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a sense of manifold selfidentity alive through stable character
May 7, 2011

1| A child needs a sense of wholeness as mommy and daddy, unconditionally loving, reliable, and coherently inspiring—a gravity of trust and fidelity—no undue complexity, no shape shifting of who s/he is.

2 | Friends, in whatever era of understanding, need our version of the same. Lovers, too. (Intimate partners are some mix of deep friends and lovers?) We want admirable character that’s there for us, and we want to be seen to have character that’s there for others—at heart, no games of multiple identifications, no burden of another’s expectations of appreciation for their complexity, like some high subtlety that removes one from belonging to our promise (and promises). That’s a great landscape of good and ethical life I’ve sometimes rendered, a midland, as it were, I’ll later dwell in expansively and, may I claim, deeply (in terms of humanistic, generative psychology and philosophical ethics).

3 | I have a confident sense of that—I call it an appropriative ethics—which I take for granted (like a guide star) in pursuing psychal-conceptual venturing (upcoming, and to be for a long while), pursuant to appeals of comprehensibility in my own development (enjoying my rhetoric of presentation)—“dangerously” to be shared, perhaps (losing readers)—which implicitly presumes confidence about sharing accounts (including probable side tours that may seem sometimes counterproductive).

4 | Relative to stable character (shorthand for a genuineness of presence—a gravity of trust and fidelity—which is unconditionally loving, reliable, and coherently inspiring), psychal-conceptual venturing might look like an eccentricity which is not stable, as if a stereotypical association of intensive creativity and mental disorder is being celebrated.

5 | However, I’m less interested in advocating my view (my prospective viewing, my excursions) than I am eager to get on with it, whatever the value of prospective appeals in my own development, not proffering ontic claims (which might seem like categorial imperatives).

6 | In associating “personality” with eraic environmentality (like an era of life as an ecosphere), I’m prospecting a relative holism that participates (intrapsychally) in possible self formation with other relative holisms, such that associating selfhood with temporal horizonality across life eras (“vertically”) and landscapes renders (or tropes) differences between a stable character we know (i.e., others know relative to one’s character) and a lifelong learning that’s in principle open to—interested in—relatively primordial discovery about being—as artists, psychological inquirers, literary explorers, whatever, do, leading (one hopes) to especially large-scale insightfulness (at best comprehensive comprehensibility, I like to say), even sometimes leading to original work (though never by intending to “be original,” which is a phony desire).

7 | High idiosyncrasy is relatively easy. I want the impossible: a comprehensively informed novelty that—ideally, to my mind—contributes to the evolution of a domain. Presuming that’s unavailable to me, I want to find what I can in learning why I can’t reach my horizon. One works to grow into a genuine highness, as it were. Yet, whatever exemplarity comes of it—whatever influence—belongs to others, not to the work (which can only give itself to authentically working).

8 | Relative to so much multiplicity of achieved comprehension (let’s suppose)—relative to so much psychal mitosis, hybriding, symbiosis, and synergy (let’s suppose)—character easily seems partial, relative to appropriate need and desire for stability in loved environments with others. Relatively speaking, so many relevances of relationships in an environment for an era of one’s life (as “ours”) may seem to me to gather into themselves as a relatively cohering gravity of distinguishable aspects of my engagement: my relative character.

9 | I have no biological children, but love children all the same as parent (vicariously—but quite knowledgeably, quite practically), as teacher, as psychologist, as fictionist, and as autobiographer. I may know—one may know—truly being a parent and also truly being a teacher and also truly being a psychologist, a fictionist, and an autobiographer. Who is the singularity that might embody a philosophy of childhood and adolescence and young adulthood—all those Eriksonian eras? Let’s presume it’s not me, but the question can be authentically mine, just as it may belong to anyone else.

10 | How many other modes of interest or venturing may come into a coherent conception of human development, ideally comprehending our humanity through the humanities (the classical place of especially-philosophical interest)? Obviously beyond the likely resourcefulness of a single inquirer and discursant (let alone me, yet why not try to do what I can?), I look for points of literature (have looked for years) that appeal to being drawn into an “impossible” venture of comprehensive comprehension that must fail, ultimately. Yet, I want to see how far I can see from how high I can get.

11 | A situation (“mere” situation) calls for a degree of environmentality that implies stances between us (strictly scenic, let’s say) which fades into a day’s greater scale (broader, deeper, higher—high scalarity, I like to say), implying established roles or appropriate personae (cohering over various stances, relative to a mask-like, thin character, which has its greater scale of eraic environmentality which we normally associate with stable character: “the” person that others know or personal identity known as the same (but different) for the array of folks in one’s life (the era and its variously central environments).

12 | A richness of personality may easily seem to transcend all sense of shared identity, giving presence to each other that easily seems to imply each one’s richness of engagement with their own nebulous future (or detailed designs of engaged living) and nebulous past (or confidence about whom “I” has been) which is beyond any shared identity that “we,” We, live—in, with, as, by, or/and for being together, altogether of being gathered into our being together, being to gather and giving way to good time and fruitfulness—serenity and elation—whatever’s durably ours.

13 | Accordingly—complementarily—the friend/colleague who is also an artist/researcher who is also an intimate partner, teacher/parent, and maybe a dear friend very differently to others is granted a cohering which is nebulously projected or presumed, maybe as the mysterious richness of the person, some selfidentity way beyond who we know, but pertaining to someone we trust to truly be the person we know or/and love.

14 | I’m alluding to psychal complexity that readily sustains stable relationships in manifold ways. This is different from a homogeneous psyche dressed in various fashions or personae or moods or stances, relative to a sociocentrism which sustains the personality which only knows itself relative to the sociality it sustains (otherwise feeling like a scary mystery to oneself that willfully keeps its center—and excludes questioning of oneself as threat). The homogeneous psyche of sociocentrism involves an intensive Privatism that is likely very uncomfortable with self exploration, improvisation with feeling and thinking, or valuing alien perspectives of others. Such a person would never be reading here. But you are here, even though I sometimes make little sense?

15 | I’m hereon presuming a value of psychal multiplicity or manifoldness (say, protean psychality) which may be “normal” for higher individuation (maybe typical of devoted artists or discursive inquirers—likely not typical, but feasible), which I’ll be enriching and exploring in my own way, entrusting myself to keep high fidelity to my own intuitions, thus prospective confidence in sharing the explorations I want to articulate.