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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Some Problems of Psychology
3. Some Problems of Psychology

Introduction

What I have here to say should be of general interest. I intend to write with great simplicity, avoiding the technical terms of academic psychology, and putting the human psychological problem so plainly that real help may eventuate to many. These days are fraught with difficulty and it would sometimes appear that the necessary environmental adjustments are so hard and the equipment so inadequate to the demanded task that humanity is being asked to perform the impossible. It is as if the human frame had accumulated so much physical disability, so much emotional stress and had [402] inherited so much disease and over-sensitivity that men fall back defeated. It is as if the attitude of man to the past, to the present and to the future was of such a nature that there seems no reason for existence, that there is nothing toward which to look, and no help to be found in retrospection.

I am, therefore, widely generalizing. There are those to whom this generalization does not apply, but even they, if they are students of human affairs, of sociological conditions, and of human equipment, are prone to question and at times to despair. Life is so difficult these days; the tension to which men are subjected is so extreme; the future appears so threatening; and the masses of men are so ignorant, diseased and distressed. I am putting this gloomy picture before you at the start of our discussion in order to evade no issue, to paint no silly optimistic and glamorous situation, or to portray no easy way of escape which would only lead us deeper into the gloomy forest of human error and illusion.

Yet, could we but know it, present conditions indicate their own cause and cure. I trust that by the time we have studied the problem (cursorily, I realize, for that is all that is possible) I shall have been able to indicate a possible way out and to have offered such practical suggestions that light may appear in the dense darkness, the future hold much promise, and the present much of experiment, leading to improvement and understanding.

The major science today is Psychology. It is one that is yet in its infancy but it holds the fate of humanity in its grasp and it has the power (rightly developed and employed) to save the race. The reason for its greatness and usefulness lies in the fact that it lays the emphasis upon the relation of the unit to the whole, to the environment and contacts; it studies man's equipment and apparatus of such contact, and seeks to [403] produce right adaptation, correct integration and coordination and the release of the individual to a life of usefulness, fulfilment and service.

Some of the difficulties which have to be faced as one considers the conclusions of the many, many schools of Psychology are based upon the fact of their failure to relate the many points of view to each other. The same cleavage and even warfare is to be found within the confines of this science as are found in the individual man or in the religious field. There is to be found a lack of synthesis, a failure to correlate results, and a tendency to over-emphasize one aspect of the ascertained truth to the exclusion of others equally important. The outstanding weakness or weaknesses in an individual's equipment or presentation of life (and also those of the group or social order) are considered to the exclusion and even negation of other weaknesses not so obvious but equally crippling. Prejudice, dependent upon a biassed scholastic training, often frustrates the outlook so that the weakness in the psychologist's own equipment negates his efforts to aid the patient. The failure of education today to take into consideration the whole man, or to allow scope for the activity of an integrating center, a central point of consciousness, and a determining factor within the mechanism of the one who must be helped to adapt himself to his life condition - this above everything else is responsible for much of the trouble. The assertion of the purely materialistic and scientific attitude which recognizes only the definitely proven, or that which can be proved by the acceptance of an immediate hypothesis, has led to much loss of time. When again the creative imagination can be released in every department of human thought we shall see many new things brought to light that are at present only accepted by the religiously inclined [404] and by the pioneering minds. One of the first fields of investigation to be benefited by this release will be that of psychology.

Organized religion has, alas, much to answer for, because of its fanatical emphasis upon doctrinal pronouncements, and its penalization of those who fail to accept such dicta has served to stultify the human approach to God and to reality. Its over-emphasis upon the unattainable and its culture of the sense of sin down the centuries have led to many disastrous conditions, to interior conflicts which have distorted life, to morbidity, sadistic attitudes, self-righteousness and an ultimate despair which is the negation of truth.

When right education (which is the true science of adaptation) and right religion (which is the culture of the sense of divinity) and right scientific unfoldment (which is the correct appreciation of the form or forms through which the subjective life of divinity is revealing itself) can be brought into right relation to each other and thus supplement each other's conclusions and efforts, we shall then have men and women trained and developed in all parts of their natures. They will then be simultaneously citizens of the kingdom of souls, creative members of the great human family, and sound animals with the animal body so developed that it will provide the necessary instrument upon the outer plane of life for divine, human and animal revelation. This, the coming New Age, will see take place and for it men are today consciously or unconsciously preparing.

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