Theory of Psychology: The Laws of Psyche (complete text)

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Alberto E. Fresina

CHAPTER 11 -(pages 221 to 227 of the book of 410)

Index of the chapter:

1. Labor and the complementary social activities



All the impulses and bipulsions we have already discussed correspond to the analytic field of reasons. We talked about the multiple elements of motivation, but with a disintegrated approach and isolating the different facts whose affirmation or denial is of the premeditation’s interest. However, the general law has a sphere of its activity corresponding to the integration of reasons, to the group of facts. In this sphere, macropulsion moves. The absolute values, here, are not facts but “macro-facts” or global facts. It is about situations to be sought or to be avoided. Such situations are conceived in their global configuration as a single fact, but in their composition, they are combinations of simple facts.

For our approach, a simple fact would be what a concrete state of pleasure or displeasure lasts, example: all that happened during the satisfaction of an impulse or the displeasure caused by a unique stimulus or reason. Instead, we will call global fact to the situation defined in space and time, where a group of simple facts is included. The global facts, to be like that, have to be defined in their space and temporary configuration; they must have a relatively defined beginning and an end. When the situation is indefinite in its duration, it is no longer a global fact but a virtual condition. For example, “to be a doctor” is something that can not be enclosed in space and time as a unique fact, but it is a virtual condition, indefinite in its duration. On the other hand, going to a party or not going, is a global fact, since it allows to be enclosed in the mental representation as a “compact” fact, defined in its consistency and approximate duration.

In fact there are no accurate limits among a simple fact, a global fact and a virtual condition. Going to our dining room just to eat, could be defined as a simple fact. But to attend a “dinner” would be a global fact. The synthetic notion of it comprises a group of simple facts. On the other hand, to think about staying for five or six months in “another country” would still be a global fact, as it is something defined in its consistency and approximate duration and captured in the subjectivity with a global notion of all supposed experiences inside that defined fact. But it is “just about” to be a virtual condition, as it would be for example “living” indefinitely in that country. Therefore, it is a continuity going from the simple facts to global ones and continuing until the virtual conditions.

Although it is a continuity that prevents from defining exactly the separation points, the same exists the qualitative difference among those three types of goals that premeditation is interested in. This is the same, for example, that the qualitative difference among the morning, the afternoon and the night. During the intermediate times, it is impossible to capture the accurate point of separation. However, when moving away from those confused boundaries, the three things appear clearly distinguishable. The same happens with all the qualitative changes determined by gradual quantitative changes.

Then, on one hand we find the simple facts that are concrete acts that can not be divided into their components, example: drinking a glass of water. No matter how much we divide that fact into partial movements, in this psychological focus the whole act of drinking, from its beginning until its conclusion, is no doubts, a single simple fact. Even if they are two glasses running, they would also correspond to the same act: drinking. The global facts, on the other hand, are those gathering several simple facts in a single global configuration conceived as an only fact, example: to attend or not a meeting, to attend a sports or artistic show, to go to a trip, to play or not in a room game, etc. Then, the virtual conditions are for example: to have a good work, to have safe conditions in the case of danger, to be healthy, etc.

The virtual or transcendent conditions in relation to the concrete facts will be discussed in the following chapter. The macropulsion being now analyzed still moves in the level of the facts without more significance than its own presentation or avoidance. The contrary nucleus of this mechanism are: pleasant global fact – unpleasant global fact. Such concepts refer to what we understand for “pleasant situation” or “unpleasant situation”. But we will not use the term: situation, since it has several senses. Sometimes it refers to simple facts, others to global facts or also to virtual conditions.

The macropulsion is formed by two heading impulses paying its attention in the global fact as a whole; these are the joy and conservation impulses. The global fact is conceived in a single synthetic notion of the promising psychic average. When the psychic product is conceived as pleasant, the desire of the joy imp. rouses trying to achieve the affirmation of the global fact; and when the psychic average advanced by that image is unpleasant, the fear towards the global fact will appear and because of that one will try to avoid it.

The many pleasures or displeasures of the simple facts included under the outline of the global facts can be of the most diverse impulses or bipulsions. For that reason, apart from the two heading impulses, the composition of the macropulsion may have the revolving participation of any impulse or bipulsion. Almost all the impulses and bipulsions regularly move in the frame of the integral performance of the macropulsion. As this is a tendency that gathers and dynamically integrates the diverse reasons, the impulses and bipulsions are frequently included under their movement. The subject is rarely guided towards a goal where just an isolated simple fact takes place, but most situations that interfere in the continuous decisions are global facts composed of varied simple facts, of interest for the different impulses and bipulsions.

The global fact is captured by the subject in a notion that points to the psychic average that implies to be introduced in it. Pleasures and displeasures included in their integral psychic balance are not mostly distinguished. Nevertheless, some images of the most important simple facts comprised in the global fact, usually “loom up”. Example, the mental representation of the attendance to a party may be mixed with fleeting images of a woman attending the party and whom the male subject is interested in. In another one of the guests, what appears with more relevance in his representation, maybe the idea of the flavorful and plenty food he will enjoy. A third guest will see the possibility to wear his splendid clothes. Anyway, the interest of the macropulsion is focused on the integral psychic average of pleasure-displeasure promised by each global fact.

Taking into account this tendency, the operation of the concept of decision making clearly looms up. Many times the global facts contain advantages to which desire responds and disadvantages that provoke fear. But after the balance or fight among the options, the advantages and the desire will get over the fear and the disadvantages or vice versa. That will finally push the will to affirm the global fact, hardly favorable to pleasure or rather one will avoid it as it is unpleasant in the final product of the analysis. However, such conflicts may not appear with a very important balance of advantages and disadvantages in relation to one same global fact.

Apart from the heading impulses, there are other four that are frequently present in the motivational structure of the macropulsion: recreational, variation, relief and continuation. The recreational one, with its boredom, encourages the interest in participating in amusing global facts (in general activities). The variation one, because of tedium or tiresome, favors the search for new activities or situations. The relief one tries to abandon the unpleasant global facts. And the continuation one tries to encourage the continuity of the pleasant ones.

Structures of the macropulsion:

The global facts are not only sought or avoided in themselves by the macropulsion. As they are connected with the whole system of the psychic movement, they are conceived isolated by their single pleasant or unpleasant nature, on few occasions. A pleasant global fact is avoided on many occasions because there are other things to do or because it is excluding with other  values. In other cases the subject undergoes unpleasant global facts as it is an unavoidable mean for other purposes. Nevertheless, when the other circumstances are neuter or annuls each other, the macropulsion works fully, looking for or avoiding the global facts according to their unique psychic offer.

In the primary social organism, this tendency fundamentally deals with the social activities that one wants to carry out or not. Let’s observe which would be the activities, besides work, whose statement may be of the primitive’s interest:

1 - Games and sports
2 - Walk, trip, expedition
3 - Art (poetry, plastic, music, dances, dramatizations)
4 - Rituals, tribal ceremonies
5 - Meeting, talks, plans, discussion of opinions, comments, humor (vent)
6 -Parties (these ones are global facts which may include diverse activities and situations, as minor global facts included under their sphere).

Those activities, together with some others, complete the day of the tribe. They also replace occasionally labor when this becomes unnecessary. As we have already stated, such activities are integrative elements that favor the continuous physical and spiritual unity of the tribe. Besides, they contribute to keep the subjects active, what assures the maintenance of capacities.

As the functions of such activities were so important, they had to be pleasant for the primitive ones. For that reason they form a group of regular pleasant global facts in which the macropulsion is interested in. We must keep in mind that we have only mentioned genders of activities or social situations, but inside each one there is an infinity of possible varieties.

1. Labor and the complementary social activities

The group of those social activities has the natural capacity to replace the productive labor of the tribe in the diverse aspects. They not only ensure the unity of subjects and the maintenance of the performance capacities in front of nature, but they also contain the group of psychic and motivational elements that work during the joint labor, making it possible to cover the psychological needs that labor usually and naturally satisfies.

We have already said that labor, as fundamental social activity, constitutes from a big approach, the great object of satisfaction of the man's superior needs. This is in that way because the whole motivational system that distinguishes the man from the rest of the animals, was developed around the productive work of the group. For that reason, that vital activity of the tribe gathers, in a natural state, diverse psychological functions, which are present in a combined way during its development. Labor itself is a sport, an art, a science, a game, a walk, an expedition and an adventure. However, favorable times may always appear, where getting food becomes easy and there are other eventual comforts that make hardly necessary the work of the tribe, it becomes essential the existence of activities to replace it, covering the emptiness left by its absence (partial or total). Thus, those entertainment activities are in charge of replacing labor when this is not necessary. Such activities, as we have said, not only ensure the physical and spiritual unity of the members of the tribe and the maintenance of the global capacities of performance, but they are also qualified to move the psychological functions fully that are naturally carried out during the work of the tribe. Such functions that labor gathers making them converge and merge during its development, are rescued by those complementary or alternate activities, where each one is in charge of stressing certain partial functions. In such way, what is united during labor (“sport”, “art”, etc.) is separated by those activities that strengthen each partial function. All of them ensure the appearance of the essential psychological functions that usually accompany labor in its natural form.

This phenomenon would be based, among other elements, on the functional flexibility of the personal performance bip., which may be separated from labor and its mechanism transferred to other activities, where its “heavy” absolute values work fully: good performance - bad performance. That allows the personal performance bip. to appear with strength  in the frame of the artistic, recreational, sport, educational activities, etc.

Labor, in its natural form, is like a closed fan that carries the psychological functions in a compressed way; while the recreational, artistic, sports activities, etc., form the open fan of those same psychic functions. It is about a harmonious combination among labor, as synthesizer of the functions and the complementary or replacing activities that take those same functions more analytically or separated. This way, when the tribe has to work, the range of motivations closes and merges supporting the labor activity, to open up afterwards in the diverse entertainment activities. For example, the artistic, moral fight and rational fight bipulsions are part of the same motivation pushing the best production in labor. The artistic one is present in the interest in beauty and perfection of the task carried out; the one of the moral fight quarrels about who does it in a better way; the rational one is manifested in the exchanges of ideas and proposals before certain problem or difficulty. These motivations that go together during work, are rescued or isolated by art, sport and “meetings” respectively, like activities or situations stressing those aspects of motivation separately.

Although labor in its natural form fosters the enthusiasm and the healthy psychic performance of the members of the tribe, those activities that are its substitution or natural complement also generate a continuous enthusiasm and they favor, in the same way, the good psychic performance. They are even able to overcome that, regarding the capacity to favor the enthusiasm and the psychic level of life. For that reason, a natural ideal of any tribe is to achieve safe and easy conditions for the satisfaction of the most basic needs, so that they will try by all means to avoid the productive labor, in order to pay more attention to the variety of social activities that replace it naturally and that constitute groups of pleasant global facts. In other words, one tries spontaneously to create the conditions that make it possible to diminish labor and to increase games, sports, walks, vents, songs,  dances, and parties in the tribe.

As it is more pleasant to live under those conditions than in relation to a continuous working situation, it means a natural prize for the tribe as a whole. Such life conditions imply that everything is fine in that tribe and that it is in the best conditions in terms of survival and reproduction. Therefore, as it is a favorable life situation, it had to provoke a psychic favorable average for pleasure, so that it was considered as an ideal goal to be achieved by the whole tribe. Otherwise, if the situation of material facilities for a tribe meant a state with unpleasant average for the subjects, the ideal goal of its achievement would not rouse and that impels to work in order to create those conditions so favorable for survival. For such reason, the activities replacing labor had the necessity to equal and to overcome even the latter one in terms of the level of life enthusiasm and social happiness. Thanks to it, a strong interest is developed in labor aimed to attain the best material conditions for life, as the only mean to enjoy that.

The universal attractiveness of the school camps or of youth groups, etc., would lie in the fact that they constitute true “copies” of tribe’s life in its successful days. When a camp is carried out, the premises allowing the material safety for the whole contingent are usually taken into account. In that way, the days include diverse social activities, which are not more than the natural replacements of labor: sports, games, walks, expeditions, group ceremonies, art, humor, vents.

The primitive ones could not achieve for long those ideal conditions of life. It was for them as an illusion that vanished quickly after being reached. That ideal served mainly in the facts, like one more motivation for labor. The interest itself in achieving it pushed to work in order to create the favorable material conditions for it.

Today, instead, there exist material conditions that take us near the realistic possibility of that ideal. Under the premise of the definitive socio-economic justice, that sooner or later will be achieved by the workers all over the world and as soon as a major freedom is attained in relation to the demands of the productive work, with the development of the machine and automated production, the whole society will be able to participate actively and as a main character of the diverse recreational, artistic, sports, scientific, tourist, educational activities. Such activities, properly organized, may offer the suitable field for the satisfaction of the man's superior needs, besides providing a deep enthusiasm for life. But as long as productive labor keeps on being essential during great part of the available time of each one, the attention will have to be focused, firstly, on reorganizing the conditions of the labor life, so that work recovers its natural form, that is to say, so that it is again an art, a sport, a game, a science, simultaneously. The current problem is that in general none of the above situations occurs. It does not exist either the open fan of social activities or the closed fan of an appropriate way of labor that favors the healthy appearing of the psychological functions. The general unhappiness and the mental disorder would be, in big terms, the outcome of it.

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© Author: Alberto E. Fresina
Title: "The Laws of Psyche"
Title of the original Spanish Version:
"Las Leyes del Psiquismo"
Fundar Editorial
Printed in Mendoza, Argentina
I.S.B.N. 987-97020-9-3
Mendoza, 14th July, 1999
Copyright registered at the National Copyright Bureau in 1988, and at the Argentine Book Camera in 1999, year of its publication.
Translated by Ana El kassir with the collaboration of Marcela Berenguer
Characteristic of the original copy in Spanish: Number of pages: 426; measures: 5.9 x 8.27 x 1 inch; weight: 1.2lb.

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