Derived from the Greek roots, Psyche meant Soul / Spirit / Breath of Life. Across civilizations and traditions; Philosophers, Counsels to Kings, Sages, Wiser friend, Grandparent, Teacher or Community elder have performed this role of facilitating ‘Insight’ and ‘Foresight’. Clearing the Confusion, Problem solving, Innovating, Exploring novel experiences have all been part of Humankind’s Business of Life and Death (BOLD).
Philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Rhazes, Confucius delved into the study and description of properties and processes of the Intellect and Mind; also the impact on formation of Perspectives that govern our Living and Experiencing. Values, Ethics, Rules, Strategies, Valor, Laws and Rules guided Existential matters of Society and administration.
Shakespeare represented through his works, the complexities of Human Mind, the emotions, the conflicts, the lapses of reasoning, motivational drives and dissonances, differences and deviations of Persona and Character; Interpersonal transactions (positive and negative exchanges) within the settings of our Family and Society.
In Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna’s discourse to Arjuna in battlefield is Divine Counsel. Buddha’s teachings during a different Timeline, re-presented the need for Reason, Restraint, Nobility and Peace of Mind.
In times of War, Oppression, worldwide epidemics and conflicts, Vivekananda emphasized the message of Unity, Sanity of thinking, Compassion and Transcendent pursuits towards One Consciousness. Gandhi then, role modeled a Life against Imperialistic Regime, underpinning the message of Non Violence while pursuing a path of conflict and rebellion.
In the last millennia, Religions appropriated and consolidated psyche-logia into their fold. Religion emphasized moral high ground over personal independence, social freedom, administrative law and order. Religion engulfed the matters of Health and Illness, turned Mind Health as a subject of mindless Conformity versus Non Conformity narrative (called Superstition).
In the last Century, Freud, Jung and many other contributors brought matters of Psyche, out of the clutches of Dogmatic state of Religion; to be pursued as ‘Science.’ The concept of Psyche has evolved since World War II; as in the contexts of Mind’s properties, natural functions, aspiring for Mindfulness, correlation of Mind’s health/illness with Body’s function/dysfunctions. Neuroscience (Brain and Nerves) has expanded in leaps and as a bridge between Mind and Biological Behaviors; it has concretized the expressions of Psyche through ‘Somatics’.
This new normal of Behavioral psychology may seem expansive or reductive awareness of Psyche. Well, the new normal is here to stay and serve as a new starting point!
Over Time, Psychological awareness has evolved from subjective ‘Seances’ to objective ‘Science.’ The Change makes me wonder, why? Or Because!!