ‘disorientation,’ and we would do so because the belief in God, and the Judeo-Christian world view generally, had so greatly influenced the conception of ourselves and others, the values that we hold and the morality that we espouse, the meaning we believe our lives to have and the direction we believe our lives aught to take” (p.279).

As a result of the ruination of the values and concept that held the Western world together and gave meaning to people’s lives, a crisis much more profound has set in that has in its own turn given rise to the idea that life has no meaning and no value other than the monetary one that capitalists put on the value of labor as defined by the market, the one true object of idolatrous worship that has replaced the Christian logos in ways more subtle and complete than even the great philosopher himself may have never realized. This collapse of a cultural, psychological, and sociological  edifice dating back 2000 years has left Westerners adrift in a sea of ennui and meaninglessness so profound as to affect every areas and aspect of life and may continue to do so well into the future.

As Roberts (2007) makes clear Viktor E. Frankl and his Logo Therapy are not claiming to be either the first coming of the Messiah or the second coming of Jesus Christ, however, it is based upon a serious and clear recognition of the grievous existential crisis facing people today who are living in what he calls an “existential vacuum.” The purpose of Logo Therapy then is to impress upon people that this search for meaning and/or purpose in ones life is not some mere “idle, academic curiosity but something that a person in search of such may have to dedicate his/her entire life’s energy to because of the urgency of this need in the time and place in which we live and which we can never really separate ourselves from no matter how much we try to entertain such a foolish and pointless speculation as seems to be too much the case with too many people seeking to fill the void in their psyche with all the wrong things especially for them. It is the wisdom of the survivor of the Nazi death camp who speaks thusly to us with the following words of advice-

“In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering with his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible” (Frankl 2004, p. 113-114).

An important follow on study conducted by Proulx (2013) deals with the contributions of not only Existentialists within the field of contemporary psychology but the important germane connection between Existential Therapy theorists and the intellectual base of Existential philosophy that such theorizing is based upon. A pre-requisite for a more complete understanding of the ideas, concepts, and theories proffered by Proulx would be some basic understanding of both the modernist and post-modernist Existentialist philosophers cited in the article. These philosophic contributors to the psychology of meaning would include the following: Friedrich Nietzsche, Sorin Kierkegaard, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, and the father of phenomenology Albrecht Husserl.

Perhaps the best way to arrange any coherent explanation of the rather complex and technical facts and data that Proulx lays out might be to begin with his citing of the developmental psychologist/theorist Jean Piaget who discovered that a child’s understanding of the world and the way that it works in regard to relationships with other people, objects, places, and events is based upon the construction of certain schemata. While these early childhood schemata may be quite naïve in the early years of childhood, they are constantly undergoing challenges to their validity that in turn requires an altering of the existing schemata so as to accommodate this new information that they are getting from their environment that is at odds with their existing schemata.

As one gets older and more wedded to one’s existing schemata it become more difficult to accept the facts as given to us by our environment and accordingly alter or abandon altogether existing schemata. This inconsistency that this sets up within the person’s psyche is known as cognitive dissonance. Generally speaking, we tend to alter our existing schema in order to accommodate this new anomaly. Curiously enough, if one applies the findings of Thomas Kuhn (1962, 1996) as cited by the author Proulx then psychology itself is today in an analogues situation as regards this emerging sub-field that has been labeled the psychology of meaning that is being driven by the monumental crisis that Western civilization now finds itself in as a result of the collapse of the 2000 year old Christian mythos. According to Jung (1933) the major unanswered question that hangs in the air and that needs to be determined is whether clergy or psychologists/therapists are going to be the principle agents for helping the spiritually and psychologically ailing person recover their own individual sense of balance based upon the construction of their own internal schemata which in a sense may mark a new beginning for the civilization of the West with the re-establishment of values in answer to the present crisis created by the collapse of values.

Hermeneutic Realism

Slife & Christensen (2013) opening sentence is- “We believe the assumptions of psychology are overly narrow.” To this particular author such a precise summing up of the crisis of meaning within psychology itself as distinct from the larger social implications of it, has already been presented as something of a- “Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains!” aspect to it, at least for psychology itself as an academic discipline and scientific endeavor. Such an approach to contextualized meaning as a conceptualized method for understanding meaning is perhaps a bit too subtle for the average psych 101 student to fully appreciate. Nevertheless the simplest and most straightforward way to define what Slife & Christensen are saying is to borrow another sentence that is the first opening sentence under the subheading of Context, p.230- “Context is crucially important for any meaning.” The actual term hermeneutic is a term used in Alchemy of the sort studied by C.G. Jung as a means and method to better understand the psyche and its Mercurial methods that Jung sought be able to understand and use as he claimed it was traditionally used to bring about spiritual growth and wholeness. The authors do cite Jung on p. 231 as follows-

“As Carl Jung (1964) once noted, this relationship among meanings implies possibilities and             otherness. Meanings imply not only what they are but (also) what they are not (or could be). To           mean to ‘turn right’ implies necessarily that one could have turned left, because the meaning of        the right turn implies the possibility of a left turn (or not turning at all)”.

The last two articles in this literature review are Wilkinson (2004) and Laughlin & Throop (2001). Each of these two articles deal in a less direct and more elliptical fashion with the primary theme of this article. The psychology of meaning and its earliest point of origin within the academic field of psychology shortly after E.B. Titchener became head of the newly created psychology department at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1893, and C.G. Jung became the director of the University of Zurich’s Burgholzli Mental Hospital and Clinic in 1898. Both of these individuals had a great impact upon their respective sister sciences; Titchener in the infant science of experimental psychology that for the first time used entirely physiological methods as a means to investigate that basic building blocks of consciousness that came to be known as Structuralism. Jung became and early admirer of Freud and for a short while part of the founder of psychoanalysis’s highly esteem “inner circle”.

It did not take Jung long to see that there was something deeply flawed in both Freud the man and psychoanalysis itself due to Freud’s over-reliance of his sexual theory as well as his over-reliance upon the so called “Oedipus Complex” to explain more things that were not in any way to be associated with such a highly unscientific and purely conjectural viewpoint on Freud’s part. Jung’s Analytical Psychology was the result of Jung’s complete and total break with Freud, however both men continued to rely upon individual case histories of their patients as evidence for their theories. While Titchener at Cornell made the statement to his followers and fellow experimental psychologists that there was no place for meaning in psychology, Jung made meaning the center-piece of his psychology. Wilkinson (2004) brings together the advanced physiological methods of neuroscience that confirms Jung’s theories regard the unconscious mind which means that this original divergence within the field of psychology has now come full circle at last so that perhaps by a combination of both these major trends become part of one unified holistic approach the old wounds can be healed and new opportunities realized for the first time.


 

References

DeGrandpre, R. J. (2000). A science of meaning: can behaviorism bring meaning to       psychological science? American Psychologist, 55(7), 721-739.

Fromm, E. (1955). The Sane Society. NY: Rinehart & Co, Inc.

Higginson, G. D. (1937). The place of meaning in psychology. Psychological Review, November         1937.

James, W. (1956). The dilemma of determinism. The Will to Believe, p. 149. NY: Dover

Jung, C. G. (1933). Modern Man in Search of a Soul. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace & Co.

Kuhn, T. S. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd Ed. Chicago, IL: University of          Chicago Press.

Laughlin, C.D., & Throop, C. J. Imagination and reality: on the relations between myth,             consciousness, and the quantum sea. Zygon, 36(4), 709-736.

Lewis, A. (1957). Jung’s early work. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 2(2), p. 119-136.

Molden, D. S. & Dweck, C. S. (2006). Finding “meaning” in psychology: a lay theories             approach to self-regulation, social perception, and social development. American    Psychologist, 61(3), 192-203.

Proulx, T. (2013). Beyond mortality and the self: meaning makes a comeback. The Psychology of        Meaning, Chap. 4, p.71-87.  American Psychological Association.

Roberts, M. (2007). Modernity, mental illness and the crisis of meaning. Journal of Psychiatric            and Mental Health Nursing, 14, 277-281.

Slife, B. D., & Christensen. (2013). Hermeneutic realism: toward a truly meaningful psychology.            Review of General Psychology, 17(2), 230-236.

Szasz, T. S., M.D. (1974). The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal          Conduct. NY: First Harper Paperback Edition.

Wilkinsen, M. (2004). The mind-brain relationship: the emergent self. Journal of Analytical      Psychology, 49, 83-101.

 

 

 

 

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The Public Is Fickle (Sometimes!)

According to the Russian philosopher P. D. Ouspensky the problem with people is that they assume that they have qualities that in actual fact they do not posses at all or if they do possess them to a much more limited extent than they assume to be the case. This was particularly the case with what we call consciousness and the fact that very few people are in fact really conscious but just assume that they are when their unconsciousness in regard to their own actions can be abundantly demonstrated (P.D. Ouspensky 1931).

The nature of our own lack of full consciousness in regard to our day to day activities can be easily pointed out to some in regard to their regular driving habits. Asked to recount what they encountered on their morning commute to work or school most people will usually have to admit that they have no real recollection of such because their actions were being driven by the overpowering force of habit. In other words they assumed that they were doing the driving when in fact they were themselves in their semi-conscious state being driven by the force of habit that has nothing to do with consciousness. Habits are stored up in the part of the mind we call the unconscious and drive human behavior in the same sense as humans assume that they drive vehicles call cars.

We assume that as a species that we have always been endowed with the state of consciousness that we have to day when in truth according to Jaynes 1976, the kind of consciousness that people are endowed with today is a much more recent development than people realize. According to the retired Princeton University professor of psychology, the consciousness that we take for granted is the result of something that happened about 3,500 years ago in what he has called “the breakdown of the bicameral mind.” In other words humans had a sort of “double brain” as he calls it where the two hemispheres making up the brain had not yet learned to communicate via the Corpus collosum that divides the two hemispheres of the brain. In other words our evolutionary history as creatures with the kind of consciousness that we take for granted today and make unknowing assumptions about based upon no scientific understanding of either the brain as an organ that has evolved, is of much more recent vintage than we realize.

Janes 1976 maps out and offers proof of his audacious theory of human development based upon a kind of forensic look at the ancient literary record as well as the pantheon of tribal type religions of the ancient world and the way that the gods communicated with ordinary people back in that era which was universally through hallucinations of the so called gods which was a mere apparition/projection originating from particular hemisphere of the brain seeking to communicate with the other half prior to the time when such direct communication took place via the Corpus collosum.

The public’s mis-attribution of fiction for fact extends to more domains related to consciousness that the previous two examples mentioned above. According to Tart 1975 most people assume that they have to go through a process or popularly imagined set of protocols in order to become hypnotized when in fact countless untold millions of unwitting TV viewers are unbeknownst to them entering into a trance state as result of the passive nature of TV viewing practices as well as an extensive use by advertizing companies of scientific means and methods to increase the power of suggestion in the minds of such a mass viewership in a trance state which as anyone familiar with hypnosis knows is just another way of saying that a person or even a mass audience has been hypnotized, i.e. put into a trace state. Knowing how to manipulate such a mass audience through such technologies as have evolved in recent years puts tremendous power into the hands of the mass media that has become the most powerful public/private institution in America today second only to the apparatus of the national security state and the military industrial complex that it serves.

Lack of precise knowledge regarding correlational studies on the part of the public is a two way sword that cuts both ways. An enormous amount of time and effort by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other research centers went into correlational studies linking cigarette smoking with cancer in smokers. In fact many Americans went on to assume that such correlational studies as the Office of the US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop had been responsible for initiating had indeed proved that cigarette smoking caused cancer. The dodge that the major tobacco companies used for years as a means of refusing to accept responsibility for the lethal effects of the product that they sold was for their law firms to cleverly exploit the fact that correlation does not equal proof. The fact that the public’s unconscious and slavish attitude toward everything labeled “scientific” had maybe led Dr. Koop to overstate the NIH’s case that cigarette smoking caused cancer was what led to his eventual firing no doubt with the jubilant approval of the tobacco companies. Such a defense by the law firms representing the tobacco companies was later disallowed by the courts in favor of acceptance of the fact that a close correlation coefficient approaching 1 or 100% which is what this coefficient of correlation indicates while not absolute proof is the next best thing. The rest is now history!

The extremely low coefficient of correlation that is no doubt the case in regard to the mass hysteria linking public health campaigns to vaccinate children for childhood diseases and the root cause of autism that is almost entirely genetic is driven by the public’s unfamiliarity with statistical analysis and its use in correlational studies. Countering the propaganda of religious fundamentalist groups that exploit this ignorance on the part of the public in regard to the vitally needed public health campaigns is a challenge that over time will be over-ballanced by the benefits of public education provided of course that these same propagandists are not able to defund public education and/or that the public can be mobilized to counter such ongoing attacks on public education.

What all well run correlational studies represent is a mathematical statement about reality that needs to be mediated via language. Such mathematical statements as these studies often result in remind one of the famous statement attributed to Vladimir Lenin that “Quantity has a quality all its own.” Curiously enough, that may actually be the best way to describe the real nature of a correlational study!

Probably the greatest human disaster related to the use of co-relational studies done by such international health organizations as the World Health Organization is the case of the official AIDS policy of South African president Thombo Mbeki that according to the Guardian led to the death of as least 330,000 South Africans. Mbeki came under the influence of a group maverick scientists known as AIDS-Denialists. The most prominent within this group was Peter Duesberg from Berkeley, CA. Because HIV/AIDS was a disease that had a high co-relation with poverty, bad nutrition and ill health it became the position of the AIDS Deniers that the HIV virus played only a minor role in the pandemic and that poverty, poor nutrition and bad health was the real cause. The high co-relation of AIDS with poverty, poor nutrition and ill health went from being merely a statistic to the cause of a the disease. When international drug manufactures offered expensive Anti-Retro-Viral drug treatments in quantities sufficient to reach most of the South African population so affected Mbeki and his government refused to allow these lifesaving treatment into the country. Eventually under pressure from the international community an agreement of sorts was worked out to allow only a limited number of ARVs into the country to be administered only at two limited sites.

References

Boseley, S. ( 2008 ). Mbeki AIDS policy ‘led to 330,000 deaths’. The Guardian: Manchester UK retrieved from the WWW at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/nov/27/south-africa-aids- mbeki

Jaynes, J. ( 1976 ). The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Ouspensky, P. D. ( 1931 ). A New Model of the Universe. Mineola, N.Y. : Dover Publications, Inc.

Tart, C. T. ( 1975 ). States of Consciousness. New York: E. P. Dutton.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._Everett_Koop

Rhrealitycheck.org/articles/2013/02/28/c-everett-koop-the-surgeon-general-who-put-science-before-personal-ideology

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Anti-Nietzsche

It’s problematic in the extreme to deny for whatever reason that an aspect of unusual genius was a work in the life’s work of the Swiss/German inventor of the term Superman. The problem however with that element of genius that was at work in Friedrich Nietzsche’s life was that it was an unhinged and seriously pathological type of genius that eventually drained the life from its human host and left the great celebrated prophet of Nihilism in a profound vegetative state in the final years of his life who was thankfully attended upon by his devoted sister until his passing quite appropriately in the year 1900.

The first thing that I have to admit to any potential reader is that I am in no way an expert on the philosophy and life’s work of Friedrich Nietzsche in the same manner in which I am something of a minor expert on the life of his admiring Nephew, the Swiss/German Psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung. I have read pretty much all of Jung’s major works published by Bollingen/Princeton University Press in his complete works. I have also read and reflected upon the three most important biographies of Jung as well as his own de facto autobiography Memories, Dreams, & Reflection written and published at the urging of his last personal secretary and administrator of his estate Anilla Jaffe who also was known to be the final late in life lover of the voluptuary Jung.

My interest in Friedrich Nietzsche is therefore as much psychological as philosophical or maybe even more so! I like a lot of people find Nietzsche’s philosophy to be both exhilarating and repellant depending upon the various specific cannons of the Nietzsche Doctrine and the influence that they have had on his adopted nation of Germany and the wide reading public of the world who have taken the perilous mission upon themselves of delving deep into this philosophy of an eventual madman. Some people claim that the great apostle and advocate of strength who took delight in naming himself the Anti-Christ came to close too the nihilistic abyss within his own psyche that he projected onto the psyche of humanity and the mass man of his era.

In my humble opinion what was Nietzsche’s ultimate undoing was the very same sense of hubris that the ancient Greeks warned about as the down fall of not just individuals such as Friedrich Nietzsche but whole nations as well such as that most notorious of nations in the 20th century whose nationalistic social psychosis produced the catastrophe of World War Two. Friedrich Nietzsche became the patron saint of the Nazi elite to the same extent that another voluptuary and disciple of the dark force Richard Wagner was also so honored. Wagner and Nietzsche were lifelong friends and associates (or should I say partners in thought crime?) until Wagner adopted and embraced the Christian idiom and myth of the Grail Legend as the backdrop for his final and greatest opera or musical drama as Wagner preferred to call his works. This was too much for Europe’s most notorious atheist at the time to endure and so as a result of Wagner’s re-evaluation of life in general and his own life in particular which now included a deep and abiding respect for Christianity and the Grail Myth, Nietzsche broke off all contact with the reformed voluptuary Richard Wagner and never saw or spoke to him again as a result of this seminal and highly germane event.

Wagner’s own personal antisemitism contrasted with Nietzsche’s own dubious and questionable philo-semitism something that the Nazi regime was only to willing to ignore in Nietzsche in exchange for being able to exploit those particular parts of his philosophical cannon that best suited their deformed needs as a governing party capable of such evils as humanity had not only never seen before but never even imagined to be possible. Such is the nature of hubris however in that it lends itself to such things as much as it brings about the ultimate and final downfall of all those whose moral and spiritual ignorance leads them to worship at its pagan shrine dedicated as it is to human folly in all of its myriad manifestations and permutations down through the ages.

Many experts consider The Geneology of Morals to be Nietzsche’s most original work and for that reason I have dedicated a large amount of time to not only reading this work but listening to the audio-book as well as the numerous academics whose lectures are available online at youbube.com. I have listened to numerous other audio-books and delved into the free e-books that are also available for free online such as Ecce Homo and the online lectures and teaching seminars of other philosophers and academic experts who consider Anti-Christ to be the summation of Nietzsche’s philosophic career and therefore his most important work. Anti-Christ was his final work to be published.

The essence of The Geneology is the firm establishment by the trained professional philologist that Nietzsche was that morality in nothing but a form of cruelty as is religion itself. He claimed that the moral code that we in the Western world live under today is a most ancient of inheritances that was once upon a time during the era of prehistory that lasted at least 100,000 years was imposed upon us through the use of the most brutal and barbaric forms of force by the ruling classes/elites that existed by virtue of their superior use of arms and primitive tribal warfare in that era of pre-history that lasted tens of thousands to perhaps hundreds of thousands of years and thus formed the psycho-social conditioning that Ivan Pavlov labeled Classical Conditioning because it employed various forms of physical punishment to condition any particular subject behavioral response pattern.

If there is a title that Nietzsche truly deserves as a result of his life’s work I would suggest that it might be the title of the crowned prince or maybe king of European atheism who articulated a sound rational understanding about religion in general and Christianity in particular that no doubt put him in direct personal conflict with some of the most powerful social forces on the European social scene. The result of this was that the Swiss born German philosopher spent a major portion of his adult life living the life of a pilgrim in search of the truth moving forever from one lonely hotel to another mostly in the Alpine region of Europe that overlaps Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italy.

Nietzsche’s professional training was as a philologist and through the use of this linguistic science that Nietzsche was able to trace the derivation of certain key words back aeons to their first known point of origin in a thoroughly original use of that linguistic science that enabled him to locate the origin of moral concepts in the earliest known class divided societies.

To many people who have read his works or consorted in some manner with his bold and shocking theories related to the nature of religion as an organized form of cruelty that in essence constitutes the collective death wish of humanity Nietzsche’s philosophy was a kind of first wave of liberation from the dark and devious shackles of the past in the form of death against life which was how Nietzsche characterized the struggle of the life force to free itself from the ever present ominous threat of death that he thought organized religion constituted.

There are so many famous quotes attributable to the philosophic works of Nietzsche that one hardly knows where to begin in regard to citing them. Without a doubt the most notorious of his quotes was the one made by the prophet Zarathustra in Thus Spake Zarathustra that “God is dead!” This assertion regarding the death of the prevailing male deity of the Western world had an earlier antecedent however in the poem by Thomas Hardy “God’s Funeral.” Nietzsche was therefore not alone in understanding that the all powerful bearded angry God of Moses and the Christian variant thereof had long ago reached its zenith and was in a precipitous state of decline that would end in this particular Western deity eventually going down the human memory hole altogether as had all of his predecessors that had once been held in awe by a childish and easily deceived human race. The darkness of Nietzsche’s world view in regard to such matters seems to have precluded any attempt on his part to understand and come to terms with the social force that all forms of religious belief have had down through the ages of compelling human behavior of a certain acceptable kind because the various forms of social organizations that have existed down through the ages have demanded such a moral code of behavior in order for the social system to function beneficially for as many people as possible who made up the basic social unit in any given society. Such a rational sociological approach to religion formed the basis for the English philosopher Herbert Spencer’s philosophy that in time formed the basis for the new science of Sociology.

Unlike Spencer however Nietzsche was only concerned with the individual as if someone could live independent of the very society of his/her day that all were a part of whether they liked it or not and depended upon for the very sustenance to sustain their lives. To realize the fact that social forces that were unseen and often poorly understood in the 19th Century were more determinative in regard to human behavior than any kind of internal self directed mechanism of the mind or psyche seemed impossibly for such individualists as Nietzsche and others of his ilk to ever be able to consider and/or fully appreciate! That fact however was a clear manifest indicator of their limitations both intellectually as emergent scientists as well as philosophers seeking to uncover the assumed to be hidden nature of truth that all to often was frequently in plain view staring such would be inquirers straight in the face.

In the end the life of Friedrich Nietzsche in the late 19th century who reveled in his sad despondent embrace of the dark side of life was much akin to the rise and pathetic fall of another practitioner of the dark arts of witchcraft that he reveled in Allester Crowley. It was Nietzsche who reveled in his personal assumption of the person of the Anti-Christ that he claimed himself to be either jokingly or in a kind of mock serious tone that indicated perhaps a measure of truth in regard to such. It was Crowley who nominated himself to the role of the Beast spoken of in Revelations as having a name symbolized by the number 666 because of the fact that in his drug induced euphoria his own personal measure of his own sense of self important knew no reasonable bounds of decency that was equally the case with Nietzsche whose supreme personal sense of contempt for religion led to the kind of ego inflation that the ancient Greeks had referred to as hubris. The psychic gulf that may have opened up within the personality structure of Friedrich Nietzsche ended up in swallowing him up alive in a fate surely worse than the death wish he presumed religion to be. Such was the nature of the personal tragedy that was his life that he spent so much time dwelling on the dark side of life that it came in the end to claim him and his psyche as one of their own, i.e. a denizen of that infernal abyss that he warned us about when he said to those who would follow as his philosophic disciples to be cognizant of the fact that whoever looks into the Abyss, the Abyss in turn looks into him.

The sad fate of this prophet of darkness should never be forgotten and we should always therefore look to the light for our own salvation as well as the salvation of the society that we live in that in the end is more determinative in regard to the factors that shape our lives than all the idiosyncratic internal mechanisms of the psyche that more often than not may turn out to be nothing other than a hallucination.

The other uniquely dark side to Nietzsche’s philosophy and case in point as to why every fascist group, Nazi Party, anarchist factions, and assorted wing nuts of political and social reaction everywhere rush to adopt as justification for their demented ideologies is the cult of strength that cares not a rat’s @$$ for the Christian ideal but believes that strength justifies itself in a completely Faustian way. This is as much as saying in a diabolical way based upon such anti-social considerations that destroy rather than build into the social fabric of any given society or social unit the kind of interdependence that has been essential in order for civilization to exist and the vast spectrum of human needs to be satisfied.

What we are talking about here is the productive capacity of any given society that is the prime requirement that is essential for it to survive as well as to satisfy the material, cultural, and other social needs of any given society or tribal unit. The dark side of human nature and reality that Nietzsche embraced as the be all and end all of Earthly existence is really the death wish or death force spoken of by Freud a man whose towering intellect in spite of his well known flaws was every bit the equal to and most probably surpassed the increasingly troubled intellect of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Freud referred to this dark demonic destructive force within the human psyche as Tanthos the Greek term for death and counterpoised this to the life force that he called Eros. The well balanced formulation of Freud is not to be found in the completely lopsided world view of Friedrich Nietzsche whose personal obsession with those psychic forces that ultimately lead to decay and destruction became the psychic abyss that he fell into psychologically in is final years that cut short what could have been an enormously productive life.

Such a critique as outlined above is meant in no way to suggest that the philosophic works of Friedrich Nietzsche are not worth reading, consulting, and/or considering as relevant. What is most important about Nietzsche however is that it reveals the nature of the Faustian spirit (or demonic) spirit that has always been the essential guiding spirit of the West with its increasing dependence upon a Faustian technology that has so altered the natural Earth environment so as to be perhaps the single greatest known threat to human survival. I don’t think that in this regard that I am overstating the case in regard to the Faustian guiding spirit of the West that for all practical purposes has incorporated all the rest of humanity that had been left in the few remaining civilizations such as the Chinese, India, and Islamic outside of the orbit of the West.

The greatest struggles of our own era that are in the process of being waged by the West to fully and completely absorb these recalcitrants will inevitably be won by the West but not in the matter that most people would suspect. This so called eventual “victory” of the West in regard to the absorption of these few remaining non Western civilizations will be a completely Pyrrhic victory for the West and its various peoples unless the source of this Faustian spirit is fully excised through the antiseptic of the Permanent Revolution theorized by Leon Trotsky that is centered within America as the principle leading nation of the West as well as its satellite states of the EU.

I think that such a negating of the Faustian spirit of the West by Eros is inevitable because such is the only way open to humanity right now that can in fact guarantee its future survival on a planet almost fatally devastated by this Faustian spirit inherent in the nature of the technology generated by the various sciences of the West to further the exploitation of the masses here at home in the “Imperial Heartland” as well as globally where the would be “Masters of the Universe” seek to establish their complete and total greed driven domination by way of what Nietzsche labeled “the Will to Power.”  The Will to Power of the as yet untested masses may be one aspect of this individualized psychic driver that Nietzsche was never able to persuade himself that it could have a mass collective base springing from the Collective Unconscious formulated by Jung as the common mass mind of nature inherent in man located in the deepest layers of the unconscious mind.

Curiously enough Nietzsche referred to himself as a “psychologist” at a time when the lines separating philosophy and psychology were wholly indistinct. For the most part the evolving science of psychology was considered to be  as aspect of philosophy that for all its seeming lack of precision at times was still considered to be based upon a science regarding human thought that was dependent upon reason and logic to define it and set the boundaries that all “legitimate” human thought was to follow if it was to get the respect of academia with its host of professional philosophaters. To his everlasting credit as a philosopher and as a creative human being Nietzsche rejected such illusory concepts regarding “legitimacy” within the sphere of academia and was free thinking enough in the best aspect of that term to strike out on his own as a creative thinker and philosopher in completely new  and virgin territory. For many people of his own era that were tied to the old order of things, this was his one and only sin that could never be forgiven. It was this fact alone that made him something of an outcast in his own time who over time and through his own personal genius transcended time and place to become the wholly and completely accepted creative genius that he is regarded as being today in spite of all his flaws and personality defects that defined him as Human, All too Human!

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The key to understanding the Geneology is the phenomenon of what Nietzsche calls “the transvaluation of values” that he claims was the unconscious mission of the priestly class/caste that began perhaps in the biblical era and/or about the time of the rise of Mycenaean Greece, the Trojan War, and the epic poetry of Homer. This sacerdotal order was made up of declassed persons from the ruling warrior caste that basically had complete control over tribal societies of that era. It was the naturally occurring social phenomenon of asceticism known to all societies, cultures, and civilizations down through the numerous ages of historical development that was the origin of the sacerdotal order that took up a stand in society as the tribunes of the weak and powerless that in turn was labeled by Nietzsche as “the herd.”

Nietzsche claimed that the Jews became the almost perfect embodiment of a kind of sacerdotal order based upon the nature of the Jewish Diaspora that he seems to have little understanding of from both a historical point of view or even what I would call a common sense point of view. There is no precise date that Nietzsche uses to indicate specifically what particular exile period he may be referring to and so one is hard pressed to come to terms with the fact that in regard to Jewish history Nietzsche may have been a bigger ignoramus that either his admirers or critics ever realized!

That point aside Nietzsche claims that this “transvaluation of values”  that he claims was the great historical mission of the sacerdotal order or simply “the priests” as he likes to libel/label them began the particular cycle of history that we are now in with the values of the Jewish Diaspora defeating pagan Rome an the noble barbarianism (my term) that Nietzsche so admired and idolized in an almost idolatrous fashion. One has to be pardoned from assuming that it was this idolatrous worship of savage barbarism that unhinged the “great mind” that Nietzsche supposedly had and ultimately bought about his complete and total mental breakdown that some have attributed to untreated syphilis.

Either way what Nietzsche’s philosophy/ideology seems to indicate the most contempt for was what many think of as the great civilizing mission of the Jewish Diaspora in bring about the kind of respect for the idealized person that has enabled civilization such as we know it today to exist. Nietzsche idolatrous worship of what Freud called tanthos in the form of the barbaric warrior class/caste is very much at odds with not only the facts of the matter but from a sociological perspective an almost complete and total lack of understanding the values of the social forces that were needed to enable civilization to exist at all.

The libel/label that Nietzsche puts of what he calls “Jewish inspired Christianity” as something that bought about the weakening of the only “healthy” class, i.e. the warrior class/caste in society and its adulation of the herd as “the sick” as he libels/labels such non warriors is really nothing other than an inner reflection of the transposition of reality and values that had occurred in Nietzsche’s own psyche and that he in turn reflected onto the outer world as some sort of concrete reality!

The atheism that Nietzsche possessed or that perhaps possessed him was based upon a totally false understanding of the social role that religion and his hated sacerdotal class/caste played as a necessary social evil that was required in order to create the right kind of social conditions for civilization to exist. Freud demonstrates a greater understanding of this need to tame the savage beast in man through the use of such coercive methods as religion bought to bear as a necessary but often regrettable fact of life that could not be denied and had therefore to be accepted. Such was a sign of his own maturity as not only a psychoanalyst but as one of the great geniuses of the 20th Century. There is indeed genius in Nietzsche but all to often it borders on the pathological and indeed “the sick” as he was so wanton to libeled/ mislabel others and the vast movement through time of the social forces that were needed to produce the highly advanced civilization that exist today. Such a highly advanced social order as we all take for granted today only exists because the forces leading to death and destruction have to a large extent been held in check by the countervailing psychic forces of life that Freud appropriately labeled Eros.

Reasonable atheists and practicing agnostics can be confidently assured that such a requirement of the past as religion represented has no longer any usefulness in our own era. All of its values that it brought to bear beginning in another era have been inculcated into the human psyche. This is the part of the psyche that Freud labeled the “Super-ego” because of the inner role that it plays in regard to serving as the innate conscience that uses its inculcated value judgments to influence human behavior by working to produce those required limits of human behavior that are required for civilization to exist. The price that we as individuals have to pay in order for this whole historical process to work is called neurosis and it is a small price indeed to have to pay for the right to be born and exist in the first place.

 

For Friedrich Nietzsche however the ultimate struggle that humanity was being confronted with in this late modern or what some have labeled the post-modern period is humanities increasingly desperate struggle not against the so called “evil” that all organized religions posit themselves as being against but rather against that very real and cogent evil that religion in all its manifestations actually is. According to Nietzsche religion is indeed the very death force of the species that Freud label Tanthos that stands in opposition and in probably equal measure to the force of life within the human being that Freud labeled Eros. All of human history according to the Psycho-Historians both Freudian and Jungian is a constant ongoing battle within the soul of humanity to see which of these two psychic forces can gain the upper hand with the collective mind of the species and so ultimately triumph over its defeated adversary.

Both Freud and Jung had a rather dark view of this prospect ending favorably to the eventual long term continuation and viability of the human species on this planet or any other for that matter. Both Freud and Jung like their predecessor Friedrich Nietzsche saw such questions regarding the ultimate survivability of the human life form as a something that utterly transcended the idea of good vs. evil that religion tries to impose on the human psyche. Both Freud and Jung were non believers in the kind of superstitious magic that religion offers to its adherents. It was only Friedrich Nietzsche however who was forthright and perhaps brave enough in a very truly heroic sense to offer up his personal realization that religion itself was the very social force of death that it uses to terrorize us with in its ongoing effort to compel us to conform to its demands that serve an entirely mundane and temporal purpose. Such a purpose can be seen in our own era as an entirely authoritarian purpose that demands that all thinking rational human beings surrender this higher power to its own irrational dictates that uphold and defend an increasingly unjust, evil, and dangerous social system called capitalism that in and of itself is seen by most present day Marxian theorists as the single greatest threat to human survival.

The irony about Friedrich Nietzsche was that he was philosophically a staunch lifetime opponent of the historical materialism of Karl Marx and G.F.W. Hegel who was responsible for his use of the dialectical method to originate the concept of historical materialism that Marx and his associates built upon. Once again the irony was that the anti-Marxist, anti-historicist Nietzsche was confirmatory in regard to such theoretical propositions as the Marxists made but were nevertheless completely incapable to giving any sort of credit to the work of someone such as Nietzsche ( for political reasons) whom they considered to be the very apotheosis of political reaction in Germany and on the European continent because of his many theoretical constructs that had nothing or little to do with Nietzsche’s important contribution to the social science of anthropology that was greatly enhanced as a result of his contribution. Nietzsche’s discovery through the use of the linguistic science of Philology of the true Genealogy of Morals was a work of such genius that few if any have perhaps understood the full significance of that demonstrate through the use of this linguistic science the utter tyranny that we as human being have been forced to live under since the earliest of times when such a tyranny of belief and behavior acceptable to our once thoroughly barbaric rulers was first imposed upon us in the most terrible, bloody, and barbaric methods imaginable in an era dating back to the vast era of human pre-history for which there is no written record but thankfully an archeological record.

But now in our own era in a time so distant from the point of our earliest origin the worm has finally turned in regard to such things as the tyranny over the human mind that religion represents. It was Jung who stated that psychologically speaking everything over time turns into its opposite. What could be a more appropriate way to understand the Nietzschian “transvaluation of values” that lay at the heart of his philosophy that indeed in some areas becomes more of a science than just a mere philosophy that can be easily discounted for being what it is.

It was the natural joy de vie and freshness of the life of young children that has its own corollary in the childhood of humanity in an age so distant from us now in time but ever so close to us always within our own psyche as well as in the collective mind of nature within (and without) us that Jung called the Collective Unconscious that is forever unbounded in time containing past, present, and future along a kind of inner space-time continuum that is part and parcel to the actual space-time continuum that makes up our physical Universe embedded as it is with the psychic factor of consciousness that takes root and blooms in the human being. The real take away message from Friedrich Nietzsche that we should always consider was his advise in regard to how to bring about the kind of liberation that we all seek as human beings in order to fully realize our own true nature and who and what we are ultimately destined to be. Nietzsche advice was that the way to achieve this ultimate liberation was to live each and every day in the here and now as it that future precious day our deliverance had already arrived. It was only by being brave and free enough to live life on such terms that we could in the final analysis make such a future reality part of the ever eternal now that we call the present.

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