The Essence of Psychology

The Essence of Psychoanalysis Through Giants’ Minds

Over the weekend, and today, I felt like it would be an excellent idea to combine psychology, psychoanalysis, positive mental attitude (PMA), and stoicism in one post.

It should be noted that PMA Science, which is a combination of psychology, positive mental attitude (PMA), and Stoicism. Additionally, we can include psychoanalysis, other sciences of the mind, emotions revealed, and cycles under the PMA Science umbrella.

In this blog I would like to shed some light on some of the most interesting influences in Psychology, Psychiatry, Emotions Revealed and Psychoanalysis. These influencers’ wisdom closely aligns with PMA’s mindset and Stoicism’s wisdom philosophy.

Let’s dive in …

A remarkable symphony of the mind, mindset, micro-emotions and virtues.

It is said that the human mind is a grand symphony that never ceases to amaze. This symphony consists of both electrical and biological signals. However, in this post we are more likely to discuss conscious and subconscious thoughts and cognitive functions than chemical processes and psychological constructs.

This majestic neuro-symphony isn’t easy to understand to most common people, though through some of Giants’ Minds magnificent works such as Freud, Jung, Adler, and Ekman, their researched work gives us information and light to understand the melodies of the mind and we also have the harmony of Stoic wisdom, and the science of a positive attitude (PMA) to enlighten the mind, emotions and behavior of humans in a more easy to comprehend way. For instance, the Stoic philosopher Epictetus said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” This idea has been echoed by many psychologists and is foundational to PMA science.

Harmony in Discord: The Freudian Perspective

Freud was a fascinating guy who worked in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, and psychiatry, and gave us psychoanalysis.

Let’s dive into: Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, looked at the human mind as a large iceberg. Freud described the part of our brain that is above water as our conscious mind: that part of our mind that is aware of our thoughts and feelings. Below, the enormous subconscious holds our desires, memories, and experiences. As an example to better understand our behavior, Freud suggested that we must look to the mysterious depths of our subconscious, the giant iceberg beneath the surface of our conscious mind.

Imagining that the iceberg’s tip is the diligent secretary who meticulously organizes the information on the iceberg. (This iceberg’s tip is the frontal lobe and consciousness). Bellow, a vast unknown (subconscious) teems with boxes full of past events, primitive urges, and suppressed emotions as we battle the problems of the present. If a package shows up unattended, what will happen? What will happen if it arrives unattended? Neurosis, as described by Freud, is characterized by unexplained anxieties and fears. These fears lie in the subconscious mind and are often difficult to recognize. On the other hand, with a PMA mindset, we must see these boxes honestly as they are. This is rather than burying them in our minds because of a negative mental attitude. Please take note that here we are just describing the conscious and the sunconscious as Freud’s illustrations of the tip of the iceberg.

Casting Light on Shadows: The Jungian Perspective

Jung was another fascinating figure who worked in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, and psychiatry  as well. He understood the subconscious mind better than Frued, I must say after my research.

Let’s dive with Jung.

In contrast to the emphasis Freud placed on our past, Carl Jung, who was a disciple of Freud, put an emphasis on our future. He viewed the subconscious as a guide, filled with archetypes or universal symbols, designed to guide us towards self-realization through various archetypes. Furthermore, our ‘Shadow’, the parts of ourselves we don’t accept, can be explored and integrated in order to gain wisdom and gain insight. (Here is where PMA comes into play – if we know what we truly want, we can make and manage our subconscious in a direction to gain insight as Jung described in “Shadow”).

As at night when sailing, we might be afraid of the dark waters (our Shadow), like when we sail at night. As long as we understand that beneath our surface there lies a compass (our archetypes) that leads us to land (self-realization), it can foster a positive mental outcome and give us hope. Furthermore, by understanding our archetypes and the symbolism of the Shadow–which can be seen as our subconscious–we can learn to navigate our emotions and fears. This will give us the courage to move forward in our lives and reach our goals, even in the face of darkness and uncertainty.

Striving for Superiority: The Adlerian Angle

Having read Ichiro Kishimi’s writings, I was introduced to Adlerian psychology for the first time in June 2023. What a wonderful writer! Adlerian psychology is more in line with positive psychology and PMA mindset philosophy.

Adler took a different path than most of his contemporaries. Seeing us as artists, he saw our lives as blank canvases on which to paint our lives. According to his theory, we are driven to paint our masterpiece by a feeling of inferiority and achieving superiority is what drives us to paint. For instance, Adler believed that someone who felt inferior due to their height would strive to achieve superiority through academic success or excelling in a sport.

Imagine being incapable of regular gym training (inferiority) because you lack strength and discipline. Adler would say that the strength to discipline and fitness comes from within, that it is driven by the desire to view your health from the top (superiority) that drives one to train. Furthermore, a positive mental attitude (PMA) gives us another secret key that lies primarily in the fact that one should see challenges not as boulders blocking your path. Instead, you see challenges as mountains to climb and grow mentally. For instance, rather than feeling discouraged by a difficult workout, one would instead view it as a way to become stronger and more resilient.

Deciphering Emotions: Ekman’s Emotional Intelligence

In the Netflix series “Lie To Me”, I was thrilled to learn for the first time about microexpressions back in 2015 – which made me curious to read more about it. Currently, as I work in the health department with people with autism and other disabilities who cannot speak, I’m using this tool more and more. This tool is part of the PMA Science Toolset and is mentioned in my upcoming book “PMA Science of Psychology” which is scheduled for publication in early 2024.

Let’s dive into Dr. Ekman.

Paul Ekman, through his intense research into microexpressions, established the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) in order to code universal emotions. According to him, recognizing the emotions we are experiencing could help us better understand ourselves and build more successful relationships with others as a result of conscious recognition of these emotions. For instance, Ekman’s research suggests that recognizing anger in oneself can help one manage the emotion and prevent it from escalating into aggression.

Imagine you were watching a movie and you suddenly felt a wave of sadness that came out of nowhere. Ekman’s theory says that recognizing and understanding this emotion is one of the keys to controlling our emotional reactions, since we can control them. Here is where Stoicism fits better. The Stoics would suggest understanding emotions is something we can manage, and anything we can’t, just let it be. As a result, this type of understanding plays a vital part in cultivating a positive mental attitude and helps you become more motivated. For example, if someone says something that hurts your feelings, you can observe your emotions without overreacting.

Positive Mental Attitude: The Napoleon Hill Approach

PMA is something one can learn at an early age (or any age) when one knows what one really wants. When one does not know, one ends up like a ball, meaning anyone can kick you over.  Napoleon Hills’ books Think and Grow Rich and PMA Science of Success are excellent tools.

Let’s dive into Napoleon Hill briefly – the mind behind Think and Grow Rich.

It was Napoleon Hill who highlighted the importance of positive thinking in many of his works “especially” during the Great Depression of 1929, USA. As he put it in his book, “Think and Grow Rich” (1937), we are influenced by our thoughts and thus by our reality. Hill believed that thoughts create our reality, and if we focus on what we want in life and think positively, we can manifest it. He also believed that focusing on the bright side and eliminating negative thoughts and beliefs would lead to success and prosperity.

As Eric Micha’el Leventhal put it: “Thoughts don’t become things; thoughts ARE things.”

In Hill’s philosophy, negative thoughts are like weeds in the garden, while positive thoughts are like beautiful flowers that bloom from the inside out. An intentional effort to cultivate flowers and remove weeds can lead to the creation of a flourishing mental garden, symbolizing the success and fulfillment of a fulfilling life. For instance, each time a negative thought arises, one might replace it with a grateful thought. This can help cultivate a positive outlook on life.

Psychology Meets Stoicism

The Stoics, the grandfathers of positive mental attitude (PMA), positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and beyond. In my search to fix my economic failures, anxieties, and worries, and poor self-esteem, I was led to read personal development books such as those by Tony Robins, Bob Proctor, Jim Rhon and Napoleon Hills’ works and many others. I also read lots of psychology books, such as those mentioned above. However, the Stoics gave me the main fundamentals for harmony with 3 discipline principles (perception, action, and will) and 4 virtues (Wisdom, Courage, Justice, and Temperance). Most of my research and reading for a better life points to the wisdom of the stoic. I believe that if we could master the Stoic disciplines, the Stoic virtues, we could have a fantastic mind, body, soul, and life.

Let’s dive into it briefly with stoicism.

A number of Stoic philosophers, including Cleanthes, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius, advocated the control of perception over perception itself. It was their belief that even though we are not always able to control external events, we can always control how we react to them. They believed that by controlling our perception of events, we could maintain our inner peace and emotional equilibrium, regardless of external circumstances. They argued that this control over our own perceptions was the key to true freedom, since it allows us to remain in control of our own lives. For instance, we have no control over what others say or do, but we can choose how we react to it. By choosing to remain calm and level-headed, we can maintain our own sense of peace and freedom.

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Similarly to a surfer on a wave, life may push us toward chaos, but Stoicism teaches us to ride the wave and ride it to our advantage. Understanding how we can change and what we are unable to change is the bedrock of peace and positivity when we embrace the dichotomy of control. For instance, we cannot control the weather, other people’s opinions of us, or the results of our efforts. However, we can control our attitude towards them.

In Closing: Harmonious Integration

The worlds of psychology and stoicism are intertwined beautifully, like a double helix of wisdom. In psychology we learn from them how to observe our minds in the same way that Freudian secretaries, Jungian sailors, Adlerian artists, and Ekman observers observe their minds. In this way, Stoicism and PMA guide us to maintain a positive mental attitude, leading us to be Hill’s gardeners and stoic surfers, i.e. to be stoic thinkers.

By embracing these diverse psychological, psychoanalytic, and philosophical perspectives, we can create a fine symphony of self-realization, resilience, and fulfillment by harmonizing the conscious and subconscious minds. As we live our lives, we become conductors of them, orchestrating a harmonious composition of melodies that are conscious and subconscious at the same time.

The true essence of psychology is thus revealed as the guide to consciously living, with a smile that radiates confidence and a baton at the ready as we face life’s symphony with a confident expression.

If you have any comments or ideas about these topics, please let us know and share them with someone who may benefit from them.

Jay Pacheco

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