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april 4, 2010 (slight rev. 4/16)


A lot of rhetorical license follows. It’s not autobiographical in a usual sense. But the discussion expresses a sense of self-implicature, being of a living individuation, yet abstracted from quotidian detail.

It’s about prospecting specific relations among important concepts or terms. Elaboration could be easily done, but is better relative to a given reader’s interest.

individuation as self-directed growing

‘Individuation,’ in the sense that I’m actively developing, means a prevalently enactive growing, not a happening that results in a mere individuality (lexical definition). Especially-human individuation consolidates experience, imagination, and memory through increasing capability for self-direction of growing interests, learning, and sensibility. Inasmuch as growing individuality is individuational, natural desire for self-efficacy has made itself over the years into durable self-actualization (a deliberate ontogeny or self-realizing growth).

This is unlike adaptive socialization or sociocentric individuality, which can seem like the result of a passive magnet of experience having a unique passage through situations and attachments. Individuality is individuational inasmuch as development is prevalently intentional or deliberate beyond adaptability (which individuation increasingly enables).

For the following, consider ‘Self’ (capped ‘S’) to denote one’s felt sense of wholly being (bolded ‘S’ at the beginning of a sentence). Consider ‘self’ (uncapped ‘s’) to denote one’s cognitive sense of identity or representability of oneself.

Increasing self direction of growing interests, learning, and sensibility might be usefully rendered as self actualization in light of Self realization: Self realization (no hyphen; Self-realization pertains to ontogeny as such) includes keeping fidelity enough to one’s own potential or talent, thus orienting one’s life by way of an enduring (durable) fairness to oneSelf—fidelity to one’s ownmost human interest.

In self actualization, an individuation is making what becomes of growing up, oriented by the integrity of a life’s futurity and commitment to growing well throughout one’s life by striving durably enough for one’s personal best, everchanging. In short, individuation is enowning a good path.

In light of that, high engagement feels given to one’s sense of selfidentity. But it’s done, constructed. Persons make their own way by way of actualizing potential based within herself/himself, inasmuch as s/he’s true to his/her own venturing, aspirationally oriented. (Unsightly slashes for a language lacking gender-neutral indicators.)

A highly flourishing life is likely never as highly individuated as desired, though highly engaged in Self-actualization (i.e., self actualization in light of Self realization).

self actualizing appreciability

Feeling the world, feeling for the world, leads to appreciative importances (values), including appeals of imaginative idealization that may be aspirational. Developing selfidentical importance is developing motivating value, if that importance has aspirational appeal.

Appeals of experience reflect natural interest in valuing, possibly reflecting aspiration or selfidentical constructiveness, appeals which may grow—have grown for me—into a complex pleasure of satisfiable interests, mental flexibility, perspectivity, and the pleasure of others’ company—altogether a rich efficacy of appreciability or capability of appreciation.

Complex pleasure reflects complex feeling—many modes—one at times transposable into another, mode to mode, self aspect to aspect. Depth and bredth may be easily intermodal, even intersubjective. Yet, empathy with others—interpersonal relations raised (deepened) to intersubjective bonds—is only as good as Self understanding in life (or rapport “in”/with oneSelf), one’s own capability for depth and bredth of feeling, thanks to what one does with gifts of experience (so much by way of other selves made influential). We avoid reductionism in feeling by habitually exemplifying and promoting (educing) complexity of feeling. The arts and positive psychology are devoted to the likes of this: making life richly sensual, emotional—and, intellectual (e.g., “sublime” sense—though without Romanticism; I’ll return to this someday).

Most appropriately important is what best suits the freedom and integrity of one’s own long-term well-being, well-growing, including (of course) the inestimable value of relationship (loves of sundry kinds) for individuation: the quality of company we provide each other (and which valuable things—like books!—may provide) and learning to grow intimacy flexibly with kindredness (especially deep friendship); kindredness (family, broadly conceived) with mere solidarity; solidarity with mere civility.

So, to my mind, flourishing individuation (or self formativity) is not egoistic in a narcissistic sense. Self actualization intimately values fidelity to so-called conscience (to me, a sense of holistic caring). But such caring derives from caring of one’s life, for the life, thereby gaining “room” (energy, time) to care for (giving to) others’ lives in terms of “ours.”

individuating purposiveness

In light of gaining appreciability (maybe deeply), individuation gains selfidentical idealization (selfidentical valuing), which aspirationally grounds durable purposiveness made of purposes, distinct and diffuse. Spheres of value are plural, some containing others, implying others, complementing, contrasting, and competing within a life’s development and actualization of purposes, with variable prevalences over each other, complementing, etc. Purposiveness is the play of purposes and values in the developing life, a life with Purpose. Only durable Purpose leads to a frequency of fulfillments that makes “happiness” real or authentic, i.e., integrally belonging to the life as a happy one.

All the better for our promise (one’s humanity, humanistic union) that individuation may find importance, significance, and potential where others don’t yet (or where others are dismissive of prospects). In any case, we actualize our promise in our projects—call it our project-ivity. Self actualization “happens” in light of valuing efficacious project-ivity. Our lives are remembered for their ever-projective projects: prospective, purposive, idealizing, horizonal. The better sense of life, the best sense, enactively anticipates lasting fruitfulness and Meaning, exemplary and not yet so.

All the better that we design purposes to prospect ideal human interests as intrinsic to our humanity, for cultural values (paradigmatically: high aims of education) are kept alive only by our purposes that reflect them.

high individuation as self reflective designing

Individuation is about realization of potential (developed sense of one’s potential) and actualization of potential (project-ive constructivism). Self realization leads to self actualization in a self formativity I’ve called individuation.

Desire of high individuation (or selformativity—preferred to ‘individuation’; one ‘f’) invests itself in gaining and sustaining a rich sense of experience and valuing, widely “reading” life—figuratively reading, as well as literally; so gaining and sustaining a rich sense of meaning.

Self, selformativity, shows in a play of mentability, sometimes inspired by a day’s bricolage of relations (textual readings, reading others, whatever)—generative inWorldness?—which wants to include others’ sense of things—but easily gets a little too imaginative or exuberantly appropriative, I confess, as if everything can be entertained my way (or else, be entertaining).

Inquirial pleasure—problem finding and solving—is easy to have, in my case easily forgetting myself in conceptual reverie and project-ive designing, wandering and happy solitude. I want learning to be neverending: sophisticating (verb) idealization (enactively, as aspirational value) and sophisticating mentability (i.e., actualized intelligence, in a multimodel sense), enriching my degree (or domain scale) of freedom or flexibility in understanding (presence of mind) and action.

Accordingly, discursive inquiry into “the” human interest (i.e., richly pursuing interests that are prospectively intrinsic to being human at best) can be a fine “thing,” fine art. Ultimately, I think, we—as a species—are making up what we can be, increasingly designing our nature.

So be it that my inner-directedness, my recursivity of self-understanding reflectivity, the generativity of selformativity, results in semantic compression (begging questions of terminology), poiesis without mystification (I would argue), conceptual prospecting in its own element, welcoming another’s questioning of my self understanding (without hyphen) as a chance to realize newly and learn—but gladly otherwise going my own way, playing into the Appeal.

protean self as fluid intra-/intersubjectivity

The notion of “protean” self has been with me a long time, including an adaptability or improvisational contextualism or attachmentality that easily detaches. I fit in here-and-there very easily, but so also fit out, so to speak, just as easily, off again into my own domains. Since the world seems so bricolagic, daily relations easily seem so, too. And my domains, my interdomainity is a bricolagy all its own—maybe true for anyone—expressing (in my instance) easy enchantment with interplays of prospects, interests, implicatures, improvisations, etc.—dyadic and nondyadic complements and contrasts—that might be expected to not accessibly relate to shared grounds, fine with me.

But sometimes discomfiting, as if I’m likely evaluating, which I’m not. However, a well-known reality of intersubjectivity is that fluidity of aspects within oneself can be like the fluidity of aspects between subjects and vice versa (which, by the way, is why the psychotherapeutic alliance can be so fruitful). But conversely, real intersubjectivity can be experienced as a singular self; or the aspects of self can be plural threads of interpersonal relations (or woven with one’s interpersonal threads), between persons, as well as for oneself—“seeing self,” as I put it earlier (¶ 4.3]),

as an intrapsychic manifold of senses of Self that interrelate like interpersonalness in outer-directed life—a mix of self aspects attached to the mix of interpersonal engagements in one’s [well, my] outer-directed life.... [So,] the place of intersubjectivity in Self interest—the place of wholly feeling in shared appreciation—is as important as anything else, I feel, possibly most important for understanding what love can be [having a very multimodal sense of that, I’ll get to someday], inasmuch as the feeling for Self deserves to flow as well as it can,....

—between selves as well as for oneself (and for intersubjectivity like a single self).

Interplays of both genders belong to self as much as to intersubjectivities—interselves?— beyond psychoanalytic stereotyping, where potentially all the so-gendered complementarities of Literature may come into play (with a vengence). Rationality may be modeled as a gendered engagement of feminine archetypy (through, e.g., feeling and ideality) and masculine archetypy (project-ivity, realism) on pragmatic roads (and pragmatism a Myers-Briggsian garden of centroverting complements).

I might hope to find myself further enlightened through you, as we may be an ongoing, interselfal waymaking like a textuality that belongs to us equally. What I mean, going on, can be relative to the question made to be, by your part, between us, as you read the same phenomenality, which may write a singular interselfhood embracing discursive reading.

a telic gravity of well-growing life

Altogether, individuation, to my mind—selformativity—can be modeled (pragmatically? felicitously?) variously, as self-directed growing, self-actualizing appreciability, individuating purposiveness, self reflective designing, and a protean presence.

Integration of aspects, complements, contrasts, etc. serves a future-led life—a horizonal worldliness appealingly reflecting Self (not wholly, but importantly)—held, sustained in terms of project-ive acting—prospecting, idealizing, realizing, and actualizing (maybe, by the way, metonymed by my slow-growing array of Webpages, slow figuring pointillism).

Generativity is integral. Integrative integrity of high selformativity (e.g., creative life) can be like an axis of telic weaving for manifold project-ivity, a telic cohering that is centripetal to thereby-“fueled” flows. Ultimately, it’s like the world itself worlding.

I love to “lose” myself in prospective flows, released to living inWorldness, enthrall and elation, manifolding, cohering, brightly scoping hunting gathering distilling intimacy of mystery.

Maybe it all becomes mere pretense, a less-than-divine comedy of human evolving quaintly instanced by this very finite little player.

I think otherwise, but I keep my sense of humor intact.

Next: Living fruitfully in the conceptuality of a good life

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