In the previous chapter, we learnt simple techniques that one can use to improve on his/her ability to grasp concepts related to exams. Section seven is particularly concerned with techniques one can employ to bring about full realization of the inner self. Topics to be discussed are:
What is the inner self?
How is our personality shaped by the inner being?
Ways of improving our mind & memory functioning for an improved wholesome lifestyle.
Various philosophers and psychologists have over the years tried to answer’ what is personality’ and up to date there is no definite answer to this question as different scholars have their own unique views in regards to this topic.
The main proponent of classical psychoanalysis was an Austrian psychiatrist by the name Sigmund Freud. He theorized our personality to be chiefly controlled by our past childhood experiences which are embedded in our unconscious memory. Individuals don’t have any control over this part of memory and are unaware of its existence, despite the fact that it has control over their behavioral trends. Freud subdivides memory into three areas which include a) Conscious b) Preconscious and c) Subconscious
a. Conscious memory; these are activities that we engage in and are fully aware of their happenings, and our involvement in them. It is at the tip of Freud’s iceberg and takes a very small portion of the entire chunk.
b. Preconscious memory, this is the kind of recall which that is available only when we need it. We remember stuff that’s only important in aiding us to fulfill certain tasks at hand.
c. Subconscious memory; Here Freud proposes that individuals are totally unaware of its existence, and the influence it does have on our memory despite the fact that it does play the biggest role in shaping our personalities. For instance, a kid who fell off a table while young may grow up to have an unexplained phobia for heights. The grown up wouldn’t trace this fear to any recent happening in his/her life.
Classical psychoanalysis divides personality into three levels which include a) Id b) Ego and c) Superego.
A. Id. This is the part in us which operates in accordance to the pleasure principle. It seeks immediate gratification regardless of the rationale behind ones action. Id is primal and is at the lowest level of a human being’s mental functioning. Example of Id in operation is when a man rapes a young girl, not thinking of consequences that will follow such gross actions.
B. The Superego, this is the part of our mind which operates under the ‘taught principle.’ Throughout our lives we have been told by others or learnt from experience what is good & bad. It is this ethical predisposition which we get from significant others in our lives such as parents or the society that is embedded in our memories and helps in making decisions of life.
C. The Ego, this component of our personality functions according to the reality principle. It checks and balances both the Superego and Id and it’s constantly in conflict with the two, but mostly with Id. Ego rationalizes things through assessing what ones actions would result to, not only for the individual but also other parties who would be affected by these actions.
These are both conscious and unconscious psychological systems we use to bring about synthesis and an optimal state of mind. We use them to justify our actions or please others.
The goal of every individual is getting to know the true purpose of life through getting in touch with all the senses and making good use of the environment. Abraham Maslow tried to explain this process through his pyramid of needs which is discussed as follows.
These are some of the very basic necessities of our lives. They are basic and literal necessities for survival of the human species. Incase these necessities aren’t sufficiently met the individual’s body shall cease to function. Water, food and air are all metabolic necessities for actual survival of any human being.
Also, clothing as well as appropriate shelter provides us with essential protection against adverse climatic elements. Researchers have also revealed that actual intensity of ones sexual impulse is principally fashioned by ‘sexual contest’ amongst individuals, rather than maintaining a rate of birth which is sufficient to actual survival of relative species.
Once the above is fulfilled then the next focus would be on security. Here, one seeks to seize precedence as well as dominate behavior. When physical security is absent as a result of natural disaster, childhood mistreatment or in-family conflict individuals will experience PTSD and multigenerational trauma transfer. On the other hand, economic insecurity resulting from worldwide fiscal crisis or retrenchment of the family’s breadwinner can lead to stress and despair. Security requirements can be subdivided to a) personal security b) well-being & health c) protection against illnesses, catastrophes and other undesirable impacts. d) Monetary security
This intricate layer of a person’s needs is social and incorporates real belongingness feelings. In addition, the need tends to be stronger during childhood. In some instances it may over-ride ones need for actual safety, like witnessed in kids who cling too much on abusive parents in a condition known as Stockholm syndrome. Maslow argued that absence of such aspects in the hierarchy as a result of neglect, ostracism or shunning may impede the individual’s ability to form meaningful relations later in life. These associations are:
People generally need to establish some sense of acceptance as well as belongingness whether it’s from huge social gatherings like clubs, gangs or small collective connections such as confidants, intimate partners, mentors or members of the family.
When love is lacking the individual will shrink to forlornness, societal apprehension and also clinical depression. In some instances the need to belong can override physiological or safety requirements. It depends on influence of ones peer pressure. For instance, an anorexic can ignore need to consume sufficient food alongside the safety brought by ample health. The individual would rather prefer the feeling of belongingness and ultimate control as a better alternative to eating.
All of us have the inherent need for respect as well as self-esteem and respect. This affords the normal individual with desire for full acceptance, along with value for significant others. Most of us need to participate in certain activities which would afford us a feeling of contribution. We need to sense some self-value and that is why people engage in hobbies or professions. Certain imbalances at this particular level will lead to poor self-esteem and eventual inferiority complex.
Individuals with poor self esteem constantly require the reverence of others. They will seek recognition or glory, and this entirely depends on the view of others. Research also reveals that individuals with poor esteem will not advance view of their personality despite the fame, external glory or respect they may receive. Certain psychological imbalances like depression may further impede one from achieving proper self-esteem.
Maslow identified two different structures of esteem needs. The lower section is concerned with respect, recognition, fame or attention displayed by others. The much higher echelon is concerned with competence, independence, mastery, freedom and also necessity for strength. It is more on the higher side of esteem because the individual largely depends on inner competence that is largely achieved via experience. Actual deprivation of such needs would result to inferiority feelings, helplessness and also weakness.
This pertains to the individual’s ability to realize wholesome potential and also realize maximum capacity through ‘discovering the real self.’ Maslow describes this stage as where one strives to be everything they are able of becoming.
Also note that self realization varies from one individual to another as it all depends on goals that have been set. For instance, one person can have a strong longing to be the best parent to the kids. On the other hand, there’s an individual who will view self-actualization as being able to express thoughts more in terms of classic inventions, paintings and also pictorials.
According to mind & memory researchers, actual learning is characteristically thought to be a mental process. Nevertheless, your brain is a standard physical organ which mostly functions in an electrochemical and psychological way. There are some movements along with categories of exercise which will sufficiently stimulate your mind and aid in learning.