EARLY PHILOSOPHY and psychology
The combination of modern scientific knowledge and the First Century philosophical understandings found in the epistles of Saint Paul, partsof that ancient Christian tradition, often today labeled dismissively as 'subjective', lead to interesting and therapeutic insights in some of the most important aspects of human psychology. 20th Century emigre Russian philosopher P. D. Ouspensky provides a clue to, this when he relates psychology and philosophy in the first few pages of the first of his 'Psychological Lectures', writing: "For thousands of years, psychology existed under the name of philosophy." Later he wrote: "Parallel with its existence under the name of philosophy, psychology existed even longer connected with one or another religion."
As a result of a research programme in the 1970's and 80's, followed by a prolonged study to assimilate and understand what we found about this, Praxis Research Institute, a US non-Profit corporation founded and directed by the originator of the programme, has now been able to complete an in-depth study of methods used, from early mediaeval times until the 19th century, both in the spiritual formation of the monks, nuns and hermits of that Church, and from then on, until two or three centuries ago, in the training of apprentices by the traditional crafts guilds of Europe in Mediaeval times. These methods reflect the pre-medieval psychological science, described earlier in this website, that existed amongst the monks and hermits of the Eastern Roman Empire as early as the Fourth Century AD.
These methods, which have been used in the past by those now responsible for setting up Praxis Research Institute, could best described as combining certain elements from the little-known philosophical insights of the early Church established by the Emperor Constantine in ????.
These philosophical elements in fact then had practical psychological implications so important to the Christianity of the time that they formed the basis of a psychotherapeutic science - perhaps better called a 'noetic science' - which was found necessary for those who wished to understand the religious and philosophical truths taught by the saints and - by doing so - to learn to live with the higher realities of which they spoke.