Psychology is the study of the mind, including logic, reason, emotion,
conscious and unconscious mental processes and behaviour. It is also associated
with neuroscience and the study of the brain to the extent that psychology has
become an umbrella term for a wide variety of ‘disciplines’, paradigms,
religions and cults that are not clearly definable as medical, philosophical
or sociological disciplines.
The History of Psychology
For thousands of years psychology has existed as 'philosophy' as found in the
ancient Vedic Indian texts which record the findings of man's examination of
mind and spirit. Other historic books can be found in the Buddhist, Yoga and
The modern word ‘psychology’ comes from the Greek word 'psyche', meaning mind or soul
and 'ology' meaning study, however the psychological scientists seem to have
become more interested in brain chemistry and consumer oriented drugs and
services to control the public and to coerce those with other than 'normal'
behaviours to conform to the dominant social stereotype.
While today's experimental psychology concerned with learning, memory, perception,
attention, emotions and physiological processes of the brain
and body has some merit in attempting to understand the consequences of brain
damage and mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, psychology today is primarily
a sociological tool that serves religious, political and corporate interests for
Some Popular Definitions:
- Philosophy: A branch of metaphysics that studies the soul, the mind, and
the relationship of life and mind to the functions of the body and environment.
- The study of the mind and how it works.
- The science that deals with mental processes and behavior.
- The mental factors governing a situation or activity
- The mental characteristics or attitude of a person or group
- The emotional and behavioral characteristics of an individual, group, or
- The scientific study of the human mind and its functions, esp. those
affecting behavior in a given context.
- Subtle tactical action or argument used to manipulate or influence another
So we see that today's definitions; at the top we have perhaps the truest
definition and as we progress down this list, def 2 isolates the mind and the
remaining definitions are totally divorced mind or soul and are seeking to
develop understandings and means of exerting influence over others, or mind
Another important aspect of modern day psychology is the development of drugs
that are used to modify thinking and behaviour developed by the
multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry that feeds off the weaknesses and
insecurities of others.
Is Psychology A Valid Tool Today?
Where modern psychology ignores the mind and the relationship between the mind
and all things, psychology is a spiritually bankrupt
tool that denies life and everything positive about humanity. There are aspects
of psychology which are useful such as those concerned with learning, memory, perception,
attention, emotions and links to physiological processes of the brain and body
have some merit in helping the brain damaged. Another common aspect is that of counselling, a psychological process used to help individuals perceive their
situation and to find their own solutions to life's problems.
Psychology should be about help and betterment of mankind, and for those
interested in self improvement and understanding their psychological predicament
may find solutions and inspiration in books or time out in nature. Solutions are
unlikely to be found in modern psychology, drugs or alcohol, solutions come from
the sincere desire to grow and excel.
What Effects Our Psychology?
The short answer is 'everything' has an effect on our psychology. We are
affected or conditioned from conception and possibly before even conception to
be the person we are today. Every action, every reaction, the foods we eat, our
upbringing, our social and political views and the people we mix with all
influence our psychology and behaviour.
Can Psychology Help You?
Possibly.. but this depends on how you see yourself and the problems you are
dealing with. But if you are reading this information, it is unlikely you need
help and you would be better served by reading and studying/observing the
processes in your own psychology. Psychological services may however help family or friends
who are brain damaged or have some neurological defect.
Alternatives to Psychology
To find alternatives one must be willing to look outside mainstream medicine.
- We are the sum total of everything in our lives, therefore some analysis
of ones life is helpful and guidance is helpful.
- You are unlikely to need a psychologist or guru, but it is helpful to
create an "ideal" - a concept of how we would like to be and then take
action to reach that goal.
- That goal should not be to far removed - say as a first step, adopt a
new attitude toward life such as:
- being appreciative
- being grateful
- being kind
- being considerate
- being compassionate toward self and others
We are what we eat, so diet is an important area to look at.
- Ensure that you are getting adequate and good quality nutrition.
- Nutritional supplements can be helpful here and guidance can be sought
from your health care provider so that you do not consume in excess.
- As well as good diet, exercise important for general fitness
- Exercise to help create the healthy body and mind
- Look for the beauty and positive attitudes in others and associate with
- The sincere seeker of knowledge may be best served by studying his or her
own mental and emotional processes.
Richard L. Gregory