Definitions and Distinctions

Soul-deep language

Institute of Psychomoralitics
October 7, 2023
min read

Abnegation: The receptive subjugation and reduction of the Pseudo-Self, that includes the sequential breaching and reduction of the coping mechanisms, the ego passions, and the ego by impacting reality.

Aggregate-Self: The existential individual all men experience upon self-reflection; it is body, pseudo-self, and imago Dei or authentic self.

Anxiety: The ego specific manifestation of the passion of fear.

Assent: In the second realm of moral/psychological process the cognitive agreement to a particularization of being as truth.

Avenues of Approach: A pathway exposing the ego to reality created with the chosen breaching of coping and primal defenses.

Character: Distinguished as either tended toward or open to reality or tending away from or closed to reality. Formed by the habituation of the psychomoral act.

Concomitant Passions: In the ego, anxiety is concomitant with fight and/or flight passions. In the psyche, peace is concomitant with joy and/or sorrow.

Concupiscible Appetite: The emotional appetite attracted to that which gives sensible pleasure and repulsed by that which gives sensible pain. Concupiscible positive emotions are love, desire, and delight, and their respective contraries are the negative emotions of hate, flight, and loss.

Coping: The act of successful defensive, denial, or ignoring of certain impacting reality.

Corresponding Continuums: Six corresponding continuums that conceptualize mental health in accord with the first, which is the typifying powers of the soul: vegetative, sensitive, and rational. The continuums then following in order: openness-to-reality, cognition, volition, emotion, and clinical descriptors. All the continuums are Thomistic conceptualizations save for the last, which correlates with classifications used by modern psychology.

Cupidity: Self-love; the unbridled desire for one’s own pleasure, which along with its prerequisite, pride, is the root of all sin and the cause of the warping defense of personality.

Egoistic: Pertaining to the functions of the ego.

Ego: (Lt., I) A part of a person, but not an essential part. The ego is in essence an apostatizing pride and subjective self-love. It is the root of both ego-reactivity and mal-being. (In Psychomoralitics, ego translates as not only I, but as "me, myself, and I.")

Ego Defenses: The combination of coping mechanisms and egoistic passions.

Ego-obduracy: The malignant choice to turn away from Supreme Objective Being in a prideful self-love.

Ego-Reactivity: A reaction to anxiety driven fight or flight ego passions. Emotions: A physiological reaction to the stimuli of impacting reality.

Essential Well-Being: The degree of which depends on the ability to receive-the-real, assent-to-truth, and choose-the-good. This entails the acceptance of ego-abnegation for love of objective truth and good and the subsequent ordering of the ego to the intellect and will and predominance of the psychic passions.

Fight or Flight Passions: A response to anxiety. The summary passion of sadness is a flight passion, whereas anger is a fight passion.

Functional Materialism: The result of a person being to some degree fixated on material beings, where all the faculties of the soul are ordered toward fulfillment of a person’s subjective material and emotional needs.

Glee: The subjective experience of pleasure, marked by a feeling of pleased or satisfied gratification. The corollary of glee is sadness.

Hyperselectivity: When ego passions cause the coping mechanisms to become frenzied in either an imprudent or irrational manner.

Human Flourishing: A continued and peaceful openness to reality and the full spectrum of human existence from the sublimest joys to the most poignant sorrows.

Humiliation: If properly embraced, it is a psychological and spiritual mortification. If fought, it produces further secretions of "personality defense" as a protection for pride and self-love.

Receptive Humiliation: Humiliation that is part and parcel of one’s existence and imposed from outside a person’s control.

Reflective Humiliation: Humiliation that is generated by a person’s own cognition and thus self-imposed and under his control.

Therapeutic Humiliation: A controlled and measured humiliation imposed in a therapeutic manner by the psychomoralist.

Imago Dei: Latin for "image of God," the authentic human person consisting of reason and volition. It is hidden by vice-necessitated personality and magnified by virtue. Its nemesis is the pseudo-self which seeks to supplant it.

Infantile Hedonism: The result of a person being fixated on his bodily and emotional sensations. This physical fixation can be seen as a regression in which a person is reduced to a primordial engagement with reality.

Irascible Appetite: The emotional appetite inclined to overcome contraries and rise above obstacles in accord with the concupiscible appetite’s desire or repugnance toward a thing. The irascible positive emotions are hope and audacity; their respective contraries despair and fear, as well as anger, which has no contrary, form the irascible negative emotions.

Joy: The objective experiencing of the goodness of life, which reaches its pinnacle in the Christian faith and is completely entailed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Joy is the corollary to sorrow.

Mal-Being: The presence of some degree of rational-volitional rebellion against reality, but neither an unawareness, ignoring of, or distortion of that reality.

Maturation: The result of either natural development or psychomoralitic intervention that results in an increased openness to reality and essential well-being.

Mental Health Field: (aka, Behavioral Health, etc.) Comprises all the disciplines and professions that by statutory definition utilize the term "mental health," et al., and as such are controlled in totality by of the mental health system and thus necessarily have the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a baseline nosology.

Mental Health System: (aka, Behavioral Health, etc.) The controlling entity of all services, practices, and clinical disciplines, that treat "mental health," et al. This controlling entity is comprised of and subsidized by the State, the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and the mental health professions' regulatory and educational agencies.

Mind: The intersect or conjuncture of soul and brain, a grey area of material and immateriality.

Adjoining Passions: The plethora of passions that subsequently accompany those of the chief and summary passions. The passions have been traditionally categorized as love, desire and repugnance, delight and loss, hope and despair, daring and fear, and anger. This list can be expanded by delineating the plethora of "feeling" adjectives both positive and negative.

Chief Passion: The summary and adjoining passions all come from either love of egoistic/subjective good or love of psychic/objective good. Love then is the chief passion, being the sine qua non of all the other passions.

Passions: Physical manifestations that have their origins in the impact of reality upon the ego and the psyche. Though the passions have their origins in the psychomoral realm, they can be experienced in the body as physically felt emotions ("emotions" here designating mere physical sensations).

Positive Summary Passions: Glee sums up all the positive ego passions. Joy sums up all the positive psyche passions.

Negative Impacting Reality: That which strikes the ego as abnegation. It strikes the psyche as objective loss.

Negative Summary Passions: Sadness sums up all the negative ego passions. Sorrow sums up all the negative psychic passions.

Persona: Social image, a necessary veneer that allows one to interact with people on a relatively superficial but functional level and is easily breached or discarded.

Personality: The overall presentation of the person. The more authentic a person is the more the personality ceases to act as veneer but rather both diminishes and manifests a person's character unimpeded by coping mechanisms.

Philosophize: to concentrate our gaze upon the totality of encountered phenomenon and to methodically investigate the coherency of them all and the ultimate meaning of the whole; to examine what "something real" actually is, what man himself is, mind, the complete total of things. (Pieper 1991, 147)

Pietistic Persona: A pious mask that is presented to the outside world and to the community of believers and is to some degree inauthentic or in excess of the depths of a person’s faith.

Positive Impacting Reality: That which strikes the ego as gratification. It strikes the psyche as objective gain.

Powers and Faculties of the Soul: Thomists often use the terms powers and faculties interchangeably. For the sake of clarity, Psychomoralitics employs "powers" to refer to the larger tripartite abilities of the soul (vegetative, sensitive, and rational). "Faculties" refers to those more specific abilities of the soul that Aquinas discovered as emanating from one of the tripartite powers, especially those facilities that emanate from the rational power.

Pre-Cognitive: the existential receptivity of reality as being qua being on the intellect before that intellect's cognitive response to it as a specific truth.

Pride: The lack of submission to God, that, with its necessary corollary cupidity or inordinate self-love, is the root of all sin and the cause of the warping defense of personality.

Pseudo-self: The false-self that is comprised of pride and self-love that one must die to in order to manifest his imago Dei.

Psyche: (Gk., soul) The ultimate perfecting form of that portion of organic matter that together with the psyche (i.e., hylomorphic composition) comprises an individual human being. The human psyche has tripartite faculties. These faculties are categorized, from lowest to highest, as either vegetative, sensitive, or rational. It is from the rational faculties that comes the specific difference of the human person: that of an enfleshed being that has reason and freewill.

Psychic Mortification: The process of embracing humiliation. It is the highest form of mortification and entails the psychological and spiritual mortification of dying to self-love and pride.

Psychological Mortification: A form of psychic mortification. The process in which a person embraces and even facilitates the humiliations inherent in his life and thus allows his personality defenses to be breeched and pride and self-love to be diminished.

Psychomoralitics: is the applied science of the soul that enhances openness to reality and essential well-being by diminishing ego-reactivity and essential mal-being, so as to effect a person's full human flourishing.

Psychovitiation: The iatrogenic (induced inadvertently) psychological intervention that exacerbates or creates mental illness.

Reality: Used both commonly and specifically in Psychomoralitics to refer to the precognitive or existential encountering of being-as-such.

Reflection, Reflecting upon: In Psychomoralitics, these terms refer to the Thomistic process of judgment.

Receptivity: An openness to reality that increases to the point of pure receptivity where only the psychic passions are present.

Sadness: Self-pity that arises from a person’s self-love, pride, and subjective appraisal of suffering.

Sorrow: The objective experiencing of the suffering of human life, which reaches its pinnacle in the Christian faith and is completely entailed in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Sorrow is the corollary of joy.

Spiritual Mortification: A form of psychic mortification. The highest form of mortification, in which God’s presence is withdrawn from the senses. This process is fully manifest in the rare phenomenon of the "dark night of the soul." Spiritual mortification can be seen as the apex of humiliation, where the elect are called to completely die to self and purge themselves of all self-love that may be concomitant in their love of God.

Stagnation: The habitual defending against increasing impacting reality and the maturation and openness it proffers. The resistant therapeutic mode found in coping.

Suffering: Experiencing the negative aspects of existence. It can be experienced as pain, sadness, or sorrow.

Therapant: A psychomoralitic designation that connotes an active participation in the therapeutic process and avoids the passive connotations of patient and the consumeristic connotations of client.

Three Stages of the Psychomoral Act: The first stage is the existential, which entails interaction with being as receiving-the-real. The second stage is the cognitive, which entails interaction with being as an assenting-to-truth. The third stage is the volitional, which entails interaction with being as a choosing-the-good. Receiving-the-Real is a precognitive and universal encounter with the real as non-particularized being-as-such. Assenting-to-Truth is a cognitive acceptance of being as a specific or particularized being. Choosing-the-Good is a volitional embrace of being as the good.

Truth: the cognition of that which exists. Being proclaimed in a particularized manner.

Values: Goods, or objects of the will, that one cherishes.

Vice: Psychomoralitically, egoistic defenses, both coping mechanisms and dominant ego passions, that inure a person from impacting reality.

Virtue: Psychomoralitically, avenues of approach that breach egoistic defenses and open a person up to impacting reality.

Visceral Emotions: The designation when the objects of the emotions are primarily physical sensation. Visceral emotions are equivalent to the estimative emotions of nonrational animals. A person who is fixated on visceral emotions is dominated by physical pain and pleasure.

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