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Further Aspects of Psychological Growth 
Subjectivity and Objectivity:
by Paul Rosenfels
Dean Hannotte is the editor of
the Paul Rosenfels Collection and sole copyright owner of these works.
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[EDITOR'S NOTE: Paul divided this monograph into 11 sections, two of them numbered "8". I have renamed these to "8a" and "8b". ]
Inner identity rests on the ability to store either pleasurable tension or enjoyable energy within the personality. The individual who stores tension is psychologically feminine because submissive tendencies can be relied on to deepen his capacity for accepting tension in a pleasurable and constructive way. The individual who accumulates energy is psychologically masculine because dominant tendencies can be relied on to keep his energy level high in an enjoyable and constructive fashion.
Tension and energy are not always constructive and healthy, and when they are not, tension is no longer pleasurable, and energy fails to reach an enjoyable quality. Tension remains pleasurable when the intensity, warmth, and awareness that it generates have some kind of interpersonal meaning. Through an expanding tension bearing capacity, the individual is guaranteed an increasing ability to gather information about his world, but he must be able to use this information in a way that meets the needs of others. He must live in a psychological world where his assets are welcome and make a real difference in the lives of other people. In other words, tension produces inner assets, and when these assets are used to enrich human relationships, tension bearing justifies itself and becomes fixed within the personality as a pleasurable state of being. When the increased understanding of life that tension brings leads to service to others, either through the communication of understanding, or through action based on loving devotion, there is a shift from the accumulation of tension to the employment of the assets that tension has provided. The personality moves from a state of pleasurable tension into an energy discharge. This does not mean that the personality now accumulates energy. If it did, the feminine identity of the individual would be undermined. It means rather that the individual's energy patterns are shaped by his needs to use his assets for the benefit of others. He has come to the point where the needs of others trigger his ability to act. This requires both that he has something worth giving and that others want what he has to give. The ability to discharge tension in this kind of action is essential if tension is to maintain its pleasurable and constructive status. The ability of the personality to hold tension is not altered by such discharges, however. The personality returns to tension accumulation until the next discharge occurs.
There is an analogous pattern of energy accumulation in the masculine personality. High levels of energy remain enjoyable when the spontaneity, vigor, and self-confidence that are generated have some kind of interpersonal value. Through an expanding ability to maintain energy, the individual is guaranteed an increasing supply of skills in dealing with his world, but he must be able to use such manipulative capacities in a way that involves him in the lives of other people. He must live in a psychological world where his assets can produce alterations in others of a significant quality. In other words, high energy levels lead to the development of new capacities, and when these capacities become essential to the welfare of other people, energy accumulation justifies itself and becomes fixed within the personality as an enjoyable state of being. When the increased capacity for manipulation that energy brings leads to the enrichment of the human environment, because exploitable resources take on new value, the personality develops attachments to that which it has altered. This attachment is formed through the pride of possession, and takes its being in the liberation of feeling toward that which belongs to the individual. There is a shift from the accumulation of energy to the feeling state which ownership brings. The personality moves from a state of enjoyable energy into the acceptance of tension. Such tension is not an expanding state, but is only accepted because there are no obstructions to the gratification of its desires and needs. This does not mean that the personality now accumulates tension. If it did, the masculine identity of the individual would be undermined. It means rather that the individual accepts tension where his ability is needed and welcomed by others for their benefit. He has come to the point where the needs of others for his dominant behavior releases his ability to feel. This point can only be reached when his skills have attained the status of a responsible effectiveness and others are willing to open themselves to his influence. The ability to accept tension through this kind of commitment to the welfare of others is essential to enjoyable and constructive energy. The ability of the personality to accumulate energy is not altered by such fulfillment s, however. The personality returns to energy accumulation until the next release into fulfilled feeling.
It can be said that the goal of the tension bearing personality is to reach energy discharges. It will be noted that such personalities must accumulate energy before it can be discharged. This energy is accumulated in such a way as to guarantee a clear path to its discharge. The action patterns of the feminine personality have clearcut and psychologically simple goals: to serve a person or situation which is idealized or loved. The submissive nature of the feminine personality creates a power surrender which forms and guides the action patterns. Within the boundaries of this power surrender the feminine personality can become very active without losing its submissive status.
In a similar way, the energy holding masculine personality must accept tension before the needs and desires which tension brings can be gratified. This tension is accumulated in such a way as to guarantee a clear path to its discharge. The feeling patterns of the masculine personality have a clearcut and psychologically simple structure: they are only accepted where the dominance and control of the personality has been established. The individual exploits a person or situation which belongs to him. He can accept devotion and love feelings in himself because they do not alter his power status. The more commitments he can make to persons and situations the greater becomes the territory in which his power identity can operate. The dominant nature of the masculine personality keeps his acceptance of needs and desires in those channels which increase his utilization of the resources that he possesses.
The tension bearing feminine personality rejects action except where the conditions for action have been met through the operation of the power surrender. The energy holding masculine personality insulates itself from feeling except where the conditions of feeling have been met through the operation of the domain mechanism, that is, where feeling is selectively released toward entities which have come under control. It should be made clear that the power surrender and the domain mechanism operate in situations where inner identity becomes important. This entire discussion does not apply to emergency events, and is often of little application to the adaptive aspect of life. However, each individual seeks to expand the area where inner identity operates. He attempts to limit the scope of the practical and emergency situations in his life because the more he can express his identity, the more contentment and happiness he attains. It is this reaching for an expanding world of self-expression that is at the heart of psychological growth.
Inner identity rests on the ability to accept imbalance in the personality. Imbalance can only be healthy and constructive when it is pleasurable and enjoyable. Tension bearing increases the capacity of the feminine personality for depth, sensitivity, and awareness, and these traits take the form of the ability to feel love. Energy holding increases the capacity of the masculine personality for vigor, spontaneity, and self-confidence, and these traits take the form of the ability to experience a sense of power. Love is pleasurable when it leads to actions which are guided by the power surrender. Power is enjoyable when it opens the personality to feeling, guided by the domain mechanism. Thus the feminine personality discharges tension through service directed action. This is an indirect way of discharging tension and does not undermine the tension holding capacities of the personality. If the needs and desires which tension brings are discharged directly, every appetite seeks immediate gratification and there is no accumulation of the ability to love. The masculine personality discharges energy by expanding the scope of its commitments and attachments, and this enriches the feeling experiences of the personality. This is an indirect way of lowering the energy level and does not undermine the energy holding capacities of the personality. If the impulses which energy brings are discharged directly, every desire for action seeks immediate fulfillment and there is no accumulation of the sense of power.
Every personality seeks balance. Inner identity rests on a special indirect way of attaining balance. Inner identity channels intensity of feeling toward the outer world, making love possible. It channels the vigorous readiness for action toward attachments in the outer world, making power possible. If balance is reached directly, all feeling intensity leads to immediate gratification of desires, and the capacity for a feminine identity does not develop. If the vigorous readiness for action leads to the direct expression of all impulses, the capacity for a masculine identity does not develop.
Individuals who do not develop a well defined inner identity are very limited in their ability to take part in the more complex aspects of interpersonal relationships. They lack the charisma which is conferred by a heightened individuality. They can only function well in simple and uncomplicated human situations. However, they have no problems in attaining balance, since there is no imbalance to start with.
Individuals with a clearly established inner identity must struggle with the problem of attaining balance. Many of the problems of human psychological development can be seen as complications of the search for balance. To understand this process better, the concepts of subjectivity and objectivity have proven useful. When the feminine personality reaches access to action, the individual could be said to be using masculine mechanisms. However, he is using these mechanisms in a feminine way and it is only confusing to call them masculine. Similarly, as the masculine personality opens up to new areas of feeling, the individual could be said to be using feminine mechanisms but this way of describing the process has the same disadvantages.
Subjectivity has to do with awareness. It includes both self-awareness and the capacity to gather information about persons and situations in the environment. It is another way of talking about psychologically feminine faculties. The advantage of having an additional term lies in the fact that the concept femininity identifies a fixed approach to life, whereas subjectivity describes the use of psychologically feminine faculties in particular situations, whether in a feminine or masculine personality.
Objectivity has to do with the manipulative faculties. It includes self-confidence and the capacity to build skills, expanding the scope of manipulative participation with persons and situations. It is another aspect of the psychologically masculine faculties, but instead of identifying the basic and unchanging personality type, as the concept masculinity does, objectivity identifies a mode of dealing with situations, whether in a masculine or feminine personality.
Every personality must be able to sustain imbalance as the price of attaining an inner identity. Such imbalance is not a stable state. The individual strives toward balance, and the way balance is reached affects many of the qualities of the personality. Because femininity is rooted in subjectivity, objectivity becomes a goal. Because masculinity is rooted in objectivity, subjectivity becomes a goal. Some feminine personalities develop a great deal of subjectivity and find objectivity difficult to reach, whereas others come to objectivity very directly and therefore tend not to develop their subjectivity to the same degree. Similarly, some masculine personalities are characterized by a large investment in objectivity, and they find subjectivity difficult to reach. There are other masculine personalities who come to subjectivity more directly and therefore tend not to develop their objectivity to the same degree.
Subjective feminines and objective masculines are called unbalanced types, since they find balance more difficult to attain. Objective feminines and subjective masculines constitute balanced types. This differentiation between balanced and unbalanced types has proved useful in understanding differences in the way various individuals approach psychological growth. It might seem that unbalanced types are more creative in quality, since the sustaining of imbalance is essential to a well defined inner identity. But unless the individual can reach balance, his inner identity remains locked within himself, producing a variety of psychological stresses and symptoms, and thus fails to reach the status of a truly creative process. Balanced personalities, on the other hand, might seem at first impression to lack inner identity. There are those who lack the ability to sustain imbalance altogether, and these individuals obviously reach balance readily. The concept of balanced personality is not being used in this way. It is applied to individuals of well defined inner identity who reach balance by utilizing socially supported channels of feeling and action. Balanced feminine personalities reach action and responsibility readily by doing what society expects them to do. Balanced masculine personalities reach feeling easily by accepting those channels of feeling and understanding which society expects them to accept. The stress comes in these personalities when the conventional quality of their lives blocks further growth. The psychological depression which ensues clearly demonstrates that their inner identity is real. It can be said that unbalanced types, at their best, excel in independence and the ability to sustain psychological growth goals, and that balanced types excel in the art of living and the ability to use human assets in the kind of healthy way that brings contentment and happiness.
In the formation of mated relationships there is, of course, a polarity between masculine and feminine personalities. There is no such pairing between balanced and unbalanced types. Both members of a mated union are either balanced or unbalanced. This means that the family unit as a whole is either one or the other, and this tends to continue from one generation to another. There is a tendency for the two types to have difficulties in establishing empathy and identification. The ability to overcome this separation is a product of the highest levels of psychological development. The constructive utilization of their differences for the improvement of the life style of each occurs best in a creative human setting
Psychological growth is the key to a continuing state of contentment and happiness. No matter how much access an individual has to human assets and accomplishments at any particular time of his life, if he cannot look forward to an increasing depth and scope in his interpersonal world, he will be vulnerable to depression. Inner identity feeds that sense of personal importance which all men need and want, but inner identity cannot fulfill itself without a significant degree of dissatisfaction. The individual remains always ready to want more out of his human relationships. The inner psychological stresses which are generated by the need to grow take the form of the feminine sense of inferiority and the masculine sense of guilt. The acceptance of these stresses takes its being in the welcoming of problems and obstacles. There is no simple and direct way for the individual to expand his psychological world. Although this expansion, when it comes, is the most rewarding of human experiences, it can only originate in the bearing of stress and struggle. If the growth process is to go forward successfully, the individual must not involve himself in more strain than his personality can handle.
Unbalanced types live in a world well populated by problems and obstacles. Their inner identity is repeatedly subjected to reinforcement by the presence of these stresses. Subjective feminine types approach the human scene with a strong disposition to sensitivity and intensity, feeling self-aware and ready to idealize others. Objective masculine types show a strong disposition to vigor and spontaneity, characterized by a mood of self-confidence and the readiness to exploit the human environment. These reaching and stressful states are in no sense fulfilled out of themselves, although there will be pleasure and enjoyment in them if the individual has faith and hope that he will be able to solve the problems and overcome the obstacles which he is generating. These stresses create motivation. They are channels which can lead toward the further development of human assets and capacities. They are a way of getting ready for something.
It is one thing to become aware of problems and another thing to be able to provide a solution, and exposing the self to the challenge of obstacles is different from the overcoming of such obstructions. The easy way to deal with a problem is to manipulate the situation so that the problem goes away. This may work adequately in a practical or adaptive way, but it does not lead to that increase in insight which leaves the individual better equipped than before to relate to others. It should be remembered that these problems are voluntarily chosen as a means of increasing the importance of the self and the value of the self to others. If they are to be manipulated away, there would be no valid reason to welcome them in the first place. In a similar way, the easy way to overcome obstacles is to detour around them, and this method may have substantial practical value. It does not lead to that increase in mastery which increases the permanent assets of the personality.
If feeling is to pass into the next stage of human relatedness, it must generate understanding. If the readiness for action is to proceed into the next stage, it must generate responsibility. Great and intense feeling has a psychedelic effect. It opens the individual to a larger world, but he must then develop the tools which love needs in order to work in the human scene. The working tool of love is conceptual thought. High levels of euphoric excitability also has a psychedelic effect, expanding the world that the individual proposes to confront. The sense of power only invites helplessness if the individual cannot explore and test the nature of the materials he proposes to manipulate. He must build procedures and techniques, and this requires great discipline. Within the motivational structure created by power, he accepts the commitments which permit skills to develop.
Conceptual thinking which is capable of solving problems reaches the status of truth, and truth can only be found under the influence of the power surrender. The development of skills which are capable of overcoming obstacles reaches the status of what is right. In human interactions, what is right is the same thing as morality. The right can only be reached under the influence of the domain mechanism.
Subjective feminine types have difficulty in reaching balance. If they fail to do so, intensity of feeling turns into anxiety and their mental health is compromised. If the personality must defend itself against anxiety, the individual cannot do the psychological work which brings the ability to understand others into being. Without this understanding, the feeling for others remains a private thing, lacking the objectivity which makes communication possible. Many subjective feminine individuals live on a kind of mountain top, cut off from down to earth interaction with others. They become the prisoners of their own intensity, living withdrawn lives in which fantasy and fear of human contact are prominent features. Their feeling for others fails to find channels of action. They do not realize that the only creative way for love to find action is through the development of the truth seeking functions, guided by the power surrender. If the tendency to anxiety becomes too great, they defend themselves by finding action through a more direct route, namely through the development of false power attributes. This defense is characterized by willful self-indulgence. They manipulate situations in order to protect their personal comfort. They then are able to communicate readily, because they use any fragment of understanding that they have as if it were objective truth. Their sensitivity leads to a continuing elaboration of their own needs, and they exploit others accordingly.
Objective masculine types also have difficulty finding balance. If they fail to do so, vigor and spontaneity turn into disorganizing restlessness, and their mental health is compromised. If the personality must defend itself against restlessness, the individual cannot find the commitment and discipline which make the development of human manipulative techniques possible. Without these skills, the readiness for action remains a separate thing, lacking subjective access to content and meaning. Many objective masculine individuals live dissociated lives on their own kind of mountain top, cut off from down to earth intimacy with others. Their pride and self-confidence are maintained by refusing to feel in any situation which threatens their sense of dominance. They live dissociated lives in which playing roles and anger at the obstructiveness of others are prominent features. Their need to take responsibility for others fails to find a world in which it can operate. They are unable to comprehend that creative power can only develop through the establishment of what is right, guided by the domain mechanism. If the tendency to disorganizing restlessness becomes too great, they defend themselves by finding feeling by a more direct route, namely through the development of false love mechanisms. This defense is characterized by vanity. They submit to situations in a kind of automatic way in an atmosphere of sentimentality and helplessness. They treat each situation as if their submission were dictated by forces beyond their control and therefore inevitable, but these situations are chosen by them for the personal rewards they can derive. Their submission is not real. Vanity rests on playing a game with others. The individual agrees to feel for others provided that he gets his own way. Willfulness replaces strength and ability. Such power does not build anything, since it has no integrity, continuity, or consistency. Its only goal is to have its immediate emotional needs gratified in a hedonistic way. It functions in an emergency atmosphere, and if the warmth the individual is offering others fails to draw them into his power system, the warmth evaporates suddenly and leaves no trace of its evanescent existence.
Self-indulgence rests on a false kind of freedom. The individual protects himself from a further build up of tension by rejecting any need for more understanding of persons and situations outside himself. Whatever his understanding capacities are at that moment is taken to be final and complete. If others do not respond to his view of things, they are taken to be inadequate or deficient in some way. His self-awareness is no longer linked to an expanding awareness of others. It is connected instead to a keen awareness of what is required to satisfy his own needs. His attention is focused on himself, and he uses others to get his own way. His only problems are those which emerge in the course of satisfying his own needs. He becomes very manipulative in setting up his relationships so that these problems can be dissipated. He finds a human environment in which self-serving tendencies are taken to be the normal or natural way of relating to others. Ease of superficial communication becomes more important than the search for truth. It is a world of authoritarian pronouncements in which the individual takes the attitude "because I say it, it is true." in the conventional social world, ease of self-expression in the communication with others becomes the mark of a successful personality. In such a world, the pursuit of human truth loses its reality. Men's motives become colored by the need to look out for themselves, and anything less is regarded as a lack of strength in the personality. Such motives attain a high level of social support. There is a general agreement to believe in socially acceptable ideas because they spare individuals from the stresses of the truth seeking process. It is true that in such a world men value ignorance more than wisdom because false beliefs become a guarantee of social harmony.
Vanity rests on a false kind of security. The individual protects himself from any further build up of energy by rejecting any need for more skill or ability in dealing with his human world. Whatever his manipulative capacities are at that moment are taken to be a finished product. If others do not accept his mode of establishing responsible control, they are taken to be trouble makers, lacking in the necessary capacities for discipline and loyalty. His self-confidence is no longer linked to an exploring of the nature of the human resources around him. It is connected instead to a willful need accomplish his own purposes. The world around him ceases to have dimensions and qualities of its own. It is as if he wears blinders and only sees the track in front of him. Human obstacles are seen as impersonal entities to be bypassed, manipulated, or destroyed without any sense of responsibility. He feels no guilt as a result of such behavior because this potentially obstructive world is not real to him. Instead he feels a dogmatic and sentimental loyalty and commitment to those human relationships which feed his need for prestige and pride. This is a very automatic type of reaction and he does not feel he is making a choice. He finds a human environment in which prestige seeking is taken to be the normal or natural way of relating to others. Success in the pursuit of immediate goals becomes more important than the right. Prestige becomes the irreducible necessity, and the individual takes the position "because i do it, it is right." in the conventional social world, the acceptance of a mutually shared prestige system becomes the mark of belonging to the group. Those who are outside the group cease to have full human dimensions. There is a general agreement to adhere to socially reinforced patterns of behavior because they spare the individual from the stresses inherent in the reaching for the right. Vanity thrives on rigid and unquestioned dogma, because such beliefs can put an aura of importance around accomplishments of a petty nature. Posture becomes more important than the substance of accomplishments. In such a world men value moral weakness more than strength, because false standards of conduct become a guarantee of social harmony.
The ability to grow requires the capacity to go through a kind of limbo territory where the old sense of self has been given up in favor of new personal assets which have not yet proved themselves. When individuals become aware of the undermining effects of self-indulgence and vanity, their need for the basic tools required by love and power, namely truth and right, begins to take form in the personality. It is impossible to grow without coming close to some sense of disorientation or disorganization within the self. This is perceived as a threatening and dangerous situation, and the individual cannot move faster or farther at any given time than his personality can tolerate. Growth requires a kind of death of the old sense of self so that the new psychological capacities can be liberated. It is a kind of rebirth or resurrection, symbolized in the Phoenix rising from the ashes.
As unbalanced individuals move toward independent psychological growth they have a keen sense of inner identity but find that they are unable to use their warmth or pride constructively. Because they have such a big sense of their own potential, the enormous contrast between the promise of their personalities and their real ability to give to others can be distasteful and upsetting. The feminine personalities find themselves inundated by a sense of shame, and the masculines by guilt. If they can tolerate shame and guilt as constructive motivations for growth, they are able to lay aside their defenses and begin to develop the tools of a deeper and broader human interaction.
When the feminine personality accepts more constructive submission, and begins to feel more vividly for the human world outside him, there is an increase of tension bearing within the personality. The old way of manipulating the environment so that tensions are guaranteed discharge is no longer acceptable to the individual. The new way of keeping tension harmonious through the power surrender and the creative workmanship of love is not yet adequately developed. Tension which is mounting without avenues of discharge becomes the source of anxiety within the personality. Anxiety can increase suddenly in situations where inner tensions are high and opportunities for self-expression are low. The environment suddenly takes on the form of a menacing entity which is cold, impersonal, and hostile to the individual's sense of self. Such anxiety is disorienting and initiates an identity crisis. This psychological state is described as phobic.
When the masculine personality accepts a more responsible dominance, and begins to open up to the excitement of exploiting a more responsive world, there is an increase of the energy levels within the personality. The old way of automatic acceptance of feeling attachments, so that energy is guaranteed channels of discharge, is no longer acceptable to the individual. The new way of keeping energy harmonious through the utilization of the domain mechanism and the creative commitments of power is not yet adequately developed. Energy which is mounting without avenues of discharge becomes the source of restlessness within the personality. Restlessness can increase suddenly in situations where energy levels are high and opportunities for self-expression are low. The environment suddenly takes on a hateful and corrupt aspect, as if possessed of evil intent, and the individual's sense of self is undermined. Such restlessness is disorganizing and initiates an identity crisis, characterized by undirected anger which can find no enemy to fight. This psychological state is described as manic restlessness. It has also been described as psychopathic.
Anxiety is the fear that has no name. It reaches phobic proportions when the personality becomes sufficiently disoriented so that the ability to act is compromised. It is a mistake to try to give meaning to the anxiety itself. In the effort to interpret such symptoms, psychoanalysts lean heavily on so-called repressed materials. They believe that fear of castration related to the oedipus complex, or fear of aggression, or whatever other fears they are able to come up with, can provide a genuine insight. But anxiety is not a fear of something. It could be said that it constitutes a fear of fear itself, but even this formulation lacks accuracy. It is a pure state of increasing intensity of feeling which has nowhere to go. The threat to the health of the personality comes when the perception of the nature of the external world starts to change. It is as if meaning has departed from the individual's world, and he seems to be beset by unreal monsters. If they were real he could take flight, but they are not. The difference between inner perception and external stimulation disappears. The individual feels threatened by a loss of consciousness, and panic ensues.
Restlessness is the anger that has no object and therefore no sense of purpose. It reaches manic proportions when the personality becomes sufficiently disorganized so that the ability to perceive the environment is compromised. It is a mistake to try to ascribe this mounting anger to a direct provocation. As this anger mounts into rage, it might seem that it is a rage at anger itself, but it does not actually have any value at all. It is a pure state of rising energy which cannot find any reason for its existence. It is energy on the loose within the personality, moving about insanely, like unattached cargo in the hull of a ship in a storm. The health of the personality is compromised when the perception of the external world starts to change. The world becomes a place where nothing is what it seems to be. The unexpected becomes the expected. An undermining and intolerable amazement becomes the order of the day. The individual experiences horror. His world is populated by intangible and evanescent spirits. If they were tangible he could fight them, but they are not. The boundary line between the self and the external world disappears, and he feels swallowed up by mad forces which offer no opportunity for possession or control. The individual is threatened by a loss of self-control, and a sense of running amok ensues.
The identity crises which are characterized by phobic anxiety and manic restlessness are the consequence of giving up old patterns of freedom and security before new ones are sufficiently developed. Freedom for the feminine personality can only be found constructively through the power surrender. Security for the masculine personality can only be found constructively through the domain mechanism. If the hovering threat of an identity crisis appears too crushing, individuals will not be able to enter the transitional experiences of growth and must remain instead under the protection of the defenses. Self-indulgence with its false access to action, and vanity with its false access to feeling, insulate the individual from the monsters and horrors of the identity crisis.
If the individual can control the pace of his own growth, and remain selective in his human contacts, there is no reason why the identity crisis cannot be replaced by an identity strain which is compatible with mental health. Learning to endure the unpleasantness and dissatisfactions of such strains, motivated by faith and hope, lies at the heart of creative growth. Men cannot rush precipitously into the unknown and the chaotic. They must make a chart as they go along, and they cannot do this alone. They need the understanding and help of other growing people, because this chart will have to be redrawn many times. They travel through a maze, and the most direct route is not always the one that takes the shortest time.
Balanced personality types are much less vulnerable to identity crises, as long as the equilibrium of their lives is maintained. Objective feminines have clear access to action, based on idealization and submission, but the power surrender involved is of a limited type. Subjective masculines have direct access to feeling, based on possessiveness and dominance, but the domain mechanism involved has a limited structure. The power surrender of the balanced individual relates to a world which is socially supported and reinforced. His ideal is bestowed upon him, so to speak, by social institutions. The domain mechanism of the balanced individual receives similar social validation. His opportunities are revealed to him by socially established ideas and dogmas. There is a paradox in the psychology of balanced personalities. The individual lives in a pattern which is genuinely creative in structure, but he tends to avoid problems and obstacles of his own choosing. As long as the version of truth and right that society gives him continues to fulfill his needs, he can serve an ideal without searching for truth on his own, and he can exploit human resources without reaching for an expanding capacity to embody the right on his own. His life is healthy in quality, and it can be said that he is a specialist in the art of living. There are no unnecessary strains in the smooth workings of his psychic mechanisms. The defect in this picture is that the basic goal of the creative process, namely psychological growth with its sense of personal importance, fails to emerge. The substance and form of the balanced life fail to live up to the promise of its creative quality. Balanced mechanisms tend to work best early in life when enthusiasm and inspiration concerning socially established goals have not yet been tested against reality. The effacement of the self which balanced mechanisms entail gradually becomes more apparent, and depression tends to ensue. Some cannot deal with the challenge for independent personal growth which follows, and they try to increase their involvement with their stable world through more and more service in a compulsive pattern, or by an expanding investment of obsessive feeling in their loyal commitments to fixed ideas and dogma. It is as if they regard the world as finished and complete, and they use their expanding involvement with it as a means of defending it from any fragmentation or impermanence. Those who insist on recognizing and dealing with its defects are seen as the enemies of society.
There is a difference in the way social supports are used by unbalanced and balanced types. Self-indulgent feminines use false power in a socially supported way and thus avoid the power surrender. Masculines utilizing vanity accept false loyalty and love in a socially supported way, and thus avoid the domain mechanism. Balanced types do not avoid power surrender and the domain mechanism. Their feminine idealism and masculine possessiveness are expressed with the help of socially supported viewpoints and goals. Such reliance on conventionality tends to select the constructive aspects of the established order. Although balanced types use social supports in a healthy way, they sacrifice their independence in the process. Shame and guilt are familiar companions of defensive unbalanced individuals. These symptoms do not operate significantly in balanced individuals unless they start on an independent growth process. Their primary symptoms are to be found in the intimidated and seduced involvement with a fixed world they have not chosen for themselves.
The balanced individual has an inner creative structure but he lives in an inflexible world. He brings enthusiasm and inspiration into situations where personal growth is impossible. In an attempt to preserve his access to warmth and pride, he endows his world with meaning and value that do not exist. He takes the position that if he sees more beauty in his world, there will be more beauty there, and if he believes enough in the responsiveness of others, he will find himself surrounded by rewarding goodness. It is as if his world were expanding and growing, since he cannot. This mechanism endows the world with magical and miraculous qualities. The more empty the individual's life tends to become, the more he attempts to find new excitement in the same old tired patterns of feeling and action. No matter how hard he tries, the inner emptiness is never that far away. He does not recognize that the staleness and flatness is being imposed on him from outside. He believes that if he only puts enough into living, everything will be all right. If he cannot squeeze juice from a rock, he believes it is only because he has not squeezed hard enough.
When an individual loves a person or situation entirely out of his own need to love, without regard to the need of the object to be altered or changed by that love, he will gradually lose identity in the process. His submission becomes automatic and machine-like, and this constitutes intimidation. Creative submission finds a world where the individual can express himself in a way that leads to expansion of his human capacities. Intimidation is based on submission without choice or self-development. This is a problem free world which the individual accepts as long as he can believe that the security he gets is what a good life is all about. As his attempt to idealize his fixed world falls victim to increasing depression, he tries to make the situation work for him by defining exact limits for his submissive behavior. If pressure exists to go one inch beyond these established limits, there is a sudden and disturbing rush of hatred for the object, and his sense of self as a loving person is threatened. Such carefully structured submission cannot do the creative work of love. Although the individual's motive is to protect his sense of efficiency and effectiveness, he is only increasing the constriction of his psychological life.
When an individual accepts a power position toward a person or situation entirely out of his need to experience power, without regard for the responsiveness of the object, he will gradually lose identity in the process. His dominance is channeled in a programmed kind of way. He exerts dominance because his will is not resisted, rather than because his capacities for utilizing resources are being developed in an expanding way. Creative dominance enriches that which it uses, giving it greater value than before. Dominance which flows into situations simply because they do not resist cannot develop new modalities of mastery. The individual is victimized by the easy flow of his will, and such situations are seductive in nature. Seduction leads to a paradox. Although the individual believes he is free to act as he chooses, this freedom can only exist as long as he does not choose dominant behavior where self-development is the goal. Within this world where obstacles do not exist he lives a free life, like a man in prison who has keys to all the doors, except the one leading to the outside. As his attempt to exploit his fixed world falls victim to increasing depression, he tries to make the situation work for him by excluding all understanding of the true nature of freedom. If influences impinge on his awareness in such a way as to expose the nature of his confinement, there is a sudden and disturbing rush of anger toward the source of such insights, and his sense of self as a person in control is threatened. Such carefully protected dominance cannot make the creative commitments of power. Although the individual's motive is to protect his sense of the richness and value of the resources available to him, he is only increasing the constriction of his psychological life.
Intimidation brings an atmosphere of victimization to the feminine functions. Submissive love rejects wisdom and becomes a duty in which the individual is dwarfed by the immensity of the forces which control him. Seduction brings an atmosphere of decadence and a lack of discipline to the masculine functions. Dominant power fails to value strength in its constructive aspects. The individual chooses avenues of operation which offer no resistance, and in the process the inner identity shrinks to the point where it tends to be swallowed up by the atmosphere of inevitability in his world. His desires and goals come to him from outside himself, and he gives himself to his fate without challenge or question.
The intimidated individual attempts to make a virtue of his condition by glorifying the beauty and importance of the world which commands his loyalty. He is not particularly aware of his submissive traits, nor does he attempt to elaborate his submissive assets. Instead the emphasis is on pride in the effectiveness of what he is able to do, motivated as he is by devotion to such well established and worthy goals. The only problems he accepts are those which come from the need to be more efficient. He sees his world through rose colored glasses. His world is beautiful as long as he can continue to please other people with his accomplishments. The general idea is to keep everybody comfortable, avoiding those areas of tension which could interfere with his ability to communicate easily and to function smoothly as a cog in a well oiled machine. Because of this emphasis on effective action, the objective feminine sometimes appears to others to be psychologically masculine. A large part of his social identity is expressed through role playing, posturing, and play acting, since his effectiveness is a matter of pleasing others, and he becomes an expert in presenting that image of himself which others want and expect. The ideas that he uses in his role playing are chosen for their social utility and not because they are true. This state of affairs leads to magical thinking. Any insight is given the status of truth provided that it liberates the individual for effective action in the immediate context in which he is operating.
The seduced individual attempts to make a virtue of his condition by elaborating the feeling and sensual rewards of his immersion in an entrapping world. It is a version of the philosophy that when rape is inevitable, the individual should relax and enjoy himself. He sees himself as superior because of his access to unlimited hedonistic elaborations. He judges the quality of his life by the amount of opportunity for the experiencing of sophisticated subtleties. It is as if there are no doors closed to him. His goal is the number of variations, rather than the quality, of experience. The only obstacles he recognizes are those which tend to thwart his acceptance of temptation. Sophistication, with its snobbish and aristocratic implications, becomes an ongoing necessity. He builds his hungers and appetites through fantasy. He needs a constant supply of expanding desires in order to maintain his sense of sophisticated living. As he elaborates more and more images about what is attractive and interesting, he tends to dwell in a secret and magical garden where fantasy need not be challenged provided that it functions to keep the glow of his self-awareness alive. Sophistication requires that others be drawn into the same scene, and the more enjoyment the individual can bring to others in this way, the more he validates his social importance. Because of his unrestrained immersion in sophisticated beliefs and feelings, the subjective masculine is sometimes seen by others as psychologically feminine. The seduced individual plays roles based on his need to feed his fantasies and the fantasies of others. The methods he uses in his role playing are chosen by him for their value in bringing people together and not because they are moral, responsible, or right. This state of affairs leads to taking a miraculous stance, in which any moment of mastery is endowed with the aura of the right, provided that the capacity for a pleasurable self-awareness is expanded by it. In this kind of hedonistic world, effectiveness and accomplishment are not valued as objective ends. Instead, the expansion of the sense of self is primary and the individual undertakes projects which make him feel good about himself. Finishing what he starts, where energy accumulation and the development of new techniques would be required, is no part of such undertakings.
The rejection of problems and the avoidance of obstacles by balanced personalities undermines the growth process. They become the victims of the psychological world in which they live, since they are committed to getting more and more from an environment which is stable and fixed and will not alter itself for their benefit. The real essence of the growth process is lacking, namely the ability to selectively change the human environment. Asking the world to change in order to make room for the sense of importance of the self is like undertaking to climb a very high mountain, and when it becomes apparent that the understanding and ability appropriate to climbing a small hill will not suffice, blaming the mountain for hostile and evil intent. Anger at the world for the undermining of sophistication, and hatred for it for its failure to sustain effectiveness, only increases the flatness and emptiness of psychological experience. The only cure for this kind of depression can be found in the turning away from dependence on socially reinforced ideas and modes of action. The individual cannot do this in one creative rush, canceling out his dependent needs in the process. Instead he searches for the kind of input from teaching and leadership which gives access to truth and right.
Once growth begins in a balanced personality, the sense of enthusiasm and inspiration tends to come in a flood. As the individual breaks out of his miniature world, he gains increasing access to the fact that he does not have a miniature personality. The balanced individual comes to the growth process with a well developed potential for power surrender and the domain mechanism. It has often lain fallow for many years, but when his world becomes big enough to give meaning and value to the structure of his personality, the territory which had seemed to be a wasteland bursts into productivity. The sense of inner identity must be carefully protected during the many transitions of the growth process. The individual becomes vulnerable to identity crises. Just as the psychedelic opening up of enthusiasm and inspiration has a new kind of freshness and aliveness, so the encounter with a changing human world brings new and unfamiliar identity problems, characterized by phobic anxiety and manic restlessness. The emphasis on action in objective feminines can lead to perfectionistic strivings toward creative performance which outruns their access to understanding. The emphasis on feeling in subjective masculines can lead to an engulfing preoccupation with the search for deepening insights, overwhelming their access to control of their world. Balanced feminines in a growth process travel close to psychic exhaustion. Balanced masculines are not far from a sense of impoverishment. As they learn to protect their mental equilibrium through the regulation of their forays into new areas of truth and right, they gain access to a healthy growth capacity.
Creative growth requires an alternation between balance and imbalance. Unbalanced types come from one direction, balanced types from another. When the process works well, they end up in the same place.
|SUBJECT KEYWORDS: science of human nature, philosophical anthropology, moral philosophy, humanistic psychology, personal development, interpersonal creativity, social progress, introversion, extroversion, femininity, masculinity, psychological polarity, character specialization, homosexuality, gay liberation.|
[D:\DH\PRC\HTP\SUBJECT.HTP (77 lines) 1998-09-10 07:42 Dean Hannotte]