Manual Hatha Yoga: The Philosophy of Physical Well Being (The Yogi Ramacharaka Suite Book 3)

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The Scholastics were particularly interested in the question of the Soul in the totality of existence. During the last half century, however, Psycholpgy has separated itself from Philosophy and become a more or less self-contained study of psycho-physics, or mental dependence on nervous structures on the one hand and the inner awareness of individuals on the other. Its relation to Logic and Ethics is found in the fact that whereas Logic shows us the fixed laws of thought and Ethics the standards of conduct-. Psychology deals with all thinking. It is related to Philosophy in so far as the psychologist has to make certain decisions concerning the nature of environment and the reality of the physical world which the individual is experiencing.

Certain practical assumptions have to be made, which PhHosophy would be entitled to question. The student is rather apt to shy away from the systematic study of Psychology, because of the apparent contradictions which he meets with immediately he starts to examine the subject seriously from the academic angle. Psychology as a science is apt to be compared un- favourably with Chemistry and Mathematics, which are exact sciences, in which there is only one correct answer to any question.

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There are therefore a number of different schools, most of which not only conflict, but dispute. Some of them are optimistic enough to believe that theirs is the only true doctrine, a kind of faith once and for all time delivered unto themselves for safe keeping. For instance, one group may be interested in persons and their behaviour, another in the mechanism of awareness.

Each will have a differing set of technical terms, but each will use the terms of the other school where the need arises. One of the first things for the student to remember, therefore, is that an understanding of all the different schools is important in Psychology. Crichton-Miller, M. This intolerance militates against any rational synthesis of the theories and doctrines concerned, and it is hoped that a more conciliatory spirit will manifest itself in the near future.

Sprott, M. It is probably more important to be an eclectic psychologist than an eclectic philosopher. This chapter on General Psychology may therefore be helpful in an outline of metaphysics. These schools are interested in urges, desires, ''instincts''. The second branch is objective and deals with the mechanism of consciousness and the reactions made by persons, rather than the urges which cause those persons to react.

There are two main schools of this type: 1 Behaviourists, who are interested in nerve-paths and "conditioned reflexes". A third school is rapidly developing scientific status, namely the Para- psychologists such as J. It deals with individual experience itself, apart from the object of experience. It is concerned with what goes on in the mind when it experiences some- thing, B Objective Psychology.

This is the type which approximates most closely to exact science. It deals chiefly with physiology and anatomy. Watson is the leader of the Behaviourist School. It is avowedly materialistic and tries to explain all mental activity in terms of nervous reflexes.

Table of contents

The Gestalt schools explain it in terms of behavioural patterns. C Comparative, or Animal, Psychology. This attempts to co-ordinate knowledge of nervous systems of living organisms from protozoa to higher animals. It is impossible to use the introspective method in dealing with animals or with organisms not on the self-conscious level and able to converse inteUigentiy.

The question of reasoning versus automatic reflexes in animals has been examined by Comparative Psychology. D Human Psychology. Social, which deals with crowds, classes, etc. Ethnic, which deals with races and nations. E Abnormal Psychology, the study of insanity, mental deficiency, etc.

F Parapsychology, the study of extra-sensory perceptions and states of mind beyond the range of the five senses. G Applied Psychology.

Embodied Consciousness

This is supplementary to the headings above, which are "Pure" Psychology, with the exception of General Psychology, which might include Applied Psychology. Cognition relates to presentation of an object or a situation. Sensuous feeling is called "hedonic''. Artistic, emotional feeling will be "aesthetic". Feehng may be either pleasure or unpleasure. The term "pain" is to be avoided as an opposite of pleasure, because in abnormal psychology pain is sometimes found to be a pleasurable feeling, and sought after.

Feeling is the reaction to the object in the situation presented. This is an inner striving to continue or discontinue an experience which produces a pleasurable or unpleasurable sensation — the tendency to maintain or change the existing state being experienced. Conation implies some sort of purposive activity, either conscious volition or unconscious inclination. There are three qualities in the interaction of experiences: 1 Conservation, the power of the mind to conserve, or build in experiences passed through; 2 Cohesion, the power to link up and associate experiences with one another; 3 Selection, the tendency to emphasize certain experiences.

Watson, as men- tioned previously, is the leader of the Behaviourist School. Behaviourism This is physiological. There is an interdependence in the collective organism called a human being. The organism could not function without an integrating human factor, but the latter would have no meaning or purpose without the former. A body without a mind is a corpse, even though all the nervous tissue is preserved intact.

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Behaviourists attempt to explain all consciousness in terms of reflexes. They have proved that repeated stimuli produce conditioned reflexes and that changes produce modifications. They try to explain all complex activity in these terms, and give the impression of trying to make the phenomena fit their theories. Although reflexes are shown to accompany all con- scious and subconscious activity, it is obviously absurd to account for the total activity in that way.

The human mind is able to modify these reflexes so considerably that it becomes an extravagance of rationaliza- tion to explain Reason in such terms. In this sense behaviourism seems to be an attempt to cling to a mechanistic habit of mind. Physiological psychology deals with the cellular structures of the body by which consciousness is given physical effect. This is its legitimate sphere, and students of metaphysics should be acquainted with the main facts. The human body consists of cells and their products. A cell is a portion of living substance usually enclosed by a membrane.

The lowest forms of animal life are unicellular, called protozoa. An example is the Amoeba, which reproduces itself by binary fission, i. Cells react to stimuli of light, contact, temperature, electricity and chemical substances. More advanced forms are multi-ceUular metazoa. They are the result of progressive division. Complex organisms become integrated wholes, in which, even though the several parts may be analysed and measured, the total activity contains a plus quantity over above the sum of all the parts.

Behaviourism, being materialistic, has neither the desire nor ability to explain this mysterious addition sum in which two plus two, when combined and integrated in one pattern, are found to equal something like 4I instead of 4.

Parent topics

It remains for metaphysics to explain it in metapsychological terms. Epithelial tissue forms skin, membranes and cavities. A modified form comprises certain glands with secretions. Connective tissue, such as tendons, attach muscles to bones. Bones are the result of salts becoming deposited in connective tissue. Muscular tissue makes movement of bodies and limbs possible, and the expansion and contraction of various organs.

Nervous tissue. Neurons are placed with the axon of one in contact with the dendrite of the next. Nerve currents passing the S3niapse come up against a tendency called ''s3m.