True Psychology

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Item Code: IDI916
Author: Swami Abhedananda
Publisher: Ramakrishna Vedanta Math
Language: English
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9780902479425
Pages: 202
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.6" X 5.5"
Weight 310 gm
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Book Description

From the Jacket

Modern psychology does not mean by psychology a 'science of the soul', simply because the soul is beyond the reach of the senses. True psychology, on the other hand, is that science which consists of the systematization and classification of truths relating to the soul or that self - conscious entity which thinks, feels and knows. True psychology recognizes the existence of body, mind and soul, and it tells us that what we call the physical body is the dwelling house of the soul which is the source of intelligence and self - consciousness.




Swami Abhedananda says, "True Psychology recognizes the existence of body, mind and soul. But the modern Physiological Psychology admits the existence of body only, and nothing else. True Psychology tells us, what we call the physical body is the dwelling house of the soul. It is manfactured by the soul which is the source of intelligence and self - consciousness."

Swami Abhedananda further states that we should know and realize what the true nature of the soul is and then we should also ascertain our relationship with the Absolute. The psyche is the pure ego in individuality - "which is not a thought, not a function of the mind, not a function of our intellect, not sensation, not a percept or a concept, but which is the unifying element of all and which makes each one of them related to us ". So the soul or psyche is not the mind, not a state of the mind, or not a faculty of the brain, but is the pure consciousness itself -'svaprakasa chaitanya'.


SWAMI ABHEDANANDA, an apostle of Sri Ramakrishna- Born October 2, 1866 Spent his early life among the brotherhood in Baranagar monastery near Calcutta in severe austerity - Travelled barefooted all over India from 1888 - 1895 - Went to London at the call of Swami Vivekananda in 1896 - Acquainted with many distinguished savants including Prof. Max Mueller and Prof. Deussen - Landed in New Yprk and took charge of the Vedanta Society in 1897 - Became acquainted with Prof. William James, Rev. R. H. Newton, Prof. Josiah Royce of Harvard, Prof. Hyslop of Columbia, Prof. Lanmann, Prof. G.H.Howison, Prof. Fay, Mr.Edison, the inventor, Dr. Elmer Gates, Ralph Waldo Trine, W. D. Howells, Prof. Herschel C.Parker, Dr. Logan, Rev. Bishop Potter, Prof. Shaler, Dr. Jaynes, the chairman of the Cambridge Philosophical Conference and the Professors of Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Barkeley and Clarke Universities - Travelled extensively all through the United States, Canada, Alaska and Mexico - Made frequent trips to Europe, delivering lectures in different parts of the Continent - Crossed the Atlantic seventeen times - Was appreciated very much for his profundity of scholarship, intellectual brilliance, oratorial talents, charming personality and nobility of character - Made a short visit to India in 1906 - Returned to America - Came back to India finally in 1921 - On his way home joined the Educational Conference, Honolulu - Visited Japan, China, the Phillippines, Singapore, Kualalumpur and Rangoon - Started on a long tour and went as far as Tibet in 1922- Established centres at Calcutta and Darjeeling - Left his mortal frame on September 8, 1939.


The writings and speeches of Swami Abhedananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, were spread over a long period of spiritual ministration both in America and in India. His deep philosophical insight and unfathomed spirituality attracted the learned and the intelligentzia. All his writings and speeches are available in one set of elevan volumes entitled THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SWAMI ABHEDANANADA, the last volume being a Guide to the Complete Works, edited in full by the most renowned philosopher and writer Swami Prajnanananda, a direct disciple of Swami Abhedananda. We invite all lovers of philosophy, religion and culture to avail of the golden opportunity of collecting this set without delay.


True Psychology was first published in 1946 as the second contribution to the Abhedananda Memorial Series. It contains nine illuminating lectures on Indian Yoga Psycho- logy, which were socially delivered by Swami Abhedananda in America in 1920, before the American talents. The lectures created a great interest among the psychologists and philosophers of America.

From Thales to Democritus we look in vain, for any adequate treatment of cognition or knowledge, of the psychical as distinct from the physical. Plato does not review, as does Aristotle, the psychological works of earlier thinkers. Besides, Plato is alive to the importance of purely psychic phenomena, and proposes to describe and to account for them. In so far as he describes them we have an analytic theory of the soul, and his theory of the soul, becoming transcendental, absorbs the speculations of Orphism. "The term 'psychology' in its strict sense does not include these speculations, but it is not possible to explain Plato's views without these metaphysical and 'theological views".

Further Plato declines to accept that form of relativity which reduces pleasures to a mere negation, the negation of pain, but he recognizes relativity in the other sense, and bases on it his argument against the Heraclitean dogma, that no state can be permanent. From the Heraclitean view of life as perpetual change like the loose flying clouds, it seems to follow that no' pleasure could persist for an appreciable time; there would be a process of Becoming, the passage from one condition to another, but never a persistent state, a Being. But it should be remembered that the Indian psychology' does not accept this view of change, as it believes and proves that the process of Becoming is not true, as that process must rest on some permanent entity which is recognized as the soul or Atman, the embodiment of existence, knowledge and bliss. Plato's view of entity or Being is also different from the Indian thought.

Prof. Brett says that the Orphic idea of a soul which has reality apart from the body was primarily formulated in relation to the idea of successive existences. Its value is entirely relative to the purpose which is a lasting existence. The explanation of true knowledge thus requires a new doctrine of soul, and hitherto the psychology of cognition has been concerned with things. We are thus brought face to face with facts that compel us to look for some source of knowledge or cognition other than the body and the senses which are related to it. A clue to the right solution is given by memory. An experience frequently recalls a former experience by an act of mind. But in some cases that which is remembered has never been experienced in this life; the remembrance must therefore be the revival by the soul of experiences that belong to the soul itself.

This theory, commonly called the Theory of Reminiscence, is Plato's proof of thought as an independent reality. But, besides it, Plato puts consciousness as something irreducible. But this argument does not prove more' than two facts, the reality of the soul as that which thinks and the reality of its activity as unique. As the soul has connected with the eternal and immutable Ideas which are represented in its concepts, there is a presumption that it is itself no less eternal. The soul might, however, have a life longer than the life of the body, yet ultimately perish. We need, therefore, some further proof of immortality, which Plato supplies from meta- physical reasoning. And thus comes the question or problem of the cognitive faculties of the soul, which can be said to be a question or problem of the Epistemology.

But Plato is able to develop a theory of cognition or knowledge. The soul, he forwards, is capable of three states, knowledge, opinion, and ignorance. "These are the names of the way in which the soul can be related to objects, with respect to the real, it (soul) has knowledge. with respect to the contingent, opinion; with respect to the non-existent, ignorance. This classification is obviously derived from logic; from the point of view of psychology we must describe knowledge as the pure activity of mind, opinion as a mixed activity, and ignorance as either the privation of action, a condition of darkness, when the soul is not kindled, or perverse activity.

Aristotle's investigation into psychology is a great improvement on Plato's. To explain anything for Plato is to pierce by means of reason or intellectual intuition, the veil which shrouds these ideal patterns from us. To have a vision of the essences is to see the reason of things. In fact, Plato encourages intellect and reason rather than senses which sometimes delude men. Aristotle objects to Plato's argument, as he believes that the essences are inseparable from the material in which they are embodied. The world is made up of form and matter, but the essence, be it man or plant, exists always. In fact, an essence is the completed form which a thing will attain and towards which it will naturally develop. So when we examine Aristotle's examples, we find that the formal, final and efficient causes .are usually the essence in disguise-the essence 'flower' being, for instance, the formal, final and efficient cause of growth of flowers. However, we find that Aristotle's theory of the soul is the best example of his method of explanation in action.

Aristotle says that soul is the form or essence of the body. Both animals and men respond to external stimulus and so have sensitive souls, but animals do not have rational souls, as they do not make laws or calculate carefully, what is good for them. In the main, Aristotle's psychology is a combination of epistemology and observation; there is, however, in his treatment of the active reason, a slight concession to Plato's religious mysticism, says Prof. Brett.

Further, Aristotle's theory of the soul as the form of the body seems to be untenable, when we try to contemplate the Idea that body is the instrument of the soul and when body dies, the soul lives and persists as a separate entity of the body. Besides, we find that the substances are classified by Aristotle as form, matter and the combination of form and matter. And these are the ultimate classes or types of reality to Aristotle, as he says that body as potentiality is matter, and soul regarded in obstruction, is form. The actual sphere of psychology is, therefore, to Aristotle, the combination of matter and form, body and soul, which is absolutely discarded by the Indian viewpoint. Aristotle finally" recognises parts of the soul.


Preface 1
Chapter 1
True Psychology 33
The study of Psychology, Modern psychology about the mind, What do we mean by a Psychology, Physiological psycology, Psychology, as a natural science, Motion produces nothing but motion, What do we mean by a science, The science of True Psychology, The mind according to True Psychology, The objective and subjective mind, Somnambulism and hypnotic sleep, The power of the subjective mind, Imagination, Reason or Comparison, Deduction and induction, Intuition, The soul in True Psychology, The soul cannot be destroyed, Telepathy, The soul has power, The great universal soul, Mentology, The pure thought, Logos and Word, The Hindu Psychology, Mind and reasoning
The Consciousness 47
What do we mean by consciousness, The production theory, Percival Lowell and his theory of science, The materialistic theory, Prof. J. Luys on consciousness, Herbert Spencer and theory of metamorphosis, The combination theory, Consciousness is not a simple thing, The different conditions of our Consciousness, The sensations, The personal consciousness, True Pychology on consciousness, The consciousness of particular things, Sensation and consciousness, Cause and effect, John Stuart Mill on consciousness, G.J.Romanes on consciousness, The states of consciousness, We are not going behind the states of consciousness, The primary and secondary states of mind, What is consciousness, Consciousness is not knowledge, What do we mean by a knowledge, The consciousness according to the American realists, Like and dislike, Understanding and consciousness, Subject recognizes object, The Sarikhya theory of knowledge, Prof. Whitehead on consciousness, The objects exist in the man, Every thought is a consumption of energy, The potentiality of the mind, The law of karma, Dualism and monism, The subconscious mind, Godconsciousness, The vibrations of the sound.
The Powers of the Mind 71
Man is the epitome of the universe, The waves of power, The natural tendency of a man or a woman, Geniuses and prodigies, The power of hypnotism, The act of suggestion, The real meaning of hypnotism, The telepathy, The clairvoyance, The thought - reading, The thought - transference, Dr. Meyers on human personality, Kant and Swedenborg, The clairaudience, The power of healing by suggestion, The Yogis of India and mental powers, Padmapada and the power of the mind, The powers (siddhis) of the mind are the mental states, The story of the young man and his mental power, The psychic powers, The story of a psychic Yogi, Concentration on the mind, The power of the mind should be controlled.
The Mind and Its Modifications 92
What is the function of a physiological psychology, Modern behaviouristic psychology, The behaviouristic school, The modern psychologists about the reflex actions of the brain, The theory of the automatism, What are the sensation, Aphasia is a kind of desease, Dr. Thomson on the human brain, What is an emotion, Fear and emotion, Desire of the mind, Prof. MacDougall on emotion, Will is connected with physical movement, A difference between the physiological psychology and the True psychology, Dr. Freud and Dr. Jung on the sexual instinct, Will and desire, Will and energy, Everything has its polarity, What is a love, What do we mean by a pleasure, An action and reaction, Discrimination is a power of the mind, An intuition, Kant on intuition, An instinct and an intuition, The subjective mind and its instruments.
The Power of Concentration 112
Concentration and attention, Intelligence is not the activity of the brain, What do we mean by concentration, The power of concentration, The voluntary and involuntary attention, The power of the cincentrated attention, Five different parts of the mind, The ksipta state of the mind, The mudha state, The viksipta state, The ekagra state. What is a genius, Christ and the divine realization, What do we mean by an inspiration, The absolute control of the mind, The ideal state of the mind, What are the vrttis, The mind is a medium, The individual and universal minds, The realization of the Absolute.
Individuality and Personality 131
The love of self at the root of all, The idea of our personality, Aegel on individuality, Different phases of personality, The spiritual side of the personality, The analysis of the personality, The sense of identity, The alteration of memory, The status of each individual, David Hume denies the existence of a soul, Kant on Hume's theory, The modern psychologists about the soul, The Jivatman and the paramatman, The range of our perception, There are limitations, The stream of consciousness, What do we mean by an individuality, The self and the states of consciousness, The word 'individual', Dream makes a reality, An illustration of a portrait, The word 'personality', Our physical body and the personality, The individuality is the greater self, Language, manners and customs do not affect the individuality, Difference between personality and individuality.
The States of Existence 152
Our whole life depends upon our individuality, Analysis of perception of a chair, Instances of an earthen pot and an ornament, Everything phenomenal has a change, The meaning of appearance, What do we mean by an 'existence', When a child is born, its brain receives the sensation of the phenomena, The feeling of pain and pleasure, An example of an existence, Existence and knowledge are inseparable, The states of waking, dream, and dreamless sleep, The percepts and concepts, Prof. Woodworth and colours, Profs. Drummond and Mellone on the sensation of colour, Profs. Ogden on colour vibrations, What happens in the dream state, Memory and mind, Thoughts can be photographed, The waking state, The dreamless state, An existence is a continuous thing, The Upanisad about the mental states, The individual existence is the real individuality, The terms sensation and perception, according to Prof. James and others, Prof. Jeans on the stars and their courses, The fourth state of the mind (turiya), Different realities, The Brahman
Our Relation to the Absolute 172
The maya and the Brahman, The Absolute is like a witness, The condition of an ignorant person, The dualistic believers, Jehovah had the human qualities, The Genesis about God, The Christian churches about God, Different kinds of dualist, The conception of the personal God, The relative existence, We must not live for ourselves only, What do we mean by a religion, Destruction means reversion to the causal one, The play of the Absolute, We cannot exist as separate from the Absolute, What now we mean by space and time, Kant about space and time, The Creator and the creation, The whole universe is a gigantic magnet, Different aspects of God, The term, cause Entity and non entity, Nothing can exist outside of the Absolute, We are like the bubbles in the eternal ocean of the Brahman, The dawn of the divine realization and its effect, Christ and his teachings, Everyone will reach the Absolute, There is nothing beyond the Absolute. There is no going down or coming back from the Absolute, The attitude of Vedanta towards the God realization.
Questions and Answers 197

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