Sunday, August 29, 2010
Creatively speaking, fidelity to one’s development (or art) tends to (wants to—as if the developing has a mind of its own that carries one’s reflectivity in its current) override the importance of relations to non-instrumental others. So, it’s easy to question its ethicality, like a teenage love of transgression. But clearly to me, creative fidelity is not egoism.
But how so, exactly? Though I’ve been familiar with pathogenic narcissism for many years, I didn’t feel I knew enough about it, this past spring; so, I delved into the subject, which led to stunning realizations about narcissism in my life (not me, but—well, we all could stand to admit narcissism in ourselves, especially when seeing egoism easily—too easily?—evident nearby), quite beyond the vanity fair of “sophistication” instanced “everywhere.”
There are so many fascinating aspects of severe egoism (clinically speaking), including specific features of early childhood (e.g., having self-aborbed or careerist parents) leading to willful (ingenuine) extraversion. But a keynote (especially interesting to me) is difficulty with empathy. Empathy is so important to my life that the chronic lack of empathy from others is especially evident to me (which feels tragic).
There’s a mirrorplay of internalism (Self) and externalism (interpersonal life) normally in life, such that warmth toward others is entwined with warmth toward oneself. Lack of authentic warmth toward oneself is mirrored in lack of genuine warmth toward others. Aversion to self expression is mirrored by aversion to understanding others. Excommunication of incoherence is legion, just as suppression and repression is so “normal” that it’s thought to be a kind of mature stature, a control that should be admired.
But I barely touch the matter with brief comments. As I immersed myself in accounts of narcissism, my prevailing interest was to understand what happens in good self development or healthy individuation, resulting in sustainable curiosity—toward others and toward oneself, as well as toward non-psychological interests; vitality of engagement; easy warmth and empathy; mindfulness; pleasures of meaningful engagement that aren’t exclusive (i.e., defensive); and more, of course.
Altogether, I saw myself returning to longstanding interest in understanding the “nature” of fulfilling well-being (returning from another little odyssey to know a new sense of home for the first time), but especially now for the sake of fruitful intimacy between creative self formation and good relationship—something I probably need to better understand in my own life (besides desiring to understand more), but which appeals deeply to my curiosity (the desire of a philosophical psychologist).
In the venture, I’m regularly bothered by realizing how much I don’t know, but especially how much a promise of sustainable meaningfulness depends on aspects of growth (or reparenting or educating unfinished aspects of growth) that I haven’t intended to retrace soon (as this is a longstanding interest that I had hoped to more or less shelve for a few years, after so much earlier excursion). So, I resist writing a lot soon about ontogeny. But I can’t ignore the inherence of ontogenic factors in any promise of healthy, creative, empathic, fulfilling well-being.
I want to move on to my preferred excusions into (and of) creativity. But the horizoning child echoes in every feature of lifelong living well. It seems that the whole topic of living creatively, yet empathically, is about an ontogenic efficacy in desire to play genuinely, having good prospects of discovering new facets of you (or whomever), as well as anewing myself.
-- gary e. davis --- 9:34 PM
Friday, August 13, 2010
Simplicity, heartfulness, no presumptiveness, no veils, no masking, transparency without question of fidelity because the Flow is me, because I’m where I can be so, letting go, without fear, accepting what happens, easily laughing about what I should have learned and learning it—easily crying when that’s happily evinced (e.g., giving in to a sappy movie—good release).... But “normal” life doesn’t easily afford unguarded opennes, so veils defend against veils, veils reflecting veils, appealing to me for some theory of genuineness in the drama of being “social,” because I hope for dissolutions (veil as entrance, prelude) and then happily learning from what happens in the Open of simple presence.
-- gary e. davis --- 5:40 PM
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I’m not a depressive person. Expressionless serenity may look depressive, but it’s not: Pensiveness, daydreaming, thinking, being in love with self-absorption may “fail” to attend to how I look, but only because I’m not attending to being seen, though I easily can so attend (which can feel vain).
I love sharing what absorbs me. I love absorbing the other into myself, as well as being absorbed by the other—being absorbed by-and-to the other, as well as absorbing the other. This isn’t empathic, but it’s ideally what empathy can educe. (Empathy itself involves understanding the other’s situation through feeling and imagining their point of view or situation as they understand it—which requires asking and talking and seeking to shape understanding with the other of the other’s felt sense of things.)
But my being highly sensitive (cf. Elaine N. Aron on “the highly sensitive person”) can cause undue vigilance, which can cause action toward surmises that don’t really call for action. So, I learn something. I do try to not make the same misstep twice.
Yet, missteps are part of venturing. I welcome chances to learn from brash missteps. Misstepping is not a flaw. It is innocent. Others who can’t find innocence in that have something to learn about open-mindedness. In particular, not seeking to talk about another’s troubling action, thus presuming an understanding of it with minimal evidence, then excommunicating the other is not good practice; it’s egoistic. I can understand how my overcaring may be regarded as suspicious: intrusive, needy, or symptomatic. But it’s not.
A sad affair is the person who doesn’t communicate what they’re going through or what they perceive or understand, then blames the other for misunderstanding (i.e., for not intuiting).
I want to learn from others; I want to grow through others. I want candid communication from others that they believe I need to hear. Those who see the need but lack the interest—or courage—to disillusion me (or whatever), please get interested; you probably need the practice. And those who lack the courage, don’t worry: I don’t bite well-intended misperception. I don’t blame others for being wrong. And I certainly don’t bite empathic criticism; it’s what I’m inviting!
-- gary e. davis --- 4:35 PM
Sunday, August 08, 2010
revised from 8/1
I had a genuine “Eureka!” experience last weekend, elatedly echoing deep into my belatedly-blooming background feeling for what gives in a healthy self-absorption, from an accomplished general trustfulness to a durably purposive life—the hedonic basis of “eudaimonic” humanism!—how infant fascination with surrounds grows into durable love of learning others (potentially beautiful) and landscapes (with their rocky challenges—trOpically speaking)—love of learning that’s the basis of lasting Relationships, born from loves of the day (a grand book on “positive psychology,” a moment of culinary genius, a Literary mind overwhelming an era of a life) and friends—toward a love of eudaimonia, about which I’ll soon have much to say (rather mundanely, in the short run) about a great giving way of time echoing in durable appeals (after intoxicating elation) sealed in our vitality of engaging sensibility—in the long run for a primordial play, an artistic bearing, deeply from a textual intimacy that hides from casual entertaining.
So what (I would say to those casual others) that we tend to be alone in aspiring, beyond archetype, to embody—well, “the” meaning of all humanity through our weaving.
-- gary e. davis --- 3:26 PM