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Identity : formed by acts of attention Green , John Lawrence 1979

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IDENTITY: FORMED BY ACTS OF ATTENTION by JOHN LAWRENCE GREEN B.A., University of Bri t i s h Columbia, 1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FUIJILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES i n the Department of Counselling Psychology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA © John Lawrence Green In presenting th i s thesis in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thesis for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of this thes is fo r f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of C<SUdS£LUhT6, PSVCHaL^V The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 ABSTRACT This thesis i s an investigation of the psycho-social phenomenon of identity. The natter of identity i s an important one for contemporary times because of the current f l u i d i t y of social customs and institutions that formerly brought a quality of s t a b i l i t y to the Lndividual identity project. Because of this social f l u i d i t y , identity i s less a matter of discovering one's niche but rather more a matter of creating i t . Further-more the thesis suggests that traditional, academic psychology can provide few guidelines for this process of identity creation because i t s methodo-logical limitations mitigate against the analysis of subjective processes. Therefore, this thesis relies primarily on a methodology of phenomeno-logical analysis. This approach i s used to investigate the process by which psychological structures i n general, and the structures of identity In particular, come into being. Specifically, the position taken i s that psychological structures result from the pattern of attention deployment. That i s , attention i s depicted as the dyriamic mechanism through which psychological structures are formed and elaborated. Furtermore, there are two modes of attention and they are: 1. Pre-reflective Attention: i n this type there i s a fusion between awareness and the content of awareness; there is no clear demarcation or boundary between subject and object; phenonenologically speaking, the sub-ject i s completely absorbed i n the object attended to ... there i s no self awareness. The type of mental attitude that f a c i l l i t a t e s this type of atten-tion has been characterized as "passive v o l i t i o n " or "active surrender". 2. Reflective Attention: i n this type there i s an awareness of both - i i -the subject and object pole of the experience. That i s , the individual i s reflexively aware of their participation i n or contribution to the experience. It i s experienced as a mental effort or activity. Furthermore, the exercising of these two modes of attention result i n the production of qualitatively different psychological structures. The cfeployment of pre-reflective awareness results i n stable or enduring structures. This thesis suggests that this mode of attention i s the only one available to infants thus explaining the encluring quality of psychological structures developed i n i n those early years. The deployrrent of reflective attention, on the other hand, results i n transient psychological structxtres of the type used i n conceptual thinking. The capacity for this type of attention appears later i n the developmental sequence. I t i s this type of attention that allows :Lndividuals to consider logical p o s s i b i l i t i e s without acting them out. Therefore, this thesis u t i l i z e s a dualistic structural framework with which to organize the material. Thus, the relatively stable structures as a whole are referred to as the dynamic unconscious, or right hemispheric content, or the realm of pre-reflective intentionality. Likewise, the relatively transient structures are classed variously as l e f t hemispheric content, or ego structures, or the realm of reflective consciousness. The construct of identity, i n some sense, bridges this structural duality. The bodily f e l t sense of who we are i s contributed by the more end\iring structures of the pre-reflective self while our self image or self concept (as a clear and distinct idea of who we are) i s contributed by the reflective self. The thesis concludes with the notion that identity change resuslts from - i i i -the capacity to voliti o n a l l y deploy both modes of attention i n a systematic way. Thus, we use reflective attention i n order to detach our awareness from itsfrom i t s habitualized pattern of deployment (deautomization). Once this i s accomplished we can u t i l i z e pre-reflective attention to fuse with objects of consciousness that mutually irplicate and elaborate a new identity. - i v -TABLE OF CONTENTS TITLE PAGE i ABSTRACT i i LIST OF TABLES v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ^ CHAPTER ONE: PRODUCTION 1 A. The Cultural Context 2 B. The Philosophical Context 4 C. Psychology's Contribution 6 D. The Thesis Objective 13 E. A Developmental Framework 14 F. A Brief Structural Overview 15 G. The Phenomenological Reduction 17 CHAPTER TOO: THE PHYSIOLOGICAL CORRELATES OF A DUALISTIC  CONSCIOUSNESS I. Introduction: 1. Awareness and Contents Merged 2. Awareness and Contents Separated A. Physiological Dichotomies Paralleling a Dualistic Conception of Consciousness B. The Dialectic Between the Hemispheres C. Volition and Hemispheric Dominance II . Physiological Research Supporting a Dualistic Theory of Consciousness A. Characteristics of Bi-Modal Functioning B. Correspondances with Philosophical Thought C. A Parallel with Psychological Theory -v-20 20 20 21 21 24 24 24 26 30 I I I . The Hemispheric Dialectic: A rJevelopmental Approach 32 A. Current Conceptions of the Relations between the two Modes of Hemispheric Functioning: Competitive. 32 B. An Alternate Conception: Symbiotic Union 33 1. Elements used i n l e f t hemispheric functioning originally deri\ed from right hemispheric, part-whole relationships 33 2. "Loss of Waning11: content and operations of l e f t hemisphere out of touch with content and operations of r i ^ i t 37 3. From concrete image to abstract category 41 a. Accoiipanying Physiological Changes 42 b. AutomLzation: A Precusor to Abstract Thought 43 C. Surirnary 46 D. Conclusion: Growth and Development requires a continuing exchange between the two hemispheres 48 1. Physiological Correlates to the Receptive, 'listening' attitude. 50 IV. Volitional Factors i n Hemispheric Dominance 52 A . The Motor Theory of Consciousness: Contents of consciousness determined by brain output as opposed to stimulus input 55 B. Perception: We perceive our preparation to respond 57 C. Therapeutic Implication. 59 D. SurrnHry and Conclusions 60 QiAPTER THREE: IDENTITY 62 I. Mtroduction 62 A. Identity: a Descriptive Definition 66 B. The Social Context 66 - v i -I I . The Two Poles of Identity 70 A. A Methodological Note: Dynamic Versus Structural analysis 70 B. A Historical, Theoretical Perspective 71 C. A Personal Experience 74 D. Psychological Constructs Comparable to a Di-Polar Concept of Self 75 1. Wimicott's Psyche and Soma 75 2. Klein's "Ego" and "Id" 76 I I I . Identity: Only Possible with Reflective Consciousness 77 A. The Self: The Product of the Interaction Between two Modes of Being 77 B. A Phenomenological Description of Consciousness as Being 81 IV. Identity - An Act of Consciousness or an Object of Consciousness 83 A. Identity as Objects of Consciousness 85 1. We Become What We Attend to 85 2. Self-Object Fusion 86 3. The Resultant World View 88 4. The Consequence: Arrested Identity Development 91 5. The Schizoid Experience: Loss of Naive World View 92 6. The Client's Report: Metaphorical - Using the Past to describe the Present 94 7. The Stage Process of Dissolving Identification 96 B. Self as an Act - Not a Fact 99 1. Volitional Versus Bound Attention 101 2. Implications for Identity Strength 102 - v i i -3. Autonomous Awareness: The Source of Subjectivity, the Ground of Identity 103 a. The Mental Field or Subjective Space 104 b. Disorderred Attention and External Locus of Control 108 c. Therapeutic Implications 111 d. Disorderred Attention and Negative Thoughts 112 4. Surrrnary: Identity as Metamorphosis 113 C. Parallel Theoretical Formulations 114 V. Identity Ohange 119 A. Introduction 119 B. The Problem: The Ego can not Formulate an Authentic Alternative to I t s e l f 120 C. The Way Out: Transpropriate Willing 121 1. The Technique: 122 a. Ego Surrender: Separating Self from the Ego 122 b. Conceiving of Change as a Real Possibility 123 c. A Personal Example 124 d. Re-owning the Not-Self 125 e. todividuation - a parallel conception 128 f. The Seductive Alternative - Identification with Reflection 130 D. The Process: A Phenomenological Description 134 1. Loosening the Self Construct: Depersonalization 135 a. A Basis for the Fear of Depersonalization 137 b. Overcoming the Fear 137 - v i i i -i . Theoretical Rational for Positing the Impersonal as primary. 138 i i . A Pratical Method: Subiectivize the Impersonal 140 2. The Rearrangement of the Structural Elements of Identity 141 a. Limit the Domain of the Ego 141 b. Use of Ego-Attention to Assimilate Pre conscious Material 141 c. Reslnnjct^jring: By What Criteria? 143 d. Resolution of a Paradox: Identity Change and Continuity over time. 147 e. Animating the New Framework - "Dwelling In" 152 E. Engineered Identity Change: Exploiting our Dualistic Nature 155 1. The Developmental Sequence: Conscious Direction replaces Surrender as the organizing Principle 155 2. Limitations of Surrendering: The f a l l i b i l i t y of pre-reflective intentionality 156 3. Beyond Surrender: re-programed intentionality 157 a. Personal Constructs Consciously Formulated 158 b. Relocating Intentionality: From the pre-flective to the conscious sphere 159 4. Our Duality: A Living Experience; not a Theoretical Speculation 160 a. A Phenoirenological Description 162 b. Supporting Evidence 165 5. Sumnary and Conclusions 168 CHAPTER FOUR: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 175 -i x -A. The Social Context 175 B. Adjustment Reactions 179 1. The Individualistic Response 179 2. The Response of the Social Sciences 182 C. Subjectivity: The Source and Creator of psychological Structures 186 D. Conclusions 194 REFERENCE LIST 201 -x-LIST OF TABLES Characteristics of Isaacs's Levels of Relatability - x j -ACKlU-lLEDGEMENrS I would l i k e to thank John Friesen, Les Greenberg and John Allen for the time and energy that they have given to this thesis. On an emotional note, the patience and enthusiasm that they offered assisted me through not a few c r i t i c a l moments. - x i i -1. CHAPTER ONE Introduction The primary focus of this thesis w i l l be a discussion of personal identity, the formative processes by which one i s developed, and the experiential techniques by which i t can be changed. In order for our analysis to be relevant, i t must f i r s t be placed into a social context. This i s i n accordance with Edie's (1976) statement that: Categorical, conceptual thinking takes time every new theory and every new idea originates i n cieterTTrinate cultural surromdings as the answer to some ckterirrinate question, (p. 98) The analysis of the social/ajltural context w i l l demonstrate some of the reasons why 'identity' has become a c r i t i c a l issue of this time. Next, I w i l l examine some of the 'answers' that traditional, academic psychology has brought to bear on the issue of identity. Specifically, the analysis w i l l focus on the limitations of the traditional solutions. I t w i l l be suggested that the traditional solutions offered by psychology are open to the t^n/in charges of cultural relativism and ideological bias. That i s , 8 the model of health proposed by these systems are susceptible to the charge that they are mere reflections of the current e l i t e class (Rank, 1949). Because our society i s currently undergoing a profound transition with no clear cut, e l i t e class emerging at this point, i t seems advisable to guard against any ideological contamination. Other limitations of traditional theory to be analyzed include epistemological and methodological considera-tions. Finally, a methodology w i l l be suggested for studying the issue of identity that i s intended to overcome the above mentioned limitations. The 2. proposed methodology w i l l be dynamic, phenomenological analysis. I t w i l l be shown that the dynamic phenomenological approach lends i t s e l f particu-l a r l y well to the process of translating theory into practice. Therefore, the theoretical analysis w i l l generate concrete, therapeutic techniques that are easily understood and applied. Although the theoretical portion of this thesis w i l l be complex, abstract and perhaps even esoteric, the techniques springing from i t are intended to be accessible to individuals with a minimum theoretical, psychological education. The Cultural Context Although the decade of the 1970's has been characterized i n the popular press as a decade of stagnation, I sense that the changes that are occurring are far more fundamental than realized. Because of the profound nature of these changes, they have not as yet become vis i b l e . Whereas the 1960's were marked by obvious social change, based on the assumption that social change would f a c i l i t a t e individual, the situation appears to be reversed i n this decade. That i s , the pattern beginning to emerge i n the 1970's i s that change i s primarily a personal and individual phenomenon. Glasser (1975) i n The Identity Society was one of the f i r s t authors to e x p l i c i t l y deal with the human response to the rapid social change western society i s undergoing. The essence of his book i s that we have moved from a preoccupation with task to a preoccupation with identity. This transition has been noted on other levels as well. For example, during the six t i e s , the schizoid experience seemed to be the typical psychopatho-logy of the decade (May, 1969). However, during the latter half of the seventies, a new c l i n i c a l trend has begun to emerge: narcissism. Kohut (1977) i s an author who i s beginning to document this trend. One 3. hypothesized feature of the narcissistic condition i s a homosexual prefer-ence, or a confused, f l u i d sexual identity. Thus the emergence of a strong homosexual sub-culture i n the seventies can be taken as further evidence of the narcissistic trend that i s developing i n the current decade. The popular press has begun to notice the self preoccupation and has labeled the current generation the 'me generation'. In so doing, i t has placed a negative connotation on what i t views as an excessive preoccupation with self. Such a judgmental stance does nothing to further our understanding of the underlying processes that are at work. Perhaps we can get closer to such an mderstanding by substituting the term personally centered for the term self centered. The former term implies that individuals are relying almost exclusively on primary sources of information - their personal ex-perience - as opposed to secondary sources - custom, r i t u a l , institutional-ized education, the media and government. In sunniary, the individuals who comprise western society trust personal data versus social 'wisdom' (Polanyi, 1975). Individuals engaged i n a search for identity are not merely indulging i n self centeredness, but rather, they are looking inside themselves for concrete, experientially f e l t guidelines for their behavior. They are doing so because the traditional, social guidelines have broken down. That i s , behavioral guidelines as embodied i n custom, r i t u a l and role expectations no longer meet individual needs. The external consensual real i t y has eroded and adherence to i t s guidelines no longer produces re-liable results (Reich, 1978). Consequently, these individuals look to an alternate, internal source of behavioral guidelines. A few examples of the breakdown of the traditional social relation-ships should make this point clear. On an economic level, the conventional 4. wisdom was that t h r i f t was i t s own reward. Some individuals now realize that inflation has mfermined this homily. On a career level, higher education was supposed to be a guarantee of security, interest and challenge. The current unenployment figures for university graduates reveal that this guideline was relative and not absolute. I t only applied to specific, time-bound, socio-economic conditions. On a personal or psychological level, there i s the institution of marriage. In the last decade this institution has encountered two powerful challenges or threats: the rise of sexual free-dcm/permissiveness and the women's liberation movement. The reader has only to r e c a l l society's expectations of marriage ten years ago as opposed to the ones currently held. The reader might reflect too on the experiences that led to such changes i n expectations. In my experience, many of us are realizing that the roles simply are not adequate to the shifting challenges of contertporary relationships. The demands of current family l i f e seem to require more 'here and now' attention and less codified role performance. Again, we are moving from external, socially defined guidelines to internal, phenomenological guidelines. The Philosophical Context There i s a philosophical dimension to this discussion, as well. I t could be stated that a philosophical c r i s i s anticipated the social crises that have been discussed above. Philosophy began to replace religion as a dcminant social influence. That i s , the absolute guidelines of religion were replaced by the relative values of philosophy. Polanyi (1975) des-cribes the process succinctly: The feudal system and the religious sanctions which upheld i t were attacked by a radical skepticism which i n turn was vulnerable to i t s own origin; philosophical skepticism, (p. 11) 5. We are atteirpting to trace, on a philosophical level, the process by which external behavioral guidelines were replaced, or are being replaced, by internal guidelines. Polanyi's account shows that the begjlnning of this process was an erosion from absolute, external guidelines of religion to the relative, external guidelines of philosophy. In order to balance the account, i t must be acknowledged that replacing religious dogma with rationalism pre-pared the way for science and technology. This applied knowledge made possible an enormous increase i n the material well being of western c i v i l i z a -tion. However, as Polanyi's quote implies, rationalism cannot supply moral or ethical guidelines. When i t s premises are followed through to their logical conclusions i t must disqualify i t s e l f as a source of absolute and eternal values. Again, Polanyi (1975) traces the sequence of reactions: The great philosophic tnjmult which started i n the second half of the eighteenth ceni^rry on the continent of Europe and f i n a l l y led up to the philosophic disasters of our own day represented an incessant preoccupation with the collapse of the philosophic foundations of rationalism. Universal standards of human behavior have fallen into disrepute and various substitutes were put forward i n their place: for example, individuali-ty; creative genius; romantic bohemians; humanism, (p. I D I t appears as i f philosophy merely anticipated what the rest of society lived out much later. That i s , philosophy i s the f i r s t discipline to articulate the 'new1 reality. Philosophers don't invent or create this 'new' re a l i t y - rather, they respond to i t by giving i t a voice. In a sense, they make i t conscious. This process i s repeated on an individual level - f i r s t we li v e the 'new' rea l i t y , then we become conscious of i t . 'Thus, the breakdown or collapse of rationalism as a philosophical guideline i n some way anticipated the breakdown of the social contract i n 6. economics (eg., inflation); p o l i t i c s (eg., the c r i s i s of democracy); and the institution of marriage (eg., the climbing divorce rate). I t i s , therefore, understandable that individuals w i l l increasingly turn to personal and psychological c r i t e r i a for guidelines to behavior. This strategy, of course, accelerates the erosion of the social contract with the result that we are labeled the 'me' generation or the identity society. Psychology's Contribution How has the discipline of psychology responded to this h i s t o r i c a l crisis? The implicit promise of psychology was that, as a science, the stringent methodological requirements would ground i t s knowledge on empirical evidence. Methodology was assumed to be beyond philosophy and metaphysics. However, as Koch Oferm, 1964) and Kuhn (1962) have pointed out, the sc i e n t i f i c process i s not a s t r i c t l y rational one. Koch (Warm, 1964) puts the matter quite bluntly: Scientific process i s , i n principle and at a l l stages, ^determined by rule.... A gap between a linguistic 'system' of assertions and the unverbalized processes upon which i t s interpre-tation and application (not to mention i t s formulation) are contingent i n acknowledging the dependency of theory construction and use at every phase of individual sensibility, dis-crimination, insight, judgment and guess, (p. 21) Behaviorism was intended to be the most sc i e n t i f i c of the psychologies. Yet, as Koch's point makes clear, the s c i e n t i f i c process i s not s t r i c t l y rational and objective, even for the physical sciences. Thus, the primary goal of behaviorism which was to establish a v a l i d methodology was impossible to achieve. What Polanyi (1975) states about science i n general i s also true of behavioristic psychology i n particular: c As long as science remains the ideal of knowledge, and detachment the ideal of science, ethics cannot be secured from complete destruction by skeptical doubt, (p. 27) Bringing our discussion back to the issue of identity, we can now see that behaviorism was inadequate to the task of supplying models of health that could serve as a guide i n the process of identity formation. An even more fundamental objection can be raised at this stage. The issue i s that of epistemology, the theory of the origin and nature of knowledge. The rapid advances of the physical sciences were based on the epistemological assumption that subject and object were independent. That i s , the assumption was that the actions of the s c i e n t i f i c observer would not Influence the out-come of the experiment - i n this way the results obtained could be said to be truly objective. However, Heisenberg's Indeterminacy Principle (Koestler, 1972) refuted this ideal goal once and forever by demonstrating that the act of observation did determine or influence the behavior of the phenomena i n question. I f this ideal could not be attained i n the physical sciences, i t i s even more removed for the social sciences. This realization should re-orientate our investigation from a focus on the object to a focus on the relationship between the subject and object. My analysis of the identity formative process w i l l , therefore, focus on this dialectical interaction. The second epistemological objection i s related to the f i r s t . I f the ideal of science was the eradication of subjective influence, then this ideal can only be approached by the social sciences through a reductionistic line of reasoning. For example, psychology could only approach the goal of 'objectivity' by explaining higher, social processes i n terms of biology, physiology, chemistry and physics. This would be the underlying rationale 8. for Freud grounding his theory i n the biological l i f e of the instincts. Like-wise, the behaviorists sought to explain human behavior i n terms of observable, and therefore, objective environmental contingencies. Thus, the search for universal "standards of behavior i s directed towards an exhaustive knowledge of physical r e a l i t y , which i s held to ultimately deterntLne our behavior. Consequently, any psychological theory which w i l l admit only 'objective' data can.only produce a deterministic account of humankind. That i s , the choice of the data base predeterLrrines that model's stance regarding the ques-tion of vo l i t i o n and determinism. As we shall see later, the phenomenolo-gical method uses a subjective data base and i s , therefore, appropriate for the study of vol i t i o n a l processes - including that of identity change. Before I proceed to this phenomenological analysis, I wish to examine an alternate approach that has developed to meet the methodological challenge of the social sciences: structuralism. The main advantage of the structuralist approach i s that i t overcomes at least some of the reduction-i s t i c tendencies that were imported when the social sciences attempted to adopt the methodology of the physical sciences. Two quotes from Edie (1975) should make this deduction more ex p l i c i t : Speaking i s not a biological but a cultural use of the human body. There i s no organ which i s used i n speech... .which does not have a specific physiolo-gical function utterly independent of i t s super- ordinate and special employment for purposes of speaking, (p. 84; i t a l i c s nrine) That i s , the act of speech, because i t i s a cultural or social act, cannot be understood i n terms of biology. The sound of the sentence may be deter-mined to some extent by anatomical features but the meaning of the sentence i s utterly independent of them. A reductionistic explanation, therefore, borders on the absurd. The alternative i s to explain speech i n structuralist 9. terms: Linguistics i s the newest, the best, and perhaps the ONLY authentic model of what a human science can and should be. This (linguistic) structura-l i s t model may. very well serve i n the near future to free a l l the social sciences from their awk-ward and increasingly indefensible reliance on the Galilean model of s c i e n t i f i c explanation used i n the physical sciences.... Thus, linguistic structuralism....is more and more being found to have epistemological and even ontological impli-cations for the philosophy of man and the philo-sophy of science. (Edie, 1975; p. 72) As physics has been a history of the search for the elementary particle, so the social sciences have begun to look for their fundamental unit and the structural principles which organize these units. Just as the physical sciences of chemistry, biology and physiology were b u i l t on the foundations of physics, so the- social sciences of psychology, sociology and anthropology are being b u i l t on the foundations of linguistics. Piaget and Levi Straus are two outstanding examples of theoreticians who have adopted the structuralist approach for their study. Whereas the 'hard' sciences u t i l i z e an epistemology that i s directed towards physical presence, the social sciences employ an epistemology that i s directed towards meaning. The importance of this distinction begins to emerge when we acknow-ledge that man lives i n two realms: the physical and the social, each with  i t s own epistemology. The current search for identity springs not from an i n a b i l i t y to deal with our physical environment, but with the rapidly changing social environment. Therefore, structuralism has made a significant contri-bution by reorientating our focus to that domain with a methodology that i s appropriate to i t . However, while the structuralist approach i s an improvement over the Galilean model of sc i e n t i f i c explanation, i t , too, has i t s limitations. Specifically, i t offers v i r t u a l l y no support to the individual i n the search 10. for a viable identity. In fact, certain structuralists seem intent on destroying the very notion of subjectivity upon which the sense of identity i s to be b u i l t . For example, Foucault proclaimed i n an interview: "The ' I ' i s destroyed... .we do not put man i n the place of God but we start with anonymous thinking, knowledge without a subject, a theoretical (entity) with-out identity." (Schiwy, 1971). As Edie (1975) points out: The focus i s shifted away from the 'heroic' vision of man as the source of his own history and of his institutions to the supposedly infrahuman and 'automatic' rules governing his behavior, (p. 109) Again we note that structuralism tends to support a psychology that i s deterministic. I t does so because i t restricts i t s attention to the object-ive realm. I f the deterministic stance i s , i n fact, the truth, then a l l therapy must be based on an i l l u s i o n - the i l l u s i o n that people can actually change their lives. The only way out of the dilemma i s to posit a subject-ive realm where these laws do not hold and v o l i t i o n i s possible. Thus, structuralism offers no guidelines to individuals involved i n existential choice. I t appears that Gendlin (in Corsini, 1973) went through a similar process.of reasoning when he produced the following thought: No one set of right actions can be specified for humans, but the relation between experiencing and authentic right action can be characterized, (p. 320) Before we pursue the interesting implications of this quote, l e t me attempt to bring some perspective to the discussion. I am stating that the central preoccupation of this decade i s the search for identity. We have had a brief look at the history of psychological theory to see what possible resources i t could bring to that search. The thrust of the discussion has been the limitations of such an approach. The fundamental limitation of traditional psychology i s i t s adherence to the s c i e n t i f i c method which ( 11. restricts i t s e l f to the objective ciomain. Because identity i s a subjective phencrmenon, psychological theory i s of linrited use i n therapeutic intervention. I say linrited rather than irrelevant because as Gendlin (in Corsini, 1973) points out: An experiential therapist uses theory and thoughts to point to what i s concretely being lived and f e l t just then, rather than translating the client into concepts and then attempting to work with the concepts, (p. 321) Thus, a therapist uses objective theory to confirm what i s already being experienced subjectively by the client. In a sense, we could say that theory i s most appropriately used to confirm experience, rather than prescribe i t . I know from my own experience that I use psychological theory to corroborate what I have already f e l t . For example, when I read Ix>evinger's (1976) stage theory of ego development, I realize that I am indeed involved i n a process that has been experienced by others before me. On the other hand, her theory cannot predict specifically where my existential project w i l l take me. Only my subjectivity or intentionality can ctetermine that. I t does t e l l me, how-ever, that the issues I have faced have seme thing i n corrmon with what others have encountered. That i s , the structure of the experience has conrnon fea-tures whereas the details vary from individual to individual. This i s no small gain as i t goes a long way to reducing our alienation one from another. Through establishing a common framework, or abstracting the ccTimon features from the unique experience, structuralism helps us to overcome at least some of the existential isolation. However, this attribute has two sides or edges. The r e l i e f that accompanies the realization that one i s trodding a well worn path i s tempered by the realization that this has deternrinistic consequences. In other words, the burden of 'heroic vision' i s l i f t e d , but at the apparent expense of free choice or volition. 12. Blasi (in Lcievinger, 1976) recognizes the problem a s t r i c t l y structuralist approach presents i n seeking to account for subjectivity and identity: Thus, i f subjectivity and consciousness exist i n human beings and i f the mind's structures can be divorced completely from them, then structures and structuralism give us no help i n understand-ing subjectivity and i t s development, (p. 47) Elsewhere, Blasi subsumes self-consciousness and freedom under the term • ' J subjectivity. This corroborates my earlier suggestion that vo l i t i o n i s only understandable i n the realm of the subjective. I f we hope to establish a bridge between the subjective and objective, we must look to their interface; that i s , the point at which structures are formed. That i s , i f humankind i s to gain some measure of self-determination, i t must understand the dynamics of structure formation i n order to harness and direct that process. This i s particularly true of the structure of personal identity. Blasi goes on to state that Piaget (the structuralist psychologist par excellence) almost completely ignores the conditions under which the structures develop. Likewise, Loevinger (1976), who i s an advocate of the structuralist approach to ego development, devotes only two paragraphs to the origin of ego structures and her account i s extremely superficial. Unless we have some idea of the processes by which we create ego structures; unless our theory acknowledges that "consciousness i s not simply a reflection of structures but at least pa r t i a l l y a creator of them" (Blasi, i n Loevinger, 1976), we, as therapists, w i l l unconsciously reinforce our client's f a t a l i s t i c mentality. Our deterministic theoretical bias w i l l operate as a set that the client soon comes to accept totally. Thus, our theoretical assumptions w i l l operate i n much the same way as hypnotic suggestion. 13. The Thesis' Objective The objective of this thesis, therefore, i s to propose a theory of identity formation and change that w i l l redress the balance between vol i t i o n and ddterrrojnism. Specifically, the argument w i l l u t i l i z e a dynamic analysis to discover and elucidate the processes by which psychological structures i n general and identity structures, i n particular, are generated. Attention w i l l be posited as the c r i t i c a l dynamic factor i n these processes. That i s , attention i s the means by which psychological structures come into being. It i s through the deployment of attention that some mental phenomena are r e i f i e d i n the form of psychological structures whereas others never pass beyond the ephemeral transient stage. Specifically, I shall argue that attention can be used i n two ways. Fi r s t , i t can be deployed i n such a way that i t phenomenologically merges with the object i t bears on - subject and object become fused. A case w i l l be presented that this i s the decisive dynamic i n the act of introjection. That i s , i t i s this mode of attention to external stimuli that, simultaneous-ly creates an intra-psychic structure - the means by which our identifications become our identity. Second, attention can be deployed i n such a way as to be distinguishable from i t s object - there i s a clear boundary between subject and object. Attention, i n this mode, would be perceived as the ground of one's subjectivity. I t i s perceived as autonomous from i t s content; that i s , i t s existence continues i n spite of the variation i n i t s content. The capa-city to u t i l i z e attention i n such a way permits individuals to take their distance from their mental content. This, i n turn, permits an individual to compare various logical possibilities without "acting them out". I t i s this capacity that allows us to envisage an alternate identity structure; whereas i t i s the f i r s t form of attention that enables us to actualize the logical 14. possibility of our choice. That i s , each form of attention has i t s place i n the process of identity formation and change; the f i r s t mode i s responsible for actualization and the second, for conceptualization. A Developmental Framework I shall suggest that these modes of attention appear at different points on the (developmental continuum. That i s , the f i r s t mode i s present at birth, whereas the second mode develops later. The f i r s t mode i s experienced as involuntary - our attention i s 'grabbed', trapped and held. The second mode, on the other hand, obeys our volition. Identity change,'however, involves the conscious deployment of both modes. An outline of the process follows: 1) Absence of Self-consciousness: the f i r s t form of attention i s dominant during childhood and i s the dynamic operation responsible for the formation of our 'character' or identity structure. 2) The Self-conscious Phase: the second form of attention i s employed to become conscious of one's identity structure. One's sense of subjectivity i s separated from i t s habitual-ized or automatized structure. One detaches the sense of 'I-ness' from the internal object constellation,, One employs the second mode of attention to take one's distance from one's character structure i n order to make i t v i s i b l e or conscious. 3) The Identity Project Phase: a) Envisaging an Alternative: the second mode of attention i s used i n conjunction with imagination to conceptualize 15. alternate identity configurations. In a sense, v i s u a l i -zation would be a more appropriate term than conceptuali-zation as the mental product i s more concrete than abstract. This concrete visualization embodies a new intentionality; a new structural principle, b) Actualization: once again the f i r s t form of attention i s employed to become one with this concrete visualization. One's sense of subjectivity fuses with, then dwells i n this 'new' mental object. This phase i s distinguished • from the f i r s t phase by the presence of vol i t i o n - we consciously direct our concrete attention to this embodied symbol. On the basis of this one experience an automatic process i s triggered that involves the generation of a whole identity structure. That process i s , for the most part, unconscious and guided by the same organizational principle that generated the concrete visualization. That i s , the whole i s generated from the part. A Brief Structural Overview The preceding section anticipates the bulk of the dynamic analysis that w i l l take place i n this thesis. I t attempts to explain the processes by which structures are formed. While i t i s my intention to stress a dynamic, functional approach, I have found i t necessary to introduce some structural terms to bring some s t a b i l i t y to the presentation. At this point I intend to introduce these terms, define them, and touch b r i e f l y on the relationship that exists between them. 16. Thus, an individual's psychic l i f e i s characterized by a structural duality: pre-reflective intentionality and reflective consciousness. Both terms i n this fundamental duality exhibit further structural organization. For example, pre-reflective intentionality refers to the unconscious, habitual, and automatic ways of processing information. In a sense, this term or construct refers to a stereotype response pattern or collection of patterns. Its structures are formed, elaborated, and accumulated as a result of the operations of the f i r s t type of attention - concrete attention which fuses with the object being attended to. The second term i n the primary duality, reflective consciousness, refers to the conscious manipulation of clear and distinct ideas i n articulate phrasings. Its content would consist of conscious moral, ethical, pragmatic, ideological, and strategic guidelines. This psychic entity shares many of the features attributed to the ego and may be equivalent to i t . Its structures are formed, elaborated and acajmulated through the operations of the second mode of attention, where attention and i t s content are perceived as distinguishable phenomena. This type of attention begins by drawing a boundary between subject and object and perceived by delineating clear boundaries between various elements i n the mental f i e l d . In such a manner are the structures of 'reflective consciousness' b u i l t up. One's self image or self concept would be one sub-structure among many within the sphere of reflected consciousness. On the other hand, one's subjectivity, that i s , one's affective sense of self would probably be a sub-structure within the sphere of pre-reflective intentionality. The phenomenon of identity, i n some sense, bridges the two structural entities. It i s the dialectical product of the interaction between them. The details of this process w i l l be elaborated i n the next two chapters. The f i r s t of these w i l l attempt to ground this discussion on some 17. physiological and anatomical research. These research findings are not intended to serve a reductionistic argument. Such an argument would reason that the structural duality of the brain (the two hemispheres) 'causes' the phenomenological duality of pre-reflective intentionality and reflective consciousness. Rather, i t i s intended to reinforce the argument that form or structure follows function. The third chapter w i l l focus on a detailed analysis of identity formation and i t s therapeutic implications. ' The Phenomenological Reduction The terms subjective and objective are used i n a non-traditional sense throughout this thesis. Because such usage could result i n considerable irisunderstanding, I believe that i t i s important to explain the underlying rationale and define these terms from that point of view. Basically, the phenomenological reduction defines the f i e l d of study as the contents of consciousness as such. That i s , the distinction between inner, subjective experiences and outer, objective experiences i s either not made at a l l or put to one side. A l l experience, therefore, i s considered 'real' or valid. This i s i n marked contrast to the traditional approach where the connotation of 'realness' seems only to adhere to the objective domain. Once we make this phenomenological reduction, therefore, the terms objective and subjective have to be re-defined. Thus, objectivity can no longer be understood as knowledge that i s independent of the subject - the knower i s always implica-ted i n the known. Instead of the traditional dichotomy between subject and object, we find the phenomenological dichotomy between consciousness and objects of consciousness. The term 'object' i s s t i l l used, but now i t refers to the discrete content of consciousness rather than to some 'thing' i n the environment. Therefore, when I use the term objective I am referring to the 18. contents of consciousness, the objects being attended to. The term subjective, on the other hand, refers to the attending pole of this dialectic. I t i s consciousness i t s e l f , and cannot be explained by a formal language. Even metaphor i s a highly suspect device for ccnnnjnicating subjectivity's nature because metaphor must, of necessity, use a vocabulary derived from the objective domain. Thus, any verbal definition of subjectivity contains a radical distortion embedded within i t . Why spend so much time on this apparently esoteric methodological issue? One of the prime objectives of this thesis i s to discover and identify the realm where vol i t i o n i s operative. I t i s my contention that the arena of subjectivity i s that realm. One of the implications of this statement i s that v o l i t i o n a l identity change i s impossible without an experiential, concretely f e l t grasp of one's subjectivity. Therefore, any theoretical system which purports to guide therapists through the dynamics of such a process must assign a central place to subjectivity. Furthermore, great care must be taken to ensure that the definition of subjectivity i s free from distortion, as much as possible. I t seems to me that traditional psychology errs i n this account i n that what passes for subjectivity i s , on closer inspection, really introjected identifications. These introjects may go through a number of transformations and consequently exhibit a unique and idiosyncratic character. Uniqueness, then, mistakenly i s understood as a defining attribute of subjectivity. The idiosyncratic nature of an i n d i v i -dual's psychic l i f e tends to obscure the fact that i t s origin or source was ultimately the environment. In other words, what i s identified as subject-i v i t y i s really information that originally came from the environment (the objective domain).and subsequently undergone a number of transformations which 19. tend to camouflage i t s essentially objective nature. True subjectivity i s an act and not a fact; closer to a process than to a product; a medium rather than a message. Perhaps the model would be as follows: subjectivity brings operations to bear on objects of consciousness. Ego operations would be the mediating term between the subjective and object-ive domains. Subjectivity i s the source or creator of these operations but i s separate or distinct from them. Hence, i t i s apparent that i f an i n d i v i -dual truly wishes to engineer an identity change, they must achieve the capacity to return to the source of a l l psychic structures: subjectivity. Finally, I have made brief reference to the problems or limitations of language when we attempt to describe and explain this subjective doiriain. I implied that metaphor was the verbal tool that went the furthest to over-come these limitations. I would li k e to go one step further and assert that this thesis supports a symbolic rather than a l i t e r a l interpretation. I have taken seme pains to convey the impression that the truth or meaning of this thesis l i e s behind the words and not i n them. I believe that this method-ological principle i s consistent with the message I wish to convey: the heart of v o l i t i o n l i e s not i n the v i s i b l e structures (or sentences) but i n the invisible source (symbolic interpretation). 20. CHAPTER TWO The Physiological Correlates of a Dualistic Consciousness I. Introduction In this chapter I w i l l begin the main work of this thesis. The principal thrust of my argument i s that human consciousness i s present i n a twofold or double manner. Each human lives through not one, but two modes or types of consciousness. The f i r s t type, pre-reflective intentionality, can only be retrospectively inferred; that i s , i t i s not a direct datum of consciousness. For example, the experience of looking at a flower reveals only the flower and not our participation i n that appearance. Contrast this with the appearance of mental objects as produced i n a reverie where we know or realize directly that i t i s our activity that contributes significantly to the appearance of the object. This second experience i s an example of the second type of conscious-ness, reflective consciousness. In this type of experience, consciousness i s experienced as such - we are conscious that we are conscious. I t i s this type that allows us to stand back from our experience rather' than being 'lost' i n i t . We are directly aware of both the subject and object pole of our experience, whereas with the f i r s t type reveals only the object directly to us. These two types of consciousness can be neatly characterized as follows: 1) Intentional consciousness: awareness and i t s contents merged into one seamless whole. 2) Reflective consciousness: awareness and i t s contents phenomenologically separate: subject-object boundary. Sarte (1951), ^ferleau-Ponty (1962), and Ricouer (1967) are philosophers who have posited a similar dualistic framework. 21. A. Physiological Dichotomies Parallelling a Dualistic Conception of Consciousness. - . • » l l ' — ——II « Much of the theoretical speculation that takes place i n the later sections i s based on the assumption that this duality i s a pervasive reality on every level. In order to ground my argument, therefore, I w i l l attempt to delineate biological and physiological parallels to this posited duality. Specifically, I w i l l demonstrate the parallels between right hemispheric functioning and the operations of pre-reflective intentionality; as well as the parallels between l e f t hemispheric functioning and the operations of reflective consciousness. The primary difference between the two hemispheres i s the way they are thought to process information (Omstein, 1977). For instance, the l e f t hemisphere processes information linearly, sequentially and rationally; while the right, adopts a more global approach, processing information h o l i s t i c a l l y , through pattern recognition. Furthermore, these functional differences seem to be manifested anatomically. Ornstein cites several studies that indicate that injuries to specific areas of the l e f t hemisphere impair performance of specific tasks; whereas anatomical localization of a b i l i t y was not detected i n the right hemisphere. Thus, we have the l e f t hemisphere which functions by connecting discrete elements i n a linear manner, organized anatomically into discrete task-specific areas. Likewise, the right hemisphere, which functions through synthesis - the apprehending of the whole - i s anatomically undifferentiated. And this seems to be an instance of the general rule that form follows function. B. The Dialectic Between the Hemispheres Most of what has been written about the two hemispheres gives l i t t l e indication of the nature of the relationship between the two. The existence 22. of the corpus callosum, the bundle of nerve figers that joins them, i n -dicates that a relationship must exist. However, most of the speculation around the research emphasizes the independent nature of their operations (Lee, Ornstein, Galen, Deikman, and Tart; 1976). When independence i s not being stressed, the relationship i s described i n terms of dominance. Ac-cording to this model, the f i r s t hemisphere to solve the presented problem seizes control of the motor pathways and thus, establishes obminance (Lee et a l , 1976). I believe that these accounts are only a beginning to the task of describing this very interesting relationship. I would l i k e , therefore, to suggest a possible line of inquiry and research. The direction I am about to advance i s based on the previously established parallels between physio-logical and anatomical entities (eg. l e f t and right hemispheres) and the philosophical terms (eg. reflective consciousness and pre-reflective intentionality). Having thus established some correspondence, the nature of the relationship between the philosophical/psychological terms might provide us with some clues to the nature of the relationship between the two hemispheres. I t i s this line of reasoning that produced the following suppositions. F i r s t , I shall argue that the relationship between the two hemispheres i s an interdependent one and that the nature of this inter-dependency changes developmentally. Specifically, I shall suggest that the right hemisphere would be the f i r s t to develop. Its content would be derived from perceptual experience. These separate elements, which are empirically derived, would be equivalent i n nature to what Piaget (1952) has termed the sensori-motor" schemes. These separate elements taken as an organized whole are equivalent to a 'body' ego. Our capacity to ride a 23. bicycle, to eat with a knife and fork, to ice skate, to crawl and to walk i s learned through right hemispheric functicrning. These s k i l l s represent a complex, Tailti-dimensional body knowledge that i s non-verbal and non-rational. The content of the l e f t hemisphere, i n contrast to the right, develops later i n the individual's l i f e . Left hemispheric content would be the product of operations performed on the content of the right. The term 'abstraction' refers to both the content of the l e f t hemisphere and the operation that produced that content. The same could be said of the term 'generalization'. In order to understand how this process works, l e t us rec a l l the earlier discussion regarding attention. I t was stated that there were two modes: intentional attention and reflective attention. I shall suggest that the f i r s t type i s characteristic of right hemispheric function-ing, while the second i s characteristic of the l e f t . I t i s this second mode of attention that i s the dynamic principle that stands behind conceptual functioning. Thus, l e f t hemispheric content i s the result of bringing this type of attention to bear on right hemispheric content. In the example of abstraction, reflective attention isolates a symbolic part from the ground or wholistic pattern of the right. By so doing, the l e f t hemisphere accumulates a number of clear and distinct ideas that can be manipulated according to the laws of logic. We can see, therefore, that the l e f t hemi-sphere develops later that the right because of the former's radical dependency on the data base of the latter. In the later chapter on identity I shall explore two ciWelopmentally later stages of this relationship: l e f t hemispheric functioning alienated from the right; and l e f t hemispheric functioning i n i t i a t i n g a re-organization of the right. 24. C. Volition and Hemispheric Dominance In the f i n a l section of this chapter, I shall propose that hemi-spheric dominance can be volitionally determined. That i s , i n any given situation, the subject can process the information wholistically (right hemisphere) or rationally (left hemisphere). I t shall be suggested that by exercising such a choice the subject can radically alter the quality of their experience; i.e. the nature of their perceptions w i l l be significantly different, depending on the mode chosen. I I . Physiological Research Supporting a Dualistic Theory of Consciousness. A. Characteristics of Bi-Modal Functioning I shall begin by l i s t i n g the defining functions of each hemisphere as identified by various authors. I w i l l then attempt to compare these descriptors to those notions of consciousness that have been developed i n other disciplines (philosophy and psychology). In this manner, i t i s my intention to establish a theoretical foundation that w i l l provide the basis for further analysis and assist i n identifying undiscovered relationships. Omstein (1972 and 1977) has probably done the most work to public-ize and interpret the research conducted on hemispheric functioning and I shall begin by quoting him: According to esoteric tradition, the 'organ of perception', which can be tutored i n the same fashion as i s language, i s what we term intuition. Although the phrase i s often maligned, convention-a l l y used to indicate random guesswork or a mysterious combination of elements, i t should be properly understood as knowledge without recourse to inference. I t centers around the cultivation of what we might c a l l non-linear immediate under-standing, i n compliment to the inferential mediated ordered sequence of 'rational' thought. (1972; p. 24) 25. Ornstein goes on to point out that this type of intuitive knowing i s a characteristic of right hemispheric j^c t i o n i n g ; whereas processing infor-mation i n an orderly sequence i s a characteristic of the l e f t . Let us attempt to f i l l i n this vague outline with more detail, beginning with the right hemisphere and then moving on to the l e f t . The follcwing descriptors have been applied by Ornstein (1977) to the right hemisphere: h o l i s t i c relational; able to deal with simultaneous inputs; superior at depth perception and three ciimerLsionality; superior at identi-fying part-whole relationships; more rapid reaction time; and diffuse anatomical organization. Conversely, the l e f t hemisphere has been described in the literature as analytic; linear; sequential; chronological; superior for memory r e c a l l ; and more anatomically specialized. Furthermore, as Ornstein (1972) has pointed out, the l e f t hemisphere i s involved i n logical thinking, "especially i n verbal and mathematical functions", (p. 52). The descriptors or characteristics applied to the right, on the other hand, indicate that this hemisphere i s pruriarily responsible for our orientation i n space, a r t i s t i c endeavour, crafts, body image, and recognition of faces. These inferences are borne out i n part through research on brain damage: An injury to the l e f t hemisphere very often interferes with and can...destroy language a b i l i t y . An injury to the right hemisphere .. .may cause severe disturbance i n spatial awareness, or i n awareness of one's own body, i n musical a b i l i t y , and i n recognition of other people. Some people with right hemi-sphere damage cannot dress themselves adequately, although their speech and reason remain mimpaired.- (Ornstein, 1972; p. 52) I f we examine the l i s t of characteristics that we have articulated to this point for some underlying factor or some corrnion generating principle, some interesting po s s i b i l i t i e s suggest themselves. For example, we could say 26. that the right hemisphere i s responsible for 'here and now' interactions with the 'real' world; whereas the l e f t , with i t s construct of past, present and future, i s responsible for operations on our model of the world. That i s , the l e f t hemisphere i s occupied with the manipulation, and transformation of abstract symbols according to the rules of logic. B. Correspondences with Philosophical Thought Another way of looking at the essential difference between the two hemispheres i s to delineate their realms of applicability. I could, for example, suggest that the l e f t hemisphere deals i n the realm of the logically possible; whereas the right deals with what has already occurred or has a high probability of occurring. The realm of the former i s constrained only by the laws of logic and need bear no relationship to an actual occurrence i n order to be considered valid. On the other hand, the realm of the latter i s limited to those events and phenomena that are actualized. The realm of the probable refers to the mundane, everyday world we l i v e i n whether we are scientists or deckhands. In colloquial terms i t refers to the 'real' world versus what i s merely 'theoretically' possible. Different c r i t e r i a of meaning are applied to both domains and care should be taken not to apply the c r i t e r i a of one domain to the content of the other. Blasi (in Loevinger, 1976) seems to be referring to these two domains i n his discussion regarding the relationship between cognitive structures of an individual and their personality; the former i s the realm of the possible; the latter, the realm of the probable. What i s inadequate i n the attempts to explain personality development by resorting to formal cognitive structures i s that the latter represents'a system of po s s i b i l i t i e s . More adequate and developmentally more mature 27. cognitive structures widen the range of po s s i b i l i t i e s , without roving from the domain of what i s possible to the ciomain of what i s [the realm of the probable], whereas i n relation to cognition, personality i s factual and ctetermined. (p. 45) When Blasi uses the term 'formal' to refer to cognitive structures, he i s referring to a logical-linguistic system which, earlier we have seen, has been associated with l e f t hemispheric functioning. The implication of Blasi's cjuote i s that the l e f t hemisphere doesn't determine directly the form of the personality. In fact, he goes on to state e x p l i c i t l y that logic and language must be subordinated to more encompassing structures, "those forms of l i f e that constitute human personality". I am suggesting that this latter form i s determined by right hemispheric functioning. Perhaps i t would be more correct to state that the operations of the personality, the domain of the probable, correspond to right hemispheric functioning. Another parallel that suggests i t s e l f i s that the realm of the probable, right hemispheric functioning and the psychoanalytic construct of the unconscious are a l l referring to the same phenomena. I t seems to be a basic tenet of the psychoanalytic school that our lives are deterimned much more by unconscious factors rather than our conscious, logical intentions. The term 'uncon-scious' has unfortunate connotations of near-death; as i n coma or 'being knocked unconscious'. By looking at the parallels between the construct of the unconscious and the characteristics of right hemispheric functioning, we begin to correct this impression. I t i s not so much a matter of being 'unconscious' as i t i s a matter of being conscious but not self-conscious. That i s , when right hemispheric activity precbminates, we are not aware of being conscious.. .we are our experience as opposed to 'having' an experience. I am, therefore, suggesting that while psychology and physiology u t i l i z e 28. different terminologies, they are referring to the same phenomena -'unconscious' determinates being, at least p a r t i a l l y equivalent to right hemispheric functioning; with the implication that l e f t hemispheric fmctioning i s , i n some sense, equivalent to ego operations. Let me push this discussion one step further to see i f this dualistic conception of psychic l i f e appears i n philosophical thought. The rational-ists , beginning with Descartes, defined thought quite narrowly as the application of the laws of correct logical thinking to f u l l y discrete and perfectly clear ideas. I t has been noted by Galin and Deikman (Lee et a l ; 1974) that l e f t hemisphere activity features logical precision and exhaustive categorization as well as heightened boundary perception. This sense of boundary implies that the elements manipulated i n l e f t hemispheric activity are quite separate from one another. Gianbattista Vico, an eighteenth century philosopher, argued that these clear and distinct ideas are a rare and late accomplishment of only one of man's most r a r i f i e d faculties. By implication, therefore, any philosophical account of man must go beyond the Cartesian definition of thought. This definition refers to the manipula-tion of perfectly defined categorical concepts i n f u l l reflexive judgment. It seems to me that the last statement i s a good working definition of l e f t hemispheric activity. On the other hand, as Edie (1976) has pointed out, thinking, as i t i s experienced i n individual l i f e , follows laws of meaning, contexture and relevance which have a prelogical, affective, pragmatic morphology that i s completely missed by rationalism. This statement, similarly, serves as a good working description of right hemispheric activity. He goes on to discuss the relationship between these two realms: P 29. In short, men begin to think through the most global and generic categories and, through these descend gradually to the clear and distinct ideas of f u l l y reflexive language, (p. 87) His statement seems to parallel the earlier quote from Blasi i n that they both imply that i n some important respects l e f t hemispheric content i s derived from and subordinate to right hemispheric content when seeking to account for actual behavior as opposed to logical p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Edie's statement also suggests a developmental framework which we shall investigate in greater detail i n a subsequent section of this chapter. S t i l l another philosopher who documents the two modes of knowing or consciousness i s Ricoueur (1965): ...for reflection i s essentially ch\vicling, sundering. It i s one thing to receive the presence of things, i t i s another to determine the meaning of things. To receive i s to give oneself intuitively to their existence; to think i s to (dominate this presence i n a dis-course which dis criminates by denomination and connects i n articulate phrasing. A l l progress i n reflection i s a progress i n scission, (p. 29) This implies that heightened boundary perception that has been characterized as an attribute of l e f t hemispheric functioning i s i n the service of separation and division. I t i s this heightened sense of boundary that produces the clear and distinct ideas that are the hallmark of reflective and analytic thinking. It bears repetition that this distinct boundary phenomena i s mirrored i n the anatomical organization of the l e f t hemisphere. That i s , specific capacities seem to be much more localized i n the l e f t hemisphere as opposed to the right. We can dramatically surrrnarize the parallels i n physiological research 30. and philosophical thought with a quote from a leading practitioner i n each f i e l d . Sperry (1964) writes of the effect of severing the corpus callosum: Everything we have seen so far indicated that the surgery has l e f t each of these people with two separate minds, that i s , two separate spheres of consciousness. Sarte (in Lawrence and O'Connor, 1967) makes the following observation re-garding the structure of consciousness: But, i f i n reflection, i t i s really true that a consciousness i s present to another con-sciousness, one tends to think that i t i s a matter of two consciousnesses, each one supported by the other... When one considers that the above was originally published i n 1948, long before the s p l i t brain research had even begun, one i s struck by the parallel thought processes. C. , A Parallel with Psychological Theory Moving from the philosophical to the psychological framework division or separation, once again plays an important role i n the formation of the ego. The object relations theorists (Klein, Guntrip, and Winnicott) argue that the b i r t h of the ego i s marked by both inter- and intra-psychic separation. The child separates from mother - moving from a subject-subject relationship to a true subject-object relationship. A siLmultaneous and similar s p l i t or separation occurs on the intra-psychic level where the unity of the psyche i s replaced by the duality of the psyche and ego. We are brought to the startling conclusion that the mode or style of l e f t hemispheric functioning (i.e., to analyze; to separate into component parts) is but a continuing reverberation of the prjurial separation that occurred at i t s inception. We are, of course, suggesting an identity between l e f t 31. hemispheric and ego fAmctioning. There are a number of reasons for es-t a b l i s h i n g this identity; however, we w i l l refer to only one here. As mentioned earlier, language i s regarded to be the l e f t hemispheric function par excellence. A number of authors have stated that the ego operates through the sub vocal agency of commands and exhortations. They imply that the interior monologue i s the workings of the ego. Norman 0. Brown (1966) puts the case as follows: The ego i s loquacity, the interior monologue, the soliloquy which isolates, (p. 264) Loevinger (1976) i n discussing the u t i l i t y of free association makes the following remark: The ego i s not iirmobilized as i n hypnosis, but the basic rule, for the patient to say every-thing that occurs to him without censorship i s equivalent to a temporary silencing of the patient's ego. (p. 365) Thus, we can see that language a b i l i t y has been associated with both ego functioning and l e f t hemispheric functioning. This correspondence suggests a functional identity between the two entities. 32. III. The Hemispheric Dialectic: A Developmental Approach To this point in our study of the two hemispheres I have painted a picture of two separate spheres of consciousness. I have pointed out that the main feature that distinguishes these two spheres is the manner in which they process information. The right hemisphere is believed to process information holistically via pattern recognition; while the left functions analytically - through a breaking down into component parts which then can be processed sequentially. Nowhere in the literature is the suggestion made that these two spheres have a developmentally reciprocal relationship. A. Current Conceptions of the Relationship of the Two Modes: Competitive. The literature suggests that the two spheres alternate with each other in determining the person's behavior. For example, when facial recognition is the task the right hemisphere predominates; when calculation is required the left hemisphere would dominate. The suggestion is put forth that the dominant hemisphere would inhibit the activity of the competing hemisphere. The relationship thus posited would not be dialectical but competitive. One variation of the competitive relationship places the whole matter within a developmental perspective. This theory holds that the left hemisphere comes to dominate overt behavior as one approaches adulthood because our culture rewards or reinforces analytic s k i l l . Galin (in Lee et al; 1974) states this possibility as follows: 33. As the left riernisphere develops its language capability in the second and third year of l i f e . i t gains a great advantage over the right hemisphere in rrtanipulating the environment and securing reinforcements. It seems likely to me that this is the basis for the left hemisphere's suzerainty in overt behavior in situations of conflict with the right hemisphere. (p. 44) B. An Alternative Conception: A Symbiotic Union 1. Elements Used in Left Hemispheric Functioning Originally Derived from Right Hemispheric, Part-Whole Relations. In order to go beyond the isolation bias that predeterrriines a com-petitive relationship between the two hemispheres, I would like to suggest a clialectical, developmental framework. Specifically, I suggest the right hemispheric functioning correlates to our primary form of consciousness -prJUTiary in a historical and chronological sense. Ihis type of functioning would, i f my theory holds, be characteristic of infant tliinking; whereas left hemispheric functioning would be almost non-existent at this stage. This type of functioning would correspond to what some authors refer to as the body ego and to what Piaget refers to as the sensori-motor schemes. The term 'sensori-motor scheme' is a particularly fortunate one for the purposes of this discussion in that i t implies that sensating and behavior are one indivisible unit, with no intervening variable or time delay. Later in this thesis we will refer to this type of consciousness as pre-34. reflective intentionality. It is this type of consciousness that allows us to learn to walk; to eat with a spoon; and to ride a bicycle. A l l these skills certainly do not involve learning in the rational sense of that word. Rather they represent what has been termed a mute body wisdom. Moreover, this is an accunriulating empirical body of knowledge that is with us until we die, although traditionally we are less and less in touch with i t . We regain our awareness of this mode of functioning when we learn a new s k i l l (for example, learning to dance; to do ceramics; yoga; etc.) Thus, we are beginning to get an image or feel for right hemispheric functioning as something that developes over time on the basis of here and now interactions with the environment. It is responsible for our activities in the realm of the probable; the world of everyday living that poetry, mythology and religion refer to and codify. In our everyday living we must process many vague and amorphous inputs simultaneously and this is what the right hemisphere is preeminent at doing. If we attempted to deal with the practical and emotional in a linear and rational manner we would soon be irtmobilized. Now we are beginning to perceive an image of right hemispheric functioning that gets richer over time and this developmental process is quite easy for us to grasp and relate to. However, when we ask the question as to how the left hemisphere developes the issue becomes quite murky and mysterious. Little is said about this process in the literature, and we are left with the impression that its particular style of processing information is neurologically prewired. This program would then be 'turned on1 with the acquisition 35. of language. Development past this point would, of course, follow the same general pattern that has been postulated for right hemispheric functioning - experience refines the operations and extends the f i e l d of applicability. However, this account i s strangely unsatisfying because of the unexplained gap between bir t h and age two or three when language i s acquired. Furthermore, this account implies that the functional separation between the two hemispheres that we observe i n adults i s there from birth. In order to explain these anomolies, I would l i k e to put forward the notion that l e f t hemispheric functioning results from: f i r s t , the esta-blishment of part whole relationships and, second, the conscious manipula-tion of the various symbolic parts without reference to the wholes from which they were originally derived. I am speculating that the l e f t hemi-sphere i s the site of a l l e f f o r t f u l , self-conscious activity; whereas the right hemisphere i s the site of automated, habitualized behavioral patterns. In order to activate these automatized, behavioral wholes, however, the l e f t hemisphere issues a conscious directive. This conscious directive (eg. "I w i l l start writing scon") i s i t s e l f only a part of a complex, rmil tidimen-sional behavioral gestalt (eg. "Find a pen, hold i t between my thumb, index and second finger, apply i t to the paper, write from l e f t to right"..etc.). When such a gestalt can be condensed into one symbol i t i s much more amenable for manipulation and transformation as i n speculation and abstract thinking. However, we shall see that the meaning embedded i n this condensed symbol i s deterirrined by i t s relation to the whole. That i s , abstract t±unking, for a l l i t s efficiency and power, i s peculiarily subject to loss of meaning. That i s , when reflective thinking or l e f t hemispheric functioning becomes the only mode of mental activity, we risk the loss of root meanings. Let us quote Galin, who detects a property i n language that i s applicable to 36. abstract concepts and cognitions. Words serve to establish boundaries. When we name an object (or a person) we separate i t from its context, and label i t in accord with some of its attributes, of necessity neglecting other attributes. In this sense labelling is a way of excluding aspects or relations which are not wanted. (p. 29) It has been noted earlier that the right hemisphere is superior at establishing part whole relationships. We could state this as follows: the right hemisphere always connects the symbol to its referent object or to its gestalt. The left hemisphere, on the other hand, connects one symbol to another symbol through the laws of logic. We could characterize the former as an organic connection, and the latter as a mechical connection. This is reirriniscent of Polanyi (1975) : The difference between a deduction and an integration lies in the fact that deduction connects two focal items, the premises and the consequents, while integration makes subsidiaries bear on a focus. Admittedly there is purposive movement in a deduction - which is its essential tacit coefficient; but the deductive operation can be mechanically performed, while a tacit integration i s intentional throughout and, as such, can be carried out only by a conscious act of the mind. Our analysis of tacit knowing...tells us not only that conscious-ness is intentional, but also that i t always has roots from which i t attends to its object. (p. 39) 37. The process of integration that Polanyi refers to is a part-whole relationship: the part, the focal item, receives its meaning through its relationship to the subsidiaries, the whole in which i t is embedded. Nebes (1974) conducted experiments which indicated that the right hemisphere was superior in establishing part-whole relationships. In the experiment he presented arc segments of circles and asked split-brain patients to match these with the carp leted circle. He found that the right hemisphere was superior at this task. 2. "Loss of Meaning" - Oat of Touch with Right Hemisphere The picture that is beginning to emerge is that the right hemisphere can produce part-whole relationships and that the left hemisphere abstracts out the part, or focal item and relates i t to other focal items through formal operations. There are certain very irriportant therapeutic irrplications in this line of thought, and the concept of 'rtieaning1 is the central one. Quite often the presenting complaint put forward by a client is loss of meaning. Some of them will corrplain that words don't mean anything anymore; or that no one thing is anymore iirrpprtant than any other. Such a state, of course, engenders severe psychological panic in that i t provides no * guidelines for response or action. Both words and thoughts have been devalued and as such provide no orientation for the client. Exactly what happens to produce such a state? To answer such a question we have to go back to the developmental origins of the clear and distinct ideas that have currently lost their meaning. Polanyi refers to this stage as tacit 38. versus explicit knowing. That i s , explicit knowing is more or less a rational process dealing with clear and distinct ideas as in the processes of reflection and introspection. Tacit knowing, on the other hand, deals with the production of these clear and distinct ideas. If our clients are complaining about rootlessness or loss of meaning we must return to the rootedness that originally established the meaning. Polanyi gives us an excellent account of this process: ... there are three centers of tacit knowledge; fi r s t the subsidiary particulars; second the focal target; and third, the knower who links the f i r s t to the second. (p. 39) In order to move our discussion down to a more concrete example, let us give an example. When I am driving a nail, I have a subsidiary awareness of the feelings in my hand which is merged into my focal awareness of driving a nail. A l l three centers are thus embodied in this example. This example clearly illustrates that the act of driving a nail would be impossible without the subsidiary awareness, which guides and corrects my gross motor movements. I am not conscious of these subsidiary feelings in a direct way; my attention is focussed on the nail and the hammer head. Let us now return our discussion to the matter of loss of meaning. To do so we must leave our example behind as i t deals almost exclusively in the physical realm. When we refer to a fact, in our natural way of thinking about these matters, we are referring to only one of the three centers that Polanyi mentions: the focal target. What Polanyi's account 39. makes clear i s that the meaning of this focal target i s determined by the two other centers. I t i s the intentional act of the knower that links the subsidiaries to the focal item i n just this particular way. For example, identical twins are raised by an arbitrary and inconsistent mother. Each twin has a different intentionality; one intends to avoid punishment, the other intends to rraximize pleasure. In this example the focal item would be mother or the general concept of women. The subsidiary particulars would be the concrete, detailed, lived through experience, f i r s t with mother, then with other women. The focal item, worrien i n general, would have quite different meaning for each of these twins. One would avoid testing the environment and as a result would be stuck with the concept of women as aversive stimuli, the other would continue to explore and adapt. Furthermore, intentionality can change over an individual's l i f e -time. Religious conversions, mystical and traumatic experiences are various names we give to a dramatic shift i n intentionality. I f the subject's intentionality changes but he i s s t i l l dealing with focal items whose meaning was established by an earlier intentionality, he necessarily w i l l be l e f t flounclering: his concepts and language w i l l constantly betray him because their meaning has been sedimented i n a now alien intentionality. He w i l l constantly be mistaking concepts or constructs for data, and as a result w i l l come to distrust thinking completely. The very stuff of his thoughts, the very elements or tools with which he seeks to escape his dilemma, contain within them assumptions that always lead back to the same point, irrespective of the operation performed on them, returning to the physiological level, the l e f t hemisphere contains 'givens' of clear and i 40. distinct ideas whose rootedness or part-whole relationship had been esta-blished for purposes that now have been transcended. New part-whole relationships that reflect the current intentionality w i l l produce appropriate focal items. These new focal items can then be worked with reflectively and linearly by the l e f t hemisphere with some degree of trust i n that process. The second source of alienation or rootlessness i s intimately con-nected to the f i r s t . Whereas the f i r s t dealt with a chaning intentionality, the second involves a loss of contact with the subsidiaries. In our physiological language, the l e f t hemisphere loses touch with the right; or the l e f t hemisphere i s asked to do the work of the right. Remembering that the right hemisphere corresponds to body wisdom and the l e f t to reflective consciousness, l e t us look at the following quote by Gendlin, (ed. Corsini; 1973). But i f experiencing, as bodily f e l t , i s also the interpretive mass, that i s to say, the sense one has of what i s going on, and the sense which interprets words, events, and so forth, then i n isolation one also loses this capacity to interpret what words and events mean... (p. 332). In other words, when one loses touch with one's unreflective, spontaneous responses, one ceases to feel the meaning immediately and intuitively. Instead, one attempts to 'work out' the meaning mechanically. One's conscious mental l i f e i s almost totally conceptual, totally preoccupied with focal items. There i s v i r t u a l l y no attending to sensation and feeling. It i s as satisfying a way of l i v i n g as reading a menu satisfies hunger. How does one lose touch with the 'interpretive mass', the bodily-felt wisdom of the right hemisphere? A phenomenological description w i l l elucidate this 41. process. Recall that the second form of attention (that which characterizes l e f t hemispheric activity) involves a "standing back" or "taking one's distance" from the changes of appearance. I t involves a clear separation between subject and object. A l l of these descriptive phrases (eg. standing back, taking one's distance, and clear separation) imply the possibility of a further stage: 'losing touch'. That i s , this second form of attention when used exclusively results i n the individual being 'out of touch' with his experience. The 'observer' draws further and further back from the content of consciousness, i n order to expand the scope, and inadvertently loses touch with that content as a bodily f e l t experience. As a result, the contents of consciousness comes to be experienced as two dimensional images on a movie screen rather than as substantial presences. 3. From Concrete Image ('to Abstract Category At this point we shall investigate the transition that occurs i n our phenomenological l i f e as we move from right to l e f t hemisphere dominance. Earlier i t was stated that the l e f t hemisphere functioned through a process of separation. That i s , the l e f t hemisphere was somehow capable of l i f t i n g a part or element out of i t s total gestalt. I posited that l e f t hemispheric functioning was analogous with analytic and reflective thinking. This mode of thought i s characterized by the connection of clear and distinct focal ideas i n a sequential, linear manner based on the laws of logic. This 42. style of tMriking is characterized by separation as well, as i t involves taking one's distance frcrn the world or stepping back from the changes of appearance. That i s , there is heightened boundary perception which permits a true subject-object relationship. In right hemispheric functioning, on the other hand, the boundaries are blurred and there is some loss of the distinction between subject and object. a. Physiological Changes The final, and most iirportant, separation that occurs in left hemispheric activity is the separation between thought and action. In concrete thirrking, thought and action are one indivisible whole. However, in reflective and abstract thought we note that there is a profound gap between mental activity and overt behavior. It is as i f capacity for overt behavior has been suspended or severed from the thought processes. When we consult our own lives for evidence regarding this possibility the most obvious example we come up with is dreaming. In this experience there is a profusion of mental activity without corresponding physical activity (the only exception being rapid eye rrDvement - REM). Recent work by Chase (1978) has revealed a physiological basis for this cessation of activity. During REM sleep, there are striking changes within the neurons that control the muscles; as soon as this state begins, the interiors of the neurons become electrically, negative. The change in electrochemical makeup stops the neurons from discharging: our muscles cannot contract, and our limbs cannot move. (p. 104) 43. One wonders whether the same processes that we observe in REM sleep (or clreandng) also occur in reflective thought or left hemispheric functioning. Perhaps, one way of understanding dreaming would be as a sort of half-way house between right and left hemispheric functioning. As such i t would display features of both; a holistic processing of information characteristic of the right; and a separation or suspension of overt, concrete behavior characteristic of the left. Perhaps, dreaming is evidence of our physiological endcwraent (a biological deteririinism) that we exploit and transcend in the activity of analytic thinking. (One other implication which would be worth exploring is whether abstract, reflective thought produces the same electrochemical changes in the neurons controlling behavior). b. Autrrnization: A Precursor to Abstract Thought We have been discussing the transition from concrete images, which characterize right hemispheric functioning; to dreaming which is a sort of transitional phenomena; to abstract categories, which characterize left hemispheric functioning. We have been attempting to discover at least some of the physiological correlates to this transition. We would now, like to shift our attention to a psychological description of this transition. The constructs that wi l l be used are those of automization (Hartman; 1958) and deautcmization (Deikman; 1974). Automization refers to a gradual process through which behavior becomes habituated as opposed to consciously directed. It is through such a process that the concrete image becomes denuded of detail and the resultant sketch is much more amenable for the 44. complex mental operations of reflective thought. Hartman (1958) outlines the steps involved in such a process. In well established achievements they [motor apparatuses ] function automatically; the integration of the somatic systems involved in the action is automatized, and so is the integration of the individual mental acts involved in i t . With increasing exercise of the action its intermediate steps disappear from consciousness... not only motor behavior but perception and thinking, too, show automatization. (p. 88-91) Thus automatization makes possible the transfer of attention from a percept of action to abstract thought activity. An example of such a process would be learning to drive a car. At f i r s t this experience is an end in itself; requiring a l l of one's attention. Later, however the immediacy of this experience fades almost completely to the point where one can indulge in highly abstract speculation while driving a car. Furthermore, the act of driving a car, itself, can be abstracted and seen as a means among alternate means (walking, biking, etc.). Of course this automization becomes, more and more, a feature of adult l i f e to the point where, for most of us, our daily lives lack the irtmediacy and freshness of our youth. The process of deautomization, on the other hand, works to reverse this trend to predominately left hemispheric functioning. The following quote from Deikman (Lee-et al; 1976) explains deautomization: The percept receives intense attention while the use of attention for abstract categorization 45. and thought is explicitly prohibited. Attention is reinvested in perception. (p. 74) This implies that we have some volitional control over which hemisphere dominates. Furthermore, the usual dominance of left hemispheric function-ing in adults is not necessarily preordained. Subjects who were trained in the deautomi zation process("Concentrate on a blue vase for thirty minutes over ten trials.")reported experiences that are believed to be characteristic of right hemispheric functioning. Specifically they reported that sense of separateness from the vase began to vanish - i.e., their boundary perception decreased. Secondly, they reported a fusion of perceptual modes; i.e., kinesthetic perceptions began to accompany their visual perceptions. For example, one subject reported "where the vase changes shape, I feel this in my body." (p. 72) This partially confirms our earlier intuition that right hemispheric functioning corresponds to what has been called a body ego. It is the abstracted, reflective ego that sees with its eyes only. Haptic harmony is a term that McLuhan (1964) uses to refer to a state that involves an active, harmonious interplay of a l l the sense modalities. It is just this interplay, this melding of modalities and loss of subject object boundaries that forms the interpretive mass, the context that endows are experiences with meaning. At the same time, the information available is much too rich and detailed to be handled comfortably in reflective, left hemispheric activity and therefore i t is reduced in complexity (abstracted) through the process of habituation and automization. 46. C. Summary In review let us attempt to summarize how the content of the left hemisphere evolves out of the content of the right. 1. Thought is separated from action. Dreaming is the f i r s t spontaneous expression of this capacity. Furthermore, physiological research indicates that there are electrochemical changes which facilitate the suspension of overt behavioral responses. Without this suspension a l l reflective, analytical thought would be impossible. 2. The right hemisphere seems to act as the site of the accumulated body wisdom. The process of automi zation that Hartman refers to, where complex somatic and mental acts are integrated, i s the process by which right hemispheric wisdom is built up. There is some empirical evidence for this assumption. Rimland (1978) attempted to train a psychology graduate student to match the amazing computational abilities observed in autistic savants. Despite an enormous amount of practice, as well as the memorization of a one page table to facilitate his calculations, the graduate student was unable to match the 47. speed of the savants. Quite suddenly, however, he was able to match their speed. ... his brain had somehow automated the complex calculations. I t had absorbed the table to be memorized so efficiently that now calendar-calculating had to consciously go through the various operations. (p. 74) RjuTtland goes on to speculate that the site of processing had migrated frcm the left hemisphere to the right. 3. The part of the behavioral/mental whole that is not habituized or automatized stands for or symbolizes the whole. For example the concept of bicycle riding stands for a whole series of somatic integrations that are involved in the act but no longer require our conscious attention. It is these condensed symbols or 'empty' categories that become the elements in left hemispheric activity. 4. It is the relationship of the part (the abstract elements of the left hemisphere) to the whole (the complex, bodily felt interpretive mass of the right hemisphere) that provides meaning or allows us to make sense of our experience. 5. Attention can either be invested in the percept or in abstract categorization. In the f i r s t case, right hemispheric functioning is facilitated. This can be 48. used to redress the balance between the two modes of functioning; as well as to root or ground the more abstract thoughts of the left hemisphere. In the second case, left hemispheric functioning comes to dominate a l l conscious experience and as a result becomes increasingly alienated from the right. D. Conclusion: Growth Implies A Dialectic Between Hemispheres We can conclude this section with the notion that healthy functioning involves a balance between tie two modes of processing information. In a sense we could suggest that a dialectic between the two hemispheres should be encouraged. This is particularly important when we realize that the elements of the left are not 'givens' or 'absolutes' but rather determined by the subsidiary particulars and the intentionality at their time of formation. Any growth process, therefore, must necessarily entail the formation of new, more appropriate, part-whole relationships. G i l l and Brennan (1959) articulate this point nicely: Deautomization is an undoing of the automatizations of apparatuses - both means and goal structures -directed toward the environment. Deautomi zation i s , as i t were, a shakeup which can be followed by an advance or a retreat in the level of organization... Some manipulation of the attention directed toward the functioning of an apparatus is necessary i f i t is to be deautomatized. (p. 73) 49. In more phericmenological language, the process that G i l l and Brennon are referring to is the loss of the sense of certainty. The absolutes and 'givens' of yesterday begin to loose their stability and become fluid and relative. The clear and distinct ideas of reflective thought and left hemispheric functioning begin to break down and dissolve. One begins to notice that one's thoughts display a divergent as opposed to convergent pattern. That i s , each focal thought triggers off other thoughts that are connected to the focal item like spokes to a hub. Previously focal thought was linked to focal thought in linear fashion like a railway track. In order for one to proceed to more sophisticated structural organization these focal items must be allowed to dissolve. Only then will intentionality be allowed to rearrange the subsidiary particulars of the right hemisphere into a new, more sophisticated gestalt. This gestalt, in turn, will supply the 'raw' information to be utilized for the production of new focal items. It is an epistemological process. These new, focal items will then be incorporated into the left hemisphere where they may be processed sequentially in f u l l reflexive judgement. As stated earlier, the petrified ideas of the left hemisphere must be allowed to dissolve; and the divergent as opposed to convergent organi-zation to proceed i f an advance in the level of organization is to occur. That is, the left hemisphere must relinguish its active mode (its controlling and deliberating mind) and instead adopt an attitude of receptivity. The attitude of surrender or receptivity is necessary i f the left hemisphere is to be informed with the content of the right. 50. 1. Physiological Correlates to the Receptive Attitude There are some interesting experiments that indicate that there are objective correlates to these active and receptive modes that must occur i f a dialogue is to take place. Orstein (1977) notes that the presence of an alpha in specific locations of the brain is conventionally interpreted as an indication that, that area is 'idling *. ... when a person is writing, more alpha rhythm appears in the right hemisphere than in the left, and while arranging blocks more alpha is present in the left hemisphere than in the right. This indicates that we turn off the hemisphere not involved in the situation. (p. 33) While I find Orstein's observations to be extremely interesting, the inter-pretation he goes on to make (i.e. alpha rhythm is indicative of 'turning of f . ) is questionable. Another author, Deikman (in Lee et al; 1974) links alpha activity with the receptive mode. It is this latter interpretation that fits most consistantly with the dialectical orientation of this thesis. That i s , we wish to establish that the relationship is not one of dominance and submission (the adversary metaphor) but one of dialogue with active and receptive modes available to both hemispheres. This interpretation or position gets some support from Ornstein in a later section of his book. The alpha rhythm in the occipital cortex is usually thought to represent a state of decreased visual attention to the external environment. (p. 174; italics mine) 51. Ornstein goes on to point out that this conclusion was based on an experiment where bursts of alpha wave activity were observed when subjects closed their eyes, cutting off visual stimulation. Other investigators have characterized alpha frecjuencies as indicative of scanning or searching activity. We could also interpret such activity as the experience of attention without an object whereas beta waves would be indicative of attention with an object. To return to the latest Ornstein quote, we might speculate that the decreased attentiveness to external stimuli i s accompanied by an increased state of receptivity to information crossing the corpus callosum from the other hemisphere. Much of the foregoing has been an attempt to establish the dialectical nature of the relationship between the two hemispheres. Our reasons for so doing are to offer some objective (physiological) support for our more theoretical speculation that the contents and categories of the l e f t hemisphere evolve out of the amorphous content of the right. Having thus established the radical dependency of the l e f t on the right points to a fundamental therapeutic implication. The client's attention must be re-directed away from the content of the l e f t and towards the formative processes that are occmring on the right. In this way we are training the client to be a conscious participant i n the epistemological process. In a later chapter we raise the possibility that identity change involves a process whereby one alternately construes oneself as object, then as subject. That i s , we can experience ourselves as a center of subjectivity or as an object of awareness (one's self-image would be an example of this type of construal). This section, therefore, i s an attempt to prepare the way for that argument. I f the two hemispheres do, i n fact, 52. represent two consciousnesses, then from the point of view of the l e f t , for example, the right hemisphere would be present to i t as object, and vice versa. Thus, the phenomenological fact that we experience ourselves dualistically, both as subject and as object, i s supported by the physio-logical and anatomical data. Now our consideration must turn to the issue of choice and volition. We must ask the question of whether we can decide which hemisphere w i l l be operationalized. Our previous developmental description indicated that dominance was determined by maturational factors. Specifically, during infancy we are predominately right hemispheric beings, while during adult-hood the l e f t hemisphere increasingly controls and determines our experience. With the exception of the experience of deautomization, conscious volition has been absent from our account. The next section i s intended to correct this de f i c i t . IV. Volitional Factors in Hemispheric luminance One of the prevailing themes of this thesis i s that individuals construct their reality. This i s i n contradistinction to the naturalistic attitude which understands reality as given and independent of the subject. What the naturalistic attitude takes as objective rea l i t y i s really a disowned (or more correctly, unowned), personally created project. Recasting the nature of the relationship between an individual mind and the r e a l i t y that mind perceives increases the prospects for successful therapeutic intervention. By comparing the two conceptions of relationship between mind and rea l i t y , the truth of the last sentence can be demonstrated. 53. Inciividuals holering a naturalistic belief system w i l l 1 find' that the ' facts' of the 'objective' world reinforce their belief systems, values, emotions and behavior. When they engage i n what they believe to be re a l i t y testing they are actually receiving their truncated projections. For these individuals, therefore, the evidence of their senses seems to confirm the pla u s i b i l i t y of their belief systems. I f the reader believes, as I do, that the need for leaning and mastery i s the highest or prjurary ego need, then i t becomes readily apparent that individuals w i l l cling to their current model of reality. Ifaen the notion of reinforcement (in the sense that behavior modification uses that term) i s introduced, i t becomes clear that an individual i s reinforced for his prevalent world view every waking moment of his l i f e . I t makes l i t t l e difference whether his world view i s pleasurable or painful, appropriate or inappropriate, positive or negative. A l l these labels apply to the content of the meaning system rather than the meaning system i t s e l f - they apply to the message rather than the medium. The establishment of meaning (any meaning) i s the cognitive behavior that i s being reinforced. We can see, therefore, that i n a client's normal week the 'world' reinforces his problematic belief system 111 hours a week, while a therapist reinforces an alternative, more beneficial construal for only 1 hour i n that week. Thus, the likelihood of any profound change i n the client's unconscious belief system i s extremely small. Furthermore, the psychological panic that accompanies the abandonment of the old, problematic belief/meaning system makes i t extremely d i f f i c u l t for a new system to be established with any sense of certainty, even i f the potential benefits are enormous. 54. The remaining part of this section w i l l explore a possible way past this dilenma. Essentially, the position put forward i s that we a l l ex-perience a dual way of giving neaning to the world. That i s , we don't have to wait to experience an alternative construal - that experience i s available to us now. Thus, our ego's need for meaning or mastery can be gratified immediately, albeit i n an unusual way. Moreover, this technique or method i s at the disposal of our volition and therefore allays our fears of loss of control. The technique I am referring to i s to respond to a novel, unccntaminated situation from two different modalities or intention-a l i t i e s . On the f i r s t t r i a l we respond to the situation verbally and rationally; on the second t r i a l we respond non-verbally (gesture, noise, drawing). I t i s my contention that such a technique w i l l reveal to the client that he can construe the same situation i n entirely different ways - that the re a l i t y he perceives w i l l be qualitatively different. In this manner he can escape his unidimensionality. The supposition i s that when the client chooses to respond with non-verbal, overt behavior, right hemispheric processing of the stimulus input w i l l result. That i s , the client w i l l be aware of processing the situation wholistically. On the other hand, when the client chooses to respond to the situation analytically and verbally, l e f t hemispheric processing w i l l result. In this case the client's phenomenological awareness w i l l include only those stimuli that conform to his categorical thought. In this section, therefore, I w i l l be reviewing the literature on split-brain functioning with the hope of identifying those operations that w i l l allow us to determine which hemisphere w i l l be u t i l i z e d i n any 55. particular situation. A. The Motor Theory of Consciousness We begin this discussion with a definition of consciousness that' w i l l prepare the way for our later discussion. Consciousness has been conceptualized i n various ways hist o r i c a l l y . One of the f i r s t of these saw consciousness as a kind of blank state upon which experience was iriprinted. Thus, consciousness was conceived of i n exclusively passive terms. John Locke was probably the most central figure i n establishing this view. Later this notion was surplanted by a conception that saw the activity of the subject as crucial to the content of consciousness. Thus, both activity and receptivity had equally important parts to play i n the ctevelopment of intelligence. Piaget was the investigator who did the most to secure this position. A third position can be stated which posits the activity of the subject as being the major o^terrmnate of consciousness. It i s this position that we w i l l investigate i n this section as i t bears most directly on the issue of volition. Ornstein (1977) refers to i t as the motor theory of consciousness. A concrete example w i l l make i t s general nature obvious. When we move our head i n order to better observe a flower, we don't see the flower moving, even though the retinal image of the flower must move. As Ornstein explains: 56. .. .in constructing our awareness we must also take our own movements (motor output of the brain) into account and correlate them with continuous changes i n input information, (p. 63) He goes on to note that some researchers have argued that consciousness depends solely on the output of the brain, no matter what the input that triggers off a given output. This theory would argue that the brain i s largely specialized to make motor movements, be they of the tongue, as i n speech; of the eye; or the large muscle movements of the body. This position has profound implications for the theory of perception which Sperry (1951) has noted: The presence or absence of adaptive reaction potentialities...ready to discharge i n motor patterns makes the difference between perceiving and not perceiving. (p. 291) Jaynes (1976) appears to have arrived at the same conclusion when he states: Concepts are simply classes of behaviorally equivalent tilings, (p. 31) His statement confirms my earlier intuition that the clear and distinct ideas (concepts) of the l e f t hemisphere are, i n fact, abstracted parts of the behavioral whole that i s present i n the right hemisphere. 57. Much of the above discussion suggest the interesting possibility that the nature of what one sees is determined, to a large extent, by the mode with which one is prepared to respond. That is, i f one decides to respond behaviorally (bodily movements and non-verbal vocalizations) one will see or perceive the situation far differently than i f one were prepared to respond verbally and analytically. Thus, i f we wish to experience right hemispheric functioning we merely decide in advance to respond behaviorally versus verbally. B. Perception: We Perceive Our Preparation-TO-Respond Elsewhere in this thesis we posit the,argument that each of us constructs our reality. The construct of intentionality was invoked to emphasize the subjective component in this creative process - we intend our reality. Our current discussion suggests techniques for realizing this fact on an experiental basis. The experiments we are about to study indicate that we don't perceive a stimulus as much as we perceive our response to that stimulus. An experiment by Festinger (1967) indicates that by changing a person's preparation to respond to a given stimulus, perception changed although the stimulus did not. Subjects were asked to view a straight line and convey their impressions of i t . Normally a straight line yields preparations-to-respond by moving the eyes in a straight line. These subjects were then fitted with contact lens with wedge prisms. These wedge prisms changed the stimulus (retinal image) from that of a straight to that of a curved line. Initially, the perception changed accordingly. However, because 58. of the nature of the optics involved, subjects had to move their eyes in a straight line in order to view its whole continuum. After a few trials, the subjects began to report seeing a straight line. That is, they were seeing their preparation to respond, their behavioral response rather than the stimulus object. A l i t t l e thought will reveal this is a universal condition. We a l l see straight lines - there is no argument or disagreement about this. And yet the anatomy of our eyes and retinal layer must be unique to each of us. That i s , the retinal image of a straight line must have a unique configuration (i.e. bumps, squiggles, and curves). Therefore what we 'see' is not the retinal image but the invariance in the tracking response. In the light of these firidings, Jaynes* assertion that concepts are simply classes of behaviorally equivalent things, is not quite as far-fetched as i t originally seemed. If our perceptions are, in a sense, predetermined by our preparation to respond then we can radically change the nature of our perceptual experience by changing our response orientation. Orstein (1977) reports an experiment that demonstrates this quite dramatically. Another experiment tested the lateral speciali-zation of the two hemispheres, using split visual input. The right half of each eye sends its messages to the right hemisphere, the left half to the left hemisphere. In this experiment, the word 'heart1 was flashed before the patient, with the 'he'-portion to the left of the eyes' fixation point, and the '-art' portion to the right. Normally i f any person were asked to report this experience, he or she would report having seen heart. But the split brain  patients responded differently, depending on  which hemisphere was responding^ When the patient was asked to name the word just presented, he or she replied, 'art,' since this was the portion 59. projected to the left hemisphere, which was answering the question. When, however, the patient was shown two cards - one with the word 'he', the other with the word 'art' - and asked to point with the left hand to the word he or she had seen, the left hand pointed to *he'. The simultaneous experience of each hemisphere seemed unique and independent of each other in these patients. (p. 25; italics mine) This experiment demonstrates that the intentionality of the subject determines how the world appears to him. That i s , i f he intends to respond gesturally, he 'sees' one thing; i f he intends to respond verbally he 'sees' another. In a sense these experiments indicate that there are two simul-taneous experiences occurring. However, we are only conscious of one of them. The decision as to which experience will be conscious is determined in advance with the decision to grant access to the motor pathways. If the right hemisphere is granted access to the motor pathways the person will perceive the situation holistically and intuitively. On the other hand, i f the left hemisphere is granted access to the motor pathways controlling overt behavior, the person will process the situation analytically, sequentially and verbally. C. Therapeutic Implications The therapeutic implications of the above are quite interesting. It suggests that greater emphasis be placed on expanding the client's behavioral repetoire. Changing behavioral responses will change the perceptual experience. 60. Another intriguing possibility is for the therapist to instruct the client to respond in exclusively non-verbal terms. This would give the client the experience of right hemispheric functioning that would probably stand in marked contrast to his more familiar, while problematic, left hemis-pheric style of functioning. The rapidity of the client's reaction time would indicate the spontaneity of his behavior or whether his overt behavior was being mediated by left hemispheric functioning. Perhaps such training would facilitate the client's ability to move from one mode to another. In that case, they would be able to experiment with alternate modes of functioning in situations that don't yield to their habitual style. D. Summary and Conclusions In summary, I have suggested that i t is possible to add volition to the l i s t of factors determining which hemisphere will be dominant. Previously identified factor were situational and maturational. For example, i f the situation called for orientation in three dimensional space, as in dancing, the right hemisphere would dominate. The maturational factor, on the other hand, indicated that, a l l other things being equal, the left hemisphere would tend to dominate consciousness as the subject became older. We now are suggesting that the question of dominance can be volitionally determined by deciding in advance whether one's response will be verbal or non-verbal. Through such training clients can learn to become adapt at both intuitive and rational information processing. 61. In the next two chapters, we shall indicate that i t is just this capacity to be at home in both centers that is a precursor to successful identity change. We shall be drawing a parallel between right hemispheric functioning and what philosophy refers to as pre-reflective intentionality. Left hemispheric functioning, on the other hand, will be equated with reflective or self-consciousness. Any discussions regarding self-image; self concept; or identity involve left hemispheric fmotioning. That i s , left hemispheric functioning involves a separation of awareness from the contents of awareness; there is a clear division between subject and object. The right hemisphere does not draw this kind of clear boundary between subject and object. We have also seen that the content of the left hemisphere is radically dependent on the right. That i s , we have suggested that the content of the left is a result of a special operation of attention performed on the content of the right. By l i f t i n g or abstracting the part from its context in the right hemisphere, the left appropriates i t as its own. This prepares the way for our later argument that any authentic identity change involves a re-synthesis or part-whole integration in the right hemisphere before individual elements can be abstracted out for left hemispheric analytic processing, in other words, our prime focus as therapists is the sphere of pre-reflective intentionality. It is through dwelling in this sphere of consciousness that a new, grounded identity will gradually emerge. 62. CHAPTER THREE Identity 1. Intro auction The previous chapter lays the groundwork for this one. In i t we established that the fundamental feature of man's psychic l i f e was its structural duality. This duality was noted on a number of dimensions. On a physiological level i t was manifested in the presence of the right and left hemispheres. According to Ornstein (1977) the left was thought to process information sequentially, and the right, simultaneously via pattern recognition. On a philosophical level these two modes of information processing were thought to correspond to pre-reflective intentionality (right hemisphere) and reflective consciousness (left hemisphere). On the psychological dimension these two realms of consciousness are known as ego operations and the dynamic unconscious. These categories are the result of a primarily structural analysis. Underlying these structural dualities and, in fact, generating them was a dynamic duality: the two modes of attention. The first mode of attention is characterized by a fusion between attention and the object being attended to; between awareness and it s contents. It was reasoned that i t was this mode of attention that was responsible for the elaborations of the structures of what has been variously labelled the dynamic unconscious, pre-reflective intentionality and the right hemisphere. The second mode of attention is characterized by a separation between attention and its object - the differentiation between subject and object. It was this form of attention that was thought to be responsible for the elaborations of the structures within the ego, the reflective conscious-ness, and the left hemisphere. 63. In this chapter I hope to apply this line of analysis to the problem of identity and identity change. F i r s t , however, the construct of identity must be located within the dualistic structure that has been posited. I suggest that identity i s a synthetic construct that bridges and unifies the two constructs i n the structural framework: the pre-reflective, intending self and the reflective, self-conscious self. That i s , one's sense of identity i s a composite derived from the interaction between these two modes of being. The pre-reflective self i s that which organizes behavior spontaneously, without premeditation and without any awareness of i t s contribution i n this process. The reflective self, on the other hand, i s responsible for the conscious articulation of a rational description of both the world or enviroriment and of the self as object. When psychologists refer to self-concept or self-image, they are referring to an juidividual's reflexive knowledge of their self. For example, the statement "I am a short tempered individual'' would only be made by the reflective self and would be a component i n that individual's self-concept. On the other hand, the act of losing one's temper would be an erruption of the pre-reflective self and would include no self-conscious premeditation. It i s this pre-reflective self that contributes the bodily f e l t sense of subjectivity to our identity. Thus, our identities are a synthesis of our reflexively derived self-image and our subjectively f e l t bodily state. The purpose of this chapter i s to demonstrate theoretically that identity can be fimdamentally restructured. I t i s my impression that most therapies intend to do this but most often only accomplish self-acceptance and adjustment. I am not disparaging these results as they most certainly 64. alleviate suffering. Nevertheless, one wonders i f there i s a beyond... whether there i s not a more fundamental therapeutic approach that would allow us to engineer identity. I believe there i s . Moreover, I believe that the limited effectiveness of most therapies can be attributed to their preoccupation with the reflective pole of the self (the domain of ego operations and l e f t hemispheric functioning) and their neglect and ignorance of the pre-reflective, intending pole of the self (the domain of the 'dynamic unconscious' or right hemispheric functioning). In the previous chapter I speculated that the content of the l e f t hemisphere (the reflective ego) was radically dependent on the content of the right i n that i t s descrete elements or focal items were abstracted parts of the wholistic pattern contained within the right. Thus, any attempt to re-structure identity must work directly with this wholistic pattern. It i s only i n this manner that we can change our being as opposed to changing our self-image. The main contention of this chapter, therefore, i s that radical identity change i s accomplished through the restructuring of the pre-reflective self. I w i l l demonstrate that this result i s accomplished through a process called subjectivizing. This term refers to a process by which we 'own', inhabit or dwell i n our experience. I t i s opposite to the process by which we objectify and take our distance from our experience. The underlying rationale i s that we become what we attend to. That i s , personality structures come into being as a result of experiences that engross us completely; as a result of experiences where the boundary between subject and object i s temporarily dissolved. I believe that this 65. i s the process by which personality structures get established i n early childhood before l e f t hemispheric fAjnctioning has developed. Therefore, i f we are to engineer identity change i n adolescence or adulthood, we must develop the capacity to merge with benevolent experiences. Finally, I w i l l suggest that the prerequisite for identity change is a capacity on the part of the client to alternate between the pre-ref lective and the reflective modes of being at w i l l . That i s , our client must f i r s t develop the a b i l i t y to merge with or stand back from his ex-perience, whenever he chooses to do so. 66. A. Identity: a Descriptive Definition. A well developed sense of identity gives us a sense of belong-ing i n this world, a sense of f i t t i n g comfortably, a feeling of not being squeezed or rejected. We have a r e a l i s t i c assessment of our strengths and limitations and the world offers us may niches or roles where these attributes f i t comfortably. Looking back over our personal history and forward into our future we see a continous line of deve-lopment. That i s , our development i s experienced linearly, as a spontaneous and relatively unseIf-conscious mfolding. Because our identity i s integrated, our career and relationship choices have been relatively unconflicted and straightforward. "I've always known that I would be a doctor and that I would eventually marry Jane." One's relationship to the world i s marked by unself-conscious trust -l i t t l e or no existential, onto logical questioning about the "neariing of i t a l l " . 3. The Social Context. The above description e l i c i t s some feelings of discomfort i f i t i s regarded as a normative statement. One wonders i f such a person actually exists - the account seems either to be naively optimistic as a general definition or only applicable to an extremely small min-ority. Or perhaps i t i s the time dimension that i s ' o f f . That i s , i f the above description had been written i n the 1950's or early 60 's perhaps i t would have applied to enough of the population to be a definition. However, we l i v e i n the 1970's and this definition 67. appears more of the nature of an idealized goal rather than a normative statement. William Glasser (1975) quotes Marshal McLuhan on our times: "We've gone from a goal to a role society." According to these two authors individuals in our culture no longer define their purpose or raison d'etre as the accomplishment of a task. Instead their focus has shifted to the realization or actualization of a secure and satisfying role or identity. It is my belief that this shift is more apparent than real. That i s , I believe that a l l societies have been role orientated. The very term 'society' implies interdependence. Role assignment and performance have been the means to execute that interdependence. That i s , our role assignment places us securely in the social net work. For example, i f the assigned role is that of a school teacher i t contains within i t a whole behavioral repetoire that relates us to the comnunity at large. Now, as Erikson (1968) has pointed out identity is a psycho-social phenomena. That i s , society provides us with infinitely large number of roles, with their built-in behavioral expectations, from which we choose one to model ourselves on and identify with. In other words identity is the result of choosing a role that delineates parameters of effective behavior and then personalizing and individualizing i t with our particular strengths, aptitudes and limitations. It is this mixture of the personal and the social that leads Erikson (1968) to denote identity as a psycho-social phenomena. ' Goffman(1959) carries this emphasis on the social or role aspect one step further: t-The self does not belong to its possessor. He and his body merely provide the peg on which something of a oollaberative manufacture will be hung for a time. The means for producing ' 68. and maintaining selves do not reside in the peg. (p. 252, 3) I am choosing to emphasize this social ccmponent in order to explicate the phenomena which Glasser and McLuhan are referring to. My reasoning is as follows: in stable societies roles are relatively constant and therefore, identities are relatively stable. However, during transitional periods roles cease to be secure havens for one's personal identity. As a result I believe that our age's preoccupation with questions of identity; this shift of focus from task to person; this heightened self-consciousness; is a result of the rapid social change we are currently experiencing. To illustrate how pervasive the consequences are, let us take the example of a 35 year old male, employed as a junior executive by an o i l company; married to a college educated woman in her early thirties and the father of a boy, age 10 and a g i r l , aged 12. This demographic data immediately conjures up a miriad of images a l l to do with social roles. If our framework is the late 50's images of "Father Knows Best" are evoked. But consider what happens to this image when we introduce a few of the social phenomena that have occurred in the past ten years: wide spread usage of birth control p i l l s ; the advent of the. counter culture; a rapid increase in the divorce rate; increased political terrorism; increasing incidence of seemingly random and irrational violence; the extensive usage of illegal drugs; women's liberation; the ecology movement; c i v i l rights; gay liberation; and inflation. A l l of the above phenomena either touch this man's l i f e directly or have 69. the potential to do so. Is i t any wonder, then, that his concern might begin to shift from his goal to his role. That i s , i t is becoming increasingly clear that an adequate sense of identity involves much more a sense of hewing out one's place rather than trying on pre-formed, stable roles. If, as Erikson (1968) asserts, identity is a psycho-social dialectic then as the social pole becomes more vague and diffuse individuals will turn to the psychological pole for their sense of control and autonomy. This chapter i s , therefore, a response to that trend. In i t we will attempt to investigate both the pitfalls and opportunities presented by a search for identity from within. Hopefully, along the way we will reach the point where we can accept that identity is not a terminal state that once secured leads to early 'retirement'. Instead the whole thrust of this thesis is toward a sense of identity as a perpetual becoming. Although the language may appear exceedingly abstract, the intention is to provide some process guidelines for therapeutic inter-vention and personal growth. As has been noted above we are living through a time of rapid social change and I hold no claim to predicting where these changes will take us a l l . For that reason I feel some necessity to stay away from concrete examples as they contain implicit social judgements within them; assumptions and presuppositions that cloud understanding and interfere with apprehending the client's true dilemma. Instead I present here those conclusions that I can pass along with same confidence in their stability over time. The process guidelines that emerge can give both the therapist and the client some broad parameters, within which to work without 70. taking away the existential choice that both must make in each concrete situation. II. THE TOO POLES OF IDENTITY A. Methodological Note: Dynamic Versus Structural Analysis Throughout this thesis we have stressed the dynamic as opposed to the structural. This primacy is based on the assumption that form follows function. That is, psychological structures are the result of dynamic operations. However, this methodological principle is difficult to maintain in the present chapter as we are dealing with a structural entity - identity. In order to partially overcome this difficulty we in i t i a l l y trace the origins of identity to its dynamic roots. Although the bulk of this chapter will be devoted to a structural analysis, hopefully the dynamic orientation presented at the beginning will permeate the whole chapter. The reader will recall from an earlier chapter, that 'attention' can be used in two different ways. In one manifestation i t is not distin-guishable from its content. That i s , attention and the object attended to were merged or absorbed into one another. For example, I am aware of a tree but not aware that I am aware. In the second manifestation, on the other hand, my attention and the object of my attention are separately distinguishable. For example, in addition to being aware of the tree, I am aware of this awareness. At this point let us introduce the notion that identity is a special object of attention. Its uniqueness is that its 71. referrent is the self rather than an object in the environment. Other than this special status i t can interact with attention in the same two ways as any other object of attention. That is, one's attention can be fused with or absorbed into its object, one's identity. If asked such an individual would report only identity content in his experience - he would not report a detached observer, a distinguishable attentiveness. This person would probably exhibit a fairly stable identity - a sameness over time. On the other hand, there is the individual who experiences a detached observer as well as his identity pattern or self concept. Such a person would probably exhibit a more transitory identity. In the following section we will equate the attention pole of this unique self referrent dialectic with the subjective aspect of the self. The identity content pole, on the other hand, will be equated to the objective pole of the self. That is, the self is the only psychological phenomenon that can be read two ways: both as subject and object. B. A Historical Theoretical Perspective Let us begin on a historical note. As Lapsley (1967) has pointed out the term 'self originally had a dipolar nature. (Here I am assuming that the concepts of 'self* and 'identity' possess a functional relationship). This dipolar nature implied both 'owness' and 'sameness'. The 'owness' pole refers to that fundamental and dynamic, alive-from-within experience of ourselves, that is beyond a l l doubt; that led to Descartes' "I think, therefore, I am." Merleau-Ponty (1962) is speaking of the same experience 72. when he states: The experience of the present is that of being assured of his existence once and for a l l , whom nothing could prevent from having been ... and perception as knowledge of the present is the central phenomenon which makes possible the unity of the ego and with i t the ideas of objectivity and truth. (p. 30) The essential point, for our purposes, is that the 'owness' pole of the self exists only in the present. The 'sameness' pole, on the other hand, occurs over time. Recalling the chapter in hemispheric functioning, the left hemisphere deals with sequential, chronological time (the 'sameness pole) whereas the right hemisphere experiences time simultaneously — the enduring present. Remarks such as, "I am essentially the same person now as I was five years ago" are probably referring to the sameness pole . When pressed to be more specific the speaker would probably refer to a l i s t of easily observable (i.e., objective) attributes: "I work for Montreal Trust; I enjoy outdoor activities; my family and I belong to the Greek Folk Dancing Society; I am relatively short tempered; average intelligence; fairly i l l at ease with strangers; etc." He would be in fact reporting what he had observed to be fairly constant (or the 'same') about his behavior over the years. His identity would therefore, consist of a collection or accumulation of these attributes. Ps Erikson (1968) has pointed out, he would be "a coherent personality with a sameness and continuity both in his self-experience and in his actuality for others." In the above example I would venture to say that his self-experience would be an internalization 73. of his actuality for others. This would be in line with the earlier Gtoffeian quote; which states essentially that the self is an objective as opposed to subjective pheriomena. Lapsley (1967) synthesizes the objective and subjective components of identity in the following: ... the self is the real 'him' in the sense of what organizes behavior, while the self as object of awareness corresponds closely to the original meaning of identifiable sameness. (p. 185; italics mine) The motif of our dualistic nature thus appears once again; this time in relation to our identity. The subjective aspect corresponds to the 'owness' pole; and the objective aspect to the 'sameness' pole. Often, in experience, these two poles are confused or are perceived as confluent. The polarity is not distinguished or dascrjlminated and we observe the person who believes that his essential self is constituted rather than constituting. This would be the so-called 'natural' attitude. Of course such a person would not be self conscious or reflexively aware of his bias. To my knowledge such an experiental awareness occurs only in unusual circumstances such as drug-induced altered states of consciousness; schizoid experiences; and identity crisis. 74. C. A Personal Experience For example,, a number of years ago I ingested some LSD. During the ensuing trip my experience of my identity was severely shaken through becoming self-conscious. That is, I became aware of my self as an object of awareness. I felt that everything which up until that time was most indubitably mine; my name, my character, my personality, my identity; really did not belong to me at a l l . I experienced acute identity confusion when I realized that the self I had identified with was really not alive from within but merely a collection of dead, static, information patterns. I recall feeling outraged, accompanied by the thought, "I did not choose these programs - they've been laid into me without MY participation and permission." That thought was not experienced as a contemplative, theoretical rumination but as a concrete, profound utterance. Implicit within i t was the awesome responsibility of perceiving myself as a constituting rather than as a constituted being. That i s , the self-consciousness of the identity formative process carried with i t the responsibility to act on that knowledge. This a l l occurred long before I had any passing acquaintance with the academic literature on identity. Since becoming familiar with some aspects of this literature, I find i t striking that the vocabulary used is so similar to that which I spontaneously used to come to grips with my experience. There are several examples. First, Lapsley (1967) noted that the concept of self was split historically "with the owness pole being now identified as the true self and the sameness pole identified as the false or phenomenal self." This corresponds to my personal experience in that I detached my 75. identity (conceived as my essential core) from the contents of my con-sciousness and relocated i t to consciousness i t s e l f . That i s , I detached my identity from the sameness pole and relocated i t to the owness pole. As we shall see later, this particular path presents i t s own dangers and oppor-tunities . D. Psychological Constructs Comparable to a Di-Polar Concept of Self. Let us pursue the concept of 'owness' a b i t further through the veh-i c l e of other authors. 1. Winnicott's Psyche and Soma Gunrtrip (1969) i n discussing the genesis of the schizoid personal-i t y type posits an infant who i s exposed to an inadequate environment, particularly an inadequate mother. He w i l l be what Winnicott calls 'a collection of reactions to impingement' but somewhere i n the midst of that chaos the psyche, the basic subject  of experience, who i s potentially a whole self and owns these reactions, i s unable to grow a secure sense of his wholeness, but can feel states of acute fear. (p. 186; i t a l i c s mine.) When Winnicott refers to a 'collection of reactions to impingement', he is referring to a sustained arousal state; a physiological overload, as well as to random, undirected body movement. When he asserts that the psyche 'owns these reactions' he i s describing the relation of the psyche to the body. The erm 'owns' implies an identity that i s not quite an equivalency; 76. a unity that is becoming dualistic. Thus even at the 'owness' pole we experience nascent dualism and at the 'sameness' pole this duality is fully articulated. For Winnicott the primary psyche is not simply a reflection of somatic experience, for i t may be but loosely related to the body in the f i r s t months of l i f e . He writes: The psyche of a normal infant may lose touch with the body, and there may be phases in which i t is not easy for the infant to come suddently back into the body, for instance when waking from a deep sleep. (The Family and Individual Development, p. 6) If, as he asserts, the soma and psyche are distinguishable aspects of the whole person, then one would assume that duality of the psyche and identity would be even more pronounced. One would be entitled to make such an assumption within a developmental framework that saw the relationship between the psyche and the body elaborated prior to the development of anything resembling ego structures. This developmental framework is in accordance with Piaget's work that sees sensori-motor schemes develop fi r s t as a sort of body knowledge upon which later, more 'intellectual' structures build. This line of reasoning leads us to conclude that the term 'own' is indeed the correct descriptor to apply to the relationship of consciousness to its contents. 2. Klein's 'Ego' and 'ID' A more psycho-analytic flavour is brought to the discussion by Klein and Pdviere (1964): 77. The anbitions of the Id, while that was the sole governing force, were towards being the thing at the other side of whatever relationship i t established. When the Ego takes control of the Id's iirpulses, i t directs them towards having. The word 'having' implies the same possessive orientation as the term 'own'. There i s a latent dualism contained within the term which we have worked hard to uncover and make expl i c i t . The stress has been on the duality because i t was latent and my objective was to make i t manifest. However, we should not overlook the more overt level of rearing of the term 'own' -one that conveys an intimate a f f i n i t y . In summary the self has two aspects, the subjective and the objective. The former exists only i n the enduring present; the latter has a past and a future. The 'proof of the existence of the former i s self evident: I experience therefore I am. The 'proof of the existence of the latter i s through an appeal to c r i t e r i a of consistency, coherency, and integrity. IDENTITY: ONLY POSSIBLE WITH PEFLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS. A. The Self: the Product of the Interaction Between Two Modes of Being. In this section of the chapter the objectrws i s to move our level of analysis down to a finer level. That i s , I w i l l attempt to investigate and elucidate those pre-conditions i n the nature of man that make identity possible. Specifically, i t w i l l be asserted that without a dialectic structure of consciousness, identity and self concept would simply not exist as potential experiences. The reader w i l l r e c a l l that a 78. dualistic meta-structure was posited consisting of a pre-reflective intentionality and reflective consciousness. I t i s this capacity to reflect that allows us to be self conscious. Our consciousness, i n this case, i s not directed to and absorbed via our precepts into the environment. Rather i t i s directed back upon the self. This capacity allows us to see our self as separate from the fleeting, transitory sequence of perceptions. I t begins with the capacity to distinguish awareness from i t s contents. I t i s this distinguishable and somewhat autonomous awareness that becomes the experiential ground for what w i l l later develop into an elaborated identity. Our discussion i s made more d i f f i c u l t by the ambiguity of the terms involved. For example, the term 'self conscious1 i s not, s t r i c t l y speaking, a true dialectic opposite to pre-reflective intentionality. Rather, i t i s a product or result of a second consciousness taking intentional consciousness as i t s object. Intentional consciousness apprehends perceptions of the environment as i t s objects whereas this second type of consciousness takes the intentional consciousness as i t s object. Vfe can conretize the discussion by stating that the right hemisphere takes the imaediate environment as i t s object, whereas the l e f t hemisphere takes the activity of the right as i t s object. Perhaps a quote from Sarte (1948) w i l l bring cl a r i t y to the natter as well as carrying the discussion forward. Consciousness i s a sort of decompression of being. It i s a being i n which there i s a certain crack, and which replaces being i n general with being-f o r - i t s e l f which causes a self to be bom. (p. 128; i t a l i c s mine.) 79. At f i r s t glance the above may appear, as i t did to me, to by empty philosophical 'busyness'. However, when one begins to plumb i t s depths some profound revelations become evident. The f i r s t of these i s Sarte's idea that consciousness i s a node of being. Thus, the second term i n my dialectic i s not so much a mirror held up to intentional consciousness but a second being attending to the f i r s t . The significance of this insight w i l l be understood by examining an alternative, more popular conception. This conception sees consciousness as iiimediately reflective - i n knowing I am conscious of knowing. Consciousness, then, takes on the quality of a thin film of nothingness. When one attempts to aprehend i t s substantial nature, one gets caught up i n an i n f i n i t e regress. The more intensely one attempts to define i t s ' realness', the more i t eludes our grasp. Even-tually one comes to recognize the process and ceases this struggle to define; settling for a conception of consciousness as an a p r i o r i given that i s essentially a mystery. However, this abortive experience survives i n the associations and connotations that are attached to the tern 'consciousness' . The word now carries associations of insubstantiality, spectoral, s p i r i t u a l and even 'unreal'. The ultimate result i s a philosophical system that sep-arates being and knowing. Being i s real, while lenowing i s somehow question-able. Synomonous couplings appear i n other fields of study that are based on this same philosophical distinction. Thus, Gun tri p (1969) and Winnicott (1963) develop the categories of 'being' and 'doing'. 'Being' i s self sufficient, requiring no voluntary effort to sustain. That i s , i f 'doing' does not spring naturally from 'being' then a l l activity w i l l feel f u t i l e and empty. As they put i t , 'doing', as a substitute for 'being', i s st e r i l e and impo-tent. This parallels or corresponds to the effete connotations that 80. adhere to the term consciousness when dialectically paired with the term 'being'. 'Being' seems to be much more unself-consciously robust. The same associations spring to mind for cognating and conating, or thinking and willing. Guntrip (1969) extends this dialectic to the realm of knowing: ... 'feeling' is the female element, a state of being, of being in touch, of knowing by identification: while 'thinking' is a male element, intellectual activity. (p. 261) Thus consciousness, thinking, and knowing seem to be more dissociated, distanced, and abstract when compared to the substantial wholeness of being and feeling. Furthermore these two realms seem, on a theoretical level, to be separated by a gulf. For example, although Guntrip insists that both the 'feeling' and 'thinking' ways of knowing are present and available to both sexes, he doesn't inform us of the organic link between the two. The brilliance of Sarte's conceptualization is that he resolves the split by asserting that consciousness is a mode of being. Earlier in my thought I treated libido or the l i f e force as separate and distinct from consciousness. Although this lent a certain intellectual clarity to the process i t pre-sented certain theoretical difficulties which Sarte's thought resolves. Consciousness and l i f e force (or being) are one and the same thing - albeit different modes. Libido and consciousness are only theoretically separable. In the actual living out of our lives, when one is present, the other is also there. The implications of this fusion are far reaching. It makes conscious-81. ness robust as opposed to effete. I also implies that self consciousness is siLmultaneously a reinvestment of object-libido i n the self. That i s , when one introspects, one i s automatically investing the self with the l i f e force or libido that would normally be projected on the environment. One's identity i s , therefore, not a mere self-concept or self-image but more a. l i v i n g experience that i n some respects uses the libido or l i f e force of the pre-reflective intentional consciousness for i t s own sustenance — i n Sarte's language, a self i s bom and nutured. One's identity i s , there-fore, a truly autonomous a f f a i r and not merely a bare schemata of one's pre-reflective intentionality. This implication i s , of course, a developmental one. That i s , i n i t i a l l y self consciousness merely reflects and informs us of the consistent behavioral patterns of our pre-reflective self. In this sense i t i s 'self knowledge'. At a later stage of development this reflective consciousness may attempt a more active role. For example, i t might attempt to inhibit, control or change the pre-reflective intentional consciousness. This phenomenon can be referred to as ego-will i n conflict with primary or natural w i l l . The term ' w i l l ' i s used to suggest the connotations of being that Sarte's quote has made explicit. I suggest that this second being views i t s e l f as a constituting self whereas i t apprehends the intentional con-sciousness as the constituted self. 3. A Phenomenological Description of Consciousness as Being. Most of the above consists of interesting speculations regarding the implications of Sarte's fresh conception of consciousness as a mode of being. Let us approach this sane issue from an experiential point of view. I shall give a phenomenological account of consciousness as a healing 82. agent. Essentially the process is one of directing one's consciousness to parts of the body that are in a state of disease. From a more mental point of view this same process would be described as allowing one's field of attention to be f i l l e d by proprioceptive sensory data as opposed to conceptual data. When one undertakes such an experiment then the libido aspect of consciousness becomes apparent as opposed to latent. Attention therefore has two mutually implicating modes: when we are attending to concepts we experience the consciousness or knowing mode as dominate; when we attend to sensory data we experience the libido or 'being' mode as ascendent. It is important to stress that the other mode is always present as background. For example when we attend to an idea we are consciously aware that we are actively involved in a 'knowing' mode. What we are not aware of is that our attention is giving that idea l i f e and the term 'li f e ' is not being used metaphorically. Consciousness is a decompression of being - a being in which there is a certain crack as Sarte said. Being is therefore the fundamental reality and consciousness merely the result of fission. Duality i s , the pre-condition of consciousness. And to bring the whole topic back to the subject of this chapter: duality is the precondition of identity. Being in general, or pre-reflective intentionality, is replaced by being-for-itself "which causes a self to be born." This identity is bom in dependency but with development can achieve some limited autonomy. More will be said on this topic in the section devoted to identity change. For now i t is suffice to say that the trend in the above speculations is to lay the theoretical ground for the possibility of genuine identity change. By I 83. genuine I mean as opposed to superficial adjustments in one's self image or self-concept, while the self-experience remains basically untouched. IV. IDENTITY - AN ACT OF CONSCIOUSNESS OR AN OBJECT OF CONSCIOUSNESS ? The t i t l e of this section introduces the idea that identity formation can proceed in two radically different ways. That i s , we can identify with our acts of consciousness and thus see ourselves as the constitutive or organizing agent; or we can identify with objects of consciousness, introjects - our self-concept being one among many internalized objects. We are always conscious of ... We can be conscious of various objects. An object could be either perceptual or conceptual. Examples of conceptual objects would be my internalized image of my father: mathematical formula, the mores of a particular group. These plus many more could a l l be subsumed under the heading of my model or description of the world. My world view or weltanschung is thus a meta-object of consciousness. I am conscious of, or attend to my description of the world. Included in this world model is a subsection that refers to myself and this is referred to as my self concept. That is, I evoke this self image and attend to i t . For example, I would describe myself in objective terms such as instructor, male, athletically inclined etc. In short, I conceive of myself as an object of awareness. I can, however, identify myself with that 'which organizes experience - that is, I can identify with acts of consciousness. By following this alternative I ground my identity in my constituting nature - I conceive of myself as a process rather than a product. From one point of view i t 84. could be stated that these alternative modes of identification present the existential choice to the subject. I f one chooses the former mode, identifying with acts of consciousness, one creates one's l i f e project; i f one chooses the latter mode, iclentifying with objects of consciousness, one accepts one's l i f e project. Alternatively, we could view both modes withing a developmental framework as Isaacs (1956) has done. Identification with acts of consciousness would occur at the 'highest' end of the develop-mental scale. In either case, developmental or existential, I am assign-ing a higher value to identification with acts of consciousness. In fact, this has been the primary objective of this thesis. The underlying philo-sophical assumption that permeates this paper i s that rea l i t y i s dynamic; eternal flux; a perpeutual becoming. This i s contrasted with a conception of rea l i t y that i s essentially static - with change being the exception rather than the rule. This assumption has been reflected i n the vocabulary that I have chosen for my met a-structure. For example, I use the work ego-w i l l because i t overcomes the tendency towards reification that the term ego introduces. In other words, i f our conception of the nature of re a l i t y this must apply equally to both the ' s e l f and 'world' pole of reality. The dignity of man insists that we be adequate to the task of coming to terms with our world. This can only be done i f identity i s both theoretically and practically, as f l u i d and responsive as the world that i t i s engaged in . I w i l l begin the discusicn with an examination of the process of identifica-tion with objects of consciousness; proceed to identification with acts of consciousness; and culminate with a phencmenological description of identity 85. change. A. Identity As Objects Of Consciousness " thus there is not an act of will that breaks into the future, but rather an attempt to find security in the familiar routines and rituals of the past." Bourke in Will in Western Thought. The above quote begins with the end. That is, the l i f e style that Bourke (1964) is describing is the terminal state of the process of identi-fying with objects of consciousness. Let us attempt to understand this process in detail. We must begin with the basic structure of consciousness to see how the possibility for this alternative is embedded within i t . The essential structure is dialectical consisting of 1) the intentional act and 2) its object. In everyday language .the intentional act is attention and its object is that which we attend to, be i t a thought, a feeling or an environmental stimulus. In any given moment we may be attending to a fantasized romantic relationship; to the task of writing a thesis; to bodily sensations of tension - these are a l l objects of consciousness. 1. We Become What We Attend To We now wish to move our analysis from a structural level to a dynamic one. We, therefore, invoke the principle that we become what we behold. That i s , our identity is mutually implicated and developed by what we attend to. In every intentional act there is an implicit and reciprocal elaboration 86. of the self. For example, I intend to build an addition to my house and i n this project my identity moves im p l i c i t l y toward that of 'carpenter' . My principle implies that a process of confluence occurs between subject and object. However, this principle can be experienced i n two radically different ways. In the f i r s t case, we can use our knowledge of this principle and direct our attention towards those objects that w i l l e l i c i t a positive self-experience - a healthy identity. In the second case, we experience our attention as being trapped by objects. We feel ourselves to be fascinated or obsessed with certain fantasies and situations, against our w i l l . Normally, however, attention i s trapped so effectively that there i s no awareness of this state. That i s , there is no superfluoiis, unbound attention that can stand back and observe this process. As a result there i s almost a complete lack of self consciousness. That i s , there i s no dissonance between what one attends to and one's self concept. Because conflict i s not present the individual i s not conscious of his state. He i s merely comfortable with 'the way things are 1 ; the secure, familiar routines of the past. Such people have already become what they beheld. For a l l intents and purposes they have become fused with their intentional objects and the vo l i t i o n a l aspect of this act i s not accessible to them. 2. Self-Object Fusion Exactly how i s this state of confluence achieved? Freud provides a clue to this mystery with his concept of transference. Although that term has come to mean the emotional overlay that the client brings to the 87. •therapeutic relationship, Freud also used i t to refer to a more essential process. That process involved the transference of libido to objects. When a subject attends to an object, there is necessarily a transfer of some of that subject's l i f e force to the object. This conforms to our earlier established principle that consciousness was a mode of being. This principle implies, that i f we consciously attend to anything we simultaneously invest i t with our l i f e energy (be that object one in the environment or our self-concept) . Loevinger seems bo concur that such a process does occur and states: Transfer of libido to objects and of infantile object relations to contemporary figures is normal; l i f e draws its vitality from i t . Only by such transference does the ego integrate the instinctual l i f e with reality and thus achieve maturity. (p. 383; italics mine). The implication is that the libido acts as a bridge linking subject and object; allowing us to overcome our isolation. Heidegger referred to -this phenomena as 'falling'. This term referred to the tendency of the 'Dasein' to become absorbed into the subject's iirmediate world. Heidigger was a phenomenologist and as such restricted his field of investigation to the subject's consciousness and to that subject's objects of consciousness. That is, phenomenologists make l i t t l e attempt to investigate the relationship between the subject and the 'real', external, environment. Thus, when Heidegger refers to the 'Dasein' falling or being absorbed into the immediate world, he is referring to the phenomenal world of the subject - the world 88. for that particular subject and not the pure, objective world. On the other hand, Freud and Loevinger's accounts do not make this phenomenological reduction and therefore imply the projection of the l i f e force or libido from the subject onto some object in the environment. Despite these theoretical differences (as to whether i t is the environment or the phenomenological world that is being contacted) the experience is essentially the same. That i s , before we reflect on our experience, objects of perception appear to be imbued with their own l i f e force. This theoretical supposition receives some empirical support from Deikman's (Lee et al., 1976) work. He asked subjects to concentrate on a blue vase for thirty minutes over ten trials. These subjects reported that the vase seemed to acquire a l i f e of its own, to be animated. It is only through the act of reflection that we come to realize that the luminescence of the object is something that we bring to i t . It is our consciousness that lets this object appear to us. This is the work of the primary will or the pre-reflective intentionality that is not conscious of itself. 3. The Resultant World View For the great majority of the population, the amount of time devoted to reflective consciousness is less than that to intentional consciousness. This fact has profound implications for their conception of reality. Societies and individuals who have not developed the capacity for reflective analysis experience reality as a given. We have to wait until some rudiments of self consciousness and reflective power has developed to get a feel of 89. what their world must be like. Such an individual might state, "I receive my world - it's just there like i t always has been." There i s no ontological or existential questioning regarding the nature of l i f e or reality simply because their mode of knowing precludes that possibility. Such questionings are pre-supposed by the development of the reflective mode of knowing. The experience of reflection reveals to us that we not only receive the presence of things but also determine their meaning. As Ricoeur (1965) puts i t : To receive is to give oneself intuitively to their existence; to think is to dominate this presence in a discourse which discriminates by denomination and connects in articulate phrasing. (p. 29) That i s , once an individual begins to develop the operations of reflection he is led inexorably to the conclusion that he constitutes his world as well as receiving i t . This truth applies to the 'primitive', the child, and the arrested adult as well, the difference is that they are not aware of i t whereas the reflective individual i s . Thus this natural and naive individual constitutes his world without the awareness of his complicity in such an act. For him i t is not so much 'my world' as i t is 'the world'. For such an individual identification and identity would be a matter of internalizing a disowned and 'objectified' world view. Let us explore the nature of this world view, this individual's conception of reality a bit further. First i t is conceived of as 'the world' as opposed to 'my world'. That i s , the 90. pherranenological world is given an objective status. This world's coherence or cxjnnectedness is understood as the workings of cause and effect. That is , i t is the laws of causality that hold together and organize the world. Event A causes event B and so on. Even in this account seme reflection has begun to creep in. Prior to this developmental point, I believe that such individuals would not describe the world as a series of discrete events tied together by scientific laws.. Instead the world would present itself to him as a whole, a thing in its own right. Only after reflection has made its appearance on the scene does this individual begin to <±Lscriminate and connect the discrete events in articulate phrasings. However, because we are s t i l l dealing predominately with intentional consciousness and only peripherally with reflective consciousness this individual s t i l l experiences the 'world' as glued together by objective processes, in a linear relationship. Further reflection will show him that what holds these discrete events together is their "connection to him, the perceiver. He is the glue that binds this world together. Perhaps the use of television as an analogy will make this point clear. Suppose we change channels randomly finally returning to the original channel. We might begin with Sixty Minutes; switch to Happy Days; then to NFL Football; over to Kojak; and back to Sixty Minutes. Would we say that the contents of the intervening channels are systematically and organically linked to the content of the original channel? If we were the television set, would we try to supply a connecting rational to link these apparently discrete events? Would we, for example, try to establish a coherency between Mike Douglas' last statement and the Fonz's following 91. statement? Would we then claim that this connecting rational was not our creation at a l l but an inherent part of the objective flow of stimuli? This is what our 'naive' subject does with his l i f e events: missing the point that i t is his intentionality that glues these events together in a meaningful whole. However, because his reflective powers are underdeveloped he attributes the meaningfulness of the world to the world. 4. The Consequence: Arrested Identity Development. If the quality of vitalness is projected upon and attributed to the objects of consciousness, then, quite naturally, one would resist- changing one's object constellation as this would entail simultaneously giving up one's l i f e force. A brief review for the purposes of clarity will be useful here. We began by noting the phenomena of transference whereby libido is transferred from the self to the object. This seems to be an a priori aspect of human experience - one that can neither be judged as good or bad. Then we invoke the principle that we became what we attend to. The concepts of attachment and identification are referring to this process. Rather than our libido being transferred to the object (a transient phenomena) i t is new attached or adheres to the object (more permanent condition). That i s , in some sense the object begins to exhibit the quality of l i f e . We ^ cannot experience the l i f e within us directly, only through projecting i t upon the object. That is, when we are operating in the intentional mode, consciousness is represented in its correlate object. Because in this mode we are not self-conscious to any high degree we come to experience the l i f e 92. force as a quality of the object constellation rather than one's subjectivity. This, of course, sets up an utter dependency. We must cling to our objects because they, not us, are the source of l i f e . We attend to them more and more, unwittingly giving them more l i f e and permanence. And this attention reciprocally forms our identity in the image of these objects. In a sense the relation can be described more aptly as a subject-subject relation as opposed to a self-object fusion. Loevinger (1976) presents the puzzle as to why so few people reach the highest stages of ego development whereas the vast majority attain the highest stages of cognitive development. The solution is implied in the above discussion. We will not be willing to give up our object constellation i f we experience i t as the l i f e giving source. This trap awaits us long before any encounter with 'bad' parents or an inadequate environment. Our radical dependency on our l i f e force i s far more direct than the dependency on our parents. This i s , therefore, our radical psychological dependency which makes a l l other more conventional dependencies possible. 5. The Schizoid Experience: Loss of a Naive World View. We can therefore, see that the major obstacle to ego growth or identity change is this tendency of the 'Dasein' to be absorbed into the immediate world of the subject: To abandon one's object constellation is synomonous with abandoning one's self to die. This must also be the major source of resistance in therapy - the force that actively opposes any change, even though 'intellectually' any change would be for the better. It should also be noted that this is not the type of obstacle that can be overcame once and for ever. Rather i t i s a hurdle that must be leaped at every 93. stage of ego development. (I am using the term 'ego development' as virtually synomonous with identity growth). In this respect i t is interesting to note that Guntrip (1969) gives the following sub-heading to a section in his book "Dissolving Identification: Separation-Anxiety and Psychic-Rebirth" (p. 40) The three double terms in this subheading are not sequential events in a developmental process. Rather they are different ways of describing the same event. Dissolving identification is comparable to detachment. Whereas formerly the self and the internal object world were fused into one amorphous meta-object; these two poles now begin to separate. It is important to note that this process is necessary i f the person is to develop their own personal, authentic identity (as opposed to being a collection of introjects). However, there are severe emotional responses to such an event. As the self pulls away or detachs from the object constellation i t experiences a moment when i t feels as i f i t is part of itself that must be sacrificed. As Sarte noted consciousness is a crack in being, a sort of decompression of being. It is understandable that this separation, which the crack implies, feels like loss or death of what was formerly 'all me'. Guntrip (1969) has reported schizoid clients who have been profoundly and terribly shaken by such an experience. Their words and descriptions are fairly concrete, whereas Guntrip's explication is more abstract. 94. One cause of anxiety is that separation may be felt to involve, not natural growth and development, but a violent, angry, destructive break-away, as i f a baby, in being born, were bound to leave a dying mother behind. But the major cause of separation anxiety is that i t feels to involve loss of the ego. (p. 41) I wish to avoid the•implication that this type of experience only occurs to schizoid individuals. Instead I present the possibility that this experience is characteristic of a l l transitional stages of ego development. The schizoid experience is one of getting 'stuck' in one of these transitional phases. The Client's Report: Metaphorical - Using The Past To Express The Present One implication presented in the last paragraph i s that identity change does occur over the whole l i f e span. This possibility has gone somewhat unnoticed because client's experiencing such a process are forced to rely on metaphor to express i t . Invariably the content of the metaphor refers to an earlier separation experience. The f i r s t sentence in Guntrip1s quote above is an example. That i s , our hypothetical client, is currently going through a phase of dissolving identifications. These internal objects are quite complex, quite sophisticated, and quite adaptive. In spite of this our client has recognized their insufficiency and inadequacy to grasp the world he has had only a few glimpses of. These identifications begin to dissolve, to lose their power and absolute nature. Our client naturally 95. becomes fearful at the possibility of losing his present powers before the new have been tested out and proven reliable. Because he has not articulated his dilemma ( s t i l l being too much in it) he will rely on metaphor, even to himself, in order to express his feeling. He will report himself as a squalling, impotent infant. However he is not referring to the past but using i t to refer to his current experience. He is drawing on his repetoire of his previous intense experiences to express his current one. Therapists err when they interpret such content as indicative of regression, that i s , when they interpret i t literally as opposed to metaphorically. A metaphorical interpretation suggests the idea that there are a number of separation crisis in an individual's developmental history, each crisis producing the symbols that will be used to ini t i a l l y articulate the next. The nature of these crisis is separation - and this separation has both an inner and outer dimension. The outer dimension has been fairly well documented: the resolution of the symbiotic attachment to mother in the fi r s t two years; the onset of puberty; and leaving home. At the same time as these outer changes occur there is an intrapsychic separation that occurs: a crack in being develops.. The process is analogous to metamorphosis. During the transit-ional stage identifications begin to dissolve while simultaneously, one's cognitive map of the world starts to blur and become fluid. Both one's self concept and one's world view begin to shift. If the process is a healthy one the current ego framework will be replaced by a more complex and sophisticated one that will allow integration to occur from a deeper level. That is, the new framework will easily assimilate data that the old would 96. find dissonant. In order for such a development to occur the self must dissolve its identification with its object constellation as a precondition. That i s , the self cannot abandon inadequate and restrictive internal objects i f i t experiences those objects as its essential beingness. I can recall one incident in my own experience which illustrates this point quite lucidly. I was experiencing a great deal of self conflict at the time and resolved one evening to confront the issue until i t had been settled. As my struggle climaxed I recall feeling that whatever choice I made I would affirm one side of myself and deny,abandon another. As a result I experienced i t as a l i f e and death struggle. Some part of me was going to die with the decision. At the critical point in the process a surprising and relief bringing transformation took place. The metaphor I used to express i t was the relationship of a tree to its bark. Just before the tmning point I felt as i f I was fighting to preserve the vital core of the tree. Immediately after, I realized that what I had construed as the core was really a 'dead1 piece of bark. At that moment a l l the stress left and I disinterestedly watched this piece of bark separate and float away from me - and I was s t i l l obviously alive, with no sense of-(luntinishment. The Stage Process of Dissolving Identification Through such experiences I have come to the 'theoretical' position that ego development, identity change or meta-morphosis always involves this process of intra-psychic separation. The prototype of course is the resolution of the symbiotic state. This relationship Is not a subject-object 97. relationship but a subject-subject relationship. The process could be described as follows: fused subject; composite subject; subject-object relationship. At the subject-subject stage we have a mother pole and an infant pole of a composite being. In order for the infant to develop seme autonomy, in order for him to individuate, he must separate from the mother pole and begin to perceive the mother as a true object - an object that, furthermore, demonstrates autonomy. By granting the mother-object autonomy, the infant is preparing the ground for his own ego or identity development as he begins to take over the functions of the mother pole. Guntrip is referring to the same process in the following : Later in the f i r s t year, brain maturation makes intellectual activity possible, and Winnicott then speaks of 'mind' or the infant's 'thinking  capacity' as gradually becoming able to take  over care of the child from mother. (1969, p. 385; italics mine). As stated earlier this separation is a proto-type for a l l subsequent ones. The features of dissolving identification; death anxiety and re-location of one's subjectivity are present each time one experiences a transitional stage. This continual referral to the mother child separation is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, i t is a process that occurs to us a l l and therefore is universal. Furthermore the process is easily observable and therefore amenable to empirical study and statistical treatment. On the other hand, the reference to this concrete example, partially obscures the fact that i t is but a particular instance of the more general process of dissolving 98. identification that, in health, occurs for the remainder of our lives. By abstracting from the concrete example we derive features of the process that are just as 'real' as our concrete example but without their limitations to that particular incident. Our phenomenological description, which is somewhat of an abstraction in that i t steps back from the situational factors, allows us to grasp or understand this process at the higher developmental end of the scale. That is, resolution of symbiosis; the onset of puberty and leaving home have been the traditional, situational signposts of dissolving identification. However, after the point of early adulthood has been passed no such statistically frequent situations occur - and we are left without recognizable signposts. This does not mean that the process of dissolving identification ceases to occur. Some work is now underway, Gail Sheehy's Passages being the most widely known, that attempts to investigate the various stages of adult development. Neither time nor space permits us to, explore this area in any great detail. However, by quoting liberally from Norman 0. Brown's Love's Body I hope to convey the phenomenological feel of such transitional experience. Object-loss, world-loss, i s the precondition for a l l creation. Creation is in or out of the void; ex nihilo. Admit the void; accept loss forever. Not to admit the void is the trouble with scnizophrenics who treat words as real things. Schizophrenic literalism equates symbol and original object so as to retain the original object, to avoid object loss. The world annihilated, the destruction of illusion. If this feeling of emptiness, of something 'without form, and void', can be 99. deliberately accepted, not denied, then the sequel can be an intense richness and fullness of perception, a sense of the world re-born. (p. 260-263) When Brown uses the term 'world' I am assuming that his meaning is synomonous with the meaning of 'object constellation' and 'cognitive map of the world'. That i s , i t is not the world that is annihilated but our representation of the world. Likewise, the 'world re-born' is the emergence of a fresh, rich and fecund weltanschung. In the above quote, Brown refers to the world pole of the ego framework. The same process is implicitly at work on one's self concept or identity. These distinctions that I am making are for theoretical purposes and not to correct Brown for his language is much more immediate to the lived through experience. B. Self As An Act Not A Fact Our previous section was titled Self-Object Fusion and was intended to convey the sense that one basis for identity was attachment to objects of consciousness. A reciprocal effect is noticed here: objects are invested with a vitalness that belongs to the self and the self, in turn, becomes 'thing-like', an attribute that belongs to the object. The self i s understood to be a substantial entity - a fact. We then proceeded to demonstrate that a l l ego development or identity change depended on dissolving identification or separating the attachment. The implication was that the process was an eternally recurring one; that the fundamental basis for identity was s t i l l 100. attachment to objects and the process of development implied finding •better' objects. In this section we ask the question i f there is an alternate source for identity that partially escapes the recurrent inclination to cling to one's objects. The possibility that suggests itself is to conceive of the self as an act and not a 'fact'. That is, we will seek to identify our primordial sense of being alive with our Will or attention rather than with any, tMng-like, substantial self. To return to the motif of duality we are suggesting that we identify more with our subjective and pre-reflective pole and less with our objective, reflective self image. This manner of linking the self to its acts has been noted by previous authors. James (1917) noted: ... we measure ourselves by many standards (... strength, intelligence, wealth; even good luck). But deeper than a l l these and able to suffice unto itself without them, is the sense of the amount of effort  we can put forth. (p. 82; italics mine). Bourke (1964) in Will and Western Thought reports that Narziss Ach claimed that a component of the willed act was an "immediate awareness of 'self as the ultimate source initiating the determining action." Bourke goes on to state that "... will name a process of auto-determination on the conscious level." Bourke goes on to quote the following authors: "A creature is thing but an act of volition which persists and operates without ceasing." (Nicholas Maletoranch) 101. "The more w i l l i n g , the more self-hood. The sel f i s not only a condition for w i l l i n g , but also i t s product." (Kierkeguard) "There i s no absolute being, only an eternal becoming through wi l l i n g . The existence of a substantial I or ego i s denied as a f i c t i o n . " (Nietzche) " I determine myself to the extent that I determine myself to." (Ricouer) 1. Volitional versus Bound Attention. The above quotes begin to gain some practical significance when we reca l l the functional equivalence between the construct of w i l l and that of attention. W i l l i s the capacity to direct and sustain one's attention. Let us now recall Deikman's (Lee et a l ; 1976) experiment where subjects were instructed to direct their attention to a blue vase. The experiment i s interesting on two levels. F i r s t , i t duplicates the operations of an earlier developmental stage when pre-reflective intentionality was the dom-inant form of consciousness. I t was during this stage that the groundwork for a 'thing-like' identity was established. Second, the operations d i f f e r from the developmentally earlier stage i n that the subjects volit i o n a l l y direct their attention. The subjects reported experiences that support our earlier speculations. Notably, they reported that the object (the blue vase) acquired a l i f e or v i t a l i t y of i t s own. Secondly, they reported a merging or absorption with the perceptual object. 102. I really began to feel, you know, almost as though the blue and I were merging or that the vase and I were. It was as though everything was sort of merging. (p. 72) The difference between these subjects and individuals at an earlier developmental stage i s that the former were self conscious. That i s , they retained enough separateness from their experience for them to observe and report i t . These individuals therefore, had enough self-consciousness to be aware of their perceptual experience but not so much self or reflective consciousness so as to substitute a conceptual for a perceptual object. The crucial ingredient producing this ideal state is the special way that attention was being used. 'That i s , attention was being volitionally focussed on the object. A paradox is suggested: the greater the volitional activity in perception the greater the degree of receptivity that results. A going-out on the subject's part, paradoxically, allows the object to come in. Receptivity i s , therefore, not merely a passive orientation. 2. Implications For Identity Strength Thus, several important principles regarding identity emerge from Deikman's experiment. There are two ways for adults to grasp the environment. The first, and I suspect by far the most conrron way is to grasp the environment approximately through presuppositions, pre-conceptions and unconscious assumptions. In Piagetian language, assimilation would be maximal and accomodation minimal. That is, this method entails grasping external objects 103. through the intermediary of internal structures and objects. Such a style of perception corresponds to the identity type of self-object fusion. The second method of grasping the environment relies more on the power of the act of attention. Such a method would be utilized by individuals who identified with acts of consciousness rather than objects of consciousness. This person would approach the world with suspended beliefs and focussed concentration. In a complex social exchange they would reserve judgement and engage in perceptual exploratory and investigative behavior. They would direct their attention volitionally rather than allowing i t to be trapped in automatized patterns. They would experience themselves as autonomously present. The f i r s t style is more or less 'out-of-touch1 relative to the second, consequently individual's utilizing i t would suffer reduced self-esteem. They would sense that their behavior is somewhat inappropriate to the situational demands and yet be unable to conceive of the alternate approach. That is, they would not be conscious of their basic orientation or intentionality toward internal structures as opposed to external realities. 3. Autonomous Awareness: The Source of Subjectivity, The Ground of Identity The second major principle to emerge is that of self awareness; an awareness of being aware. Individuals who possess this capacity are cognisant of the fact that 'awareness' is an experiental reality independent of the contents of awareness. For example, I can be aware of the sound of my typewriter; then the wind acting on the tree outside my window; then the 104. background noise my refrigerator produces. The function of basic awareness remains in spite of incredibly varied changes in its content. Individuals who recognize the autonomous reality of 'awareness' can safely ground their identity on i t . That i s , they can identify their essential core with an enduring awareness. In this way they achieve stability whereas object-ident-ified individuals achieve rigidity. At this stage in our discussion we are referring to an individual with a formless identity. Just as awareness is formless whereas content exhibits form, so an identity based on pure awareness would lack form. While this might be theoretically elegant there would be very, l i t t l e room in a practical world for such an individual. The task, then, must be to take on transitory, appropriate forms. The self therefore is given a temporarily stable identity that is congruent with its immediate task, purpose or intention. The self would formulate a goal and this would implicitly begin to organize an identity that would be capable of achieving that goal. a. The Mental Field or Subjective Space Merleau-Ponty (1962) gives an account of attention/intention that points to its relationship to the self. The f i r s t operation of attention i s , then, to create for itself a field, either perceptual or mental, which can be surveyed; in which movements of the exploratory organ or elaborations of thought are possible but in which consci-ousness does not correspondingly lose what i t has gained and, moreover, lose itself in the changes i t brings about. (p. 29) 105. Merleau-Ponty seems to be introducing an intermediate step into the dialectical process that was earlier posited. Recall that the terms in 4 the dialectic have been variously called: 'awareness' and 'contents of awareness'; and acts of consciousness and objects of consciousness. Merleau-Ponty is suggesting that the first act of consciousness is to establish a field to be surveyed. What exactly does he mean by this field? It suggests the establishment of parameters bounding a domain of intrinsic interest to the individual. In other words, the dimensions of this field are determined by the purposes of the individual. I believe that the process he describes is virtually synomonous with the operations of intentionality. A concrete example should bring seme clarity to the matter. Take the case of a person reading a newspaper - reading being a concrete act of attention and the newspaper being the contents of consciousness. This person will create a field to be surveyed depending on his purpose. If that purpose is to find a job he might read or survey only the 'Help Wanted'; the 'Career Opportunities' and any reports on government legislation relating to his job market. In this particular example, the subject consciously delimits his field of attention. However, there is some indication that this process can occur on a preconscious level. For example, in approaching this section of the thesis I had only a sketchy outline on paper and only a vague idea of the 'contents of consciousness'. However, by holding my objective clearly in mind I believe that my attention created a field to be surveyed. The writing of this section i s , therefore, the articulation of the contents of this field as the active probing of my attention reveals its features. Furthermore, i t is in the establishment of this field that 106. I found my identity as a volitional being. ('Found1 , i n the sense of foundation) . I take responsibility for staking my claim 'here' and not 'there'. The alternative, of course, i s to 'forget' this intermediate step. That i s , i n effect, not to delineate a f i e l d of interest. The re-sultant experience i s to be overwhelmed by random incoming stimulit - to be impinged upon. Since no individual can tolerate such an experience for long, they w i l l begin to restrict their experience to the repetition of the safe, familiar routines and rituals of the past. Such an individual strives to niaintain a sense of identity through slavery to their objects of con- . sciousness. The last phrase i n Merleau-Ponty's quote points to an alternate way of fomding one's identity: "consciousness does not correspondingly lose what i t has gained [the f i e l d or 'mental space'] and moreover, lose i t s e l f i n the changes i t brings about." The sense one gets i s of s t a b i l i t y est-ablished through an act of w i l l . Let us examine this concept on a per-ceptual level, then proceed to a psychological level; and f i n a l l y conclude with some therapeutic implications. Merleau-Ponty1 s phrase strikes at the heart of epistemology since i t deals with consciousness losing i t s e l f or not losing i t s e l f i n the changes i t brings about. Consciousness must be somewhat autonomous from i t s contents i n order to distinguish the pro-perties of the observed thing from the quantities attributable to the operations of consciousness. An example: i f I move my body i n order to see the c i t y h a l l clock better, the city h a l l and i t s clock appear to move. How-ever, because I know that such changes i n appearance are not objective I 107. cancel out this apparent 'conclusion' in a l l my acts of perception -I don't get lost in the changes that my attention brings about - I can distinguish between subject and object. The process can be likened to the scientific method: I hold a l l variables constant with the exception of one which I manipulate. The results this manipulation produce approximate objective knowledge. Merleau-Ponty provides the example of identifying that point on our body where we are being touched. The precise position of the point touched will be the invariable factor among the various feelings that I experience according to the disposition of my limbs and body. The act of attention can localize or objectify this invariable factor because i t has stepped back from the changes of appearance. (p. 29) As he goes on to assert, the f i r s t act of attention is to establish a field or 'mental space.' This field is not the object of attention, but surveying this field will bring the object to light. It seems that this is a promising phenomena to investigate as the source of our subjectivity and, therefore, the foundation of our identity. When we use the term subjectivity we are referring to a private consciousness. Private in the sense that the individual's behavior does not necessarily reveal the contents of his consciousness. He can dissimulate. This experience of subjectivity is necessary to experience one thing and yet report another. It is at the basis of the notion of the homunculous - the man within the men. Merleau-Ponty's notion of the establishment of a mental field explains the mechanics of how 108. a sense of subjectivity gets established. When,in popular language, we ask, "What space are you in today", we are referring to the same phenomena. Subjectivity is a space that we fir s t create and then dwell in (the terms are, of course, metaphorical). Our identity i s , therefore, a function of the stability of this subjective space as well as the articulation of the self referent objects within that space. The establishment of identity i s , therefore, a three part process: the evocation of purpose or intention; the establishment of a corresponding mental space (subjectivity), the articulation and elaboration of that space (identity actualized). b. Disordered Attention and External Locus of Control Individuals who have this capacity to establish a mental field po-cessy as a result, intrinsic principles to which a l l decisions may be referred - they seem to have an inner gyroscope. To understand this phenomena let us describe its opposite - those individuals who lack an inner gyroscope and, therefore, must substitute external guidelines. Some examples of potential external guidelines would include theoretical knowledge, ideological prescriptions, religious standards, tradition, routine and ritual. Individuals who rely on such behavioral guidelines probably feel they have no choice as they have never developed the capacity for establishing a mental field. When they occasionally lapse into a state of experiental awareness they experience overwhelming, amorphous feelings with no sense of how to respond to them. Lacking any internal guidelines, they feel compelled to act according to external guidelines. If the person is from a religious tradition he will act scrupulously moral - and underneath his actions wi l l be the flavour 109. of invocation and appeal to a 'higher' authority to reward him. His behavior will be ritualistic in the sense that its meaning i s not directed toward the environment and his fellow man but toward spiritual approval. Such a person lacks a l l sense of agency and control in his l i f e and the resort to clinging to religious guidelines is equivalent to a drowning man clinging to a l i f e preserver - for he is truly 'at sea'. This account is not intended as a condemnation of religious l i f e styles per se as empirical studies have indicated that 'religious' individuals appear at both ends of the continuum of mental health. Let us re-direct our focus to the issue of attention and mental space. We have been implying that people who identify with objects of consciousness; those people who are essentially fused with their contents of consciousness do so because they lack the capacity to establish this mental space. Merleau-Ponty refers to this as a disorder of attention. The primary condition of the disorder is a disintegration of the sensory field which no longer remains stable while the subject perceives, but moves in response to the exploratory movements and shrinks while i t is being probed ... no spatial framework, persists from one perception to another. (p. 29) For this person, objects of consciousness remain stable as long as one does not actively attend to them. Active attention causes these objects to change, become fluid, dissolve or expand. There i s no intervening establishment of a 'field' with which to bring boundaries and some measure of stability. 110. Perspective and proportion is lost as any particular object can come to dominate the total horizon of that person's consciousness. It is a specific purpose which establishes that field. That i s , when I approach my contents of awareness with a specific purpose in mind a field is established and proportion/perspective are inherent in the purpose. Attention f i r s t of a l l presupposes a transformation of the mental field, a new • way for consciousness to be present to its objects. (Merleau-Ponty, 1962, p. 29) « The unfortunate individual who does not have a purpose and therefore an exceedingly small attention span for he realizes that attention implies the total domination of his consciousness by any arbitrary object. In a sense we could say that the only purpose such an individual would have is to avoid attending to anything. Gendlin (in Corsini, 1973) appears to be referring to this same phenomena in the following quotation: Therefore in isolation, experiencing must be much narrower than in interaction. But i f experiencing, as bodily felt, is also the interpretive mass, that is to say, the sense one has of what is going on, and the sense which interprets words, events and so forth, then in isolation  one also loses this capacity to interpret  what words and events mean. Along with this is lost one's sense of self and sense of ownership of one's own body. With narrowed ongoing experience, any bit of event which does reach one has maximized results. (p. 332; italics mine). 111. Gendlin believes that healthy human experiencing is an interactional process with the environment. He then goes on to conclude that isolation or withdrawal from the environment produces the above effects - loss of interpretive power and perspective. Our interpretation, on the other hand, suggests that the withdrawal of interest from the environment is just an instance of the more general condition of withdrawing one's attention from a l l objects of conscious-ness. Both Gendlin's particular case and the more general condition result from the incapacity to establish a purpose and hence a mental field. Probably the relationship is not a linear cause and effect one but rather reciprocal. c. Therapeutic Implications The therapeutic implications of the above are quite immediate. If the client presents himself as easily distracted with a narrow attention span, this behavior indicates the appropriate therapeutic intervention. For example, the therapist might ask the client to articulate his purpose at the beginning of each session. As the session develops the therapist begins to listen to the buried, or implicit intention in each interaction. He would facilitate that intention coming to explicit consciousness. If the client began a particular anecdote with animation and then trailed off or 'got lost', the therapist would remind him of the original purpose. S t i l l another possibility that presents itself is the achievement of a lengthened attention span as an explicit shared goal between therapist and client. The therapist might make use of a formal contract to fully highlight their shared intentionality. During the subsequent sessions the therapist 112. would act as a feedback loop. That is, he would ask the client to become aware of his experience when he was operating with purpose and when that purpose was absent. The client would soon come to recognize that in the former he experienced some sense of agency and mastery whereas in the 'i latter he felt impinged upon and overwhelmed. d. Disordered Attention and Negative Thoughts Let us return for the moment to this individual's fear of being taken over by any arbitrary object. Gendlin (in Corsini; 1973) is referring to this same phenomena in the following quote: With narrowed ongoing experience, any bit of event which does reach one has inaximized results. (p. 332) For these individuals the entertainment of a negative thought is a very dangerous event. If, for example, they are considering the possibility of a negative motive for their behavior, that possibility very soon becomes a probability and then a fact. It is as i f paying attention to negative thoughts makes them real. There are no boundaries or limits established to ground the person or give him a point of reference outside himself -mental events are autonomous realities. Thus, the only strategy available to the person to limit and control these disturbing thoughts is active avoidance. That i s , no one thought or fantasy shall be allowed to remain in consciousness long enough to establish i t s own momentum. This applies equally to both 'good' and 'bad' thoughts as even good thoughts have the 113. potential of turning once they have gained a secure foothold. A counter-vailing force that a therapist often uses in such a situation is to ask the client to attend to their feelings rather than their cognitive content. Feelings, as contents of consciousness, are much less likely to move and change in response to the movements of the 'exploratory organ' (i.e. attention). That i s , feelings tend to be much more stable and therefore serve to ground the person at such moments and re-establish some minimal sense of mastery. Perhaps this suggests a developmental sequence for therapeutic intervention. First, the therapist teaches the client how to redirect his attention from cognitive to affective content. Once this s k i l l is gained the client will then have some confidence that his attention is a tool rather than an arbitrary oppressor. Second, with his new found mastery the client may begin to approach issues which require cognition for their resolution. The therapist assists the client by ensuring that the client has a purpose in mind ('a new way for consciousness to present itself to its objects'). 4. Summary - Identity As Metamorphosis To return to the issue of identity, i t is the purpose or intention which contains within i t a clear but implicit reference to the self. Thus the exercise of purposeful activity will automatically reinforce the client's sense of self and 'sense of ownership of one's own body'. Through such experiences the client comes to experience identity as an activity rather than a state; he comes to realize that, as James puts i t , we measure ourselves 114. by the 'amount of effort we can put forth*. Because a purpose, goal or objective disappears dynamically with its achievement the self is not bound to any steady state. The self is organized to achieve a specific goal which once achieved is replaced by another. The self, in this way, comes to be identified with an act of consciousness; as an agent which is actively engaged in the process of becoming through the implinientation of intermediate purposes - which in turn produce their own 'mental field'. C. Parallel Theoretical Formulations A number of authors have developed similar frameworks with which to understand ego development or identity growth. Tart (Lee et al, 1976) proposes an experiental continuum. At one end attention/awareness and the particular content of awareness are essentially merged, while at the other end of the continuum there is awareness of being aware in addition to the particular content of awareness. I propose that ego development i s in fact the movement along this experimental continuum. The higher the stage of ego development, the more self-conscious awareness. Both forms of awareness (fused and separate) occur in a l l of us, i t is the proportion of the two modes which determines the degree of ego development. Isaacs (Isaacs, 1956; Isaacs and Haggard, 1956) has formulated a developmental scale that exhibits some very interesting parallels with this line of thiriking. The central term in his formulation is 'relatability'. The relatability scale is a sequence of levels of increasing differentiation of 115. the self from others, and the increasing affective appreciation of the delineation of others. (Isaacs, 1956, p. 12) The following table shows the various stages that occur in that process. Of particular interest is the column headed 'Object-relation Capacity'. The highest levels of relatability are characterized by 'Disidentification from object' and 'introjects no longer important'. These phrases need to be f i l l e d out with some quotes from Isaacs in order for the stages to take on their true significance. For example, Isaacs characterizes the Beta level with the following descriptors: "The focus at this level is with a final intra-psychic separation of self from others. In the process of attempting to disidentify with and rearrange the various aspects of earlier identifications, there may be a struggling against others who may temporarily personify the forces fighting within the"self." (p. 24) On the level of interpersonal maturity; There is not longer the Beta tendency to be trapped by feelings for others, nor the Gamma need to help others, or the Delta need to master others. (p. 28) When Isaacs states that for the Alpha level 'introjects are no longer important' one assumes that such individuals have found an alternate source TABLE 1. Characteristics of Isaacs's Levels of Relatability Approximate ego level Isaacs level Basis for self-control Concern for others Method of mderstanding others Obj ect-relation capacity Presocial Zeta Impulsive Epsilon Self-protective Delta (^forrrist Gamma Conscientious Beta Autonomous Alpha Not internally based Fear of punishment Fear of punishment For mutual satis-faction Appreciation of sensibilities of others Respect for i n d i -viduality i n terms of self-concept Fear of others; demand from others Identification Reaction-formation, Sympathy sympathy Recognition of freedom Respect for individuality Empathy A capacity super-ordinate to empathy No object re-lations Part object Whole object attempted Resolved whole object Disidentification from object Lntrojects no longer important Source: Relatability, a Proposed Construct and an Approach to i t s Validation (Isaacs, 1956). 117. for ego or identity strength. These individuals probably identify with acts of consciousness, (i.e., Will), rather than introjected objects of consciousness. Ausubel (1952) is another author who sees ego development as a process of disidentification and detachment from internalized objects. He notes that the mother is the scaffolding of the f i r s t self image. This is in essential agreement with the position stated earlier in the paper. Initially the infant's experience of the relationship with mother was that of subject-subject. With the intrapsychic separation the relationship becomes one of subject-object and, as Winnicott (1963) states 'the thinking capacity of the infant takes over the function of the mother''. Ausubel also believes that the empirical distinction between self and environment is reinforced by the sense of volition. Thus, he too establishes an organic link between the self and Will. In a sense, Ausubel is suggesting that both the tendency to identify with objects and actions are present from the beginning. In his developmental framework, Ausubel hypothesizes that with the emergence of the awareness of self is the con-cbmmitent realization of its state - utter helplessness. Thus the child is faced with his fi r s t crisis of ego devaluation. Perhaps this will serve as a prototype for our understanding of later crisis. The nature of the crisis is this: the child can maintain his illusion of omnipotence and consequently set in motion a process of constant frustration or he may attempt to realist-ically accept his own profound dependence. This latter alternative implies 118. a very painful devaluation of self or loss of self esteem. According to Ausubel the child escapes both these alternatives by projecting his former omnipotence onto his parents; while he becomes their satellite The great advantage inherent in satellization as a solution to the crisis in ego organization is its capacity for providing the child with intrinsic feelings of security and adequacy. He is relieved of the burden of justifying his adequacy on the basis of actual performance ability, which in fact could be meager at best. Instead, he acquires an indirect status which has nothing to with  his own ability to manipulate reality, but is vicariously derived from the fact of his dependent identification with his parents who are omnipotent in this respect. (Ausubel, 1952; p. 58-58; italics mine). Ausubel's phrases of 'actual performance ability' and 'ability to manipulate reality' remind us of James' earlier quote to the effect that we measure ourselves by the amount of effort we can put forth. If we can put forth appropriate effort our identity will be imbuded with a sense of •security and adequacy'. If our own efforts are inadequate, however, we can always resort to 'indirect status' through the process of dependent identification with our parents. Here again we see that identity, with its need for a sense of security, can be found in two radically different ways. It is difficult to imagine the profound feelings of vulnerability that the infant must experience prior to this resolution. Indeed the infant must experience substantial relief when he hits upon the strategy of dependent identification. We could even interpret this experience within the behavior-119. i s t i c paradigm. That i s , the child i s being reinforced for identifying with objects of consciousness. This would be one way of explaining people's continuing predilection for identifying with objects long after their individual power has developed to the point where i t i s a viable alternative. Thus, we witness adults who identify with their occupational role, their religious tradition, their esoteric philosophy, and their ethnic heritage. I t should be noted that both Issacs and Ausubel e x p l i c i t l y state that object identification i s a necessary stage i n ego development. Failure to satellize sets limits on the kind of person one can ultimately become. Ultimately, however, successful maturation depends on desatellization. The more desatellization, the more autonomy i s demonstrated. V. Identity Change. A. Introduction. In the preceding two sections we discussed the alternative ways of founding identity. The f i r s t method, which u t i l i z e s attachment to and identification with objects, leads to a self-concept that i s essentially static and oriented toward the past. The second method, identifies the self with that which organizes experience. Individuals using this method do not conceive of the self as some substantial entity but as an eternal becoming - and thus are orientated toward the future. These people identify with transitory purposes or goals. They see themselves as the agent of these objectives. The objectives are used to organize experience and behavior 120. and not to define and reify the self. Because the self is not identified with its objectives they are not clung to after achievement. Instead the self moves on to set higher order more complex objectives. Rogers (1961) attributes this type of functioning to those individuals in the final stages of psychotherapy. For these people, "Personal constructs are tentatively formulated and loosely held". To paraphrase Rogers, these people, are aware that they constitute reality as well as receive i t . Furthermore, they are aware that a l l constructs or interpretive frameworks are distortions and deletions of reality and therefore, subject to constant refinement or even replacement with more adequate models. In other words these individuals do not attach to their perceptual/cognitive maps of the world as i f they were the world. I would suspect that any self-referent constructs would be loosely held as well. These self-concepts would be valued for their instrumental use rather than as a existential anchor. B. The Problem: The Ego Cannot Formulate An Authentic Alternative To Itself Vie now wish to investigate the detailed processes of identity change. Our analysis will be largely phenomenological as our purpose is to understand such a process from a subjective point of view. We begin with a person who experiences dissatisfaction and suffering with his current mode of functioning. He wishes to change but doesn't know how to. Furthermore, any self-induced efforts at changing have usually produced disasterous consequences. As a result he doesn't trust his own subjectivity. He feels 121. that even his efforts at self-improvement are tainted by the very mental set which he is trying to escape. The very mode of processing information, the ego operations, are held to be suspect and untrustworthy. Phenomeno-logically the client has become convinced of the inadequacy of a ration-alistic approach. The alternative is to proceed from the center of Will as opposed to reason. In this analysis we will be equating rationalism with the tendency to identify with 'objects-of-consciousness' and Will, with the tendency to identify with *acts-of-consciousness'. C. The Way Out: Transpropriate Willing Laps ley (1967) has summed up this mode of identity change with the concept of 'transpropriate willing'. He states: The processes of becoming open to a future which is not fundamentally to be identified with anything currently in the self are best summed up by the idea of willing - willing beyond the self and of moving the person beyond his current self to a new owness and sameness. Here willing is a transpropriate function. (p. 195) The term transpropriate refers to the center of the personality that is not conditioned. As Bourke (1964) puts i t , "Will means radical spontaneity of action or decision. Scare times i t means uncaused and completely uncondit-ioned activity." What this seems to be implying is that there is a conscious-ness that escapes seeing things through an empirically derived framework. 122. This consciousness somehow has access to the pure data before i t goes through the usual process of selection, filtering, and transformation. 1. The Technique: a) Ego Surrender: Separating the Self from the Ego In order for the individual to access the pure data as mentioned above, he must disconnect from his ego. That is, rather than actively participating in ego operations, he detaches from them. They continue to run on their own momentum but no longer are fueled by the deepest sources of intentionality. Loevinger (1976) is referring to the same process she states that the techniques of hypnosis and free association "are equivalent to a temporary silencing of the patient's ego". She equates ego functioning with the censorship, filtering and transformational operations. Lapsley (1967) goes on to say that although transpropriate willing requires the initiative and co-operation of the ego-will, " i t is finally, a more total kind of thrust toward the future than the [ego] self is capable of mounting." That i s , the role the ego has to play in such a process is one of surrender as opposed to resistance. Or as Suzuki (in Fromm et al, 1963) puts i t : "an active surrender of the controlling and deliberating mind." Norman 0. Brown (1966) underscores Loevinger's point regarding silence: The ego is loquacity, the interior monologue, the soliloquy which isolates. The way of silence leads to the extinction of the ego, mortification. (p. 264) 123. I t i s just this 'interior monologue' which i s pre verbal and often pre conscious, that acts to reinforce and perpetuate our habitual way of seeing the world and ourselves. I t i s the method by which we r e i f y our perceptual/conceptual maps. Lapsley continues: The crucial factor i s the willingness of the self, instead of attempting to f u l f i l l i t s e l f , as i n the romantic tradition... to give i t s e l f up, to be lost as an integrated sameness. (p. 195) I'm not too sure I understand what this 'romantic tradition' denotes. How-ever, the connotations of this phrase evoke a process of stubbornly clinging to one's self as i t i s , whith the hope and dream that one w i l l be discovered and rewarded some time i n the future. I also wonder i f the human potential movement and the stress on self actualization are not contemporary versions of this 'romantic tradition'. I am not referring to the original goals of these movements but to the way they have come to be used for the services of narcissistic self-absorption. The willingness 'to be lost as an integrated sameness' i s precisely the kind of risk that these individuals actively oppose. b) Conceiving of Change as a Real Possibility. Returning to Lapsley: The [ego] self must w i l l i t s e l f out of existence as i t s negative contribution to w i l l i n g beyond the self. Positively i t can, and must envisage the future toward which the individual i s to move, but i t must not attempt to blueprint that 124. future, or i t can only reproduce some aspect of itself and its values. (p. 187; italics mine). Ricoeur (1965) gets at this delicate balance, this open structure oriented toward the future, with his phrase: "not a vision but an aim." It is not the contact and possession of a detailed and articulate future, but tendency or tension toward an indeterminate future. The aim is imbued with the belief that this future will be positive without detailing exactly how this will occur. This line of thinking corresponds nicely with Farber's (1966) dichotomy of conscious and unconscious will. Referring to unconscious will he states that its presence is retrospectively inferred. Furthermore, he states, that the unconscious will move in a direction rather than toward a specific object. This direction i s , therefore, a way whose end cannot be known - a way open to possibility, including the possibility of failure. c) A Personal Example Experientially the process is very similar to surrendering to one's fate - to embracing one's destiny. The terms 'fate' and 'destiny' have a quasi-objective feel to them that captures the experience nicely. That is , when I give up my 'romantic' striving for self definition I experience long forgotten aspects of myself emerging. I find myself being drawn to situations that are not congruent with my self-definition; and in other cases avoiding situations that formerly f i t like a glove. For example, going out for dinner and spending time in lounges is gradually replaced by physical activities such as walking, jogging, and dancing. Or a preference 125. for existential, 'authentic', verbal therapy is replaced by a preference for kinesthetic, sensual body therapies. These changes were not anticipated as a kind of master plan but emerged spontaneously as result of stil l i n g the ego's 'loquacity'. . d) Re-Owning The Not-Self These new personal preferences were not created out of a void. That is , they were present but asleep. They were aspects of myself that weren't congruent with my identity or self concept. Lapsley (1967) makes explicit reference to this process: The resources drawn on outside the [ego] self must come from the not-self, particularly from its unconscious aspect. Both the energy and the images of the unconscious must be employed. The term 'not-self is an interesting one that requires some clarification. As I understand i t the 'not-self refers to those contents that have not been assimilated into one's self concept or identity. That i s , i t is those aspects of oneself that have been actively denied, dissociated and repressed but continue on in the unconscious. For example, during the era of 'flower power' many of us denied and suppressed our competitive and aggressive natures. Identity change through transpropriate willing might involve a re-owning of this aspect of our personality. One method or technique for re-claiming lost aspects of the self would be art therapy. I suspect that drawing is predominately a right hemispheric activity. That 126. i s , this activity bypasses the rational, logical and verbal mode of functioning that is proper to left hemispheric functioning. Of course, these methods of processing information are proper to the ego. Information processed through the ego framework tend to perpetuate that framework. Art therapy allows relatively fresh information to come to light because i t bypasses that conceptual grid. Dreams also allow more direct access to the contents of the 'not-self. Dream analysis tends to mix right and left hemispheric functioning. For this reason, i t may be preferable to use Gestalt techniques for living through or acting out various parts of the dream. The Gestalt technique steps up the right hemispheric mode of data processing. Thus, both art therapy and dream work facilitate the employment of unconscious images. Lapsley also refers to utilizing the energy of the unconscious. When we recall James' notion that our identity strength is measured by the amount of effort we can exert an alternative source of energy becomes very important. Hew does one go about tapping the energy of the unconscious? One method of course occurs automatically with the recognition of unconscious images. Thus Whitman and Kaufman (in Corsini, 1973) state: The archetypes are carriers of energy; the emergence of an archetype brings forth an enormous amount of energy. (p. 90) Their theoretical explanation is that archetypes are symbolic representations of our more primitive psychic organization. That is, they represent on a 127. profound level, our unconscious intentionality or orientation toward l i f e . They represent the very foundations of our ego framework or personal construct. This foundation is our habitualized way of binding and dis-charging our libido or l i f e force. Through consciously experiencing an archetype one becomes aware of the tremendous amount of vitality at our disposal. That i s , when one disrupts the habitualized way of libido seeking its object then one experiences being overwhelmed by affect - a sort of turbulent whirlpool of energy that disrupts a l l pre-determined ways of experiencing. Thus we can approach the vitality of the unconscious via the route of its images. The alternative is to access i t directly. For example, when I am out jogging I in i t i a l l y push myself with my ego-will. At a certain point, however, this source of motivation begins to deplete. No amount of reasoning or cajoling by my ego ('this is good for you ... your tiredness will soon pass; etc.) will arouse further vitality. At that point I decide to sink into my feelings. It is like giving in to my totality, to my flow as opposed to the ego mode of resistance and control. I then experience tapping some alternative energy center that more or less picks me up and carries me along. I experience i t as a rushing upward that emanates from the region of my solar plexus. The other curious phenomena that occurs has to do with the quality of my thinking at such times. Normally when I have some major decision to make I avoid actively tMnking about i t because I tend to' perseverate. That is , my thinking tends to go around in circles - the thought does not develop, but instead merely reoccurs. This is similar in its operation to the 128. phenomena of attention disorders that we referred to earlier. Recall for a moment that the essential feature of attention disorder was lack of stability in the 'mental space1 such that objects of interest (i.e. thoughts) moved and changed in response to the exploratory movement of attention. In other words, thoughts do not remain stable for long enough to be developed and one has to return again and again to the original issue and begins once more. To return to the jogging example, I find that when I sink into my feelings sooner or later I will notice that I am absent-mindedly thinking. The thoughts exhibit stability and a certain opaqueness - they don't shift and dissolve with my attention. Furthermore, they are linked together in some sort of organic progression - that is the thought develops rather than merely re-occurring. And so I discover a reciprocal principle: that I can access the images of my unconscious by giving in to its energy. The thoughts that emerge at such times seem to have an objective and autonomous quality to them. If I may be permitted to make a fine distinction: these thoughts are the products of my imagination rather than my fancy. Imagination reveals the contents of my pre-reflective in-tentionality whereas fantasy is grounded nowhere and only sustained through my conscious efforts. In the former, I am consciously receptive; in the latter, actively constructing. e) Individuation - A Parallel Conception Lapsley's process of transpropriate willing is very similar to Jung's concept of individuation. In fact Lapsley (1967) comments on this: 129. For Jung the goal of l i f e is individuation or self-actualization. The self is seen as much more than the conscious ego, though i t includes the ego... individuation involves the gradual displacement of the ego as the integrator of behavior by the larger self which becomes increasingly more distinct and controlling through the assimilation of material from the personal and collective unconscious. In the process the ego becomes the passive observer as i t is enriched from below and the will [equivalent to my term 'ego-will' ] as disposable energy, gradually subordinates itself to the stronger factor," namely, the new totality figure I call the self. (p. 183) Whitman and Kaufmann (in Corsini, 1973) describe the same process from a slightly different point of view: At the moment of birth, ego and Self appear as one; the fi r s t half of l i f e is devoted to their separation, requiring heroic attitudes and ego-reliance. Then the process reverses itself, as the ego attitude is revealed as incomplete and insufficient, and the striving for the realization of the Self begins. (p. 96) Thus we can say that the primary pre-condition for identity change is an attitude of surrender. The ego is asked to stop 'doing' but instead 'watch' and 'listen'. It is the self who is giving this order and the ego, who acquiesces. And this is the f i r s t step taken to realign their relationship in our consciousness - with the self as decision maker and the ego as the executive function. The ego does not give up its status as King very easily. The most difficult hurdle is when the ego claims to be the self - "To give up my ego/self means: to die." Once again we encounter separation-anxiety 130. to face the dilertma that going forward may involve abandoning a part or a l l of your self. Of course the ego will phrase its arguments in just this manner: you can't amputate part of yourself." In short the ego presents. f) The Seductive Alternative - Identification with Reflection The underlying rationale for the above dramatized account is that a l l previous intra-psychic separations were precursers for the ultimate intra-psychic separation: the separation of self from ego. Whitman and Kaufmann (in Corsini, 1973) indicated above that the f i r s t half of l i f e was devoted to their separation which seems contrary to the position that I am seeking to establish. Perhaps one way of resolving this conflict is to distinguish between conscious and unconscious' separation. The ultimate separation that I am referring to is a self-conscious act. In some way the person begins to sense that their ego identity is more of less inadequate for task of living and this begins a search for an alternate basis for identity - a basis that transcends that of the ego. Whitman and Kaufmann's account of the process of the first half of l i f e i s , retrospectively inferred rather than consciously experienced at the time. That is , in the f i r s t half of l i f e individuals tend to engage in willful activity; they consciously set goals and strive to achieve them; they seek to become self-made men. By attending exclusively to the ego mode of functioning they are in fact, albeit not self-consciously, abetting the separation of the self from the ego. Frankenstein (1966) refers to one of the results of such a process: 131. Were i t not for the estrangement and the recession of the ego from its matrix, the total psyche, the abstractive (logical) mode of operation, characteristic of the abstracted ego, would not have emerged as opposed to the symbol methods of the unconscious. That is, the continual stress or emphasis on ego activity, the rational manipulation of abstract concepts, serves to alienate the ego from the self or psyche. Once this alienation or separation proceeds to a certain point awareness of self disappears from consciousness altogether. Furthermore, one 'forgets' that such an entity ever existed. This is a far different process than the conscious separation that takes place when one realizes that the ego is an inadequate basis for identity. In this latter process we are witnessing the intra-psychic separation of what was formerly a fused subject/object. (An intermingled or confluent self/ego). That i s , consciousness has been identified with its contents. If these people could articulate their state they would state: "I am my ego framework rather than "I produce my ego framework." Because the person's self concept is tied, is bound to the ego framework, he will experience any threat to that framework as a threat to his very existence. The matter is a delicate one to express. In an attempt to capture the experiential flavour I earlier used a dramatic form of expression. For example, I implied that the ego was somewhat autonomous; that i t felt itself to be King of the court and viewed the self as a dangerous usurper. I also experienced a distinctly biblical tone to the dialogue between the ego and the self. For example, I presented ego as an argumentive temptor presenting the seductive alternative: 132. 'I am the true self and any attempt to depose or abandon me will result in chaos and non-existence.* The use of this dramatic form serves to emphasize that the self and ego are two real, but distinct entities and moves our discussion much closer to the lived through experience. Perhaps a brief review is in order here to clarify our position. To begin we stated that consciousness was a crack in the mode of being. This crack implied a duality; two forms of the same being. It was this duality that formed the structural pre-condition for self-consciousness to occur. That is, the dualistic mode made reflection possible: one mode of being could reflect the other. We named the one mode, prereflective intentionality and the other reflected self-consciousness. Furthermore, i t was implied that reflection was a pre-condition for abstraction. We then concluded that through the operations of reflection and abstraction the structures of the ego were elaborated. To bring this account completely up to date; we suggested that the ego mode of being ultimately takes itself as the only mode of being - i t 'forgets' its radical dependency on the pre-reflective mode, the self or the psyche. Ricouer (in Lawrence and O'Connor, 1967) makes some interesting points in this regard: It is precisely in the face of the necessity both inside and outside myself that my consciousness tends to recoil upon itself, to make a circle with itself, in order to expel into an empirical subject which is supposed to constitute these limitations of character, unconsciousness and l i f e situtation. By this act of expulsion, reflection tends  to posit itself as a universal constituting  ego, which is supposed to transcend the 133. limitations of the empirical subject, (p. 99; italics mine). Reflection, seems to carry with i t the last vestiges of infantile, magical cjrinipotence. . Reflection, because i t deals in the currency of abstracted symbols offers us the promise of transcending a l l the limitations that our upbringing and socio-economic class impose on us. The much vaunted, and now discredited, Victorian Will Power probably sprung from identi-fication with the reflective mode of consciousness. Rationalism as a philosophy was enjoying a robust adolescence; overi±rowing the structures and limitations of religious dogmatism; and its powers must have appeared limitless. Thus rationalism not only depended on the reflective approach but also socially reinforced individuals for developing that capacity to the exclusion of a l l others. Thus, the seductive appeal that the ego prefers to the self is that i t is the true agent of free will - 'a universal, const-ituting ego.' According to Jung's timetable i t takes most of us half our lives to realize that such a promise will never be actualized. Only after exhausting this alternative do we realize that: It is truly necessary that I understand my character as being mine, that I admit the partiality of my choices and motivation; the limited style of my efforts and my concrete action; I will not succeed in  opposing i t to mw real self; i t is not to be posited outside as an object; i t is truly the constituted partiality of the concrete constituting self which I am. (Ricoeur in Lawrence and O'Connor, 1967; italics mine). 134. In a way Riooeur's quote goes beyond the point I wish to confirm; and points to a resolution: surrender and consent. By consenting to 'the limitations of my character, unconsciousness and l i f e situation' I subjectivize those aspects of myself. On the other hand, when I refuse to acknowledge my concrete, human dimension I automatically posit i t outside as an object. This change in orientation from objective to subjective may, at fi r s t glance, appear superficial and arbitrary. Such is not the case, however, as such a change in orientation - the sub j ectivi zing of the involuntary -is the preliminary step to authentic identity change. A person must accept where they are at new, completely before any true movement or development is possible. We are presented with the paradox: striving to change produces stasis; accepting stasis permits change. According to Ricoeur we are ultimately a synthesis of the constituted and the constituting. That i s , we are both subject and object for ourselves. It is in this double way that we apprehend ourselves (both as an 'awareness' and as an 'object of awareness') that the key to volitional identity change lies hidden. We will pursue this matter in some detail later in the chapter. D. The Process: A Phenomenological Description We now wish to consider the matter of identity change as i t is experienced by the subject. Such a description may assist us in our own growth as well as assist us in recognizing signposts in our client's process. We shall begin with a quote from Castaneda (1974): 135. I said to you once that the tonal begins at birth and ends at death; I said that because I know that as soon as the force of l i f e leaves the body a l l those single awarenesses disintegrate and go back again to where they come from, the nagual. What a warrior does in journeying into the unknown is very much like dying, except that his cluster of feelings do not disintegrate but expand a bit without losing their togetherness. (p. 266) For those readers not familiar with Castaneda, his terms of 'tonal' and 'nagual' require some explication. 'Tonal' refers to the domain of being/ consciousness whose knowledge is structured, arranged sequentially and chronologically. The term can either be applied to the ego and its ways of apprehending itself as well as to the world, in the sense that we understand the world as governed by laws (physical, psychological, social, etc.). 'Naugual' on the other hand, refers to that domain of being that exhibits no organization; where cause and effect are meaningless; where time is simultaneous or eternally present. 1. Loosening the Self Construct: Depersonalization. According to Castaneda, therefore, our identities would be of the realm of the tonal. That is, our identities would be developed empirically over our lifetime. Our identities would be a cluster of single awarenesses bound together by our l i f e force. For example, a certain individual may bind together the following single awarenesses: a near drowning at age six; a particularly extreme fight with one's father; hours of enjoyment 136. in the weeds; the discovery of the joy of reading; etc. The accumulation of these single awarenesses becomes bound together in an increasingly tighter ball of yarn as one grows older. The tighter the ball or cluster becomes the more difficult i t is to conceive of any alternate arrangement. That i s , one's l i f e force/consciousness merely retraces or encounters the same circuits, the same structural patterns over and over again. In different language, one's l i f e force is denied direct access to the outer, autonomous world where the genuine possibility of a l i f e changing event lies waiting. Instead i t is destined to experience the same old phenomena in the inner object constellation. Castenda points at a possible line of escape: by journeying into the unknown (the nagual) the cluster of single awarenesses are loosened. The implications of this are enormous. When he states that such an experience is very much like eying he is not being merely theoretical. I have had such experiences and what struck and frightened me the most was the impersonal nature of my experience: that i s , i t seemed to lack the human dimension that can only be evoked by words like 'home', 'family', 'mom and dad', 'playmates', etc. These experiences had been stripped bare of any feelings of warmth, security and belongingness. For this reason those experiences have been labelled alienation, depersonalization and derealization. A l l these terms have come to be used in only their perjoritive sense. Later we shall see that there is a positive aspect to this experience. These 'single awarenesses' are equivalent to what has been referred to earlier as objects of consciousness. Before we do this however, I would like to return to Castaneda to see i f his quote might give us a clue to the source of this fear. Implied in the 137. quote i s the idea that the force of l i f e binds the single awareness together. The converse i s just as true: the single awarenesses bind the l i f e force to them. The l i f e force becomes bound to, attached to, and fused with the single awarenesses. a) A Basis for the Fear of Depersonalization When, as Castaneda suggests, the cluster begins to expand; when our b a l l of yarn begins to loosen and unravel, one experiences the strange sensation of losing one's substantiality. Furthermore, one's substantial-i t y has come to be equated with one's existence - to lose one's solidness i s , therefore, to place i n jeopardy one's 'realness'. b) Ch^rcoming the Fear Let us now consider the potentially positive consequences of such a risk. Castaneda continues: Thus a warrior can venture into the nagual and l e t his cluster arrange and rearrange i t s e l f i n any way possible. I meant that i t i s up to the individual warrior himself to direct the arrangement and rearrangements of that cluster ... a sorcerer can adopt any form he wants ... can direct the parts of his cluster to j o i n i n any conceivable way. The force of l i f e makes a l l this shuffling pos-sible, (p. 266) Although the language i s different this account exhibits certain para-l l e l s to Rogers' (1961) notion of loosening the self-concept as the v i t a l and preliminary step preceding therapeutic growth. However, Castaneda's 138. account is far more dramatically subjective. Particularly intriguing are the assertions that the individual can direct the rearrangment of his own identity - the individual can adopt any form he wants. On the one hand this smacks of a return to the magical omnipotence of infancy. On the other hand, we could say that the 'realistic' potency of adulthood is a greatly diminished, pale spector of what i s possible. That i s , the obstacle that stands between us and our f u l l powers is our fear of deperson-alization. That i s , we would rather be determined (in the behavioristic sense of the word) and personal, than volitional and impersonal. (One is reminded immediately of the Victorian man who is strong willed and often stands accused of being impersonal in his dealings with people). i) Theoretical rationale for positing the impersonal as primary Let us examine these twin concepts of 'impersonal' and 'depersonal-ization' to see i f we can take some of the sting out of them. Loevinger (1976) in expounding her dialectical theory of ego development suggests that its root process is "the personification of inner forces", (p. 422) This implies that we are not born as 'personal' beings and that this develops only over time - that, in a sense, i t is learned. It is , therefore, conceivable that our 'personal' qualities are a secondary accretion covering our essential impersonal nature. Loevinger also draws support from Freud whose structural theory of id, ego and super-ego is characterized as the most well known version of the personification of dinner forces. Just what is the nature of these forces? Norman 0. Brown (1966) gives the following answer: 139. Reality is energy, or instinct; ... One substance, the id or It. The id is instinct; that Dionysian "Cauldron of seething excitement," a sea of energy out of which the ego emerges like an island. The term 'id' - i t - taken from Nietzsche (via Groddeck), is based on the intuition that the conduct through l i f e of what we call our ego is essentially passive; i t is not so much  we who live as that we are lived, by unknown forces. The reality is instinct, and instinct is impersonal energy, an ' i t ' who lives in us. (p. 88; italics mine). The experience of depersonalization, therefore, could be understood as essentially the same as our early infancy experience. The only difference being that, in infancy, there was no sense of personhood being lost as i t had yet to develop. The other implication, is that in the 'normal' state of ego-identification i t is just this 'impersonal energy' or l i f e force that animates the ego or sense of personal identity. However, in normalcy there is not an experiential awareness of this dependency. The schizoid personality, on the other hand, is directly in touch with the l i f e force which threatens to overwhelm and annihilate his shaky sense of personal self. The individual's overpowering fear naturally prevents both him and us from appreciating the enormous increase in the amount of vitality that has been made available. I am not suggesting seme sort of romantic conception of mental illness. I merely wish to point out that schizoid experiences point to an enormous untapped reservoir of vitality and to suggest that the norms that have been developed of 'realistic' adult potency have been arbitrarily bounded by our fear of depersonalization. I would also like to add that I 140. am not suggesting destruction of the ego or the sense of personal identity but rather practical ways of harnessing instinctual energy to increase our sense of personal power. The schizoid experience could be construed as an accidental or 'forced' contact with this source without adequate pre-paration or safeguards. Thus the schizoid individual gets 'stuck' in a transitory state whereas Castaneda's warrior moves through i t to a larger more autonomous personal identity. i i ) A practical method - subjectivize the impersonal Perhaps, I have succeeded in theoretically talcing the 'sting* out of depersonalization without making i t a pragmatic possibility - appealed to the social scientist and not the person. We are being asked to be * cosmic warriors'. There must be a more adequate way of experiencing this encounter. And once again the method seems to be that of surrender. By embracing, surrendering and consenting to the impersonal we subjectivize i t . Rather than identifying with our ego and consequently experiencing the impersonal as an alien force, we own i t - i t is, after a l l , our experience, the only one we have, which, i f denied or disowned results in a diminished sense of self. We shall see later, that much of the sense of horror in such experiences is directly attributable to its objective quality; i ts sense of 'otherness*. Therefore, when we subjectivize i t most of the anxiety simply disappears and we bemusedly ask, "What was the panic a l l about?" 141. 2. The Rearrangement of the Structural Elements of Identity. We note that " i t i s up to the individual warrior himself to direct the arrangement of his cluster." This implies that there i s some personal entity that i s neither the l i f e force nore the sum of the single awarenesses, that can stand back and direct t r a f f i c . Is this the mythical hcnumculi? Or i s i t an un contaminate d portion of the ego? One can not be sure. How-ever, Castaneda does provide us with some phenomenological signposts that demarcate this experience. They include the follcwing. a) Limit the Domain of the Ego. Elsewhere i n his writing Castaneda suggests that the technique for accessing the nagual or unconscious i s through experiencing a sudden shock to the ego which causes i t to shrink without disappearing completely. This would be equivalent to disrupting the habitual and automatized operations of the ego. The ego recoils and perception can then be relatively uncond-itioned. This might be one experiential referrent h i s t o r i c a l l y underlying the construct of the homunculi. b) Use of Ego-Attention to Assimilate Pre conscious Content. At another point he advises that i f our trips into the nagual are to be productive we must learn to see with the "eyes of the tonal". In order to understand what Castaneda means by this, a brief review w i l l be necessary. The nagual refers to the dynamic unconscious, the realm of right hemispheric functioning. The tonal, on the other hand, refers to the ego, or the realm of l e f t hemispheric functioning. The ego can be conceptua-l i z e d i n two ways: as an existent structural framework and as an organizing 142. principle. It is this f i r s t meaning to which we refer when we say i t must be shrunk. The second nieaning is a dynamic conception. That i s , the organizing principle is the means by which the structure is elaborated -i t is the cause and the structure is the result. What is this organizing principle? I believe i t is the use of attention that takes its distance from appearances. Left hemispheric or ego attention works in such a manner as to separate subject and object. Whereas, right hemispheric attention fuses or becomes one with its object, Castaneda is, therefore, suggesting that the ego's method of attending should be brought to bear on the content of the unconscious. Perhaps a metaphor will make the point clearer: the realm of the tonal can be compared to daytime while that of the nagual, compares to night. During the day we are perceptually aware of multiplicity, profusion of form, intricate structural organization - and so i t is with our ego organization, the realm of the tonal. At night, a l l we see is. homogeneous blackness and yet there is content in this blackness: there are objects there; we feel them when we accidently touch them and so i t is with our unconscious, the realm of the nagual. Taking a flashlight into the night would be equivalent to examining the nagual with the eyes of the tonal. Frankenstein (1966) makes a similar point when he states that the ego must actively work at assimilating the contents of the unconscious otherwise i t will sink into a slough of passivity. One only has to observe the process of art therapy to see these principles at work. One begins by drawing a random, wandering line or series of lines. One then looks at them with an orientation of 'passive volition' and suddenly a gestalt suggests itself - one can see 143. meaningful form (a face or body, for example) where formerly only empty lines were present. It is the unconscious or pre-reflective intentionality that organizes these meanings. One's ego then takes over by adding a line here, a dot there to make the latent figure manifest. One's ego new has some explicit sense of the central preoccupations that were formerly pre-oonscious. At least some aspects of one's intentionality stand revealed. c) Restructuring: By What Criteria? The next thing we notice in Castaneda's quote is that i t is the structural pattern that is being rearranged. This suggests that therapeutic growth is a matter of structural re-organization rather than an altering of the contents or elements of the pattern. This matter deserves some exploration. One conception of therapy views i t as a kind of 'wiping out' or erasing previous traumatic incidents. I believe that this is the popular or 'lay' conception of therapy. I also wonder i f this conception does not persist in the form of unconscious assumptions on the part of professionals as well. They assume that i f one goes through primal therapy) for example, and discharges the bound affect, the original disturbing experience disappears from the psyche. Somehow, i t is implied that, we can begin again with a clean slate. One balks at these conclusions when one realizes that this involves denial: denial that a l l our experiences, both traumatic and ordinary, change us once and for a l l . No amount of therapy will ever change the fact that, for exaraole,, a particular client had an arbitrary mother and that this client developed an incredible sensitivity to non-verbal cues as a result of that experience. 144. What can change, however, is the way the client interprets these experiences. That i s , the iteaning that the client imbues these experiences with is subject to change. Every experience has two aspects: a receptivity and an activity. We receive the presence of an event; and we actively invest i t with meaning. The meaning we assign is a function of our intentionality. That i s , the same event experienced through differing ego frameworks i s going to be construed differently. Dramatic religious conversions probably offer the most striking example of the profound results of substituting one framework for another. Where previously a l l experience was construed through a conflict-ridden, poor self-esteem framework, now this same person demonstrates unity of purpose and the grace of forgiveness. Returning to Ca-staneda, we note that i t is up to the 'individual warrior himself' to direct the rearrangement of his ego framework. We also noted that this again raised the issue of the homunculi. Perhaps we are now in a better position to pursue this issue. We begin by recalling that identity and purpose were mutually implicating. That is, the self establishes the purpose which in turn, automatically, produces a system of values and priorities, necessary for achieving that purpose. That i s , the purpose functions as a guiding principle to refer to on a l l decision making occasions. We now ask the question, 'By what principle do we direct the rearrangement of our cluster of single awarenesses?' The question is a tricky one. We are suspicious of allowing our ego to set the goal as we are aware that this will just perpetuate the very framework we are trying to transcend. Castaneda.-supplies 145. an existential answer. He suggests that we let the idea of our irmdnent death be our advisor. That i s , the experiental awareness of our mortality becomes the principle by which we re-organize our ego framework. "If I knew I was going to die in an hour would I be spending my time regretting the past or living the present?" Living with the idea of one's iitpending death makes i t far easier to live without regrets and to act responsibly. By invoking death as our organizing principle we both harness and direct our intentionality. That i s , when I ask the question 'what would I do i f I knew that I was to die an hour from now', I receive an answer from a deeper zone of myself than the one that routinely structures my day. If I persist in asking this question and on numerous occasions notice a disparity between what I thought I wanted and what I actually needed a new self image or identity would gradually begin to emerge. I could proceed with some confidence that this identity was grounded in my pre-reflective intentionality rather than being an obsolete construction of my ego. The concept of intentionality now begins to take on some experiential reality. Let us take several alternate examples of intentionality to emphasize this concrete aspect. Self pity or the victim mentality is a fairly common one. A person founded on this orientation approaches a l l experience through this f i l t e r . They will demonstrate selective attention, highlighting those aspects of the experience that serve to reinforce their world view. This process i s , of course unconscious and a l l perceptions merely confirm that this is the way the world is and that one's response to i t i s , therefore, legitimate. If this same person comes to be aware that they wil l die soon they 146. find i t very difficult to avoid the knowledge that continued indulgence in self pity will just mean more of the same. They might possibly get an image of laying on their death bed, shouting, "I've been ripped off!" Already we see the beginnings of a transformation from self pity to the mobilization of their aggression. Once the intentionality begins to change,, the ego framework begins to disassociate and reassemble. Thus we can see that intentionality is a dynamic construct whereas the ego framework is a structural construct. The ego framework changes much more slowly in response to one's intentionality. So far most of our discussion has been orientated to the present and future. However, both our mode of intentionality and our ego framework determines how we construe our past as well. For example, the client who had an arbitrary mother and, in compensation, developed acute sensitivity to non-verbal cues : when the client f i r s t considered therapy her intentionality sprang from self pity and her presenting complaint was over sensitivity. This element or 'single awareness' was therefore, accorded a dominant position in her ego framework. After intensive therapy, where self pity was gradually replaced by responsibility as an organizing principle, she began to construe her sensitivity as a gift to be harnassed as a mime artist or a therapist. Or alternately her sensitivity might be removed from its dominant, problematic position in her mental hierarchy to a more background position. S t i l l another example would be that of a person who had experienced loss of ego boundaries. At fi r s t he would probably look on the experience as a curse. 147. Later, he might begin to construe the same experience as a gift that allowed him to expand his personal vision far beyond the boundaries that 'normal' development would permit. William James would be an example of such a man. Thus, a change in intentionality permits a change in our relationship to our past: where formerly we were bound to i t , we now harness i t . d) Resolution of a Paradox: Identity Change and Continuity Over Time. This issue of the relationship of identity to time - past, present, and future - is a critical one. It has been documented that a crucial aspect of identity is the sense of continuity over time. This implies that i f we are to have a secure sense of our integrity we must somehow feel that we are essentially the same person as we once were and that we will be. Discontinuity in our conception of our personal history and our anticipated future ominously points to an identity crisis. And yet we ardently wish to change. We are faced with a paradox: we want to change and yet s t i l l feel that we are the same person. By closely studying the nature of the act of attention we shall see that the attainment of such a paradoxical goal is quite conceivable. Merleau-Ponty distinguishes between two types of attention. Secondary attention functions by recalling knowledge already gained. Primary attention, on the other hand, is an originating act. To pay attention is not merely further to elucidate pre-existing data, i t is to bring about a new articulation of them, by taking them as figures. It is precisely 148. the original structure which they introduce that brings the identity of the object before and after the act of  attention. (1962; p. 30) Merleau-Ponty uses the development of our colour sense to demonstrate his point. For example, i t has long been known that during the f i r s t nine months of l i f e , infants distinguish only globally the coloured from the colourless; thereafter coloured areas form into 'warm' and 'cold' shades, and f i n a l l y the detailed colours are arrived at. (1962, p. 30) He goes on to state that once the quality of colour i s acquired, and only by means of i t , do the previous data appear as preparations of this quality. In other words, the past i s radically transformed by the present. I f we import this line of reasoning to the realm of personal identity, we shall see how the paradoxical goals of change and unity (continuity) are achievable Normally, when we contemplate our personal history we identify various turn-ing points that led us to our current state. We retrospectively infer that somehow the purpose, T^hich our current state actualizes, was buried i n these previous stages. Looking back at our past, we infer that, i n some ways, our future was predestined - that everything that ever happenned was a prepara-tion for the present moment. What we f a i l to realize i s that the unity that we 'witness' i s i n fact conferred by us rather than being i n t r i n s i c to the experiences themselves. Thus the continuity over time, which i s so 149. important to our sense of integrity and identity is a quality of our construal. The brilliance of Merleau-Ponty*s contribution is that he locates this unity bringing function in the very nature of consciousness. The miracle of consciousness consists in its bringing to light through attention, phenomena which re-establish the unity of the object in a new dimension at the very moment when they destroy i t . (p. 30) A l l our objects of consciousness, including our self concept, are figures or gestalts that are formed and given unity by our current ego framework. The transition to a higher ego stage, or from one framework to another, involves the destruction of the current gestalts and the emergence of the new. Both gestalts make use of the same data thus guaranteeing a 'synthesis of transition'. It seems to me that any therapeutic growth can be directly attributable to this process whether the specific technique used is called primal, reality, or gestalt therapy. The client is asked to re-experience an earlier traumatic incident with his or her egomoxfe -of attention - 'the eyes of the tonal'. The client invokes the traumatic experience but this time does not become i t . Instead he stands back ever so slightly and reflects on i t - a separation occurs between awareness and the content of awareness. In a sense the client is split, for a highly aroused part of his self has become one with the original trauma while another part remains separate and 'records' or observes the unfolding drama. This is the structural pre-condition for construing the incident in an alternate, less debilitating 150. manner. This account appears feasible and yet we find ourselves objecting to the necessity for a 'split 1. We sense that a split state is inherently dangerous. The phenomenological description will make this fear more under-standable. In the above example, the client's volitional center (his sense of subjectivity) becomes split between the observer and the traumatized subject. It is as i f his dynamic essence is being stretched like toffee between two centers - sooner or later i t must snap. When i t does snap, the client 'wakes up' in only one center. That i s , his subjectivity becomes associated exclusively with that center. Clients,therefore, must actively choose, and endorse a framework in order to animate i t . That i s , identity change involves dwelling in an alternate oonstrual. It is not a mere conception of an alternate framework but an investment of that framework with one's subjectivity. Let us look at some currently popular therapies in order to see i f their techniques can be understood in terms of these notions. For instance, in primal therapy explicit emphasis is placed on encountering the trauma and 'pain'. Little theoretical attention is paid to the other pole of the dialectic - the ego attention that .is construing :.this 'traumatic experience There is a difference, therefore, between encountering one's trauma (which implies a dialectic) and abandoning one's self to i t . I've had some experience conducting primals and have noticed a marked difference in the two orientations; abandonment versus encounter. In the former, i t is as i f the client abandons his observing center; becomes one with the pain; which, in turn creates or reinforces a traumatized ego framework - the client abandons himself to being 151. constituted rather than maintaining his integrity as the constitutor. In the case of successful primal therapy the client not only re-experiences his trauma but also re-experiences i t with his ego attention. The therapist assists the client by supporting the integrity of the client's attention; by modelling alternate healthy construals; and by using suggestions and assumption to encourage the organization of a positive ego framework. The same principles apply to reality therapy. The client is asked to step back from the flow of appearance, to disengage himself from his 'unconscious', acting out. Finally, the behavior modification technique of desensitization also operates in conformity to these principles. The client is asked to articulate disturbing stimulus in a hierarchy of fear. The very act of doing so, tends to encourage the emergence of the dialectic - a separation of the feared stimulus object from the subject. My original point was how to reconcile the desire to change with the need to be the same; the desire to grow with the fear of disassociation. My theoretical answer is that unity is a product of the present rather than a continuity over chronological time. Using this notion as our starting point we can understand that the client's expressed fears of discontinuity are pointing to currently experienced incongruity and contradiction. It is not an anticipated split that bothers him, but instead a currently experienced one. 152. e) Ardmating the New Framework - "Dwelling In". Let us now turn the discussion to a more concrete example of identity cahnge and the processes involved i n i t . Vfe begin with another quote from Castaneda. I held two images i n my mind, two dreams... a l l I had to do was to change perspective and rather than watch either scene from the outside feel i t from the point of view of the subject. (1974; p. 77) Essentially this i s the f i r s t step i n the process of re-arranging the cluster of single awarenesses that are involved i n identity change. That i s , we allow various parts of our self to emerge to consciousness i n the form of symbolic images. Earlier I stated that we experience our s e l f both as subject and as object. In the former sense we recognize the self as that which organizes experience. In the l a t t e r sense we apprehend the self as as object of awareness. When we speak of self-image and self concept we are referring to this objective mode of grasping our self. The images that Castaneda refers to are 'objective', symbolic representations of himself. Castaneda then describes a very interesting process: a vo l i t i o n a l choice to subjectivize that objective image. A concrete example w i l l make this point clearer. Recently I was lying on my bed and I became aware of some tension i n a deep muscle band that extended completely around my r i b cage. Shortly after this awareness an image emerged to consciousness. This image consisted of an automobile spring f i l l e d by l i q u i d gold. The automobile spring was 153. of the type that are used with shock absorbers to stabilize a car; thick coils that are tightly wound. This of course, was a symbol for my tense muscle band. The imagexbegan to change with the coils separating ever so slightly. As soon as this occurred seme of the liquid gold (my l i f e force) began to squeeze out. It seemed to be molten when i t was inside the core of the spring but as i t made contact with the air i t began to solidify and take on the appearance of toothpaste being squeezed from a tube. While a l l this was occurring I was acutely aware of the symbolic nature of the experience. I knew that my tight muscles were a manifestation of my re-sistance. I also was afraid that my resistance might prevent my l i f e force from emerging ever. I decided to subjectivize the liquid gold - to 'feel i t from the point of view of the subject'. The image changed acxxsrdingly: the coils began to separate and the gold began to emerge. I suppose I began to feel somewhat apprehensive when I noticed this, (whereas previously I had felt intense pleasure with the experience of securing my own release). I new shifted my focus and my subjectivity to the spring. In some ways I experienced this as a somewhat involuntary shift brought about by the transition of the gold from liquid to semi-solid. I say that the shift was somewhat involuntary as I can recall feeling seme curiosity about how i t would feel to subjectivize the spring, so some volition was present. In any case shortly after I became the spring I could feel the mounting signs of an anxiety attack. I wondered whether I would be strong enough to contain the force of the gold or whether I would be shattered by i t . Needless to say I was not shattered, however, the struggle was intense. Afterwards I 154. felt somewhat depressed as I felt that I had used my own energy in the services of repression. That i s , I felt that by choosing to subjectivize the spring I had actualized that part of my identity at the expense of the liquid gold aspect of my identity. In spite of this slightly depressing note I was quite excited about discovering this method of self-actualization. When we abstract from this concrete example a very interesting principle begins to emerge: the self can be imagined as a number of different object constellations and the essence of our volitional nature is the choice as to which mode we will inhabit with our subjectivity. This is not a once-and-f or-all choice but one that is continually recurring i f we are to continue along the path of ego development. Both modes have their function: the objective mode is to present possibilities and potentialities whereas the subjective mode permits actualization; the objective mode permits us to conceive of the possibility and form of an alternate ego framework and the subjective mode breathes l i f e into that framework. The difference between these two modes could also be expressed thusly: the subjective mode is a dwelling in and looking out; whereas the objective mode involves standing outside and looking in. As for the process of how we move from one mode to another there can be no finer unit of analysis - no step by step technique. One merely chooses which mode and then finds oneself already there. It is an ' instantaneous transition. It is like throwing a switch: one moment you are outside looking in; the next, inside looking out. In this section I have attempted to isolate a phenomenological experience to demonstrate how that experience can be experienced from two points of view; subjective and 155. objective. In the next section I w i l l attempt to demonstrate how to u t i -l i z e our dualistic capacity i n the service of identity change. E. Engineered Identity Change: Exploiting our Dualistic Nature. 1. The Developmental Sequence: Conscious direction replaces Surrender as the Organizing Principle. As the heading indicates, I feel that we can use this knowledge of our capacity for double-vision to engineer identity change. To this point i n the thesis the main principle to emerge vis a vis identity change i s the one of surrender. For instance, I t was suggested that through surrenclering or giving up the constant w i l l f u l activity of the ego (the interior dialogue) one was granted access to pre-reflective intentionality. Such a process was held to be essential to unify the selves - permit the ego-will and pre-reflec-tive w i l l to operate i n harmony rather than conflict. In this section, however, I am raising the possibility that identity change may be more than a matter of transpropriate w i l l i n g but i n some way amenable to our conscious direction. Perhaps the contradiction that such a statement implies can be resolved by putting the two principles ('surrender' versus 'active direction') on a developmental continuum. In other words, the individual f i r s t becomes adept at surrenctering. Through such an orientation, the individual comes to know the character of his or her pre-reflective intentionality. The individual would become aware of the incongruities between the content of their pre-re-flective intentionality and the content of their s e l f concept. Slowly, over time, they would begin to bring them into alignment. The implication 156. has been that this alignment would be accomplished mostly by the sacrifice of the ego ideal. That i s , the ego is devalued or shrunk. Initially the reflecting ego was construed as the omnipotent, universal, constituting ego and a l l our personal limitations were expelled onto an empirical subject. Time and l i f e experiences begin to teach us that such a strategy operates in quite the opposite manner; reducing our potency in practical l i f e to the extent that we are ignorant of our true nature. Thus the ego suffers devaluation and the pre-reflective intentionality is exalted. 2. Limitations of 'surrendering': the f a l l i b i l i t y of pre-reflective intentionality A disquieting thought occurs: although our pre-reflective intention-ality is more grounded than our abstracted, alienated ego, i t too is subject to f a l l i b i l i t y and error. One has to only recall the earlier example of the client who had been subjected to a dogmatic and authoritarian father and, as a result, had developed a placating style to deal with a l l authority figures. This 'compensation' or coping style is certainly not the result of a conscious strategy aimed at subtle factors in the current situation but rather an unconscious reaction triggered by any and every authority figure. Clearly in this case, this person's pre-reflective intentionality is determining this person's behavior in ways that are not in his best interest. An even more simple, and yet dramatic, example involves the orientation of one's libido. It can be stated that the structure of the libido is limited to approach or avoidance. Thus i f an individual was tramatized at an early 157. age a l l their subsequent behavior would be dictated by an intentionality of withdrawal. Again we note that reliance on one's intentionality is not quite the fail-safe strategy that has been implied earlier. We, therefore, must clarify our notions. It was suggested that one should consent or surrender to one's intentionality. However, this isn't merely a matter of 'blind faith' but instead is guided by a purpose. Consent and surrender are. the attitudes necessary to attend to contents of one's pre-reflective intentionality. That i s , our strategy is guided by a purpose - and that purpose is to come to understand our archaeology. Furthermore this understanding is not an end in itself but is subordinated to our teleology. Understanding our archaeology bears on our teleology in two ways: by modifying our goals and adapting our implimentation procedures. Underlying this discussion is the central idea that our teleology will not be actualized unless our archaeology is acknowledged and come to terms with. 3. Beyond surrender: re-programmed intentionality We have now come to the point in our dissertation where some synthesis has occurred. That is , we are considering the individual who has developed to the point where he has re-owned his pre-reflective intentionality. I now ask the question: 'Is this as far as anyone can go?' In practical terms, is re-subjectivizing our character a process we engage in for the rest of our lives? Or dc the laws of development exhibit a radical change in direction at this point? For example, we have witnessed one previous radical change in orientation: from the manipulative activity of the abstracted 158. ego to an attitude of 'passive volition' or 'active surrender1. I would like to suggest that such a radical transformation in attitude also occurs in the stage immediately following the 'consent' stage. Before I continue with this line of thinking I would like to point out that the following notions will be much more speculative than those preceding this section. At the tisue of writing the notions that are about to be presented appeared like vague forms on a distant horizon. These vague forms suggest the mode of operation at the highest level of ego development. I find l i t t l e reference to them in the literature which adds to their speculative quality. With these cautions in mind let us proceed on. a) Personal Constructs Consciously Formulated We get a hint of our direction in Rogers' (1961) notion that toward the terminal end of the psychotherapeutic process, personal constructs are tentatively formulated and loosely held. In other words, the client realizes that his experience of the world and of himself is mediated through a personal construct. He realizes that the world is not simply given but intended or constituted by himself - i t is not so much the world, as i t is HIS world. The psychotherapeutic process has revealed to him the pre-conscious framework that he had used to construe his world. Now he is at the point of formulating a new, more appropriate, framework - he is about to take responsibility for his intentionality. 159. b) Relocating Intentionality: From the Pre-reflective to the Conscious Sphere In a sense, I am suggesting that this mdividual is now prepared to take on the responsibility for his own creation. It is a momentous possibility. The metaphor of genetic engineering suggests itself. DNA molecules are equivalent to our intentionality; they contain the code or instructions for transforming and connecting simpler amino acids into complex, differentiated cellular and tissue structures. Our intentionality works in much the same way - organizing the 'primitive', sensory data into more complex, meaningful wholes. Genetic engineering allows us to consciously change the program or code. Conscious identity change likewise would involve direct access to our intentionality - our meaning-making program. The successful undertaking of such a task rests on the very practical and personal knowledge that we are dualistic beings. Our duality consists of two forms of consciousness: a pre-reflective intentionality and reflective consciousness. As we pointed out earlier, the i n i t i a l relationship between these two spheres was such that reflective consciousness was radically dependent on pre-reflective intentionality. There are numerous ways of conceptualizing this dependency: the island of the ego arises out of the sea of the id; the clear and distinct ideas of reflective consciousness are derived by abstracting the part-whole relationships of pre-reflective intentionality. In short, the elements of the left hemisphere are constituted with raw material or data from the right. What is now being suggested is that this dependency can be reversed; that the clear and distinct directives of the left can come to automatically 160. restructure the content of the right. Our conscious intentions, therefore, are capable of affecting our unconscious intentionality. That i s , in order to alter our intentionality we must be prepared to practically utilize the knowledge that we are self-conscious creatures. I stress the word 'practical* as opposed to the theoretical knowledge of our duality which many acknowledge but few integrate and use for their own development. 4. Our Duality: a living Experience, not a Theoretical Speculation. Sarte's (in Lawrence and O'Connar; 1967) language is of some assistance here: Consciousness is a sort of decompression of being. It is a being in which there is a certain crack, and which replaces being in general with being for-itself, which causes a self to be born. (p. 128) The image that is conjured is that of the two hemispheres of the brain. Rather than having reflected consciousness depicted as a thin film of nothing-ness, we now have two modes of being ccmmunicating with one another. Reflected consciousness is not therefore, the realm of infinite regress with no secure ontological foundation of its own. I've utilized the analogy of the brain because the reality of both hemispheres of the brain is unquestioned, and I wish to associate this same quality of 'realness' to the reflective ego. Let us utilize the brain analogy a bit further. It is conceivable for the left hemisphere to take the right as its object. For example in a previously 161. cited experiment, subjects were asked to guess which of two possible signals were flashed. Subjects who had their corpus callosum severed were able to correct their answers by attending to their bodies as objects. That i s , their bodies, which were controlled by their right hemisphere knew what the correct answer was. The l e f t hemisphere could deduce the correct answer by observing the bodies* gestural responses. That i s , from the point of view of the l e f t hemisphere the answer was not kncwn subjectively, but deduced from the objective evidence the right hemisphere produced i n the body. This idea of two independent consciousnesses each taking the other as object i s carried forward by Sarte: But, i f i n ref lect ion, i t i s real ly true that a consciousness i s present to another conscious-ness, one tends to think that i t i s a matter of two consciousness, each one supported by the other . . . When we say presence to i t s e l f , we want to say, at the same time, that there i s an outline of duali ty, since actually there i s certainly a sort of game of ref lect ion ref lect ing, and that at the same time, nevertheless, a l l this occurs i n a unity where the reflected i s at the same time the ref lect ing, and the reflect ing the reflected. i n Lawrence & O'Connor; 1967, p. 126) Likewise, Sperry (1964) ccmmenting on the results of s p l i t brain surgery Everything we have seen so far indicated that the surgery has l e f t each of these people with two separate minds, that i s , with two separate spheres of consciousness. Both of the above quotes convey the d is t inc t impression that we are occupied 162. by two selves. And yet for the vast majority I would predict that there is no experiential awareness of this duality. How can seme thing so profoundly fundamental escape unnoticed? The only answer I can conceive of is that our subjective awareness can only occupy one center at a time. That i s , we cannot be both intuitive and rational simultaneously; we cannot experience and reflect on our experience at the same time - one always follows the other. First our subjective awareness dwells in the experience then in the reflection on the experience. The continuity of our subjectivity disguises or obscures the change in modality of consciousness. For most of us this change of modality is not volitional. That i s , we take our subjectivity where we find i t . We find ourselves reflecting; we notice, after the fact, that we are introspecting. We don't decide to reflect now and intuit later. We don't assess the task and determine whether right or left hemispheric functiordLng is the most appropriate. Successful identity change and ego development, on the other hand, require some ndnimal ability to direct our subjectivity - to choose which center one will dwell in. For example, by subjectivizing the involuntary (as Ricouer puts it) we allow our pre-reflective intentionality to rise to consciousness. And by subject-ivizing our ego ideal we automatically begin the process of restructuring our intentionality. a) A phenomenological description Carlos Castaneda (1974) uses the term 'double* to refer to our ego identity. This term conveys the dialectical relationship between the pre-163. reflective self and the reflective ego. I shall quote him at some length on this matter as descriptions have great phencmenological power: No one develops a double ... A l l of us luminous beings have doubles ... The double is oneself and cannot be faced in any other way ... the double, although i t is arrived at through dreaming is as real as i t can be. (p. 61) First we note that everyone has an ego-identity; that is , a self-concept or self-image. Next, we note that although i t is arrived at through reflection (•dreaming1) that i t is 'real'. As far as I know, the double is the awareness of our state as luminous beings. (p. 64) When Castaneda refers to us as luminous, he i s referring to the fact that we are conscious - we are luminous as opposed to a rock which would not be. Thus, our 'double' i s our self-consciousness. The self dreams the double ... Once i t has learned to dream the double, the self arrives at this weird crossroad and a moment comes when one realizes that i t is the double who dreams the self. (p. 81) To understand how this latter process works, let us recall the car spring and liquid gold experience. In a sense my 'double' was visualizing or dreaming 164. my 'self'. That i s , I was using my reflective consciousness to create symbolic representations of alternative selves, one of which I would actualize. The creation of the image was the work of the reflective consciousness, and in a sense, is the objective modality at work. However, once I decide to subjectivize that image (to experience the image from inside looking out) the experience is altered quite dramatically. It cannot be contained within the boundaries of the image - indeed, after the i n i t i a l moment the experience has very l i t t l e to do with the precipitating image. The experience is at once, much more vague and yet more substantial, more vital. It is not well formed and structured, as was the image or visualization; rather i t is constantly changing, developing and flowing. We can't utilize a metaphor to convey the change in quality from objective to subjective because our metaphor would inadvertently cast an objective gloss over the experience. That i s , our metaphor would borrow material from the objective sphere. As a result very l i t t l e can be said about the pre-reflective self -our sense of subjectivity. This reminds one of the muteness of right hemispheric functioning. The right hemisphere cannot articulate i t s e l f -verbally and yet, as experiments with split-brain patients indicate, i t demonstrates a functional reality. Subjectivity, is likewise mute about itself but present and felt. To return to the issue of controlled and directed identity change, the process can be summarized as follows: 1) the reflective ego imagines an alternate construal of the situation in the form of a concrete image or visualization and 165. 2) the individual decides to imbue that image with his or her subjectivity. This sequence is a reversal of the process posited for the surrender stage of ego development. In that stage, symbolic imagination was used to represent and access the content of the pre-reflective mind. In this stage, however, one is using objective symbols not to represent an existent subjectivity but to create a new, mental space that one's subjectivity may inhabit -the products of imagination are used to restructure one's pre-reflective intentionality. b) Supporting evidence These notions gain some support from their coherence with the independent conceptualizations of other authors. For example, Blasi (in Loevinger; 1976) states that the observed unity of the personality is derived from two sources. The f i r s t source is structural and is a measure of the coherence and integrity of the mental structures (both cognitive and ego). The second source of unity is consciousness (which Blasi uses interchangably with the term 'subjectivity'): ... provided that consciousness is not simply a reflection of structures but at least partially a creator of them. (p. 48) 166. The implication is that 'subjectivity' possesses creative powers; i t is the dynamic principle which produces a relatively static, structural framework - or, form following function. Therefore, by allowing our sub-jectivity to dwell in one concrete visualization, one that embodies our new intentionality, we begin a process whereby our whole pre-reflective mind is re-structured according to that principle. Again, I will refer to other authors to indicate a possible line of support. First, the work of Nebes (1974) indicates that the right hemisphere is superior to the left in establishing part-whole relationships. Specifically, the right hemisphere could generalize from the part to the whole. Perhaps the principle embodied in the part was used to generate the whole. Another source of support is Edie's work (1976) on the acquisition of language. Essentially, Edie's position is that children do not learn language reflexively in a step by step process. Rather, on the basis of exposure to a few (few, relative to the infinite number of combinations available) sentences they intuitively grasp the principles by which the structure of grammar is generated. They cannot articulate these rules or structural principles and yet their use of language indicates that these rules are present. Let us now attempt to apply these findings to the realm of identity change. Our client visualizes himself acting assertively in a concrete situation, for example. He or she allows their subjectivity to dwell in that 'fantasy'. On the basis of this one example, the right hemisphere (or the pre-reflective sphere of consciousness) generates a structural whole that 167. can be brought to bear on any situation. The client is not reflexively aware of this restructuring just as children are incapable of articulating the rules by which they construct their sentences. The crucial factor in the experience is that the client allows his subjectivity to dwell in his imagined situation. Only then will the results be automatically transferable or generalizable to other situations - because the very perceptual/conceptual framework has been restructured. This technique is in marked contrast to the one of rehearsal. When individuals rehearse, they are normally running through an anxiety provoking situation from the point of view of an observer. Consequently, no structural re-organization takes place and i f the scene does not unfold exactly as anticipated they are thrown off and must revert back to their earlier problematic reaction. Furthermore, by attending to a visualized ego ideal and by allowing our subjectivity to dwell in i t we automatically begin to invest i t with the l i f e force which sooner or later will bring i t to the level of overt behavior. A subtle alchemist trans-formation is taking place. Let us see i f this notion has any explanatory power. Flugel (1945) posited that moral progress or development proceeded from moral inhibition to spontaneous goodness. For example, initiall y one's pre-reflective iritentionality led one to cruel impulses. These impulses however, are in conflict with one's ego ideal. Thus, to effectively manage such tendencies one utilizes ijnhibition and repression. This is quite the opposite of spontaneous goodness and we must conclude that something of profound significance occurs that enables the more mature individual to dispense with these strategies of control. The 'natural' or pre-reflective 168. self most have changed to such a degree that the cruel impulses were no longer present. That i s , the pre-reflective intentionality has undergone a change in its essential nature. This possibility is confirmed by studies by Frenkel and Weisskopf (1937) who showed that in middle age, wishes and duties tend to coalesce, thus leading to spontaneous goodness. We can visualize the self as a series of concentric circles emanating from a core and the power of intentionality of each circle being determined by the proximity to the core. Thus, in childhood wishes would belong to an inner circle of intentionality, whereas duty and obligation would be more peri-pheral. In childhood one's subjectivity would be most closely allied with one's wishes while duties and obligations would be experienced as more object-ive and external. Through the continual effort of attending to one's ego ideal one gradually subjectivizes i t , and i t becomes one's pre-reflective intentionality. 5. Summary and Conclusions In summary the above account has demonstrated: 1) the theoretical possibility of txansforcning our pre-reflective intentionality; that i s , for altering the 'program' by which we perceive and act on the world 2) Described a pragmatic technique for doing so: visualization of a concrete scenerio and allowing one's subjectivity to dwell in i t . 169. 3) rtocurrented supporting evidence from independent sources. A cautionary reminder should be inserted at this time. It seems likely that such a procedure could only be enlisted by those individuals who have completed the prior developmental stage. The reader will recall that this stage was marked by the active surrender of the controlling and deliberating mind (i.e., the ego) in order to be receptive to the content of the pre-reflective mind. That is , one has to fir s t come to terms with one's existent pre-conscious 'program' before attempting to transcend i t . In fact, many individ-uals find surrender and acceptance a viable solution without pressing forward to transcendence. These individuals would experience increased efficacy merely by knowing their limitations and allowing for them. This would be a marked improvement over the previous stage where one willfully ignores one's limitations and is consequently, repeatedly sabotaged by them. Thus, individuals move through developmental stages: from ego domination; to self-knowledge through surrender; to transcendence through visualization and subjectification. The attainment of this last stage of development is conditional on the conscious exploitation of the dualistic nature of our consciousness. It is not enough for the individual to admit the theoretical possibility of his or her duality. Rather they must believe in i t as a pragmatic reality. For this reason, I went to some lengths earlier in this chapter to establish the ontological reality of reflective consciousness. Sarte was invoked to 170. rescue reflective consciousness from i t s associations of i n f i n i t e regress and instead posit i t as a mode of being. That i s , reflective consciousness was recast as a robust mode of being rather than as a " t h i n - f i l m of nothing-ness". Having established the reality of this mode of consciousness on a philosophical level I then applied i t to a psychological construct - that of the self concept. This was accomplished by suggesting that the ego was elaborated through the dynamic operations of reflective consciousness. The ontological r e a l i t y of the reflective ego was further augmented through a literary source: Carlos Castaneda. His use of concrete, phenomenological language overcomes the limitations of a philosophical or psychological vocab-ulary. That i s , my goal has been to establish the believability or r e a l i t y of the reflective ego. The technical jargon of philosophy and psychology mitigate against this end. On the other hand, Castaneda's use of concrete, phenomenological language compliments his intended message perfectly. For this reason, his readers can come to believe i n the reality of the 'double'. I t i s just this belief that i s the crucial prerequisite for u t i l i z i n g the techniques for consciously ciLrecting one's own identity change. Belief i s the crucial ingredient for cotrmitting one's.subjectivity. Without this whole hearted committal no genuine actualization can take place. The language of much of philosophy undermines this kind of belief and thus much of i t s wisdom remains i n books rather than i n lives. The following quote by Castaneda deals with philosophical issues but i n a way that has a power to touch our lives as we l i v e them. 171. "Can an outsider looking at the sorcerer, see that he i s i n two places at once?" "Certainly. That would be the only way to know i t . " "But can't one logically assume that the sorcerer would also notice that he had been i n two places?" "Aha!" don Juan exclaimed. "For once you've got i t right. A sorcerer may certainly notice afterwards that he has been i n two places at once. But this i s only bookkeeping and has no bearing on the fact that while he's acting he has no notion of his duality." (p. 53; i t a l i c s mine). Castaneda tricks us, i n a way, for when we read the phrase "two places at once", we iirmediately conjure up an image of being i n Toronto and Vancouver simultan-eously; or i n the classroom teaching and at home with some friends. That i s , we flesh out Castaneda's intriguing hints with a concrete, objective scenerio. It i s just this concreteness that makes reading his books an experience rather than an intellectual exercise. As a reader, I commit myself to this apparently objective experience and only later realize, with a start, that he i s writing a phenomenological account of subjective processes. I w i l l attempt to paraphrase his above quote i n more philosophical language to i l l u s t r a t e to the reader the qualitative difference i n reading the two accounts: The continuity or duration of subjectivity disguises the transition from the intuitive to the rational mode of information processing. Perhaps 'disguises' i s not the appropriate word - obliterates or clrowns out are both closer to the experience that I am attempting to describe. That i s , we are not aware of the dualistic nature of our consciousness because our subjectivity i s monistic. I f I read Castaneda correctly, he i s claiming that we function i n both modes (pre-reflective and reflective) simultaneously although our awareness i s confined to only one. Because our awareness i s singular we do not notice that our nature i s dualistic. I f we don't notice i t , we find i t very hard to believe i n . 172. I f we attempt to check out the poss i b i l i t y of our duality by recalling our experience we w i l l be stymied once again because we w i l l automatically impose a sequential order on our recal l - we w i l l recall a subjective, pre-reflective moment followed by an 'objective', reflective moment and so on. The truth of the matter, however, i s that we were operating i n both modes simultaneously. Therefore, memory i s an inadequate source of evidence regarding this question of our duality. The sequential order of the events recalled suggests that this operation i s a function of the l e f t hemiphere and, i f this i s the case, then the content thus recalled would miss completely the right hemispheric contri-bution to the original experience. The only experiential validation for this notion of our fundamental duality comes from the phenomenon of hypnosis. The following quote from Jaynes (1976) is interesting i n this respect. We, i n our normal states, use the spatialized succession of conscious time as a substrate for successions of mem-ories . Asked what we have done since breakfast, we com-monly narratize a row of happenings that are, what we c a l l timstagged. But the subject i n a hypnotic trance,... has not such a schema of time i n which events can be time-tagged. The before and aftemess of spatialized time i s missing. Such events as can be remembered from the trance by a subject i n post-hypnotic annesia are vague isolated frag-ments, cuing off the self, rather than spatialized time as i n normal remembering. Amnesic subjects can only report i f anything, " I clasped my hands, I sat i n a chair," with no detail or sequencing.... What i s significantly differ-entabout the contemporary hypnotic subject, however, i s the fact that at the suggestion of the operator, the narratized, sequential memories can often be brought back to the subject, showing that there has been some kind of parallel processing by consciousness outside of the trance. While a subject i s doing and saying one thing, his brain i s processing his situation i n at least two different ways, one more inclusive than the other. (p. 393) 173. What Castaneda seems to be implying i s that we can develop the capacity for oscillating between these two modes of processing information. In such a manner we would then be capable of re-stnjct^xring the self on a profound level. He i s suggesting that we can take our narratizing, reflect-ing ' 1 1 into the realm of pre-reflective intentionality; that we can bring our l e f t hemispheric sequentially organized set to bear on the simultan-eous f i e l d that the right hemisphere presents. In this manner we can avoid the limitations of l e f t hemispheric functioning (unwarranted pre-suppositions) while talcing advantage of i t s strength which i s i t s a b i l i t y to impose order (the essential instrument of our volition). From a hi s t o r i c a l perspective the advent of depth psychology changed man's conception of himself by removing the construct of the w i l l from i t s preeminent position i n popular thought. Both psychoanalytic and be-havioristic theory demonstrated that man was ctetermined rather than deter-nrihing. As Rollo May (1969) put i t , "the unconscious became heir to the power of the w i l l " . Behaviorism went even further, putting the causes of man's behavior outside himself. The phenomenological philosophers (for example, Pd.coeur) and psychologists (for example, Gendlin and May) have attempted to redress this balance by introducing the concept of intention-a l i t y . The essential implication of this concept i s that humans create their worlds. I t i s our intentionality which creates the perceptual/conceptual framework through which we apprehend the world. L i t t l e i s said, however, about the processes by which we can change that framework. Hopefully, this chapter has gene some way toward that end. Both theoretical explan-174. ations of and pratical techniques for accessing our intentionality directly and re-programing i t have been put forward. Specifically, I have focussed on the issue of identity. Identity has been explicated as one of the major sub-structures within the overall structural framework. Hopefully, I have demonstrated the means by which we can radically alter our self-experience. The mastery of these techniques or s k i l l s should remove the need for r i g i d identity formulations and arrested ego development. 175. CHAPTER FOUR Summary and Conclusions A. The Social Context. This thesis began by placing the question of identity i n a social-historical framework. The basic assumption i s that there i s a reciprocal relationship between society and i t s individual members. Erickson (1968) noted this relationship e x p l i c i t l y and defined identity as a psycho-social phenomenon. He reasoned that any society provided i t s members with a repertoire of roles. Identity was a product of personalizing and incor-porating one particular role or a limited combination of roles. This account emphasizes society's contribution while neglecting the individual's contri-bution to the sense of identity. However, when society i s i n transition (and this seems to be the current condition) the reciprocal nature of the relationship becomes more obvious. That i s , i n contemporary times, i n -dividuals are attempting to create new roles rather than trying on different ones. In this way the 'inventory' of roles i s expanded for subsequent generations. We can also understand society as a process, that, i n some important respects, demonstrates the same developmental features as those of the individual's l i f e cycle. In the last chapter i t was indicated that as we moved up the developmental scale, introjects or externally-derived defini-tions of self, became less and less important. Subjectivity and v o l i t i o n replaced role definition, ideological and religious prescriptions as guidelines for behavior, and the resultant sense of personal identity. I t was stated that individuals at the higher end of the scale were taking responsibility for their psychological constructs - they were creating them, rather than incorporating existent, externally-derived psychological 176. structures. For these individuals, consciousness or subjectivity was a creator of structures rather than a reflection of them. Thus, identity growth was a process of returning to the source (consciousness), out of which a l l structures evolve. We can conceptualize the process as exhibit-ing three distinct components. SuTJECTCViTY ORGANIZING PSYCHOLOGICAL (CONSCIOUSNESS) : PRINCIPLE STRUCTURES As we move from l e f t to right, we move from formlessness to structure; from a dynamic process to a structured product; from potentiality to actuality. At the early stages of development this process i s a pre-conscious one. However, to attain the highest stages of ego development, one has to become conscious of the process. This implies a re-owning of the source - a dwelling i n one's subjectivity. That i s , rather than allowing one's sense of being to be absorbed into the immediate phenomenal world (the product of one's existent mental set), one pulls back and detaches. The process i s similar to that which occurs when an individual i s prevented from acting out. Only when the impulsive acting out i s interrupted can the impulses come to consciousness and insight occur. Let us now examine i f there are parallel processes at work on a societal level, and, i f so, how they bear on the issue of identity. Soc-iety i s understood here as similar to a meta-organism that accumulates wisdom or knowledge over a greater time span than that available, f i r s t hand, to individuals. Adrian Van Kaam (Lawrence and O'Connor; 1967) gives a succinct account of the cultural influences on our personal identity project: 177. To be sure, I assimilate the value-orientations of my culture i n a unique and personal way. They become really and solely mine i n the current of my development. The existential projects of great cultures and subcultures are ordinarily i n tune with the givens of existence i n a l l areas, including that of sex. For they are the f r u i t of revered traditions, the late bloom of the l i f e experiences of generations. The sober core of such age-old wisdom i s norm-a l l y i n harmony with the fundamentals of human existence. This wisdom, however, i s incorpor-ated i n customs which change with h i s t o r i c a l situations. I t i s this embodiment i n concrete styles of l i f e which may be at odds with that which we fundamentally are. For these concrete expressions of a culture are dictated not only by the vision of generations but also by the demands of changing situations i n which this vision has to be realized. We often tend to confuse the core of the accumulated wisdom .of a culture with these h i s t o r i c a l accretions, (p. 235) Embedded within Van Kaam's account are three components that demonstrate some af f i n i t y with the three that were posited for the process of identity development: FUNDAMENTALS OF VALUE CONCRETE HUMAN EXISTENCE ORIFJSTTATION : CUSTOMS Again, as we move from l e f t to right, we move from relative formlessness (as reflected i n the vague, amorphous quality of the terms "givens of existence"; and "fundamentals of human existence") to an established direction, an organizing principle ("the value-orientations"); to a concrete, temporal structure ("customs"). Several dichotomies characterize this developmental continuum: from imminent to manifest; from the ideal to the real; from potentiality to actuality; from motive to behavior; and from determining to the determinate. Thus, i t i s being suggested that a similar 178. process produces both psychological and social structures: a source posits an orgariizing principle which i n turn produces relatively stable structures. The feedback loop i s completed when individual members of that society tap that reservoir of social wisdom (as embodied i n custom and tradition) i n the service of building a personal identity. The reader w i l l r e c a l l that individuals who have'lost touch with their subjectivity (the dynamic source of intentionality) develop r i g i d identity structures. The same process occurs on a societal level. I f we are not careful, they (customs) take the place of the values which they were designed to protect. They take on a l i f e of their own. Their growth i s no longer rooted i n the values of our culture, religion or subculture, (p. 235) Thus, an individual constructing an identity with social components that no longer reflect the intentionality of that culture i s indeed i n a precarious position. A concrete example w i l l bring some experiential meaning to the discussion. A given culture values virg i n i t y prior to marriage, and seeks to safeguard this principle with the custom of chaperoning. Individuals within that society w i l l assimilate that custom i n various ways. The particular mode of integration w i l l only be revealed when the custom temporarily breaks down. For example, one woman who had introjected the custom as a sacred and absolute rule would experience psychological panic when she finds herself alone with a man. Her a b i l i t y to respond appropriate-ly would be severely impaired. Another woman who understands and accepts the value orientation informing the custom would deal with the same situation with a personally derived, adaptive response to safeguard that principle. These two instances reveal i n a concrete manner how the social and 179. the psychological interact to produce the sense of personal identity. These women's reactions to the breakdown of custom are, I believe, typical for many people i n today's society: social paralysis followed by a search for personal guidelines. This matter of adjustment reactions to an eroded consensual rea l i t y w i l l be explored i n greater depth i n the next section. B. ADJUSTMENT REACTIONS How do we come to terms with the challenge our turbulent time poses? In this section I would li k e to consider two of the more obvious reactions or strategies that are being attempted. We w i l l f i r s t look at a popular individual reaction and then at the response of the social sciences, specifically that of psychology. I t w i l l be suggested that both responses are somewhat inadequate and that these inadequacies can be traced to a faulty conception of the epistemological nature of man. / 1. The Individualistic. Response The example of the woman who was able to adapt to unforeseen circum-stances w i l l be our starting point. The current generation has been termed the 'identity society' and the 'me generation1 because i t has responded to the dissolving social order by looking Inward. Faced with the loss of external s t a b i l i t y , we seek an alternate source. While we have given up an external code, we unwittingly import some of the features or attributes of that external standard for our inward quest. That i s , we are looking for a thing-like, substantial self. The object of the search i s s t i l l a sense 'givens'; only the orientation has changed. Introspection i s the method and i t s goal i s the discovery of a f u l l y formed, ready made, definable self. In short, we are looking for our constituted self rather than for our constituting nature. We f a i l to realize that we construe rea l i t y as well 180. as receive i t . Thus, we become self absorbed and self preoccupied i n our search for a 'given' sense of self and miss the point that the self i s an eternal becoming. We may attain a sense of our f i n i t e self and miss completely i t s transcendental activity. In a sense, we are victims of a naturalistic epistemology that sees subject and object as completely separate and independently knowable. While we may have given up our efforts to master the 'objective', social world ( i t being too f l u i d and transitory), we act as i f the s t a b i l i t y and control we seek can be found and discovered inside. My objective i s not to discredit this strategy completely, but to point out i t s limitations. Thus, there i s some value i n getting to know one's pre-reflective self; i n camng to terms with one's empirically con-stituted character. With this knowledge one i s able to act much more rationally; taking advantage of one's strengths and minimizing one's weaknesses. However, such an approach never allows us to transcend - those very attributes. Therefore, i n order to go beyond our 'given' identity, we must understand the processes by which i t was originally formed and then harness those processes for our current aims or goals. In short, we have to acknowledge that man constitutes, both his world and his identity. We have to relinquish our goal of s t a b i l i t y and 'givens' i f we are to attain our goal of transcendence. Or, at the very least, evolve a synthesis that includes both terms i n the dialectic: our constituted character and our constituting nature. The second common error made by individuals i n an attempt to cope with rapidly changing social conditions i s intimately related to the f i r s t . 181. That i s , even those mdividuals who are aware that identity i s constituted as well as given make a fundamental error when they make identity their primary focus. I f , as McLuhan asserts, we have moved from a goal-centered to a role-orientated society, this fundamental error i s being repeated on a wide scale. By placing identity at the center of psychological l i f e , we violate what I believe to be a basic psychological axiom: i n health, man goes beyond himself. That i s , a strong identity can never be achieved by direct means; rather, a strong identity i s a by-product of one's project i n the world. Ricouer (Lawrence and O'Connor; 1967) gives a clear phenomeno-logical description of the process: A decision runs toward the future and i t i s i n this intentional aim i n the "willed" object or project that the discrete reference to myself  i s hidden. I determine myself to the extent that I determine myself to...(p. 96; i t a l i c s mine) Some concrete examples w i l l make this point clearly. An individual may decide to pursue the identity of an a r t i s t . One would predict that the art that such a person would produce would be of a second rate quality. Furthermore, the identity strength gained through such a strategy would be quite fragile. Contrast this with an individual who i s enraptured by a vision and wishes to reproduce that vision i n an objective art form. The identity of this second individual would not be a self-conscious a f f a i r but, rather, a by-product of his continual effort to refine his technique and capture his vision. The same would hold true of individuals who strive after the identity of 'guru' and helper versus those individuals who are client centered. Finally, by acknowledging that identity i s a by-product of our purpose or task, we escape the trap of considering only those experiences that are congruent with our current self concept. In a sense, we come to 182. realize that our task cfeternrihes our identity and not vice versa - enabling us to expand our realm of po s s i b i l i t i e s . 2. The Response of the Social Sciences There has been one term that permeates the whole discussion of identity and yet remains mysteriously elusive - that term i s subjectivity. The possibility of genuine identity change i s contingent on the subject's a b i l i t y to grasp his subjectivity as a distinct phenomenological experience. In our struggle to convey the meaning of this term, we have evoked the phrase 'sense of being'. In this manner we hoped to give the construct an experien-t i a l , bodily f e l t association. At the same time, we attempted to avoid more concrete descriptions because of the danger of importing objective metaphors that would distort rather than c l a r i f y my definition. Perhaps the closest I came to achieving that goal was my description of the two modes of attention. The reader w i l l r e c a l l that the f i r s t mode was characterized by a fusion between awareness and the contents of awareness. The second mode, on the other hand, demonstrated a separation between attention and the object being attended to. That i s , a person experiencing the second form of attention would be aware of attending irrespective of the content. In this manner, he would come to 'know', i n an experiential sense, the sense of subjectivity. Once having grasped the 'feel' of this experience, he would then be able to direct his subjectivity - to relocate i t . I t i s not enough to detach one's subjectivity from an old identity structure; one must also learn how to imbue an alternative construal with that sense of subjectivity. In this manner, i t was demonstrated that the phenomenon of subjectivity was central to the issue of identity formation and change. Now, we must ask the question as to what part subjectivity can play 133. i n any social science theory. The question i s an important one for two reasons. F i r s t , the primary function of the social sciences i s to serve the larger cultural ccmnunity. This larger community decides what issues are meaningful or relevant and the social sciences respond with truths or methods for arriving at truths regarding those issues. We've already indicated that the issue of identity i s a focal one for our culture and that subjectivity i s the central factor i n that issue. Therefore, i f the social sciences are to be of any help, an adequate account of the role of subjectivity must be included i n any theory of identity change. Second, i f therapeutic practice i s based on and guided by psychological theory, again, subjectivity must have a central role i f the therapist i s to accomplish his goal of f a c i l i t a t i n g identity change, unfortunately, the very methodology of science which the social sciences have imported from the physical sciences mitigates against dealing with subjectivity. A quote from Edie (1976) suggests why this i s so: Since the direct study of consciousness, of hist o r i c a l origins, of functions and processes, of the individual act i t s e l f , the existentially real and concrete experience, leads us to the realm of the subjective, the unique, the non-repeatable, the uncontrollable erruptions of free choice, which can neither be predicted nor  accounted for i n theory, structuralism directs i t s s c i e n t i f i c attention toward the analysis of macroscopic and intersubjective structures, the s t a t i s t i c a l regularities, the non-temporal and nonparticular synchronic forms to which behavior can be found to conform, (p. 108; i t a l i c s mine) Quite simply, when we are truly i n our subjectivity, our experience i s v i v i d , fresh, immediate and unique - this moment has never happened before and never w i l l again. I t i s . . .non-repeatable; and, for this reason cannot be studied objectively. Subjectivity, as THE activity of the self, i s beyond 184. the methods of science (and even the limits of formal language, according to Wittgenstein, 1921, p. 109). And yet, according to the last chapter i t i s exactly an embracing and directing of one's subjectivity that i s required for identity change. Therapists are referring to this phenomenon when they talk about 'owning one's experience'. I t i s a palpable sensation rather than a theoretical construct. Imagine a l i f e raft that inflates automatically at the p u l l of a .cord. Imagine this from the point of view of the a i r . . . . from a compressed, condensed volume, with a defined shape, that then rushes out to f i l l a larger, different shape, thereby achieving buoyancy. This i s analogous to 'owning our experience' or expanding our subjectivity... our boundaries are expanded and we take on a different shape. We f i l l our experience rather than being alienated from i t . The dilemma is this: mastery of our subjectivity i s the essential pre-condition for identity change and yet the social science of psychology cannot say anything about this phenomenon i f i t wishes to stay within the s c i e n t i f i c model. As a result, a l l psychological theories regarding the nature of man are going to be heavily, i f not exclusively, weighted towards an objective account. The therapist can expect no help from theory when i t comes to dealing with subjectivity, and yet this factor i s the major deternrinate of ego develop-ment. Where theory and practice do merge i s i n the repeatable - the habits, conditionings, and automatizations of the client. That i s , theory w i l l only assist the therapist to deal with what repeats i t s e l f i n the client's experience and behavior... there i s a structural a f f i n i t y between theory and neurotic behavior. The following quote from Gendlin (Corsini; 1973) brings out the structural aspects of neurotic experience: 185. One need only ask oneself i n what type of situations or relations one becomes tense, engages i n certain repititious scenarios.... One i s repeating a thin outline, a "frozen whole" which i s the same i n a l l instances and isn't modified by each new situation.... experienced as category rather than as this unique and multiple situation, aspects of one's experiencing are "frozen together" and respond as a whole structure, (p. 333) Therefore, theory does not indeed conform to experience, but only to a certain class of experience - a developmentally arrested, recurring experience. This correspondence of theory to experience i s dangerous i f we are unaware of i t s limitations as i t leads to a certain blindness - we cannot see behavior that isn't predicted by theory. As therapists, our perceptions are blinkered by the limits of our theory. Gendlin i s working out one of the implications of this thought i n the following: The Freudian and other views want to make the personality into a system of rationally  distinct and defined factors. Sartre has given a good critique of the absurdity of the person under the person, that 'censor' who must be conscious of everything i n order to decide what the person should not be conscious of. The phenomenological facts that led to positing the unconscious can be accounted for best i f a l i v i n g person i s not viewed as so many contents, ideas, wishes, needs, but instead as the bodily f e l t and preconceptually complex experiencing process  definite contents arise only after further steps are made from i t into words or acts. (p. 333; i t a l i c s mine) Or...theory can help explain the structural aspects of the personality without touching the dynamic operations that produced those structures. C. SuTxJECTITY: The Source and Creator of Structures. underlying much of the preceding discus ion has been the question of the essential nature of man. Thus, i n the section devoted to the social context this notion was referred to as the 1 fundamentals of hu-man existence' . I t was suggested that a l l social and cultural forms must respect and acknowledge this source i f they were to be functional. In this way the giveness of existence serves as a guiding principle for complex social interactions. Likewise, psychological theory can only f u l l y respond to the human dilemma by builciLng i t s system on an adequate definition of our essential nature. Thus, psychological structures w i l l be inadequate to the extent that they are 'out of touch' with this intra-psychic source. The main thrust of this thesis i s to establish the notion that the central feature of human nature i s the capacity to create psycho-logical and social structures. In a very important way we create both our world and our identity. The source of this creative activity i s our subjectivity. By icbntifying and re-owing this subjectivity we can begin to reverse the trend to impotence and alienation that the deterministic world view of science (including psychology) rein-forces . I t i s i n this context that the following quote from Borgman (1974) gains i t s power: The nature of man cannot be laiown abstractly, but only i n re-doing and remaking humanity, that i s , on taking again the hist o r i c a l step from what i s not yet man to what i s man. (p. 75) That i s , the only way we can come to know subjectivity i s i n the concrete act. Subjectivity conforms to different epistemological laws than those derived from the objective domain (for example, the sciences and the logical p o s i t i v i s t philosophy). There can be no theoretical knowledge of subjectivity as there can be for objective phenomena such as the nature of helium or the development of cognitive structures. The epistemology of subjectivity conforms to the following principle l a i d down by 3orgman (1974): To know i s not to have a body of true propositions before one's mind, but to be i n possession of (some segment of) reality, (p. 75) And, "to be i n possession of (some segment of) re a l i t y " i s not to have some abstract claim to i t , but to have appropriated i t i n creating or transforming i t . In terms of identity, no component of i t can be said to be truly mine unless I have consciously gone through this process. Components of my identity that have not evolved through such a process, are partially assimilated introjects. One way of understiding the con-struct of introjections i s to see them as meaning configurations that have been developed by others and assimilated by the subject i n a pre-conscious fashion. Because these configuarations were not developed by and for the subject they are more or less inadequate and contain the seed of a later identity c r i s i s . That i s , the subject who founds his sense of identity on these introjects or meaning configurations w i l l experience a profound threat to their identity as the value of the introjects are called into question. The domain of theorectical psychology does include these introjects and therefore, can supply some guidance for therapeutic intervention specific to that concern. That i s , there i s an a f f i n i t y between psychological 188. theory and specific, particular introjects as they are both generated by the same organizational principles. They both conform to the objective dimension of reality - that i s , structured according to cause effect rela-tionships and spatial-temporat restraints. Blasi (Ix>evinger, 1976) makes this same point by pointing to the relationship between Piapet's theore-t i c a l results (particularly the features of consistancy and universality) and the extremely limited scope of inquiry (the thin slice of re a l i t y that i s termed objective). In Piaget's theory, cognition has the characteristics of generality and openness for two interdependent reasons.... The second reason i s that Piaget i s interested in objects as objects, that i s , for their most abstract and general cahracteristic of being things. He focuses on those action patterns that are coimr>n i n the handling of a l l things, and from which the universal characteristics of things, or at least 'of physical tilings, derive - for example, ex-tension i n space, mobility and re v e r s i b i l i t y i n space and time, and permanence. The explanation for the universality of Piagetian sequences l i e s here, and not i n any genetic-maturational mechanisms. (p. 42, i t a l i c s nine.) That i s , theoretical psychology can study the relationship between objec-tive reality and psychological structures; pointing out how these struc-tures are constrained by the parameters of objective reality. However, i t can not study the other half of the constituent process - the contri-bution of subjectivity. Each psychological structure has two de termin-ates: the objective and the subjective. This process w i l l be made clearer by comparing i t to the evolution of social custom as explicated by Van Kaam (Lawrence and O'Connor, 1967). Each social structure (custom) i n order to be viable must respect two conditions. F i r s t , i t must be con-sis tant with the fundamentals of human existence (subjectivity). Second, i t must be appropriate to social/historical conditions, which are the objective determinates. Therefore, the particular form or structure (be i t psychological or social) i s the interface between the objective and 189. subjective realms of existence. The objective constituents can be known theoretically and abstractly, whereas fine subjective, can only be Icnown directly i n the experiential act. The purpose of this section of the thesis i s to endow the phenomenon of subjectivity with equal philosopliical and psychological status as that designated to the objective domain. I t i s an attempt to redress the im-balance that pervades the traditional psychological account of the nature of man. Genlin (Corsini, 1973) i s speaking to same notion i n the follow-ing quote: The phenomenological facts that led to positing the unconscious can be accounted for best i f a l i v i n g person i s not viewed as so many contents, ideas, wishes, needs, but instead as the bodily f e l t and pre conceptually complex ejqjeriencing process.... Definite contents arise only after steps are made from i t into words or acts. (p. 230, i t a l i c s mine) Implied i n the above i s the notion that "ctefinite contents'1 are the objec-tive products of an essentially subjective process. This i s reminiscent of Plato's notion that "forms are made i n the intelligence by virtue of the at-tention of the w i l l " . (Bourke, 1964). Traditional psychology takes these "forms" or structures as the only significant content of the human person-a l i t y . This thesis attempts to go beyond that account to the very processes that produce these forms. For i t i s only here, i n this formative process, where the possibility of freedom exists.' That i s , only through understand-ing the nature of the formative processes can the possibility of genuine identity change be attained. Toward that end a dual i s t i c met a-structure was posited. The f i r s t term i n that mete-structure was "pre-reflective intentionality". I t was suggested 190. that this domain was the source of the activity that produced the rationally distinct and defined structures that traditional psychology has appropriated as i t s f i e l d of application. The second term i n the meta-structure i s "reflec-tive consciousness" which consists of clear and distinct elements organized structurally. Van Kaam (Lawrence and O'Connor, 1967) gives an excellent descrip-tion of these two terms. This original dialogue between me and the world i s pre conscious, i t l i e s on the level of my bodily existence, and i t i s connected with the structure of my body. Here I do not 'choose' , but I 'find' something that i s already given before anv choice. (p. 230) He i s , of course, referring to the cfamain of pre-reflective intentionality. When we become aware of this facet of our existence i t has the quality of "giveness" rather than the quality of a created project. The experience could be described as "discovering" one's character rather than "inventing" i t . Likewise, the world or environment i s experienced as "the world" rather than "my world". Thus, perceptions are endowed with an objective status - I an seeing things as they are; not just for me, but for everyone. However, the matter i s not quite so simple, as Van Kaam goes on to point out: Below me, therefore, as a conscious subject, i s another subject that i s preconscious and prepersonal. This subject i s my body i t s e l f , for a l l forms of meaning which emerge on this level appear to be connected with the structure of my body. Consequently, I should not identify ray meaning  giving subjectivity with my conscious and free thought alone. I should realize that my body i t s e l f i s already a subject. (p. 230, i t a l i c s mine) That i s , the sphere of pre-reflective intentionality i s already endowing the world with meaning that i s over and above i t s purely objective physical 191. presence. Thus, when our reflective consciousness attempts to re-work i t s clear and distinct content i t i s already dealing with subjectively tinged elements. That i s , when we begin to engage i n introspection the contents we encounter are thoroughly permeated with pre-conscious assumptions. There-fore, any therapeutic intervention that does not acknowledge this pre-program-ing w i l l only achieve superficial results. The question then becomes: how do we access the program making mechanism directly? This thesis suggests that deployment of attention i s the mechanism by which programs are deveoped. I t suggests that there are two forms of attention and that an individual can undertake his own re-programing by developing a f a c i l i t y for alternating at w i l l , between these two modes. The f o i r s t mode can be described as "con-crete" attention; and the second, as :abstract: attention. In the f i r s t type attention i s re-invested i n the percept; i n the second, i t i s diverted to abstract concepts. I f we accept, as a general law of attention, that we be-come what we attend to, i t becomes immediately obvious that i f we attend to our abstract mental l i f e we w i l l develop an abstracted identity. That i s , we w i l l become increasingly 'out of touch' with our environment. The absent minded professor i s a stereotype of this form. Furthermore, i f the conceptual l i f e was based on faulty pre-conscious premises or assumptions this i n d i v i -dual's conception of rea l i t y w i l l be further skewed. To correct such a condi-tion a program of perceptual re-training would be suggested. (Greeriberg and Safran, 1978). They would be taught to re-invest their attention i n the con-crete percept. In such a way, they \*ould be learning hew to achieve and sus-tain direct, primitive contact with the environment. At f i r s t such training 192. would u t i l i z e stimulus objects that have few i f any symbolic associations for the subject. Later, symbolically charged stimuli could be introduced. The rational would be that once the client had developed a f a c i l i t y for ' con-crete attention' they would be able to discriminate symbolic and conceptual intrusions into the mental f i e l d . In this manner they would be become conscious of the pre-prograrning that formerly directed their perceptions TThile, at the same time, build up a data base of relatively mccnitaminated information. That i s , by consciously engaging i n concrete, attentional activities the client i s simultaneously re-structuring his pre-reflective program. At a develop-mentally later stage, when the client wishes to engage i n reflective analysis, he w i l l be dealing not with introjects but with elements that were subjectively and volitionally created. Finally, i t was stated that concrete attention was the dynamic mechanism by which the content of the pre-reflective self was accumulated and elaborated. The reader w i l l r e c a l l that this form of attention was characterized by the lack of clear and distinct boundaries between subject and object. Furthermore, the work of Ornstein (1977) indicated that this phenomenon of blurred boundaries was characteristic of the content of the right hemisphere. On the basis of this correspondence i t was suggested that the right hemisphere was the site of the pre-reflective self - the body ego. On the other hand, 'abstract atten-tion' was posited as the dynamic mechanism by which the content of the reflec-tive, self-conscious self was accumulated and developed. The (defining a t t r i -bute of this form of attention was the clear distinction between awareness and the contents of awareness - that i s , a clear boundary between subject and object. 193. Again Cms be in's work indicates that this i s also the characteristic of l e f t hemispheric functioning. Finally, i t was suggested that this phenomenologi-cally distinct awareness corresponded to what has been termed "subjectivity". Identity change, therefore, involves separating one's sense of subjectivity from the content i t i s 'normally' fused with. That i s , one u t i l i z e s that form of attention that i s capable of standing back or taking distance, i n order to come to know the contents and programs of the pre-reflective self. One detaches one's subjectivity from the vessel or structure that i t normally inhabits i n order to know i t i n a self-conscious way. The transition i s from being to loTOwing. . whereas formerly, one was one's pre-reflective self; now, one knows one's pre-conscious programing. Once this step has occurred, one's sub-jectivity, i s voliti o n a l l y deployable. That i s , i t i s no longer bound to or trapped within i t s accustomed framework. The way i s free now to imagine alternative identity construals and to invest one of them with this sense of subjectivity. This investment i s accomplished by bringing one's concrete attention to bear on a visualization that embodies an alternate identity con-strual. That i s , the reflective self generates an objective possiblity - an alternate identity configuration from the point of view of the observer. At this stage i n the process one i s looking at this new self-image. The next step involves dwelling i n and leaking out from this new configuration. This process has been termed subjectivizing. Whereas, i n the immediately preceding step one had a new self-image; now, one has a new identity. The process can summed up neatly with the following self statement: -"How would I feel i f that was the way I looked?" As soon as the question i s asked, the anwering exper-ience begins. This new identity i s consolidated by the exercise of concrete attention. That i s , one's perception of the world w i l l i m p l i c i t l y bear the stamp of this new identiy configuration. One's new pre-reflective s e l f w i l l 194. be projected on and absorbed into one's perceptions of one's environment. Therefore, by concretely attending to one's percepts, one i s simultaneously and implicitly reinforcing the new sense of identity. Instead of being under-mined by man's proclivity to unwittingly project his pre-reflective self unto the world, we take advantage of i t . We, thus, succeed i n directly access-ing our intentionality. Our intentionality comes under our conscious control and we are no longer destined to l i v e out our childhood programing. CONCLUSIONS: In this f i n a l section we w i l l look at some of the implications of the above discusion. Specifically, i t w i l l be suggested that an alternative model of human functioning (as opposed to the traditional, psychological model) must be developed i f the species i s to respond to the challange of the current social c r i s i s . Let us begin by putting the discusion i n context. Blasi (Loevinger, 1976) gives his account of the process by which one model or paradigm i s replaced by another: A paradigm i s only given up i n favor of an alternative pre-sumably better one. ultimately, anomalous results and unsolved problems accumulate to the extent that more and more members of the sc i e n t i f i c coimunity beomce uneasy. This pervasive mental tension constitutes a state of c r i s i s . During such a c r i s i s the way i s open to new possible paradigms. Characteristic of the c r i s i s i s a concern for fundamental assumptions of the paradigm that are simply taken for granted when i t i s i n f u l l bloom. When competing paradigms are off erred, however, there i s no clear superordinate set of rules by which one can choose. (pp. 300-301, i t a l i c s mine) 195. The implicit suggestion of much of this thesis i s that academic, theoretical psychology i s indeed experiencing the type of c r i s i s that Blasi i s referring to. I have br i e f l y investigated some of the fundamental assumptions that permeate psychoanalytic, behavioristic, and structuralistic models of psychological functioning. I have demonstrated that none of these models give an adequate account of the process by which psychological structures are formed. Ifore correctly, i t has been suggested that these models give an exclusively deter-ministic account of the formative process. That i s , psychological structures are held to be derived from and determined by the objective environment. I went on to state that such a conclusion was unavoidably pre-determined by raethodlogical considerations. That i s , each of these theories attempted to validate their work by emulating the model of enquiry established by nine-teenth century physics. This model restricted i t s domain of enquiry to only objective (i.e., observable) data. When the social sciences imported this methodological restriction they radically limited any investigation of the 'nature of man1 to only his objective dimension. As a result a l l psychological experimentation could only demonstrate objective exterminates of man's behav-ior. As this type of evidence accumulated, psychology seemed to support an exclusively Deterministic account of man. Although no social scientist of any repute would e x p l i c i t l y defend such a position, nevertheless the status and authority of objective evidence and the almost total neglect of subjectivity tends to promote and reinforce a one sided view of human nature. Therefore, one of my objectives i n this thesis i s to endow the realm of subjectivity with equal philosophical and psychological status. This goal has been p a r t i a l l y attained by describing subjectivity ' s contribution to the creation of psychological structures. Let us review this process i n order to refresh our memories. I w i l l begin with a cefinition of psychological structure as a 196. r e i f i e d representation of reality. That i s , a structure i s a hypostasized depiction of reality. It exhibits s t a b i l i t y and endurance over time. This condition i s i n marked contrast to being flooded by sensation; a chaotic array of stimuli that e::hibits no coherence or s t a b i l i t y . Thus, a human being who had not evolved any psychological structures would experience reality as a formless, rush of continual stimulation. I am implying, therefore, that these structures impose order, and meaning on the raw sensation. The question must now be asked: where do these stru-ctures come from? Royce (quoted by Bourke, 1964) makes the following observation: Willing implies the mental i m i t i a t i v e required to alter the facts of experience, over and above the manner i n which they are passively received by the i n t e l l e c t , (p. 211) Moreover, w i l l i n g i s the activity of the subject. That i s , i t i s through the dynamic activity of the subject that EBaning (pattern or order) i s brought to raw sensation... w i l l i n g creates psychological structures. James (1917) has made the point that w i l l i n g refers to the effort to sustain one's undivided attention on a single object. Thus, i t i s an act of concentrated attention that .rescues fleeting impressions from everlasting transience. Without this capacity to focus our attention we would be lost i n a continual flux - one sensation gestalt rapidly and imperceptually dissolving into another. By attending to a perceptual obj-ject we bring s t a b i l i t y and permanence to that object. We can surrrnon up that object even when i t i s not physically present. This capacity i s i n d i -cative of the presence of a psychological structure. Attention, therefore, i s the dynamic mechanism by which structures are created. I t could be said that attention i s the phenomenological process of epistemology. That i s , i t i s the process by which knowledge comes into being; the means by 197. by which phenomena change their state from potentiality to actuality. This i s particularly true of our identity: we become what we attend to. For example, i f we constantly attend to our neurotic p o s s i b i l i t i e s , we become concrete neurotics. However, I am not merely advocating 'the power of positive thinking' for our attention can be trapped as well as deployed. When attention i s trapped (when we are victimized by obsessive thoughts, for example) i t w i l l not obey our conscious intentions. In such a condition our attention has been channelized by a previously established pre-conscious intentionality. That i s , the primary psychological structures, (that our attention developed early i n our developmental history) operate so as to bind our attention to them. The more we attend to and u t i l i z e these structures, the nore*. entrenched they become. Our autonomy, as subjects, i s deprived by the very structures that were orininally^designed to serve us. We become servo-mechanismsrof our structures rather than vice versa. This brings up the whole issue of volition and choice. In my model of health subjects would make the choice as to what features i n their percep-tual f i e l d they would attend to. Instead of, 'we become what we behold' , i t would be, 'we choose what to attend to - we attend to i t - we become i t ' . In other words, our subjectivity (the source of our being) establishes a purpose and this purpose functions as parameters for a f i e l d of investi-gation. Our attention then explores that f i e l d , or space. This act of exploration simultaneously articulates the details of that f i e l d and creates a psychological structure. That i s , the directed perceptual investigation i s , at one and the|sm£fe time, the means by which the psychological structure i s b u i l t . (Piaget's sensori-motor schemes are the most primitive example of this process.) The pernancy or s t a b i l i t y of the resultant structure 198. w i l l depend on the coirnrLtment of one's subjectivity to the investigation. That i s , a whole hearted involvrrent i n the exploration w i l l result i n a much more stable structure than a merely cursory examination w i l l produce. Turning our attention back to the quote that openned this(sectiom> we may ask the question i f the processes underlying the creation and succession of paradigms are similar to those involved i n the creation and succession of psychological staTuctures. I f we substitute the term 'psychological structure' for the term 'paradigm' that appeared i n Blasi's original quote the process similarities w i l l be revealed. A paradigm [psychological structure] i s only given up i n favor of an alternative presumably better one. Ultimately anomalous results and unsoved problems accumulate to the extent that more and more members of the (scientific) com-... munity become uneasy. This pervasive mental tension constitutes a state of c r i s i s . During such a c r i s i s , the way i s open to new possible paradigms..[psychological structures]. Characteristic of this c r i s i s i s a concern for fundamental assumptions of the para-:.. digm [psychological structure] that are simply taken for granted when i t .in f u l l bloom. When competing paradigms [psychological structures] are offerred, however, there i s no clear set of sup-erordinate rules by which one can choose. (Loevinger, 1976; p. 300-301) It i s my contention that the c r i s i s that Blasi refers to w i l l not be resolved by the discovery of superordinate rules. On the contrary, i t i s my belief that this i s the wrong direction to proceed. These superordinate rules can be viewed as a structure and as such they would conform to the general law of a l l structures (be they social customs or psychological structures) i n that they are created and not discoverred - we w i l l make these rules and not i n an arbitrary fashion. Therefore, to resolve the c r i s i s we must return to the source or origins of these structures: subjectivity. Van Kaam (Law-rence and O'Connor, 1967) makes this same point on a cultural level: Only the leading thinkers of a religion or culture are capable 199. of going back to the sources from which their religion or cul-ture sprang. This return to the sources enables them to disting-uish between what i s fundamental and what i s incidental i n their sexual safeguards [social customs]. We may c a l l this procedure 're-sourcing'. When the psychotherapist puts up the danger sign i t may be time for a religion or culture not to deny i t s heritage but to return to t i s sources, (p. 238) By origin or source I am not referring to some anthropological f o s s i l but rather an existential state of being. Borgman (1974) makes essentially the same point as follows: The origin, even as Aristotle and Vico later conceive of i t i s not the dead shell that i s l e f t behind, but the i n i t i a l J and pervasive force of the thing, (p. 238) Thus, the paradigm that eventually emerges as superior w i l l be the one that probes deepest into the nature of subjectivity before elaborating any rules that apply i t to the transient objective work. The v i a b i l i t y of any structure (be i t psychological, social, or a theoretical paradigm) i s dependent on i t s appropriateness, i t s f i t or match with two conditions: the subjective and objective realms of existence. That i s , the particular form that a structure takes w i l l be ctetermined by both these factors. These factors operate as constraints to which the structures must conform. Thus, when faced with a unique situation one must f i r s t get i n touch with one's unconditioned subjectivity, one's inmutable and non-temporal source, and then, attend to the concrete, tem-poral, objective aspects of the situation. Such a procedure insures that the resultant structure i s a viable one. I am suggesting that theoretical psychology i s confronted with such a situation by contemporary society. Furthermore, the resolution of the struggle between conipeting paradigms w i l l be accomplished by the emergence of a paradigm that guarantees a central place for subjectivity. 200. Of course, 1super-ordinate rules' w i l l be articulated that w i l l 'prove' the superiority of this new paradigm. However, i t i s my belief that these rules are a result of the post hoc analysis of the new gestalt-paradigm and not the generating principles that create i t . Thus, i t i s my belief that the creation of paradigms partakes of the same existential ingredients that constitute the evolution of psychological structures and social customs. Heinz Kohut (1977) gives the most lucid and profound description of such an evolutionary leap i n thought that I have come across and I w i l l conclude this thesis with his quote. No, the phenomena i n question, the mutation i n human thought I have i n mind, i s neither a revolutionizing new technique nor a revolutionizing new theory. I t i s both - and being both, i t i s more than both. It i s an advance on that basic level of man's relationship to reality where we cannot yet differ-entiate data from theory, where external discovery and  internal shift i n attitute are s t i l l one and the same, where the primary unit between observer and observed i s s t i l l unobstructed and unobscured by secondary abstracting reflec-tion. On this basic level of experience, the most primitive and the most developed mental functions appear to be at work simultaneously, with the result not only that there i s no clear separation between observer and observed, but also thought and action are s t i l l one. The greatest steps i n the history of science . . . are concretized thought or put more correctly, they are 'action thought', a precursor of thinking. (p. 299; i t a l i c s mine) REFERENCE LIST 201 Ausubel, D. P., Ego development and, the personality disorders. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1952. Bourke, J. J., W i l l i n western thought. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1964. Brown, N. 0., Love's body. New York: Random House, 1966. Castaneda, C., Tales of power. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974 Chase, M. H. , The secret l i f e of neurons. Psychology Today, August 1978, p. 104. - Corsini, R. (Ed.), Current nsychotherapies. Itasca, I l l i n o i s ; F. E. Peacock, 1973. 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