Friday 28 July 2017

Short Observations

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JMH International Essays — Announcement

Original Essays on the Psychology of Anger and/or Violence 

We thank all those who have submitted an essay to the JMH International Prize Essay Contest. As of now, February 1, 2017, we have decided not to continue with the contest.

For those who feel they have an important contribution to the subject of the Psychology of Anger and/or Violence, please feel free to submit your essay with the form provided here. If the judges agree that the essay is a significant contribution, we will publish it here (subject to agreement with the author).

We include here links related to past essays — For the 2014 contest, click here for the summary article and here for the list of winners; for the 2015 contest, click here for the summary article and the list of winners; and for the 2016 contest, click here.

Longer Observations

Start Here

Material written for this site

Material written for this site:

[I have been writing the new material in a certain order. If you decide to go deeper into this site, I highly recommend, after reading the introductory material, that you read the Key Concepts and read them in order. I emphasize that they are meant to be read this way. – The Key Concepts, taken together, are a summary or abbreviation of the ideas on this site.]

The newest material is usually but not always found on the Home page. This is true for most popular material, but I haven't been putting technical material or material for professionals on the Home page, because most people wouldn't be interested in it or be able to understand it. Material for the general public, assuming they are interested in psychology, is almost always accessible by a click or two from the Home page.

Recently written or edited for this site:

This list keeps changing. As of March 19, 2013 I added and expanded the Psych Topics section and am phasing out the Self-Knowledge Inventory and the Lessons section. I have also added a "Big" Dreams section that can be accessed with one click from the front page. But, as of May 6, 2014, I have changed the Psych Topics section and have taken off the Self-Knowledge Inventory. This is because new and, hopefully, better ways of organizing keep coming to mind.

1. Short ideas, each no more than a paragraph. These appear one at a time, scrolling in random order, on the left side of the Home page, on the top. Reading a few of them as they scroll by is not a bad way to get a feel for the whole site.

2. A group of Longer ideas which appear randomly under the Short ideas in the left column of the Home page.

3. A group of concepts that are key for this site. If you are going to read only one longer piece on this site, I highly recommend the Key Concepts (after reading the warnings). It is also a good place to start as an introduction if you plan to read more.

4. Laws of Psychology can also be accessed on the Main Menu. These summarize patterns I have observed so often over the years that I have come to think of them as rules or laws about how the mind works.

I hope to (and intend to) add new lessons until they feel complete.

5. On the Main Menu also can be found access to a fascination I have with different approaches to psychology. The reader can browse through the approaches.

6. For about three years now I have been fascinated with classifying psychological phenomena. I have found it to be a much more difficult project than I expected. It is much more difficult than finding a filing system for all the papers on my desk.

Older Material

Older Material:

These are writings, paintings and drawings, and other researches that go back to the year 1975. Many of the writings fit into the goals of this site even though they were before the existence of the Internet.

Much of the material was written by hand or typed on a typewriter and then mimeographed, and I am now beginning to put some of it into the computer. For many, I can only guess at the date, often only the year (in this cases, I show the "Create Date" as January 1 of that year).

Some of the writings were published; many were not. Some were notes to myself. Some were articles I intended to submit for publication one day. Some were notes for classes I gave. And there are even a few unpublished books.

There is also a table of data I collected on a topic that has interested me for about five years now, the use of metaphor in talking about the mind. I have collected thousands of examples, and, when I have time, I hope to publish the spreadsheet on this site.

For about fifteen years now, ever since I worked on analyzing Freud's Irma dream, I have wanted to do research on the relation between dreams and physical illnesses. I have wanted to collect data to see if dreams can be used to diagnose physical illnesses. Putting together a research proposal has required more time than I could give it. If time and circumstances allow, this web site could be an ideal place to gather such data. I am not ready to do this now or in the immediate future, but I have it as a possibility for future development.

In looking through my past work, I have found things only indirectly linked (if at all) with psychology. These can be grouped as follows:

1. There is a series of writings (only a few that have been published) on subjects besides psychology, in particular, on gardening (as I was a professional gardener for about five years). These include some drawings I made to illustrate certain theories I had.

2. A group of poems from a certain period of my life.

3. A group of drawings, paintings and sculptures that were done to illustrate psychological ideas, as part of my psychological "work" on myself, or as portraits of different powerful personalities I have met. Some of these may be of interest to some readers of this site.

4. Two film scripts, both of which have a psychological tone. 

With respect to this kind of material, I have to make a judgment call as to what to include and where to put it. I do not want to burden the reader with personal material. On the other hand, some of it might be useful for the reader to see the ground from which the main ideas of this site sprung and for other reasons.

As of now, I have only begun to edit this material and to put select material on this site. I also have not yet figured out, in all cases, exactly where to put what. So the site is more disorganized than fits my nature. For now, most of the material of this third type that I have added so far appears in tabs on the menu “Search this Site” in the left column of most pages. I hope to have this material more organized in the future, but, for now, the reader will find it to be an incomplete mass of more or less jumbled material.

An important final word here is that, in many places I have found it useful to have tabs for material that has not yet been written. In these cases the reader will click on a tab and find a note that the article is "In Progress." I realize that this will be an irritation, and I apologize in advance. I will add that I have been spending much of my free time since I began working on this project, trying to make this site easy to read and user friendly and to put up a reasonable mixture of the old and new material. When I make important additions or re-writes or re-organize in a significant way, I plan to note the changes in an article called Site News, a tab to which can be found on the Main Menu.

If the reader has trouble with the organization or presentation of this site and has a thought he or she thinks could be helpful, I welcome a comment to me through the Contact Info link.

Thank you, and I hope this site will be useful to you.

Thomas Hersh

Two Approaches to Understanding Psychology

via reflection on the world
via reflection on one's immediate experience
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   the One   the Whole
the Sacred
the Ordinary
People
Action
Experience
Consciousness
Universals
feeling stuck
feelings of failing,        of dying
waiting
 waking up — feeling reborn
   focusing   on the self
confronting the   unconscious
the whole person
living in multiple       worlds
learning about     the world
feelings of success,     of the good life