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September 22, 2014


Critical to being an individual who will gain insight into themselves from Dabrowski's theory are those with DP - "Developmental Potential".

The term itself is like high pressure hose gyrating like a snake... there seems no way to pin down what DP means I layman's terms. Simple, understandable terms.

You may want to read more about Dąbrowski himself, which in turn will fill in much that you question should you find yourself interested, click here: Kazimierz Dąbrowski

"DP" however is defined in many ways. The following are helpful, quoted from the preceding link:

"A new type of perception [is required in an individual which] involves multilevelness, a vertical view of life that compares lower versus higher alternatives and now allows the individual to choose a higher resolution to a crisis over other available, but lower, alternatives — the developmental solution."

"Unilevel crises are not developmental as the person can only choose between equal alternatives (go left or go right?)."

Which means what, exactly? It means there is not "one road in live", something I've written about previously. You can't base your life on a book. You can't be willing to turn yourself over to another person who proclaims their self the "holy one".

Also quoted from the previous link:

"... we need to find a way to a higher level of existence, one where our conscious self is integrated with the full contents of our unconscious."

As children we feel no "DP". Nor do we have an autonomous personality. "Going with the group" is normal. As we age into our late teens/early twenties we have the potential to develop "DP" That's Developmental Potential".

Now here's where Dabrowski's theory seems to veer wildly away from Erikson's theory of personality development. Yet it does something else - adds depth to Erikson's theory in that human personality is not a fixed point in time and reality. It means that to understand who we are, one theory can't describe it... we need to consider the unwritten theories too.

Essentially in late teens, early 20's we feel we are different, that we don't fit in.

We see potential in diversity, find ourselves non-racist, don't buy into the cut-throat approve to finding success, and certainly don't worship money. So what's wrong with the picture?


Add to that physical or mental abuse from whatever source, opinions growing up that you'd never amount to anything, or due to an apparent neglect of your studies and being a non-conformist.

"DP" is a lot like finding your self open-minded, when others around you jump on the band-wagon because well that's what they all do. It's standing there as the others pull away calling you names for not joining them. It hurts. And there's not much in our society to provide answers or solace.

See the "Unilevel" crises shows only two ways to live - the right or wrong way. Succumb to berating yourself because you can somehow never get it right either means you are simply trying hard to fit in and be a hero of the masses, or that you have "DP" and you want more than what society has to offer. You don't want to forsake or harm society, you simply want to find your way of living in this society.

That is what Dabrowski offers in his theory. A way forwards. A way that doesn't include harming yourself, as you'll learn to appreciate yourself and your individuality.You'll learn to do this understanding that, to achieve Positive Integration, it is natural to undergo a Positive Disintegration first. To survive growing up we are provided with what may be a adolescent personality. One we find we need to shed when we get older.

Nothing in our younger years prepares us for this shedding, or disintegration when we are older. Many psychologists aren't even aware of it, however most are not going to try and change you, indoctrinate you or cast aspersions on your dreams.

What Dabrowski suggests is really not that far out there unless you compare him and judge him based upon some hypothetical measurement for conformity.

One of the things I learned about in my early twenties as I was finding myself was the concept of "Universal Knowledge", UK. There are two ways to look at this concept. 1) Spiritual or Jungian in nature - in that "UK" is a spiritual connection to the beyond or ultra-dimensional realm where all knowledge resides, or 2) imagine since we were in our mother's womb we took in sensations, and when we were born we began to take in more, and although consciously we seem to only retain a small fraction of what we're taught and what we experience, in reality our sub-conscientious hears and senses all of it. It is "universal knowledge" contained within our sub-conscious.

The potential is there, not to find "free-will", that is not the goal, but rather, our goal is to find a self-fulfilling, integrated personality, one that is our own.

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