Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration and the ET Klannish

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. ( In the process of doing some research for a friend with a gifted child, came across the work of Dabrowski. Pretty dang clear description of the ET Klannish and dittoheaders, stuck on level one... )

    Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration

    Level I: Primary Integration

    As outlined above, the first level is called primitive or primary integration. People at this level are often influenced primarily by either prominent first factor (heredity/impulse) and/or second factor (social environment) forces. The majority of people at Level I are integrated at the environmental or social level (Dabrowski called them average people); however, many also exhibit shades of both impulse and socialization. Dabrowski distinguished the two subgroups of Level I by degree: "the state of primary integration is a state contrary to mental health. A fairly high degree of primary integration is present in the average person; a very high degree of primary integration is present in the psychopath" (Dabrowski 1964, p. 121). Marked by selfishness and egocentricism (both reticent and explicit), those at level one developement generally seek self-fulfilment above all, justifying there pursuits through a sort of "its all about me" thinking; or, more simply put, they adhere strongly to the phrase "the ends justifies the means", sometimes disregarding the sevarity of the "means". Many people who are considered "leaders" often fall into this category.

    [edit] Level II: Unilevel Disintegration

    The character of level II is reflected in its name: unilevel disintegration. The prominent feature of this level is an initial, brief and often intense crisis or series of crises. Crises are spontaneous and only occur on one level (and often involve only one dimension). These crises involve alternatives that may appear to be different but ultimately are on the same level.

    Unilevel disintegration occurs during developmental crises such as puberty or menopause, in periods of difficulty in handling some stressful external event, or under psychological and psychopathological conditions such as nervousness and psychoneurosis. Unilevel disintegration consists of processes on a single structural and emotional level; there is a prevalence of automatic dynamisms with only slight self consciousness and self-control (Dabrowski 1964, p. 6).

    Conflicts on the same level (horizontal) produce ambitendencies and ambivalences: the person is equally attracted by different but equivalent choices on the same level (ambitendencies) and is not able to decide what to do because he or she has no real preference between the choices (ambivalences). If developmental forces are strong enough, ultimately, the person is thrust into an existential crisis: one's social rationales no longer account for one's experiences and there are no alternative explanations. During this phase, existential despair is the predominant emotion. The resolution of this phase begins as individually chosen values begin to replace social mores that have been ingrained by rote and are integrated into a new hierarchy of personal values. These new values often conflict with the person's previous social values. Many of the status quo explanations for the "way things are," learned through education and from the social order, collapse under conscious, individual scrutiny. This causes more conflicts focused on the person's analysis of his or her own reactions to the world at large and of the behavior of self and others. Common behaviors and the ethics of the prevailing social order come to be seen as inadequate, wrong or hypocritical. Positive maladjustment prevails. For Dabrowski, these crises represent a strong potential for development toward personal growth and mental health. Using a positive definition, mental health reflects more than social conformity: it involves a careful, personal examination of the world and of one's values, leading to the development of an individual personality.

    Level II is a transitional period. Dabrowski said you either fall back, move ahead or end negatively, in suicide or psychosis. "Prolongation of unilevel disintegration often leads to reintegration on a lower level, to suicidal tendencies, or to psychosis" (Dabrowski 1964, p. 7).

    The transition from Level II to Level III involves a fundamental shift that requires a phenomenal amount of energy. This period is the crossroads of development: from here one must either progress or regress. The struggle between Dabrowski's three factors reflects this transitional crisis: "Do I follow my instincts (first factor), my teachings (second factor) or my heart (third factor)?" The developmental answer is to transform one's lower instincts (automatic reactions like anger) into positive motivation, to resist rote and social answers, and to listen to one's inner sense of what one ought to do.

    [edit] Level III: Spontaneous Multilevel Disintegration

    Level III describes a new type of conflict: a vertical conflict between two alternatives that are not simply different, but that exist on different levels. One is literally higher and the other is lower in comparison. These vertical conflicts initially arise from involuntary perceptions of higher versus lower choices in life (because they are involuntary, Dabrowski called it spontaneous multilevel disintegration). You just look at something, maybe for the 1000th time (to use the words of G. K. Chesterton), and it strikes you — you see this one thing differently and once you do, it changes things. You can no longer "go back and see it the way you did before." Dabrowski called this vertical dimension multilevelness. Multilevelness is a gradual realization of the "possibility of the higher" (a phrase Dabrowski used frequently) and of the subsequent contrasts between the higher and the lower in life. These vertical comparisons often illustrate the lower, actual behavior of a person in contrast to higher, imagined ideals and alternative idealized choices. Dabrowski believed that the authentic individual would choose the higher path as the clear and obvious one to follow (erasing the ambivalences and ambitendencies of unilevel conflicts). IF the person's actual behavior subsequently falls short of the ideal, internal disharmony and a drive to review and reconstruct one's life often follow. Multilevelness thus represents a new and powerful type of conflict, a conflict that is developmental in Dabrowski's approach.

    These vertical conflicts are critical in leading to autonomy and advanced personality growth. If the person is to achieve higher levels, the shift to multilevelness must occur. If a person does not have the developmental potential to move into a multilevel view, then he or she will fall back from the crises of Level II to reintegrate at Level I. In the shift to multilevelness, the horizontal (unilevel), stimulus-response model of life is replaced by a vertical and hierarchical analysis. This vertical view becomes anchored by one's emerging individual value structure, and all events are seen in relation to personal ideals. These personal value ideals become the personality ideal: how the person wants to live his or her life. As events in life are seen in relation to this multilevel, vertical view, it becomes impossible to support positions that favor the lower course when higher goals can be identified (or imagined).
  2. Level IV: Directed Multilevel Disintegration

    In Level IV the person takes full control of his or her development. The involuntary spontaneous development of Level III is replaced by a deliberate, conscious and self-directed review of life from the multilevel perspective. This level marks the real emergence of the third factor, described by Dabrowski as an autonomous factor "of conscious choice (valuation) by which one affirms or rejects certain qualities in oneself and in one's environment" (Dabrowski 1972, p. 306). The person consciously reviews his or her existing belief system and tries to replace lower, automatic views and reactions with carefully thought out, examined and chosen ideals. These new values will increasingly be reflected in the person's behavior. Behavior becomes less reactive, less automatic and more deliberate as behavioral choices fall under the influence of the person's higher, chosen ideals.

    Social mores are reviewed and re-accepted by a conscious internalization when the individual feels it is appropriate. Likewise, when the person feels it is proper, a social value is reviewed and may be rejected to be replaced by a self perceived higher alternative value. One's social orientation comes to reflect a deep responsibility based on both intellectual and emotional factors. At the highest levels, "individuals of this kind feel responsible for the realization of justice and for the protection of others against harm and injustice. Their feelings of responsibility extend almost to everything" (Dabrowski 1973, p. 97). This perspective results from seeing life in relation to one's hierarchy of values (the multilevel view) and the subsequent appreciation of the potential of how life could be, and ought to be, lived. One's disagreements with the (lower level) world are expressed compassionately in doing what one can to help achieve the "ought."

    Given their genuine (authentic) prosocial outlook, people achieving higher development also raise the level of their society. Prosocial here is not just support of the existing social order. If the social order is lower and you are adjusted to it, then you also reflect the lower (negative adjustment in Dabrowski's terms, a Level I feature). Here, prosocial is a genuine cultivation of social interactions based on higher values. These positions often conflict with the status quo of a lower society (positive maladjustment). In other words, to be maladjusted to a low-level society is a positive feature.

    [edit] Level V: Secondary Integration

    The fifth level displays an integrated and harmonious character, but one vastly different from that at the first level. At this highest level, one's behavior is guided by conscious, carefully weighed decisions based on an individualized and chosen hierarchy of personal values. Behavior conforms to this inner standard of how life ought to be lived and, thus, little inner conflict arises.

    Level V is often marked by creative expression. Especially at Level V, problem solving and art represent the highest and noblest features of human life. Art captures the innermost emotional states and is based on a deep empathy and understanding of the subject. Often, human suffering and sacrifice are the subjects of these works. Truly visionary works, works that are unique and novel, are created by people expressing a vision unrestrained by convention. Advances in society, through politics, philosophy and religion, are therefore commonly associated with strong individual creativity or accomplishments.

  3. I am feeling very klannish today....
  4. jem


    I enjoyed reading it, now I now where some of my "educated" friends use to a talk about self integration.

    As with most good papers on pyschology, I see some interesting observation and conjecture and some specious conclusions in that work.

    How much would you like to the bet the author was an artist?
  5. Shoot...ZZZZ got this stuff from a Scientology audit...
  6. :D :D :D
  7. oh no you don't... I AM THE KLANNISH ONE HERE !!! that is my thing with zzZZZZ. don't you dare steal my Klannish thunder. LOL LOL LOL
  8. hey.... i think you are right. zzZZZ is a tom cruisian cult member. that explains everything. i was wondering why he was in love with clearwater florida. no wonder he is so ashamed of his religious beliefs !!!! damn ... good call Dude.

    xenu xenu everbody!!!!
  9. Kazimierz Dabrowski (September 1, 1902, Klarowo - December 26, 1980, Warsaw, Poland) was a Polish psychologist, psychiatrist, physician, and poet. Dabrowski developed the theory of Positive Disintegration, a novel approach to personality development, over his lifetime of clinical and academic work.

    Kazimierz Dabrowski (1902 – 1980), a Polish psychiatrist and psychologist who developed a very useful theory for understanding the emotional development of gifted and talented individuals. Dabrowski studied creatively and intellectually gifted children and adults and found that many displayed an emotional richness, but also experienced inner conflict between the world as it is and the world as they perceived it should be. He maintained that such inner conflict, frequently labelled by the medical profession as psychoneurosis, is part of a developmental process and not a degenerative sign.

  10. Factors in development

    Dabrowski observed that most people live their lives in a state of "primitive integration" largely guided by biological impulses ("first factor") and/or by uncritical endorsement and adherence to social convention ("second factor"). He called this initial integration Level I. Dabrowski observed that at this level there is no true individual expression of the autonomous human self. Individual expression at Level I is influenced and constrained by the two factors.

    The first factor channels energy and talents toward accomplishing self-serving goals that reflect the lower instincts and biological ego — its primary focus is on survival and self-advancement. Often talents are used in antisocial or asocial ways. For example, at the lowest edge of Level I many criminals display this type of selfish behavior. They advance their own goals at the expense of others.

    The second factor, the social environment (milieu) and peer pressure constrains individual expression and creativity by encouraging a group view of life and discouraging unique thought and expression. The second factor externalizes values and mores, thereby externalizing conscience. Social forces shape expectations. Behavior and one's talents and creativity are funneled into forms that follow and support the existing social milieu. "My mom says we should always be aware of what our lawn looks like because we want other people to think well of us when they drive by." Because conscience is derived from social context, so long as society holds ethical standards people influenced by second factor will behave ethically. However if a society, church, or government becomes corrupt, as in Nazi Germany, people strongly influenced by second factor will not dissent. Socialization without individual examination leads to a rote and robotic existence (the "robopath" described by Ludwig von Bertalanffy) ( AKA, the Klannish ). Individual reactions are not unique, they are based upon social contexts ("I cry at funerals and laugh at weddings — everyone does"). According to Dabrowski, people primarily motivated by second factor represent a significant majority of the general population.

    #10     Jul 12, 2007