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 Greg8002
Joined: 3/11/2008
Msg: 8
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answersPage 2 of 2    (1, 2)
"Does anyone know of any resource that possibly combines a bit of philosophy and psychology in trying to analyze oneself?"

You could start by reading Plato and Aristotle and some of the material from the ancient schools of Stoicism, Epicuranism, and Skepticism, which placed a lot of emphasis on understanding the role of the emotions in the good life.
 whenyer_strange
Joined: 4/10/2006
Msg: 9
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/15/2008 6:46:05 AM

You could start by reading Plato and Aristotle and some of the material from the ancient schools of Stoicism, Epicuranism, and Skepticism, which placed a lot of emphasis on understanding the role of the emotions in the good life.
I've read some Plato and Aristotle, though it's been many years. I took quite a few philosophy classes in college. Emotions reflect perception. They are a very real part of us, but only give a window into how we currently perceive things instead of reflecting reality. When emotions are in turmoil the options are to either change the situation that caused the emotions or change the perception of the situation. When one is on the inside of a perception, it's very difficult to see the options that lie outside of what one perceives.

I will definitely take another look into those areas. Thanks for the suggestion.
 saintgasoline
Joined: 8/3/2007
Msg: 10
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/15/2008 4:54:54 PM

Does anyone know of any resource that possibly combines a bit of philosophy and psychology in trying to analyze oneself?


Cognitive science would be right up your alley, my friend, because it is basically a combination of psychology, philosophy, maybe a little linguistics, and so on.
 whenyer_strange
Joined: 4/10/2006
Msg: 11
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/15/2008 9:25:06 PM
Hmmm.... On Insight, I'm usually pretty good about liking something tough to beat my brain against, but these days I suffer occasionally from a spastic sort of attention deficit, so it's probably best I take a look at other's explanations first. Any maybe I'm still lacking in this area. To this day, I just can't understand the significance of the maid in Kafka's book "The Metamorphosis." I read that book when I was 22 and that question about the maid has plagued me ever since.
 whenyer_strange
Joined: 4/10/2006
Msg: 12
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/15/2008 9:26:25 PM

Cognitive science would be right up your alley, my friend, because it is basically a combination of psychology, philosophy, maybe a little linguistics, and so on.
I never thought of that one. Thanks for the suggestion. It's getting added to my "to do" list that's building. :-)
 EruditeRedneck
Joined: 1/19/2008
Msg: 13
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/16/2008 2:18:22 PM
I actually dislike the dale carnegie book. If I want to consciously soothe or manipulate someone then ok but who needs a manipulator or flatterer to hang around. If I make nice statements to someone it's because I MEAN what I am saying not just to make them like me do something nice for me. The whole bs of dale carnegie is why I am so disgusted with polititians, con men, and other mindless suckups. If I want to be told what I want to hear I'll talk to myself. If I want critical thought I have real friends to turn to. If I'm wrong they'll sure let me have it!

Besides my boys tell me my ego is plenty big enough it doesn't need any "feeding".
 x_file
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 14
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/16/2008 9:29:49 PM



Does anyone know of any resource that possibly combines a bit of philosophy and psychology in trying to analyze oneself?




A while back some psychologists pointed out that philosophical concepts can be psycho-analyzed. The philosophers said, "Yes, but with principles we gave you".

Btw, you already have the best resource. That would be yourself. Look into meditation.

This link is priceless:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ARftLEL0Aag
 Guy Named Ray
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 15
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/16/2008 9:36:33 PM
Does anyone know of any resource that possibly combines a bit of philosophy and psychology in trying to analyze oneself?

Awareness by Anthony de Mello.
 Merrylass
Joined: 12/30/2007
Msg: 16
view profile
History
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/20/2008 6:37:37 AM

I fear the truth as I see it may be skewed.


It absolutely is and there's not a thing you can do about that. Everything you think is, by definition, subjective.


That instability in me bothers me a lot. It's a bit like having no foundation or rock to stand on. I guess I could just let it go and live without that, but I know I'd feel so much better and accomplish more in life if I have some sort of foundation. I guess I'm looking for a way to provide myself with a bit of mental security, but I don't want to attempt to build upon a false security.


You are on an impossible quest if you seek this from outside. You're looking for something absolute and nothing is absolute. What you need to do is develop your own set of assumptions and beliefs and then stick by them. You should re-examine them periodically, especially when you learn something new, but what you need to hold on to is your own set of principles. You can pick and choose from among the ones you see and admire and then adopt them as your own. There is no absolute 'right' in this, and you'll waste a whole life looking for it.


Now, looking at that, do I see myself that way? I don't think so, but maybe I need another opinion. I only dig my heels in against someone when it's to a point where I've been placed into a dangerous situation or after giving and giving, the person is still trying
to take more. When I think I'm nearly handing over my entire life or something I think is more core to my being, I feel devalued. Now, that's a feeling and not actual truth, so then I'm basing my action on a feeling, which makes no sense.


That's all you have. You can check with others to see if your feeling seems valid or if it has been affected by past experience, etc. but you have nothing solid to go on otherwise. Remember, even a 'fact' is an abstract concept.


That means then that there is something in me that causes me to ultimately feel devalued, and maybe I'm not playing nice to avoid that?


It would be better if you would just describe what's going on. It's hard to guess. It sounds like your ex is criticising you for perhaps not being agreeable enough or cooperative enough because you refused to follow all of his orders? Was he controlling? Is he blaming you for his flaws/misdeeds/whatever?


That would sort of make sense, because that could be the ex's motivation. He has a strong sense of guilt that he will do nearly anything to avoid confronting head on, though when a person actually does something really, really bad, shouldn't they feel guilty for it?


Perhaps they should but they may not - for a myriad of reasons, including that they may be sociopaths (apparently about 10% of people are!). They may also, as you note, use failure to feel guilt as a defence mechanism. You can't look to someone like that to be a true judge of you.


Should one feel guilty over not being "good enough" for something?


Says who you're not 'good enough'? And, no.

I think what you need to do is not try to explore all of psychology or philosophy but to look first into information about controlling people and possibly even emotional abuse and how it affects victims.

I think, too, you need to look at the psychology of influence and persuasion, which are part of social psych. Why do we believe what people say? There's a whole science built around how to convince people of things they wouldn't otherwise choose to believe. I think it sounds as though you've been manipulated into thinking ill of yourself and you need to read about how others manage to make people feel that way. I don't think the flaw is within you but rather that you have been a target of someone who has eroded your belief in yourself and you need to know how he did it.
 whenyer_strange
Joined: 4/10/2006
Msg: 17
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/20/2008 9:28:21 AM

I actually dislike the dale carnegie book. If I want to consciously soothe or manipulate someone then ok but who needs a manipulator or flatterer to hang around. If I make nice statements to someone it's because I MEAN what I am saying not just to make them like me do something nice for me. The whole bs of dale carnegie is why I am so disgusted with polititians, con men, and other mindless suckups. If I want to be told what I want to hear I'll talk to myself. If I want critical thought I have real friends to turn to. If I'm wrong they'll sure let me have it!
I didn't take that book to mean it in that light. My ex is one of those that likes to be all indignant over dumb things, and rather than nicely discussing things with people, he tries to "play hard ball" with them all. It gets him in all sorts of trouble, because he wants to prove he's better than everyone else. Where does that get him? Being an @ss accomplishes nothing but proving to the world that one is an @ss. If one can empathize with other's position, then people are more receptive to what the person is trying to accomplish.


The first thing you have to do, I think, is figure out exactly what you are trying to "ask"!
I quite agree. That's what leads me to digging usually. What I'm attempting to find out is:
Is there some flaw in my personality that makes me unable to reason to some truthful conclusion that is based in reality and not perspective?

To find that, I think I need a solid definition of reality, truth, and perception. I think I understand those fairly well, so then I need to look at my actions and what they were based on. In some cases where I see no "wrong action" occurring, I may receive criticism from a few others that would claim I have performed "wrong action," yet a far higher number of others claim I have performed "right action." I'm attempting to define this so that, if I have performed a "wrong action," I can make sure I don't do it again and hopefully align my perception more closely with truth and reality. If analysis proves that I have not performed "wrong action" and that my perception does align with what is true or real, then I will feel fairly confident in just ignoring that criticism.


Awareness by Anthony de Mello.
When I was first glancing at his and saw the mention of "sprituality," admittedly, I shied away thinking it was just another religious text telling me to hand everything over to a church. After looking at it a bit more, I think this could definitley be an interesting text. It's on my list.


Kant's solution of how to get to the truth the most compelling.
I've actually sat down and applied what I know of Kantian theory to my issue. With that, I've come up with a few minor flaws that aren't anything I ultimately need to panic about, but can tackle slowly when I am ready to fit that into what I'm doing. As far as I know, if I can Universalize my actions and it be ok that way, then my actions are ok.

Now, if I could just apply some of the things I know for deciding on which house to buy. :-( :-( I can weed out houses for one reason or another, but I can't look at one and say I prefer this one over all others.
 whenyer_strange
Joined: 4/10/2006
Msg: 18
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/20/2008 9:48:53 AM

It absolutely is and there's not a thing you can do about that. Everything you think is, by definition, subjective.
The thing is that a person can justify anything by merely stating it's subjective. If we took that idea and applied it to something larger, let's say the Holocaust for example, no amount of subjectiveness can justify that. Those who try are written off as delusional.


It's hard to guess. It sounds like your ex is criticising you for perhaps not being agreeable enough or cooperative enough because you refused to follow all of his orders?
In relation to him, you have hit the nail on the head. I'm digging into myself to make sure I'm not missing something. I already realize he'd literally sell his soul for sex, money, and power, and that he's using flimsy excuses to say the way he behaves is "natural." I'm just trying to make sure "my side of the street is clean." I can't make him be any less of a jerk, but I can make sure that I don't fall into the delusion pit that he has.

Also, I see such self analysis as helping in future relationships. I don't want to discover 5 relationships down that line that I've been seeing things incorrectly for ages. A little self-awareness can save a lot of agony and give me a more solid footing so I don't fall into the same trap again.
 whenyer_strange
Joined: 4/10/2006
Msg: 19
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/20/2008 9:52:41 PM

handing "everything over to a church,
When I was married in a Catholic church, since I was marrying one of those "terrible heathens," a Methodist ;-), I had to sign papers saying the kids would be raised as Catholic. During that I tried to convince them that they should take my old, very used iguana, since I'm convinced he spends all day praying anyway, but they wouldn't have him. Even after I told them that he's a very holy iguana. (That's a bit literal too....he's had a lot of surgeries to keep him together.)
 whenyer_strange
Joined: 4/10/2006
Msg: 20
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/21/2008 11:20:02 AM
Now the Kantian story is only one of a number. I think I tend to ascribe most to this way of reasoning.

Being that psychology, sociology, and philosophy are all interesting to me, I don't really mind reading items that don't necessarily fit the exact scope of my issue. But, yes, I would probably have my answer faster by just narrowing down to one tool to apply. With the tools I have currently available to me, I come out with answers that suggest that I have followed some appropriate moral guidelines and that anything I feel about my past actions psychologically is very justified. But then, I wonder if there is under any system that I could be very wrong in. If Kant was all the world ever needed, then I would think no other model would be considered?
 Guy Named Ray
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 21
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 4/22/2008 10:29:28 AM
Philosophy: the love of wisdom (i.e knowledge).
Psychology: the study of the mind.
Answers: the knowledge of one's own mind.
 SherryG
Joined: 11/28/2008
Msg: 22
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 12/16/2008 2:33:47 PM
There are new age woman authors...Judith Orloff...Ann Wilson..co-dependency books..addiction books..one of my favorite I think it is an addictive society..something like that...woman authors are going into new areas of self exploration...

For instance many times I say things I shouldn't..no I don't want to hurt anybody else..but we all have our different experiences in life and different perceptions..
boundries...I always liked this there is a place where I began you and end..
Intuition is real..it is that little voice that says take your unbrella it is gonna rain..it usually does..
Us woman have really had a hard time..we have ben raised to be care-takers and pleasers...then the end of a womans life she is full of contempt(don't wanna be like that)
...intelligent men have their hard times too.
Just because it is a woman author doesn't mean it is just for women...women are really starting to make a contribution to our societies now!
the connection of the yin and yang was a crucial beginnings for me. (still working on it)
Our society feeds on lies...brainwashing et..through tv..sex..hating a job ..you name it!
Knowledge is always a struggle.....
 F00L
Joined: 9/10/2008
Msg: 23
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 12/16/2008 5:43:55 PM
I've only skimmed the thread but I haven't seen much hard core existentialism suggested as far as Philosophy.

Sarte, Camus, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Tillich, Heidegger, or even more authorial types like Kafka or Dostoevsky. Each has their own particular interests but all of them tackle the idea of the person as existing in the world.

I happen to be currently reading Camus who discusses the possible worth of life even without a God or higher purpose then simply existing.


<div class="quote">Philosophy is the study of ethics, metaphysics, truth and reasoning or logic.

That's a terribly limited definition of Philosophy.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 24
view profile
History
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 12/16/2008 6:00:23 PM
I found this thread again, and I had a re-think about this.

I have spent many years questioning how I view things. I have a preference for finding what it true rather than what is perception, because I don't want to live my life in a bunch of false perceptions. I have met people who do. Something deep down tells me that being ok with oneself is not enough. There are people in the world who do amazingly rotten things to others and at the same time are ok with themselves and see themselves as good people. I would say those fall under the "ignorance is bliss" category.
If I read you right, you are a person who continually questions if they are doing the right thing, and that you are asking if there is any way to eliminate that questioning, and just to enjoy life.

There are 2 separate questions here, and I will address them both separately.

1) Is there any way to not continually question your actions and still be a good person?

I was bothered by this question in my teens and I put it to a friend. He answered me with a story, that when he was studying for a job that required a lot of responsibility, he went to his teacher and told him that he didn't want to take the final exams, as he was afraid that if he passed the exams and took that job, that he might make an error, and cause much harm. His teacher told him that he was exactly the sort of person who should take the exam. The others in his class who weren't worried about doing the right thing, wouldn't put their all into ensuring that they did things right, and so, would be likely to make mistakes that could cost others. However, as he was worried about doing the right thing, he would always put every effort to do things right, and so would be likely to make the least mistakes possible, and if he did make a mistake, would take the proper efforts to correct it.

In my years since, I've met many people who did much harm to others, and one consistent behaviour was that they never questioned their actions. I've also read authors who pointed out that serial killers and dictators had one thing in common, that they always believed that they were doing the best for humanity. It therefore seems to me that the only thing that stops us turning into such abhorrent people, is that we regularly question our actions, both in the past, and in the future. Only by doing that, do we take matters seriously enough to make the proper efforts to ensure that we do not harm others, and where we realise that we have harmed others, even unintentionally, we try to make amends. Without that effort and consideration, we tend to get lazy, and so we stop asking, keep doing, and one day, do something incredibly harmful.

I am not perfect. Even with the best of efforts, I will still end up doing some harmful things. But as long as I am vigilant to keep an eye on my behaviour, I have a very good chance of minimising my harm, and of maximising my good efforts, so that the good to others is far greater than the harm that I do.

2) Is there any way to stop this continual worrying about my actions stopping me from enjoying my life?

I was bothered by this question for many years too, and only recently, started to find solid answers. But what I found, surprised me. I found that even when I managed to control my worrying about others to a very reasonable level, that didn't affect my enjoyment of life in any way, I still found that I worried about other things. It seemed that worrying had become a habit to me.

I later learned that worrying can be controlled, and that even if you think about your actions, and many other things, that it is very possible to consider all sorts of things, and still be happy, and even be more happy due to that consideration. I slowly learned that the lack of enjoyment I experienced due to my worring about causing possible harm, had nothing to do with that consideration, but was a result of me not being able to get my worries under control. In other words, I suffered from ANXIETY.

I soon learned that there were possible avenues that might help. I've pursued self-help books and therapy. Some worked exceptionally well. But what I found, was that the thoughts that underlie such anxiety, and without which, such anxiety cannot exist, are found in almost every part of the society in which we live. I realised that we are taught some very damaging and harmful messages about life, and about how to deal with life, that cause many of us to feel unhappy when we think a lot about things.

But the reality is that there are many views and methods that teach us how to deal with worry, and how to enjoy life without letting worry crowd our life.

One such idea is Perfectionism. There is a tendency in our society for us to be educated to expect that there is always a perfect way to do things, and that things can only be measured according to this perfect standard, as a type of all-or-nothing thinking. Either you win, or you lose. Either you get pass, or fail. Either you succeed, or end in miserable failure.

That perfect way is very, very difficult to achieve, and paradoxically, by expecting that we should be able to achieve this, we see how we almost never achieve such a perfect standard, and so we always regard ourselves as always being a failure, or a loser, or a bad person. This makes us think we can never succeed, and never be a good person. It takes away our motivation to even try. That lack of effort brings us farther away from our goals, which makes us think even more that we cannot succeed. This repeats in us, more and more, as a self-repeating pattern, that grows and grows.

However, we know that perfection is really not achievable most of the time, and is not really necessary. No-one needs you to be a saint, and can quite happily accept that sometimes you will be imperfect. What people need, is to know that most of the time, you won't hurt them a lot, and when you do, that you'll try and make amends. The rest, is so small, that almost everyone can handle it, and the benefits are so great, that the rest is insignificant by comparison.

In addition, most people don't want you to try to be a saint. They know that it takes an awful lot of effort, and they don't want you to spend your whole life just making yourself be a miserable saint, rather than being a good person with a good life. They would feel guilty that they have robbed you of your happiness, just for something that they can quite easily overlook, and probably don't care about 90% of the time, anyway. So most people would rather you NOT be a perfectionist in how you treat people.

In addition, you actually are LESS good to people if you ARE a perfectionist, because the time you spent doing ONE thing perfectly right, you could have done 10 things reasonably well, that would, in reality, have made everyone much happier than if you did that one thing perfectly, because they didn't need it done perfectly anyway, and so wasn't that important to be done perfectly.

Once you realise that perfectionism isn't a good trait to have, not for you, and not for everyone else, you begin to realise that questioning everything you did, in every little way, is actually more harmful and less helpful, both to you, and to everyone else, than if you just gave it a little bit of thought, and then moved onto the next thing.

Now, this is ONE idea, that can make us feel very unhappy if we think about things. But when you look at just how much this idea of all-or-nothing thinking, this idea that you are either a winner or a loser, a saint or a sinner, is in our society, you realise just how much people get depressed because of this very idea.

Whileas, if you think about things, but keep it under control, and make sure that you limit your thoughts and your worries to only specific times, and you control when and how you worry, then you can worry about if you did the right thing, for maybe 10% of your time, and the other 90%, you can afford to not worry at all, and be as blissfully happy as can be. You simply put into action what you concluded during that 10% of your time into the other 90%, knowing full well that because during that 10%, you gave it your all to find the best solutions to your problems, you have found the best solutions that most people would do, and you almost certainly won't gain any new insight during thinking about these problems during the other 90% of your life. So you can rest easy, doing the 90%, knowing that you are implementing the best solutions you could possibly hope to have, and only using 10% of your life to do so.

The problem is that I can't even seem to make myself just turn off my brain and fall into the same "ignorance is bliss" category.
"Ignorance is NOT bliss". Ask any alcoholic. They are blissfully ignorant. So are all the obese people who never found out what healthy food is. Diabetes, heart disease, are these "bliss"?

Ignorance is bliss, when there is nothing that you would do different, if you knew the facts anyway. For instance, I am sure that the vast majority of Brits were blissfully unaware during the Cold War in the 1980s, that the government's instructions on what to do in case of a nuclear bomb, would have no effect whatsoever. I, however, had studied nuclear science as a child, so I knew that there was no point in hiding behind a wooden door, with plastic bags on either side. But I never worried about that, because there was little I could do to stop a nuclear bomb, apart from moving to the sea, which was not realistic for me, and I knew that being in London, the most likely target, would mean that I was probably in the blast area, and so if a bomb hit, I would die instantly, and not have to suffer a long and painful drawn-out death. However, what most helped me, was the knowledge that if Russia attacked the UK with a nuclear bomb, that we would retaliate, and they would suffer equal damage, so they would be likely to avoid shooting us at all cost, because shooting us was like shooting themselves.

In reality, what is true, is that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". A little knowledge, usually gives you a false and misleading picture, but gives you an impression that you do know the subject, and that leads you to act on it, when you have a false view, and that leads you into danger, or melancholy. Far better, is that if you learn about a subject, to cover it more fully, so that you have a good perspective.

I also do not see religion as helping a person truly see themselves for who they really are. I have actually spent time seriously digging for my answers inside of religion or faith, and the answers I seek just aren't there. It doesn't seriously dig into more details of behavior and perception.
Again, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". There are millions of books written about every aspect of life, philosohpy, theology, and much more, in religious works, and there are literally thousands of different views on each topic, when you consider all the religions. I spend 4 1/2 years studying 10 hours a day, and I know I barely plumbed the depths of one religion, and maybe read a 1/10,000th of the books that are out there, that are worth reading, and I was educated on tremendous details of behaviour, perception, psychology, philosophy, and much, much more. So when you say "It doesn't seriously dig into more details of behavior and perception", I have to question that.

I suggest that if you stick to listening to the words of the local minister, you aren't going to get much depth, because a local minister's job is to deal with simple people, dealing with very complex problems. He LIVES depth, by taking complex sociological and philosophical problems, and making them simple enough that the most ordinary of parishoners can understand. But if you want a truly more erudite answer, one must search out the religious libraries and halls of study, where religious scholars deal with such issues in great depth, and where you can read the books of the masters.

I have seen whole books devoted to The Prayer of St Thomas of Aquinas. It is a very simple prayer, and yet others have seen depths in it way beyond my imagination, and some of these are not religious people at all.

I'm not telling you what to do. I'm simply suggesting that religious books that touch on subjects you like, MIGHT have a lot more to offer than many might imagine.

I can understand the thing of try to be a good person, don't murder, etc, etc, but I just have met too many others who refuse to see the little things they do that hurt others. Their church has said they are good people, and they refuse to dig deeper.
That is because most of those people are not planning to make any efforts to change. One of the greatest Rabbis the world has known in over 2000 years, Rav, once met a man who asked if his workers were doing the right thing, and Rav said no. The man immediately went off to stop his workers and then came back and asked what the man should do to sort the matter out. Rav said that in all his years, he'd never seen such a man, and Rav was the spiritual leader of millions of Jews, and regularly taught to thousands of pupils who were all seriously devoted to doing the right thing. Most people are far from doing the right thing, even in the greatest of moral institutions, let alone the average community.

I grew up in an area that was so conservative, that every Rabbi who spoke out against the actions of the community, were pushed to be thrown out, and the only one who was accepted, was so diplomatic about things, that it would be incredibly difficult for you to get him to tell you that anything was wrong. That Rabbi was just being reasonable, and of all the Rabbis who served there, he formed the greatest harmony and the greatest social changes in the community, because he fostered a good feeling about the community, that made people feel good about doing what the Rabbi said. He didn't demand much, but praised much, and so the people felt good, and did more than they were asked.

The ministers of the church have a similar problem in our society. Our society's values are not demanding that we question our actions. We are told that there is nothing wrong with many things, but never once are the consequences of our actions stressed. We are told that rape is wrong, but to get to rape, you have to do a lot of questionable things first, and by the time you've got there, you're on a roll, which is very difficult to stop. The same is true of murder, of robbery, and of many other crimes. Our society stresses the serious crimes. But it is the little things that build up over time, that take you to the serious crimes, and it is often very difficult to turn back once you are there, because the step back is faced with thousands of little things pushing you into that crime. The simplest way is to look after the little things and never go down that road in the first place. But in so many ways, our society is telling us to do those "little things", and that makes things very difficult for anyone who is trying to help us.

Ultimately you can blame the church for much, and I am sure that it is very easy to do. I would love to blame my society for the ills that befell me, and I used to, until I realised that I just wasn't being realistic. No-one intended to harm me a lot. It is just that each one put a little bit on me, and there was nothing telling them not to, and much telling them to do that, and the sum of all those little bits were very big, and very harmful.

It's really quite difficult to force people to question themselves in an atmosphere that seems to be encouraging people to get involved in drink, sex, video games, exercise, anything that takes away from introspection and analysis of the self. That might make the people at the top feel bad, and they don't want that.

I have also dug into philosophy.
I'm reading Isiah Berlin at the moment, and he's got a lot to say about morality, that is very complex, and very interesting. He also gives a great synopsis of many of the ideas through history. Very interesting reading.

I have dug into psychology.
CBT was the thing that sorted me out about perfectionism, and all-or-nothing thinking. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Does anyone know of any resource that possibly combines a bit of philosophy and psychology in trying to analyze oneself?
Yes, and I will say it again. Dale Carnegie. I've read 2 of his books, "How to win friends and influence people", and "How to stop worrying and start living". They both have so much to give. But fundamentally, the most important part of both books is the chapter in the Preface entitled "Nine suggestions on How to Get the Most our of This Book", which is the same in both. Point 8 is one that Benjamin Franklin did, so it's in good stead. But more importantly, the benefits of the books are only gained by regular application, which can equally by gained by following those 9 suggestions. To be honest, those 9 suggestions are great for just about anything you care to gain benefit from.

By the by, Dale Carnegie's book on "How to win friends and influence people" are not really about manipulation. It's just that sales used to be a job that meant that you tried to get a good product on the market, and so you had to "sell yourself", by simply defusing people's natural defensiveness to new and unfamiliar ideas. Similarly, everyone used to say that you had to "win" friends in the 30s, but what they really meant was that you had to have "social skills" to win people over to be your friends. That is all the book is about, how to "sell yourself", how to get people to hear your honest and fair ideas, and consider your honest and fair suggestions, without rejecting them immediately, and how to conduct yourself with others, that makes everyone like you, without having to be false, and without compromising your principles.

However, in the time between the first publication of his book, and now, these ideas have come to mean a very different thing, in our "dog-eat-dog", "anything goes", society, where morality is something that is optional, and where "winning friends and influencing people", and the whole field of sales, is now considered to be anyone trying to get you to buy something less than worthless, or trying to trick you into bed. We are suspicious of others who do this, because we see how many immoral people there are in our time who do this. However, in the 1930s, when this book was first published, it was the time of those old black-and-white films, where the only bad people were gangsters, and when everyone left their doors open, and you didn't worry about paedophiles, or robbers, or rapists. That is the time and the view of when the book was written, and is why the book was written with such a title. In Dale Carnegie's day, "influencing people" was a good thing, because it would have meant that you were trying to influence your brother to get up out of bed and look for a job, when he had been sacked from his job, and thought he had no chance at another, and other good things.

Actually, Dale Carnegie's suggestions are the very opposite of what he calls manipulation. He regards flattery as the lowest means of gaining friends, and advises never using it at all. His suggestion is that you should compliment people about what is true about them instead. He tells people to smile, to become interested in others, to listen, to talk about their interests and not your own. How is this not good? Even one therapist told us that all of sociality, what we call "social skills", is contained in that one book.

Moreover, Carnegie doesn't just stop at giving advice. Oh, no. He describes a sort of philosophy and psychology of human behaviour, which he explains, with numerous cases. Most of the book is just real-life stories of real-life events, showing how people reacted in response to various methods of behaviour, including the methods he recommends. So it is also a book that covers both philosophy and psychology. I realised on my third read, that if you read his book like a textbook on psychology, it works equally well, and the ideas he discusses, can be applied in what seems to me to be 99% of human interaction at the least.

But I would also heartily recommend "How to stop worrying and start living", as this book has over 50 different ways to reduce worrying and enjoy life, if you include the anecdotes. Each of these ways is worthy of an entire book in themselves. The first chapter alone had been said to me in at least 5 different ways by people. But the advantage of this book, is not the knowledge, for even Dale Carnegie says that what he says is known by many. It is that it is collected in one book, and that it comes with many rousing stories, and that, above all, Dale Carnegie suggests to put it into practice. This book has been a major help to me in eliminating anxiety from my life, and I keep it close. Every day that I have read a few pages from it, people have said that I am much more relaxed, engaging, easy to talk to, and a real joy to be with, and the only common thing on those days was that I had read a few pages from that book, a little before I met those people. So I think that there is something about this book, that is well worth reading for anyone who has worries that crowd their life.

His other books, I cannot say, as I have not read them. But they are on my list of books to buy. If they are 1/10th as good as these, they are well worth the price.

When looking at your own actions or how you see things, what kind of tools do you use?
I use intellectual tools that I have gained. One is lateral thinking. For instance, thinking, what would someone else do? How would an African see the situation? I do this, because I quickly realise, that my own perspective is one of many, and is very often not showing half of what is there. But this is only one tool, albeit a powerful one. The main point I have learned, is that every philosopher, every self-help guru, every piece of advice, contains a tool, to be used in my thoughts, to find answers. It is up to me to remember them, to write them down in a list, and to run through them at every opportunity, so that I may gain from them. Stephen R Covey writes that he has over 30 incredibly powerful tools, so I gather there are a lot. Just have to read them, write them down somewhere, and put them into practise wherever possible.

What has happened is I have something in my past where I'm fairly certain that I have the right perception of what happened. I have dug and dug into how I deal with things. Some things I can see where I did something wrong, but there are many others where I don't see myself as having done something wrong. Every resource I've consulted has said I am correct. I have a small handful of people who are saying I'm incorrect. Somewhere in here is the truth, and that is what I am searching for, and it will take picking myself apart pretty well I think to find it. I am just out of ideas and still have no real answer.
Maybe you're digging too hard. Sometimes, you have to stop thinking about something, and let your subconscious sort it out, and only come back to it in a few weeks, or a few months, and the answers are there for you to see.

If I push this out of my mind, then I risk history repeating itself.
I can see that. But surely you have put much effort into this already, so the answers are not going to be easy, and if they come from you, they will take much effort, and if they come from others, they will take much effort to understand. However, if I pressure yourself a lot, then I find that I impair my thinking. Considering that this is not an easy answer you seek, that might be sabotaging your own efforts.

So, although I could suggest many things, I would suggest first and foremost to relax. Somehow, I get my best answers when I am relaxed, and the worst, when I am tense. Maybe you are like that too.

I would also suggest that often, I have to follow a very strange path to get to the answers I seek, a bit like Alice following the White Rabbit. Sometimes, I need to learn many things to understand the answer. But I know that I have to open myself to find the answers, for I don't know behind which door the answer exists, only what doors cannot have the answers.

Those doors which lack the answers, are only lacking, because those who guard them, are people who don't want them, people who believe and act that "ignorance is bliss". I have followed those doors many times, and every time, the answers they had, made no sense. Even if they were what I found elsewhere, the way they were written, they meant something entirely different, that wasn't helpful at all.

But I did find one thing that might help you: I found that the first place to look, was in the books everyone else read, and if the answers weren't there, then I had to look at the books that no-one read, because they hold those precious gems of wisdom that 99% of people don't read, and 99% of people don't know. So I look in second-hand bookshops, and read stuff that no-one else seems to read, like Dale Carnegie. Hardly anyone reads him here in the UK. Yet he had gems of wisdom that are sorely lacking in our world. I suggest that you look for similarly hidden authors of the subjects you are interested in. Very worthwhile.
 x_file
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 25
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 12/19/2008 7:44:30 AM

To me, philosophy and psychology investigate into very different things. One deals with reasoning, logic questions, and the other deals with the inner workings of the mind (or rather, the study of behaviors that have meaningful implications on the working of the mind).


Try a Google search for "philosophy of mind".

Philosophy has studied the mind much, much, longer than psychology has. Psychology compared to philosophy, in regards to the study of the mind, is the new kid on the block. Both disciplines study the mind. Psychology studies the mind, to many people's surprise, more scientifically - psychologist actually do experiments to test various hypothesis using the scientific method - a method given to science, ironically, by philosophy.

Logic, as done in philosophy, serious philosophy, contrary to popular belief, has little to do with ordinary logic. That is because serious philosophy in its essence is reflection - also know as meditation, contemplation, pondering, wondering, day-dreaming, deep thought, stilling of the mind, disconnecting from the senses, "getting in touch with oneself", "becoming one", "turning of the mind's eye inwards" etc..

It's not an accident that one of Descartes' works is called "The Meditations".
 x_file
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 26
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 12/19/2008 9:47:04 PM


If you broaden your studies, there are philosophers who also deals with matters of aesthetics, existence, ethics, logic, politics - all of which doesn't even touch the study of the psych.


Before I dedicate any time in showing the connections between the subjects you have listed, and how the study of those subjects is really a study of the mind, I have a question. What's the connection between the soul and city as described in Plato's Republic?



I agree that philosophy has been in existence for much longer than psychology, but what's your point in bringing this up?


Simple. The study of the mind can be traced back to Plato - approx. 2500 years ago. Aristotle himself contemplated the nature of the mind, the intellect as he called it. And this is if one only considers western philosophy.



How did it relate to my point about the distinction between the two studies, exactly?


You said:



To me, philosophy and psychology investigate into very different things. One deals with reasoning, logic questions, and the other deals with the inner workings of the mind (or rather, the study of behaviors that have meaningful implications on the working of the mind).


Well for one, philosophy and psychology don't investigate into very different things. Psychology, roughly speaking, studies the mind. Philosophy studies the mind, and more.
The object of study is the same in both disciplines. They differ in their approach. Philosophers generally don't do experiments in their study of the mind - psychologists do.



Historically philosophy IN GENERAL began with the study of the principles of the universe, and even in philosophy the study of mind is a new field.


Philosophy of mind is a new field. The study of the mind in philosophy, however, has been going on for at least 2500 years.
 HappySingleSpirit
Joined: 9/10/2011
Msg: 27
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Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 1/2/2012 11:37:33 PM
Hi OP, I like your posts.


Does anyone know of any resource that possibly combines a bit of philosophy and psychology in trying to analyze oneself?

I would highly suggest existential or narrative therapy. These are post modern therapy forms that are quite different than other postmodern or modern (analytic) therapies. Very different in fact! And from the sense I get from reading your posts I think you would find it very useful and hopefully transformational. I am studying it right now.

If you can't afford therapy or want to first read about it look for literature on Michael White, or Freedman and Combs. The book I am reading for my class is called "The Social Construction Of Preferred Realities".
 nipoleon
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 28
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Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 1/31/2013 12:56:56 AM
Meaningful answers are found from asking simple questions.
If the answers come to easily, you're not asking the right questions.
 DameWrite
Joined: 2/27/2010
Msg: 29
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Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 1/31/2013 3:55:13 AM
Have you seen the film, The Fever with Vanessa Redgrave?

Anyway, I always feel better when I walk the walk knowing the ripple effect will be good as well.

No one is perfect but you can do your best...and then some.
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 30
Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 1/31/2013 4:28:26 PM

"He that increaseth his knowledge doth also increaseth his sorrow."
- Ecclesiastes 1:18

A good example of a false belief that has caused much suffering
 RussArtLover
Joined: 5/13/2010
Msg: 31
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Philosophy and psychology: How to find the answers
Posted: 2/2/2013 9:19:44 PM
There come times in your life on this monster planet that you have to stand up or get stood on. You'll know the time. The first time someone told me I was committing ritual cannibalism by taking communion I reached inside to a place as hot as the core of the sun and chilled. Philosophy is indeed the place to digress. From here each step forward is a work of art, for awhile. Try babysitting.
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