On Psychological Phenomenalism

Psychological phenomenalism has penetrated our civilization so thoroughly that the problem can be supposed to be well known.   It will be sufficient to remind the reader of some varieties of phenomenal psychology, and then of some of the consequences.

We have an experimental, physiological psychology that has lost the spiritual substance of man entirely;  we have furthermore a behavioristic psychology in which the actions of the mind have become “language behaviors” and ideas are “thought materials”;   and we have a depth psychology in which the soul is reduced to an economy of sex quanta and their sublimation.   Under the impact of psychologies of this type the life of the spirit, with its operation of substance on substance, tends to become dissolved into a manifold of manageable causal relations;   the “psychological manager” takes the place of the directeur de l’âme .

Psychological management has become an all-pervasive element in our civilization and has created a phantastic world of phenomenal obsessions, devoid of substantial reality, by means of commercial advertisement, political propaganda, the reporting of “news,” literary critique in journals and magazines, etc.

We live in a world of name brands, soaps, cigarettes, men of authority and distinction who drink choice brands of whiskey, of must-readings, best-sellers, body odors, and irresistible perfumes for special occasions;  of leaders, movie stars, big shots, educators, and war criminals;  of third realms, perpetual peaces, and unconditional surrenders;  of Big Threes and Big Fours and Big Fives;  of unprecedented bombloads and speeches;  of historical meetings;   of adjustment, conditioning, education, and reeducation;  of propaganda and counter propaganda;  of complexes, balked dispositions, frustrations, and gratifications;  of centuries of progress, of the child, of the common man, and whatnot.

In brief:  we have created a modern demonology next to which a medieval catalog of angels and demons looks a trifle shabby.

CW Vol 25 (HPI-VII)
Chapter 1 Phenomenalism
§ 1g. Psychological Phenomenalism, pp 189-190.



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