Saturday, March 19, 2011
Psycho Spiritual Attitudes
By Patricia Lefave, I.M.
Attitude one: “I” is the pronoun of self actualization, self definition and self direction. I speak of myself when I talk with this attitude. Depending upon the choices I make in self definition and self direction that can be very good, or very bad, depending upon the presence, or absence, of personal boundaries.
Attitude two: “You” is the pronoun of reciprocal relationship. I speak “about” or “with” or “at” you; you speak “about” or “with” or “at” me. This one is more distanced but at least it is still and I-thou form of relating. Even if it is “about,” and I am the one you are talking about, it is still relating if I am the one in the room with you. Still, this is about boundaries.
Attitude three: He, She, It, They: Are the pronouns of objectification. I talk only “about” him, her, it or them. You talk only 'about' me to others or even in my presence as though I were not really there. When you do this, I have no relationship to, or with you, at all as I am reduced to the level of 'object.”
When I do this, you have no relationship with me, as I have reduced you to the level of “object.” Again it is about boundaries and in this case there is a nearly complete lack of them. This is group enmeshment; not intimacy and not “socializing.” This is the level of anti-socializing. It seems to be becoming the most common attitude and that is pretty scary.
So when you tell me “this is nothing personal,” I agree with you. The problem is that I AM a Person; not an object. You say it is nothing personal as if that justified your thinking and behaviour in reducing ME to a non personal status. You believe that is all right to do that. I don't agree with you.
The reductionism in that is a defence of attitude three. Attitude three should not be defended. It's dysfunctional at the very least and very often an outright abuse of power.
Those of you who would really like to know which of these three attitudes is the most predominant in your own lives might like to try a small awareness experiment with yourselves.
Listen to the pronouns you use most often in your everyday communications. Are you really in touch with your own reality and the reality of 'others' or are you out of touch with both of those and reinventing the reality you need to have, in order to defend the position you are holding today.
Are you really self actualizing and growing “up” or are you just growing “out” by invalidating all other points of view in order to validate your own position?
Self focus for one entire day and see what you can hear that you never heard before. Then listen to everyone around you with the same attitudes. Does it sound social or anti social to you?
What if you were to talk about only your own point of view as an individual, using the “I” word, out of your own experience, or about ideas, without the social invalidation that goes with a difference of opinion on them?What, if anything do you think would change for you, and for society in genera