On the importance of psychology in our lives
By Dr. Rudolf Hänsel (via Global Research)
The political, economic and social turmoil in the world is causing people great concern. Independent scientists are shedding more and more light on the cabal’s sinister plans with profound analyses, but the guild of psychologists, which could provide people with orientation and support, is failing for the most part.
This is not by design. The young people who turn to the study of psychology are religious and believers in the state: they stand on the old standpoint that this system should be preserved. Therefore, nothing can be expected from them and they cannot be trusted. Yet the findings of scientific psychology would be beneficial for human coexistence. But without deep psychological knowledge of human nature, we cannot join forces with our fellow citizens to stand up against the criminal rulers of this world and their accomplices.
Until today, “man has not recognised himself” – not himself and not the other. It would be a matter of using the tools of psychology to recognise man and lead him to freedom. Since a large part of psychoanalysis, psychology and depth psychology has been lost, the author – a graduate psychologist and educationalist – would like to contribute a small piece of the mosaic to knowledge. At the same time, it is a thank you to his teacher, the Zurich psychotherapist Friedrich Liebling, a student of the individual psychologist Alfred Adler. Over decades, he introduced the author to the field of depth psychology with great insight into human nature, in a sensitive, tolerant and understanding manner. His progressive psychological and ideological insights form the foundation of the following explanations.
Psychology – Queen of the Sciences
Psychology is the queen of the sciences. Its favourites are knowledge of human nature and human welfare, its clothing is truth and verifiability. Its palace is surrounded by thorny bushes of prejudice, medieval superstition and religious-philosophical-ethical heresies. Whoever wants to reach it must fight his way through this thicket. A casual traveller with a firmly established view of man and the world will find nothing attractive in the palace. Its beauty and richness only open up to a person with a healthy, empirically working mind and an open spirit. By overcoming fearfulness, he will become spiritually free and courageous, gain knowledge of human nature and learn to understand his own emotional life and that of his fellow human beings. He is thus a witness to man’s astonishing inclination towards hidden but inexhaustible and sublime spiritual and mental pleasures (1).
With the provocatively intended statement that psychology is the queen of the sciences, Friedrich Liebling wanted to explain the scope and importance of psychology and make students of psychology aware of how important psychology is in our lives.
Psychology is the science about man, about human nature: how man becomes, how he grows up, how he finds his way in life. This comes into being as a result of the experiences he has, which are imparted to him by parents and teachers. Thus he is the product of his experiences, his impressions in childhood. Already in the first years of life, the child collects these experiences. At the age of five or six, when it enters kindergarten, it already has its compass, it already knows how it should behave. The young person then already has an opinion about the other child, about the father, the mother and the siblings. He has his character, his traits and an opinion about his position in the world.
Unfortunately, the science of psychology is still underestimated or misjudged in our latitudes. This is partly because many German psychologists of Jewish faith had to go into exile in the USA during the fascist era. But also because most psychologists failed miserably during German fascism (2) and allowed themselves to be used for the war: The soldiers were not supposed to leave the battlefield and, if their minds became ill, were picked up by psychologists during home leave and prepared again to continue defending the fatherland at the risk of their lives.
Nowadays, psychologists in turn give dubious advice to young and old: They help them to get through their fears, fits of despair and suicidal thoughts due to the illegal state repression. The political system is not questioned. The desperate people are supposed to submit to the repressions and not exercise their individual and collective right to resist. This betrayal of professional ethics pushes people deeper and deeper into misery.
The time of reason
In the past, we had the time of faith. We believed what was written in the Bible and what the priest told us. For some centuries now, we have had the time of reason: man has begun to think and to ascribe to himself the responsibility for what happens here on earth. He has even denied heaven: “There is no power up there in heaven that directs everything, but I am responsible!” But there is one thing he did not understand: himself. He did not approach himself, that is, his emotional world. He has made revolutions, written books, put forward theories on how to make life better; but he has not recognised himself.
So we live in a world in which man has not recognised himself. He has recognised everything, he has researched everything, but he has not recognised himself, his nature, his mental constitution, his modes of reaction. We live in the time of reason, but when it comes down to it, we are not reasonable.
Who instigates wars, for example? People like us – or is it others?
Again and again, the striving for power in economics and politics drives us into catastrophes in which the wealth of our culture is squandered and the harvests of our civilisation are destroyed. This ideology of power is a terrible error of the human race. While these pernicious effects touch our vital nerve, we are lethargic enough not to be shaken up by them. The problem of violence has not been solved by humanity.
Who instigates wars? Is it people like us, or is it others?
Whether it is the First or Second World War, the war currently raging in Syria and Yemen, or even the one against the world’s civilian population. We need to understand what is going on with us – with ourselves and with others. We need to acquire so much knowledge of human nature that we understand why human beings behave the way they do. Man, our human nature and our mental make-up are still unknown to us. When we explore and recognise our ways of reacting, we learn to correctly assess our disposition and our opinion and that of the other.
If we live in a world where war and crime are the order of the day, then we too are murderers and criminals. For the world is the way we have set it up or – in relation to pre-existing conditions – tolerated it. No one can escape responsibility. We are always complicit, even when we are victims.
Am I my brother’s keeper?
Mankind has not yet found an answer to the Cain question from the biblical prehistory “Am I my brother’s keeper?”. It is frightening to see how the lack of sympathy, compassion and fellow humanity today leads to countless people being left alone in their suffering through no fault of their own, because fellow citizens are only interested in their own concerns and take less and less interest in the fate of their fellow human beings, their brothers and sisters. A glance at the Syrian or Yemeni war zones makes any compassionate heart shudder. The scale of the atrocities can hardly be appreciated. “That’s none of my business!” is then an often-heard expression of displeasure – even from professing Christians.
Yet in the human world, social feelings and communal bonds certainly play just as great a role as the will to power and self-interest: human beings are also capable of devotion and self-sacrifice. “Compassion for all creatures is what really makes human beings human”, said the German-French physician, philosopher and pacifist Albert Schweitzer (1875 to 1965).
Why is one part of humanity very capable of showing compassionate feelings and acting accordingly, while another – far smaller – part is consumed by a murderous lust for power? The insights of depth psychology provide an answer.
Making public spirit the guiding idea (3)
Global peace and global humanity must be anchored in people’s thoughts and moral principles of action as well as in their solidarity, brotherhood and sense of community. The teachings of the moral leaders of humanity, the wisdom of Lao Tse and the commandment of love for one’s neighbour grew out of the realisation of the togetherness of all who bear humanity’s face. Cultural development essentially consists of the voice of humanity’s conscience becoming more and more heard and the spirit of responsibility taking the place of violence.
For Alfred Adler, the founder of individual psychology, the “deepest idea of all culture (…) consisted in the final rejection of the striving for power and in the final elevation of public spirit to the leading idea.” He said this 100 years ago. All our endeavours in the world and in science should have the guiding principle of producing a type of human being in the future for whom – as Adler put it – a sense of community and interpersonal solidarity are as natural as breathing.
Enlightenment and education (4)
Since all human action is prepared in the minds and hearts, and since people will behave tomorrow as they think today, what is needed above all is enlightenment. The purpose of enlightenment efforts is to purify human consciousness of individual and collective prejudices. The future of our culture will essentially depend on whether there will be enough “enlighteners” who will be able to remove from the broad masses of people those prejudices that are the ideological background of the catastrophes of humanity. At the present time, when the destruction of humanity seems possible, we need more than ever the “free spirits” who teach us what is truth and what is a lie. Intellectuals should face up to this responsibility.
Even more important than enlightenment is the problem of education. Deep psychological insight has made it clear to us what a tremendous scope education has. Today we know that the human being is to such an extent the product of his or her upbringing that we may cherish the hope of being able, through psychological methods of education, to train people who will be immune to the entanglements of power madness and develop a sense of community.
Renunciation of the authoritarian principle and the use of violence
Thus, pedagogy in the parental home and school must renounce the authoritarian principle – which for centuries was regarded as the unquestionably valid basis of educational behaviour – and the use of violence. Educators must adapt themselves with true understanding to the child’s soul life, must respect the child’s personality and turn to him or her with friendship. Such an education will produce a type of human being that does not have a “subject mentality” and will therefore no longer be a docile tool for those in power in our world.
In today’s violent culture, however, the path of the individual inevitably comes under the influence of the desire for power and domination. All role models and ideals under which the child of our cultural circles grows up are coloured by the will to power. The human urge for self-improvement thus involuntarily takes on the guiding line of the lust for power: being great, being powerful becomes the goal that the weak set for themselves in order to become strong. The dazzling work of violence already takes possession of the soul of the individual at a time when he has neither conscious insight nor a developed sense of justice.
The reduction of the lust for power and the desire for violence is therefore not a postulate of moral preachers: it is the simple necessity of community life. It is possible to suppress the admonishing cries of the human sense of community; they can never be completely eradicated, for the gift of evolution consists in the moral consciousness of the individual, in the insight into the responsibility of all towards all. This must be conveyed to the growing generation in education.
Our task for the future is therefore above all the cultivation and strengthening of community feelings. No means must be too small, no effort too arduous for us to better integrate the youth into the social structure, to teach them that violence and greed for power can only lead to disaster.
No intimidation of intellect and reason through religious education!
Man is born neither religious nor believing in God. The mentally healthy and uncrippled child, however, gets into a society where delusional ideas and illusions prevail. In order to better understand the behaviour of the adult believer, it is essential to fathom how this magical worldview affects the soul life and reason of a child and adolescent.
No sooner does a small child show its first mental stirrings and learn to speak than it is “taken into care” by society, i.e. by the parents and the church. It is made clear to him that his nature is not allowed to develop freely with regard to his feeling for nature and his world view. If it wants to avoid being punished with general contempt and hellish chastisements, it must press its being into a certain ecclesiastical form.
If the consciousness of the “I” then forms in the third year of life, the god and devil of the religion in question already intervene and teach the child not to trust in itself, but to allow itself to be guided and controlled by supernatural powers and to pray diligently so as not to fall prey to their vengeance. The child learns about the fear of demons.
The “virtues” of submissiveness, obedience and humility are imprinted. The child is taught things that are foreign to its nature and do not require its reason. No one asks the child whether it has any “religious needs” at all. The child’s belief in demons is crystallised in the ideas of the devil and hell. Psychiatrists sometimes diagnose anxiety neuroses and severe mental disorders as a result.
Fear produces emotional reactions in the child that turn against the human being: it is afraid of the human being. The young person grows up and as an adult is unable to interact and live together. That is why he cannot set up his own life. The years of man’s strongest suggestibility are exploited to inculcate him with mystical ideas, to make him immune to the use of reason in religious and ideological matters and to bind him to a certain religious institution – faithfully until death.
The child is not allowed to develop naturally and freely until it asks itself in adulthood about the nature of nature and the meaning of life. In the Catholic Church, confession, communion and confirmation follow one after the other in short periods of time at a tender age; acts that are connected with the eternal profession of fidelity to the teachings of the Church and entail terrible consequences in case of non-compliance.
This procedure exerts very strong and crippling pressure on children’s souls. No political organisation, no matter how dictatorial and totalitarian, is capable of acting on children’s souls in this repressive way. This mental rape is worse and more lasting than any physical rape. The same applies to the rape of the mind.
The abuse of the child’s mind results in the adult also reacting in worldly matters like the child and the primitive primitive man: in the form of a “magical belief in authority”. The adult is then often inhibited in the development of the ego, but is in bondage to the priests and suggestible. So many adults not only lack “common sense”, but they also have to constantly fight down the remnants of their intellect in ideological discussions and be dishonest with themselves. And this is because not the slightest proof has been produced for the existence of an otherworldly being that participates in the fate of man.
All those involved in the education of children and youths should therefore refrain from making the growing generation obedient and docile on their way to adulthood with authoritarian methods of education. Nor should they burden them with the mind-paralysing “ballast” of religion. Only in this way can the young, as free-thinking, courageous and compassionate citizens, one day steer the world on a different course.
The Future Vision of Free Citizens: A Libertarian Society with Free People (5)
With the insights of depth psychology, a libertarian social order with free people could be realised – a future vision of free citizens. For the author, it would be a counter-model to the present totalitarian form of rule of unfreedom, violence and exploitation. This vision of the future was already held by some mature people like Peter Kropotkin and other free socialists more than 100 years ago.
The Russian anarchist, geographer and writer Prince Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) observed both nature and natural beings and related his findings to human beings. In the book “Mutual Aid in the Animal and Human World”, Kropotkin writes that in nature and society there is by no means only a struggle of all against all (social Darwinism), but that the principle of “mutual aid” also prevails. Those living beings that implement this principle would survive more successfully.
Scientific depth psychology is based on these findings. According to this, man is a naturally social being, oriented towards the community of his fellow human beings. He also has a natural inclination towards good, towards the knowledge of truth and towards community life. We do not have to be afraid of this human being. He wants to live in freedom and peace, without violence and war – just like all of us.
This freedom, which is to be given to man (again) because it is his by nature, is of course not the freedom to exploit the other man and to plunder his hard-earned savings. This is the “freedom” that the ruling clique in capitalism means and that makes man involuntarily corrupt. To give man freedom is to give him the right to a decent life, to justice, security and tranquillity.
This means that every working person knows, should he no longer be able to work for reasons of old age or illness, that he will not then be dismissed, but can continue to live just as before: he will continue to receive his last wage, keep his flat and not have to beg for soup in the communal kitchen or at the church. If he should die unexpectedly because of an accident, his family will continue to be provided for and his children can attend a good school.
In a free society, he not only has security but also peace of mind. No authority will rise to rule over him; there will be no violence, no war, no military service, no hardship, no lunatic asylum, no prisons. External freedom will also lead to internal freedom: Man will have a different consciousness, a different thinking, a different relationship with his fellow man, a different feeling towards the dear God.
Nor will a dictatorship be established and man forced. People believe in man, associate themselves with him, empathise with him, appeal to him. He wants to live well and have a roof over his head with his brood. This human being will cooperate in a free society because this corresponds to his nature. There is no need to be afraid of him. There is no need to see any danger in freedom either. If someone is not willing or able to live in a community, then he will be taken along by the others. The sick will be dealt with in the same way; they will not be a nuisance. On the contrary, in a free society they will get well.
Let us leave man free and demand nothing of him! He will gladly accept this and behave differently because he finds a different social situation. Man can change, Marx said – and depth psychology confirms this. He should also be given freedom right away. Churches are not locked and religion is not banned; people are left free and let them pray. It is not the state that decides, but the individual and the community.
Karl Marx was right: when man has the security of his life, he thinks differently. He has different thoughts, different feelings and a different relationship to his fellow man. Man becomes different when he has the table laid. He has different feelings than the one who lives in insecurity, is exploited, is poor, is afraid of hail and lightning that God will send him if he does not pray enough. Afraid that the good Lord will set his house on fire or send hail and smash the grain so that he starves. In his whole emotional life and thinking he is taken up by this.
When a society is established in which man has his right to life, he has a different consciousness. Fear in capitalism shapes man. Exploiters and exploited are equally poor. The church maintains this system with miracle men who are in relationship with the dear God and order everything. If we give up the capitalist system and form a community where this is not an issue, then there are no exploiters, no capitalists, no wars, no fear. Then a different human being develops. In the present principle of violence and authority, man cannot develop.
Then there is no fear of God’s punishment and hell and therefore no religion. Man has a different consciousness, thinks for himself, trusts in his own powers, checks by experience, has different thoughts and feelings. The sick person becomes healthy through a different social system and has a fear-free relationship with his fellow human being. He can show solidarity with him, join him and put himself on an equal footing with him. Man can develop and changes his behaviour, he no longer becomes corrupt as in the capitalist system. He educates himself and learns to read and write. He no longer waits for paradise in heaven, but wants it on earth; he decides for himself which path to take.
Since each person has a more or less large sphere of influence, he or she can pass on the psychological and ideological insights presented here to ten, twenty, thirty other people. These ten or thirty people will pass it on to ten others, who in turn will pass it on.
If inertia holds him back, well, then he starts all over again with others!
Dr. Rudolf Hänsel is a graduate psychologist and educationalist. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
(1) Following Jan Sniadecki (1756-1830) and Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855): “Mathematics is the queen of all sciences. Her darling is truth, her clothing simplicity and clarity. Her palace is surrounded by thorny bushes; whoever wants to reach it must fight his way through this thicket. A chance traveller will find nothing attractive in the palace. Its beauty opens itself only to the mind that loves truth, that has grown hard in overcoming difficulties, and that is witness to man’s astonishing propensity for tangled but inexhaustible and sublime spiritual pleasures.”
(2) Baumgarten, Franziska (1949). The German Psychologists and the Events of the Times. Published by DER AUFBAU Zurich. Swiss Social Archives.
(3) Cf. http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=25754&css
(4) Op. cit.
(5) Vgl. https://www.globalresearch.ca/future-vision-free-citizens-libertarian-society-free-people/5733297; https://www.globalresearch.ca/keinem-die-macht-ubergeben/5728617; http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=27206&css; http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=27120&css