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Resisting HistoryReligious Transcendence and the Invention of the Unconscious$
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Rhodri Hayward

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074141

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074141.001.0001

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The soul governed

The soul governed

(p.80) 3 The soul governed
Resisting History

Rhodri Hayward

Manchester University Press

Both mysticism and the new psychology are techniques for transforming hidden, introspective knowledge into public language. The mystics had communicated the inner presence of the divine through the body. In the new psychology of religion, the sacred—which had once stood outside the individual—was relocated within the field of memory. The new psychologists tried to reveal the lost or subliminal inner life of man, but in place of hidden processes of growth and ideas obscured from the waking consciousness, the new psychologists substituted a body of knowledge constructed through statistical techniques and experimental investigation. The new psychology based its appeal to pedagogy on a presentation of the child as a complex of historical forces demanding expert interpretation and control. The most straightforward of these forces, the individual's habits, had long been a concern of British psycho-physiologists, who presented habit as a mechanism through which action and emotion could be physically inscribed upon the nerves.

Keywords:   mysticism, new psychology, introspective knowledge, experimental investigation, waking consciousness

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