Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Psychology 101

One of the first things a new bear needs to know is psychology. The most natural place to begin in psychology is with Freud. While I do not believe that children suffer from Oedipal complexes, I do think Freud offers a useful framework in which to think about psychology in two senses.

Bear and Pi learn about Psychology
Bear and Pi are introduced to Psychology

The natural place to begin is Freud

Introducing the new recruits to the text
Introducing the bears to the text

Confering on the subtext
The young scholars confer on the subtext

Analyzing the super text
Now it is time to analyze the supertext
First, the primary critique of psycho-analytic techniques is that the process is time consuming, expensive, and not focused upon changing concrete behaviors. However, none of these are problems for young teddy bears. With any luck, a young teddy bear will be the friend and companion to his or her person for many years. Listening to a young person's hopes, dreams, fears, problems, and frustrations is a natural outgrowth of the relationship. Teddy bears do not charge for listening and offering up advice. The teddy bear loves and accepts his or her person unconditionally, and will gladly spend hours discussing the day's events. The teddy bear's goal is to provide the health and welfare of the owner; changing a given behavior on a set time schedule is not important. In fact, one could argue that teddy bears are ideal psycho-therapists. Not only are the services free, but the level of trust and understanding between teddy bear and person far exceeds any doctor / patient relationship.

Freud is also useful for interpreting literature. His analyses of dreams may have little empirical support as a psychological tool, but they provide an excellent framework for understanding literary techniques. The great books are crafted to be interpreted on multiple levels. If a bear is to grow with the person, a teddy bear must be equipped to understand fiction on many different levels simultaneously.

After providing some brief background information, I introduced Bear and Pi to the text itself. Both bears were entranced and began asking excellent questions. Pi wondered whether bears were totems. Bear questioned the capacity of teddy bears for waking judgment and purposive ideas.

While the questions were somewhat offensive to the free will of bears, I could not have been more proud. I was slightly concerned that Bear and Pi were more interested in the psychology of teddy bears than human children, but with gentle prodding, I managed to turn the discussion back on track. Both of the young bears were attentive and excellent listeners. I'm sure the new owners will find them to be wonderful confidants.



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