The world is full of humans. You are one, I am too, even the President. But what is our common concern? Who is the human in us all? These are questions that cry out for clarification, and science keeps its promise: it knows the human very precisely, depending on the different discipline. This time:
The human in psychology:
A total lunatic who is always trying to get a grip on himself
Psychologists pose questions such as: “Why do humans make war?”, “Why do they chase after money even though it never brings them happiness?”, “Why do their love affairs make them so miserable?” etc. As different and contradictory as the social characters that one meets in real life are – professors and housewives, entrepreneurs and workers, politicians and voters – psychologists always and in principle see at work one and the same subject: “the human.” It can be whatever you want – a football game or a state affair, a holiday fling or an event in professional life. In each case, for psychologists it is already certain in advance that humans pursue their self-realization.
The human in psychology is a hero of freedom: he moves in a world that he has produced; but, nevertheless, this does not lead to his contentment. The question why this is so is already answered by the choice of subject: the human is just like that – in his urge for self-realization, he too often undertakes things that do him no good. Instead of explaining what is here before them in each case, psychologists draw a tautological conclusion about the inner life of the human. In this way, their hero of freedom gets the strangest inclinations attributed to him: Why do humans, for example, make war? Because they have the inclination to do so; this is called “aggression.” Psychologists consider war to be in need of explanation; however, they do not think any further about war – the relation between states, whose interests are injured, what these interests are that have war as their means of assertion, and so forth – but they rather leave it implicit in how humans are, inserting war into the human psyche, and so nobody should be surprised by it anymore. They regard the eradication of objectivity as their explanation!
The psychological need for explanation is satisfied that the absolute opposite of an explanation is provided: the person is just like that, he makes troubles for his own kind for no reason – no matter whether in a war or a bar fight. But not only this, also the opposite: the human, psychologically considered, also has a life instinct which has less to do with familiar tender feelings than with a fat “positive” which is directed then towards somebody or something: it makes sense to the psychologist that one buys a car because he really wants to screw his mother. Proof: he bought the car! Such products of psychological fantasy prove that psychologists are happy to pay the price of finding everything human understandable. They no longer need to wonder about anything in the world because they have decided to let the strangest and craziest things be understood as Human Feelings. This decision is irrefutable. Psychologists go on the offensive towards anyone who objects that he has not felt such strange inclinations himself: a typical case of displacement!
Contrary to whatever people gifted with will and consciousness think their respective motives are, psychologists maintain that a world of underlying motives is determinant behind them: what allows people to take action is said to be not just what they want, but rather a drive which the will must obey as a mere executing organ; and whoever has still not realized this only proves the power of the unconscious. This metaphysic of the will is hermetic: it purports that the joke in the will exists in its denial. It is said to be determined by irrational impulses, thus overridden. However, in that case it does not exist. However, it must exist because otherwise it could not be determined. If it does exist, however, it is not determined. Also in reverse: it is determined, but this works in secrecy, so the will does not notice that it has been overridden. Objectively, it doesn’t matter whether one says: forces are at work in the psyche which always remain hidden, or whether one lets this go. But for the image of the human, the difference is enormously significant.
Now the human in psychology stands as self-confident master of the world – unfortunately, he does not control himself. The world – in order! The person is the problem: he is controlled by the irrational, metaphysical forces of the psyche. For whom is that actually a problem? For the person, psychologists claim. And if he has not yet become conscious of himself, at least they have. They know the reasons for “frustration” and “stress” and “grief” more than anybody else, and each time, every objective thing that could be an occasion for criticism is subordinated to the diagnosis of a person’s failed relation to himself: he suffers from himself and exists doubly. Once as a messed up, complete madman and then again as someone who this does not suit and is therefore inspired by the urge to get a grip on himself. Here psychologists speak of the human will and its ability to behave rationally. Then they could leave the story there. But he is both! The same person who is tormented by the mechanism of his psychic forces rises to the task of mastering this mechanism: there is a pressure building up in me which needs a valve – said the steamboiler to itself.
According to this logic, the human has his hands full: he displaces, projects, compensates, and the more he carries this out, maybe under psychological guidance, with will and consciousness – thus again processing the results of projection, displacement, etc. – the more extensive becomes his psychic baggage that wants to be mastered, and the more similar he becomes to the human in psychology. Thereby psychology helpfully assists people who view themselves as such bundles of problems: by means of them, it exercises its image of the human.