Good Essay On Acorn Theory
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Joseph Hillman (1926-2011) was an American psychologist famous for his leaning towards archetypal psychology. Archetypal psychology is a branch of psychology that tries to explain the various fantasies and myths that guide our lives. An example of such as fantasy is the ego. Different from other forms of psychology such as biological, cognitive and behaviorism, archetypal psychology seeks to understand the position of the soul in the psychology of people. Rather than explaining images, archetypal psychology seeks to explore them. For example, if a person has a dream and an object appears in the dream, archetypal psychology seeks to explore rather than explain the object. This is effect is done in order to understand the object in the dream further. In the words of Hillman, if you explain the object, it would no longer be necessary and would disappear. However, exploring the object seeks out new ways in which the particular object is significant to the individual. In turn, this helps in providing more information about the object in the dream.
Among his most famous theories is the acorn theory. This is the theory that will be examined for this paper. The Acorn theory states that everyone has in their possession the potential for all unique possibilities within them the same way an acorn holds the pattern of an oak tree. In essence, the acorn theory says that a person has the potential to be anything they want within their soul. These potential is actualized during the life of the individual through their work. This theory goes against the nature and nurture theory that says that these two factors are responsible for the way an individual turns out. Rather than nature and nurture, the acorn theory argues that it is the soul of the person that is responsible for what they turn out to be.
This theory has some elements of truth as evidenced by experiences of other people. The theory says that the potential for a person to be what they want to be is contained in their soul. This viewpoint opposes the nature and nurture theory. The nature and nurture theory states that a person becomes what they become as a result of the influence of these two factors on their lives. The factors considered are how and individual is brought up as well as their natural genetic makeup. However, there are many people have gone beyond these two factors to achieve more than many people believed they would. There are instances of people, who have excelled in life despite coming from difficult circumstances.
A case in mind is Barrack Obama, the first black president of the United States. Obama was born to a white mother and a black Kenyan father. According to his autobiography, “dreams of my father,” he never had a personal relationship with his father. His parents separated and his maternal grandparents raised him. According to nature and nurture, it would be expected that he would become like his father. His father was an alcoholic and a womanizer who went on to have many more children with different women. Based on the nature or nurture theory it is expected that he might have turned out like his father. In addition, it is evident from his biography that being brought up by his grandparents would also have affected his life. However, Obama is not what you would expect. He studied law at Harvard despite his difficult childhood. He went on to rise from an unknown person in the United States to become senator and then president in an unprecedented short time. He is also happily married and a loving father to two daughters. Judging by the acorn theory, Obama had the potential to become what he has become today in his soul and this was not affected by the conditions of his upbringing (nature and nurture).
Similarly, many people have also succeeded in life despite difficult circumstances in life. However, some people can oppose this theory using their life’s work. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of the Nobel peace prize winning Grameen Bank is such an example. Born in difficult circumstances and poverty, he has managed to found one of the most successful organizations in the world in terms of assisting people. Born and brought up in rural Bangladesh, he was a witness to the problems faced by the people. The problems that he faced greatly influenced his view of the world as well as his actions. Inspired by the 1974 famine, he saw an opportunity to help by giving small loans to people without the burden of security. He believed that this would stimulate growth for the small-scale entrepreneurs. We can argue that his upbringing led him to come up with the idea. This means that his nature and nurture that influenced who he became later in life.
The acorn theory is a psychological theory and is therefore not set in stone. There are different circumstances that can be explained using the theory; on the other hand, there are other situations that would not make much sense. It is therefore important to realize that this is not an exact science like physics but a dynamic field, which is constantly changing. This is mainly attributable to the fact that there are numerous theories that can be used to explain aspects that individuals experience. Therefore, both these theories (acorn and nature & nurture) can be used to explain different situations effectively while either may not work in some instances. For example, the nature and nurture theory would be difficult to explain in Obama’s case because he turned out different from both his nature and the way he was brought up. There are therefore different instances where the theories apply appropriately.
Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.
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