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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The transformation of despair to empowerment Lawrance, Scott 1986

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THE TRANSFORMATION OF DESPAIR TO EMPOWERMENT by W i l l i a m S c o t t Lawrance B . A . , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department o f C o u n s e l l i n g P s y c h o l o g y We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g to t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1986 © W i l l i a m S c o t t L a w r a n c e , 1 9 8 6 CP In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the head o f my department o r by h i s o r her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l no t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f C O O N I S < E U _ J ' M < ^ - 9 S v J C H O L - Q 6 r V The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5 Date April If f "7Q \ i i ABSTRACT The p u r p o s e o f t h i s e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l s t u d y was t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f d e s p a i r to empowerment i n t h e c o n t e x t o f the n u c l e a r t h r e a t . The s t r u c t u r e d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s s t u d y i s the common p a t t e r n u n d e r l y i n g t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f f i v e i n d i v i d u a l s who had undergone a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n from d e s p a i r t o empowerment at l e a s t two y e a r s e a r l i e r . F o r p u r p o s e s o f a l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w , t h e phenomenon o f s t u d y was r e g a r d e d as one i n s t a n c e o f t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n f rom a c o n s t r i c t e d l i m i t - s i t u a t i o n t y p i f i e d by g r i e f , a n x i e t y and a n g e r , t o a b r o a d e n e d s e n s e o f mean ing and e x p e r i e n c e o f w h o l e n e s s . L i t e r a t u r e w h i c h a d d r e s s e d t h i s b r o a d q u e s t i o n was s u r v e y e d as was r e s e a r c h d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o t h e n u c l e a r t h r e a t . No p r e v i o u s e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h i s p a r t i c u l a r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n was d i s c o v e r e d . F o l l o w i n g a p r e s e n t a t i o n o f my own a s s u m p t i o n s and e x p e r i e n c e o f t h i s p r o c e s s , I p r e s e n t t h e f i n d i n g s o f an e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l s t u d y w h i c h f o l l o w s C o l a i z z i (1978) and G i o r g i ( 1 9 8 5 ) . The f i n d i n g s c o n s i s t o f themes and d e s c r i p t i o n s which a r e u n c o v e r e d and v a l i d a t e d from a s e r i e s o f i n t e r v i e w s w i t h t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . The r e s u l t s show a c l e a r l y d i s c e r n i b l e p a t t e r n o f growth t h r o u g h acknowledgement , e x p r e s s i o n , and mov ing t h r o u g h a n x i e t y and s u f f e r i n g . The p r o c e s s o f empowerment i s seen as a p o w e r f u l embodiment o f meaning and p u r p o s e i n t h e l i v e s o f t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . The s t u d y h i g h l i g h t s t h e need f o r h e l p i n g p r o f e s s i o n a l s t o come t o terms w i t h t h e i s s u e o f t h e n u c l e a r t h r e a t . I t p r o v i d e s a c o h e s i v e p e r s p e c t i v e w i t h w h i c h h e l p i n g p r o f e s s i o n a l s c a n work w i t h c l i e n t s who a r e s u f f e r i n g as a r e s u l t o f t h a t t h r e a t or a r a n g e o f o t h e r l i f e e v e n t s w h i c h l e a d to d e s p a i r . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT ........; i i TABLE OF CONTENTS. i i i CHAPTER ONE. INTRODUCTION 2 A p p r o a c h t o the P r o b l e m 2 P e r s o n a l A s s u m p t i o n s and E x p l i c a t i o n s 15 Note o f T e r m i n o l o g y 27 CHAPTER TWO. LITERATURE REVIEW 30 Depth P s y c h o l o g y 34 F r e u d 34 J u n g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 A d l e r 51 R o b e r t L l f t o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 S o c i a l P s y c h o l o g y 66 The S a c r e d : W o r l d Wisdom T r a d i t i o n s 71 Buddhism 73 E x i s t e n t i a l i s m 85 K i e r k e g a a r d 87 H e i d e g g e r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 T i l l i c h . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 May . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 F r a n k l 99 F r e i r e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . „ . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 03 E x i s t e n t i a l - P h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l R e s e a r c h 108 K i e f f e r 108 Summary 113 Page CHAPTER T H R E E . METHOD 113 C h o i c e s o f M e t h o d o l o g y 116 P r o c e d u r a l P r i n c i p l e s o f P h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l R e s e a r c h 119 C o - R e s e a r c h e r s 121 R e s e a r c h P r o c e d u r e 124 A n a l y s i s and E x p l i c a t i o n o f Meaning ,126 The I n t e r v i e w s 132 CHAPTER FOUR. RESULTS 135 Themes 135 E x h a u s t i v e D e s c r i p t i o n 1 42 Condensed D e s c r i p t i o n 149 CHAPTER F I V E . DISCUSSION 151 D i a l o g u e W i t h M y s e l f 151 T h e o r e t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s 153 C o u n s e l l i n g I m p l i c a t i o n s 161 EPILOGUE 164 BIBLIOGRAPHY 169 APPENDICES 1. S i g n i f i c a n t S t a t e m e n t s 176 2. E s s e n c e s 186 3 . T r a n s c r i p t s 194 4. Naramata B r a i n s t o r m 318 V LIST OF TABLES Page TABLE OJIE: COMPARISON CP THEORIES 154 1 That meaningless will not conquer meaning... 2 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION A . APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM E a c h o f us i s c a l l e d on t o do s o m e t h i n g t h a t no member' o f any g e n e r a t i o n b e f o r e o u r s has had t o do: t o assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f our k i n d - t o choose human s u r v i v a l . . . . F o r t h e r i s k o f e x t i n c t i o n i s n o t j u s t one more i t e m on t h e agenda o f i s s u e s t h a t f a c e u s . E m b r a c i n g , as i t d o e s , t h e l i f e and d e a t h o f e v e r y human b e i n g on e a r t h and e v e r y f u t u r e human b e i n g , i t embraces and t r a n s c e n d s a l l o t h e r i s s u e s . - J o n a t h a n S c h e l l (1984, p . 36) S i n c e J u l y 16, 19*15, human b e i n g s ( t o s a y n o t h i n g o f t h e o t h e r o r d e r s o f b e i n g s ) have been u n i t e d i n s h a r i n g a r e a l i t y t h a t has q u a l i t i e s o f b e i n g " f a t e d " . On t h a t day at A l a m o g o r d o , New M e x i c o , t h e f i r s t a t o m i c weapon was d e t o n a t e d , c h i l d o f t h e b r i l l i a n c e o f r a t i o n a l thought and t h e s e e m i n g l y i n n a t e human t e n d e n c y t o a g g r e s s i o n . T h i s r e a l i t y h a s , o b j e c t i v e l y and s u b j e c t i v e l y , p e r s o n a l l y and c o l l e c t i v e l y , i m p i n g e d upon o u r human p r o j e c t s s i n c e t h a t d a y . I t i s p r o b a b l y s a f e t o s a y t h a t no p e r s o n on t h i s p l a n e t w i t h a c c e s s t o e i t h e r p r i n t e d o r e l e c t r o n i c m e d i a l i v e s e n t i r e l y u n a f f e c t e d by t h i s f a c t . M e t a p h o r i c a l l y t h i s has been d e s c r i b e d as l i v i n g i n t h e shadow o f t h e mushroom c l o u d . Awareness o f a v a r i e t y o f a s p e c t s o f t h i s r e a l i t y have been w i d e l y p r o p o g a t e d by a r a n g e o f books and a r t i c l e s , bo th p o p u l a r and s c i e n t i f i c . Awareness o f the danger o f n u c l e a r war has t ended t o ebb and f l o w i n t h e p u b l i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s a c c o r d i n g t o b o t h t h e v i c i s s i t u d e s o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l p o l i t i c s and 3 the a r t i c u l a t e and empassioned arguments of such writers as Bertrand Russel (1961) i n the 1950s and Jonathan Schell (1982) i n the 1980s. The resurgence into public awareness of the nuclear threat i s greeted with anxious acclaim, such as Harrison E. Salisbury's dust jacket accolade for Schell's Fate of the Earth: "...the most important book of the decade, perhaps, of the century. Jonathan Schell t e l l s us that there i s no exit - we must deal with the nuclear danger or be destroyed." Yet despite such a r t i c u l a t e concern and impassioned response l i f e for most of us, and the arms race, goes on. Indeed, there i s an element of irony, not untinged with a sense of the absurd, i n the attempt to dialogue with t h i s problem, to bring into academic discourse a phenomenon of such r a d i c a l l y apocalyptic proportions. Activism and madness may seem more appropriate responses within and towards the context of abundant imagery of end-time, speed and death. Another possible response i s "pure" r e f l e c t i o n , and o j e c t i v i t y described by psychohistorian Robert Jay L i f t o n In his anecdote about a Harvard academic overheard saying that perhaps the human species wasn't so p a r t i c u l a r l y important after a l l i n the great movements of nature. Rejecting both those poles, of pure action and pure r e f l e c t i o n , as both manifestations of despair and a narrowing of human freedom, there i s a thi r d p o s s i b i l i t y . This path w i l l be followed i n t h i s paper with an intent to unify both path and goal. The phenomenological methodology described i n Chapter Three has been chosen for t h i s purpose and i t s use and meaning for t h i s context w i l l be described i n d e t a i l there. Among the ironies embedded i n a project of this nature i s the absurdly disjunctive disparity between the concrete r e a l i t y of nuclear death, a planned 4 and yet inexorably self-propelled phenomenon, and the response to i t : language, thought, image, words. I t i s , once again, the contention of the pen with the sword. Yet, i r o n i c a l l y again, the arms race and the nuclear threat also began as image. Nevertheless, i t i s with words and images that we w i l l contend, with language shoring up against the threat, the new image of Death. This effort takes place within a f i e l d of contexts. The s t a t i s t i c s p i l e up, providing some bearings. There i s mounting s t a t i s t i c a l evidence that the threat of nuclear war i s widely and intensely f e l t . Teachers, therapists, counsellors and others who f i n d themselves i n the position of "helper" are i n the painful but animating s i t u a t i o n of concern for both s e l f and other. While mothers, fathers, children, friends, lovers and myriad others f i n d themselves i n such a position by chance, the "helper" finds herself there by choice and with that choice comes a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for action. Recent polls (Winnipeg Free Press, 1984, September 7) have shown that between one-third and one-half of the population expect that there w i l l be nuclear war within the next f i v e to ten years, and the overwhelming majority do not expect to survive. The majority of recent studies have focused on the response of children and adolescents to the nuclear threat but some have focused on adults or the population at large. A questionnaire survey conducted i n a medium sized, midwestern Canadian c i t y with subjects ranging from 14 to 74 resulted i n findings si m i l a r to those of e a r l i e r Gallup P o l l s . The Canadian study, by Matas and Staley (1985), i n which 46? of the subjects f e l t there would be a nuclear war corroborated the ea r l i e r finding (Gallup, 1982) that 47? of Americans believed a nuclear war to be l i k e l y within 5 years. 5 In t h e Matas and S t a l e y s t u d y , 86% o f t h e sample t h o u g h t o f n u c l e a r war e i t h e r sometimes o r o f t e n , 94$ had t a l k e d about i t w i t h f a m i l y o r f r i e n d s d u r i n g t h e p r e v i o u s s i x months , 88% f e l t t h e y c o u l d n o t s u r v i v e a n u c l e a r war and t h e m a j o r i t y f e l t p o w e r l e s s t o do a n y t h i n g a b o u t i t . The same s t u d y c i t e s a 1984 p o l l wh ich f o u n d t h a t 38% o f v o t i n g age A m e r i c a n s b e l i e v e d a n u c l e a r war l i k e l y w i t h i n a decade and 89% s a i d t h a t no one c o u l d w i n a n u c l e a r w a r . The f i n d i n g s o f t h e s e v a r i o u s s u r v e y s i n d i c a t e s t h a t o v e r t h e p a s t few y e a r s a c o n s i s t e n t number o f N o r t h A m e r i c a n s , between one t h i r d and o n e - h a l f o f t h e a d u l t p o p u l a t i o n l i v e w i t h t h e e x p e c t a t i o n and f e a r o f n u c l e a r w a r . B e n j a m i n Spock (1985) n o t e d t h a t "the f e a r o f n u c l e a r war i s a l m o s t u n i v e r s a l among c h i l d r e n and i s r e a l i s t i c " . A l t h o u g h c h i l d r e n ' s r e s p o n s e s t o s u r v e y s about n u c l e a r war may depend t o a g r e a t e r e x t e n t t h a n a d u l t s upon c u r r e n t t o p i c a l a w a r e n e s s , n e v e r t h e l e s s t h e y r e v e a l a c o n s i s t e n t and d i s t u r b i n g c o n c e r n . Twenty y e a r s o f r e s e a r c h i n t o c h i l d r e n ' s p e r c e p t i o n s and f e a r s o f n u c l e a r war p r o v i d e s a r e a s o n a b l y c o n s i s t e n t p a t t e r n o f r e s p o n s e ( S c h w e b e l , 1965; E s c a l o n a , 1965; Hess and T o u r n e y , 1967, Law, 1973; B e a r d s l e e and M a c k , 1982; H a r g r a v e s , 1984 . ) T h e s e s t u d i e s i n d i c a t e t h a t between 35 and 80% o f c h i l d r e n b e l i e v e t h a t t h e r e w i l l be a n u c l e a r war d u r i n g t h e i r l i f e t i m e . In t h e l o c a l s t u d y by H a r g r a v e s , 80% o f the 700 c h i l d r e n s u r v e y e d f e l t t h a t Canada would not be s a f e i f a n u c l e a r war b r o k e o u t . The same Burnaby s t u d y r e v e a l e d t h a t 79 .1? o f t h e c h i l d r e n e x p e c t e d a n u c l e a r war w i t h i n t h e i r l i f e t i m e . T h e s e c h i l d r e n might be s a i d t o l i v e i n a c o n d i t i o n o f r a d i c a l f u t u r e l e s s n e s s . 6 Such data, tentative as some of i t i s , provides s u f f i c i e n t evidence to assume that children and adolescents are concerned about the future of their l i v e s on this planet, that they symbolize a personally f e l t threat to th e i r s u r v i v a l . As the references indicate there has been less attention paid to adults than to children. Aside from the occasional Gallup P o l l , there i s l i t t l e data. One available study, by Michael Carey (1982), helps to shed some l i g h t on the responses to the nuclear threat experienced by adults who have grown up with awareness of the Bomb. His study was conducted i n the l a t e 1970s with individuals i n th e i r twenties and t h i r t i e s . They were interviewed about their early recollections of the *50s a i r - r a i d d r i l l s , general ideas of death and dying, and human continuity. His findings revealed a pattern i n these individuals of early experiences of t o t a l fear involving dreams and fantasies of destruction involving friends, family and s e l f . This fear was then suppressed i n la t e r childhood only to resurface i n l a t e adolescence or adult l i f e , again i n dreams or fantasy. The people interviewed consisted of both those who professed not to think of such things and those who did. In both cases, almost every person questioned readily produced a flow of associations. Certain common themes emerged. Death was equated with c o l l e c t i v e annihilation. The subjects had pervasive doubts about the permanence of anything, whether one's personal existence, through the natural world, or s o c i a l structures. There was a perception of adult craziness, an absurdity at the heart of things, fostered i n part by the c o n f l i c t i n g messages of superbombs and protection from putting a piece of paper over one's head. There was a theme of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the 7 bomb for some people: a c u r i o s i t y , even desire to see the bomb go o f f , a fascination with the source of power. And f i n a l l y there was the theme of a double l i f e , the awareness that even while we engage i n such mundane tasks as reading and writing theses we may be minutes away from t o t a l nuclear devastation. What Carey uncovered retrospectively with adults, Escalona (1965) and Schwebel (1965) projected e a r l i e r with children. Escalona (1965, p. 201), using data from four questionnaire surveys, hypothesized that "a profound uncertainty about whether or not mankind has a forseeable future exerts a corrosive and malignant influence upon important developmental processes i n normal and well-functioning children." Her basic contention was that children were growing up with a profound d i s t r u s t of adult standards of thought and behaviour. Following Erikson (1984), she argued that the psychic development of children was inextricably bound with mechanisms of iden t i t y with adults. In th e i r i n a b i l i t y to respond creatively to the nuclear threat, adults were c o l l e c t i v e l y f a i l i n g the young, providing no adequate adult coping models and hence no p u l l for maturity. The re s u l t s i n the succeeding generation(s) would be evasion, lethargy, anxiety and despair. S i m i l a r l y Schwebel (1965), drawing from her survey of 3.000 students, concluded that the nuclear threat was profoundly affecting children's perceptions of morality and interpersonal relations leading to generalized lack of f a i t h i n the future and i n the s o c i a l order. Beardslee and Mack's l a t e r study (1981) concurs. Their questionnaire results "strongly suggested that children are deeply disturbed about the 8 t h r e a t s o f n u c l e a r war and t h e r i s k s o f n u c l e a r power, w h i l e t h e y a l s o r e c o g n i z e p o s s i b l e b e n e f i t s from n u c l e a r power and n u c l e a r weapons" ( p . 8 9 ) . They q u e s t i o n t h e impac t about n u c l e a r weapons i n d u c e d u n c e r t a i n t y on a d o l e s c e n t p e r s o n a l i t y s t r u c t u r e , " p a r t i c u l a r l y i n a r e a s o f i m p u l s e management and ego i d e a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . T h e f o r m a t i o n o f p s y c h i c s t r u c t u r e s upon which such (optimum ego) deve lopment depends i s compromised i n a s e t t i n g i n w h i c h t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a f u t u r e a p p e a r s t o have been d e s t r o y e d by t h e a d u l t s t o whom i t s p r e s e r v a t i o n was o s t e n s i b l y e n t r u s t e d . . . W e s u s p e c t t h a t t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f what we a r e d o i n g t o t h e e m o t i o n a l deve lopment o f o u r young a r e so h o r r i f y i n g t h a t we would p r e f e r t o r e m a i n i g n o r a n t , f o r t h e v e i l o f d e n i a l i s ea sy enough t o t e a r away o n c e we s e t o u t t o do so" ( p . 9 1 ) . And what o f t h e a d u l t s , t h o s e o f us b o r n s i n c e 1945, a l l o f whom have e x p e r i e n c e d t h e f o r c e s and l o s s e s r e f e r r e d t o above? As m e n t i o n e d b e f o r e , t h e r e a r e s t i l l few s t u d i e s t h a t have been done w i t h a d u l t p o p u l a t i o n s t o d e t e r m i n e t h e o n g o i n g impac t o f t h e n u c l e a r t h r e a t . Much o f t h e r e s e a r c h and w r i t i n g i n t h i s a r e a i s s p e c u l a t i v e . T h e r e a r e s t u d i e s p r o v i d i n g s u g g e s t i v e d a t a , s u c h as t h e r e c e n t NIMH s t u d y ( 1 9 8 4 ) . A c c o r d i n g t o t h i s s t u d y , a " landmark i n p s y c h i a t r i c e p i d e m i o l o g y " , t h e most common p s y c h i a t r i c d i s o r d e r s i n t h e U . S . t o d a y a r e a n x i e t y and s u b s t a n c e abuse d i s o r d e r s , b o t h o f which may i m p l y r e s p o n s e s t o t h e p h y s i c a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l t h r e a t s posed by n u c l e a r weapons . A c e n t r a l component o f a n x i e t y s t a t e s , i d e a t i o n s o f doom and c a t a s t r o p h e , i s i m p l i c i t i n t h e human r e s p o n s e t o t h e d e a t h imagery o f n u c l e a r war . The abuse o f drugs and a l c o h o l i s one p a r t i c u l a r s t y l e o f c o p i n g w i t h a n x i e t y and m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s . W h i l e t h e r e i s a 9 l a c k of c o r r e l a t i o n a l s t u d i e s between such di s o r d e r s and the per c e p t i o n of nuclear t h r e a t current s p e c u l a t i o n s are suggestive of such c o r r e l a t i o n s . For example, the e a r l i e s t thorough examination of p s y c h o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s of the nuclear t h r e a t , P s y c h i a t r i c Aspect of the^Prevention of Nuqlear War (GAP, 1964), r e p o r t s i n depth on the various defense mechanisms i n v o l v e d i n the personal and s o c i a l response t o the Bomb. The r e p o r t s t r e s s e s that the negative Impact of the nuclear t h r e a t a f f e c t s not only i n d i v i d u a l s but a l s o , through p o l i c y makers and p o l i t i c i a n s , the n a t i o n a l and i n t e r n a t i o n a l f i e l d as w e l l . The s o c i o - p s y c h i a t i r i c f a c t o r s which the r e p o r t enumerates deserve e l a b o r a t i o n . They i n c l u d e the p s y c h o l o g i c a l defense mechanisms, the p r i m i t i v i z i n g e f f e c t s of f e a r , the i n c r e a s i n g dehumanization of man and s o c i e t y , ethnocentric perceptual d i s t o r t i o n s l e a d i n g t o mutual m i s t r u s t . These mechanisms, f u n c t i o n i n g on both s i d e s of the superpower c o n f l i c t , exert pressure on population and leader a l i k e , provoking personal a n x i e t y and i n t e r n a t i o n a l i n s e c u r i t y . The p s y c h o l o g i c a l defense mechanisms c i t e d by the GAP re p o r t i n c l u d e those drawn by t r a d i t i o n a l depth psychology: d e n i a l , r e p r e s s i o n , suppression, i s o l a t i o n of a f f e c t , and p r o j e c t i o n . From t h i s point of view, such defense mechanisms o r i g i n a l l y formulated i n the context of i n d i v i d u a l ' s responses to traumatic l i f e s i t u a t i o n s , e s p e c i a l l y i n the f a m i l y , are hypothesized to f u n c t i o n i n the broader s o c i o p o l i t i c a l world as w e l l . The GAP report thematizes these defense mechanisms, r e f e r r i n g them to a process of dehumanization, of both s e l f and other. " I t i s c l e a r that the " o b j e c t - d i r e c t e d " and " s e l f - d i r e c t e d " aspects of dehumanization are mutually 10 r e - i n f o r c i n g . The more p e o p l e r e s c u e t h e m s e l v e s f rom f e a r , shame, g u i l t , and d i s c o m f o r t by m a k i n g sub-humans , bad-humans , s u p e r - h u m a n s , o r non-humans out o f o t h e r s , t h e more l i k e l y t h e y a r e t o l o s e some o f t h e i r own i n h e r e n t human v a l u e s " ( p . 2 4 9 ) . The r e p o r t d e s c r i b e s a number o f m a l a d a p t i v e a s p e c t s o f d e h u m a n i z a t i o n . T h e s e c o n s i s t o f an i n c r e a s e d e m o t i o n a l d i s t a n c e from o t h e r human b e i n g s , a d i m i n i s h e d s e n s e o f p e r s o n a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e consequences o f o n e ' s a c t i o n s , i n c r e a s i n g i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h p r o c e d u r a l prob lems t o t h e d e t r i m e n t o f human n e e d s , an i n a b i l i t y t o oppose dominant g r o u p a t t i t u d e s and p r e s s u r e s , and f e e l i n g s o f p e r s o n a l h e l p l e s s n e s s ( p p . 2 5 1 - 3 ) . The i m m e d i a t e e f f e c t o f t h i s presumed p r o c e s s on many p e o p l e i s a r e d u c t i o n i n t h e i r s e n s e o f p e r s o n a l power and t h e r e i n f o r c e m e n t o f " a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g " f e e l i n g s o f a n o n y m i t y , i m p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n , and detachment f r o m t h e d e c i s i o n making p r o c e s s . R o b e r t J . L i f t o n ' s (1979) a n a l y s i s o f t h e c o n c e p t s o f " P s y c h i c numbing" and " d o u b l e l i f e " ex tends and a m p l i f i e s t h i s e a r l i e r c o n c e r n o f t h e GAP r e p o r t . S i m i l a r l y , C h r i s t o p h e r L a s c h (1979 , 1984) s ees i n modern N o r t h A m e r i c a n c u l t u r e an e m o t i o n a l d i sengagement and c o n t r a c t i o n o f t h e s e l f t o a d e f e n s i v e c o r e . T h i s " n a r c i s s i s t i c " s e l f whose s e n s e o f h i s t o r i c a l c o n t i n u i t y has s h r u n k e n d r a s t i c a l l y i n t h e f a c e o f p r o l i f e r a t i n g images o f the end o f t i m e i s dehumanized i n t h e same s e n s e . "The s i e g e m e n t a l i t y and t h e p s y c h i c s t r a t e g i e s o f s u r v i v a l i t e n c o u r a g e s " c o l l e c t i v e l y l e a d s t o "our p r o t e c t i v e i r o n y and e m o t i o n a l d i s e n g a g e m e n t , o u r r e l u c t a n c e t o make l o n g - t e r m e m o t i o n a l commitments , our s e n s e o f p o w e r l e s s n e s s and v i c t i m i z a t i o n , o u r f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h ex treme s i t u a t i o n s and w i t h t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a p p l y i n g t h e i r 11 lessons to everyday l i f e , our perception of large scale organizations of t o t a l control" (1979, p. 18). This contraction of the s e l f to a defended core beset with (often unacknowledged) anxiety simultaneously results from and further perpetuates the loss of a sense of human continuity. Most thoroughly described by L i f t o n (1979), t h i s rupture with a sense of connection and i d e n t i t y with a broader community i s accompanied by a r a d i c a l l y new awareness or imaging of death. Death imagery (and concomitant imagery of "symbolic immortality") may be seen as the i n v i s i b l e core or root of both individual and c o l l e c t i v e modes of being at t h i s , and indeed, any h i s t o r i c a l moment. Eminent ps y c h i a t r i s t Jerome Frank (1984), concurs that "the threat of a nuclear holocaust adds new dimensions to the prospect of death" (p. 1343). These new dimensions, he argues, include not only the destruction of the sense of continuity between generations but also the destruction of the meaning of death by depriving i t of i t s i n d i v i d u a l i t y . This results i n two s o c i a l l y disruptive ways of attempting to overcome the r e s u l t i n g sense of despair: exaltation of the s e l f on one hand and surrender of the s e l f on the other. Frank argues that both psychiatry and r e l i g i o n have important roles to play i n unearthing and d i r e c t l y confronting death anxiety, while simultaneously o f f e r i n g therapeutic support against e x i s t e n t i a l anxiety and increasing each person's sense of f u l f i l l m e n t and s a t i s f a c t i o n i n l i f e . The authors of the GAP report, Jerome Frank and Robert J. L i f t o n , among many others, share a concern that psychological investigators, as so c i a l s c i e n t i s t s , make a vigorous contribution to the prevention of a nuclear holocaust. They a r t i c u l a t e the need for insights into the psychological forces 12 that contribute to the arms race, for antidotes to patterns of dehumanized modes of being and for promulgation of the "shared fundamental insight that a l l humans belong to the same family" (Frank, 1984, p. 1348). Hopefully, t h i s paper w i l l contribute i n some way toward these ends. By examining how individuals have faced squarely the i r own despair and anxiety about the times i n which they l i v e , s p e c i f i c a l l y towards the threat of nuclear holocaust, i t i s hoped that some of the v e i l s of denial and dehumanization w i l l be pulled aside. I have attempted to provide some context for the research i n t o what may be ca l l e d the transformation from despair to empowerment i n the nuclear age. The ind i v i d u a l and c o l l e c t i v e response to the threat of nuclear war i s permeated with elements of denial. Aspects and implications of this denial have been suggested. In the pages that follow, an attempt w i l l be made to illuminate a path of transformation. L i f t o n has borrowed a l i n e from poet Theodore Roethke which evokes the tone of our c o l l e c t i v e task: "In a dark time, the eye begins to see". This task i s nothing less than the perennial re-creation of meaning from the t e r r i f y i n g abyss of chaos. On a p r a c t i c a l and pragmatic l e v e l , i t i s hoped that t h i s research w i l l be of value i n working with individuals and families who suffer (whether consciously or not) from the threat of nuclear war. Such suffering may be i n terms of a vaguely f e l t and pervasive sense of g u i l t , anxiety or hopelessness, r e s u l t i n g from the dehumanization and psychic numbing described above. I t may be f e l t as a response to an external source of stress, similar i n nature to other stressors such as finances or health. 13 Whatever the presenting problems of an i n d i v i d u a l or family may be, the issue of nuclear threat i s part of t o t a l environmental s i t u a t i o n . The therapist or counsellor may experience a dilemma deciding the extent to which i t i s appropriate to attempt to address what may be seen as a p o l i t i c a l rather than a "personal" issue. Family therapists, among others, are beginning to confront these issues. Robert Simon (1984) confronts these issues i n his a r t i c l e The Nuclear Family. In today's world, nuclear fears are a kind of c o l l e c t i v e family secret. Even though everyone knows the secret few w i l l t a l k about i t . Therapists o r d i n a r i l y respond to such secrets by confronting them: we know that they are usually founded on fear or despair that i s i l l u s o r y and are as vulnerable to exposure as a vampire to sunlight. But nuclear fear and despair are a different kind of secret, one that i s based upon r e a l i t y . They are at the heart of a bad dream that can never be talked away. (p. 25) Simon goes on to question whether more emphasis i n family therapy (and I believe by implication i n ind i v i d u a l therapy) ought not to be placed on whether the future can give l i f e meaning. He writes, Increasingly, as the heron does, I have been f i s h i n g i n my own image - seeing my future and that of s i g n i f i c a n t others mirrored i n my work with families. I f e e l that the next development i n family epsitemology w i l l be our understanding the maps of the future held by each family, something which I can "feed forward". The central question I use i n approaching t h i s with families i s directed to the 14 children: How w i l l you^protect your children d i f f e r e n t l y from the  way i n which your parents protected you? (p. 27) How are therapists and counsellors going to work with this pervasive issue? Shall they continue to assert a s p l i t between the personal and the p o l i t i c a l , or are there ways to overcome th i s s p l i t i n a r a d i c a l l y therapeutic methodology that confronts the "threat of world destruction (that) has crept into human experience l i k e a c h i l l i n g mist" (p. 27)? Clearly the issue impacts upon the l i v e s of many. As well as being a background or contextual reference point for a l l of us, the nuclear threat confronts certain individuals more strongly than others. Children and adolescents may be p a r t i c u l a r l y at r i s k as suggested by the surveys c i t e d above. Another group of individuals who may be p a r t i c u l a r l y affected are those who involve themselves d i r e c t l y with the issues, such as anti-nuclear a c t i v i s t s . Such individuals may be p a r t i c u l a r l y prone to despair and burn-out. A description of the empowering process may be helpful to t h i s group. However, regardless of the target population, the rationale underlying the choice f o r this particular body of research i n the context of the f i e l d of Counselling Psychology i s twofold. This research contributes to an understanding of transformation of d e f i c i t states to meaning generally. And secondly, t h i s research, both i n process and i n content, w i l l hopefully contribute to assisting individuals and groups to overcome pain and anguish for themselves and for the i r world. C. G. Jung somewhere noted that "there i s not b i r t h of consciousness without pain". The description of t h i s movement from 15 and through pain to consciousness has both immediate and h e u r i s t i c value i n overcoming the c u l t u r a l estrangement of our time. This study, while focusing upon the nuclear threat, i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important for shedding l i g h t on the process by which humans move from meaninglessness and estrangement to wholeness, meaning and connectedness. B. PERSONAL ASSUMPTIONS AND EXPLICATIONS As suggested above, there has been research accomplished which begins to reveal the extent of despair and suffering caused by the fact of the existence of nuclear weapons. L i t t l e has been done however i n a rigourous fashion to investigate the phenomenon of the transformation of these d e f i c i t states to modes of being which are inherently more meaningful and valuable. However, many ind i v i d u a l s , p a r t i c u l a r l y within the context of Despairwork (Macy, 1983). have undergone such a transformation. The task of t h i s paper i s to understand the structure of t h i s transformative process. The search for the essential structure (or meaning) of t h i s transformation i s accomplished by studying human experience. A methodology suitable for investigating t h i s process within the context of l i v e d experience i s existential-phenomenology. In accordance with t h i s approach, the following section i s devoted to explicating t h i s researcher's own experiences, assumptions and expectancies. The underlying intent of this procedure ( C o l a i z z i , 1978), i s " o b j e c t i v i t y " , the " f i d e l i t y to phenomena". In order to l e t research f a i t h f u l l y represent what stands before one, i t i s necessary to "recognize and affirm both my own experience and che experience of others." "Experience" here has the qu a l i t i e s of being "a) objectively r e a l for myself and others, b) not an internal state but a mode of presence to the world, c) a mode of world presence which i s e x i s t e n t i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t , and d) as e x i s t e n t i a l l y 16 s i g n i f i c a n t , i t i s a legitimate and necessary content for understanding human psychology" (p. 52). Following t h i s approach art i c u l a t e d by Giorgi (1970, 1975) and further elaborated by C o l a i z z i (1978), the investigator carefully interrogates his or her assumptions, examining "as many of the presuppositions of his approach as he can and subjects them to a thorough-going scrutiny, analysis, and examination" ( C o l a i z z i , 1978, p. 55). In t h i s approach, the influence of one's personal history i n c l u s i v e of one's whole mode of being-in-the-world i s ar t i c u l a t e d . This permits "interroggatlon" by both the researcher and reader of his or her world-as-approach. There seems to be a necessary or inevitable contention or d i a l e c t i c tension between the various verbal presentations of the phenomena at hand. Language, such as t h i s , which i s directed toward an a r t i c u l a t i o n and understanding of what may be called a metacommunicational issue and which s t r i v e s for an a l y t i c a l and l o g i c a l c l a r i t y must remain largely estranged from a more e x p e r i e n t i a l l y focused, symbolic or poetic mode. These two modes, t r a d i t i o n a l l y l a b e lled Apollonian and Dionysian and currently being reconceptualized i n terms of the hemispheric d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the brain, seem to represent to d i s t i n c t yet complementary ways of being. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , the Apollonian, left-hemisphere approach has been applied to " s c i e n t i f i c research" while i t s opposite has been the language of poetic, s p i r i t u a l and s o u l - f u l r e a l i t i e s . From the existential-phenomenological viewpoint the d i a l e c t i c of these two modes i s kept more f u l l y i n the researcher's awareness. His own experience as well as that of his co-researchers partakes of both modes, involving the 17 r e f l e c t i o n upon the primary experience of one's bodily-existence-as-lived-with-the-world. Accordingly, the phenomenological-existential approach remains more f l e x i b l e i n regards to language. The descriptive approach, which remains rigourously objective as defined above, must never lose contact with the primary data of the phenomena studied. Therefore, the language with which the phenomena" o r i g i n a l l y " presents i t s e l f to the person, must also remain near to hand, and to ear. With t h i s approach i n mind, i t i s now possible and necessary to dialogue with my own thoughts as representation of my history/experience of the transformation of despair to empowerment. This w i l l permit the revelation of e x i s t e n t i a l aspects of my l i f e which may then be questionned, r a t i f i e d , rejected or modified. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to know where to begin. This d i f f i c u l t y , t h i s opaqueness i t s e l f presents as a central element of the phenomena. I t seems that there has never been a time i n which I did not know that I was profoundly threatened. As a c h i l d my world was textured with a i r r a i d sirens and t a l k of building backyard shelters. I fantasized about a l l the food we could store there, a place to be close with a l l my family, including my dog who I loved. A shelter, from the threat. The Bomb was an omnipresent shadow, a shadow within shadows, nothing that anyone, l e t alone a schoolboy could know with any directness or c l a r i t y . Black and white photos of mushroom clouds, MovieTone Newsreels at the Saturday matinees, but always far away. Then, i n 1962, marking the end of childhood, was a new burst into awareness of the threat: the Cuban missile c r i s i s . Watching t e l e v i s i o n after 18 school and l i s t e n i n g to the alarm i n the adult news voices, the excitement of fear was almost palpable. For a few days, the media were locked onto the event. I shared i n the experience of a co l l e c t i v e powerlessness, the sense of being i n the hands of Kennedy and Kruschev as they played out t h e i r battle of wit and bravado. I became more c l e a r l y aware that the nuclear weapons of the Soviet Union were directed at me. At the time, the U.S. looked l i k e the good guys. Camelot and the shining young knight JF Kennedy embodied the heroic ideals of the white middle class of which I was unmistakably a part. As the c r i s i s came to an end, I was returned once more to my own crises of growing up. Emerging into adolescence, intrigued by and curious about g i r l s , I readily put the world of East-West p o l i t i c s , as remote as i t was, into the distant background. I was confused by sexuality and conscious of my i n a b i l i t y to measure up against the current ideal of the handsome, a t h l e t i c and popular male models of track and f i e l d , basketball and f o o t b a l l . I spent l o t s of time i n the woods. The canyon of the Capilano River provided some refuge with i t s rapidly s w i r l i n g cool mountain waters, fern spore, cedarfronded mistmoist earths, and looming spray soaked c l i f f s . There, either alone or with a few likewise alienated friends, i t was possible to forget the worlds of both p o l i t i c s and high school popularities of cheerleaders, teams and pep bands. Into this ongoing resistance intruded one day two women from the Voice of Women who were invited to West Van Secondary to speak about the threat of nuclear war. I sat i n the school gym with my friends as we provided each other with a running commentary, c y n i c a l l y witty, of their obviously commie speech. Later that day, we phoned the o f f i c e of the Voice of Women, challenging t h e i r 1 9 motives. We i n s i s t e d that i f they themselves weren't communists then they were at the least dupes of same. After some s l i g h t l y embarrassed conversation, I found myself actually l i s t e n i n g to what they had to say: that the weapons were the danger, that they were not indeed, surrogates for the commie hordes. I began informing myself with what was popularly available then. I read Bertrand Russell, Erich Fromm. Soon, I was reading Gandhi, but not before I had started c o l l i d i n g with my parents, notably my father, on these questions. My views no longer meshed with t h e i r s . More and more, i t seemed that I did not f i t i n t o the world that I had taken for granted. I began defining myself with a value system that differed from that of my parents, t h e i r friends, the popular media, and the majority of my peers. Suddenly i t was not just my size.and academic success that set me apart. I found that I was forming different b e l i e f s . The purity and power of the canyon r a i n forests contrasted markedly with what I was perceiving increasingly as a world based on life-negating values. Then, one night, I found myself s i t t i n g i n my mother's '55 Chev with my g i r l f r i e n d of the time, a confidant and companion i n quest. As we sat i n the spring night, beneath the evergreens and arbutus, the sound of the Whytecliffe waves providing bass tone to our conversation, I saw c l e a r l y , spoke c l e a r l y of a choice. I could either follow the path of my parents and reach toward suburban house, car, swimming pool, career and hostess wife, children on the lawn, or else I could take a darker path. This path was unknown. Only glimpses of i t i n various writings I'd been exposed to i n English classes, a few poems, Cummings, F e r l i n g h e t t i , Michael McClure. 20 This path would have meaning though i t was l i k e stepping in to nothing I had ever known, n ight f o r e s t or undersea. It would lead away from compl ic i ty i n the world of i n t e r n a t i o n a l a b s u r d i t y . And i t was the path which I was choosing to walk. It seemed the on ly way to redemption, to hope, to p o s s i b i l i t y of a l i v e a b l e , meaningful f u t u r e . The fu ture could be gone with the next i n t e r n a t i o n a l c r i s i s . I would do what I could to disengage from the c u l t u r e that had created t h i s madness. And s o , l e s s than two years l a t e r , I was committing c i v i l disobedience i n f ront of a gate at Comox Ai r Force Base, one of the three Canadian s i t e s fo r nuclear weapons. My nose was broken as I was dragged repeatedly from the r o a d . It was there that I experienced my f i r s t r i t e of passage, undergoing s u f f e r i n g , r i t u a l dismemberment i n company with f e l l o w p a r t i c i p a n t s , being born with them i n t o a new sense of transcendent purpose and meaning. As with other such r i t u a l s however t h i s marked merely a t r a n s i t i o n . I t was not to r e s u l t i n e i ther a s t a s i s of completed s a t i s f a c t i o n nor a sense of ongoing c l a r i t y of v i s i o n and purpose. It d id mark however the break with one mode of l i f e and the entrance i n t o another, a way whose meanderings have unfolded as my l i f e and continue to u n f o l d . Use of drugs, involvement with r a d i c a l p o l i t i c a l movements, exp lo ra t ion and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with var ious l i b e r a t o r y d i s c i p l i n e s from p r i m i t i v e indigenous t o the s o p h i s t i c a t e d s p i r i t u a l technologies of Vajrayana Buddhism have f o l l o w e d . The re ference point remains choices made many years before , choices made i n response to the sense of the absurd death of nuclear war. In r e t r o s p e c t , I may have been innocula ted wi th what the Jungians r e f e r to as an encounter with the S e l f . Burned with the Sun of that r e a l i t y as an 21 adolescent, perhaps I was fated to embark on a path that l e f t the c o l l e c t i v e highway. From another perspective I had become aware of a profound death t a i n t which cast a p a l l of meaningless and a r i d i t y over my l i f e . This infusion functioned as a c a l l to awakening, a wound asking to be healed. Such i s the context of t h i s exploration as I have l i v e d i t through time, the history of the mid-Twentieth Century. This account outlines the surfaces, beneath which pulse diverse streams of pain, hope and longing. When we look at t h i s wound, permit i t to speak, we become aware of i t s depths. One aspect of t h i s wound i s that i t seeks to hide i t s e l f . I t shuns the l i g h t . Anthropologist-poet Richard Grossinger (1984) writes, "nuclear war s i t s as a kind of zen r i d d l e i n the heart of modern c i v i l i z a t i o n " (p. v i i ) . The nature of such a koan or r i d d l e i s to confuse and confound the r a t i o n a l , l i n e a r mind. The intent of i t s use i s an awakening, a r a d i c a l reversal of one's sleeplike stance i n world. Working with the r i d d l e confronts one with an imperative simultaneously e t h i c a l , moral and aesthetic. The mind worries at the question as a dog worries at a bone, gnawing, working at i t , -sometimes forgetting, leaving i t , burying i t , but coming back again and again, to crack i t ; to draw out of i t what i s promised the teeth, l i p s , tongue of mind. The question demands response, but the response e l i c i t e d i s more often than not a denial, a refusal to engage. In p a r t i c u l a r , I find myself tantalized by the p o s s i b i l i t y of action. Tantalized, yet holding back. I f e e l called upon to respond and yet suffer i n a state of not-knowing how to respond. The writing of these words becomes a response and yet a question remains: i s i t enough? 22 Awareness of the a t r o c i t i e s of the Nazi holocaust forces upon me the question of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , the question of the "good German". Lenin's question repeated by B i l l y Kwan i n "The Year of Living Dangerously": "What i s to be done?" That i s the question provoked by "conscience" i n t h i s l a t t e r part of the century, highlighted by Auschwitz and Hiroshima, Dachau and Nagasaki (to say nothing of Grassy Narrows, Amazonia, or L y e l l Island). Thus, I experience g u i l t . Knowing what has happened and continues to happen, I imagine what might happen. W i l l I be able to respond i n good f a i t h , f e e l that I have done what I could? This not knowing, coupled with what seems to be inaction, intangible presence of desire, hope and good w i l l , these elements are a large part of the despair I f e e l . I t seems hopeless from t h i s vantage point. Not able to accomplish a l l , to resolve t h i s predicament, to bear the tension of i t s omnipotent unfolding, this renders me more important, powerless. So I question, i s there a way through t h i s impasse? I desire that i t be so. I wish to believe i t . I wish to experience a movement through i t . Past the s t a s i s of t h i s knowing without a d i r e c t i o n i n which to move. And desiring thus, w i l i I seek and discover what i s not t r u l y possible? W i l l I manufacture from the w6rds of my coresearchers, from the i r s i m i l a r longing, nothing-but an i l l u s i o n ? So much easier to l e t i t go, forget i t . But such escape seems s i m i l a r i l y impossible. The purchase of a video recorder provides transitory excitement. I search the TV Times for programs (some of which are educational, morally u p l i f t i n g , inspiring) to record, experience excitement, energy, involvement, in t e r e s t . Yet the t h r i l l fades, a gap, a hole remains. Searching my experience I discover t h i s despair, but within i t , somehow, there i s hope as w e l l . Mostly, the hope seems to reside i n or present i t s e l f through the capacity to f e e l . There i s a rightness to f e e l i n g the pain of the planet, the tears which come to my eyes, opening them to l o s s , depth, sadness, gr i e f . Through these feelings arises a connectedness with those close to me. Times of intimacy, open and tender-heartedness f e l t for and with friends, children, lovers, remain accessible. In those moments remembered there resides hope, hope fed from the past and projected i n t o the future. They cannot be l o s t and they may be re-experienced. In f a c t , I can image them now, regain and ret a i n connectedness, an animal warmth coupled with a c l a r i t y of f a i t h . I imagine that such experiences are universally potential, that Eros and Agape are powerful and l i v i n g Gods s t i l l , and so imagining, create for myself some breathing room, some respi t e , from the constrictions of a world running down l i k e a giant machine. Thus despair and hope dance within me, or more precisely, the sta s i s that i s despair and the powerful flow of hope and effi c a c y are held by me and hold me to a sense of s e l f that s h i f t s from state to state. As Grossinger (1984) puts i t : "There i s no resolution, no r e l i e f , no way of avoiding the consequences. We f i n d ourselves staring not only at the end of consciouseness but at the end of history and the end of time. It i s almost unbelievable that we could bring this on ourselves and our world; yet we stand at the brink without many ways of turning back." (p. v i i ) This s i t u a t i o n i s widely f e l t as a " c r i s i s " , an h i s t o r i c a l extremity. Our predicament i s variously imaged. Grossinger sees i t as "the physicalization of our c r i s i s of f a i t h , our loss of inner meaning and courage" (p. v i i ) . Poet Gary Snyder (1974, 1977) suggests that we are acting out the Judeo-Christian metaphysics of ultimate confrontation, p u r i f i c a t i o n and destruction, imagery r e a d i l y corroborated by the Reagan-Falwell fundamentalist a l l i a n c e . A c t i v i s t Jim Douglass (1983) of the Ground Zero Anti-Trident submarine community s i m i l a r l y images our situ a t i o n as an "end-time", "a time i n which the p o l i t i c a l and technological structures of the world make i t probable that the human race w i l l soon cease to e x i s t . " But embodied within t h i s extremity i s hope. The p o s s i b i l i t y , for Douglass, i s that "we discover the s p i r i t u a l equation corresponding to Einstein's physical equation, and that we then begin to experiment seriously i n i t s world transforming r e a l i t y while there i s time" (p. 3). The imperative to act upon t h i s hopeful p o s s i b i l i t y i s also stressed by Jonathan Schell (1982) i n his headline making Fate of the Earth. "Two paths l i e before us. One leads to death, the other to l i f e . I f we choose the f i r s t path - i f we numbly refuse to acknowledge the nearness of ext i n c t i o n , a l l the while increasing our preparedness to bring i t about - then i n effect we become a l l i e s of death, and i n everything we do our attachment to l i f e w i l l weaken....we w i l l sink into stupefaction, as though we were gradually weaning ourselves from l i f e i n preparation for the end. On the other hand, i f we reject our doom, and bend our efforts toward survival - i f we arouse ourselves to the p e r i l and act to f o r e s t a l l i t , making 25 o u r s e l v e s t h e a l l i e s o f l i f e - t h e n t h e a n a e s t h e t i c f o g w i l l l i f t ; o u r v i s i o n , no l o n g e r s t r a i n i n g n o t t o s e e t h e o b v i o u s , w i l l s h a r p e n ; o u r w i l l , f i n d i n g s e c u r e g ro und t o b u i l d o n , w i l l be r e s t o r e d ; and we w i l l t a k e f u l l and c l e a r p o s s e s s i o n o f l i f e a g a i n . " ( p . 231) T h e r e i s t h a t t e n s i o n between t h e two p a t h s , between t h e r e a l i t y and t h e p o s s i b i l i t y , between d i f f e r i n g p o s s i b l e f u t u r e s , between hope and d e s p a i r , and between end and c o n t i n u a t i o n , c o n t i n u i t y . A t s u c h a t i m e , images a r i s e , a p p r o p r i a t e t o t h e s i t u a t i o n . Or t h e s i t u a t i o n i t s e l f may be v i s i o n e d as embodying a r c h e t y p a l f o r c e s : t h e c o n t e n t i o n o f E r o s w i t h T h a n a t o s , t h e d i a l e c t i c o f Puer and Senex ( H i l l m a n , 1979), t h e a s t r o l o g i c a l s h i f t f r o m the P i s c e a n t o t h e A q u a r i a n . D u r i n g t h e T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y , two p o w e r f u l images have a r i s e n , been g i v e n , t o m a n i f e s t mind t o i t s e l f . T h e s e two i m a g e s , one o f hope and o n e o f d e s p a i r , e n t e r i n t o d i a l o g u e w i t h each o t h e r and become t h e p o l e s a r o u n d w h i c h s u c h a c r i s i s o r t u r n i n g p o i n t i s c o n s t e l l a t e d . The p h o t o g r a p h i c images o f the A l a m o g o r d o , H i r o s h i m a , and N a g a s k a i bombs, huge mushroom c l o u d s , have become an awesome image o f D e a t h , s u p p l a n t i n g s u c h e a r l i e r images as s n a k e , b i r d , w o l f , h o r s e , F a t h e r T i m e , and D e a t h Mother ( H e r z o g , 1983). But a r i s i n g t o c o n t e n d w i t h t h i s image o f D e a t h was one o f L i f e and w h o l e n e s s . P r e c i s e l y t w e n t y - n i n e y e a r s a f t e r A l a m o g o r d o , o n J u n e 16, 1969, A p o l l o I I was l a u n c h e d f r o m Cape Kennedy . I t was o n t h a t f l i g h t o f t h e f i r s t "moon-walk" t h a t t h e p h o t o g r a p h o f E a r t h r i s e was t a k e n , a l m o s t as an a f t e r t h o u g h t , on a H a s s e l b a d camera . The p h o t o g r a p h s u b s e q u e n t l y became an i c o n o f a new a w a r e n e s s , a v i s i o n o f the "whole e a r t h " , " s p a c e s h i p e a r t h " , o u r p l a n e t as a l i v i n g s y s t e m . 26 These two images, mushroom cloud and earth-rise, contend for our attention. Each arises from the womb of Technos, from Quantity and Measure as the root factors of s c i e n t i f i c change. But i t i s within the realm of human experience, of depth and Quality, that the images contend. The task of this phenomenological enquiry i s , i n part, to reveal one movement of t h e i r contention. This mode of enquiry i s selective and int e n t i o n a l . The task i s to allow experience to be seen as f u l l y as possible, given a seemingly innate tendency to s p l i t , deny and bifurcate " r e a l i t y " . To th i s end, the enquiry explores the meaning of the affects, thoughts and a c t i v i t i e s concerning the phenomena as they present themselves to the i n d i v i d u a l . The r e f l e c t i o n s above are intended to provide the reader with a sense of the researcher's biases and assumptions as well as an understanding of the import and nature of the investigation. The central theme of the researcher's own involvement with the phenomena of the transformation from despair to empowerment has been that of a search which s p i r a l s upon i t s e l f . The search has the quality of a container of disparate feelings ranging from horror, -despair and nausea to flashes of hope, meaning and f u l f i l l m e n t . F i n a l l y , the search has. a quality of abiding c e n t r a l i t y to the researcher's l i f e . In dialogue with contemporaries and through seeking out the writings of others who have been involved with an opening to the threat of nuclear war, the search has taken on the qua l i t i e s of a c o l l e c t i v e a c t i v i t y about which i t i s possible to uncover central meanings-of-life. Thus, although the investigation i s e x p l i c i t l y concerned with individuals' response to the pervasive h i s t o r i c a l threat of nuclear warefare and anni h i l a t i o n , nevertheless the i m p l i c i t and overarching theme i s the nature of 27 human suffering and the human response to i t . Chapter One has set the context for t h i s investigation by providing both a h i s t o r i c a l and personal overview and approach to the problem. Chapter Two w i l l present material from a range of speculation and research into the phenomena of transformation from despair to empowerment. Chapter Three w i l l describe i n more detailed form the s p e c i f i c methodology involved i n the investigation. Chapter Four w i l l present the results of the investigation, which i n th i s case w i l l be an exhaustive description of the phenomenon along with the thematic contents and a summary description. F i n a l l y , Chapter Five w i l l present some of the implications of the study including suggestions for therapy and counselling as well as the development of further questions. C. NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY Question: What's the difference between ignorance and apathy? Answer: I don't know and I don't care. - Child's r i d d l e Human experience can be described and explained i n many ways. A variety of perspectives on the phenomena variously labeled hope and empowerment, apathy, anxiety and despair, w i l l be presented i n the following chapter. An attempt w i l l be made there to explore a range of probings into the meanings and genesis of these experiences p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the context of the nuclear threat. However, before proceeding, i t w i l l be useful to outline some of the relevant parameters of these concepts. From the viewpoint of the 28 phenomenological method, t h i s attempt w i l l a l s o serve t o c l a r i f y u n d e r l y i n g assumptions of the research. A d i c t i o n a r y search provides us w i t h some bones upon which we may hang some f l e s h . Funk and Wagnall's Standard Encyclopedia gives us the f o l l o w i n g r e l e v a n t d e f i n i t i o n s : despair, the u t t e r abandonment of hope that leaves the mind a p a t h e t i c or numb; hope, d e s i r e accompanied by e x p e c t a t i o n of f u l f i l l m e n t , confident e x p e c t a t i o n ; empowerment, from power, t o be able, a b i l i t y t o a c t , c a p a b i l i t y , s t r e n g t h or f o r c e a c t u a l l y put f o r t h ; a n x i e t y , disturbance of mind reg a r d i n g some u n c e r t a i n event, m i s g i v i n g , worry. Many of these concepts and meanings have been a l l u d e d t o already. There has been previous d i s c u s s i o n of r e a c t i o n s t o t h r e a t , reasons f o r r e p r e s s i o n and e f f e c t s of such r e p r e s s i o n . Apathy i s one of the prevalent modes of response t o p r e v a i l i n g images of death and s u f f e r i n g . Apathy derives from the Greek apathela, n o n - s u f f e r i n g . From t h i s etymology, i t i s apparent that apathy a r i s e s from the i n a b i l i t y or r e f u s a l to face s u f f e r i n g , whether one's own or others'. Such apathy f o l l o w s i n the wake of d e s p a i r , the sense of profound hopelessness or powerlessness to a f f e c t any more than the most circ u m s c r i b e d f i e l d s of endeavor. The experience of empowerment i n v o l v e s both hope and a sense t h a t one i s capable t o act as an e f f e c t i v e cause of those c o n d i t i o n s that one i s hoping f o r . That i s an assumption, at l e a s t , which underlay much of my approach. However, as t h i s research proceeded, questions and c o m p l e x i t i e s arose. I had assumed that empowerment was, at r o o t , connected w i t h power, power i n the sense of c o n t r o l , meaning, order, a f e e l i n g of "being on top of t h i n g s " . Power i n t h i s sense seems to be i n v o l v e d w i t h a l u s t t o - f e e l - f u l l , a yearning for s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . I further assumed that t h i s empowerment would encompass a sense of calm, of having one's mind at r e s t , a state of grace almost. Dialogue with co-researchers enabled a deep questioning and probing of the actual experience of moving from an experience of fear and varying degrees of despair and anguish to an experience of courage, of willingness to act even as one i s opening to the pain of and i n the world. None of the co-researchers f i n a l l y experienced empowerment as a state, a s t a s i s . But I am getting ahead of myself. In retrospect, there was such an assumption. I t seems c r i t i c a l to c l a r i f y t h i s assumption at this point. Such hope for a beneficent resolution to our plight Is very compelling, but can bl i n d us to what-is. With t h i s point c l a r i f i e d , i t i s now possible to continue exploration into t h i s phenomenon of our human confrontation with the "unthinkable" threat of nuclear an n i h i l a t i o n . CHAPTER TWO 30 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON THE TRANSFORMATION OF DESPAIR TO EMPOWERMENT IN THE NUCLEAR AGE This chapter investigates the phenomenon of the transformation of despair to "empowerment", p a r t i c u l a r l y within the context of the nuclear threat. The l i t e r a t u r e bearing upon t h i s subject i s both r i c h and exceedingly diverse but largely of an indirect nature. There has been very l i t t l e research to date of either descriptive or experimental nature dealing d i r e c t l y with t h i s question. The diverse approaches to the question include modern Western psychology, e x i s t e n t i a l philosophy, s o c i o l o g i c a l and anthropological perspectives, p o l i t i c a l economy, s o c i a l learning theory, systems theory, and r e l i g i o u s thought, both Western and Eastern. The task addressed i n t h i s chapter w i l l be the uncovering of the basic assumptions of what seem to be the most relevant of these diverse approaches to the transformation of despair to empowerment. Morris (1984) attempted to solve t h i s problem by conceptualizing the current h i s t o r i c a l task of healing the psyche which has been wounded by the nuclear threat within the broader context of maintaining the i n t e g r i t y of the "self-process". In th i s way, he was able to bracket the more s p e c i f i c context of nuclear war and review f i r s t the l i t e r a t u r e broadly related to the human project of "the continuous psychic re-creation of...the person's symbol of his own organism (L i f t o n , 1967, p. 68). 31 In a si m i l a r fashion, i t i s possible to locate the s p e c i f i c question of response to the nuclear threat within the context of the overarching theme of the human response to suffering. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of th i s primordial and latent theme i s i n keeping with the phenomenological method of explication of contexts i n which research i s conducted and perspectives which are assumed. To ground t h i s research within such a ra d i c a l context as the response to suffering presents d e f i n i t e d i f f i c u l t i e s . Potential solutions to t h i s e x i s t e n t i a l fact are as numerous as the beings confronted by i t . Thus, the approach threatens to dissolve into the boundless. Nevertheless, certain factors recommend the approach. F i r s t l y , the various emotions with which we confront our predicament such as fear, anger, anxiety, and despair are of the nature of suffering. No one desires these emotions. They are generally experienced as pathological (from the Greek, pathos = su f f e r i n g ) , related with a sense of disease or of wounding. Secondly, i t i s out of the desire for happiness, for the mitigation and avoidance of suffering that humans as a species have developed such i n s t i t u t i o n s as the nation state and international warfare. To ground the research i n t h i s context i s to attempt to answer whether there i s a human response to suffering which can lead toward planetary co-operation and interdependence instead. Thirdly, i t i s from the perspective of suffering, p a r t i c u l a r l y as i t i s coupled with the i n t e g r i t y of the "self-process", that one can most readily discern the importance of each of a variety of theoretical approaches. 32 There have been many attempts to understand and cope with the e x i s t e n t i a l fact of suffering. These attempts, from one point of view, could be cal l e d cultures, from another, paradigms. Within each culture there may be a range of responses to suffering. Traditional Western modes were variously conceptualized as the s t o i c , the epicurean, the applonian, and the dionysian, to name but a few. i n modern psychological thought i t i s perhaps the psychoanalytic movement (including Freud, Jung and Adler and t h e i r followers) and the e x i s t e n t i a l that have confronted the question of human suffering most d i r e c t l y . Both movements share the "modern" phenomenological view that human beings are at least to some.extent responsible f o r the co-creation of the world. "The World" i s their world to the extent that they share i n ascribing meaning to i t . This ascription of meaning takes place with varying degrees of awareness, but nevertheless t h i s "modern" view denies a world that i s objectively given i n an ultimate sense. This view d i f f e r s from a p o s i t i v i s t i c view which lends i t s e l f to an assumption that causes and manifestations of suffering are ba s i c a l l y technical programs amenable to technological solutions, whether they be physical or psychological i n nature. From this perspective, suffering tends to be denied meaning or'; value, while from the phenomenological view suffering carries such value. Accordingly, most of the l i t e r a t u r e to be reviewed here concerns i t s e l f i n one way or another with value and meaning. Other l i t e r a t u r e w i l l be presented to some extent as a counterpoint. 33 Meaning begs for understanding, an insight into depth. P o s i t i v i s t i c and technological approaches on the other hand seek eradication of the problem, which i s often but a symptom of a deeper cause. The problem of suffering i n the l i t e r a t u r e to be reviewed here w i l l be presented as f u l l of meaning which, once understood, has the capacity to transform. Hence, each approach w i l l be explicated i n three parts: a "pathogical" condition of despair; an i n s i g h t f u l transformation; and a meaningful, or empowered, mode of being. Following the uncovering of the assumptions of a variety of approaches while questioning the v a l i d i t y of th i s threefold model, l i t e r a t u r e which addresses i t s e l f s p e c i f i c a l l y to transformation of nuclear despair w i l l be examined. It w i l l be possible with t h i s presentation to c l a r i f y f u l l y the assumptions of the research and also to provide the f u l l e s t possible h e u r i s t i c value for further work. 34 DEPTH PSYCHOLOGY I FREUD According to Freud, ( K r i s , 1950) suffering arises from the inevitable c o n f l i c t between opposite tendencies i n human being. The demands of c i v i l i z a t i o n , of society and culture as represented by the superego c o n f l i c t with the biological demands of the i d . In Freud's e a r l i e r formulations, i t i s p r i n c i p a l l y the pleasure p r i n c i p l e which i s thwarted i n i t s press for i n s t i n c t u a l s a t i s f a c t i o n . I t i s the task of the ego to ward off i d impulses with a variety of defense mechanisms. In th i s schema, anxiety arises as a re s u l t of a threat to the ego from the unconscious, although Freud also acknowledged the anxiety which arises i n response to a concrete external force. Anxiety functions as a warning system. Anxiety results either i n avoidance mechanisms (fight or f l i g h t ) to escape r e a l or imagined external threat or psychological defenses to protect against and cope with I n s t i n c t u a l excitation. "Normal" l i f e i s thus i n e x t r i c a b l y linked with the suffering of tension and anxiety. The suffering of neurosis and psychosis, both r e s u l t i n g from f a i l u r e s within the defense system, i s of a greater magnitude. Awareness of death, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n Freud's l a t e r l i f e , became central to his thought. His early belief i n the primacy of the pleasure p r i n c i p l e was la t e r challenged by the phenomenon of sadomasochism, the consistent search for physical and psychological suffering that characterized some patients. The ultimate consequence of this contradictory finding was the theoretical formulation of the death i n s t i n c t - Thanatos, i n opposition to Eros. This basic dichotomy between the love i n s t i n c t and the death i n s t i n c t was the cornerstone of his thought about mental processes i n his l a t t e r years. The i n s t i n c t s serving the goals of l i f e through the stimulation of growth and development were seen as locked i n eternal battle with those which tended toward inorganic existence. As a drive, the death i n s t i n c t manifested as aggression, which could be turned either without, towards enemies i n the world, or within, against the organism i t s e l f . The inexorable movement of Thanatos i s destruction. Although Freud's formulations and theories regarding the death i n s t i n c t were not generally wholesale accepted into orthodox psychoanalytic thought, various neo-Freudians focused on t h i s area. Becker (1973) writes: Consciousness of death i s the primary repression, not sexuality. As Rank unfolded i n book after book, and as Brown again has recently argued, the new perspective on psychoanalysis i s that i t s c r u c i a l concept i s the repression of death. This i s what i s creaturely about man, t h i s i s the repression on which culture i s b u i l t , a repression unique to the self-conscious animal (p. 96). The implications of these various formulations for our concern could be i n d e f i n i t e l y explored and discussed. What seems most essential however i s the concept of repression and the defense mechanisms. It i s through these topics that psychoanalytically trained thinkers have most ce n t r a l l y addressed our response to the nuclear threat. Freudian theory underlies the GAP Report (1964) c i t e d i n Chapter One. That paper, Psychiatric Aspects of the Prevention of Nuclear War (1964) discusses a) how the defense mechanisms enable us to avoid and deny the threat, 36 and b) how the defense mechanisms, p a r t i c u l a r l y that of projection, excacerbates the threat. Revealing the Freudian foundations of their thought, the authors of the above report functionally begin t h e i r argument with an examination of the effects of fear and anxiety, suggesting for example, that "anxieties of internal and i r r a t i o n a l o r i g i n are often blended with fears of external dangers and may be concealed i n we l l - r a t i o n a l i z e d statements" (GAP, 1964, p. 240). The primary defense mechanism cit e d as a response to the current danger i s denial. (R. J. Lifton's (1979) l a t e r formulation of denial as psychic numbing w i l l be taken up below.) Denial, f o r the authors of the report, includes "various degrees of nonperception, nonrecognition, nonunderstanding, or nonacceptance of certain r e a l i t i e s i n order to cope with otherwise unacceptable intrapsychic c o n f l i c t s , feelings or memories" (GAP, 1964, p. 241). This denial i s aided and enhanced by "the inadequacy of language i n characterizing new phenomena", "the myth of personal i n v u l n e r a b i l i t y " , "adaptation", and "habituation". The report summarizes a further range of defensive reactions under the heading of dehumanization, which can be either object directed, or s e l f - d i r e c t e d . Object-directed dehumanization (primarily involving projection) consists of viewing others, p a r t i c u l a r l y other groups, nations, races, as either less than human or as embodiments of e v i l . Through t h i s , others are seen as either sub-human, super-human, or non-human. Against these others, i t i s necessary to develop m i l i t a r y and technological defenses (p. 245-247). "While object-directed dehumanization makes "non-humans", "cases", or "figures i n a numbers game" out of other people, se l f - d i r e c t e d dehumanization 37 has a similar effect on the s e l f : (p. 247). One's self-image i s altered as emotions are compartmentalized. Fear, compassion, g u i l t and shame are repressed, closing off access to the wholeness of one's being. Dehumanization, as a complex defense mechanism, "may occur e n t i r e l y out of the awareness of the individuals i n whom the process takes place" (p. 249). Inasmuch as dehumanization protects against g u i l t , shame, fear and external stress, i t increases one's distance from other humans, diminishes one's sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , develops reliance on technological solutions to problems rather than a focus on the humans effected, the i n a b i l i t y to oppose dominant group attitudes, and contributes to feelings of personal helplessness. Dehumanization (of s e l f and others) lessens the impact of the c o n f l i c t between attempting to carry on business as usual and awareness of the t o t a l gestalt of our c o l l e c t i v e s i t u a t i o n . The report pleads for efforts to be made "to develop psychic antidotes of "rehumanization" against t h i s phenomenon" (p. 256). However, while the report attempts to suggest "some psychological aspects of alternatives to violence i n the conduct of c o n f l i c t and techniques that might lead to tension reduction between national adversaries", these suggestions address primarily i n s t i t u t i o n a l l e v e l s of interaction and tend to neglect ways to deal with the problem on the l e v e l of the i n d i v i d u a l . Jerome Frank (1984), while noting that both clergy and psychiatrists have exhibited minimal effectiveness i n discouraging either individual or group violence, attempts to offer some consolation. He writes "that, l i k e the sex drive but unlike other b i o l o g i c a l needs such as the need for food, water, and a i r , the impulse to violence need never be exercised" (p. 1347). As wel l , "there i s no direct l i n k between b i o l o g i c a l needs and s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s l i k e 38 war" (p. 1347). These insights he offers from the (ultimately) Freudian perspective as relevant to the macro-political r e a l i t y . For the i n d i v i d u a l , he suggests that psychiatrists can a s s i s t individuals "to maintain their courage i n the face of the continuing prospect of nuclear death" (p. 1347). While offering l i t t l e to the direct prevention of nuclear war, "the psychotherapeutic relationship and procedures, by strengthening morale i n general, can i n d i r e c t l y help to assuage fear of death" (p. 13^8). Thus, i t would seem that Frank offers the t r a d i t i o n a l analytic process to assist individuals. Presumably, such work would follow the pattern of working with the individual i n terms of biographical development, exploration of unconscious c o n f l i c t s (including those constellated by and around the nuclear threat), development, working through and resolution of the transference. In the Freudian context i t Is also appropriate to mention the writings of Erik Erikson (1963. 1964). Although Erikson has not focused s p e c i f i c a l l y on the question of despair and empowerment i n the nuclear age, as such, his writings are rooted i n the exploration of the succession of developmental oppositions which describe the human l i f e span: trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame and doubt, ego i n t e g r i t y vs. despair, etc. (Erikson, 1963; 1964). While based i n a Freudian, psychoanalytic perspective of development which acknowledges the psychosocial stages of o r a l i t y , a n a l i t y , and g e n i t a l i t y , Erikson (1964) articulated the c r i t i c a l r o l e of society i n the individual's growth. The development of the i n d i v i d u a l i s dependent upon psychosocial as well as psychosexual factors. His work suggests that i t i s imperative that the individual come to terms with his or her "psycho-historical a c t u a l i t y , that i s , the sum of h i s t o r i c a l 39 facts and forces which are of immediate relevance to the adaptive anticipations and to the maladaptive apprehensions i n the individuals involved" (p. 204). The following passage, from Psychological Reality and H i s t o r i c a l  Actuality (1964), i s p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant to our theme: "There are periods i n history which are identity-vacua, when a sudden sense of alienation i s widespread. Our time shares with Luther's an.alienation composed of corresponding elements: fears aroused by discoveries and inventions (including weapons) r a d i c a l l y expanding and changing the space-time quality of the world image; inner anxieties aggravated by the decay of existing i n s t i t u t i o n s which have provided the h i s t o r i c a l anchor of an e l i t e ' s i d e n t i t y ; and the dread of an e x i s t e n t i a l vacuum" (p. 204). Thus the adolescent and adult tasks of establishing i d e n t i t y , intimacy, generativity, and i n t e g r i t y (or, as he l a t e r labels them, f i d e l i t y , love, care, and wisdom) are each undertaken against the background of history. "The individual as a body and as a personality i s seen i n relationship to s o c i a l structures as related to h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t i e s " 1964, p. 101). The c r i t i c a l element of the adult stage of generativity i s care (Agape). It s establishment presupposes successful development of the preceding task of establishing f i d e l i t y and love (Eros). One aspect of f i d e l i t y i s to f i d e l i t y to ideology as that system of thought and being which w i l l lead to the obligation of being the best. Love includes regulation of the cycles of reproduction and the securing of the best for offspring. One's way of r e l a t i n g to the h i s t o r i c a l a c t u a l i t y of the nuclear threat i s inextricable from the establishment of the q u a l i t i e s of i d e n t i t y / f i d e l i t y and intimacy/love. no Care extends to a "universal sense of generative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y toward a l l human beings brought p l a n f u l l y into t h i s world" (p. 1). The f i n a l stage of l i f e , ego i n t e g r i t y , i s marked by wisdom. The achievement of wisdom includes a "comradeship with men and women of distant times and of different pursuits who have created orders and objects and sayings conveying human dignity and love". The strength of wisdom i s tested by i t s a b i l i t y to face death without despair, without fear, panic, hopelessness or disgust. "Any span of the cycle l i v e d without vigorous meaning, at the beginning, i n the middle, or at the end, endangers the sense of l i f e and the meaning of death i n a l l whose l i f e stages are intertwined" (1964, p. 157). These refle c t i o n s on Erikson's thought, while not providing direct information on the transformation of despair to empowerment underline the c r i t i c a l need, on both the ind i v i d u a l and h i s t o r i c a l l e v e l , to face and accomplish such a task. I t locates the these of this paper within a broader developmental context and c l a r i f i e s the importance of the challenge of transformation. 41 II CARL JUNG From the Jungian perspective, suffering or psychopathology arises as a resu l t of an imbalance between conscious and unconscious forces. Such an imbalance occurs within the context of the individuation process. This conception of individuation, as a t e l e o l o g i c a l process, i s one of the factors most c l e a r l y distinguishing Jung from Freud who was largely deterministic i n his perspective. Problematic symptoms, i n the Jungian view, are not regarded as "diseases". Instead, they are to be considered as "messages" from the unconscious "asking" to be understood. Once the meaning of the "pathological" symptom has become clear, the ego, as the focal point of the f i e l d of consciousness, becomes broader. Individual l i f e i s seen as consisting of t h i s ongoing process of s t r i v i n g for s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n . The central f a c t o r , at once foundation and goal of this process i s the S e l f . The Self i s an archetype of unity and wholeness, an expression of an inherent predisposition toward meaning i n l i f e . For Jung (1968), the ego stands i n a subordinate re l a t i o n s h i p to the S e l f . The Self i s an a p r i o r i existent which gives r i s e to, sustains, and ultimately directs the ego. From t h i s perspective, i t i s apparent why current workers i n the f i e l d of transpersonal psychology (Wilber, 1979) refer to Jung as the person who opened to t h e i r new perspective. A number of researchers and mental health practitioners who have concerned themselves either d i r e c t l y of peripherally with responding to the nuclear 42 threat have been influenced by the thought of Carl Jung. There has even been one Jungian journal which devoted one issue to t h i s problem (Walcott, 1985). Jung himself, i n his l a t t e r years, devoted a good deal of thought to the question of war and peace, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the nuclear era. His thoughts on the subject were influenced by both his c l i n i c a l experience and also by his proximity to the two great wars of the century. Barbara Hannah (1981) quotes Jung as saying: When asked i f there would be an atomic war: "I think i t depends on how many people can stand the tensions of the opposites i n themselves. I f enough can, I think we s h a l l j u s t escape the worst. But i f not, and there i s atomic war, our c i v i l i z a t i o n w i l l perish, as so many c i v i l i z a t i o n s have perished before, but on a much larger scale" (p. 8). Other Jungians have addressed t h i s problem from a s i m i l a r l y prophetic or prescriptive posture, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the context of ethics and the human confrontation with e v i l . This approach i s found for example i n Neumann (1944/69), Progoff (1969), Whitmont (1982) and Jung himself (1962). Each of these writers provides a perspective on the powers of the objective psyche which bear upon human history. In p a r t i c u l a r , i t i s the shadow, one's dark, i n f e r i o r side experienced both i n d i v i d u a l l y and c o l l e c t i v e l y , that must be reckoned with i f the human race to avoid catastrophe. The central message of these writers i s that the shadow must be acknowledged and befriended i n a process of learning to "experience himself as the creature of a creator who made l i g h t and darkness, good and e v i l , (and) becomes aware of his own Self as a paradoxical t o t a l i t y i n which the opposites are linked together as they are i n the Godhead" (Neumann, 1944/69, p. 147). More recently, Whitmont (1982) l i n k s the h i s t o r i c a l c r i s i s with the developmental unfolding of the power of the patriarchal myths and the suppression of the Feminine. ...the devaluation of the Feminine, the Yin, the anima, and consequently also of women during the patriarchy, was a r e s u l t of the need to separate the nascent ego (see Neumann, 1962) from the encompassing field-consciousness of the magico-mythological world of need and i n s t i n c t with i t s transformative (hence ego-threatening) dynamic of existence...The price f o r t h i s achievement was twofold; the loss of connection with the l i f e - d e a t h continuum of existence; and the experience of s e l f as a stranger i n a senseless world. We also now face the threat of c o l l e c t i v e self-destruction, as the i n s t i n c t i v e sadomasochistic urges of violence and agression can no longer be propitiated by appeals to law and reason (Whitmont, 1982, p. 144). While t h i s process proceeds at a c o l l e c t i v e l e v e l , from the Jungian point of view, i t can be resolved only ultimately on the indi v i d u a l l e v e l . From th i s point of view, "empowerment" i s largely synonomous with the path of individuation, the conscious d i a l e c t i c relationship between ego and i t s ground, the S e l f . I t i s through confrontation with the unconscious, i n i t s c o l l e c t i v e as well as i t s personal aspect, that such individuation i s achieved. In such a quest for the r e a l i z a t i o n of the wholeness and uniqueness of one's i n d i v i d u a l i t y , the f i r s t figure usually met with i s the shadow. In t h i s sense, the shadow functions as an archetype and reveals i t s e l f as an archetypal image. In Jungian practice the words Shadow, Self, Ego, Anima and the l i k e refer to the structural components of the personality. These basic structures are always imagined to be p a r t i a l p ersonalities.... we wrestle with a concealed counterpersonality whom Jung named Shadow because we keep him i n the dark; he must shadow our l i f e with his surreptitious intentions (Hillman, 1975, p. 22). I t i s with the Shadow and other i n t e r i o r figures, imaginal beings, or " l i t t l e people" as Jung referred to them, that much of the Jungian-oriented despair and empowerment work i s being carried out. Mary Watkins (1983), has been conducting workshops i n which participants dialogue with such Imaginal beings. Through her workshops, Watkins enables participants to explore the relationship between image and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , between imagination and action. From her perspective, which draws from the Jungian well generally and from the "archetypal psychology" of Hillman i n p a r t i c u l a r , imagination i s important i n several ways. I t i s only v i a the imagination that World War Three can be approached at a l l (Watkins, 1983, p. 2). Imagination brings to l i f e meaningful "p a r t i c u l a r s " i n a way not possible for abstract reasoning, including quantification, which can numb. Imagination reveals or extends the future, through a Utopian envisioning of a r e a l i t y other than, and set against, the r e a l i t y given i n temporality and h i s t o r i c a l l y . And further, through imagination, we are able to empathize with individuals of other, even enemy, nations. F i n a l l y , imagination "brings to our awareness the forgotten, the 45 extruded, that which is undervalued by consciousness or defended against" (p. 3). In this context she takes issue with tendencies in current Western psychological theory and practice which denigrate the "imaginal" and subordinate i t to "individual growth". She argues instead that the importance of the "moral imagination" is precisely i ts quality of "sympathy", "of le t t ing us feel rea l i t i es apart from the se l f ' s ." This moral imagination furthermore, to be truly moral, must lead to action - "in dreams begin responsibi l i t ies". In her workshops Watkins has in i t ia ted explorations of the images which impel to actions and those which constrain. (Lifton's notion of a "double l i f e" is here given personal shape and meaning.) Watkins has workshop participants create an imaginal character to carry each side of the confl ict of whether to and how to act in the face of the nuclear threat. The voices which impel to action on the one hand and those which constrain on the other cluster in clearly discernible themes. Qualitative data from over 150 individuals reveal six kinds of presences which numb and shield from the rea l i ty of social problems. These include: 1) the imaginal Child immersed in a world of play with naive and innocent bel ief in continuation, as well as feelings of impotence, Inabi l i ty and inadequacy; 2) the special is t or Worker, the boundaries of whose existence have been narrowed to the job, to whom anything extraneous to what is at hand is experienced as an intrusion; 3) the Naturalist , who i s comforted by the strength, continuity and massiveness of the natural world and who takes refuge there against the pain and atrocit ies of twentieth century technology; H) the Suburbanite, who maintains a sense of security by cult ivat ing a balanced world of family, friends and work in which l i f e i s predictable, uniform and anonymous; 5) the Hedonist, who i s well aware of the threat but whose philosophy i s to "boogie t i l the bomb drops", to whom i t does not matter what we do; 6) the "Grey-l ifer", who shares the pessimism and sense of Impotence of the hedonist but instead of taking pleasure is concerned with just getting by, surviving, but in a depressed, fearfu l , dul l and apathetic state, in which the thought of nuclear war is just one more burden. These six imaginal characters represent not only characterist ic modes of response that each of us occasionally experiences but also modes of being that typify how particular individuals l ive their l i f e in i t s to ta l i ty . In contrast to these six however, there Is another range of imaginal persons who are not numb to the nuclear threat. Of three types, the f i r s t feel "alone, isolated in their despair, opened irreparably to the sufferings coincident .with nuclear war...these characters are far from numb. They stand immersed as victims in the images of destruction, as immobilized onlookers to the holocaust. They are passive, overwhelmed by emotion, despairing" (p. 25). The second group are act ivists of two dist inct types, on the one hand young, hip and attractive, and on the other, lonely, depressed, isolated and overworked, who suffer their responsibi l i ty and despite their despair manage to 47 carry a "kind of s e l f l e s s dedication and awareness, a desire to persevere i n sp i t e of feelings of f a i l u r e and inadequacy" (p. 27). The l a s t group experiences love, primarily for children and the natural world, and through enjoyment of what i s loved are motivated to action. "Within t h i s group we f i n d mothers and teachers. The mothers come from various walks of l i f e and although t h e i r activism i s not t h e i r primary occupation, one senses renewable dedication, fed as they seem to be by concern for what i s treasured" (p. 28). Watkins recommends a dialogue between the imaginal characters j u s t described (which has i t s source i n the Jungian technique of active imagination). In order to maintain an ongoing commitment to s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and action, Watkins (1983) suggests such a dialogue i s essential. One form of moral imagining would be to open ourselves consciously to the kinds of dialogues I have described around nuclear war; to allow sides to challenge and contradict each other; to s t i c k with them as they f i n d a way of l i v i n g with each other; and, most importantly, to follow the path of action that t h e i r dialogue points to (p. 35 ) James Hillman, the "founder" of "archetypal psychology", extends and amplifies how the imaginal and archetypal realms influences our c o l l e c t i v e and individual response to the nuclear threat. In an a r t i c l e which seeks to d i f f e r e n t i a t e between the archetype of Mars, the God of War, and the archetypal force of nuclearism (Hillman, 1984a), he proposes a deeper l e v e l of dialogue between the forces of numbing and action. 48 For Hillman, despair might be said to consist of a psychic s t a s i s , a p o s i t i v i s t and l i t e r a l i z i n g f i c t i o n of the world i n which there i s no room for the v i t a l i z i n g power of the imagination. This despair, or r i g i d i t y (which i n extremity i s found as psychosis) has an archetype at i t s root: the "one thing (that) i s absolutely essential to the notion of archetypes: the i r emotional possessive e f f e c t , t h e i r bedazzlement of consciousness so that i t becomes blind to i t s own stance" (Hillman, 1975, p. x i i i ) Hence, Hillman would f i n d at the core of each of Watkins' s i x numbed persons an archetype, holding sway over the i n d i v i d u a l , freezing and f i x a t i n g , creating (as does a God) a universe with unique d i c t a t o r i a l structure and s t r i c t u r e . The task of "knowing oneself", which i s simultaneously the task of "freeing oneself" i s thus to see through the l i t e r a l i z e d and r e i f i e d contents of one's world, the discovery of one's own creative capacity. "Our work i s l i k e Zen i n i t s attempt to see through the subjective f i c t i o n s of consciousness, to dissolve those l i t e r a l i s m s with which consciousness i d e n t i f i e s and then names as the methods of becoming conscious" (Hillman, 1984, p. 117). When applied to the fact of the nuclear threat, t h i s archetypal perspective t i e s "our numbing with a blocked imagination and the blocked imagination with the repression of Mars and his kind of love" (Hillman, 1984, p. 264). "Doom i s already there i n our numbed s k u l l s , day-after-day, nothing at a l l . Mars can awaken us out of th i s n i h i l i s m , and i t s r e a l i z a t i o n i n an apocalypse, with his phobos, fear. I t may be our most precious emotion. We have everything to fear, except fear i t s e l f " ( i b i d . ) . 49 For Hillman (1984a), as for Watkins, i t i s the imaginal realm that offers the only r e a l hope. Embodying the depth psychological c e n t r a l i t y of repression and the recovery of the repressed, he affirms the courage of awareness. Just t h i s i s my aim right now, right now as I am speaking: not to explore war or apocalypse i n the service of th e i r prevention, but to experience war and apocalypse so that t h e i r imaginations become f u l l y r e a l i z e d , r e a l . We cannot prevent; only images can help us; only images provide providentia, protection, prevention. That has always been the function of images: the magic of sacred protection (p. 262). S i m i l a r i l y , Whitmont (1982) suggests that " r i t u a l fundamentally, i s psychodrama; i t i s a conscious, earnest, and devoted play" (p. 240). I t i s essential for containing and regulating the impulses which may otherwise r e s u l t i n apocalypse. Through r i t u a l , enactment of the many c o n f l i c t s interpersonal and intrapsychic, i t may be possible to not only free the indiv i d u a l from the grip of a complex but also to begin to loosen the c o l l e c t i v e projection of the shadow forces upon the enemy, i n the current h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n , the Soviets. Through such "symbolic rather than l i t e r a l expression of problematic, unacceptable, or dangerous impulses" (p. 253), i t may be possible to loosen one's despair and numbing and uncover a glimpse of conscious and co-operative pa r t i c i p a t i o n with l i f e , both personally and s o c i a l l y . Two other individuals working i n t h i s area of the Imaginal and s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y are Randy Morris (1984) and Larry Sargent (1 984). While working at Hiroshima International School, Morris began an experiment with s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y called "Experiments with Truth: Dreaming Peace i n Hiroshima" i n 50 which a c o l l e c t i v e healing myth i s written involving images from the dreams of the individuals involved. "The hypothesis of t h i s dream experiment i s that by u t i l i z i n g techniques of active imagination and guided imagery we can become more f u l l y aware of our inner l i v e s , revealing both the source of e v i l and the shape of the healing power that resides within the psyche of us a l l " (p. 24). S i m i l a r l y , Sargent (1984) suggests that "as we share our dreams, and especially ones i n which we suffer nuclear horrors, that healing paths and lines of resolution w i l l emerge out of the imagery structure and sharing of dreams; that clear seeing generates courage for clear action" (p. 155). While there i s scanty or non-existent quantitative or experimental data to substantiate many of these views and hypotheses, the empiricism of this broadly "Jungian" approach to the c r i s i s i s to be found i n the personal exploration of the writers. Hillman, Watkins, Morris, Sargent, and Whitmont, as did Jung before them, use themselves to generate data which sheds l i g h t upon the psyche, p a r t i c u l a r l y as i t transcends the t r a d i t i o n a l dichotomy of s e l f and world. Each of these writers, i n t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l ways, also share a commitment to the transformation of the underlying (quantitative) question of "why me?" to the (qualitative) questioning "what i s the meaning of t h i s ? " I t seems appropriate to leave the l a s t word of t h i s section to Hillman (1984a) who indeed points beyond the given dilemma to the meaning at i t s heart: "then timelessness could go right on being revealed without Revelation, the v e i l s of l i t e r a l i s m pierced by i n t e l l i g e n c e , parting and f a l l i n g to the mind that imagines and so welcomes the v e i l i n g . No sudden rending, no apocalyptic ending; timelessness as the ongoing, the extraordinarily loving, loveable and t e r r i f y i n g continuity of l i f e " (p. 267). 51 I I I Alfred Adler Alfred Adler, the t h i r d of the great triumvirate of depth psychologists, shared i n Freud and Jung's quest to map the "deep mind". Each of these three i n t h e i r own way were attempting to develop "a detailed explanatory account of objective but i n v i s i b l e processes at universal levels below indi v i d u a l l i v e s " and to "understand consciousness from within i t s e l f and without appeal to structures external to i t which are always functions of i t anyway" (Hillman, 198-, p. 110). In Adler's l i f e goals, we are able to discern the seeds of a "post-modern" perspective which acknowledges the r e l a t i v e or f i c t i o n a l ("as i f " ) nature of the meanings which one attributes to one's l i f e . I t i s i n the realm of meaning that one's experience i s created; "human beings l i v e i n the realm of meanings. We do not experience pure circumstances; we always experience circumstances i n the i r significances f o r men" (Adler, 1931, p. 3). The importance of Adler to our topic i s thrown i n t o sharp r e l i e f when we consider the f i r s t of what he claimed were the three^great questions of human l i f e , namely, the fact of l i v i n g "on the crust of t h i s poor planet, earth" and the need to continue our personal l i v e s and help insure the future continuance of humankind. Our attempts at solutions to l i f e ' s problems, from the Adlerian viewpoint, w i l l lead to either increased pain and suffering (despair) or resolution (empowerment) which by nature i s never complete but does consist of an expanded sense of i d e n t i t y . Despair, and psychological suffering generally, i s occasioned by the fact of i n f e r i o r i t y . Feelings of i n f e r i o r i t y , a given of human existence, involve 52 tension and anxiety. The paths by which one seeks superiority, or an end to this situation, are legion but only those which result in gemeinschaftsgefuhl or social interest, are accurate or better. There is thus a polarity of solutions which are intended to secure the se l f as individually se l f -suff ic ient and ultimately isolated on the one hand, and on the other, solutions which lead to the feeling of being part of a larger social whole, soc ia l ly embedded and wi l l ing to contribute for the good of the whole. Interestingly, even the enriched sense of being of gemeinschaftsgefuhl, the goal of social interest , i s f i c t i o n a l , "as i f" . "The realm of meanings is the realm of mistakes" (Adler, 1983, p. 3). What does this paradox imply for our understanding of "empowerment"? Commenting on this element of Adler's thought, Hillman writes, Certainty is an ident i f icat ion with a single meaning; one posits one's own private meaning as a 'position of f i n a l i t y ' , which serves only to isolate oneself, defeating our innate altruism and alienating us from the community of humankind...Gemeinschaftsgefhl thus offers a mode of discovering our isolat ing f ict ions and mistakes. If we commune at a l l , i t i s In the empathy of our mistakes and the humourous tolerance given by the sense of f i c t i o n . We are human less by virtue of our ideal goals than by the vice of our in fer ior i ty (Hillman, V984, p. 108). Thus, i t can be argued that those who are affected with numbing and despair in the face of the nuclear threat are pursuing mistaken l i f e goals, goals antithetical to truly moral action. The universal feelings of in fer ior i ty rooted in biological or psychobiological imperatives are today 53 compounded by sociocultural factors. Awareness of the seeming immensity of global problems highlights our "inferiori ty". This may manifest as a "complex", as affirmation of personal inadequacy, powerlessness or "sickness". Thus, for many, global crises can become an excuse for a l imited capacity for a r ich feelingful l i f e . For others, particularly through the acknowledgment of their in fer ior i ty , the global s ituation can take on a different, life-enhancing meaning. In what amounts to a small personal discovery of social interest, writer Peter Marin explicates some of the above mentioned principles , (Marin, 1985) Marin had been arrested in Santa Barbara protesting U.S. involvement in Central America. He describes how his action resulted in "an inexplicable sense of lightness, of freedom and r e l i e f , almost of delight" (p. 15). These feelings were accompanied by specif ic memories and images, some of a personal nature, some of the experience of others. These images were united thematically through a sense of marglnality, distance from centres of power, of "inferiority": "Mexican vi l lagers in the mountains of Chiapas taking into their homes, despite their poverty, even more impoverished refugees from Guatemala", "cafes on the edge of the Amazon jungle and the Sahara desert". Reflecting on how i t was that he came closer to feel ing near the center of things, Marin writes that "part of i t may be an underlying sense of marginality or distance form the ordinary social world so profound, so pervasive, that when that marginality is made momentarily r e a l , and concretized as fact , i t feels to me less l ike a loss than a completion" (p. 16). Some of his further reflections are worth c i t ing in whole as they speak so direct ly to the relationship between despair and empowerment, between isolation 54 and connection, and the moral praxis involved i n the movement from one to the other. Remember: there must exist for many of us these days, at the heart of our r e l a t i o n with the world around us, an ethi c a l tension or a sense of moral ambiguity. In the f i r s t place, we are aware of the nature of the world, the kinds of suffering and i n j u s t i c e at work i n i t ; and, i n the second place, we more or less dimly sense the ways i n which our own roles and station amount, at best, to a kind of unintentional complicity with much that we abhor. Thus, we are often at odds not only with the world but also with ourselves, for few of us choose to live in relation to the world, or have the chance to live in relation to the world, in ways which reflect precisely how we feel about i t . Whether this is enough, in itself, to make us guilty of anything is a question perhaps only a god might answer; but such questions of guilt and responsibility nonetheless nag at us beneath the surface of consciousness. And what happens in protest or c i v i l disobedience, I think, what was happening to me in the police car, is that the moral questions are temporarily put to rest. Moral ambiguity is resolved; moral tension is diminished, the energies bound up in the tensions of moral doubt are again set free to f i l l , to power, the self. One finds oneself, simultaneously, at home in both the self and the world (Marin, 1985, p. 16). Thus, Marin, through his action, transformed the bad f a i t h of private meaning into communal meaning, a trus t i n the "as i f " of transcendent 55 cooperation - "a t r i v i a l act i n a l l but i t s consequences - which may, j u s t may, do some good for someone somewhere else" (p. 15). But t h i s b i r t h of gemeinschaftsgefuhl cannot be simply w i l l e d , can not be brought into existence by a conscious decision i n r a t i o n a l terms. To hear, see, or speak 'correctly' means...to become i d e n t i f i e d with him or with i t . The capacity for i d e n t i f i c a t i o n alone makes us capable of friendship, love of mankind, sympathy, ...(and) i s the baiss of s o c i a l interest which may extend beyond...toward animals, plants, l i f e l e s s objects or f i n a l l y towards the whole cosmos (Adler, 1928, p. 43). Again, and f i n a l l y , i t i s one's contact with one's i n f e r i o r i t y , however that i s experienced (as, for example, Marin - "the f l e s h i n i t s f r a g i l i t y and s i m p l i c i t y " "placed squarely at the heart of history") that provides the occasion for connection. "The whole therapeutic opus with i t s v i s i o n of perfection i n the love of fellow f e e l i n g can never leave the t i n y beginning, the b i t of gravel i n the shoe, the p e t i t e tache humide that returns us to feelings of i n f e r i o r i t y which are given with embodiment i n our organic creatureliriess" (Hillman, 1984, p. 128-9). 56 IV. Robert Lifton Robert Jay Li f ton 1 s work i s of central importance to this study. He Is one of the few psychology researchers to have centrally occupied himself with the human response to holocausts, whether h is tor ica l or imagined. Also, his psychohistorical approach provides another clearly articulated paradigm for the understanding of transformation, part icular ly that from what we have been cal l ing despair to empowerment (1979, 1976, 1973). Though strongly influenced by Ernst Cassirer and Suzanne Langer, Lifton places himself so l id ly within the depth or psychological lineage. In particular, he claims indebtedness to Freud and Erikson. While building upon their work, he departs from Freud and Erikson in important ways. His "controlling image" or image-model of human nature dif fers . He views Freud's controll ing image as the interplay of instinct (most sexual) and defense (most repression) and that of Erikson as identity and the l i f e cycle. His own controll ing image is death and the continuity of l i f e . As well as differing in his sense of the controll ing image of human being, his sense of basic psychological process also d i f fers . "Freud's basic psychological process i s the clash between instinctual drives (id impulses) and the restraining forces brought to bear on them (ego defenses and the developing superego, having to do with the demands and morality of c i v i l i z e d society). The process then is defensive and compensatory" (1976, p. 65). While adhering to that basic concept, Erikson elaborated the importance as well of extrapsychic elements in individual development. "Impediments, that i s , are 57 never purely Intrapsychic but always psychosocial i n ways that are s p e c i f i c to a particular stage i n the l i f e cycle" ( L i f t o n , 1976, p. 69). L i f t o n holds to the others' emphasis on the importance of psychic images and forms but rejects the dichotomizing elements of primary/secondary, unconscious/conscious. Instead, he focuses upon the phenomena of the "formative (or psychoformative) process" i t s e l f . No longer are psychic configurations to be seen as mere fragments of a defensive-compensatory process. From t h i s formative-symbolizing perspective, L i f t o n (1976) maintains that " i n human mentation we receive no perceptions or s t i m u l i nakedly, but inwardly re-create each exposure or encounter i n our on-going struggle toward form" (p. 74). In the creation, maintenance, destruction and recreation of these forms, humans discover and celebrate l i f e . Indeed, i t i s only through t h i s process that we can experience a sense of v i t a l i t y and meaning. The impairment of t h i s process results i n diminished l i f e which L i f t o n refers to as "psychic numbing" (1979). In i t s most extreme forms, t h i s numbing consists of "the mind being severed from i t s own psychic forms" (1979, p. 174). These extreme cases of a continuum of numbing occur i n r e l a t i o n "to either massive external holocaust or i n d i v i d u a l - i n t e r n a l equivalents such as psychosis" (1976, p. 81). The basic function of that numbing i s to distance ourselves from the fact and perception of death. Death presents i t s e l f to us as a many-sided form. It i s f i r s t and foremost the end of l i f e , an organic and psychological destiny. But i t also i s perceived as a loss of v i t a l i t y , an experience of d e a t h - i n - l i f e , l i f e imitating death. A t h i r d meaning i s that of death as challenge or muse. This use can be found within a variety of s p i r i t u a l t r a d i t i o n s : Christian, 58 Buddhist, Gurdjieff, Don Juan. "A fourth meaning i s that of death as inseparable from disaster, holocaust, absurdity. One's individual death cannot be separate from the sense that (as Hiroshima survivors put i t ) "the whole world i s dying" ( 1 9 7 9 , p. 4 7 ) . For L i f t o n , as for Otto Rank, and to a lesser extent Carl Jung, our relationship with and perceptions of death are determined by our perpetual struggle for "an assurance of eternal s u r v i v a l " . He breaks quite r a d i c a l l y with Freud's " r a t i o n a l i s t - i c o n o c l a s t i c " view - that we should surrender a l l images which grant significance to death, i n the name and service of "reason" -and leans toward Jung's "hygenic" p r i n c i p l e - that " i t i s hygenic to discover i n death a goal toward which one can s t r i v e " (Jung, 1 9 3 6 , p. 1 2 9 ) . L i f t o n ( 1 9 7 9 ) , however, posits the "formative-symbolizing" perspective as a t h i r d position, beyond that of Freud and Jung. We may accept both Freud's insistence on confronting death as the annihilation of the s e l f , and Jung's insistence on the psychological importance of mythic imagery of immortality. But I would focus more s p e c i f i c a l l y on the symbolizing process around death and immortality as the individual's experience of pa r t i c i p a t i o n i n some form of c o l l e c t i v e l i f e - c o n t i n u i t y (p. 1 7 ) . L i f t o n i n s i s t s that, i n order to genuinely confront the fact that we die, we require symbolic modes of transcending death, of symbolizing our immortality. Lifton's sense of "symbolic immortality" l i e s at the core of his work. Drawing extensively from his work with atomic bomb survivors i n Hiroshima, he has postulated f i v e basic patterns through which we r e l a t e ourselves to death and the continuity of l i f e . These modes include the B i o l o g i c a l , through which we f e e l connected to l i f e by family, or b i o s o c i a l , continuity. This mode has been central to Asian culture with i t s sense of f i l i a l piety, but also may be found universally among "primitive" peoples and was important to Ancient Rome as wel l . In contemporary society, t h i s mode may be seen i n the yearning for community as expressed i n counter-cultural and commune movements. Theological, or r e l i g i o u s which offers an Imagery of release i n t o a timeless, ultimate realm of death-transcending truth. I t may or may not embody as well imagery of an immortal soul and a f t e r l i f e . "Whatever the imagery, there i s at the heart of r e l i g i o n a sense of s p i r i t u a l power" (1979, p.20). Creative, epitomized by a sense of l i v i n g one's "works", be they s c i e n t i f i c , a r t i s t i c , l i t e r a r y , or the more humble maintenance of l i f e as we know i t , whilst influencing those around us. One of the main modes i n the West, the creative has become bound up with a sense of progress i n which individuals, through symbolization, may vi c a r i o u s l y p a r t i c ipate. Our investment (both material and psychological) i n technology as well as our "worship" of science reveal t h i s mode of work. Natural, "the perception that natural environment around us, l i m i t l e s s i n space and time, w i l l remain" (1979, p. 22). This mode was p a r t i c u l a r l y strong i n Japan, especially i n Shinto, and indeed when the Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima the seeming destruction of t h i s realm was the cause of the most profound dread. This mode i s also c l e a r l y evident i n Amerindian s p i r i t u a l i t y and i s to be seen i n both the ecology movement and "back-to-the-land" phenomenon. 60 Mode of experiential transcendence, which depends upon a powerful psychic state which can be achieved either spontaneously as in peak moments in sport, sexual union, battle , ch i ldbir th , and a r t i s t i c creation among others, or as the result of disciplined pursuit through meditative practice, fasting, or sleep deprivation. Various drugs have also provided access to this mode. To some extent, this mode permeates each of the others inasmuch as i t is only through some level of heightened consciousness or awareness that the others are imbued with suff icient power or numa to be viable forms of symbolic immortality. The claim assumes that a quality of experience (that of transcendence) must connect with significant content (grounded relationship with any of the other four modes) to v i ta l i ze that sense of part ic ipation. Lifton (1982) argues that each of these f ive modes is radica l ly impacted by the threat of nuclear holocaust. Indeed, his "own focus on symbolization of l i f e and death emerges from threats posed by our own history that have to do with the massive destruction of l i f e and with fundamental disorders in our relationship to l i f e and death" (p. 63). The bomb has presented imagery of extinction which involves the end of the species ( i f not a l l species), a relationship with specif ic recent h is tor ica l events including Nazi death camps as well as Hiroshima/Nagasaki, and the fact that the danger arises not from a transcendent God, but from our own hand, man and technology. "The image i s that of human history and human culture simply terminating. The idea of any human future becomes a matter of profound doubt" (p. 6 7 ) . This "radical futurelessness" affects a l l five modes of symbolic immortality. "This sense of radical futurelessness. . . does not in i t s e l f cause any of our 61 mental c o n f l i c t s or aberrations but at the same time influences a l l of them and colours a l l that we experience" (p. 67). Li f t o n (1982) suggests that l i v i n g within such a context, within the "nuclear shadow" profoundly affects us: From early l i f e , relationships between s e l f and world take on a fundamental insecurity, within a context of confusion around the threat of death (including the already mentioned merging of "p l a i n old death" with grotesque, absurd death). Every attitude and human t i e becomes coloured by a constellation of doom, which includes i n varying degrees, fear, expectation and embrace of that fate. There i s widespread resort to psychological maneuvers designed to diminish f e e l i n g , but underneath that numbing are struggles with anger and rage along with every other kind of suppressed passion. Deep confusion and absence of meaning bedevil both one's emerging s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n and one's larger aspirations toward human connection (p. 78). The omnipresent t a i n t of imagery of t o t a l annihilation produces a "survivor ethos". The survivor i s one who has come into contact with death i n either concrete or symbolic fashion and yet remains a l i v e . The experience of the survivor i s marked by f i v e characteristics (1976, p. 1140). The f i r s t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s the impression upon the psyche of the death-imagery which often carries with the loss of a sense of i n v u l n e r a b i l i t y . Secondly, the survivor bears some degree of g u i l t which i s embodied i n the question, "why did I stay a l i v e when they died?" The th i r d pattern, spoken of before i n different contexts i s psychic numbing, the diminished capacity for 62 fee l i n g which i s essential for survival i n the extreme contact with death but which, i f sustained, i s experienced as apathy, l i f e l e s s n e s s and meaninglessness. A fourth pattern, L i f t o n describes as "suspicion of counterfeit nurturance", a suspicion or mutual di s t r u s t f e l t by survivors toward each other and a reluctance to accept help from the other f o r fear of acknowledging one's v u l n e r a b i l i t y . F i n a l l y , being a survivor e n t a i l s a "formulative struggle" which " i s fundamental to a l l survivor psychology, and encompasses the other four". This i s the "struggle toward inner form or formulation, the quest for significance i n one's death encounter or remaining l i f e experience" (1976, p. 115). I t i s i n t h i s f i n a l pattern that L i f t o n finds hope. He suggests that i f the survivor i s able to look d i r e c t l y at the experience of death, and render the death encounter s i g n i f i c a n t , then the survivor can "cease to be immobilized by the death imprint, death g u i l t , and psychic numbing" and thereby, " i n struggling to reorder his or her own experience, the survivor can contribute to the general h i s t o r i c a l reordering so widely craved" (p. 115). L i f t o n has ar t i c u l a t e d t h i s process most c l e a r l y within the context of his work with antiwar Vietnam veterans (1973). Expressive of his sense of self-process as continual psychic re-creation (1976), L i f t o n describes a threefold model of transformation. This consists of confrontation, reordering, and renewal (1973). "Confrontation consists of a sudden or sustained questioning of personal integration and i n t e g r i t y brought about by some form of death encounter," blending external s t i m u l i with inner readiness (1973. p. 388). This can occur either gradually or over time but must involve the element of readiness, 63 without which the state of numbing w i l l p e r s i s t . Confrontation shakes existing psychic forms which have thus far provided security, a l b e i t a numbed state. "With ex i s t i n g inner forms and symbolizations under duress, man's innate and continuous impulse to master his environment by means of movement and change i s released from the r e l a t i v e l y s t a t i c compromises of ordinary existence, from t h e i r mixture of numbing and security" (p. 390). This breakdown of the previous i n t e g r i t y gives r i s e to g u i l t , which can either remain s t a t i c or become "animating". To be animating, g u i l t must point beyond i t s e l f and, therefore, there must be available to the psyche prior internal images of l i f e - a f f i r m a t i o n . The reordering process largely consists of the confrontation of g u i l t and the reclamation (or f i r s t establishment) of a sense of i n t e g r i t y . Reordering can include the softening we spoke of e a r l i e r , the breaking down of some of the character armour, the long-standing defenses and maneuvers around numbed g u i l t , i n order to release feelings appropriate to c o n f l i c t s around i n t e g r i t y . For the person undergoing t h i s process i s struggling to bear witness to the upheaval (death encounter) he has experienced, and to do so with autonomy and authenticity. Bearing witness implies being present to share pain and wisdom, and to take on the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to " t e l l the story" afterward. Autonomy means s e l f - r u l e , what we have called self-generation, and must be i n balance (even i f i n seeming c o n f l i c t ) with accuracy and genuineness of witness (p. 392). The t a s k , p r i m a r i l y , i s o f c o n f r o n t i n g o n e ' s own g u i l t , o f l e t t i n g a s e n s e o f "sorrow" o r shame f o r o n e ' s a c t i o n s r e v e r b e r a t e p o w e r f u l l y w i t h i n o n e ' s b e i n g and t h e n o f t a k i n g " r e s p o n s i b i l i t y " f o r o n e s e l f . C l e a r l y , t h e r e must be a c c e s s i b l e t o t h e r e o r d e r i n g p s y c h e some i m a g e r y o f i n t e g r i t y . O t h e r w i s e , t h e p e r s o n o p e n i n g h i m o r h e r s e l f t o g u i l t w i l l p o s s i b l y pass t h r o u g h v u l n e r a b i l i t y i n t o breakdown. A n i m a t i n g g u i l t i s c a p a b l e o f r e l a t i n g a c t i o n s t o f u t u r e c o n s e q u e n c e s , a l l o w i n g autonomy, meaning and power t o a r i s e . F i n a l l y , r e n e w a l , " t h e s e l f ' s a t t a i n m e n t o f form ( s t r u c t u r e ) and s t y l e ( p r o c e s s ) i n r e l a t i o n s h i p t o i t s new i n t e g r i t y " ( p . 4 0 1 ) , i s e x p e r i e n c e d as t h e f r u i t i o n o f t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i v e p r o c e s s . The c e n t r a l e l e m e n t s o f r e n e w a l a r e the c o n t i n u o u s and c o n s c i o u s r e l a t i n g t o a n i m a t i n g g u i l t and a s e n s e o f p l a y . " P l a y t h u s s u g g e s t e d and h e l p e d c a r r y one t o w a r d a new w o r l d v iew o r p a r t i a l r e c o v e r y o f an o l d o n e ; and s u p p l i e d i m a g e r y and e n e r g y c r u c i a l t o t h e t r a n s f o r m i n g o f s t a t i c t o a n i m a t i n g g u i l t " ( p . 4 0 3 ) . P l a y i s s een as t h e e s s e n c e o f r e n e w a l , i n v o l v i n g s u g g e s t i o n s o f r i t u a l . I t i s s een as t h e way t o c o u n t e r t h e r a d i c a l l o s s o f f a i t h i m p l i c i t i n t h e s ense o f w o r l d - d e s t r u c t i o n embodied i n a c t u a l o r i m a g i n e d h o l o c a u s t . P l a y c a n " p r o v i d e l i b e r a t i n g e l ements o f a b s u r d i t y , a l o n g w i t h g l i m m e r s o f s h a r e d i n t e g r i t y " and a l s o " p i t a g a i n s t t h e s h a t t e r e d f o r m s o f h o l o c a u s t and p o s t h o l o c a u s t e x p e r i e n c e a s u g g e s t i o n o f r i t u a l t h a t , i n i t s v e r y i m p e r f e c t i o n and acknowledge l i m i t a t i o n , s e r v e s human needs" as p l a y f u l exchange ( p . 4 0 4 ) . W i t h t h i s ( i d e a l ) m o d e l , L i f t o n (1973) does n o t s u g g e s t t h a t r e n e w a l i s s i m p l y and f i n a l l y e s t a b l i s h e d . R a t h e r , " i t i s a p r o c e s s t h a t , once e s t a b l i s h e d , can combine e n d u r i n g forms w i t h p e r p e t u a l r e - c r e a t i o n b a s e d on an ever more a c c e s s i b l e i d e a l o f i n t e g r i t y " ( p . 4 0 6 ) . 65 F i n a l l y , rather than suggest that one of the f i v e modes of symbolic immortality i s prescript!vely "correct", L i f t o n returns us i n renewal to the essential symbolizing capacity. I t i s there, i n the perpetual involvement i n symbolization of new and viable images and forms, that hope l i e s . The chaos and formlessness r e s u l t i n g from psychic numbing and s t a t i c g u i l t can be overcome only through confronting the death experience and finding within that very confrontation the energy for change, both personal and h i s t o r i c a l / s o c i a l . The self-process continues to seek for new and viable forms of connectedness and continuity. 66 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Given that there i s an objective threat to our l i v e s and the very existence of l i f e on the planet, why i s there not a more concerted response, more action, to reduce or eliminate the threat? Some answers to this question are provided from the f i e l d of so c i a l psychology, which includes studies of stress, helplessness and motivation. Stress i s generally defined i n terms of the emotions which include fear, sorrow, g u i l t , anger and depression. Lazarus (1976) actually regards the entire range of negative emotions as str e s s . For Lazarus, stress occurs i n the context of an indiv i d u a l within a particular environment and includes both subjective and objective factors. Stress (or i t s absence) depends upon "cognitive appraisals" of the individual's transactions with the environment i n terms of i t s potential impact on her well-being. The person regards a situ a t i o n as either a threat or a challenge though the process of th i s appraisal i s i n doubt and i s highly personal. One variable proposed by Lazarus i s Rotter's (1966) concept of locus of control. Depending on whether the s i t u a t i o n i s either a threat or challenge, the individual responds to cope with the s i t u a t i o n . "Coping i s continually taking place, feeding emotion and i t s s e l f - r e g u l a t i o n at every stage of the emotional process" (p. 32). Coping i s distinguished as either direct action or p a l l i a t i o n . Direct action consists of efforts to d i r e c t l y a l t e r the environmental circumstances while p a l l i a t i o n consists of the attempt to a l l e v i a t e , eliminate or tolerate the physical or psychological disease caused by the situ a t i o n . P a l l i a t i o n can 67 be either intrapsychic, such as denial-avoidance or i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e d detachment, or symptom-directed, mechanisms or treatment which might include yogic exercises or biofeedback, drugs or alcohol. Lazarus (1982) stresses that too l i t t l e i s known about coping processes to offer any dependable recommendations to individuals or groups seeking to deal with particular stressors and suggests that most theoretical treatments of stress remain descriptive and c l a s s i f a c t o r y rather than prescriptive. Seligman (1980) provides such descriptive treatment i n his a t t r i b u t i o n a l theory of helplessness. The degree of helplessness with which one approaches a task i s dependent upon three sets of factors: internal - external; stable -unstable, and global - s p e c i f i c . I n t e r n a l i t y suggests that there Is nothing that one could do to effect a desired outcome, while externality implies that there i s nothing anyone can do. S t a b i l i t y suggests that the problematic s i t u a t i o n i s long-lived and recurrent, while i n s t a b i l i t y suggests short duration and non-recurrency. Global suggests helplessness across many situa t i o n s , while s p e c i f i c i t y indicates helplessness i n regard to s p e c i f i c circumstances. Attributions on these three vectors can be variously combined. For example, an individual may attribute to a certain s i t u a t i o n factors of i n t e r n a l i t y and i n s t a b i l i t y i n which case the outcome w i l l be largely dependent upon e f f o r t . The combination of factors w i l l determine whether or not the individual feels hopeful or helpless about influencing a s i t u a t i o n toward a desired outcome. For most of us, our a b i l i t y to impact upon the nuclear threat may be contingent upon universal, stable, and s p e c i f i c a t t r i b u t i o n s . That i s , 68 there i s nothing anyone can do about i t , the problem w i l l be always with us, and we f e e l helpless only within that context. The interaction of these factors i n turn determines such things as l e v e l of self-esteem and our affective or emotional response to the s i t u a t i o n . For example, the more we f e e l personally as opposed to universally helpless, the greater w i l l be the loss to our s e l f esteem. Seligman suggests that depression may be more intense i n personal than i n universal helplessness. On the other hand, "only those cases i n which the expectation of response-outcome independence i s about the lack or loss of a highly desired outcome or about the occurrence of a highly aversive outcome are s u f f i c i e n t f o r the emotional component of depression. Thus, depressed affect i s outcome-related" (Abramson et a l , 1978, p. 26). Since the depressed affect results only when the outcome i s of present concern, i t suggests that the threat of nuclear war must be countered with some active coping mechanism. We can imagine, then, why fear t a c t i c s are of l i t t l e use, by themselves, to motivate action to prevent nuclear war. Not only does fear alone not contribute to a sense of personal potency, some research suggest that highly threatening messages are less eff e c t i v e i n producing a t t i t u d i n a l and behavioral change than milder messages (Janist Feshback, 1953). On the other hand, recent reviews of the l i t e r a t u r e indicate that there i s a positive relationship between the strength of a fear message and change, but most of these studies deal with low-fear situations such as brushing teeth or getting tetanus shots (Sutton, 1982; Boster & Mongeau, 1984). These studies also suggest that strong fear appeals work best on mellow audiences while milder appeals are more effective with more anxious audiences (Boster & Mongeau, 1984). The d i s t i n c t i o n between magnitude of r i s k and probability of occurrence i s probably also a factor (Sandman & V a l e n t i , 1986). Thus, campaigns against drunk driving work more e f f e c t i v e l y while focusing on loss of license (low r i s k , high probability) than on death (high r i s k , low p r o b a b i l i t y ) . The same authors suggest that fear appeals aimed at one's friends and families are more effective than those addressed to oneself. To summarize, we have looked at some of the research and t h e o r e t i c a l formulations of s o c i a l psychology. Helplessness, according to Seligman, arises when certain attributions are made about one's i n a b i l i t y to effect an outcome. Depression i s one of a range of possible affective responses to helplessness. Fear i s another emotion that i s central to our personal and c o l l e c t i v e response to the nuclear threat. I t does not necessarily lead to action or overcome helplessness. These factors contribute to a- highly s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n . Given the general l e v e l of helplessness, i t i s apparent the most common coping mechanisms w i l l be p a l l i a t i v e i n nature, consisting widely of denial-avoidance. What does s o c i a l psychology offer as antidote to t h i s situation? Beck and Frankel (1981) conclude that action i s dependent upon cognition, not emotion. The three cognitions which they regard as indispensible for action upon a perceived health r i s k are (a) awareness of danger, (b) believing i n a recommended plan to reduce the danger, and (c) having confidence i n the a b i l i t y to carry out the plan. 70 S i m i l a r l y , Sutton (op.cit) found that regardless of fear, people were more l i k e l y to act on solutions that they saw as effective. Tyler and McGraw (1983) found that anti-nuclear a c t i v i s t s had above average l e v e l s of general personal and p o l i t i c a l efficacy, and though they worried about nuclear war and considered i t l i k e l y , they were more in c l i n e d to believe i t could be prevented. These studies a l l suggest the importance of hope. F i n a l l y , Festinger's theory of cognitive disonance (1957) indicates that action w i l l trigger an e f f o r t to regain consistency by leading to information seeking and attitude building which w i l l support the behaviour. The theory and practice of s o c i a l learning can be seen to assist i n the development of new behaviour. F i r s t steps of action are presented and followed; those f i r s t steps are variously rewarded and reinforced; new steps are outlined and taken concomitant with increased commitment, hope, and information (Sandman & Va l e n t i , op.cit.) Social psychology offers various maps and descriptions of factors involved with the transformation of despair to empowerment. The suffering of human stress i s dealt with as a matter of learning and of cognition. Appropriate behaviour w i l l lead to more optimal functioning. 71 THE SACRED: WORLD WISDOM TRADITIONS The "wisdom t r a d i t i o n s " o f the w o r l d ' s g r e a t r e l i g i o n s each p r e s e n t a r c h e t y p a l p a t t e r n s o f t h e p r o c e s s o f empowerment. C h r i s t i a n i t y and Buddhism i n p a r t i c u l a r have p r e s e n t e d p a r a d i g m s o f p e r s o n a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n as embodied i n t h e l i f e s t o r i e s o f t h e i r f o u n d e r s w h i c h have a c t e d as models f o r i n n u m e r a b l e i n d i v i d u a l s . The e x e m p l a r y l i v e s o f C h r i s t and B u d d h a . h a v e i m p r i n t e d h i s t o r y as t e m p l a t e s f o r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and g e n e t i c m a t r i c e s o f m e a n i n g . On a s o c i a l l e v e l as w e l l , t h e s e two r e l i g i o n s i n p a r t i c u l a r have had i m p o r t a n t t r a n s f o r m a t i v e i m p a c t . G a n d h i , t h o u g h H i n d u , was p o w e r f u l l y i n f l u e n c e d by C h r i s t i a n and B u d d h i s t t h o u g h t . In t h i s c e n t u r y , C h r i s t i a n i t y was one o f t h e main d r i v i n g f o r c e s o f t h e c i v i l r i g h t s movement, p a r t i c u l a r l y as i t was l e d and t y p i f i e d by M a r t i n L u t h e r K i n g . V a r i o u s e l ements o f the Peace Movement have a l s o t a k e n p r i m a r y i n s p i r a t i o n f rom t h e G o s p e l s . These i n c l u d e t h e A m e r i c a n F r i e n d s ' S e r v i c e C o m m i t t e e , F e l l o w s h i p o f R e c o n c i l i a t i o n , and t h e work c u r r e n t l y i n p r o g r e s s w i t h J i m D o u g l a s s (1983) and t h e Ground Z e r o and Agape c o m m u n i t i e s . The a u t h o r b e l i e v e s t h a t t h e C h r i s t i a n G o s p e l s and g e n e r a l message i s w i d e l y f a m i l i a r i n N o r t h A m e r i c a . T h e i n s p i r a t i o n o f New and O l d T e s t a m e n t s can be r e a d i l y d i s c e r n e d and u n d e r s t o o d by most i n d i v i d u a l s i n t h i s c u l t u r e . On t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e r e i s g e n e r a l i g n o r a n c e and m i s p e r c e p t i o n c o n c e r n i n g o t h e r major w o r l d r e l i g i o n s . F o r t h i s r e a s o n , t h e a u t h o r has chosen t o f o c u s upon the B u d d h i s t p e r s p e c t i v e . T h i s a p p r o a c h i s p a r t i c u l a r l y u s e f u l s i n c e some o f the most v i s i b l e work i n o v e r c o m i n g d e s p a i r and i n e r t i a a r i s i n g i n t h e f a c e 72 of the nuclear threat i s paradoxically rooted i n what has been widely regarded as a pessimistic and other-worldly r e l i g i o n (Macy, 1982, 1983). Buddhism, although t r a d i t i o n a l l y a conservative force i n Asian culture, has at times also become a potent factor i n s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l transformation, a powerful c r i t i c a l perspective catalyzing resistance to oppression on the one hand and deep rooted economic change processes on the other. The writings of Thich Nhat Hanh (1967) on the Vietnamese War and his more recent and on-going peace work (Berrigen, 1975) are a good example of how Buddhist thought, t r a d i t i o n a l l y perceived i n the West to be " q u i e t i s t i c " , can become a catalyst and model for change. As we l l , the Sarvodaya Shramadana (Macy, 1982) self-help movement i n S r i Lanka, founded by A.T. Ariyaratna, makes e x p l i c i t the theory and practice of the transformation of s o c i a l despair to empowerment at the v i l l a g e l e v e l . This movement finds i t s model i n the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism which i t translates uniquely into the economic structure of S r i Lankan v i l l a g e l i f e . As well as the impact upon personal and s o c i a l transformation of these great world r e l i g i o n s , concerned people also are drawing i n s p i r a t i o n and guidance from other sources of s p i r i t u a l i t y , including native American sources, Wicca or the Craft ( t r a d i t i o n a l l y known as Witchcraft) (Starhawk, 1982), and such New Age s p i r i t u a l i t y as David Spangler's Findhorn philosophy which unites elements of Christian Process Theology, ecology and systems theory (Spangler, 1984). 73 BUDDHISM In seeking to uncover the meaning and structure of the transformation of despair to empowerment, i t i s most expeditious to examine the paradigmatic l i f e of Sakyamuni Buddha. The well known story concerns the l i f e of Siddartha, Prince of Sakya Clan, about whom the prophecy i s made that he s h a l l become either a universal monarch or a s p i r i t u a l saviour. His father, the king, attempts to sh i e l d him from the vicissitudes of l i f e and surrounds him with objects of pleasure. However, Siddartha witnesses the four signs of a diseased person, an aged person, a corpse and a r e l i g i o u s mendicant which impel him upon his quest which ultimately culminates i n his Awakening. Stephen Batchelor (1983), a Western Buddhist monk, commenting from an e x i s t e n t i a l i s t perspective, suggests that Buddha's l i f e story can best be understood i n terms of the d i a l e c t i c struggle of the two modes of having and being. "The p o s s i b i l i t y s t i l l remains for us to be struck by the e x i s t e n t i a l questions of l i f e and to make the s h i f t from the dimension of having to that of being" (p. 35). The teachings of Buddha, p a r t i c u l a r l y the F i r s t Turning of the Wheel which consisted of the propounding of the Four Noble Truths, serve to awaken us to the p o s s i b i l i t y of moving from an inherently d i s s a t i s f a c t o r y mode of being to an inherently enriching mode. The F i r s t Noble Truth, the Truth of Suffering, serves as a phenomenological description of our being as conditioned by impermanence with concomitant physical pain and mental anguish. The Cause of Suffering, or the Second Noble Truth, describes the underlying fundamental grasping ignorance which results i n a l l forms of suffering. The Third and Fourth Noble Truths respectively describe the Cessation of Suffering and i t s 74 cause, the Path which consists of eight elements, including both behavioural and cognitive components. The F i r s t Noble Truth i s further explicated by Batchelor (1983) as revealing the fundamental fact of our aloneness: Man i s faced with the task of being responsible for his existence. His being-in-the-world i s primordially disclosed to his concern. But under the menacing and inescapable shadow of death, existence as such i s anxiously f e l t as too massive and overwhelming to be concernfully accepted i n i t s t o t a l i t y . Consequently, we shy away from the immensity of being and the imminence of death and f a l l i n t o a preoccupation with particular e n t i t i e s within the world (p. 61). This inauthentic mode of being alone seems to offer us sec u r i t y . In attempting to convince ourselves that we are s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t e n t i t l e s i n a world of similar i s o l a t e d e n t i t i e s , we tend to project blame for any suffering onto our environment. Anxiety i s experienced not as an indi c a t i o n that there i s something fundamentally askew with our mode of being but i s masked with a variety of strategies. In the story of Buddha, his confrontation with the three signs of human suffer i n g was the occasion for such acute anxiety that he embarked on a determined quest to overcome t h i s s i t u a t i o n . In looking back we can see that two levels of anxiety are involved. The f i r s t , which for- the most part i s i n a r t i c u l a t e and i n s t i n c t i v e , drives man into his concernful absorption with the world of particular things. The second i s far more c r i t i c a l and desperate, 75 since i t i s based upon and incorporates the r e a l i z a t i o n that absorption i n such a world i s unable to provide a secure retreat from the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of facing one's existence i n i t s t o t a l i t y (p. 64). This anxiety results i n an "inauthentic" mode of being-with-ourselves. As we l l , i t r e s u l t s i n an inauthentic mode of being-with-others. "The root of a l l inauthentic manifestations of being-with-others i s the attitude of self-concern. I t i s th i s state of mind that, either consciously or unconsciously, we reduce the central aim of a l l value and meaning to the accomplishment of the welfare of ourself alone" (p. 77). The combination of these two inauthentic modes of being, with-oneself and with-others, i s suffering (dukha, s k t . ) . But the Buddhist path unfolds into the cessation of suffering, or i n the language we are using here, into authentic being. The path, as propounded i n the Fourth Noble Truth, outlines the factors which must be developed i n order to transform the former state of suffering and inauthenticity into i t s opposite. This path" i s methodical and developmental, rather than gratuitous or spontaneous. The path consists of the u n i f i c a t i o n of two elements, wisdom (prajna) and means (upaya). The former, assisted by the factor of meditative concentration (samadhi), enables one to overcome the root of inauthentic being-with-oneself. Unmasking the i l l u s o r y nature of the s o l i d i t y of the s e l f , i t s "thingness", wisdom functions to reveal the "emptiness" (sunyata) of one's being, one's "non-inherent existence". Method, on the other hand, i s manifested through the e t h i c a l behaviours of giving, moral d i s c i p l i n e , patience and enthusiasm which, i n turn, are l i v e d out through the adherence to the ten positive acts and avoidance of the ten negative. For example, the injunction not to k i l l i s matched with the positive 76 action of protecting others, an act of generosity. The contemporary American Zen Roshi, Robert Aitken (1984) has extended the t r a d i t i o n a l l y rather personalistic interpretation of these injunctions to include a s o c i a l - p o l i t i c a l reading. For example, i n t h i s new approach the injunction against s t e a l i n g i s extended to corporate greed and the injunction against intoxicants includes avoidance of mindless t e l e v i s i o n viewing. The path leads ultimately to the f r u i t i o n of awakening, to the "optimum mode of being" (Batchelor, 1983). The former anxiety gives way to an all-pervading joy i n the sphere of being-for-oneself while the involvement-with-others i s marked by deep concern and compassion. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , t h i s twofold manifestation of r e a l i z a t i o n i s described as the unity of the "dharmabody" (skt., Dharmakaya) and the form-body (skt., Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya), which refer respectively to being-for-oneself ( f i e l d of wisdom) and being-with-others ( f i e l d of upaya). This central Mahayanist doctrine i s succinctly expressed by the Dalai Lama (1984) as follows: In dependence on ultimate truths wisdom i s developed, and i n dependence upon conventional truths compassion and kindness toward others i s meditated. These two, wisdom and compassion, must be practiced i n union; t h i s i s the path of the union of wisdom and method (p. 198). There i s i n Buddhism, then, a clear movement from suffering to awakening as a result of following a d i s c i p l i n e of mind t r a i n i n g . This t r a i n i n g i s a highly systematic and pragmatic program of development which i s simultaneously prescriptive and descriptive. As such, i t i s able to serve as a highly 77 suggestive paradigm for understanding the transformation of despair to empowerment. The c r i t i c a l points i n t h i s transformation are the development of a l t r u i s t i c intention (bodhicitta) and the cognizing of emptiness. This l a t t e r i s not to be conceived as mere nothing or void but rather as s p e c i f i c a l l y a "negation of inherent existence", or viewed another way i s that things arise dependently. This i s the view or doctrine of dependent-arising (skt., pratitya-samutpada). "The meaning of dependent a r i s i n g i s not that phenomena Inherently arise i n dependence upon causes and conditions, but they a r i s e i n dependence upon causes and conditions l i k e a magician's i l l u s i o n s " (Dalai Lama, 1984, p. 150). The importance of t h i s point w i l l be seen when compared with the approach taken by one of the leading workers i n "despairwork", Joanna Macy (1983). Macy, a Buddhist, synthesizes the understanding of sunyata with Western equivalents of f i e l d theory and ecology. Before proceeding to her formulation, i t w i l l be worthwhile to present a further elaboration from His Holiness the Dalai Lama (1984): That emptiness form means that t h i s f i n a l nature, emptiness, which i s the absence of a basic self-propelled p r i n c i p l e of these things which e x i s t i n the manner of depending on other factors -t h i s natural voidness of inherent existence - makes possible the forms which are i t s sport i n that they are established from i t i n dependence upon conditions. Since forms are those which are empty of true establishment - since forms are the bases of emptiness -78 emptiness i s form; forms appear as l i k e r e f l e c t i o n s of emptiness (p. 95). This view, as a d e s c r i p t i o n of r e a l i t y from an "awakened" p e r s p e c t i v e , serves as both m o t i v a t i o n and c o r r e c t i v e g u i d e l i n e . S i m i l a r i l y , the h o l i s t i c view presented by Macy and her co-workers i n the I n t e r h e l p network has a t e l e o l o g i c a l and i m p e l l i n g q u a l i t y , p r o v i d i n g a goal which i s t o be v e r i f i e d through experimentation. Macy's work d e r i v e s much of i t s i n s p i r a t i o n from the S r i Lankan s e l f - h e l p movement Sarvodaya Shramadana. The philosophy of t h i s movement assumes that a root f a c t o r i n the poverty of the developing world i s a pervasive sense of powerlessness. Buddhist i n s i g h t s are a p p l i e d t o the r e l i e f of t h i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l impotence g r i p p i n g the poor of r u r a l S r i Lanka. The u n d e r l y i n g assumption of the movement, which Macy (1982) f e e l s can a l s o be v a r i o u s l y a p p l i e d t o many world problems, i s as f o l l o w s : Because r e a l i t y i s seen as dependently c o - a r i s i n g , or systemic i n nature, each and every act i s understood t o have an e f f e c t on the l a r g e r web of l i f e , and the process of development i s seen as m u l t i - d i m e n s i o n a l . One's personal awakening (purushodaya) i s i n t e g r a l t o the awakening of one's v i l l a g e (gramodaya), and both play an i n t e g r a l part i n tashodaya and vishvodaya, the awakening of one's country and one's world (p. 33) . Thus, the enlightened view of the f r u i t i o n s t a t e or wisdom, acts as both goal and t o some extent p r e s c r i p t i o n f o r a c t i o n . The Four Noble Truths are s i m i l a r l y adapted t o the current s o c i o p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y of development i n S r i Lanka. Here, the F i r s t Noble Truth, S u f f e r i n g , Is reformulated as "there i s a decadent v i l l a g e " . The second t r u t h , Cause, i s translated i n terms of the egocentricity, greed, d i s t r u s t and competition that erode v i l l a g e l i f e . "Each of these factors comes down to the individual's sense of separateness and selfishness" (p. 37). The Third Noble Truth, that there i s an end to suffering, affirms that villages can transform themselves, reawaken and can become v i t a l sources of well-being f o r t h e i r inhabitants. The Fourth Truth indicates the path whereby such transformation can be accomplished, namely, through selflessness, cooperation, sharing, constructive a c t i v i t y , pleasant speech, equality, and love. Each v i l l a g e r takes r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for t h i s unfolding of the path. These Four Truths are presented to the people with murals and In dialogue with leaders i n the context of s p e c i f i c v i l l a g e projects, maintaining a praxis of action and r e f l e c t i o n . On an affective l e v e l , the development work i s maintained by the conscious evocation through sermon, song, slogan and meditation of the Four Sublime Abodes of the Buddhas ( P a l i : Brahvaviharas) or Four Immeasurables: Metta (loving-kindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudhlta (joy i n the joy of others), and Upekkha (equanimity). The Sarvodaya movement, which has grown from a summer camp experience i n a single v i l l a g e to work i n over four thousand v i l l a g e s , provided Macy with a model of response to the anomie, anxiety and powerlessness experienced by people throughout the world. While acknowledging that various culture s p e c i f i c elements could not be translated intact to other si t u a t i o n s , she discerned within the S r i Lankan movement a value system which provided lessons which could be universally 80 applied. These lessons were " l i s t e n i n g to the people", "integration of s p i r i t u a l and s o c i a l change", "restoration of c o l l e c t i v e self-esteem", "implementation of j o i n t work projects" and "engagement of the young". Some of these lessons, Macy and her co-workers have applied i n workshops involving thousands of people i n North America and Europe which deal with the despair f e l t i n such "have" nations concerning such issues as ecological degradation, overpopulation, and nuclear threat. The guidelines for t h i s work derive from the Buddhist background of her research i n S r i Lanka but also from the work of L i f t o n , Jung, Bateson, Dabrowski, and Laszlo. The guidelines (Macy, 1983) are: 1. Acknowledge our pain for the world. 2. Validate our pain for the world. 3. Experience the pain. 4. Move through the pain to i t s source. 5. Experience the power of interconnectedness (p. 37) The principles of the Four Noble Truths are c l e a r l y discernable within the Macy's conception of the process of transformation: When the repressed material that we unblock i s distress for our world, catharsis occurs - and also something more than catharsis. That i s because t h i s distress r e f l e c t s concerns that extend beyond our separate selves, beyond our indi v i d u a l needs and wants. I t i s a testimony to our interconnectedness. Therefore, as we l e t ourselves experience and move through this pain, we move through to i t s source - reach the underlying matrix of our l i v e s . What occurs, then, i s beyond catharsis (p. 23). 81 The result of such a passage of working through pain, one arrives at the experience of power, though t h i s i s not a power "over" others. "We recognize this power by the extent to which i t promotes conscious p a r t i c i p a t i o n in l i f e . . . . The exercise of power as process demands, therefore, that we unmask and reject a l l exercises of force that obstruct our and others' participation i n l i f e " (p. 33). Research undertaken at Carleton University (Keeler & Shein, 1983) supports Macy's work. Sixteen a c t i v i s t s (eight s t i l l active, eight inactive) In the Ottawa area were interviewed. Their responses were coded and compared with a control group of eight non-activists. The questions asked were developed within a framework of stress and burn-out l i t e r a t u r e as well as Macy's (1983) formulations. , They hypothesized that: (a) despair i s f e l t by a c t i v i s t s and they are aware of i t ; (b) neither public nor private support systems of these individuals acknowledge either feelings of, or expressions of despair; (c) a c t i v i s t s deal with their despair variously; (d) a c t i v i s t s able to f e e l and express despair w i l l f e e l more energy and enthusiasm and, therefore, maintain activism; (e) those who block or deny despair w i l l have d i f f i c u l t y dealing with disturbing information and be less creative i n response; and (f) women w i l l be less numbing of despair and be more expressive (p. 32). While many of these hypotheses are very generally worded, p a r t i c u l a r l y given the small sample, the research does reveal tendencies that could be further researched. S p e c i f i c a l l y , hypotheses (a) and (d) above were confirmed. 82 V i r t u a l l y a l l of the a c t i v i s t s described themselves as experiencing various degrees of despair, hopelessness, fatalism, depression and cynicism. F i f t y percent of the a c t i v i s t s f e l t " isolated i n th e i r despair" compared with twenty-five percent of the non-activists. The researchers explained this as a consequence of the tendency of those involved i n p o l i t i c a l action to f e e l set apart from the masses who fe e l uninvolved. Interestingly, many of those not feeli n g isolated f e l t connected by virtue of th e i r despair; "I don't f e e l isolated - everyone i s j u s t as t e r r i f i e d as I am" (p. 42). The second major hypothesis confirmed supports Macy's contention that looking at, va l i d a t i n g and experiencing "pain f o r the world" may be experienced as "empowering". The. o v e r a l l finding was "that people who were s t i l l active i n the movement were f a r more emotionally expressive than those who had quit anti-nuclear work" (p. 44). This confirmation was determined with the question, "Do you ever release your feelings about the idea of nuclear war or your struggle against i t , by crying? (by laughing, by r a i s i n g your voice [and otherwise expressing anger, or by trembling and shaking])? How often might that happen? (pp. 44-47)." Of crying, Keeler and Shein (p. 44) comment: Of the eight active interviewees, four had cried and one "wanted to". Of the eight inactive people, only one had cri e d . Even though the sample i s very small, we f i n d t h i s i s a strong difference. Apparently releasing emotions through crying i s po s i t i v e l y correlated with sustained p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Thus, although they have apparently not used any s t a t i s t i c a l methods, t h i s information i s used to support the hypothesis. Their interviews and analysis 83 also suggested that crying and laughing were experienced more by a c t i v i s t s while anger release was universal. Only women, and of these only active women, experienced trembling as a release, suggesting to the researchers that "women who persist i n t h e i r public r o l e as anti-nuclear a c t i v i s t s , w i l l more l i k e l y experience deeper emotional catharsis" (p. 46). F i n a l l y , the a c t i v i s t s tended to express the i r feelings i n both public and private much more re a d i l y than non-activists, and the a c t i v i s t s showed much greater enthusiasm for work than the inactive group. While hampered by sample s i z e , by ambiguity i n questions and responses, the study supported the researchers' assumption that the more expressive a person i s , the more r e s i l i e n t he/she would be i n p o l i t i c a l action. Incidental findings included confirmation of a widespread sense of "psychic numbing" which the authors f e l t would be of c r i t i c a l importance i n the pra c t i c a l work of mental health practitioners addressing these issues. This section began with an outline of Buddhist principles that could be seen as paradigmatic to the transformation of despair. Joanna Macy's work, inspired by a Buddhist viewpoint, i s now widely disseminated throughout the "Western world". The Keeler and Shein research was an attempt to confirm some of Macy's assumptions and has indeed provided confirmation of some of her central insights. However, the Buddhist paradigm remains i n the background, an informing and he u r i s t i c structure which can provide guidance for both action and research. The Christian v i s i o n s i m i l a r l y provides a view and a goal. I t would be possible to draw from the Christian perspective equally evocative insights as those discussed above from the Buddhist t r a d i t i o n . At thi s time, however, the author w i l l not attempt to do so. Buddhism has been 84 focused upon since i t has such immediate pa r a l l e l s to e x i s t e n t i a l thought and because i t has been, through the work of Joanna Macy, a centr a l l y informing philosophy i n the development of despair and empowerment work. For anyone wishing an elaboration of the Christian response to nuclear war, an ideal place to begin i s with the writings of Thomas Merton (1980) and secondarily with the work of the Society of Friends (19 ). 85 EXISTENTIALISM The current of Western philosophic through known as existentialism and i t s psychotherapeutic application by such practitioners as Rollo May (1950, 1958, 1961, 1981), Victor Frankl (1963), Eugene Gendlin (1964, 1978), and Alvin Mahrer (1978) has i t s roots i n the pre-Bomb Europe of the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, such precursors of the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t "movement" as Kierkegaard and Nietsche speak as harbingers of a c u l t u r a l breakdown which may be seen to culminate i n the absurd a t r o c i t i e s of the twentieth century. Existentialism, both philosophical and psychological, provides both methodology and insight which i s r e a d i l y applicable to our question. In p a r t i c u l a r , c e r t a i n themes common to " e x i s t e n t i a l i s t " thinkers are revealed i n our r e f l e c t i o n s and questioning concerning the transformation of despair to empowerment. Pr i n c i p a l among these are: 1. the meaning of anxiety and despair 2. the meaning of g u i l t 3. the human stance towards l i m i t s i t u a t i o n s , including death, a l l of which represent non-being 4. the capacity for awareness, choice, and commitment, and 5. the nature of courage. Existentialism i s very d i f f i c u l t to pin down as a particular "philosophy" as consisting of certain agreed upon convictions. John Macquarrle (1972), the translator of Heidegger, suggests that existentialism, rather than being a "school" or "philosophy" i n i t s own rig h t may best be considered as a " s t y l e of philosophizing" which exhibits a number of common ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s . 86 These include the attitude of beginning one's researches with the human subject i n her or his entirety, i n the whole spectrum of human experience. He cites Unamuno i n th i s context: "he philosophizes with not reason alone, but with the w i l l , the feelings, with the f l e s h and with the tones, with the whole soul and with the whole body" (1972, p.3 ). And central to th i s approach i s the concept of 'existence'. This concept, upon which so many words have been written (e.g., Heidegger's Being and Time, Sartre's Being and Nothingness) i s ri p e for elaboration but ba s i c a l l y points to the fact that humans f i n d themselves "thrown" into the world. As Sartre has i t i n the c l a s s i c formulation, "existence precedes essence". Any d e f i n i t i o n s , any ideas which we can hold about essence or what i t means to be human, are necessarily underwritten by the fact that we already e x i s t . More than that, i t seems that t h i s 'Existence' i s open inasmuch as i t can accommodate a plenitude of essences. I t i s a hallmark of e x i s t e n t i a l thought that the awareness of 'existence' i s maintained throughout one's thoughtful explorations of meaning. Further, i t i s i n the interplay between existence (and Being) and non-existence (or non-Being) that many of the themes treated by e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s are explored and a r t i c u l a t e d . In t h i s section, the author intends to review some of the thoughts and insights a r i s i n g from this stance which bear upon his own re f l e c t i o n s and research. The author w i l l b r i e f l y examine some philosophical precursors (Kierkegaard, Heidegger and T i l l i c h ) , present the ideas of some of the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t psychologists, notably May and Frankl, examine b r i e f l y the thought of Fr e i r e , who has applied t h i s s t y l e of thinking to enabling s o c i o p o l i t i c a l change, and f i n a l l y regard other research conducted 87 i n the general area of empowerment that bears d i r e c t l y upon my work which proceeds from a existential-phenomenological base. Philosophical Precursors  Kierkegaard It i s with Soren Kierkegaard ( 1 8 1 3 - 1 8 5 5 ) that I s h a l l begin t h i s survey as i t i s Kierkegaard i n whom we f i r s t discover an analysis of existence which places at i t s core the experience of anxiety or despair. For Kierkegaard, anxiety i s an inescapable aspect of humanness. Already discernible i n childhood, anxiety ultimately results from the contradiction between p o s s i b i l i t y and necessity, between freedom and determinism, between the factors of the divine and those of creatureliness. Anxiety i s concomitant with freedom and i s described by Kierkegaard as the "dizziness of freedom". Both Rollo May ( 1 9 5 0 ) and Ernest Becker ( 1 9 7 3 ) have written succinctly on the psychological implications of Kierkegaard's analysis of anxiety. According to Becker ( 1 9 7 3 ) . the main focus of man's anxiety (as articulated by Kierkegaard) i s the knowledge of one's own death which i s the ultimate marker of the human's "sheer ambiguity and of his complete powerlessness to overcome that ambiguity, to be straightforwardly an animal or an angel" (p. 6 9 ) . Thus, anxiety i s an inevitable aspect of human being, given by the paradoxical s i t u a t i o n of creatureliness and the freedom of p o s s i b i l i t y . G u i l t i s s i m i l a r l y constellated as an e x i s t e n t i a l fact of our being. G u i l t and anxiety are given together with freedom. Anxiety arises from p o s s i b i l i t y . G u i l t follows, r e s u l t i n g on the one hand from the refusal to accept and 88 manifest p o s s i b i l i t i e s , the refusal to grow, or on the other hand, the acceptance of the challenge to grow into the new p o s s i b i l i t i e s and thus negate modes and patterns of being previously held by oneself or others. Humans struggle to adapt to t h e i r given s i t u a t i o n with a variety of responses. I t i s these responses which are analyzed i n "The Concept of Dread" (1844/1 957). Responding to the anxiety inherent i n being, humans can take mistaken courses or they may discover anxiety as a "school", an i n v i t a t i o n to a self-transcendence through which they establish a relationship with God, the ultimate power, i n f i n i t u d e . The mistaken, or inauthentic modes, include what we would c a l l normal (Kierkegaard's " p h i l l s t i n e " ) as well as the neurotic and psychotic. The basic tendencies of inauthenticity (whether normal, neurotic or psychotic) are to emphasize one of the two poles of p o s s i b i l i t y and necessity while excluding and denying the other. Schizophrenic psychosis results from the loss of the s e l f i n the i n f i n i t e realm of the possible, while depressive psychosis i s the submersion i n the i r o n prison of necessity. The "normal" individual who i s able to avoid either of those extremes i s instead "tranquilized by the t r i v i a l " . These people are those who have learned to adjust themselves to the demands of the society as given, who follow s o c i a l rules (which include the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of states into f r i e n d l y and h o s t i l e and the acceptance of prevailing g e o p o l i t i c a l " r e a l i t i e s " ) . There are also "introverts" who, while maintaining a dim sense of p o s s i b i l i t y , nurture i t secretly with a subtle sense of superior difference from the majority of their fellows. And l a s t l y , there are those who throw themselves wholeheartedly into a hedonsitic immersion i n l i f e , attempting to 89 defy or ignore l i m i t s while wrestling the maximum power and pleasure from their l i v e s . ( I t i s th i s impulse that i s elsewhere described by Robert L i f t o n (1982) as "nuclearism", the worship of a destructive technology created out of an exploited p o s s i b i l i t y by man.) In d i s t i n c t i o n to those who attempt i n so many ways to avoid anxiety, Kierkegaard posits the person who accepts anxiety as a teacher. For such a person, "anxiety enters i n t o his soul and searches i t thoroughly, constraining out of him a l l the f i n i t e and petty, and leading him hence whither he would go" (1957, p. 142). Only through opening to the dread of anxiety i s i t possible for the indiv i d u a l to winnow out a l l that which i s f a l s e - the unconscious supports which are residual from infancy and childhood as well as the l i m i t e d and l i m i t i n g ideological constructs given by one's h i s t o r i c a l epoch. As Becker (1973) summarizes Kierkegaard's message, one must pass through anxiety, to arrive at f a i t h , the f a i t h that one's very creatureliness has some meaning to a Creator; that despite one's true i n s i g n i f i c a n c e , weakness, death, one's existence has meaning i n some ultimate sense because i t exists within an external and i n f i n i t e scheme of things brought about and maintained to some kind of design by some creative force (p. 90). Applying these thoughts to our current nuclear dilemma, i t i s by entering into anxiety that one i s able to break the bonds of one's s o c i a l - h i s t o r i c a l conditioning which tend to either numb or create rabid ideologues. New p o s s i b i l i t i e s of response to our c o l l e c t i v e c r i s i s are revealed i n the discovery of meaning which has been revealed i n the school of anxiety. 90 F i n a l l y , i t i s s a l i e n t to note that the anxiety inherent i n being i s never irrevocably overcome. I t remains, given with our ambiguous nature, but can now be used "as an eternal spring into new dimensions of thought and t r u s t " ( i b i d , P. 92). Heidegger Martin Heidegger (1899- ) i s the next " e x i s t e n t i a l i s t " thinker whose ref l e c t i o n s bear d i r e c t l y upon our theme. The reason for t h i s i s the i m p l i c i t connection between our attempt to discover a way to transform our despair concerning the nuclear threat and our relationship with our inevitable death. Heidegger has been described as the one out of " a l l the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t philosophers .... who has carried out the most detailed study of the e x i s t e n t i a l meaning of death and who incorporated i t into his philosophy of existence" (Macquarrie, 1972, p. 151). To be thrown into despair because of the threat of nuclear annihilation presupposes an awareness of one's own f i n i t u d e . Imaginally, the bomb becomes the occasion of one's death, as well as, presumably, the demise of a l l that one holds dear, meaningful, or sacred. Heidegger, following and agreeing with Keirkegaard on t h i s point, asserts a d i s t i n c t i o n between "anxiety" and "fear". For both, fear i s fear of something d e f i n i t e i n the world, whereas anxiety i s a diffuse apprehension (see also May, 1950, p. 150 f f ) though i s conceptualized somewhat d i f f e r e n t l y by the two men. As we have seen, anxiety for Kierkegaard i s bound up with the human response to freedom and p o s s i b i l i t y . For Heidegger, "that i n the face of which one i s anxious i s completely i n d e f i n i t e . Not only does th i s indefiniteness 91 leave f a c t i c a l l y undecided which entity within the world i s threatening us, but i t also t e l l s us that e n t i t i e s within the world are not 'relevant' at a l l " (Heidegger, 1962, p. 231). These re f l e c t i o n s leave us i n a b i t of quandry regarding the nature of our response to the nuclear threat. I t i s true that the bomb i s a thing, something d e f i n i t e , i n which case we are concerned with a "fear", but on the other hand, we are dealing with "anxiety" inasmuch as (a) we grapple with a largely imaginal thing, and (b) our confrontation with t h i s "thing" opens us d i r e c t l y to an awareness of nothingness occasioned not only by our indiv i d u a l death but the p o s s i b i l i t y of the eradication of a l l s i g n i f i c a t o r s of meaning. (When we turn shortly to Rollo May, greater c l a r i t y w i l l be thrown on th i s point.) Heidegger i s cer t a i n l y concerned with an explication of Being-as-such. In attempting to understanding Being, he begins with an exploration of human existence, which he describes with the term Dasein (being-there). In Being and  Time, Heidegger questions how t h i s Dasein can be approached and comprehended i n i t s t o t a l i t y . This i s answered "by the statement that to envisage Dasein as a whole i t i s necessary to understand i t as "being-toward-death (Sein zum Tode)" (Reindhardt, 1960, p. 137). Being-in-the-world inevitably involves the overwhelming fact of having been born and ultimately dying. Thus, Being-in-the-world e n t a i l s anxiety: "That i n the face of which we have anxiety i s thrown Being-in-the-world; that which we have anxiety about i s our potentiality-for-being-in-the-world" (1962, p. 235). Just as for Kierkegaard, there were possible a variety of responses to anxiety, some authentic and some not, so for Heidegger are there d i f f e r i n g stances towards death i t s e l f . 92 Heidegger contrasts the inauthentic mode of das Man with resolute, authentic Dasein. Das Man i s the featureless and anonymous mass man, who l i v e s unconsciously according to convention and who attempts to reduce the a c t u a l i t y of one's own death to an abstract proposition, a s t a t i s t i c , something that happens to someone else. Das Man appears incapable of responding resonantly to the threat of death posed to his or her own being and thus maintains a numbness i n the face of the nuclear threat. The authentic understanding of my own "being-toward-death," on the other hand, restores to me my true selfhood; i t personalizes me, and i t also imparts to me true insight i n t o the Being of my fellowmen.... By overcoming i n my "freedom-toward-death the self-delusions of Das Man, I can at l a s t arrive at an understanding of my Dasein as a "whole" (Reinhardt, i b i d , p. 138). How does t h i s awakening to authenticity come about? For Heidegger i t i s conscience, as a c a l l from the depths of one's being, from "one's authentic s e l f struggling to be born" to "the inauthentic or f a l l e n s e l f , the s e l f that i s dominated by the 'they' and entangled i n concerns that have come to determine i t rather than to be determined by i t " (Macquarrie, 1972, p. 166). And t h i s " c a l l discourses i n the uncanny mode of keeping s i l e n t . And i t does thi s only because, i n c a l l i n g the one to whom the appeal i s made, i t does not c a l l him into the public talk of the 'they' but c a l l s him back from t h i s into the reticence of his existent p o t e n t i a l i t y for being" (Heidegger, 1962, p. 322). 93 F i n a l l y , whereas for Kierkegaard human completion and true selfhood was discovered i n r e l a t i o n to the divine, i n the "moment before God," for Heidegger the completion i s discovered precisely i n the stance, or moment, before death. "To anticipate death with resoluteness i s to f i n d a certain wholeness i n i t . I t sets a boundary to my existence and so makes possible a unit of existence. Furthermore, as that p o s s i b i l i t y that i s above a l l my own and that I must take upon myself, death sets me free from the 'they' (Macquarrie, 1972, p. 171). Applying these r e f l e c t i o n s to the question of the structure of a transformation from despair to empowerment, what i s most apparent i s the implication that the t r u l y desperate s i t u a t i o n l s that i n which one's despair or anxiety i s not squarely faced. So f a r , through our cursory examination of Kierkegaard and Heidegger, what i s revealed i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of uncovering the optimum qualities of human existence precisely through opening to what would seem to be at f i r s t sight the negation of wholeness. This reveals that any conceptualization of a beneficial transformation which regards i t s o l e l y as a quantifiable s h i f t of one state to another through time may tend to ignore the qualitative and imbedded rel a t i o n s h i p of the two experiences. T l l l i c h Paul T i l l i c h (1952), through h i s influence on Rollo May, provides something of a bridge from the philosophical precursors of e x i s t e n t i a l psychology to such practitioners as May, Frankl, and Jourard. In addition, he provides a focus upon the concept of courage which i s very closely linked with any conception of empowerment. 94 For T i l l i c h , courage reveals I t s e l f i n two modes: ontological and eth i c a l . Ontological courage i s linked with the nature and structure of Being i t s e l f . It i s "the universal and essential self-affirmation of one's being (p.14)." E t h i c a l courage i s a virtue among other virtues. I t i s a human act which i s revealed i n response to fear. Ontological courage i s linked t o response to anxiety, the human reaction to the threat of nonbeing. In T i l l i c h ' s analysis, anxiety shows i t s e l f i n three forms: "that of fate and death ( b r i e f l y , the anxiety of death), that of emptiness and loss of meaning ( b r i e f l y , the anxiety of meaninglessness), that of g u i l t and condemnation ( b r i e f l y , the anxiety of condemnation)" (p. 49). Each of these forms i s i n t r i n s i c to existence as such and are not abnormal or neurotic. "The anxiety of death i s the permanent horizon within which the anxiety of fate i s at work" (p. 51). Death i s the primary threat of non-being and i s the ultimate contingency which conditions human l i f e , standing as i t were behind a l l other contingent factors of l i f e which are experienced as "fat e " . Non-being threatens us through a l l intimations of death which range through our awareness of the passage of time, our sense of loneliness and estrangement and bodily and mental i n f i r m i t i e s . In the face of this type of anxiety we attempt to transform i t i n t o fear "and to meet courageously the objects within the threat i s embodied" (p. 53), a l l the while unable to f u l l y eradicate the awareness that the source of our society i s the human s i t u a t i o n . Meaninglessness, the absolute threat of nonbeing to s p i r i t u a l s e l f - a f f i r m a t i o n , i s anxiety about the loss of an ultimate concern. Emptiness, a r e l a t i v e threat, i s occasioned by loss of s p e c i f i c contents of meaning. This manifestation of anxiety reveals the common concern e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s share for 95 the dimension of meaning. "He i s human only by understanding and shaping r e a l i t y , both his world and himself, according to meanings and values" (p. 5 7 ) . Central to t h i s form of anxiety i s doubt which l s given on an e x i s t e n t i a l l e v e l by virtue of our dividedness, the subject/object s p l i t , the "separation from the whole of r e a l i t y , the lack of universal p a r t i c i p a t i o n " (p. 5 6 ) . Again, anxiety i s received as a given which demands a response. While anxiety about death threatens us on t o l o g i c a l l y , and anxiety about meaningless threatens us s p i r i t u a l l y , we are threatened morally by anxiety of g u i l t . This anxiety arises as a res u l t of the ambiguity of our l i m i t e d response to the demands of being, the f u l f i l l m e n t of a destiny which i s f e l t as an imperative but lacks s p e c i f i c a l l y given contents. These three forms of anxiety are interwoven and lead toward a f u l f i l l m e n t i n despair, the boundary-line s i t u a t i o n i n which nonbeing i s experienced as victorious. "The pain of despair i s that a being i s aware of i t s e l f as unable to affirm i t s e l f because of the power of non-being" (p. 61). T i l l i c h argues that a l l human l i f e can be interpreted as an attempt to avoid despair and though most of us are successful i n t h i s endeavour, the potential of i t continues to condition our experience of and response to l i f e . T i l l i c h argues that i n periods of h i s t o r i c a l s t a b i l i t y , the three forms of anxiety and t h e i r culmination i n despair are overcome through p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n c o l l e c t i v e systems of protective courage. In periods of great change, such as our own, such techniques no longer work and the indi v i d u a l tends to be thrown upon her or his own resources, i s i n d i v i d u a l l y challenged to respond. Courage and despair are both possible responses. While courage cannot overcome anxiety since i t i s on t o l o g i c a l l y given, i t i s able to take "the 96 anxiety of non-being into i t s e l f . Courage i s sel f - a f f i r m a t i o n * i n spite of*, namely, i n spite of non-being" (p. 70). This courage which, as a response to anxiety turns away from despair, i s described i n some d e t a i l by T i l l i c h . B a s i c a l l y , he affirms two aspects of courage, the courage to be-as-a-part and the courage to be as oneself. He then seeks a courage-to-be which unites both forms by transcending them. The courage of being-a-part (which manifests i t s e l f h i s t o r i c a l l y as to t a l i t a r i a n i s m on the one side and democratic conformity on the other) consists of the courage which affirms the power of being i n which the s e l f participates, the power of being a group, of a movement, of essences, of "the other". This courage w i l l i n g l y takes into i t s e l f the anxiety of surrender to non-being i n the form of "the other". But the courage to be i s always both t h i s courage to be part, to participate, and the courage to be oneself, i n interdependence. I t i s when these qu a l i t i e s are s p l i t that we see the p o l i t i c a l l y pathological manifestations of the courage to be a part i n t o t a l i t a r i a n i s m (whether of the l e f t or r i g h t ) or conformism (and consumerism). The courage to be oneself (which manifests pathologically i n the extremes of individualism) i s sel f - a f f i r m a t i o n of the s e l f as i t s e l f . Carried to extremes, t h i s culminates i n the "loss of the world" j u s t as the courage to be a part can culminate i n loss of the s e l f . The transcendent synthesis of these aspects of courage i s discovered by T i l l i c h i n a r e l i g i o u s realm which yet transcends Theism. Only "a power of being that i s greater than the power of oneself and the power of one's world" 97 (p. 152) i s capable of providing a courage beyond the threat of nonbeing. This resolution has the character of f a i t h . Faith " i s the state of being grasped by the power of being which transcends everything that i s and i n which everything that participates" (p. 168). This f a i t h has three aspects: 1. the power of being i s experienced even i n face of manifestations of non-being; 2. the experience of non-being and meanlnglessness are dependent on being and meaning; 3. the acceptance of being accepted (by the power of being). This transcendent and absolute f a i t h exists beyond conceptualization but moves within a l l affirming concepts and i n s t i t u t i o n s and i s co-existent with courage and the power of being. As such, In T i l l i c h ' s analysis, courage and being are ontol o g i c a l l y interpenetrating. He asserts that such courage/being reveals i t s e l f within anxiety when t r a d i t i o n a l modes of escape from anxiety have l o s t t h e i r meaning, as they have today. Thus, T i l l i c h captures (one might say by a philosophical sleight-of-hand) meaning and courage from meanlnglessness and despair. "The courage to be Is rooted i n the God who appears when God has disappeared i n the anxiety of doubt" (p. 183). E x i s t e n t i a l Psychology E x i s t e n t i a l psychology and psychotherapy as an attitude toward therapy focuses on the structure of the human being and his/her experience. As such, i t i s a reaction against the tendencies within both depth psychology (e.g., 98 Freud) and behaviourism which tend to be d e t e r m i n i s t i c , r e d u c t i o n i s t i c , and mechanist ic and focus upon technique. E x i s t e n t i a l psychology, on the other hand, focuses upon the r e l a t i o n s h i p between being and freedom as the under ly ing q u a l i t i e s of human ex is tence . Ro l lo May and V ik tor Rankl i l l u m i n a t e t h i s approach. R o l l o May In r e l a t i o n to the research here , May's most t e l l i n g c o n t r i b u t i o n ( s i m i l a r to what we have noted with Kierkegaard, Heidegger and T i l l i c h ) i s h i s response to the l i m i t - s i t u a t i o n o f anx ie ty , d e s p a i r . His response r e v e a l s i t s e l f i n both therapeut ic p r a c t i c e and o r i e n t a t i o n towards the human c o n d i t i o n i t s e l f . E s s e n t i a l l y concerned wi th the maximization o f human freedom i n the face of f a t e or d e s t i n y , May emphasizes the importance of awareness and acknowledgement of l i m i t s , i n c l u d i n g the l i m i t of anx ie ty . Consciousness i t s e l f under l ies the capac i ty t o transcend the given s i t u a t i o n i n which one f inds onese l f and i s the bas is of psycho log ica l freedom (May 1960b). S e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s revea ls that the sub jec t i s one-who-has-a-world and thus can do something about h i s / h e r problems. From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , "authent ic d e s p a i r i s that emotion which forces one to come to terms with one 's dest iny" (1981, p. 235). Despair f u n c t i o n s to wipe away s u p e r f i c i a l hopes and s a t i s f a c t i o n s . Despa i r , f o r May as i t i s f o r K ierkegaard , i s the r e s u l t of the ambiguous synthes is of the f i n i t e and i n f i n i t e which i s the human be ing . Furthermore, despai r i s a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r the experience of j o y . Joy as "the exper ience of p o s s i b i l i t y , the 99 consciousness of one's freedom as one confronts one's destiny" i s only possible through the confrontation with despair ( i b i d , p. 234f). This paradoxical relationship between despair and joy, and between anxiety and affirmation, i s elsewhere e x p l i c i t l y addressed by May i n the context of the nuclear threat (May, 1982). He stresses there that i t i s absolutely essential to acknowledge the r e a l i t y of e v i l and the daimonic (as manifestations of nonbeing). People a c t i v e l y engaged i n working for peace must, he says, acknowledge e v i l and the "shadow realm" i n i t s various manifestations of meanlnglessness, emptiness, and death, or else be defeated by one or two tendencies. I f one i s unwilling to look at the daimonic (as an essential attribute of human existence), the one w i l l either project that e v i l upon the other (e.g., the Russians, the Cubans, or "culture") or lose oneself i n a Pollyanna narcissism which i s nothing but a self-seeking security, "optimism as a reaction formation to hopelessness" (p. 22). Against these two options, May offers a philosophy which "can stand regardless of f a i l u r e i n our actions or temporary despair" ( o p . c i t . ) . This r e s u l t s from the acknowledgement of our v u l n e r a b i l i t y to nonbeing (as e v i l ) and the meaning/power which stems from our acting i n s p i t e of i t . Frankl That Viktor Frankl's therapeutic approach to being and meaning, Logotherapy, was crystalized by his experiences i n a German concentration camp takes on heightened significance i n l i g h t of analogies drawn by anti-nuclear a c t i v i s t s . Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, for example, has described the 100 Trident submarine system as "the Auschwitz of Puget sound" (Douglass, 1983, p. 85). S i m i l a r i t y , members of the Agape Community whose mode of protest i s to witness the white t r a i n which transports warheads from thei r Pantex, Texas, o r i g i n to Bangor, are often struck by the analogy between that t r a i n and those which carried the Jews and others to the i r deaths i n concentration camps. Frankl himself l i n k s the two antiworlds of camp and bomb i n his 1983 address to the Third World Congress of Logotheraphy (1984). In closing, he admonished his l i s t e n e r s to alertness: "So, l e t us be a l e r t - alert i n a twofold sense: Since Auschwitz we know what man i s capable of. And since Hiroshima, we know what i s at stake." What L i f t o n (1979) has described as psychic numbing can be d i r e c t l y experienced by reading Frankl, especially his account of the camps i n Man's  Search for Meaning. There i s l i k e l y such a great discrepancy between the context i n which the reading i s being done and the description which unfolds the grey h e l l of the camps that the mind boggles and stumbles. We ask, i s i t possible, or how could i t be possible? Or we weep knowing that not only was I t possible but i t was r e a l , or we rage at i t . Or put i t down, and away, as we put down and away the veiled anxiety that hovers around the nucleus of our awareness of the Bomb. Frankl shares with other e x i s t e n t i a l i s t thinkers an emphasis on freedom. He d i f f e r s with some (notably the French "schools" epitomized by Sartre) on the core issue of "meaning". "What i s demanded of man i s not," he proclaims, "as some e x i s t e n t i a l i s t philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of l i f e , but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp i t s unconditional meanlngfulness i n r a t i o n a l terms" (1984, p. 122). 101 Against n i h i l i s t i c endurance, Frankl proposes a primary human motivation i n the " w i l l to meaning", the s t r i v i n g to f i n d a concrete meaning i n one's personal existence. I t i s j u s t such meaning that l s threatened by the specter of nuclear annihilation (whether that functions as a sign of the l i t e r a l end or as symbol for a l l the life-negating tendencies of t h i s age). While meaning i n l i f e may be discovered i n three different ways, through a c t i v i t y (works), experience (aesthetics), or suff e r i n g , i t i s the l a t t e r with which we are cent r a l l y concerned. I t i s i n the extremes of hopelessness, of irrevocable fate (be i t r e a l i z e d camp or anticipated bomb) that the w i l l to meaning receives i t s ultimate t e s t . "What, then, matters i s to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at i t s best, which i s to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into a human achievement" (p. 116). Because of the inherent core of freedom possessed by and possessing each human, i t i s possible to choose one's attitude to suffering (even i n the extremes of hopeless conditions). In the extremes of the camps, Frankl came to see certain core truths concerning meaning. He found that " i t did not r e a l l y matter what we expected from l i f e , but rather what l i f e expected from us" (p. 85). I f l i f e demanded suffering, then i t was i n responding to that destiny as a task that the individual discovered a meaning to l i f e . Frankl stresses that I t was the act of choosing rather than merely the r e f l e c t i o n upon these ideas which embodied one's meaning. In the act of choosing, a space of freedom i s created i n which one achieves self-transcendence. This dynamic i s u t i l i z e d i n the logotherapeutic technique of "paradoxical intention". "Logotherapy bases i t s technique c a l l e d "paradoxical intention" on 1 02 the twofold fact that fear brings about that which one i s a f r a i d of, and that hyper-intention makes impossible what one wishes" (p. 126). By wishing, even momentarily, for what one i s avoiding, the vicious c i r c l e of a phobia may be cut. This pr i n c i p l e can be applied to our concern with the dread of nuclear war which unacknowledged eventuates i n psychic numbing. What we wish to avoid (both proximately i n terms of fear, g u i l t , anger, g r i e f and ultimately i n terms of personal and planetary death and annihilation) can be faced. The p r i n c i p l e of the paradoxical wish i s applied through the invocatory i n v i t a t i o n of images of what we fear. Thus, as fear i s replaced with a wish, anxiety i s dispelled. This procedure presupposes the "basic capacity to detach one from oneself" (p. 127). I t Is t h i s capacity for self-transcendence which marks the human as human. I t provides the space for self-determination i n which one takes r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for moral choices. Frankl's logotherapy, the therapeutic application of these p r i n c i p l e s , i s designed to uncover the hidden logos (meaning) of man's existence. Thus, i t i s si m i l a r to psychoanalysis which also seeks to unmask what i s hidden and unknown. However, i t d i f f e r s i n focusing not upon deterministic i n s t i n c t s but rather upon the t e l e o l o g i c a l w i l l to meaning. What i s essential i s t h i s f u l f i l l i n g a meaning. One f i n a l and direct relevance of Frankl's thought to t h i s thesis i s found i f we regard the nuclear question as a f i e l d or context i n which meaning i s sought. For many, the nuclear threat i s merely ignored. P o l i t i c i a n s or other "experts" w i l l deal with i t . I t ' l l never happen. Or else the bomb i s embraced as a weapon which alone can save us from Communist domination. 103 For many others, however, the nuclear threat does pose I t s e l f as a question. It i s there, as a context i n which meaning may be created or openly sought that the nuclear p e r i l i s revealed i n i t s e x i s t e n t i a l dimensions. For those who open themselves to t h i s question, there seems to arise the p o s s i b i l i t y of a healing response, a response f u l l of meaning which answers as well the pervasive alienation and anomie noted by so many observers of contemporary culture. Freire B r a z i l i a n educator Paulo Freire i s p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant for t h i s thesis for two reasons: 1. he provides an a r t i c u l a t i o n of empowerment which synthesizes the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l dimension with the e x i s t e n t i a l , and 2. his educational theory provides a model of transformation of consciousness which could be applied to the nuclear question. For F r e i r e , the primary "problem" for humans i s the struggle for humanization. "Within history, i n concrete, objective contexts, both humanization and dehumanization are p o s s i b i l i t i e s for man as an uncompleted being conscious of his incompletlon" (1970, p. 27). Humanization entails the a b i l i t y to l i v e simultaneously i n and with the world. Animals l i v e only in the world, without time and without o b j e c t i v i t y . Only humans, "as open beings, are able to achieve the complex operation of simultaneously transforming the world by the i r action and grasping and expressing the world's r e a l i t y i n thei r creative language" (1970b, p. 453). 104 While Freire has been cent r a l l y concerned with the struggles of those of Third World "cultures of silence" to become more "human", his ideas have relevance as well for F i r s t World cultures which "have a voice". Instead of possessing the minimal consciousness of the culture of silence, members of highly technological, complex societies such as ours possess a "fanatic or i r r a t i o n a l consciousness". Such "mass" societies are t y p i f i e d by t h e i r "specialisms", which narrow the area of knowledge, by "irrationalisms" which reduce humans to superior types of robots (as i n forms of behaviourism), and by ways of thinking which are as standardized as ways of dressing or food. Technology has "de^problematized" r e a l i t y , hinders capacity for c r i t i c a l thinking, and becomes a species of new d i v i n i t y (cf. Lifton's "nuclearism"). Thus, even "director" societies are dehumanized. To overcome such dehumanization, Freire posits the process of "conscientizatlon". This refers to the process i n which men "not as recipients, but as knowing subjects, achieve a deepening awareness both of the socio-cultural r e a l i t y which shapes t h e i r l i v e s and of their capacity to transform that r e a l i t y " (1970b, p. 452). This process culminates In humanization. Humanization (for which we might read "empowerment") i s the manifestation and exercise of the f a c u l t i e s of r e f l e c t i o n , I n t e n t i o n a l i t y , temporality and transcendence, the l a t t e r being the "capacity of human consciousness to surpass the l i m i t a t i o n s of objective configuration" (cf. Frankl*s w i l l to meaning). The condition of optimum being for Freire thus consists of optimum c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n - "engagement and objective distance, understanding r e a l i t y as object, understanding the significance of men's action upon objective r e a l i t y , creative communication 1 05 about the object by means of language, p l u r a l i t y of responses to a single challenge" (p. 454). These f a c u l t i e s seem to stanci i n sharp d i s t i n c t i o n to the wishes of the technomilitary propogandists who would have the members of mass societies (be they West or East) accept t h e i r premises of both human nature and technological f i x . While Freire's pedagogical theory has again developed within the context of the oppressed, i t nevertheless sheds some l i g h t on the transformative process and as such may be useful to us (1970, 1970a). I l l i t e r a t e s immersed i n the "culture of silence" and "mass" persons of the "director" societies both lack the awareness that they are capable of transforming the world through th e i r actions. Generally, persons i n democratic mass soci e t i e s maintain an i l l u s i o n of action (Marcuse, 1964; Fromm, 1965) and choice, but are unable to discern at either the ideological or phenomenological l e v e l the contingencies of the i r existence. They maintain an i l l u s i o n of freedom. Fr e i r e asserts that i s "only beings who can r e f l e c t upon the fact that they are determined are capable of freeing themselves" (1970b, p. 453). While Freire*s pedagogy i s applied primarily to the teaching of l i t e r a c y , the principles are generallzable. At heart, the transformative (learning) s i t u a t i o n consists i n the posing of a problem, or the recognition that one i s indeed confronted with a problem. The problem i s depicted, re-presented, i n such a way that r e f l e c t i o n can take place. Central to t h i s process are the concepts of "the word" and "dialogue". It i s through dialogue, mediated by words, that r e a l i t y i s apprehended and subsequently transformed. The "word" here i s a l i v i n g thing, not the 1 06 "a l i ena ted and a l i ena t ing blah" of the technocrat or bureaucrat . The authent ic word involves both r e f l e c t i o n and a c t i o n . It i s a l i v e . The Imagery o f , and the language of nuclear a n n i h i l a t i o n breaks through the numbing verbal isms of p o l i t i c i a n s and motivates to a c t i o n . When words (images, symbols) a re thus a l i v e and au thent ic , a problem (the nuclear threat ) can be presented and grappled as a problem. The c r e a t i o n of t h i s c r i t i c a l distance (which, I may add , presumably requ i res some degree of c a t h a r s i s as part of the a r t i c u l a t i o n of the problem) i s concurrent with the development and heightening of consc iousness . It i s worth read ing F r e i r e (1970) on t h i s point : Men, however, because they are aware o f themselves and thus of the world - because they are conscious be ings- e x i s t i n a d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the determinat ion o f l i m i t s and t h e i r own freedom. As they separate themselves from the wor ld , which they o b j e c t i f y , as they separate themselves from t h e i r own a c t i v i t y , as they l o c a t e the seat of t h e i r d e c i s i o n s i n themselves and i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s with the world and o t h e r s , men overcome the s i t u a t i o n s which l i m i t them: the " l i m i t - s i t u a t i o n s " . Once perce ived by men as f e t t e r s , as obstacles to t h e i r l i b e r a t i o n , these s i t u a t i o n s stand out In r e l i e f from the background, r e v e a l i n g t h e i r t rue nature as concrete h i s t o r i c a l dimensions of a given r e a l i t y . . . Thus, i t l s not the l i m i t - s i t u a t i o n s i n and of themselves which create a c l imate of hopelessness, but r a t h e r , how they are perce ived by men at a given h i s t o r i c a l moment; whether they appear as fetters or insurmountable barriers. As c r i t i c a l perception embodied i n action, a climate of hope and confidence develops which leads men to attempt to overcome the l i m i t situations (p. 69). 108 E - P Research on Despair and Empowerment An extensive search revealed l i t t l e academic research into the topic of the transformation of despair to empowerment i n the nuclear age. The only dissertation closely related to th i s topic found was The Emergence of  Empowerment (K i e f f e r , 1981) which dealt more s p e c i f i c a l l y with grassroots activism among formerly marginal i n d i v i d u a l s . The working definitions of empowerment i n that study builds d i r e c t l y on Freire's (1970) considerations. " I t i s a recognition of one's a b i l i t y to act consciously and c r i t i c a l l y upon the world, and to "transform the world" i n consequence, that constitutes a working d e f i n i t i o n of 'empowerment'" (p. 21). I t i s "a subjective sense of capa b i l i t y and consciousness" (p. 22). Ki e f f e r further elaborated t h i s core sense of "empowerment" to include the concept of "participatory competence" composed of four primary components: positive self-image, a b i l i t y to develop sophisticated understanding of s o c i a l systems, a b i l i t y to use the resources of given s o c i a l systems, and the a b i l i t y to perform e f f e c t i v e l y In a range of alternate roles i n the s o c i a l environment. Substantial differences exist between K i e f f e r (1981) and t h i s study. He drew his co-researchers exclusively from marginal populations, speaking with individuals who had consistently experienced themselves removed from the sources of p o l i t i c a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l power. They were o r i g i n a l l y members of what Freire would c a l l the "culture of silence", members ( i n class terms) of North America's proletariat or lumpenproletariate. They each had become empowered within the context of a s p e c i f i c grassroots campaign to r e s i s t 109 threats or assaults to their communities. Altogether, K i e f f e r Interviewed seventeen individuals who had been involved i n struggles against such things as s t r i p mines, neighbourhood impoverishment and neglect, and for worker safety and community health centers. Thus, the most obvious differences are the nature of the individuals involved and the s p e c i f i c i t y or t a n g i b i l i t y of the issues confronted. The nuclear threat faces a l l of us equally, though the threat i s f e l t d i f f e r e n t l y by each. I t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y vague and nebulous, intangible. Very few of us have even seen a nuclear warhead, l e t alone experienced a nuclear war. Nevertheless, i t seemed l i k e l y that there would be some p a r a l l e l s between the two studies. Kieffer's analysis revealed a progression of ten primary  themes, further organized into stages of h i s t o r i c a l development, and eras of  involvement. The themes are texture, i n t e g r i t y , encounter, authority r e l a t i o n s , f a c i l i t a t i o n , c l a r i f i c a t i o n , elaboration, transformation, c u l t i v a t i o n , and synthesis. From the theme t i t l e s I t i s apparent that they deal with process rather than content elements. 1. Texture encompasses background factors operating i n the l i v e s of each of his co-researchers including personal, c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l factors that shape the individuals* sense of who they are, t h e i r b e l i e f s about the world and their a b i l i t y to influence i t . 2. Integrity involves the individual's strong sense of home, history and community rootedness including affective components such as pride and s e l f - r e l i a n c e . 110 3. Encounter refers to "concrete, tangible and direct threats to individual and famil ia l self-interest" involving as sense of v io lat ion. 4. Authority relations refers to the need each individual had to move beyond previous assumptions regarding their relationship with authority. 5. Fac i l i ta t ion involved contact with a mentor or model who enabled the individual through encouragement evocation of p o l i t i c a l se l f -responsibi l i ty . 6. Cultivation consists of development of actual strategies, resources and "grammar" of p o l i t i c a l involvement. 7. Clar i f i ca t ion involves deepening analyses and awareness of social p o l i t i c a l forces. 8. Elaboration consists of the refinement and extension of rudimentary participatory competence including such things as organizational s k i l l s , problem solving, and public communications. 9. Transformation includes incorporation and integration of a sense of mastery and awareness in the face of threats to family l i f e , confl ict with community norms, and continuing self-doubts. 10. Synthesis refers to an integration of p o l i t i c a l competencies Into the structure of daily l i f e and fami l ia l survival which may include taking on new vocational roles as enabler or p o l i t i c i a n . The above themes are located in an evolutionary progression likened to a l ife-span including (a) the birth stage of the era of entry in which the individuals take their f i r s t steps toward p o l i t i c a l competency, (b) an era of 111 advancement analogous to l a t e r childhood i n which a f f i l i a t i o n s are developed with others, both peers and mentors and i n which understanding leads to greater action leads to greater understanding, (c) an era of incorporation i n which "self-concept, s t r a t e g i c a b i l i t y and c r i t i c a l comprehension substantially mature" (p. 442), and (d) an era of commitment i n which individuals integrate their new knowledge and s k i l l into t h e i r everyday l i f e - w o r l d s . The h i s t o r i c a l stages are the t h i r d and f i n a l conceptual model developed i n K e iffer's research and refer to the "dynamic of development of competence" (p. 444) and "constitute a conception of developmental process applicable to any learning event - i n any time frame" ( o p . c i t . ) . There are f i v e such stages: context, mobilization, engagement, maturation, and integration. The context, as the pre-existent f i e l d of interaction between indi v i d u a l and environment, sets dimensions for each subsequent stage. Mobilization describes the impact of discordance within the individual which must somehow be addressed. Engagement consists of the development of responses toward reconstruction of i n t e g r i t y or equilibrium. Maturation involves incorporation of s k i l l s and awareness and f i n a l l y , integration l s the stage at which "the new repetoire of capacities must be integrated within the structure of the Individual's e x i s t i n g r e a l i t y . " This i s not an end point however, but marks the re-establishment of equilibrium which i s , In turn, threatened ultimately by new disruptions. K i e f f e r suggests that his research indicates the need for effective f a c i l i t a t i o n of c i t i z e n empowerment to be expanded from "organizing t a c t i c s to incorporate extensive attention to more personal, individual c o n f l i c t s " (p. 464). These include personal relationships, f a m i l i a l stress, economic insecurity, professional stress and r o l e c o n f l i c t . As a r e s u l t of this need, 112 Kieffer recommends an experiential rather than an "instructional" orientation. "Each individual must be helped to accept responsibi l i ty for his/her own learning, and the conflicts and tensions of everyday l i f e constitute the curriculum promoting competence. In these tasks, the collective w i l l be ut i l ized as the primary locus of growth" (p. 465). These suggestions are congruent with Joanna Macy's (1983) emphasis on experiential workshop contexts for change and growth in confronting the nuclear threat. Kief fer 's research i s particularly relevant to the nuclear study because of i t s s imi lar i ty in methodology and the congruence of the above suggestions to the actual research findings. Rather than being determined by theories that are at least one step removed from the actual experience of the participants, Kieffer 's suggestions develop direct ly from i t . The primary difference between the two studies i s , as suggested above, the radica l ly different degree of spec i f ic i ty in the two areas. It i s very d i f f i c u l t to ascertain success in one's struggle against nuclear weapons. The systems continue to be designed and manufactured and deployed. In grass-roots participatory competence, on the other hand, the goals are clear-cut, c learly defined and very concrete. They include such things as a worker safety clause in a worker's contract and the creation of a community health centre in one's neighbourhood. Empowerment in the face of the nuclear threat necessarily w i l l involve other dimensions and meanings. 113 Summary Each of this vast range of theoretical approaches sheds l i g h t on the momentous question that faces us on both the personal and c u l t u r a l / h i s t o r i c a l l e v e l s . This author tends to view our c o l l e c t i v e dilemma i n terms of meaning, broadly speaking. From that perspective, even the 'humanist' stance of various e x i s t e n t i a l l y based writers (May, Frankl, F r e i r e , K i e f f e r ) , i s f e l t as possibly rather narrow and anthropocentric. However, such a stance (along with the perspectives supporting and defending such) i s valuable and ultimately necessary so long as humans themselves are treated as objects-to-be-manipulated. Following the works of Ken Wilber (1979, 1980), I t l s useful to view these various systems and points of view within a hie r a r c h i c a l perspective. Wilber's categorizing system has been la b e l l e d "spectrum of consciousness". In t h i s cartography, psychological and re l i g i o u s systems are located along a continuum of "boundaries" or le v e l s of s e l f i d e n t i t y . Each system i s relevant and appropriate within the context of only certain levels of s e l f - i d e n t i t y . Thus, Wilber has been able to develop a coherent perspective which acknowledges the v a l i d i t y of a variety of therapeutic approaches, many of which were formerly seen as contradictory. Wilber i d e n t i f i e s the following 'levels of i d e n t i t y ' and makes suggestions regarding the appropriateness of particular therapeutics. 1. Persona - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with only accepted parts of the ego tendencies. Here, simple counselling, supportive therapy and behaviour modification would be appropriate. 114 2. Ego - basic mind/body s p l i t . Identification with mental and emotional processes. Therapies are psychonalysis, psychodrama, transactional analysis, r ea l i ty therapy, ego psychology. 3. Centaur or total organism - body/mind unity. Identification with one's own organism. Therapies include bioenergetics. Rogerian therapy, Gestalt therapy, existential analysis, logotherapy, humanistic psychology. 4. Transpersonal - a process of identity not yet universal, but beyond the individual . Therapies include analytical psychology (Jung), psychosynthesls (Assagioli) , Maslow, and Progoff. 5. Unity consciousness - supreme identity with a l l of creation. "Therapies" include vedantic Hinduism, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, Taoism, and esoteric Judaism, Islam, and Christ ianity (Wilbur, 1979, pp. 9-10). This schematization suggests interesting, though incomplete, paral le ls with Lifton's (1979) f ive modes of symbolic immortality; persona/ego-creative; centaur^biological; transpersonal-natural, experiential; unity-theological/experiential . What these frameworks suggests is that there may be a developmental process at work. At whichever level of self-Identity we may be, we are threatened with loss or destruction of that ident i ty . Lifton suggests, at least by implication, that the mode most resistant to nuclear threat is that of experiential transcendence. One hypothesis might be that in coping with the nuclear threat, the human organism wi l l be faced with a choice to remain numb in the face of potential loss or extinction (death) or choose to develop or awaken to more inclusive levels of identity. 115 The main question that arises i n the context of this research then i s , whether the descriptions provided by the co-researchers reveal t h i s type of movement, whether or not consciously w i l l e d or chosen. The various "therapies" elaborated within Chapter Two could then be variously and programmatically applied i n assisting individuals to more inclusive levels of i d e n t i t y , from which i t w i l l be possible for them to act with greater energy and c l a r i t y i n facing the nuclear threat. 116 CHAPTER THREE METHOD Choice of Methodology The choice of a particular research methodology i s contingent upon a variety of factors. In t h i s case, the nature of the question, the understanding of the meaning of the transformation of despair to empowerment i n the particular context of the nuclear threat, i s a major determinant. Existential-phenomenology permits a congruence between methodology and the phenomena being examined. Existential-phenomenology brings together two d i s c i p l i n e s : e xistentialism, a philosophy (or s t y l e of philosophizing) which seeks to understand and explicate human experience as given i n the immediacy of l i f e s ituations; and phenomenology, a methodology which i s primarily descriptive and which aims at revealing phenomena i n t h e i r essential nature, going as Husserl put i t , "back to the 'things themselves'" (1970, p. 252). In terms of a phenomenological psychology, t h i s means that the researcher w i l l "go to the everyday world where people are l i v i n g through various phenomena i n actual situa t i o n s " (Giorgi, 1985, p. 8). C o l a i z z i (1978) contrasts t h i s approach with the t r a d i t i o n a l experimental approach. By comparing these approaches on the four levels of method, objective, thinking and l i f e - s t y l e , the rationale for pursuing the EP approach becomes clearer. While the experimental method isolates dependent and manipulable independent variables the phenomenological method emphasizes accurate, precise and r i c h description of the phenomenon. 117 The objective of the experimentalist is (generally speaking) causal explanation while that of the phenomenologist i s ident i f icat ion of the topic. The thinking styles are s imilarly divergent, the experimental characterized by "calculative manipulation of pyschological phenomena" and the phenomenological by meditative-thought-seeking-understanding. The experimental approach flows from a l i f e - s t y l e "which seeks to master, control , and dominate everything that is encountered; and the phenomenologist is sat isf ied with his descriptive method which provides him with identi f icat ion of psychological phenomena because, at the core of his approach towards himself, the world, and others, he is content to understanding^ dwell" (Cola izz i , 1978, p. 68). Following Freire (1970) the nature of oppression is the reduction of human beings to things, objects-to-be-manipulated. The phenomenological approach serves a pa l l ia t ive function which redresses the tradit ional experimental approach which, as noted above, tends to reduce the experimental "subject" to such an "object". The change of terminology from "subject" to "co-researcher" addresses this fundamental shift in stance. Among the various elements of despair as articulated for the purpose of this study in the introduction and in the review of l i terature were fear, impotence and numbing. We have seen how the threat of nuclear war has been experienced as a l imit -s i tuat ion which diminishes the human sense of power, meaning and continuity. The threat tends to reduce us to things, powerless and empty of value. To employ a research methodology which, by i ts nature, s imi larly reduces humans to elements of their experience, borders on the absurd, given the 118 option. Phenomenological methodology i s p a r t i c u l a r l y congruent with the experience of transformation, of empowerment. Kieffer (1981), who examined the emergence of empowerment among individuals i n c i t i z e n s ' organizations, describes a number of s p e c i f i c advantages i n using the phenomenological mode. He notes that " t r a d i t i o n a l research into issues such as alienation and powerlessness r e i f i e s and reinforces these phenomena by way of i t s own process. If powerlessness i s defined as the i n a b i l i t y to co-constitute the events of one's everyday l i f e - w o r l d , or the self-acceptance of the status of "object-hood", then the more t r a d i t i o n a l approaches to research reinforce t h i s structure of oppression" (p. 75). As well as t h i s s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l congruence, the phenomenological approach i s p a r t i c u l a r l y suited to dealing with transformation and change. I t i s capable of revealing the process of becoming rather than the measurement of growth. The descriptive examination of despair and empowerment and the relationship between those two modes of being as interactive and f l u i d rather than s t a t i c requires an approach which can capture the r e l a t i o n a l elements, as they are l i v e d . Giorgi (1975) distinguishes f i v e key elements of the phenomenological approach which recommend i t for these purposes. The method 1) affirms the primacy of everyday life-worlds as the ground and context of research, 2) maintains f i d e l i t y to the phenomena studies as they are l i v e d , 3) r e l i e s upon descriptive language and the personal viewpoint of the co-researcher as primary data points, 4) views assessment and a r t i c u l a t i o n of personal meanings as i t central measurements, and 5) presumes, accepts and builds on the 119 assumption that the researcher i s engaged and plays an active r o l e i n the constitution and interpretation of the data of the research. Procedural Principles of Phenomenological Research Existential-phenomenological research seeks to c l a r i f y the structure of human experience, i n a l l i t s range and variety, through the use of descriptive techniques. "Structure i s the term used to describe the answer to the "what i s " question of the research" (Kidd, 1979, p. 69). In the current research, this question could be formulated as, "what Is the meaning of the transformation of despair to empowerment i n the nuclear age?" "Meaning" includes interpretation, significance, sense and import, but involves more than what i s conscious, l o g i c a l and w i l l e d . "Meaning" i n this context involves the whole person, f e e l i n g , imaging, sensing, perceiving, as well as " l o g i c a l " or " r a t i o n a l " thinking. Phenomenological research seeks to discern common patterns of meaning which run through a number of individual instances of a particular phenomena, for example, f e e l i n g understood, or being cr i m i n a l l y victimized (Wertz, 1985). Through studying individual experiences the researcher seeks to c l a r i f y the phenomenon i t s e l f , i n i t s commonality. To do t h i s , he follows a particular d i s c i p l i n e of r e f l e c t i o n and description. Although there are variations on t h i s a c t i v i t y , Giorgi (1985) outlines the four essential elements as: 1) reading through the description of the experience to get a general sense of the whole, 1 20 2) reading the text a second time with a view to discerning "meaning units" from within a psychological perspective focusing on the phenomenon being investigated, 3) expressing the psychological insight expressed i n the "meaning units" as d i r e c t l y as possible, and 4) synthesizing the transformed meaning units i n t o a consistent statement regarding the subject's experience. Thus, the raw data of the person's experience, the "prereflective l i f e - w o r l d " or everyday l i f e as i t i s l i v e d i s transformed or revealed via descriptive language. The researcher attempts to convey the experience with minimum preconceptions. This necessitates the "bracketing" of the researcher's assumptions concerning the phenomenon. In the current research, t h i s bracketing i s conducted through both the researcher's own experience as articulated i n Chapter One and the assumptions i m p l i c i t i n the Literature Review of Chapter Two. This process of bracketing, which should continue throughout the research, i s the source of rigourous f i d e l i t y to the phenomenon. As the research unfolds, t h i s o b j e c t i v i t y i s maintained through the process of "dialogal retrospection" ( K i e f f e r , 1981, p. 71-77) which assumes and extends C o l a i z z i ' s "imaginative l i s t e n i n g " (1978). Building upon C o l a i z z i ' s requirement that the researcher l i s t e n s "with more than j u s t his ears; (that) he must l i s t e n with the t o t a l i t y of his being and the entirety of his personality...(that he) be present i n every imaginable way," Kieffe r recommends "an e x p l i c i t l y dialogic modality (which) simply accentuates the essential nature of the investigation -the encounter of the researcher and the researched" (p. 75). He suggests that 1 21 in both data c o l l e c t i o n and interpretation the degree of dialogal encounter i s the measurement of rlgourous f i d e l i t y to the phenomenon. It i s dialogue which guards against the researcher's imposition of presupposition as well as. providing the context (including t r u s t ) for the f u l l e s t possible exp l i c a t i o n of the phenomenon. The investigation of the transformation of despair to empowerment i s p a r t i c u l a r l y suited to the h i s t o r i c a l and biographical retrospection f a c i l i t a t e d by dialogal retrospection. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , phenomenological research has addressed I t s e l f to the examination of s p e c i f i c emotional complexes, such as the experience of grief ( C l a s p e l l , 1983). Inasmuch as th i s study i s concerned with the longitudinal t r a n s i t i o n from one mode, despair, to another, empowerment, there i s a concern with illuminating any evolutionary patterns. The active r o l e of engagement with co-researchers and t h e i r stories can lead to c l a r i t y and fullness of description. Co-researchers I interviewed f i v e i n d i v i d u a l s , four female and one male, who reported having moved from despair to empowerment In response to the nuclear threat. These f i v e co-researchers were chosen from a broad network of anti-nuclear a c t i v i s t s and educators. Four were Canadian and one was an American l i v i n g i n Washington State. Numerous other individuals were contacted from within t h i s broad network but either did not f e e l that they had experienced the re q u i s i t e 122 s h i f t or were wary of par t i c i p a t i n g i n a study which they f e l t could be used p o l i t i c a l l y against the peace movement. Because of the nature of the study, i t was pa r t i c u l a r l y important that there was a strong degree of trust between the co-researchers and myself. The individuals chosen for the research had not only experienced a positive transformation of thei r despair but had done so at least two years previously, permitting s u f f i c i e n t time to have elapsed to be able to r e f l e c t upon their experience with the c l a r i t y of distance and r e l a t i v e dispassion. These elements, the experiencing of the phenomenon and r e q u i s i t e time for adequate r e f l e c t i o n and a b i l i t y to a r t i c u l a t e are, according to C o l a i z z i , (1978, p. 58) the necessary and s u f f i c i e n t c r i t e r i a for s e l e c t i o n . One problematic element which surfaced during the research was the re l a t i v e nature of the co-researcher's empowerment. The f i v e a l l stressed the tenuous and contradictory nature of th e i r empowerment (which i s revealed as a common theme i n the data analysis). Empowerment was not experienced as a state which could be Irrevocably "won". On the other hand, the f i v e no longer experienced the st a s i s of despair i n which they had once found themselves. Demographic information Co-researcher #1 D.D. In her mi d - t h i r t i e s , married with one son, D.D. was a graduate student i n biology when she became aware of the need to act. She was one of the founders of the Peace Education Network i n Vancouver and has since moved to Ottawa where she works with a non-governmental agency doing peace-related lobbying and research. #2 B.T. In his l a t e t h i r t i e s , B.T. i s a Roman Catholic priest from Vancouver who has had a university ministry f o r the past 5 years. He has been active i n a variety of peace and j u s t i c e issues, Including native r i g h t s , Central American and P h i l l i p i n e support work as well as anti-nuclear work. #3 S.S. S.S. l i v e s i n Washington State, i n the heavily-targeted area of Puget Sound. Married, with one daughter, she i s i n her early 30s. She i s an elementary school teacher, has been involved with intentional communities and has taken part i n the Interhelp •despair and empowerment' movement as well as doing support work i n opposing both the Trident Submarine system and the "white t r a i n " . #4 L.W. L.W., a s o c i a l worker i n her l a t e t h i r t i e s , unmarried, recently returned to Vancouver from San Francisco where she worked for almost a year at the "Interhelp" o f f i c e s . Previously, she had worked i n the f i e l d of health with the Canadian Government and so c i a l service agencies. She had been a member of Women Against Nuclear Technology and had pioneered, with S.K., the use of despair and empowerment groups i n Vancouver. #5 S.K. Also single, i n he mid-30s, S.K. worked with L.W. doing groups i n Vancouver. She did extensive third-world development work before returning to Canada and becoming active i n anti-nuclear 1 2H work. Currently, she i s doing peace education and research, as well as ongoing despair and empowerment group work. Research procedure After the prospective co-researchers were contacted by l e t t e r , a follow-up phone c a l l was made to ascertain t h e i r interest i n proceeding. The phone c a l l r e iterated salient points made i n wr i t i n g and i f the person was interested an appointment was made for the f i r s t Interview. They were each informed, by l e t t e r and by phone, that they would be pa r t i c i p a t i n g i n three interviews. The f i r s t would be the longest, l a s t i n g from one and a half to two hours. The second and t h i r d would be shorter, l a s t i n g a maximum of one hour. The interviews took place i n a variety of settings, living-rooms, dining-rooms, kitchens, o f f i c e s . The setting was often the "home-ground" of the co-researcher which heightened t h e i r sense of comfort and relaxation and permitted me to ground the stories that they t o l d me within t h e i r physical l i f e - s p a n . The f i r s t interview followed a gettlng-to-know-you introduction, during which time the co-researchers were i n v i t e d to motivation and interest i n the subject. As we l l , the co-researchers were informed of the parameters of the research such as c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y (and i t s mechanics) and i t s completely voluntary nature. The interview then began with the posing of the following question: You are someone who I understand has experienced a very d e f i n i t e movement i n your l i f e . At one time you experienced a sense of despair for yourself and the world because of your fears of nuclear 125 holocaust. I would l ike to talk with you about how that has changed for you so that you have come to hold the new values and meanings which empower you now. Can you describe how this has happened and how you are able to maintain this new way of being and responding to that threat, which certainly hasn't lessened. The co-researcher was then encouraged to provide a detailed account of their personal story. I attempted, with varying success, to e l i c i t r i ch and detailed narratives of their actual experience rather than concepts about the peace movement, questions of war and peace, and such questions. Invariably, some abstraction entered into the interviews, but my primary purpose was to e l i c i t experiential information with active l i s tening, probes and the spontaneous responses of dialogue. Upon completion of their story, I asked the co-researchers the following questions (which had often been already addressed): 1) When did you f i r s t become aware of your sense of despair and how (with which emotions) did you experience It? 2) Was there a particular event which triggered your despair? 3) Is empowerment, for you, an a l l or nothing experience? If you do experience similar thoughts and feeling