Return to Main page.
Created: (Posted) January 27, 2003.
Distributed by Dr. A. Kawczak at the 2002 Dabrowski conference.
You are invited to join a general discussion of Dabrowski's theory and raise any objection or question which may deepen our understanding of this theory and help overcome disagreements, misconceptions, and doubts. To facilitate our exchange of ideas you are encouraged to present your questions and/or comments in writing.
Here are examples of issues which might be dealt with in this session:
1] Is positive disintegration necessary to reach higher levels ?
Are there other alternative types and patterns of authentic mental development ?
2] Is positive disintegration a process that one can go through only once in a life time or can one experience positive disintegration several times ?
3] Can one be hypersensitive and overexcitable in some receptors and less than average, hyposensitive in other receptors ? In other words, can one be psychoneurotic and psychopathic at the same time, although not in the same respect ?
4] Is primary integration necessarily a negative concept ?
Is this concept always related to immaturity, uncultivated simplicity or vulgarity
Are there more refined, benevolent, and developmental forms of primary integration ?
5] Should we distinguish the depression during a creative process from the depression of an individual who is idling and aimlessly drifting, because he encountered insurmountable obstacles to creativity ?
6] What is the relationship between creativity and authentic, global mental development ? Is creativity of high quality possible without reaching higher levels of mental development ?
Can we distinguish between the types of creativity requiring empathy and those types which do not ?
7] Did Dabrowski deny the presence of pathological ingredients in all forms of neurosis ? Did he deny the usefulness of chemotherapy and other medical treatment ?
We can find in Lincoln distinct presence of all the characteristics cited by Dabrowski as indications of a very high level of mental development, particularly the level of autonomous personality and secondary integration. They are:
A self-chosen, self-confirmed and self-educating harmonious and stable organization of highly refined mental qualities, such as higher emotions, higher instincts, higher intellectual processes, interests, concerns, abilities, ambitions, aspirations and goals.
A high degree of autonomy
A high degree of authenticity
A dominant role of higher emotions
A high degree of insight into oneself
The disposing and directing center at its highest level
Retrospection and prospection
Profound reflection and autonomous behavior
Independent judgment and independence of the esteem of other people
A weakening of susceptibility to environmental influences
Diminution of psychophysiological tension
Broad and multilevel understanding of reality
Multidimensional knowledge, transcending narrow specialization and one-sided developmental interests
Manifold concerns, interests and involvement
Openness to the full range of experiences
A high level and great intensity of emotional life
Refusal to adjust to lower levels emotions and drives
Growing empathy toward other people
Universal compassion and responsibility
Clear hierarchy of values
The ability to recognize the actual hierarchy of values of other people and their hypocrisy
Goals of essential and lasting value
Freedom from jealousy and conceit
Courage of a high level
No regression into lower phases of development
Ability for further development
Constantly working on his own improvement and education
A growing need to transcend the sensory empirical reality
The clear presence of all these qualities makes Lincoln an eminent example of what we can identify as mental growth truly worthy of human beings.