The EGO: Is it the Enemy to a Person on the Spiritual Path?

‘Cause I gonna make you see,
there is nobody else here,
no one like me.
I’m special, so special!
I gotta have some of your attention,
give it to me!
(Pretenders, Brass in Pocket)



“Ego” is a word with a different meaning in psychology than in spiritual communities. Psychologists refer to the ‘I’ experience as an institution that can become aware of our biases and conditioning. We spiritual folks think of the ego as a wrench in the spiritual path; an interference that prevents us from experiencing what lies ‘Beyond’.

A spiritual path is essentially the re-wiring of our experienced nature. Over the years the appreciation of what is meaningful to us changes. We are encouraged to enjoy the magnificence of the “I” just as before but we are shown how our life story fits in the greater good. The Course in Miracles differentiates grandeur from grandiosity, the contrast of a miracle-minded lifestyle and ego delusion. Along a spiritual path we are asked to develop our talents. We are shown how to live a life of purpose, of giving, of helping others, of shining the light for them. Purpose merges with passion. We do not have to give up anything that is meaningful to us, we just have to be open to be stripped of everything that is holding us back on our spiritual quest.

The transition from being ‘I’-centered to walking a higher path can be a tough transition, but it doesn’t have to be. As it turns out, our spiritual aspirations are not quite as kosher as we want them to be. Our craving to be special is very clever. Our ego is especially happy to put on spiritual clothes. Even the craving for enlightenment, for being a hermit, for sexual abstinence, for being a guru to others, can be an ego craving in disguise.

These days it takes more than just being sexually attractive; we also have to be perceived as kind and considerate; we need to have earnings potential or power. We must be considered ‘cool’ in one way or another. We crave to be somebody. We don’t want to be just a body, we want to be looked up to, celebrated, and considered to be cool. Our ego will put a nice story together to make us feel special, and will perhaps even make it sound spiritual. And once we know that we are special in our eyes and that of others, we feel alive.

Please don’t fool yourself and just say, ‘I must not have these cravings’. Being special is a driving force of life. When we lose this ego motivation, when we lose our mojo so to speak, life loses all its charm, spice and sexiness. When our ego gets hurt and feels this absence, life becomes colorless, depressing and meaningless. This ego is us, until the day when we can leave these cravings behind like a worn-out skin. Yet, until this blessed day arrives we have to accept what makes our blood boil.

It took me a long time to understand that by fighting our cravings to be special, we are messing with our life force. There is no need for this whatsoever. Life holds all the answers for us and they come when we are ready to hear them. We can keep our mojo while enjoying a meaningful life at the same time.

I hope you understand that after this insight you already have made it!

You do not need to wait for enlightenment to begin your life. All you have to do is to express your passions and let spirit show you how to steer in a purposeful direction. Suddenly life’s many problems and obstacles no longer stand in the way of your happiness; suddenly they becomes messengers and signs to put you on the right path instead. You do not have to sacrifice anything; abundance is yours to enjoy, just learn what exactly it is that you want.

The Bhagavad Gita as well as Christianity encourage us to put our heart and soul into our work and the services we supply to others. There is only one requirement to spiritual success, we have to let go of all kind of expectations to get something in return. Ironically, our spiritual path takes care of us and showers us with care and attention that our narrow-minded ego never could have fathomed.

 

Let’s face life with an open mind and a loving heart and see what is coming our way.

 

About the Author:  Christian M. Wiese discovered a wonderful force—the Way—while working in the busy world of financial markets. He shared his ten year Awakening journey in his two books, ‘The Magnificent Experiment’ and ‘The Way of the Meister’. Today, Christian works as author, educator and spiritual coach in Massachusetts, USA.You can follow his work and connect with him at www.christianmwiese.com

The Theory of POSITIVE DISINTEGRATION

Contrary to mainstream psychology which tries to adjust the individual to society and its norms(especially through anti-depressants or any other mood-influencing pharamceuticals), viewing depression as an “illness”, from the perspective of the Theory of Positive Disintegration, it is a “good” sign if one is getting maladjusted to society, seeing it as potential for higher integration and values (non ego-centric).

Written by Bernhard Guenther, Original Source: Positive Disintegration

Kazimierz Dabrowski is a Polish psychiatrist and psychologist, who developed the Theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD). The Theory of Positive Disintegration is a novel approach to personality development.

What  is very interesting about this model is how similar it is to certain esoteric teachings, such as Gurdjeff’s Fourth Way, Mouravieff’s Gnosis (Esoteric Christianity) among others as well ancient Shamanism (not to be confused with medicine plant ceremonies but a way of life/being) with the intention to work on embodying (“growing”) the true individualized soul, the real “I”. Dabrowski sees crisis such as depression or maladjustment to  social norms (disillusionment) as important stepping stones and potential for integrated personality development.

Contrary to mainstream psychology which tries to adjust the individual to society and its norms(especially through anti-depressants or any other mood-influencing pharamceuticals), viewing depression as an “illness”, from the perspective of the Theory of Positive Disintegration, it is a “good” sign if one is  getting maladjusted to society, seeing it as potential for higher integration and values (non ego-centric). Certain generic New Age  “teachings” also merely avoid the aspect of positive Disintegration  through denial and distorted understanding of negative emotions (such as  just focus on the “positive”, avoid anything “negative”, etc….) which ties into Spiritual Bypassing.

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

The various levels of Disintegration and Integration as defined by Dabrowski can be compared to the Staircase of esoteric evolution and the moral bankruptcy (Mouravieff, Gnosis), i.e. disillusionment man experiences when his old conditioned self conflicts with the emerging (true) individuality (soul/essence). Just like Gurdjieff and other teachers of esoteric self-work, Dabrowski saw the “average” man on Level I as a mechanical robot-like being who simply exists based on lower impulses and programs as dictated/conditioned by society and “official culture”, living in a reactionary and mechanical state of external stimuli and influences under the illusion of free will. No true individuality nor true free will can be formed on that level.

Certain people (children and adults) who experience so called overexcitability (OE) have the potential to grow out of the lower levels and integrate their being into the higher ones. However, as transmitted via the aforementioned esoteric teachings, Darbrowski also points out that this process requires conscious work and it doesn’t  happen by itself. In other words, if one does not use the “shocks” of disillusionment to further one’s soul evolution to gain Self-Awareness and invite the alchemical fire within for transmutation one will  stay at the lower level where most of humanity exists, mechanically and reactionary, feeding one’s little ego “I’s” based on conditioning and programming, existing in a sleepwalking state, dreaming to be awake.


A Brief Overview Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration

www.positivedisintegration.com

Four seminal quotes set the stage:

1). “Personality: A self-aware, self-chosen, self-affirmed, and self-determined unity of essential individual psychic qualities. Personality as defined here appears at the level of secondary integration” (Dabrowski, 1972, p. 301).

2). “The propensity for changing one’s internal environment and the ability to influence positively the external environment indicate the capacity of the individual to develop. Almost as a rule, these factors are related to increased mental excitability, depressions, dissatisfaction with oneself, feelings of inferiority and guilt, states of anxiety, inhibitions, and ambivalences – all symptoms which the psychiatrist tends to label psychoneurotic. Given a definition of mental health as the development of the personality, we can say that all individuals who present active development in the direction of a higher level of personality (including most psychoneurotic patients) are mentally healthy” (Dabrowski, 1964, p. 112).

3). “Intense psychoneurotic processes are especially characteristic of accelerated development in its course towards the formation of personality. According to our theory accelerated psychic development is actually impossible without transition through processes of nervousness and psychoneuroses, without external and internal conflicts, without maladjustment to actual conditions in order to achieve adjustment to a higher level of values (to what ‘ought to be’), and without conflicts with lower level realities as a result of spontaneous or deliberate choice to strengthen the bond with reality of higher level” (Dabrowski, 1972, p. 220).

4). “Psychoneuroses ‘especially those of a higher level’ provide an opportunity to ‘take one’s life in one’s own hands’. They are expressive of a drive for psychic autonomy, especially moral autonomy, through transformation of a more or less primitively integrated structure. This is a process in which the individual himself becomes an active agent in his disintegration, and even breakdown. Thus the person finds a ‘cure’ for himself, not in the sense of a rehabilitation but rather in the sense of reaching a higher level than the one at which he was prior to disintegration. This occurs through a process of an education of oneself and of an inner psychic transformation. One of the main mechanisms of this process is a continual sense of looking into oneself as if from outside, followed by a conscious affirmation or negation of conditions and values in both the internal and external environments. Through the constant creation of himself, though the development of the inner psychic milieu and development of discriminating power with respect to both the inner and outer milieus – an individual goes through ever higher levels of ‘neuroses’ and at the same time through ever higher levels of universal development of his personality” (Dabrowski, 1972, p. 4).

These quotes capture the heart of Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration. The theory describes a process of personality development – the creation of a unique, individual personality.

Most people become socialized in their early family and school experiences. They largely accept the values and mores of society with little question and have no internal conflict in abiding by the basic tenents of society. In some cases, a person begins to notice and to imagine ‘higher possibilities’ in life. These disparities are driven by over excitability  (OE) – an intense reaction to, and experience of the day-to-day stimuli of life. Eventually, one’s perception of reality becomes differentiated into a hierarchy and all aspects of both external and internal life come to be evaluated on a vertical continuum of ‘lower versus higher.’ This experience often creates a series of deep and painful conflicts between lower, ‘habitual’ perceptions and reactions based on one’s heredity and environment (socialization) and higher, volitional ‘possibilities.’

In the developing individual, these conflicts may lead to disintegrations and psychoneuroses, for Dabrowski, hallmarks of advanced growth. Eventually, through the processes of advanced development and positive disintegration, one is able to develop control over one’s reactions and actions. Eventually, development culminates in the inhibition and extinction of lower levels of reality and behavior and their transcendence via the creation of a higher, autonomous and stable ideal self. The rote acceptance of social values yields to a critically examined and chosen hierarchy of values and aims that becomes a unique expression of the self — becoming one’s personality ideal.

Dabrowski acknowledged the strong and primitive influence of heredity (the first factor) and the robotic, dehumanizing (and de-individualizing) role of the social environment (the second factor). He also described a third factor of influence, a factor emerging from but surpassing heredity – “its activity is autonomous in relation to the first factor (hereditary) and the second (environmental) factor. It consists in a selective attitude with regard to the properties of one’s own character and temperament, as well as, to environmental influences” (Dabrowski, 1973, p. 80). The third factor is initially expressed when a person begins to resist their lower impulses and the habitual responses characteristic of socialization.

Emerging autonomy is reflected in conscious and volitional choices toward what a person perceives as ‘higher’ in their internal and external milieus. Over time, this ‘new’ conscious shaping of the personality comes to reflect an individual ‘personality ideal,’ an integrated hierarchy of values describing the sense of whom one wants to be and how one wants to live life. With the new freedom and force of the third factor, a person can see and avoid the lower in life and transcend to higher levels. The ‘ought to be’ of life can replace ‘the what is.’ It is important to realize that this is not simply an actualization of oneself as is; it involves tremendous conscious work in differentiating the higher and lower in the self and in moving away from lower selfish and egocentric goals toward an idealized image of how ‘you ought to be.’

The idealized self is consciously constructed based on both emotional and cognitive foundations. Emotion and cognition become integrated and are reflected in a new approach to life — feelings direct and shape ideas, goals and ideals, one’s ideals work to express one’s feelings. imagination is a critical component in this process — we can literally imagine how it ought to be and how could be in this establishes ideals to try to attain.

Initially, people who are acting on low impulses or who are simply robotically emulating society have little self conflict. Most conflicts are external. During development, the clash between one’s actual behavior and environment and one’s imagined ideals creates a great deal of internal conflict. This conflict literally motivates the individual to resolve the situation, ideally by inhibiting those aspects he or she considers lower and by accentuating those aspects he or she considers higher. At the highest levels, there is a new harmony of thought, emotion and action that eliminates internal conflict. The individual is behaving in accord with their own personality ideal and consciously derived value structure and therefore feels no internal conflict. Often a person’s external focus shifts to ‘making the world a better place.’

In describing development, Dabrowski elaborated five levels occurring in three basic phases. The first stage, Level I, involves an integrated but lower level expression of hereditary and social forces. Dabrowski referred to this as a unilevel or primary level. The individual experiences little inner conflict and is initially, largely unaware of the ‘higher possibilities of life.’ Phase two is characterized by the process of disintegration and psychoneuroses are common features of these levels (Levels II, III and IV). The familiar security of habit is shattered by doubts as the person comes to discover higher levels in life. The lower versus higher continuum signals a shift to the multilevel experience of life (Levels III and IV). The third phase, Level V, is the highest level, second integration, characterized by the expression of one’s unique and autonomous personality.

Abstract 

Dabrowski  presents a theory of personality development based on a multilevel,  hierarchical view of life. The theory suggests individual developmental  potentials are important factors in determining the course of  personality growth. Developmental potential includes three aspects;  special talents and abilities, a physiological measure of neural  reactivity Dabrowski called overexcitability (OE) and a factor  describing an inner motivation to develop. Individuals  with strong developmental potential tend to experience frequent and  intense crises (positive disintegrations) that create opportunities for  the development of an autonomous, self-crafted personality. Dabrowski observed that gifted and creative populations tend to exhibit  increased levels of developmental potential and thus may be predisposed  to experience the process of positive disintegration. While recent work  has focussed on the link between overexcitability and giftedness,  developmental potential and giftedness are not synonymous, indeed, many  (most) with developmental potential will not be classified as gifted,  and many gifted will display little overall developmental potential. A  brief overview of Dabrowski’s theory and its relevance for gifted  individuals are presented.

Paper

Kazimierz  Dabrowski (1902 – 1980) advanced a theory of individual personality  development based on a progression from an initial, lower integration,  through a sequence of disintegrations, culminating in a second, higher  integration. Dabrowski called his work the Theory of Positive Disintegration to reflect the central and positive role disintegration plays in development. He believed that some individuals are predisposed to experience life more intensely and this predisposes  them to frequent and severe crisis. This heightened sensitivity is based  on genetic characteristics Dabrowski called developmental potential.  The presence of increased sensitivity combined with crises  (disintegration) represent an increased opportunity to develop to  advanced levels of personality. 

In his research, Dabrowski  found that gifted and creative individuals tend to exhibit higher  levels of developmental potential and therefore are predicted to  experience increased disintegration and personality growth. This is the  basis of recent applications of the theory to the gifted.  This paper will discuss Dabrowski’s basic ideas and apply his theory to  the gifted.

Dabrowski observed that most people live their lives in a state of primitive integration guided by biological impulses (first factor) and/or by uncritical adherence to social convention (second factor). He called this initial integration Level I. Creative expression at Level I is influenced and constrained by these first two factors. First factor tends to channel giftedness and talents toward accomplishing self-serving goals.Often  these talents are used in antisocial ways. For example, many criminals  display this selfish creativity in the service of advancing their goals  at the expense of others. The second  factor constrains individual creativity by encouraging a group view of  life and discouraging unique thought and expression. Second factor  shapes creativity into forms that follow and support the existing social  milieu.

Dabrowski also described a group of people who  display an individualized developmental pathway. These people break away from an automatic, socialized view of life (what Dabrowski called  “negative adjustment”) and move into a series of disintegrations. If  development continues, people go on to develop an individualized,  conscious and critically evaluated hierarchical value structure (called  “positive adjustment”). The hierarchy of values comes to act as a  benchmark by which all things are seen and the higher values in the  hierarchy direct behavior. These higher, individual values characterize a  second integration reflecting individual autonomy. At this level, each  person develops his or her own vision of how life ought to be. This  higher level is associated with strong individual approaches to problem  solving and creativity. Giftedness and  creativity are applied in the service of these higher individual values and visions of how life could be. The individual expresses his or her  talents energetically, through action, though art, through social  change, etc. 

Advanced development is often seen in people  who exhibit strong developmental potential. Developmental potential  represents a constellation of genetic features, expressed and mediated  through environmental interaction, that consist of three major aspects: overexcitability (OE), specific abilities and talents, and a strong drive toward autonomous growth, a feature Dabrowski called the third factor.

The  most evident and perhaps most fundamental aspect of developmental  potential is overexcitability (OE), a heightened physiological  experience of sensory stimuli resulting from increased neuronal sensitivities.  The greater the OE, the more intense the sensory experience of life. In  short, the individual is more sensitive to experiences in life.  Dabrowski presented five forms of OE: psychomotor, sensual, imaginational, intellectual and emotional. These  overexcitabilities, especially the latter three, often cause a person  to experience daily life more intensely and to feel the extremes of the  joys and sorrows of life profoundly. Dabrowski found that heightened  overexcitability in groups of gifted and creative individuals  demonstrated their intense sensual experiences. Combined with  imaginational and intellectual OE, create a rich source of creative  material. Additionally, psychomotor and emotional OE often provide  strong stamina and motivation, often expressed in “bouts” of intense work and creativity. 

Although based in the nervous system, overexcitabilities are expressed  psychologically through the development of structures that reflect the  emerging self. The most important of these conceptualizations are  dynamisms: biological or mental forces that control behavior and its  development. “Instincts, drives, and intellectual processes combined  with emotions are dynamisms” (Dabrowski, 1972, p. 294). With advanced  development, dynamisms increasingly reflect movement toward autonomy.  The second arm of developmental potential, specific abilities and  talents, tends to serve the individual’s developmental level. As  outlined, individuals at lower levels use talents to support egocentric  goals or to climb the social and corporate ladders. At higher levels,  specific talents and abilities become an important force as they are  channelled by the individual’s value hierarchy into expressing and achieving the person’s vision of his or her ideal personality and his or  her view of what “ought to be” in the world. 

The third  aspect of developmental potential, the third factor, is a drive towards  individual growth and autonomy. Third factor is important in creativity  for two reasons: first, it directs talents and creativity toward  autonomous expression, and second, it provides motivation to strive for  more – to try to imagine and achieve goals currently beyond the  individual’s grasp.

The first and fifth levels are characterized  by psychological integration, harmony and little inner conflict. As  outlined above, the first level is called primitive or primary  integration and consists of people who show either prominent First  Factor (“heredity” / impulse) and/or Second Factor (“social  environment”). The majority of people at Level I are integrated at the environmental or social level (Dabrowski called them “average” people):  however, many also exhibit shades of both impulse and socialization.Dabrowski distinguished the two subgroups of Level I by degree, “the  state of primary integration is a state contrary to mental health. A  fairly high degree of primary integration is present in the average  person; a very high degree of primary integration is present in the  psychopath” (Dabrowski, 1964, p. 121). (see note three).

Levels II, III and IV describe various levels and types of disintegration. The character of Level II is reflected in its name: Unilevel Disintegration.  The prominent feature of this level is an initial, brief, and often  intense crisis or series of crises. Crises are spontaneous and only  occur on one level (and often involve only one dimension). “Unilevel  disintegration occurs during developmental crises such as puberty or menopause, in periods of difficulty in handling some stressful external  event, or under psychological and psychopathological conditions such as  nervousness and psychoneurosis. Unilevel disintegration consists of  processes on a single structural and emotional level; there is a prevalence of automatic dynamisms with only slight self-consciousness and self-control”  (Dabrowski, 1964, p. 6). Conflicts on the same level (horizontal)  produce ambitendencies and ambivalences: the person is pulled between  different but equivalent choices (ambitendencies) and is not able decide  what to do (ambivalence).

Ultimately, the individual is thrust into an  existential crisis: his or her social rationales no longer account for  his or her experiences and no alternate explanations exist. During this  phase, existential despair is the predominant emotion. The resolution of  this phase begins as individually chosen values are integrated into a  “new” hierarchy of personal values. These new values often conflict with  the person’s previous social values. Many  of the “status quo” explanations for the “way things are,’ learned  through education and from the social order, collapse under conscious,  individual scrutiny. This causes more conflicts focussed on the  individual’s analysis of his or her own reactions to the world at large  and of the behavior of others. Common behaviors and the ethics of the  prevailing social order become seen as inadequate, wrong or  hypocritical. “Positive maladjustment” prevails. For  Dabrowski, these crises represent a strong potential for development  toward personal growth and mental health. Using a positive definition,  mental health reflects more than social conformity: it involves a  careful, personal examination of the world and of one’s values leading to the development of an individual personality. 

The  expression of positive maladjustment can often be seen in both  individual creativity and in creative movements at this level. For  example, Cubism and Dadaism, with their chaotic forms are examples of  creativity expressing positive maladjustment — the rejection and  overthrow of the “standard views” of art and life.

Level II is a transitional period. Dabrowski said you either fall back, move ahead or end negatively, in suicide or psychosis. “Prolongation  of unilevel disintegration often leads to reintegration on a lower  level, to suicidal tendencies, or to psychosis” (Dabrowski, 1964, p. 7).

The transition from level II to level III involves a fundamental shift that requires a phenomenal amount of energy.  This period is the crossroads of development as from here one must  either progress or regress. The struggle between Dabrowski’s Factors  reflect this transitional crisis: “Do I follow my instincts (First  Factor), my teachings (Second Factor) or my heart (Third Factor)?” The  developmental answer is to transform one’s lower instincts (automatic  reactions like anger) into positive motivation, to resist rote, social  answers and to listen to one’s own, inner sense of “what you ought to  do.” 

Level III describes  the vertical conflicts caused by an involuntary perception of higher  versus lower choices in life (because it is involuntary, Dabrowski  called it spontaneous multilevel disintegration). Dabrowski called this  vertical dimension multilevelness. Multilevelness is a gradual  realization of the “possibility of the higher” (a phrase Dabrowski used  frequently) and of the subsequent contrasts between the higher and the  lower in life. These vertical comparisons often illustrate the lower,  actual behavior of a person in contrast to higher, imagined ideals and  alternate choices. When a person perceives the higher choice, it becomes  obvious that this is the path one ought to follow. When  the person’s actual behavior falls short of the ideal, disharmony and a  drive to review and reconstruct one’s life often follow. Multilevelness  thus represents a new and powerful type of conflict, a conflict that is  potentially developmental. 

These vertical conflicts are critical in leading to autonomy and advanced personality growth. If  the person is to achieve higher levels, the shift to multilevelness  must occur. If a person does not have the developmental potential to  move into a multilevel view, then they would fall back from the crises  of Level II to reintegrate at Level I.

In the shift to  multilevelness, the “horizontal” (unilevel), stimulus-response model of  life is replaced by a vertical and hierarchical analysis. This vertical  view becomes anchored by one’s emerging individual value structure and  all events are seen in relation to personal ideals. These personal value  ideals become the personality ideal: how the person wants to live his  or her life. As events in life are seen  in relation to this multilevel, vertical view, it becomes impossible to  support positions that favor the lower course when higher goals can be  identified (or imagined). 

In level IV the individual takes full control of his or her development. The involuntary spontaneous development of level III is replaced by a  deliberate, conscious and self-directed review of life from the  multilevel perspective. This level marks the emergence of “the third  factor,” described by Dabrowski as an autonomous factor “of conscious choice (valuation) by which one affirms or rejects certain qualities in oneself and in one’s environment”  (Dabrowski, 1972, p. 306). The person consciously reviews his or her  existing belief system and tries to replace his or her lower, automatic  views and reactions with carefully thought-out, examined and chosen  ideals. These “new” values will increasingly be reflected in the  person’s behavior. Behaviour becomes  less reactive, less automatic, and more deliberate as behavioral choices  fall under the influence of the person’s higher, chosen ideals.

One’s social orientation comes to reflect a deep responsibility based on both intellectual and emotional factors.  At the highest levels, “individuals of this kind feel responsible for  the realization of justice and for the protection of others against harm  and injustice. Their feelings of responsibility extend almost to  everything” (Dabrowski, 1973, p. 97). This perspective results  from seeing life in relation to one’s hierarchy of values (the  multilevel view) and the subsequent appreciation of the potential of how  life could be, and ought to be, lived. One’s disagreements with the (lower level) world are expressed compassionately in doing what one can to help achieve the “ought.” 

Given  their genuine (authentic) pro-social outlook, those individuals  achieving higher development would also raise the level of their  society. “Pro-social” here is not just support of the existing social order.  If the social order is “lower” and you are adjusted to it, then you  also reflect the lower (“negative adjustment” in Dabrowski’s terms, a  Level I feature). Here, pro-social is a genuine cultivation of social  interactions based on higher values. These positions often conflict with  the status quo of a lower society (“positive maladjustment’). In other words, to be maladjusted to a low level society is a positive feature.The  fifth level displays an integrated and harmonious character, but one  vastly different from that at the first level. At this highest level,  one’s behavior is guided by conscious, carefully weighed decisions based  upon an individualized and chosen hierarchy of personal values. Behaviour conforms to this inner standard of how life “ought” to be lived and thus, little inner conflict arises in one’s life.

Creative expression and the accomplishments of the gifted find their most individual expression at Levels IV and V. Especially at Level V, problem solving and art come to represent the  highest and noblest features of human life. Art captures the inner most  emotional states and is based upon a deep empathy and understanding of  the subject. Often human suffering and sacrifice are the subjects of  these works. Truly visionary works, works that are unique and novel, are  created by individuals expressing a vision unrestrained by convention.  Advances in society, through politics, philosophy, and religion are  therefore commonly associated with strong individual creativity or  accomplishments. 

Applications of the Theory of Positive Disintegration 

The  Theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD) has an extremely broad scope  and has implications for many areas. One central application applies to  psychological and psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. Dabrowski  advocated a comprehensive, multilevel diagnosis of the person’s  situation, including his or her symptoms and his or her developmental  potentials. If the disintegration appears to fit into a developmental  context, then the person is educated in the theory and encouraged to  take a developmental view of his or her situation and experiences. Rather  than trying to eliminate symptoms, they are re-framed to yield insight  and understanding into life and the person’s unique situation.Dabrowski  illustrated his theory in the autobiographies of, and biographies  about, those who have experienced positive disintegration and he  encouraged autobiography as a step in the process of autopsychotherapy.  For Dabrowski, the goal of therapy is  to eliminate the therapist by providing a context within which a person  could understand and help him or herself. The  gifted child, or the suicidal teen, or the troubled artist is often  experiencing the features of the TPD and if they accept and understand  the meaning of their feelings and crises, they can move ahead, not fall  apart. 

A second primary focus is on education, and in  particular, on the experience of creative or gifted students. Dabrowski  hypothesized that these students will disproportionately show strong  overexcitability and therefore will be prone to the disintegrative  process.

Dabrowski and the Gifted Individual

In  an appendix to Dabrowski (1967), results of investigations done in 1962  with Polish youth are reported (see note four). Specifically, “a group  of gifted children and young people, aged 8 to 23′ were examined  (Dabrowski, 1967, p. 251). Of the 80 youth studied, 30 were  “intellectually gifted” and 50 were from “drama, ballet, and plastic art  schools'(Dabrowski, 1967, p. 251). Dabrowski found that “every one” of  the children displayed overexcitability, “which constituted the  foundation for the emergence of neurotic and psychoneurotic sets.  Moreover it turned out that these children also showed sets of  nervousness, neurosis, and psychoneurosis of various kinds and  intensities, from light vegetative symptoms, or anxiety symptoms, to  distinctly and highly intensive psychasthenic or hysterical sets”  (Dabrowski, 1967, p. 253). Dabrowski asked why these children should  display such “states of nervousness or psychoneurosis” and suggested  that it was due to the presence of OE (Dabrowski, 1967, p. 255).  “Probably the cause is more than average sensitivity which not only  permits one to achieve outstanding results in learning and work, but at  the same time increases the number of points sensitive to all  experiences that may accelerate anomalous reactions revealing themselves  in psychoneurotic sets’ (Dabrowski, 1967, p. 255).

Dabrowski was  always very cautious about the implications of high IQ. He said that  the overall developmental profile is critical. By definition, a person  with a high IQ would display increased developmental potential as  special abilities are a component of developmental potential. However,  Dabrowski described a type of development he called one-sided. In  one-sided development, a person may have very significant talents or  abilities in one area but does not display an overall balanced  developmental profile. This is a treacherous scenario as without a  balanced profile, the enhanced qualities may be used to pursue lower  ends. For example, an individual with  high IQ and low emotions and low morality may use their intelligence to achieve a selfish agenda and become another tyrant.

The  association between OE and giftedness appears to be borne out in the  research (Lysy & Piechowski, 1983; Piechowski, 1986; Piechowski,  & Miller, 1995). It appears that at the least OE is a marker of  potential for gifted / creativity. The basic message of Dabrowski is  that the gifted will disproportionately display this process of positive  disintegration and personality growth.

The Environment and the Gifted

Today,  the importance of the interaction of the individual with the  environment is well recognized. “From infancy onwards, genetic  individuality helps to steer the developing organism through the  multitude of possible [environmental] experiences and choices”leading to  a “nature via nurture” position (Bouchard, Lykken, McGue, Segal, &  Tellegen, 1990). In this view, the dynamic interaction is an important  factor and the effect that the individual has on shaping his or her  experience is recognized. Dabrowski suggested that “there are very few people among us who are consciously independent of the external environment” (Dabrowski,  1967, p. 12). Most people generally take what the environment gives  them for granted and the interactive components play out their dynamics  on an unconscious stage: Dabrowski’s second factor. How  we live largely depends on what happens to us and our behavior is  largely reactive and unconscious. Once positive disintegration begins,  this changes. A person’s “relation to his environment becomes more and  more conscious, clear, and determined. He selects from it elements on  which he places value. He becomes more independent,” gradually moving toward third factor (Dabrowski, 1964, pp. 61-62).

The  presence of OE increases the significance of the role played by the  person-environment interaction. As a person’s confidence in his or her  developing personality becomes stronger, one comes to choose his or her  environment more consciously, deciding what in the environment to  respond to and how. While rejection of unacceptable environmental  features may cause further developmental conflict, it is also an  important aspect of the emerging autonomous personality. As development proceeds, the environment shapes the person less while the person shapes the environment more. Opinion on the ideal environment for the gifted is divided into two  basic themes. One is a stress-free setting where things are as positive,  accepting and pressureless as possible — the “bullish  environment”(Sternberg & Lubart, 1995). The other approach is called  the “bearish environment” (Sternberg & Lubart, 1995). Here,  obstacles arise that challenge the individual. Successfully mastering  these obstacles strengthens the character and abilities of the person. Sternberg reviews these positions and concludes that “it helps to have a  generally favorable environment sprinkled with some obstacles along the  way” (Sternberg & Lubart, 1995, p. 256). However, in Dabrowski’s  theory, this dichotomy does not reflect the real complexity involved in  understanding creativity. For Dabrowski, several critical elements are  involved, including the physiological reaction of the individual to the  environment (OE), the dynamic interplay of the person with the  environment, and any resultant conflicts and disintegrations that arise.

Dabrowski  emphasized the role of environmental events would be most important  when genetic dispositions are equivocal. When genetic potentials are  strong, environment plays less of a role. Dabrowski said “the worst environment will not stop the strongest genetics, the best environment cannot overcome the worst genetics” (K. Dabrowski, personal communication, 1978).

Developmental Potential: A Mixed Blessing? 

Dabrowski  called OE “a tragic gift” to reflect that the road of the person with  strong OE is not a smooth or easy one (M. Rankel, personal  communication, April 6, 1996). Potentials to experience great highs are  also potentials to experience great lows. Similarly, potentials to  express great creativity simultaneously hold the likelihood of  experiencing a great deal of personal conflict and stress. This stress  both drives development and is a result of developmental conflicts, both  intrapsychic and social. Suicide is a significant risk in the acute  phases of this stress. The isolation often experienced by these young  people heightens the risks of self-harm (see note five). Dabrowski  advocated educating the person about OEs and the disintegrative process  to give them a context within which to understand their intense feelings  and needs. This context is a positive and developmental one. Dabrowski  suggested that individuals be given support in their efforts to develop  and find their own self-expression. To be out of step is encouraged and  seen as a feature of the overall developmental journey. Social  maladjustment is also encouraged, particularly when it is positive and  based on individually thought-out values. Young people who are seen as  “squares” because they prefer to study instead of partying are an  example. Many of these children have to “find and walk their own path”  often at the expense of fitting in with their social peers and even with  their families. 

Piechowski, and subsequently Silverman,  have begun the process of measuring OE in the gifted (see note six).  These are important first steps in applying a Dabrowskian approach to  the gifted. Other exciting avenues have begun, for example, efforts to  counsel the gifted to help them see their overexcitabilities and  disintegrations as positive features (Ogburn-Colangelo, 1979).

Conclusion

It  is beyond this paper to explore Dabrowski’s theory fully. The central  point is that Dabrowski saw the gifted as a special subset of people, a  subset prone to experience positive disintegration. This opportunity  presents both creative possibilities and risks to the developing self.  If the individual fails to navigate these risks, a sad outcome of  underachievement, addiction or suicide is possible. To avoid this,  Dabrowski advocated providing a supportive and encouraging environment.  Additionally, he suggested the individual be provided with the  developmental context of positive disintegration. We cannot ease the  experience of OEs or the literal pain of development. Still, we can and  must give it context and shepherd our gifted youth through the height of  their developmental crises. Individual creativity and expression of talent must be valued as an expression of higher personality development. 

Note:
Dabrowski’s description of Level I as “psychopathic” reflects an earlier definition of the term: one that emphasized  individual factors (genetic features as opposed to social factors) that  act to impede a person’s developmental course. This  broad usage encompasses both malignant criminals and upstanding  citizens who blindly and uncritically follow every social precept. This has created controversy and confusion in the theory as Dabrowski said that most of society’s members live on Level I (see Dabrowski, 1964, pp. 4-10). Other authors have introduced the term “robopath” to  describe the “unauthentic life” based on a robot-like reaction to life (Bertalanffy, 1967; Yablonsky, 1972). Bertalanffy (1967) was critical  of psychology’s approach to the human as a lab rat. He extended his  criticism to society and the structure of modern life that demands  “reaching optimal psychosocial equilibrium by answering outside demands  in reinforced responses” (Bertalanffy, 1967, p. 9). Bertalanffy lamented  that people were losing their autonomy  in a stimulus-response society, a society where an individual does not  need to reflect or to think but merely to respond, a society geared to  meeting external performance standards as measures of success. Yablonsky (1972) uses the term robopath “to describe people whose pathology entails robot-like behavior and existence. Robopaths have what Kierkegaard called ‘sickness unto death’” (Yablonsky, 1972, p. 7). Yablonsky says that robopaths  are “socially dead” and function based on ‘pseudo-image” they are  egocentric and lack compassion for others. ‘Their existential state is  ahuman” (Yablonsky, 1972, p. 7). Yablonsky elaborates how our modern society encourages “the emergence of robopathology.”Also  relevant is Rieber (1997) and his views on the “normalized psychopathy”  of todays culture.  These descriptions, especially Bertalanffy’s and  Rieber’s, appear to apply to a person who follows precepts uncritically  and who simply “follows orders” in living life — Dabrowski’s idea of  the second factor….Self-harm is a common feature of those with high developmental  potential and the central risk during the height of developmental crises  (Dabrowski, 1937).

Original Article: Positive Disintegration

21 Life Lessons Learned from Adversity I Wish My Younger Self Knew

Maturity of the heart and mind does not come with age. Instead, it develops by overcoming diversity in life with acceptance of the hardships faced or by attacking your challenges head on. We live in a culture where most people stop growing in maturity after they receive a college degree or the age of adulthood. They think they know everything they need to know and halt furthering their education.

Maturity of the heart and mind does not come with age.  Instead, it develops by overcoming diversity in life with acceptance of the hardships faced or by attacking your challenges head on.  We live in a culture where most people stop growing in maturity after they receive a college degree or reach the age of adulthood.  They think they know everything they need to know and halt furthering their education, but the wise know life is constantly teaching those who are willing to learn.

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Journaling has always been therapeutic for me.  In fact, my finished journals have a large shelf space of their own.  I thought to myself, how cool would it be for my daughters to read about their mother and our lives together when they are older – especially while they are young and have little memory of this time.  For this reason, I consistently write about our day together and the new developments within our lives as well as my own personal development.  Yet, I sit here at my computer thinking – I have some words of wisdom to share for others along with my daughters, as I am sure most everyone does that has experienced enough pain transmuted into life lessons.   Every person has something to teach whether it is acknowledged or indirect and I hope this article with inspire a few people to document their hard earned wisdom.

For now, here is what I have to share with the world and I am sure there is much more to come:

  • In the western culture, youth is too glorified and the status of the wise elder is undervalued.
  • To pick up and process the deeper emotional details of any given situation suggests a kind of mastery of self and life that is a rarity in this world.
  • When the mind is quiet, the soul can speak loud enough for the mind to hear.
  • Love does not need to be reciprocated to be beautiful. Just the experience of feeling love for another person is beautiful enough.
  • Every once in a while, you meet a person you know you were destined to meet. Their mere presence in your life helps you understand you are not as whole as you once thought.
  • Some dreams are too late to achieve, but with creativity and intention you can transform your original dream into a new dream that offers you equal, if not more, inner fulfillment.
  • If I could do it over again, I would follow my dream.
  • There is such a thing as being too late or losing a once in a lifetime love. In a world, where people are content with sexually passionate, exciting or comfortable love for the rest of their lives, they will never know the feeling of a true spiritual connection where the coming together of two loving souls on this physical plane can create a wave of immense love so powerful everyone on the planet will benefit near and far.
  • A person immature in the ways of love, lacking the courage to be vulnerable and let love in whether it leads to bliss or heartbreak, cannot make space for others. Every relationship they maintain is full of past hurts, fear, defensiveness or selfishness.   Each and every time you forsake love, a part of your soul breaks off when the person leaves by choice or death instead of leaving a lasting memory of love that can fuel a lifetime.
  • A person who can love without conditions and expectations is truly free.
  • When a vindictive person takes charge, their actions are for their benefit alone. It does not matter if their decisions are made purposefully or blissfully unaware – the result is still a hung man.
  • If you take a regretted turn in life, do not look back in dismay. Instead, keep a watchful eye on the next journey life places before you.   The only way to find your way out of the mist is by looking forward and taking a step in a new direction.
  • Guidance is always offered in the ways you will receive it.
  • We create our own destiny. There is beauty and fault to this.  You are the only person to blame when things do not go your way.
  • Transformation and struggle surely go hand in hand.
  • I do not “think” with all my might towards my life’s purpose. I “feel” it from my heart’s center, my gut, my soul and even within my dreams.  My thoughts only devise the plans as a trusted advisor to my soul’s mission.
  • Limitations are for losers in life. I choose to think beyond my limitations in the realm of creative intelligence.
  • Life is a bumpy ride. You can close your eyes and hold on tight for dear life or you can let go of fear while embracing uncertainty.  The day you do this is when you come to realize you really are the painter of your own masterpiece – yourself.
  • Constant worrying of a bad situation takes up all your time and energy needed to discover your solution out of this mess.
  • Speak with care for words have impact larger than physical blows.
  • There are so many lost art forms in the world. The art of unconditional love.  The art of living your dreams.   The art of being your true self.  If you immerse yourself in certain forms of media or mainstream, you will see so much materialism, superficial love and money hungry people who question your “weirdness” that it will be near impossible for you to thrive.  This is why surrounding yourself with other free-spirited, open-hearted, awakened people is vital to your existence.

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9 Toxic Behaviors that Keep Us From Happiness

No person is immune to behaving in a toxic or dangerous way once in a while. What is important is knowing to move past these moments by learning to be better, embrace personal growth, instead of letting these habits stick around for longer than they are needed. Do not let them live rent free in your mind and heart damaging your property.

Breaking-Free-from-Victim-Mentality

Let’s be real – No person is immune to behaving in a toxic or dangerous way once in a while. What is important is knowing to move past these moments by learning to be better, embrace personal growth, instead of letting these habits stick around for longer than they are needed. Do not let them live rent free in your mind and heart damaging your property.

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There are probably more toxic behaviors to list, but these 9 come to mind as the most important.

1. Victim Mentality 

When you have been the victim in a situation or multiple situations, especially before adulthood, it is hard to not try to protect yourself from these pains. Know there is a difference between protecting yourself and expecting to be hurt. Expecting to be a victim can keep you from feeling empowered and in control of your destiny.

“Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds, chastisement, exile, doubt, fear, or ANY mental virii prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be it’s conqueror.”

2. Living in the Past or Living in the Future

It is good to acknowledge your past and learn from your life’s lesson, but you do not need to relive the pain and regrets of the past. It is good to grow towards the future and prepare for the life you vision, but not at the expense of missing out on the magic of living in the present. Both extreme mindsets lead to ignoring the needs of the people around you.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”

-Bill Keane-

3. Creating Enemies 

Most everyone is just doing their best in life. Any person who intentionally causes pain is suffering with their own demons unaware of how poisoned their thinking is due to all the pain they have received from others in life. Acknowledging this pain, offering your understanding and forgiveness, can help them see through themselves. This act can create a friend from an enemy.

“When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh-

4. Holding on to Grudges

Sometimes, we are caught in situations with others where it’s not easy to let go soon after it happens. Some situations are traumatic and require a great deal of counseling, introspection and healing. Any grudge takes energy to keep and it gives this person power over you. Letting go of a grudge is more about your own peace & clarity versus forgiving the other person.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

-Buddha-

5. Mindlessly Living

It takes effort to live consciously. Reacting out of habit can cause a varied response with a mix of old patterns and emotional wounds mostly coming from the subconscious mind. When we live mindfully, we react to every situation with intelligence, wisdom, compassion and with the intent to create the best outcome possible.

“Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation.”

-Rosabeth Moss Kanter-

6. Withholding Love

Love can be used as a weapon even more disastrous than hate, but to give your love freely is a gift to yourself and the world. This is the only way you can surround yourself with multiple loving people in the form of friendship, family and romantic encounters. When a person stumbles in your life who abuses your love, your heart will already be so full, their attempts to cause you pain will be minimal.

“Take stock of your thoughts and behavior. Each night ask yourself, when were you negative when you could have been positive? When did you withhold love when you might have given it? When did you play a neurotic game instead of behaving in a powerful way? Use this process to self-correct.”

-Marianne Williamson-

7. The Need to Be Right

Feeling the need to be right is less about discovering the truth and more about protecting yourself from being wrong. It is an ego-based reaction. You can skillfully debate your position based on your truths and still listen respectfully to another person’s truths. If your reasoning is sound, maybe you will plant a seed in another’s mind for them to discover on their own, but that is all you can do when it comes to a tightly held belief. By listening to another person’s views, you too might be sent on the similar path to your own discoveries. Overall, it is about expanding the mind while letting go of your pride.

“He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.”

– Michel de Montaigne –

8. Cheating in Life

Not going about things the right way is a disservice to yourself. It robs you of the ability to feel full satisfaction of a fairly earned accomplishment. No matter how much you push away feelings of guilt to yourself or others who might have been affected by this action, they exist somewhere within and can easily resurface at any time.

“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one’s self. All sin is easy after that.”

-Pearl Bailey-

9. Allowing Ego to Drive 

Most if not all of the above behaviors could all be connected to the ego. The most important personal development discovery is when you can decide which parts of your ego requires healing and which parts need to be discarded. Once enough negativity has been removed, you can start living your life guided by your inner voice. The ego becomes a trusted advisor who sits in the passenger seat while your higher self is driving the car.

“Thinking, or more precisely identification with thinking, gives rise to and maintains the ego, which, in our Western

society in particular, is out of control. It believes it is real and tries hard to maintain its supremacy. Negative states of mind, such as anger, resentment, fear, envy, and jealousy, are products of the ego.”

-Eckhart Tolle-

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Look For Love

When we find ourselves in repeated scenarios in relationships, the universe is stirring the psyche by sending us lesson after lesson to initiate an awareness of the pattern that resides within us.

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We all come across multiple scenarios of repeated similar outcomes in our lives even outside of love. The job promotion you deserve always seems to go the next person. In social gatherings, people talk over you, ignore you or use you as a verbal punching bag. Abusive people gravitate to you as if you were wearing a welcome sign “Please come here repressed people!”

When we find ourselves in repeated scenarios in relationships, the universe is stirring the psyche by sending us lesson after lesson to initiate an awareness of the pattern that resides within us.
The powers that be are asking us to PAY ATTENTION by dealing some major emotional blows.
The quick fix solution is to convince yourself that the blame lies with the other person. This can work the first few times, but after a while even the slightest touch will easily open these wounds. The trend is the scenario + outcome but the players are different. It becomes a cyclic pattern. A cycle.
These cycles require more than reading a book or an article to end. To understand your patterns, you must do the work from deep within. You must dig deep down to your core.
These suggestions below are for the person who is fed up but also aware that you can only change yourself. There is something holding you back from achieving the love you want in your life and this awareness is the first step to a new life path to your happily ever after!
Please keep in mind these suggestions should be applied to your own reality.
1. DO YOU HAVE UNRESOLVED OR UNACKNOWLEDGED CHILDHOOD CONDITIONING THAT PREVIOUSLY HINDERED YOUR RELATIONSHIPS?
Often deeply felt pains stem from an early life conditioning that can come from the most innocent of choices. These are the hardest to target since the reasons are less apparent than the obvious negative experiences like neglect or abuse, but still they are important for you to understand in order to lift these relational blocks.
One of the more common choices made in earlier parenting generations that can have an effect on future love relationships is the popular phrase, “If you have nothing nice to say, then do not say anything at all.” If used as intended, the phrase was useful in response to bullying or the like. In many cases, it taught us to hide all feelings deemed negative. Without a healthy release of anger, frustration or sadness, a child soon grows into an adult who retains this belief that anything negative is bad. This adult believes these feelings should be shunned and not felt.
I have been in relationships where I was afraid to communicate my needs out of fear of appearing negative, needy or too emotional. I didn’t have much practice expressing my deeper feelings in my early life, but pretending your feelings do not exist only leads to disaster. Eventually walls and resentment will be built between you and your loved one leading you to only allow your ego or mask to be in the relationship by hiding your true feelings as well as your true self. To form a strong connection, you need to embody your true self or your lover will only know the role you play.
It is healthy to share your feelings. It is healthy to state your needs. It’s healthy to be vulnerable.
Make sure to set reasonable goals. If you have never been able to speak of your negatively viewed feelings freely, do not expect this to be something you can do with ease overnight. It might take months to years to get to a point of speaking without fears.
Enlist the help of your love, or potential love, by letting them in on your personal behavioral modification goals. Their awareness, patience and understanding can really help you supercharge the full understanding of these hurdles. Plus, it could be bonding to heal together!
If you lost a relationship, please understand that every situation and relationship failure happened for your personal benefit, so you can strive to correct them and do better next time.
2. ARE YOU LACKING A SUPPORTIVE TALK THERAPY OUTLET OR NOT UTILIZING A PERSONAL JOURNAL TO ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS?
In the TV series Nashville, when Scarlett O’Conner consulted the doctor of Deacon Claybourne about Deacon’s lack of interest and motivation to heal his liver cancer with all mean necessary, the doctor responded with a term that rings true. He mentioned that Scarlett was being a “positive bully”. A positive bully is a person who is so positive with their energy and words they can shift the natural balance of thoughts in the person who is in the midst of a personal struggle to focus solely on their negative thoughts.
As in all things, there is a balance. Every person must feel hope in their success and a realism of their situation. Speak freely without fear. I am in no way saying it is a bad to offer a person your best intentions by expressing positivity when your dear loved one is down. By all means, this is not a bad reaction! It is a beautiful gift to your friend. If you notice you are constantly talking to your friend about a repetitive scenario, then maybe consider what is being said here.
The most common response, especially amongst women, when listening to the woes of a friend we respond with the utmost of positive, uplifting words. “You will find mister right! He was a jerk! You are 100% in the right and he is 100% in the wrong!” The problem with this scenario is these unrealistic responses often leave us in a standstill. The best way to describe this feeling is there is something wanting to come out, but you can’t quite figure out what it is. Feeling like it’s all your EX’s fault sure does feel good though!
The purpose of consulting trusted friends or family is to vent your feelings and to seek their counsel since they can offer an objective viewpoint to your situation leading you to alternate perspectives to process mentally and emotionally.
For those of us that are introverted, journaling is a wonderful option! I find journaling more beneficial than just meditating since the process of writing or typing can help direct the thoughts and you can save it then review your personal progress or to discover trends you might forget or otherwise not see until it is compiled.
3. DO YOU FEEL DISCOURAGEMENT OR LACK OF TRUST IN THE OPPOSITE SEX?
This suggestion is the most important so turn your brain on full learning capacity!
For every women, in the unconscious mind, lives an archetype of a male personality called the Animus. For every man, in the unconscious mind, lives an archetype of a female personality called the Anima.
The Anima and Animus, in the Carl Jung’s school of Analytical Psychology, are part of the collective unconscious and true self of every person. These archetypes are affected, for good or bad, by a compilation of important figures in our life consisting of mother, father, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, teachers, coaches, etc. These perceptions formed by the important role models in your life, dictate our interactions and attitudes with the opposite sex. If the women in your early life were ball busters, you will subconsciously prepare for women to ball bust! If the men in your early life chose ball games and beer over, well anything really, then you will become accustom to thinking men don’t prioritize their lovers.
The natural thought process of gender generalizing will subconsciously initiate the law of attraction by sending your thoughts into the universe where it will manifests into your reality. It could also be called a self-fulfilling prophesy.
According to Jungian psychology’s individuation process, the transforming of one’s psyche by bringing the personal and collective unconscious into the conscious, if confronting one’s shadow self is an apprenticeship then confronting one’s anima/animus is a masterpiece.
We are evolving in a way where we can each embrace having a beautifully unique blend of feminine and masculine energies. The struggle is to find your soul mate, twin flame, soul equal or any other name you choose to call “The ONE” who compliments your personally unique energies.
Above all, keep in mind personal growth is freeing, but to get there we might have to get messy along the way.
The universe rewards those who do the soul work.