Psychology

 

"Through the culture of the centuries we have become accustomed, because of  recognising only the duality of good and evil, to speak, on the one hand, of the soul element, on the other, of the bodily or corporeal element, and we have lost the connection between the thoughts which relate us to the soul-spiritual element and the thoughts which relate us to the bodily element. Thinking, willing, feeling are little more than sounding words to people of the present day; and this is particularly true of modern psychology that is taught in our universities. It does not arrive at real inner conceptions of the soul element, filled with content.

    On the other hand, people speak of the de-spiritualised material element, devoid of soul, and they hammer, as it were, at this external, rigid, stony-hard, soulless material element and are unable to build a bridge from it to the soul.

    The all-pervading spiritual and the corporeal which is at the same time spiritual have fallen apart into two elements. Mere theories will not build a bridge between the bodily and the spiritual. And since this is not possible, all scientific thinking has taken on the character of a schism between the bodily and the spirit or soul element. We might express it thus: on the one hand, the various creeds have resorted to pointing to the spiritual element without being in a position to show how this spiritual element takes hold of the bodily-corporeal element; on the other hand, a soulless knowledge, a soulless observation of the body is unable to look through the bodily processes and perceive the spirit-soul element governing them".

Rudolf Steiner, Lecture November 22, 1919.

 COMMENTARY

As with all other subjects within the university curriculum, if psychology studies proceed purely intellectually, then no real understanding of the constitution of the human being can ensue. Psychology - the science of the inner human being - is a key subject in a humanised university which brings the human being to the fore and does not develop all knowledge abstractly. The feeling faculty becomes cognitive feeling; the will cognitive will. When the whole human being is involved in the thinking process, then the bridge is found between the body and the spirit. 

  

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