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souls of Time

  individuation of wayfaring:
aspiring to flourish beyond subjectivity

gary e. davis
September 3, 2020
Most of human evolution has lived with subjection to nature and power.

No wonder that the legacy of understanding self as “subjectivity” is so naturalized—though the common sense is that being oneself is, as such, “subjective,” as if one is subject to oneself (i.e., intrinsically self-divided). To be non-subjective is to be—well, not subjective: Nature will kill you, if you’re not objective enough. Powers will exploit you, if you aren’t outwardly vigilant enough.

Both are quite true, such that outer-orientedness is especially vital if you’re not astute outwardly, or don’t know how to balance inner-directedness with outer-directedness well.

The prevailing reality of human evolution has been that survival depends on mastery of material worlds and effective organization of shared lives. Outer-directedness—at best, objectivity about self-efficacy, etc.—is necessary to survive (and thrive); and to contribute to social efficacy, which serves shared ground. Accordingly, living subject to objectivity (and sociocentrism) is supposed to prevail, while orientation to inner-directedness is to be minimized for the sake of surviving. Leisure can be the basis of culture because one has the time free.

The general overridingness of that reality has offered innumerable chances for power to keep that necessity overbearing through inhibition of chances for literacy and denial of time for individuation.

The notion of soul was initially articulated relative to realizations of inner poten-
tial for trans-material (or trans-objective) experience, which is also about trans-subjective psychality.

The classical soul/subject difference expresses earlier versions of the S/s differ-
ence that I’ve discussed. The concept of soul (not confined to the English tradition of ‘soul’) arose relative to subjection to embodied life that revealed itself as poten-
tially transcending objectivity. The notion of soul tropes realized potential for release from subjectivity.

But subjection doesn’t create the interest in individuation. The notion of soul isn’t dependent on subjection. Potential for higher individuation—for “soulful” flour-
ishing—is the intrinsic interest in self enhancement that all healthy children express.

Modernly, transpersonal psychology (a therapeutic version of humanistic psych-
ology) appeals to intrinsic desire for growing beyond a literal personhood that may also be constraining one’s potential. Much psychotherapy has postured itself in soul-enriching or spiritual terms.

However, given subjection which causes self-concealment of one’s intrinsic inter-
est in individuation, potential for individuation reveals itself inasmuch as one is open to oneSelf (commonly indicated in such terms as being “honest with your-
self” or “in touch with oneself”). The path of individuation may involve an exten-
ded sojourn away from subjection (to be methodically unconcealed), thereby de-naturalizing the given pretense that one’s personhood is all of oneself, which is then newly opened to its self-concealed potential for higher individuation.

That kind of insight has been integral to enlightenment traditions cross-culturally for at least several millennia as well as for traditional psychoanaysis (ch. 2), Analytical Psychology (Jungian tradition), and art therapy.

next—> from proximal personhood to one’s belonging in the scale of humanity



  Be fair. © 2020, gary e. davis