The soul governed

Rhodri Hayward

in Resisting History

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780719074141
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700778 | DOI:
The soul governed

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Both mysticism and the new psychology are techniques for transforming hidden, introspective knowledge into public language. The mystics had communicated the inner presence of the divine through the body. In the new psychology of religion, the sacred—which had once stood outside the individual—was relocated within the field of memory. The new psychologists tried to reveal the lost or subliminal inner life of man, but in place of hidden processes of growth and ideas obscured from the waking consciousness, the new psychologists substituted a body of knowledge constructed through statistical techniques and experimental investigation. The new psychology based its appeal to pedagogy on a presentation of the child as a complex of historical forces demanding expert interpretation and control. The most straightforward of these forces, the individual's habits, had long been a concern of British psycho-physiologists, who presented habit as a mechanism through which action and emotion could be physically inscribed upon the nerves.

Keywords: mysticism; new psychology; introspective knowledge; experimental investigation; waking consciousness

Chapter.  11475 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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