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September 18, 2014


The theory I'm going to pontificate on here and hopefully illuminate brightly to a few of you is from the work of Kazimierz Dąbrowski (1902–1980), a Polish psychiatrist and psychologist. WIKI LINK: KAZIMIERZ - "POSITIVE DISINTEGRATION".  I think his name is pronounced, Kaa-Za-Mertz Da-Brow-Ski.

Now I'm a journalist, and a tech guy, and an artist... not a doctor or psychologist. However I love research and I'm pretty sharp about something new and important in psychology.

Everything in psychology is a theory. But the world of psychology is a scientific discipline and an art to those who practice it. Science seeks to be objective and accomplish feats to marvel at by calculated research, experimentation which yields facts. Yet all of it begins with a theory. In any field of science.

There are other theories out there and these theories are well respected. Like the theory proposed by Erik Erikson,  a stalwart theory of many psychologist (or at least they had to study it). Here's the Wikilink: "eight stages of psychosocial development", as articulated by Erik Erikson. He makes a lot of sense, meaningful in the sense that you can feel it if you try, however it feels very linear, and to me constraining, when compared to the theory of surviving as an individual by Dąbrowski.

It begins with Positive Disintegration. My interpretation is the disintegration of one's personality. If you read Erikson, the development of personality is obviously linked to a successful integration into society. It's as if there is a road-map to growing up, being productive and finally after a blissful retirement, fading away. Maybe to many people this sounds good, and according to Dąbrowski, this is normal.

He begins his theory with a rather generalized term - "Developmental Potential", "DP". I'm sure many will raise there arms proclaiming they have that! But sorry, many of you don't have that. In fact many may get the idea at first that what Dąbrowski is alluding to is Free Will. He's not.

A quote by  Friedrich Nietzsche:

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself".

What I'm talking about is not the ambitious, dog eat dog strive for the top of the corporate or political world kind of person. I'm talking about the kind of person who may be an artist, a writer, a philosopher, activist... the kind of person that seems to be spinning their wheels in fantasy pursuits of finding themselves and missing Erikson's linear 8 steps altogether. The person may seem loony and even crazy, however there is a fine line between having crazy ideas and being over the edge crazy.

The people I'm talking to here may feel very alone, depressed, may consider suicide, all because they feel they don't fit in. They may have good jobs, a family, put on a great show of being a model citizen... and that's not unusual, as we're really talking about people that learn to survive in a society that makes positive integration impossible and a society of masks where no one is really who they seem to be.

I know you'll be tempted to click on the link I provided before I can get my next post out, Part 1. And I hope you do, as I'm sure it will shock you, and if it seems like the ravings of a lunatic you can always select the link to Erikson.

Happy Autumn :)

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