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Psychosophy

The word psychosophy has etymological roots in the Greek words ψυχή (psychē) and σοφίᾱ (sophiā), which are often interpreted as "soul" and "wisdom," respectively. It was used in a wide variety of contexts from 1743 to the 1920s but fell out of use in the 20th century.

There are several distinct contexts in which the word has been employed, including:

  1. Early historical uses
  2. Theosophical and neo-theosophical and Anthroposophical
  3. The contemporary school of psychology founded by the American teacher, Scott Hamilton.
  • Antonio Genovesi (1713–1769) was an Italian writer on philosophy and political economy. His first works were Elementa Melaphysicae (1743) and Lógica (1745). The former is divided into four parts: Ontosophy, Cosmosophy, Theosophy, and Psychosophy, and is supplemented by a treatise on ethics and a dissertation on first causes.
  • In 1913, the term was employed by the American philosopher and developmental psychologist James Mark Baldwin in his book History of Psychology: A Sketch and Interpretation (Volume I, Chapter II). Baldwin referenced the use of the word psychosophy in the 17th to 18th century as a "catch-all" term for early pre-scientific approaches to exploring the psyche (i.e., magic and mythic approaches preceding the rise of Western psychology as a formal scientific discipline). The term was similarly referenced in multiple subsequent psychological texts (e.g., Jared Sparks Moore's "Foundations of Psychology") in the '10s and early '20s, presumably employing the word in a manner similar to that of Baldwin.
  • A History of Psychology, by Otto Klemm, Emil Carl Wilm, Rudolf Pintner, translated by Emil Carl Wilm, Rudolf Pintner, published by C. Scribner's Sons, 1914, original from the University of Michigan, digitized Oct 3, 2006, 380 pages, Psychosophy reference on p. 147:

The word psychology does not occur previous to the sixteenth century. Melanchthon employed the term as a title of academic lectures. R. Gockel used it in 1590 as a collective title for the works of various authors. The term became generally known through Christian Wolff (1679–1754), who did so much for the establishment of philosophical terminology. Up to Wolff's time the term psychosophy, apparently introduced by J. J. Becker, seems to have been in use. The term pneumatology is also found in the writings of Leibniz.

Theosophical and neo-theosophical

The word psychosophy was utilized in several articles published in the Theosophical journal The Theosophist:

  • The Philosophy of Spirit – Hierosophy, Theosophy & Psychosophy (1), William Oxley, an index to The Theosophist, September, 1882, v3, p298
  • The Philosophy of Spirit – Hierosophy, Theosophy & Psychosophy (2), T Subba Row, an index to The Theosophist, October, 1882 v4, p18

The term was also used by William Wilberforce Juvenal Colville in an obscure 1914 publication entitled "The New Psychosophy." The following year, in 1915, Cora L.V. (Scott) Richmond employed the word as the title of her 436-page book exploring various metaphysical subjects. These two writings are examples of the approach that could broadly be considered neo-theosophical.

The term was used by the Austrian philosopher and scholar Rudolf Steiner in a three part series of twelve lectures given in Berlin in 1910, two years before he left the Theosophical Society, but was not apparently used again in Steiner's extensive published works. The lectures lay almost dormant for nearly 90 years until their publication. The four lectures on psychosophy discuss Steiner's perspective on the primary aspects of the human soul, the activities and interactions of various soul forces, the dynamics of love and hate, and the process of judging. Steiner distinguished psychosophy from anthroposophy (wisdom of the human being) and pneumatosophy (wisdom of the spirit).

Steiner states; "Psychosophy is to be a deliberation on the human soul, beginning with the soul's experiences here in the physical world. It then rises to higher realms to demonstrate that whatever we encounter in the physical as the manifest soul-life leads to the perspective where the light of Theosophy comes to meet us." He continues; "every aspect of the soul is either a making of judgments or a life in love or hate. Basically, these are the only concepts that pertain to the soul; all others refer to a vehicle for something coming into the soul, either from without through the body, or (due to causes we will learn later) from the spirit within. Thus, on the one hand, we have judgment, and, on the other, love and hate ... My characterization is not about logic, but about the psychosophic nature – strictly from the perspective of inner activity, or soul processes – of judging. Everything you can learn about judgment through logic is ruled out. I am not speaking of 'judgment' but of judging, the activity of judging, using the word as a verb."

Scott Hamilton

The American teacher Scott Hamilton has trademarked the United States for his contemporary school of psychology offering coaching, consulting and education and synthesizes psychology, philosophy, spirituality, growth technology, and creative actualization. The synthesis unites common elements of past schools of psychology with new research methodology and models of human nature, development, relationships, creativity, coaching, consulting and education. Placing these in causal sequence, psychosophy can be viewed as:

  1. A new interior research method generating
  2. An experimentally verified model of inner human nature, which leads to
  3. A new understanding of human development,
  4. A new understanding of human relationships, and
  5. A new understanding of human creativity, all of which are integrated into
  6. New coaching, consulting and educational systems

Hamilton began developing and sharing the central principles and techniques underlying psychosophy in 1987, following a vision experience of the project. In 1994 he combined the first part of psychology with the second part of philosophy to create the term psychosophy. It was only years later that he discovered that the term had been used in a variety of other contexts in the early 20th and prior centuries. In 1999 Hamilton began formally offering Psychosophy Coaching and Consulting Services. He trained the first group of Psychosophy coaches and consultants from 2005–10, all of whom have launched private practices. In 2008 peer-reviewed research into one of psychosophy's foundational practices—Holding Loving Space—was conducted by Nicholas Hedlund and published in Ken Wilber's and Sean Esbjörn-Hargens' Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. In 2010 psychosophy's model of human consciousness, the Consciousness Coordinate System, was presented at the Integral Theory Conference at John F. Kennedy University in Northern California.

Anthroposophical

The word psychosophy was used by the Austrian philosopher and scholar Rudolf Steiner in a series of lectures given in Berlin in 1910. The term was apparently not referenced again in Steiner's extensive published works, and the lectures lay largely dormant for nearly 90 years until their publication in A Psychology of Body, Soul, & Spirit: Anthroposophy, Psychosophy & Pneumatosophy by Steiner Books in 1999.

According to Steiner's three part series of twelve lectures, psychosophy (wisdom of the soul) is distinguished from anthroposophy (wisdom of the human being) and pneumatosophy (wisdom of the spirit). The four lectures on psychosophy discuss Steiner's perspective on the primary aspects of the human soul, the activities and interactions of various soul forces, the dynamics of love and hate, and the process of judging.

More specifically, on page 77 of the aforementioned publication, Steiner states "Psychosophy is to be a deliberation on the human soul, beginning with the soul's experiences here in the physical world. It then rises to higher realms to demonstrate that whatever we encounter in the physical as the manifest soul life leads to the perspective where the light of Theosophy comes to meet us." He then goes on to offer on pages 80–81, "every aspect of the soul is either a making of judgments or a life in love or hate. Basically, these are the only concepts that pertain to the soul; all others refer to a vehicle for something coming into the soul, either from without through the body, or (due to causes we will learn later) from the spirit within. Thus, on the one hand, we have judgment, and, on the other, love and hate ... My characterization is not about logic, but about the psychosophic nature—strictly from the perspective of inner activity, or soul processes—of judging. Everything you can learn about judgment through logic is ruled out. I am not speaking of 'judgment' but of judging, the activity of judging, using the word as a verb."

Some scholars might suggest that Steiner's usage could technically be considered neo-theosophical since he did not leave the Theosophical Society until 1912, several years after his four lectures on psychosophy. Additionally, in the above quote, he includes the word theosophy in his definition of psychosophy. However, given the significance, uniqueness and breadth of his anthroposophical project, it seems appropriate to list him separately.

Contemporary school of psychology

Developed over the course of several decades by American teacher Scott Hamilton, Psychosophy® is a new school of psychology which synthesizes five overlapping foundations: psychology, philosophy, spirituality, growth technology, and creative actualization. In other words, it is a psychological paradigm integrating new: 1. research methodologies and resulting models for understanding human nature and development, 2. ways of realizing and applying philosophical truth, 3. approaches to exploring and deepening one's spiritual experiences, 4. techniques for joyous growth, and 5. methods for conscious creativity.

In each of these areas, rather than asserting a rigid doctrine, psychosophy empowers individuals to discover truth based on their own direct experience of what actually works in the real world—both inner and outer. As a practical, scientific approach to understanding consciousness and inner energetics, all aspects of the system are offered as well-tested hypotheses. These are to be further proven, refined or disproven by personal experimentation and direct application to improving the quality of one's own and other's lives.

The synthesis emerging from these foundations unites common elements of past schools of psychology, including a new research methodology and new models of human nature, development, relationships, creativity, coaching and consulting, and education. Placing them in a causal sequence, psychosophy can be viewed as:

  1. A new interior research method generating
  2. An experimentally verified model of inner human nature, which leads to
  3. A new understanding of human development,
  4. A new understanding of human relationships, and
  5. A new understanding of human creativity, all of which are integrated into
  6. New coaching, consulting and educational systems

As the consummation of this sequence, the coaching, consulting and educational systems provide an integrated array of resources intended to support individuals to more fully contact and live from their innermost essences. This empowerment of individual development serves a larger purpose of the psychosophy project—for conscious stakeholders in humanity's collective odyssey to make such a monumental leap forward in the quality of their interior and relational engagement that a new culture and civilization of joy is steadily co-created for all.

Hamilton began developing and sharing the central principles and techniques underlying psychosophy in 1987, following a vision experience of the project. After extensive inner contemplation, in 1994 he combined the first part of psychology with the second part of philosophy to create the term psychosophy.

According to Hamilton, "since the system focuses so deeply upon living from the loving wisdom (Sophia) of one's innermost essence (Psyche), it resonated deeply as a natural and beautiful choice." A search of the Third International edition of Merriam-Webster's unabridged dictionary and various encyclopedias confirmed that it was not a part of the English language, and Hamilton thought that he might have coined a new word. It was only years later that he discovered that the term had been used in a variety of other contexts in the early 20th and prior centuries.

In 1999 Hamilton began formally offering Psychosophy Coaching and Consulting Services. He trained the first group of Psychosophy coaches and consultants from 2005–10, all of whom have launched private practices. In 2008 peer-reviewed research into one of psychosophy's foundational practices—Holding Loving Space—was conducted by Nicholas Hedlund and published in Ken Wilber's and Sean Esbjörn-Hargens' Journal of Integral Theory and Practice.  In 2010 psychosophy's model of human consciousness, the Consciousness Coordinate System, was presented at the Integral Theory Conference at John F. Kennedy University in Northern California.

Hamilton and his colleagues at The Psychosophy® Center are continuing to develop this new psychology through ongoing research and application. Currently, psychosophy programs are available to the public through the Center's telecourses on the Original Self Process and private coaching and consulting. The psychosophy project is carried out through both for-profit and non-profit channels. The non-profit side, The Psychosophy® Foundation, is a registered 501(c)3 corporation focusing on conducting academic research and offering psychosophy education to schools and low-income groups.

Other usages

Various other individuals and groups have utilized the term psychosophy in reference to their work.

Trademark

Psychosophy has been trademarked in the United States for its use by Scott Hamilton's contemporary school of psychology in offering coaching, consulting and educational products and services to the public. Naturally, references to Steiner's or others' past use of the term are allowed by the trademark.

 


References

  1. See www.psychosophy.com
  2. http://www.psychosophy.org/page1/page1.html The majority of this text was excerpted from Hamilton's forthcoming book, Psychosophy: A Way of Joy, with permission from the author.
  3. Collected Works of Psychosophy, Scott Hamilton, 1987–1999, unpublished manuscript
  4. http://www.integralresearchcenter.org/source under Vol. 3 No. 2.
  5. See www.psychosophy.com
  6. See www.psychosophy.com/originalself

External links

References
  1. ^ See www.psychosophy.com
  2. ^ R. Steiner, A Psychology of Body, Soul, & Spirit: Anthroposophy, Psychosophy & Pneumatosophy, Steiner Books, 1999
  3. ^ R. Steiner, A Psychology of Body, Soul, & Spirit: Anthroposophy, Psychosophy & Pneumatosophy, Steiner Books, 1999, p77
  4. ^ R. Steiner, A Psychology of Body, Soul, & Spirit: Anthroposophy, Psychosophy & Pneumatosophy, Steiner Books, 1999 pp 80–81
  5. ^ http://www.integralresearchcenter.org/source under Vol. 3 No. 2.

Copyright Information

This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License. For information on the contributors, please see the original Wikipedia article.

 

 

 

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