Americans and the Unconscious by Robert C. Fuller

By Robert C. Fuller

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All of us carry within ourselves the key to happiness, success, and spiritual advancement. "40 This notion of the inner resources of the individual powerfully strengthens belief in the principles of democratic thought, commitment to the work ethic, and confidence in God's providential activity. Psychology, when approached from the standpoint of aesthetic spirituality, had the potential to reinforce both Americans' religious and cultural faiths. From Nature to Psychological Nature in American Theology Underlying the ability of late nineteenth-century Americans to embrace scientific psychology as a source of spiritual edification was a long tradition of seeing nature as fraught with theological 21 Americans and the Unconscious significance.

More important, it involved a belief in interpenetrating spheres of causality. When inner harmony, or resonance between realms, is established, guiding wisdom and energy automatically flow from the "higher" to the "lower" plane. On this view, the idea that there are laws governing human participation in God's redemptive scheme entails not only obligation but opportunity as well. According to the harrnonial understanding, the covenant, rather than restraining humanity's natural tendencies, promises their almost unlimited fulfillment.

On the one hand, the New Psychology claimed to be at last in a position to liberate Quimby's theories from superstition and refine them into scientific principles. On the other hand, it owed Quimby and his followers a tremendous debt. 6 Goddard believed that the closest thing to a real improvement over Quimby's system was the theory of the subliminal self put forward by famed psychical researcher F. W. Myers. He credited Myers with having demonstrated that mental functions acquired early in the evolutionary history of humankind continue to operate at a profound psychical depth and in certain instances irrupt into consciousness.

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