Freud, Jung, Adler, Dreikurs, and beyond

The following is a personal viewpoint of the above named greats of Western Psychology.

Freud. Ok. The guy brings psychology into the modern age and people follow it like science. You've got to hand it to him. He did a great service to humanity. He did better for the scientists that followed him. Freud's theories were subjected to some extraordinarily rigorous scientific tests.

My only problem with Freud and all these tests is that you have to accept that it comes from the perspective of the reproductive chakra of human experience. Everything must be viewed from the point of human sexuality. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. When we need to explore and discover who we are, sexuality is important. But as a world-view, it comes up short. One only needs to look at the basic tenets of yoga or buddhism to realize that Freud's world view was limited. How limited? Well, I like to call it, the philosophy of the one-eyed snake.

So, now you know why Harry had to fight the Basilisk. Freudian psychology allows us to live in fear of things that people don't want to take the time to explain. All we need is the magic of another law against men. I believe that the world-view that Freud constructed is the patriarchal society against which most feminists are the most angry. It is the most easy to exploit for any politician getting elected and every representative to pass as legislation. And, truth be told, there are some of us--men and women alike--who will never admit that life is anything but a plug and a wall socket.

Jung. By some accounts, Freud was just pissed that Jung brought the discussion of humanity up a chakra. I'm not as familiar with Jung. Personally, I feel that his explanations of our dream world simply reflect a full range of human experience; some of which is in our control and most of which is not. Therefore, in Jung's theories we can bend fate, but we cannot break free from it. We can be happy with our lives through a detail exploration of ourselves and, utlimately, accept that we are who we are. The most positive change that can be effectuated through Jungian philosopy is that we can effect change from within ourselve through understanding.

Yeah. I'm seeing a pattern, too. Both Freud and Jung want you to sit on a couch or in a dimly lit room with ambient music and incense candles burning. I can't tell you I don't like to do these things. But, when my kid's futures are at stake; don't put me on a couch, and don't make me inhale someone elses smoke.

Adler. In Hindu philosophy, Perusha is the quiet observer inside us. Pakrti (pak-ri-ti) is the dancer being observed. Adler was a keen observer of the dancer in others. What he saw was that Pakriti wants to belong to Perusha and the many ways in which humanity expresses this desire. Adler correctly identified the thousands year old human need to belong as a function of the highest physical chakra, the navel, the power center, the force behind a human's ability to be the dancer.

Now... Imagine that the course of therapy Adler recommends is based upon the human desire to belong. In the course of this therapy, Adler recognizes that every human being is equal in the eyes of God. As humans, if we recognize and reward other's attempts to belong, we reinforce those behaviors. When we reward negative behavior, we get an increase in negative behavior. When we reward positive behavior, we increase positive behavior. Lose:Lose. Win:Win. Turn the other cheek. Forgive others. Treat others as you would treat yourself. Let the child dance.

Dreikurs. Children the Challenge, As you may have guessed, I really appreciate the correlation between Hindu / Buddhist thought and the differences in the early psychological / scientific models of human behavior. Can we change fate (and, perhaps, the course of history)? Well, look at the way Dreikurs reveals the way that children dance.

  • Attention
  • Power
  • Revenge
  • Discouragement
In this 1964 classic, you may find the foundation of a positive, lifelong relationship with your children, your spouse, your coworkers, and every acquaintance you ever meet. How can a child want to belong to his family by being discouraged? If the answer eludes you, you need to read this book to understand the very simple principles upon which Adler perceived human psychology.

And Beyond

As for the higher chakras; the heart, the throat, the eye, and the mind, transcend the basic needs that we can give to each other. We each have to find these and their meanings for ourselves.

  • When we find the heart chakra, we find love to give.
  • When we find the throat chakra, we find the words that improve our lives and the lives of all others around us.
  • When we find the eye chakra, we begin to empathize with the person, the crowd, the world with whom we interact.
  • When we find the chakra of the mind, we begin to understand how little we know and how much there is to know.

When you are done with "Children the Challenge" you will likely thirst for more practical knowledge. You will want to turn the next stressful situation into an opportunity. You will want "Effective Discipline in the Home and School," Painter / Corsini. Get it. Read it. Apply it.

Check yourself. Live by "The Four Agreements" explained by Don Miguel Ruiz:

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don't take anything personally
  • Don't make assumptions
  • Always do your best

From here, choose the path of peace. I can recommend anything from Joseph Campbell because you know him. He guided the path of Luke Skywalker. He can guide you.