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October 10, 2010

feeling like an endless preface

Appropriations posting

revised 10.14.10

I want to briefly discuss contexts of child development that can’t be fairly discussed briefly (I fear) without obscurity. But the contexts are integral background to where I’d prefer to go (e.g., explorations of “the” [?] Literary mind), for the sake of understanding human development broadly and deeply (inasmuch as I can). That’s my bias in venturing into senses of a highly meaningful life. But any meaningful life is individual, so a bias is proper. Mine’s philosophical (or literary psychological—interdomainal [I don’t like ‘interdisciplinary’]). It’s deeply important to me that the sense of Mind (let’s say) I want to explore is not something emerging from my own life, but is about human development as such—not that I want to proffer a sense of human development generally that should tend toward what interests me. But the sense of literary-psychological philosophy I want to garden is a developmental one, dependent on its sense of development (which ultimately weaves into a sense of our evolving, but that’s the long story).

If one gives up folklore about God and the universe, what can be validly said instead about ultimacy that doesn’t lead to a worldview that’s ultimately vacuous, which is nihilistic? The nihilism of our lives is everywhere evident in metropolitan life. Consumerism is a leading mode of this.

But The Human Condition isn’t my topic presently. I’ve given much of my time to that kind of concern. Yet, a long story is in view.

My point now is only that I have a developmental stake in the sense of the humanities I’m pursuing. Yet, it’s a conceptuality of the humanities that I most (relatively speaking) want to explore. Child development involves every aspect of being human, of course, expressing the developmental character of our evolving nature. The symbology of The Child is endless. For conceptual interest, child development happens to imply every mode of inquiry and knowledge that pertains to the world a child grows into. It might be considered a paradigmatic context for thinking in an interdomainal way.

So, on the one hand, I want to focus on aspects of child development, for the sake of the intrinsic value of growing well; on the other hand, I’m interested in the parenting of those aspects, simply as matter of the good of real childhoods. But prospecting child development conceptually is not about parenting. Yet, no aspect of individuation occurs without good parenting (the interpersonal dimension of early individuation). But parenting doesn’t cause good individuation. That belongs most to child temperament, interest, and initiative, etc., the more so as one’s own legacy of experience belongs to one’s life, rather than to interpersonal (parental) presence. Individuation through interpersonal growth is also interpersonal growth through individuation. I’m fascinated by the interplay here, yet I’m especially interested in the latter, for the sake of understanding creativity: how creative individuation comes into its own.

But parenting is a vital venue for conceptual prospecting, too. Both child development and parenting are venues of psychological interest in the synergies of being human. Yet, this can also be conceptually (and philosophically) interesting, in at least the sense that all aspects of psychology are conceptually implicative (and philosophically-conceptual interest may be fruitfully brought into any other venue).

By now in my life, I think in a very interdomainal way, which gets expressed by thematic weaving. But I tend to presume too much in expressing my interest in creative process (or desire for creative progress). My self reflectivity can be confusing (if not boring). I want to move on, with a theme or topic, “rather than” bring the other along. I enjoy reflection on the moving, but my self absorption—my “failure” to give enough attention to the reader—confounds the apparent point of posting.

But I am sharing part of what I’m doing, in case you’re interested. Besides, the networking I need to do these days is bibliographical and thematic, not social.

If I make designs that satisfy me, I can always go back to amplify, and sharing some of that offers what I can always go back to explicate offline, if you’re interested—maybe cause me to see missteps in my way (I welcome that).

Anyway, I have a terrible time satisfying myself narratively, but intensely need the satisfaction of the endeavor. So, I write—more developmentally online than my assertiveness may connote. I need the explorations that cause dissatisfying narratives (and I want to share what seems potentially cogent).

I do eventually make something satisfactory, though sometimes later finding that it expresses a Moment in a development of thinking that moved on, thanks to that earlier satisfaction (or the process of getting to that, finding out what milestone that apparent destination was), implicitly rendered by time as part of an increasingly distinct era of development that’s been outgrown.

I’m sometimes possessed with a feeling for developmentality that wants to represent keynotes of development as such, in the development that’s ongoing.

But, at the end of the road, there’s no ultimate Conception, just an evolving—a learning process whose conception of the evolving might further the process, not settle on any determinate Order (apart from an ongoing endeavor to understand the ongoingness).

To my mind, there is ultimately an endless, futural Opening, so to speak (which, by the way, is easily mistaken to reflect some Origin.)

This morning, I intended to begin writing about the relationship of individualization to secure belonging. I made good progress with the notes, after realizing that I wanted to re-organize much of it—all of it being rather dense, awaiting whatever explication I’m willing to do, rather than just moving on privately, into new topics—easily getting fulfillment through an exploration which then draws me into further explorations, rather than stopping to articulate the fulfilling. I prefer to privately sketch maps of where I’m going (or think I’m going) rather than detailing for others a map of where I am.

... I made good progress today, but got sidetracked by desire to revise an earlier posting, “a note on self valuation,” which I’ve done.

Now, where was I....

October 02, 2010

growing children as venue: packing for a conceptual adventure

Appropriations posting

Over the next few months’ postings and pages, I will use experience and research on good parenting and child development to work with conceptual aspects of that. I’m venturing to better understand growth (individuation) that becomes easily-empathic (non-egoistic) yet highly individual (ideally, very creative)—a healthy self centrism. Advice for a practice of good parenting doesn’t directly follow from such a venture, but I’ll cite good resources.

I’m also interested in how these two keynotes of exemplary individuation (empathy and creativity) may build on each other for the sake of authentic happiness (or a sense of authentic happiness that I take from recent inquiries in “positive psychology”).

So, considering a comprehensive approach to parenting and child development is beyond the scope of my present project, though I’ve expressed my long-term interest in good parenting conceptually—which I want to complement practical work on “raising happiness”—and that interest will return, eventually, in a big way, I expect, some future year.

For now: What aspects of child development especially lead to a durably purposeful life—to happiness in terms of regular fulfillment through sustained and meaningful engagement? That’s my prevailing question, though near-term pages will seem to be going in lots of directions. That’s OK; I know my path: It is an interest in empathic and creative individuation for the sake of developing authentic happiness. It may sound precious to put it so succinctly, but there will be enough challenge ahead.

Anyway, an interest in happiness is vastly popular, yet integral to philosophy; but I won’t here pursue the big topic beyond some particulars that serve my more near-term interest in empathic-and-creative individuation—“creative individuation,” for short. Again, I’m not going to get into a comprehensive sense of child development, which I’ve been interested to gain in past years. But I have to emphasize this because the near-term will seem otherwise: I have a rather concentrated sense of child development to express in coming days. I want to get into child development relative to—or with special interest in—the above question. Expressing such a whole-and-part attitude (horizonal gestalt and specific wayfaring) is important to my way of thinking.

A wide landscape of interest in human development stays in the background.... (I presume that the following paragraph gets incomprehensible. No matter; it’s just one paragraph, provided as example of something...).

A wide landscape of interest in human development stays in the background, like a future horizon for clarification (the “Perpetual Project,” I used to say)—as psychological horizons may nebulously mirror one’s constitutive background, like a shadowplay in light of oneSelf filtered through aspects of proximal selfhood: presumptions of purpose and relevance. (I’m reminded of Plato’s myth of the cave, which anticipates, I think, C.G. Jung’s notion of archetype—Adamic love, for example—as showing Itself only in derived senses [e.g., father-daughter dynamics], never represented in lives as archetype, as is also the case with Platonic Ideas, which are realized in actualities, shown as what stands. [But I’m no Platonist]).

[So much for inconsideration of the reader....]

Creative individuation is a general notion, to which my explorations might usefully contribute (I’m fond of informality: “...which my explorations might usefully contribute to”—which is a Germanism of English syntax). But my more-specific kind of interest is beyond my present project/topic (wrap it all in a label or emblem of “literary-psychological philosophy” as my standing in a great landscape of human endeavoring). My own Project might be an example of creative individuation, once the Project is plotted out into an entire garden (maybe not exemplarily so, but something). Exploring the notion of creative individuation is a way of understanding what general mode of human interest I might consider myself to be participating in, up the road, quite apart from my going uphill.

But my interest in generally thinking about creative individuation is part of the Project, thereby containing (by future explication, anticipated now) a sense of creative individuation that I hope the Project instances (once plotted out). My literary-psychological sense of philosophy that I’m pursuing (and have pursued, rather extensively—not yet online) involves a sense of creative individuation (to be elaborated relative to others’ work). It’s not just that creative individuation might be instanced well (I hope) by what I’d later express. I’m wanting to exemplify what I focus on over the long run.

Any creativity is backgrounded by an individuation; so, better understanding of creative individuation can be generally useful (to me, at least), e.g., for understanding potentials in human development, for thinking about educational excellence, or for prospecting aspects of what may lead to innovation in a profession—touching now on a scale of generality that is way more than I have in mind to address soon.

Generality tends to go for common denominators of understanding, rather than a highly individualized sense of the general notion (which has resulted for me from the research-based work of others, but to a degree that is by now quite individuated). What’s common to interest in human development widely and educational excellence widely and professional innovation widely would have to be, relatively speaking (relative to any of those areas) vaguely general (“thinly” general, the fate of abstraction) in order to encompass such a spread of relevance. I would claim that I can derive a wide generality (common to professional “theory”) from what I’m setting out to do (“thickly”general or highly general Theory in its perspectivity). But wide generality is not what I’m going to begin to do here. I’m going uphill in a specific sense (individuated): deriving a sense of creative individuation that, though research-based, suits my own purposes (philosophical) up the road—at best exemplifying what is explicated, but not directly going for some kind of immanent exemplarity via near-term explorations.

Yet, such denial highlights a theme: the value of proof in the pudding, as they say. But that proof (or possible exemplarity) would belong to a far distance, not my near-term project.

But I note the enchanting theme because a practical sense (exemplarity) of self reflectivity is integral to philosophy.

So, again: What aspects of child development especially lead to a durably purposeful life—to happiness in terms of regular fulfillment through sustained and meaningful engagement? Again, more summarily, I want to orient my venture relative to valuing creative individuation. But that orienting interest will show near term as only supplementary to my leading question about growing especially well. (Creative individuation should lead to authentic happiness, my near-term interest, but the longer-term interest is creative individuation itself, but going my own way with that later, beyond general notions of authentic happiness.) My near-term venture can be put more exactly, though perhaps more obscurely: What enables belonging to natural desire for empathic and creative self determination through constructive self expansion toward a durably purposive life?

Where we shall go, I do not exactly know, in the trivial sense that I’m now anticipating what’s to be soon done. But such feeling a sense now of being in the Flow is pertinent to what I intend to present (or thematize) soon. I know exactly what themes I want to address, and exactly what research themes of others I want to employ (and cite). But the wayfaring itself can be a theme (has now been here). It feels like a child’s anticipation of an adventure, albeit, in my case, conceptual—but, as a friend once said of her preference for fennel-flavored toothpaste, “that’s just me.”