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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Power of the Unconscious

Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and many other psychologists of the 20th century had an extremely big focus on the subconscious and the unconscious. Freud talked about the Dynamic Unconscious, which is an active system encompassing a lifetime of hidden memories, the person’s deepest instincts and desires, and the person’s inner struggle to control these forces. (Psychology by Schacter, Gilbert, and Wegner) Carl Jung spoke of the "shadow self". All in all, many of these Psychologists theorized that our unconscious self has a lot to do with who we are. Kurt Witt had a great blog on some of these ideas, and I'd like to tie in some of what I've been learning in other classes this semester to add to Kurt's ideas.
In my Psychology class this semester, we read an article titled, "The Unconscious Will: How the Pursuit of Goals Operates Outside of Conscious Awareness," by Ruud Custers and Henk Aarts. It is a fairly difficult read, but they essentially argue that our unconscious actually chooses goals for us before we actually become aware of them. With such a fascinating article, we were then asked to write a short essay about it, which I've linked to on Google Documents:

The Unconscious Will

Essentially, the biggest problem that I have with many Psychologists is that they are missing something, and that something is the knowledge that we have from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact of the matter is that our soul is made up of a spirit and a physical body, and a lot of the time these two desire and seek after different things. True joy and happiness comes when we cast off the "natural man" and seek after the things of the Spirit, or the things of God. I think Psychologists do have glimpses into a lot of truth, but they would be able to make much more sense of there observations and ideas if they had the Light of the Gospel to help them as well.


  1. Anyone know of any influential LDS Psychologists? Just curious :)

  2. Go through the LDS Services - they hire Psychologists. (,12264,2873-1,00.html)

    I agree that most psychologists don't have the foundation of the Gospel to help them help their patients. They get so caught up in Freud & Jung that they forget Jesus Christ!

    Add the book "Perpetual Motivation" by Dave Durand to your list of books to read - he talks very convincingly about the need for a higher authority than ourselves to decide right and wrong. Good reading!

  3. I thought that the movie "Inception" dealt with the idea of our subconscious in a whole new way. I think the gospel has a lot to tell us about why we are the way we are. I'm excited for the day when all will be revealed.