The Growth of Mind is the product of a series of ten lectures by Neville Symington. It offers an understanding of the mind and its capacity to discover truth, establishing this as the foundation stone for our judgment and critique of the human world. Although the book’s field of exploration lies in psychological processes met in the consulting-room, grounded in the general principles of psycho-analysis, the book’s mode of enquiry is to elucidate a knowledge of individual people.
Exploring the mind’s active role in understanding, the book suggests that the act of understanding has a transformative function, and that to be a person is to be a part of a community. It suggests that the super-ego is a sign of some undeveloped function within the personality. If the ego and all its functions are fully evolved, then the super-ego will only be minimally present in the personality. Symington posits that the unconscious represents an agglomerative mass in an undifferentiated and indistinguishable state, rather than a realm of distinguishable thoughts or feelings that are not currently present to consciousness. The book attempts to understand better what this unconscious state is like and how we can think about it, underpinned by the belief that the better we understand it, the more its structure changes.
The Growth of Mind is aimed at professionals and researchers who have a basic understanding of the mind and its mode of operating. It will help readers become aware of this knowledge, strengthening it in the process and allowing it to become a foundational source of inspiration.
Introduction: on overview
1 The core of the personality
2 The unformed ego
3 Foundation for growth of mind
4 Consequences of mother’s contemplation
5 Hypnotic power
6 Unfocussed stare
7 The knowledge of being
8 Creative intercourse between analyst and patient, between mother and child, between teacher and student
9 What is it that is unconscious?