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  #81  
Unread November 5th, 2004, 10:52 AM
Paul Miedema Paul Miedema is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Hello George,
I like this idea of "initial experience of incompletude or "inability"
It sounds as if the first thing a baby experiences is a lack of competence. When hungry the baby experiences an uneasy situation which only can be ended when some substance passes through its mouth. It this, a baby is totally dependent on the mother who is the only provider for this substance. Suppose a baby can value this dependency in two ways: Either as an unpleasant shortcoming, or as a pleasant way to communicate with that still vaguely familiar "being" that not only provides for nourishment but also for comfort and warmth.
I am almost at the point that I am going to write my essay on "how I developed my first sense of inferiority". My lifestyle tells me that I must have experienced it as an unpleasant shortcoming, although..although.. "Everything can be totally different", as Alfred Adler used to say ("Es kann auch alles anders sein")
Paul
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  #82  
Unread November 5th, 2004, 11:28 AM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Thumbs up Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Yes Paul. I think we agree. The most probable ground of the inferiority feeling is the utter dependency that we must have for very survival as an initial experience. No we are not able to process this cognitively in the prefrontal cortex, but I am convinced that an imprint is left in a non-verbal form. However that imprint is not causal. What is causal is the unique creativity of each individual and therefor what we do with it. Thanks for your helpful reply.
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  #83  
Unread November 5th, 2004, 05:28 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Lightbulb Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Movement:
Now let us try to look at movement. I have been talking about the vector quality of the lifestyle and a vector is defined by a direction and a degree, force or strength. Listen to Henry or the tapes of Sophia and they are always saying "Watch the movement". This is a really hard thing to get your mind around but it becomes easier as you now have the coordinates of the movement. When I flew the aircraft I went from Toronto to Buffalo. When you go shopping you go from your home to the store. The lifestyle also moves from - to. It move from the inferiority feeling to the fictional goal of superiority. Everything the patient does or says points away from the dread darkness of the night that they have created, toward the lofty mountain top bathed in golden light, that they seek. This movement is reflected in everything they do and say, from the way they are dressed, to the way they speak, to the way they walk, to the way they approach the therapist. It is not an act but it is part of a great "as if" play they perform. They act as if they are the greatest sinner on earth. They dress as if they are rich and famous. They approach you with a surly attitude as if you must always look up to them or they may be like a little mouse that if touched will be crushed and destroyed by your careless brutality to ensure they enslave you also in their fiction as Adler discovered the notion of fiction from Vaihinger. They do not know they are playing this noble or demeaning role but they do not feel as an equal human being so they must either be utterly in command or they must plead like a helpless slave. They create all the broad reaches of this drama, and we must discern its true meaning. So we observe every subtle nuance of what they say or do not say. Of how they look at us or do not look and every subtle movement points directly to their story and underlines their "guiding fiction".
Much more needs to be said about the movement but a little at a time is easier to digest. Ask some questions about anything in this post that you do not understand. I do not feel I can answer all the questions you may have, but I am confident that Henry will be graciously "lurking" in the background and is more than willing to come to our assistance. Please this is a very difficult but key concept in understanding a persons unique law of movement.
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Last edited by George Neeson; November 5th, 2004 at 07:11 PM. Reason: more spelling sigh
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  #84  
Unread November 5th, 2004, 09:05 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Exclamation Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Just to support what I am saying in the "Movement Posting" here is a direct quote from The Neurotic Character (CCWAA Volume I, Pages 54 and 55 as translated by Cees Koen for the translation project that Henry Stein has undertaken for the benefit of us all ....


"We have described the guiding personality ideal as a fiction, and consequently denied its reality, yet we must maintain that despite its non-reality, it is nonetheless of the greatest importance for the process of life and the development of the psyche. This apparent contradiction has been expounded most brilliantly by Vaihinger in his Philosophy of As If; and he recognized fiction as being opposed to reality, yet indispensable for the development of science. I was the first to point out this curious relationship within the context of the psychology of neuroses, and I was notably stimulated and supported in my opinion by Vaihinger's work. Therefore I am at present in a position to call attention to some aspects of the fiction of the feeling of self-worth that shed more light on its essence and importance, as well as on the form in which it appears in the psyche. First and foremost, it is an abstraction and should be regarded in itself as an indication of an anticipation. It is, so to speak, the marshal's staff in the knapsack of the insignificant soldier and consequently payment on account demanded by the primitive feeling of insecurity. The construction of the fiction takes place as disturbing inferiorities and obstructive realities are cast aside in the ideal style as it always happens when the psyche is trying to find an escape and security from its distress. The insecurity, painfully experienced as it is, will be reduced to the lowest possible, yet apparently causal level and this will be transformed into its crass opposite, into its antithesis, and taken to serve as the fictitious goal, which is then turned into the guiding point of all desires, fantasies and striving. Then, for reasons of clarity, this goal must be made concrete. Real deprivation, for instance the restriction of food during childhood, will be experienced as an abstract 'nothing,' as a deficiency, against which the child will long for 'everything,' for abundance, until it brings this goal nearer, in an abstract way, in the person of the father, in the figure of a fabulously wealthy person, of a mighty emperor. The more intensely and longer this deprivation is experienced, the stronger and higher the level of the fictitious, abstract ideal will be set, and from this the formation and arrangement of the given psychic powers into preparatory attitudes, dispositions and characteristics will begin. Then the individual will 'wear' the characteristics demanded by the fictitious goal just as the characteristic mask—the persona—of the ancient actor had to fit until the very end of the tragedy."





Notice at the very end of this quote, the reference to the "ancient actor" lest you should feel I have stepped outside of Adler's ideas with "poetic licence".
Note also Adler's special sensitivity to the "painfully experienced sensitivity". The inferiority feeling is a profoundly hurtful sensation in the suffering souls we see, and the act they play out is to cover this pain from others and even from themselves.
Soon we need to talk about the "aggressive attitude" of the compensatory striving toward mankind and the counterfiction used to conceal it.
I shall try to undertake this discussion before too long.
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Last edited by George Neeson; November 5th, 2004 at 10:05 PM. Reason: correction in quoted text
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  #85  
Unread November 6th, 2004, 09:50 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Cool Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Now as the Life Style moves away from the inferiority feeling toward the fictional goal of superiority, it also moves against mankind. This self seeking "solution" of the black feeling of nothingness can only be self serving and an accusation against the human race. No one can elevate themselves above others without at the same time "pushing others down so to speak". It is even in Newtonian mechanics, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction...". Thus if I seek to elevate myself I, de facto, must push others down. Thus the aggressiveness of the compensatory striving is very real. It is movement in a wrong direction. Now nobody likes to get "caught with their pants down", so this movement is hidden behind a counterfiction. Things like "Well I would love to help my neighbour and I agree everybody should do that, but you see I can't because every time I go to my neighbour's house I remember the abuse that occurred behind the door of my house and I just get too nervous". No, No NO, they do not get nervous, they crank up the nervous response to excuse themselves from helping the neighbour. And it sounds so convincing. It is a "trick" to draw our attention away from what they are not doing while they look so good and we must pity them and help them whenever they request!

What then about "depression"? Depression is also a side show. It is a very powerful tool in the path of mastery of the local community. If one creates a depression it is utterly egocentric. The world revolves around the fiction of their lonely abandoned state. What can we expect of one who so acutely suffers? They are excused from almost all their reasonable social tasks and may just lie in bed languishing in their self created misery. It is an utter condemnation of a world that would dare ask them to be fellow people. Their world is utterly egocentric and life must revolve around their self created suffering. Now this must be differentiated carefully from normal grief in which the pain of a recent loss is understandable and such a person needs the milk of human kindness and our compassion and support. No, we are talking about the use of the depression symptom to escape with an "iron clad excuse", their reasonable contribution to mankind! Depression is the "brilliant creation" of a person who does not have the courage to undertake one or more of the three life tasks. No, they languish in their self created misery and seek to put the community in their service. Depression may also be a counterfiction to make them look good when they have no intention of participating in the human endeavour. They excuse themselves and it troubles me deeply when I see physicians collude in this charade!

Now if that is not a "concealed aggressive attitude toward mankind", then just what is it? They will have a number of counter fictions but all of them will be in keeping with their "Style of Life", their "Guiding Line". Again watch the movement. Pay special attention to what they do and perhaps even more to what they do not do. What they do not do will have a mask of "niceness" so we do not catch their mischief unless one has an Adlerian understanding and thinks teleologically about their hidden goal.
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Last edited by George Neeson; October 27th, 2007 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Added information
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  #86  
Unread November 7th, 2004, 11:09 AM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Post Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

The Antithetical Scheme of Apperception:

In the postings above you will see a theme that repeats again and again. Things like "Inferiority Feeling ... Fictional Goal of Superiority", "Elevate self ... Push others down", Above ... Below, Superior ... Inferior, Rich ... Poor, Great ... Small". These are kind of opposites although not precisely so, in the usual usage of language. They are called "The antithetical scheme of apperception" in Adlerian psychology. The patient (and indeed we ourselves) have a strong tendency to see concepts as diametrically opposed. In this construction there are no "mid tones" as we call them in photography! In truth there is almost never total black in front of a camera lens, nor is there total white. Even the surface of the sun is not totally white, there are whiter stars all over the sky. This antithetical apperception fits fully with the life style. If I am not the best, I am the worst. If I am not the most admired, I am the most hated. But either way "I am the most..." as Manu has pointed out in one of his postings from Richard III in his postings under Child Development, "And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover/To entertain these fair well-spoken days/I am determined to prove a villain..." That is a superb artistic expression by the artist of the Antithetical Construction. The King must be either most feared or most admired. God forbid that he should be a fellow man . The patient is caught in the cold steel jaws of his own leg trap that he carefully set for others, to draw that spot light to himself. There he moans and screams in his self created suffering. If you simply introduce him to the real world of all grey scales (in photography), his useless plan explodes. But since he is convinced he is " a nothing" you most first by gentle good will demonstrate to him that you regard him as a fellow traveller. No you do not admire the suffering he has created in himself nor the mischief he creates around him, but you do give him and experience of equality as one of the first loving corrections to his mistaken, antithetical direction.

Now lets also make this set of postings a further experience of equal folks who are seeking to understand this elegant theory. Adler on a number of occasions refers to Nietzsche, the philosopher. He refers to his concepts of "The will to power" and "The will to Seem". I would appreciate some scholarly assistance in this regard. I am not well educated as a physician. Can some one(s) talk a bit about Nietzsche's philosophy and how it connects with Adler's developing ideas? I would lead you astray if I tried because I do not know Nietzsche's philosophic position and I do not wish to misrepresent a very complex theory. Perhaps if you have some ideas about the will to power and the will to seem and how they fit with Adlers antithetical apperception notions, that would be a valued contribution. I would also be interested to hear what German words Nietzsche uses to express these ideas as well as a better English language clarification of what the German could mean.

Please note that at this time I am enjoying another study module with Henry, so my postings and responses may be a little delayed. Henry is such an encouraging and good teacher I would encourage anyone who has come this far in reading these postings to do some study with him. It is a wonderful and encouraging experience. (Commercial content courtesy of me )
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Last edited by George Neeson; October 27th, 2007 at 11:13 PM. Reason: More spelling messes
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  #87  
Unread November 8th, 2004, 11:54 AM
Paul Miedema Paul Miedema is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Hello George,

I visited a german therapist, Mrs Edeltrud Jendritza, a few years ago for my learning analysis, and I asked her what would be the right translation for "Individual Psychology". The German word "Individualpsychologie" is written as one word, and that is part of the German language, to link the adjective with the noun so that is becomes one word. Mrs Jendritza told me that therefore "Individualpsychologie" meant "Psychology of the individual Person". ("Psychologie des Individuums"). Many people thought that the name was not very well chosen, because in fact it is "social psychology" in its purest form. Which means that it should be (like Kretch and Crutchfield wrote for their book on social psychology) "Individual in Society".
Paul

Last edited by George Neeson; March 11th, 2007 at 08:26 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #88  
Unread November 8th, 2004, 12:21 PM
Paul Miedema Paul Miedema is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Hello Rita,
you are right about the fact that a psychiatrist or any other therapist deals with people who have covered already a good deal of their lifetime. What really is in a baby is mere guessing. After about 4 or 5 years a child is more or less "finished" and is equipped with his/her views about life etc. Lifestyle, as IP people call it. So we only witness the outcome of 4 or 5 years influence of the invironment in its broadest sense, AND all the conclusions a young child has drawn about all this environmental encounters. We hardly can communicate well with a child of 2 or 3 years of age about his/her interpretations about life. That is mere guessing, and sure, often are these guesses absolutely right.
Concerning the growth of a feeling of inferiority, I guess ( ) that it depends also on environmental interaction with all the evaluations concerning these interactions that are sent out to the young child. One point of IP is that it is the youngster that in the end has the last word, so to speak, or to put it differently, decides about the value of the interactions. Yet, here too, we might find outcomes that are obvious, that are in the line of "common sense", that are to be expected. Feelings of inferiority as such should not be seen as a personal disaster, as in fact they propel us to make discoveries and to produce things that make life easier for us and for the whole of mankind.
Paul
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  #89  
Unread November 8th, 2004, 07:23 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Thumbs up Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Paul I appreciate the comment about the German word. I have also been lead to understand that it contains a sense of uniqueness as opposed to egocentric "specialness". Thus it may be that Adler in his choice of nomenclature indicates that the neurosis resides in "individual choices" as opposed to "exogenus influences". Would that also be a valid understanding? It is most unfortunate that the connotation of "individual" is so very different in English and that the term has been "transliterated" if there is such a word.

Appreciate your inputs always.
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Last edited by George Neeson; November 8th, 2004 at 08:37 PM. Reason: spelling encore une fois
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  #90  
Unread November 9th, 2004, 07:27 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Smile Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Paul I appreciate your comment that the "inferiority feeling is not a personal disaster but can propel us along". That is a key piece that I had not considered mentioning. Yes indeed, none of us, not even the most accomplished human, has achieved all he has to give and achieve. Perhaps this is not as much an inferiority feeling as a true sense of humility and a recognition that we are so very complex and have such great potential for good that we are never "done". It is not arrogant to wish to achieve the best self for mankind. The trick is not to slip into the arrogance of being "better than others" or the converse vainity of feeling to have achieved notariety as the "chief of sinners". Both notions are exceedingly vain and unbecoming. When you look at Adler's notion of vanity, there is a deep ditch on both sides of the road of being a fellow man. Wise men and encouraged men just must strive to achieve the best available self to add to the "stream of human evolution" "sub specie aeternitatis". What a nice self check Adler gives us and if we focus on this, we will in the notion of Mueller, "Be a Blessing".
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