On Freudianism and the assertion of interpersonal meaning

Freudianism is an extreme example of the assertion of meaning where there is none, or very little.

It is extreme for two reasons: 1) because it is scientifically groundless and 2) because so many people believed it.

Communism, many religious beliefs and practices, fads, styles, ethnic myths, many “historical” misinterpretations, and much more are examples of false meanings that are asserted and believed by large numbers of people.

You could say that pretty much all human culture is a similar stew of strongly asserted falsehoods mixed with some facts.

Freud was an interesting writer and his ideas were and are worth considering, but they should have remained minor points in the history of psychology and never become “meanings” that influenced the entire Western world.

In this respect, Freudianism is an excellent sociological or macro example of what individuals do psychologically, on micro and meso levels with themselves and others.

Humans are extremely prone to append or assert meaning where it does not belong either because there is no “meaning” in that context or because the “meaning” being asserted is incorrect.

Freudianism shows how powerfully and massively wrong we often get meaning and how wrong our analyses of human thought, emotion, and behavior can be.

At the macro level of trends like Freudianism, we can and should have asked for evidence.

At the micro and meso levels of human psychological understanding we can and should ask for evidence or confirmation from the person or persons about whom we are asserting psychological meaning.

If you do this frequently with a trusted partner, you will begin to see that many of the “meanings” you append to that partner and to yourself are false.

False macro meanings like Freudianism can be corrected through science. At the micro or meso levels of the individual, wrong meanings can only be corrected through a practice like FIML.

In the future we may be better able to understand micro and meso levels of interpersonal meaning through the use of brain scans, but even brain scans need interpretation and will be difficult to use during real-time, interpersonal interactions.

See Micro, meso, and macro levels of human understanding for more on what is meant by these levels.

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