The Perennial Psychology: Additional Content
(Some stuff just wandered too far off the trail to be included in the book)
The below complements the book The Perennial Psychology: A Timeless Approach to Understanding Human Nature.
As it turns out, the book could have been even longer. Although alternate trails, such as the ones explored below, seemed compelling and very much worth exploring, it was easy to wind up going down some kind of rabbit-hole find emerging somewhere off-course. The below, then are alternate trails that weren't pursued at length in the book.
In the book, there's discussion of a "spiritual component" of human nature. This refers, basically, to "something" within us that isn't merely body and/or mind.
On this front, the book generally "argues by authority." That is, it basically lists lots of really smart and well-respected individuals who all claimed that yes, there is some kind of "spiritual" component of human nature.
This article takes a different approach. It doesn't appeal to authority. It appeals to our direct experience. It basically says, "If there's no spiritual component of human nature, how do you explain this? Or that? Or that? And so on (about 47 more times.)
As it explains, this isn't really intended as "proof," but points toward the "most likely explanation."
Meaninglessness was touched on in the book, but not explored in depth. This article explores the origins of the problem - basically, "Te Death of God" (and at least 15 or so very tangible consequences of it, reviewed here, one of with is the popularity of "Soft Nihilism.") It also hints at a solution - basically, in a nutshell, "No-Nonsense Spirituality," which can sometimes be explored as contemplative or "Experiential Spirituality."
There seems to be some kind of law: no principle, advice, or pithy insight is so good that we can't screw it up. "Follow your advice" could be good advice. This article explores how it isn't - at least, as some understand and apply it.
This article, though, for brevity's sake, doesn't delve much into what to do instead.
Our short answer for "what to do instead," with the book in mind, is basically along these lines. There's a spiritual component of human nature. We can call it "conscience." ("Conscience" isn't the ideal word, as it's often associated with joyless, moralistic finger-wagging, but that's not how it's meant here. It's something much more positive and inspiring.) Anyway, the idea is to seek to "follow" that. Along with that comes objective (not merely subjective) and corrective checks-and-balances that help with avoiding self-absorption, narcissism, and solipsism. This approach doesn't "follow heart" by rejecting mind. It points toward something deeper (and higher) than both ordinary heart and ordinary mind, but that incorporates and encompasses both.
In a nutshell: don't "follow your heart." Follow your conscience."
The basic idea behind the "unconscious" (or "subconscious") is this: There are parts of ourselves that we aren't aware of.
The more we think about this idea, the stranger it can seem.
If it’s really “me,” shouldn’t I be aware of it? If I’m not aware of it, is it really “me”? Once I become aware of it, then it’s not really “unconscious” anymore, right?
It’s easy to tie ourselves in pretzel-yoga knots thinking about all this. But luckily, we've been hard at work exploring the topic, trying to make sense of things, and hunting for clarity.
So, what lies in the deepest of the deep in ourselves? See here.
More content will likely appear here as developments ensue.