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Paul Diel's foundation of the Psychology of Motivation and the Introspective Method

The basis of virtue is the very effort to preserve one's own being  Spinoza


Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1893, Paul Diel is orphan at the age of 14, and completes high-school thanks to the material support of a benefactor. He then undertakes self teaching in philosophy. Inspired notably by Platon, Kant and Spinoza, but also by Freud’s, Adler’s and Jung’s discoveries, he deepens his own psychological research by establishing the bases of an introspective method first experimented on himself.
Firstly a psychologist in the central hospital of Vienna, he escapes to France after Anschluss, works in Saint-Anne’s psychiatric hospital in Paris until world war II, during which he had to suffer the hard life of french foreign refugees camps. Then, in 1945, backed by Albert Einstein, with whom he sustained a correpondance over many years, he joins CNRS, where he will work as children psychotherapist in Henri Wallon’s laboratory.

Until his death, occurred in 1972, Diel endlessly continued his task of researcher and psychoanalyst, training a group of students and publishing new books on various subjects (education, symbolism, evolution, etc…) but all of them linked by the same usage of his Introspective Method.

Founded on the rigorous theory developped by Diel, and followed by his first assistant Jeanine Solotareff, the Introspective Method allows each of us an objective discovery of his own psychism, thanks to an analysis guided by the knowledge of laws governing escapes and false justifications.


Written correspondences between Paul Diel and Albert Einstein


In 1935, Diel sends his first work to Einstein. The latter answers:


« I admire the power and consequence of your thought. Your work is the first to come under my eyes aiming at reducing the whole life of human spirit, including pathological phenomena, to elementary biological phenomena. It shows us a unifying understanding of the meaning of life… »

Between the two men a correspondence was from now on established, which came to en end only with Einstein’s death

Below is the translation of another letter of Einstein, dated march 9th 1937 :


« I have already studied two thirds of your manuscript, and from that experienced a deep impression. It proposes a new unitary conception of the meaning of life, starting from Freud's contribution, but broadened.
As such, it is not only a medication against the lack of discipline of our time as far as ethics is concerned, but it moreover reaches the rank of a philosophical study which, it is my conviction, will find a permanent place in the story of ideas across time.
I will do everything in my power in order to help your work be known. »



The analytical method therefore consists in little by little becoming acquainted with escapes and false justifications, detectable through their stereotyped manifestations. To the latter, it objects counter-valorizations, thoughts opposed to the natural inclination of vanity and its metamorphosis. The subject is thereore invited to harmonize his desires according to the demand of his individual impulse of surpassment. The psychic energy, once spread across inner conflicts, may then be positively invested into the necessities of daily life, therefore releasing the subject from the burden of his torments and leading him towards a better deployment of his capacities.

An analytical and therapeutic method, it opens up on the ethical dimension of existence, the meaning of life being defined as the search of harmony (deep understanding) between the different levels of satisfaction (material, sexual and spiritual). Its basis is biological, for the quest of satisfaction has been the driving force of evolution for millenaries. The inner well-being is therefore morally established and the method allows oneself to progressively relieve from the internal conflict between moralism and amoralism, exalted spriritualism and excessive materialism,. It replaces the human being at the center of his limitation and of the mystery of life.

Through the generality of its approach, it concerns all kinds of deviations of thought, feelings, and acts.

The translation of dreams

A continuation of the diurnal deliberation, our dreams express the conflict between subconscious desires, repressed as long as they are irrealizable or insane, and the call of the impulse to surpass oneself (the superconscious). The dream appears like a language to decipher. The method of translation of dreams developed by Diel consist in tranposing in clear language the psychological content of dream symbols. These universal symbols appear in myths of every culture and are found again in dreams of all human beings. The greek myths translated by Diel are the expression, alike every myth, of the hero’s fight against monsters, symbols of his perverse temptations. He is helped in this fight by divinities, symbols of his own superconscious strengths.

Philosophical posture: 

Mankind is not Finished  Arthur Rimbaud


The posture of the Psychology of Motivation is also settled within philosophical aims. Dismantling moralism (creationism) and amoralism (materialism), this Method does not try to explain the world as something which should be perfectly embraced and understood by the human mind, but on the contrary,  works within this thrilling but also reassuring, wise and simple emotion of Enthousiasm and "Immanence" in front of the mystery of life. There is no exalted esoterism in Paul Diel's Method, nor is everything flatened by scientificism. There is no religion, but indeed, some sort of religiosity in undertaking as good as it can, in our daily and sometimes ritual duties, what each of us is meant to be responsible for. Diel's method is a secular one, however respectful, avoiding deference, of the reassuring beliefs of each individual, as soon as those beliefs don't overwhelm the sense of responsability.




































































































































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