Human Development and the Spiritual Life: How Consciousness by Ronald R. Irwin

By Ronald R. Irwin

The writer proposes a idea of the advance of awareness within which ego is the imperative agent of socialization and tradition and the driver in the back of person strength of mind and self-regulation. He reports the literature on identification and narrative; outlines the fields of highbrow, self, ethical, and cognizance improvement; and discusses the proof indicating that the advance of awareness trancends the restrictions of traditional ego development.

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However, A at t1 does not remain only as it was; it must be somehow suitably reorganized in reaching t2 to be a part ofB. Existing at t2 entails being able to perceive or understand what is at t 1 , but the reverse is not the case. B can comprehend A but A cannot perceive or understand B. There is an order or pattern to development such that tl leads to t2 and on to t 3 , such that you can never reverse or reorder the sequence to something like t 2, t 1, t3' B is more adapted or evolved than A.

And adapt it does, being prewired for attachment by millions of years of evolution. The child is prewired to maintain proximity to the mother and to experience anxiety if such proximity is threatened. As the child grows, the nature of this proximity becomes less physical, more emotional, and thereafter, more cognitive. As the child grows, the expectations regarding his or her behavior change. Punishment is the consequence of not fulfilling parental demands (see Kohlberg, Loevinger, and other ego theorists below).

And, by neurotic, I mean repressed. Humans are the species that adapt by repressing. While it may be possible that other species adapt in some limited ways by employing some kind of repressive measures, surely it is humans who exclusively employ repression in such a large-scale fashion. As much as we may lament the effects of a strict socialization-the process resulting in repression-it seems as if some degree of repression is necessary to civilization, at least as we know it. Children have to adapt to social reality.

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