A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

Home | About | Alternative Health | Contact

strung together. So, too, all mental processes are of greater significance than the sum of a number of component parts, wishes, emotions, nerve cells, gland activities and so forth. The principle of relation is just as important as the parts which are related, and thus we have a structural whole which transcends that of which it is composed. To go a stage further, personality itself is to be regarded as a Gestalt. Such a conception may be useful when considered in conjunction with the philosophical doctrine of emergence sponsored by Alexander and Lloyd Morgan ; but it is of little assistance in the quest we are undertaking.
While behaviourism would reduce the personality to a mere collection of innate and conditioned reflexes, explainable by physical laws, and Gestalt psychology, though it has made important contributions to the perceptual and learning processes, is a reaction from this simplifying process, both agree in having practically ignored personality, the most outstanding feature of which is its purposiveness, and hormic psychology attempts to give this characteristic its true value. It stresses the instincts as the driving forces of the mind and the derivation from them of all forms of human activity. This view locates personality in the organized group of native and acquired dispositions to action displayed in behaviour. Such tendencies are regarded as aiming at the realization of goals proposed by nature in the first instance, and thereafter at goals proposed by ideal desires, including the moral sentiments, which are built up within the master sentiment of self-regard. Thus the will becomes personality or character in action, so that it expresses the basic unconscious and conscious personality as a whole. McDougall, the champion of this school of psychology defines instinct, or, in his later phrases, 1 innate propensity ', as ' an inherited or innate psycho-