Sunday, August 29, 2010
for anewing play, with true feeling
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