In researching the ancient roots of international psychology, I found that I gravitated with special interest to the ancient roots of Greek, Chinese and Indian psychology. In this research, I found myself replaying a statement I read when learning about the hypothesis regarding the history of psychology. This statement is “ It may be possible that parts of history have indeed been chaotic whereas other parts have been linear and progressive and still others have been cyclical” (King, Viney and Woody, 2009, p.9).
Ancient Roots of Greek psychology
Greek influences appear to have the most presence in Western psychology. Greeks placed a heavy emphasis on intellect. “Many Greek thinkers of antiquity were obsessed with finding the fundamental stuff of the universe” (King, Viney and Woody, 2009, p.46). In early Greek years, there was a acknowledgement of the gods attributing to human strengths and weakness, which was later challenged (King, Viney and Wood). Greek philosophers were progressive and influential. Greeks developed many theories rooted in psychology such as: healing treatments, dreams, rationalism vs empiricism, being vs becoming, atomic, illness, basic elements, relativism and many more. I was surprised to learn from King, Viney and Woody the following;
The decay was illustrated by a new emphasis on narrow practical concerns such as how to be happy and how to maximize personal Gains There was a loss of interest in the pursuit of wisdom for its own sake and a growing demand for knowledge that results in immediate gratification. Investigation of great questions in science and metaphysics was replaced by self-centered concerns and there was a consequent decline in the generation of new ideas. For a long ...
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...creation. Tn the Piman tradition, society attempts to be of assistance in the life of it’s members and to keep them “proper.” This propriety results in health and joy; failure to follow tradition is believed to result in sickness. (p.25)
These types of traditions and customs are important in developing an understanding the psychology of the culture.
The statement that replayed in my head while creating this paper provided proper balance, when I felt overwhelmed with the magnitude of information that I discovered. Chaos, linear-progressive and cyclical were all an applicable component of some part of the ancient roots of international psychology. I found it interesting how each area that I chose to focus on were rooted very differently, while maintaining some similarities. Each influence had some form of philosophy and included a spiritual aspect.
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