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Psychology studies how individuals and groups function, in terms of mind, emotion, behavior, interaction and relationships, brain functions, etc. It is essential to understanding ourselves and others, and in turn how we can work on ourselves, how best to accomplish goals, and how to work well with others and help one another.

Knowing oneself and others

We live in a rather sick civilization – one in which the most pathological people are in power. The mental, emotional, and social functioning of people in general reflects this. Society is narcissistic, and almost everyone has been subject to some degree of narcissistic wounding.

In trying to understand ourselves and the world, a major problem is that we don't really know ourselves, and our capacity to do so is limited. Findings of cognitive and social psychology make clear that our thinking, attitudes, and behavior is largely ruled by unconscious brain mechanisms, some of which we are born with, while other aspects are programmed in large part by early experiences and thereafter direct our lives according to rigid pattern-matching.

The study of the brain and nervous system, its various components and how they work together, fills in important parts of the overall picture – the most important of which is how we can change our brains and in turn our lives.

In relation to the Fourth Way

In modern psychological and neuroscientific research – particularly of the cognitive, social, affective, and behavioral paradigms – discoveries sometimes echo key concepts of George Gurdjieff's Fourth Way teaching. Said teaching forms a practical framework for work on oneself, and both theoretical and practical understanding thereof is furthered by the discoveries of modern science. This approach of combining the scientific and the esoteric is part and parcel of the Cassiopaean Experiment, its "philosophy", and the wider research connected to it.

The mind-body connection

Bodily health affects one's mind and behavior, and emotional health and interpersonal dynamics affect bodily health. As such, the study of health topics along with psychology is essential to a more complete and practical understanding.

Further reading

See Recommended books#Psychology.

External links


Cassiopaea Forum


All ‘Psychology’ topics

  • Archetype (Generally, a universal idea or exemplar of a principle. The word is used in metaphysics, psychology, study of myths, and other fields.)
  • Assumption (Assumptions are ideas, value judgements or unquestioned premises which color one's thinking, generally without one's own awareness.)
  • Belief vs. faith (In FOTCM discourse, the term belief means a concept which is accepted as a given truth, without necessarily being critically evaluated. 'Belief' often connotates emotional attachment of the believer to the belief. By contrast, the term faith can connote an open-minded attitude and trust in the process of inquiry.)
  • Brain (The brain plays a role in mediating between the physical world and consciousness.)
  • Cognitive dissonance (A ubiquitous condition to which the human is so inured to that most of it even goes unnoticed.)
  • Conscience (The awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one's conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong: Let your conscience be your guide.)
  • Consciousness (Everything is really a form of consciousness, from its formless higher transcendental aspects to it's lower derivatives that take an innumerable number of different forms.)
  • "Dark Man" dream (A dream experience where a dark predator is present in one's environment and a warning that it is about to rob the dreamer of something precious.)
  • Debate vs. discussion (A distinction can be made between debate and discussion; debate is arguing with a vested interest or in order to win, while discussion scrutinizes the facts and may shake up beliefs.)
  • Dream work (An exercise where one works with dreams to solve problems or to gain an insight on a particular issue.)
  • Emotional hook (The term refers to manipulating a person by appealing to some known aspect of personality with the intent of getting something for the self.)
  • Empathy (Empathy is being conscious of, or sensitive to, the emotions of another person or group of people.)
  • Essence (In Fourth Way discourse, a man's essence is the totality of the qualities or propensities he is born with. As opposed to this, personality is the totality of the acquired or learned patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior. In modern psychology, inherited characteristics also play a large role.)
  • Feminine vampire (This term refers to a special type of human predator who plays a game involving appeal to the rescuer or protector programs of others, playing the victim, playing on others' guilt and self-importance and other techniques of manipulation.)
  • Greenbaum (A code word for a technique of mind control.)
  • Hypnosis (The conscious mind is put to sleep leaving the subconscious open to suggestion and receptive to commands.)
  • Idiot (In general usage, a foolish or stupid person, but the term "idiot" has also its esoteric meaning as used by George Gurdjieff.)
  • Imprinting (Psychology speaks of periods of imprint sensitivity in the context of an infant's or young child's early development.)
  • Intuition (To grasp something intuitively is to acquire an idea without the use of reasoning.)
  • Love (There is a bewildering range of meanings and connotations associated with love. The Cassiopaeans have said that love is light is knowledge.)
  • Make nice program (An automatic behavior tending towards avoiding conflict and making repeated concessions or tolerating consistent ill treatment.)
  • Memory (That which mediates between the parts of self, and only through memory can we speak of Being casting its illumination on the human mental landscape.)
  • Movies and television (Like books and other modern media platforms, television programming and movies will impart negative, positive or neutral impressions upon the viewer.)
  • Narcissism (This is a common personality disorder.)
  • Petty tyrant (Petty tyrants are impossible people in positions of authority, which one has to deal with in life.)
  • Psychic vampirism (Encompasses both psychological manipulation and a sort of psychic game of dominance and exploitation.)
  • Psychopathy (This personality disorder is puzzling and intractable. Its principal feature seems to be a lack of conscience.)
  • Psychopathy (ponerology) (Psychopathy was once used to refer to any mental disorder, but in its modern meaning is a psychological construct that describes chronic immoral and antisocial behavior. A psychopath is conscienceless, and, most importantly, this is hidden from view behind a mask of normality that is often so convincing that even experts reportedly are deceived.)
  • Reaction machine (The term reaction machine is sometimes used to describe man's mechanical nature. This applies to common man in general but especially to the organic portal or Pre-Adamic man and even more to the psychopath.)
  • Recapitulation (A technique of inner work described by Carlos Castaneda.)
  • Self-calming (The process of pushing aside thoughts or emotions that are uncomfortable.)
  • Stockholm syndrome (A psychological phenomenon named for an incident that took place in Stockholm, Sweden.)
  • Subconscious (The theoretical notion of layers of consciousness.)
  • Subjectivity (Subjectivity is the capacity to experience things in a personally specific manner.)
  • Synaptic map (This term is used in a meaning similar to "working model" in psychology.)
  • Synchronicity (This term was introduced by Carl Jung to denote "meaningful coincidence".)
  • Thought loop (Refers either to repeating, more or less obsessive thoughts, or to a circular argument usually used to justify some belief or habit.)
  • Transmarginal inhibition (An organism's response to overwhelming stimuli. Knowledge of transmarginal inhibition is important for understanding human psychological conditioning, both individually and societally.)
  • Vampire (An archetype representing parasitic use of the energy or life force of another for one's own sustenance.)
  • Wishful thinking (Wishful thinking is a fundamental property of the service to self orientation.)
  • Word salad (A term that refers to an unintelligible mixture of random words and/or phrases.)
  • Yes, but (These words are often a tell-tale sign of self-justification and rationalization. When applied to oneself, repeated use of "yes, but" will create a self-tranquillizing mechanism. Lying to oneself dulls one's ability to discern truth, which is the very thing esoteric work seeks to develop.)