11 - Self-Actualizing People: A Study of Psychological Health


Personal Foreword


The study to be reported in this chapter is unusual in various ways. It was not planned as an ordinary resea)'{:h; it was not a social venture but a private one, motivated by my own curiosity and pointed tow'ard the solution of various personal moral, ethical, and scientific problems. I sought only to convince and to teach myself rather than to prove or to demonstrate to others. Quite lInexpecably, , however, these studies have proved to be so enlightening to me, and so laden with exciting implications, that it seems fair that some sort of report should be made to others in spite of its mcthodoiogicil shortcomings. In addition, I consider the problem of psychological health to be so pressing, that any suggestions, any bits of data, however moot, are endowed with great heuristic value. This kind of research is in principle so • difficult-involving as it docs a kind of lifting oneself by one's own norms -that if we were to wait for conventionally reliable data, we should have to wait forever. It seems ~hat the only manly thing to do is not to fear mistakes, to plunge in, to do the best that one can, hoping to learn enough from blunders to correct them eventually. At present the only alternative is simply to refuse to work with the problem. Accordingly, for whatever lise can be made of it, the following report is presented with due apologies to .hose who insist on conventional reliability, validity, sampling, etc.


Subjects and Methods


The subjects were selected from among personal acquaintances and friends, and from among public and historical figures. In addition, in a first research with young people, three thousand college students were screened, but yielded only one immediately usable subject and a dozen or two possible future subjects ("growing well"). I had to conclude that self-actualization of the sort I had found in my older subjects perhaps was not possible in our society for young, developing people. Accordingly, in collaboration with E. Raskin and D. Freedman, a search was begun for a panel of "datively healthy college students. \Ve arbitrarily decided to choose the healthiest I percent of the college population. This research, pursued over a two-year period as time permitted, had to be interrupted before completion, but it was, even so, very instructive at the clinical level. It was also hoped that figures created by novelists or dramatists could be used for demonstration purposes, but none were found that were usable in our culture and our time (in itself a thought-provoking finding). The first clinical definition, on the basis of which subjects were finally chosen or rejected, had a positive as well as a merely negative side. The negative criterion was an absence of neurosis, psychopathic personality, psychosis, or strong tendencies in these directions. Possibly psycho., somatic illness called forth closer scrutiny and scre~ning. Wherever possible, Rorschach tests were given, but turned out to be far more useful in revealing concealed psychopathology than in selecting healthy people. The positive criterion for selection was positive evidence of self-actualiza. tion (SA), as yet a difficult syndrome to describe accurately. For the purposes of this discussion, it may be loosely described as the full use and exploitation of talents, capacities, potentialities, etc. Such people seem to be fulfilling themselves and to be doing the best that they are capable of doing, reminding us of Nietzsche's exhortation, "Become what thou art!" They are people who have developed or are developing to the full stature of which they are capable (148, 160, 317, 398). These potentialities may be either idiosyncratic or species-wide. This criterion implies also gratification, past or present, of the basic needs for safety, belongingness, love, respect, and self-respect, and of the cognitive needs for knowledge and for understanding, or in a few cases, conquest of these needs. This is to say that all subjects felt safe and unanxious, accepted, loved and loving, respect-worthy and respected, and that they had worked out their philosophical, religious, or ~xiological bearings. It is still an open question as to whether this basic gratification is a sufficient or only a prerequisite condition of self-actualization. In general, the technique of selection used was that of iteration, previously used in studies of the personality syndromes of self-esteem and of security and described in Appendix B. This consists briefly in starting with the personal or cultural nontechnical state of belief, collating the various extant usages and definitions of the syndrome, and then defining it more carefully, still in terms of actual usage (what might be called the leXicographical stage), with, however, the elimination of the logical and factual inconsistencies customarily found in folk definitions. . On the basis of the corrected folk definition, the first groups of subjects are selected, a group who are high in the quality y and a group who are low in it. These people are studied as carefully as possible in the clinical style, and on the basis of this empirical study the original corrected folk definition is further changed and corrected as required by the data now in hand. This gives the first clinical definition. On the basis of this new definition, the original group of subjects is reselccted, some being retained, some being dropped, and some new ones being added. This second level group of subjects is then in its turn clinically, and if possible, experimentally and statistically studied, which in turn causes modification. correction, and enrichment of the first clinical definition, with which in tIIrn a new group of subjects is selected and so on. In this wayan originally vague and unscientific folk concept can become more and more exact, more and more operational in character, and therefore more scientific. Of course, external, theoretical, and practical considerations may intrude into this spiral.like process of self·correction. For instance, early in this study, it was found that folk usage was so unrealistically demanding that no living human being could possibly fit the definition. We had to stop excluding a possible subject on the basis of single foibles, mistakes, or foolishness; or to put it in another way, we could not use per. fection as a basis for selection, since no subject was perfect. Another such problem was presented by the fact that in all cases it was impossible to get full and satisfactory information of the kind usually demanded in clinical work. Possible subjects, when informed of the pur· pose of the research, became self-conscious, froze u~ laughed off the whole effort, or broke off the relationship. As a result, since this early experience, all older subjects have been studied indirectly, indeed almost surreptitiously. Only younger people can be studied directly. Since living people were studied ~hose names could not be divulged, two desiderata or even requirements of ordinary scientific work became impossible to achieve: namely, repeatability of the investigation and public availability of the data upon which conclusions were made. These difficulties are partly overcome by the inclusion of public and historical figures, and by the supplementary study of young people and children who could conceivably be used publicly. The subjects have been divided into the following categories:

Gathering and Presentation of the Data


Data here consist not so much in the usual gathering of specific and discrete facts as in the slow development of a global or holistic impression of the SOrt that we form of our friends and acquaintances. It was rarely possible to set up a situation, to ask pointed questions, or to do any testing with my older subjects (although this was possible and was done with younger subjects). Contacts were fortuitous and of the ordinary social sort. Friends and relatives were questioned where this was possible.

Because of this and also because of the small number of subjects as well as the incompleteness of the data for many subjects, any quantitative presentation is impossible: only composite impressions can be offered for whatever they may be worth. The holistic analysis of these total impressions yields. as the most important and useful whole characteristics of self-actualizing people for further clinical and experimental study, the following:


More Efficient Perception of Reality and More Comfortable Relations with It


The first form in which this capacity was noticed was as an unusual ability to detect the spurious, the fake, and the dishonest in personality, and in general to judge people correctly and efficiently. In an informal experiment with a group of college students, a clear tendency was discerned for the more secure (the more healthy) to judge their professors -more accurately than did the less secure students, i.e., high scorers in the $01 test (294). As the study progressed, it slowly became apparent that this efficiency extended to many other areas of life-indeed all areas that were observed. In art and music, in things of the intellect, in scientific matters, in politics and public affairs, they seemed as a group to be able to see concealed or confused realities more swiftly and more correctly than others. Thus an informal survey indicated that their predictions of the future from whatever -facts were in hand at the time seemed to be more often correct, because less based upon wish, desire, anxiety, fear, or upon generalized, character-determined optimism or pessimism. At first this was phrased as good taste or good judgment, the implication being relative and not absolute. But for many reasons (some to be detailed_ below), it has become progressively more clear that this had better he called perception (not taste) of something that was absolutely there . (reality, not a set of opinions). It is hoped that this conclusion--or hypothesis-can one day be put to the experimental test. If this is so, it would be impossible to overstress its importance. Money-Kyrle (338), an English psychoanalyst, has indicated that he believes it possible to calle- a neurotic person not only relatively but absoll/tely inefficient, simply because he does not perceive the real world so accurately or so efficiently as does the healthy person. The neurotic is not emotionally sick-he is cognitively wrongl If health and neurosis are, respectively, correct and incorrect perceptions of reality, propositions of fact and propositions of value merge in this area, and in principle, value propositions should then be empirically demonstrable rather than merely matters of taste or exhortation. For those who have wrestled with this problem it will be clear that we may have here a partial basis for a true science of values, and consequently of ethics, ~cial relations, politics, religion, etc. It is definitely possible that maladjustment or even extreme neurosis would disturb perception enough to affect acuity of perception of light or touch or odor. But it is probable that this effect can be demonstrated in spheres of perception removed from the merely physiological, e.g., Einstellung experiment (279), etc. It should also follow that the effects of wish, desire, prejudice, upon perception as in many recent experiments should be very much less in healthy people than in sick. A priori considerations encourage the hypothesis that this superiority in the perception of reality eventuates in a superior ability to reason, to perceive the truth, to come to conclusions, to be logical and to be cognitively efficient, in general. One particularly impressive and instructive aspect of this superior relationship with reality will be discussed as length in Chapter IS. It was found that self-actualizing people distinguished far more easily than most the fresh, concrete, and idiographic from the generic, abstract, and rubricized. The consequence is that they live more in the real world of nature than in the man-made ~ass of concepts, abstractions, expectations, beliefs, , and stereotypes that most people confuse with the world, They are therefore far more apt to perceive what is there rather than their own wishes, hopes, fears, anxieties, their own theories and beliefs, or those of their cultural group. "The innocent eye," Herbert Read has very effectively called it. The relationship with the unknown seems to be of exceptional promise as another bridge between academic and clinical psychology. Our healthy subjects are generally unthreatened and unfrightened by the unknown, being therein quite different from average men. They accept it, are comfortable with it, and, often are even more attracted by it than by the known. They not only tolerate the ambiguous and unstructured (135); they like it. Quite characteristic is Einstein's statement, "The most beautiful thing we can experi~nce is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science." These people, it is true, are the intellectuals, the researchers, and the scientists, so that perhaps the major determinant here is intellectual power. And yet we all know how many scientists with high IQ, through timidity, conventionality, anxiety, or other character defects, occupy themselve~ exclusively with what is known, with polishing it, arranging and rearranging it, classifying it, and otherwise puttering with it instead of discovering. as they are supposed to do. Since for healthy people, the unknown is not frightening, they do not have to spend any time laying the ghost, whistling past the cemetery, or otherwise protecting- themselves against imagined dangers. They do not neglect the unknown, or deny it, or run away from it, or try to make believe it is really known, nor do they organize, dichotomize, or rubricize it prematurely. They do not cling to the familiar, nor is their quest for the truth a catastrophic need for certainty, safety, definiteness, and order, such as we see in an exaggerated form in Goldstein's brain-injured or in the compulsive-obsessive neurotic. They can be, when the total objective situation calls for it. comfortably disorderly, slopply, anarchic, chaotic, vague, doubtful, uncertain, indefinite, approximate, inexact, or inaccurate (all, at certain moments in science, art, or life in general, quite desir. ahle). Thus it comes about that doubt, tentativeness, uncertainty, with the wnsequent necessity for abeyance of decision, which is for most a torture, can be for some a pleasantly stimulating challenge, a high spot in life rather than a low.


Acceptance (Self, Others, Nature)


A good many personal qualities that can be perceived on the surface and that seem at first to be various and unconnected may be understood as manifestations or derivatives of a more fundamental single attitude, namely, of a relative lack of overriding guilt, of crippling shame, and of extreme or severe anxiety. This is in direct contrast with the neurotic person who in every instance may be described as crippled by guilt andlor shame andlor anxiety. Even the normal member of our culture feels unnecessarily guilty or ashamed about too many things and has anxiety in too many unnecessary situations. Our healthy individuals find it poso sible to accept themselves and their own nature without chagrin or complaint or, for that matter, even without thinking about the matter very much. They can accept their own human nature in the stoic style, with all its shortcomings, with all its discrepancies from the ideal image without feeling real concern. It would convey the wrong impression to say that they are self-satisfied. What we must say rather is that they can take the frailties and sins, weaknesses, and evils of human nature in the same unquestioning spirit with which one accepts the characteristics of nature.

One does not complain about water because it is wet, or about rocks because they are hard, or .'bout trees because they are green. As the child looks out upon the world with wide, uncritical, undemanding, innocent eyes, simply noting and observing what is the case, without either arguing the matter or demanding that it be o,therwise, so does the selfactualizing person tend to look upon human nature in himself and in others. This is of course not the same as resignation in the eastern sense, but resignation too can be observed in our subjects, especially in the face of illness and death. Be it observed that this amounts to saying in another form what we have already described; namely, that the self-actualized person sees reality more clearly: our subjects see human nature as it is and not as they would prefer it to be. Their eyes see what is before them without being strained through spectacles of various sorts to distort or shape or color the reality (46). The first and most obvious level of acceptance is at the socalled animal level. Those self-actualizing people tend to be good animals, hearty in their appetites and enjoying themselves without regret or shame or apology. They seem to have a uniformly good appetite for food; they seem to sleep well; they seem to enjoy their sexuaUives without unnecessary inhibition and so on for all the relatively physiological impulses. They are able to accept themselves not only on these low levels, but at all levels as well; e.g., love, safety, belongingness, honor, self-respect. All oE, these are accepted without question as worth while, simply because these people are inclined to accept the work of nature rather than to argue with her for not having constructed things to a different pattern. This shows itself in a relative lack of the disgusts and aversions seen in average people and especially in neurotics, e.g., food annoyances, disgust with body products, body odors, and body functions. Closely related to self-acceptance and to acceptance of others is (I) their lack of defensiveness, protective coloration, or pose, and (2) their distaste for such artificialities in others. Cant, guile, hypocrisy, front, face, playing a game, trying to impress in conventional ways: these are all absent in themselves to an unusual degree. Since they can live comfortably even with their own shortcomings, these finally come to be perceived, especially in later life, as not shortcomings at all, but simply as neutral personal characteristics. This is not an absolute lack of guilt, shame, sadness, anxiety, defensive· ness; it is a lack of unnecessary or neurotic (because unrealistic) guilt, etc. The animal processes, e.g., sex, urination, pregnancy, menstruation, growing old, etc., are part of reality and so must be accepted. Thus no healthy woman need feel guilty or defensive about being female or about any of the female processes. What healthy people do feel guilty about (or ashamed, anxious, sad, or regretful) are (I) improvable shortcomings, e.g., laziness, thoughtlessness, loss of temper, hurting others; (2) stubborn remnants of psychological ill health, e.g., prejudice, jealousy, envy; (3) habits, which, though relatively independent of character structure, may yet be very strong, or (4) shortcomings of the species or of the culture or of the group with which they have identified. The general formula seems to be that healthy people wiII feel bad about discrepancies between what is and what might very well be or ou~ht to be (2, 148, 199).


Spontaneity; Simplicity, Naturalness


Self-actualizing people can all be described as relatively spontaneous in behavior and far more spontaneous than that in their inner life, thoughts, impulses, etc. Their behavior is marked by simplicity and naturalness, apd by lack of artificiality or straining for effect. This does not necessarily mean ~onsistently unconventional uehavior. If we were to take an actual count of the number of times that the self-actualizing person behaved in an unconventional manner the tally would not be high. His unconventionality is not superficial but essential or internal. It is his impulses, thought, consciousness that are so unusually unconventional, spontaneous. and natural. Apparently recognizing that the world of people in which he lives could not understand or accept this, and since he has no wish to hurt them or to fight with them over every triviality, he wiII go through the ceremonies and rituals of convention with a good-humored shrug and with the best possible grace. Thus I have seen a man accept an honor he laughed at and even despised in private, rather than make an issue of it and hurt the people who thought they were pleasing him. That this conventionality is a cloak that rests very lightly upon his shoulders and is easily cast aside can be seen from the fact that the self- .actualizing person infrequently allows convention to hamper him or inhibit him from doing anything that he considers very important or uasic. It is at such moments that his essential lack of conventionality appears. and not as with the average Bohemian or authority-rebel, who makes great issues of trivial things and who wiII fight against some unimportant regulation as if it were a world issue. This same inner attitude can also be seen in those moments when the person becomes keenly absorbed in something that is close to one of his main interests. He can then he seen quite casually to drop off all sorts of rules of behavior to which at other times he conforms; it is as if he has to make a conscious effort to be conventional; as if he were conventional voluntarily and by design. Finally, this external habit of behavior can be voluntarily dropped when in the company of people who do not (iemand or expect routine behavior. That this relative control of behavior is felt as something of a burden is seen by our subjects' preference for such company as allows them to be more free, natural, and spontaneous, and that relieves them of' what they find sometimes to be effortful conduct. One consequence or correlate of this characteristic is that these people have codes of ethics that are relatively autonomous and individua' rather than conventional. The unthinking observer might sometimes believe them to be unethical, since they can break down not only conventions but laws when the situation seems to demand it. But the very opposite is the case. They are the most ethical of people even though their ethics are not necessarily the same as those of the people around them. It is this kind of observation that leads us to understand very assuredly that the ordinary ethical behavior of the average person is largely conventional behavior rather than truly ethical behavior, e.g., behavior based on fundamentally accepted principles (which are perceived to be true). Because of this alienation from ordinary conventions and. from the ordinarily accepted hypocrisies, lies, and inconsistencies of social life, they sometimes feel like spies or aliens in a foreign land and sometimes behave so. I should not give the impression that they try to hide what-they are like. Sometimes they let themselves go deliberately, out of momentary irritation with customary rigidity or with conventional blindness. They may. for instance, be trying to teach someone or they may be trying to protect someone from hurt or injustice or they may sometimes find emotions bubbling up from within them that are so pleasant or even ecstatic that it seems almost sacrilegious to suppress them. In such instances I have observed that they are not anxious or guilty or ashamed of the impression that they make on the onlooker. It is their claim that they usually behave in a conventional fashion simply because no great issues are involved or because they know people will be hurt or embarrassed by any other kind of behavior. Their ease of penetration to reality, their closer approach to an animal-like or childlike acceptance and spontaneity imply a superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general (148, 388, 392). Clinical study of this capacity confirms beyond a doubt the opinion, e.g., of Fromm (145) that. the average normal, well-adjusted person often has not the slightest idea of what he is, of what he wants, of what his own opinions are. It was such findings as these that led ultimately to the discovery of a most profound difference between self-actualizing people and others; namely, that the motivational life of self-actualizing people is not only quantitatively different but also qualitatively different from that of ordinary people. It seems probable that we must construct a profoundly different psychology of motivation for self.actualizing people, e.g., metamotivation or growth motivation, rather than deficiency motivation. Per· haps it will be useful to make a distinction between living and preparing to live. Perhaps the ordinary concept of motivation should apply only to nonself-actualizers. Our subjects no longer strive in the ordinary sense, but rather develop. They attempt to grow to perfection and to develop more and more fully in their own style. The motivation of ordinary men is a striving for the basic need gratifications that they lack. But selfactualizing people in fact lack none of these gratifications; and yet they have impulses. They work, they try, and they are ambitious, even though in an unusu':ll sense. For them motivation is just character growth, char· acter expression, maturation, and development; in a word self·actualiza. tion. Could these self·actualizing people be more human, more revealing of the original nature of the species, closer to the species type in the taxonomical sense? Ought a biological species to be judged by its crippled, warped, only partially developed specimens, or by examples that have been overdomesticated, caged, and trained?


Problem Centering


Our subjects are in general strongly focused on problems outside themselves. In current terminology they are problem centered rather than ego centered, They generally are not problems for themselves and are not generally much concerned about themselves; e.g., as contrasted with the ,ordinary introspectiveness that one finds in insecure people. These individuals customarily have some mission in life, some task to fulfill, some problem outside themselves which enlists much of their energies (72, 134). This is not necessarily a task that they would prefer or choose for themselves; it may be a task that they feel is their responsibility, duty, or obligation. This is why we use the phrase "a task that they must do" rather than the phrase "a task that they want to do." In general these tasks are nonpersonal or unselfish, concerned rather with the good of mankind in general, or of a nation in general, or of a few individuals in the subject's family. With a few exceptions we can say that our objects are ordinarily concerned with basic issues and eternal questions of the type that we have learned to call philosophical or ethical. Such people live customarily in the widest possible frame of reference. They seem never to get so close to the trees that they fail to see the forest. They work within a framework of values that are broad and not petty, universal and not local, and in ' terms of a century rather than the moment. In a word, these people are all in one sense or another philosophers, however homely. Of course, such an attitude carries with it dozens of implications for every area of daily living. For instance, one of the main presenting symptoms originalIy worked with (bigness, lack of smalIness, triviality, or pettiness) can be subsumed under this more general heading. This impression of being above smalI things, of having a larger horizon, a wider breadth of vision, of living in the widest frame of reference, sub specie aeternitatis, is of the utmost social and interpersonal importance; it seems to impart a certain serenity and lack of worry over immediate concerns that make life easier not only for themselves but for all who are associated with them.


The Quality of Detachment; the Need for Privacy

For alI my subjects it is true that they can be solitary without harm to themselves and without discomfort. Furthermore, it is true for almost all that they positively lihe solitude and privacy to a definitely greater degree than the average person. It is often possible for them to remain above the battle, to remain unruffled, undisturbed by that which produces turmoil in others. They find it easy to be aloof, reserved, and also calm and serene; thus it becomes possible for them to take personal misfortunes without reacting violently as the ordinary person does. They seem to be able to retain their dignity even in undignified surroundings and situations. Perhaps this comes in part from their tendency to stick by their own interpretation of a situation rather than to rely upon what other people feel or think about the matter. This reserve may shade over into austerity and remoteness. This quality of detachment may have some connection with certain other qualities as well. For one thing it is possible to calI my subjects more objective (in all senses of that word) than average people. We have seen that they are more problem centered than ego centered. This is true even when the problem concerns themselves, their own wishes, motives, hopes, or aspirations. Consequently, they have the ability to concentrate to a degree not usual for ordinary men. Intense concentration produces as a by-product such phenomena as absent-mindedness, the ability to forget and to be oblivious of outer surroundings. Examples are the ability to sleep soundly, to have undisturbed appetite, to be able to smile and laugh through a period of problems, worry, and responsibility. In social relations with most people, detachment creates certain troubles and problems. It is easily interpr~ted by "normal" people as coldness, snobbishncss, lack of affection, unfriendliness, or even hostility. By contrast, the ordinary friendship relationship is more clinging, more demanding, more desirous of reassurance, compliment, support, warmth, and exclusiveness. It is true that seIr-actualizing people do not need others in the ordinary sense. But since this heing needed or being missed is thc usual earnest of friendship, it is evident that detachment will not easily be accepted by average people. Another meaning of autonomy is self-decision, self·government, being an active, responsible, self.disciplined, deciding agent rather than a pawn, or helplessly ~'determined" by others, being strong rather than weak. My subjects make up their own minds, come to their own decisions, are selfstarters, are responsible for thcmselves and their own destinies. It is a subtle quality, difficult to describe in words, and yet profoundly important. They taught me to see as profoundly sick, abnormal, or weak what I had always taken for granted as humanly normal; namely that too many pcople do not make up their own minds, but havc thcir minds made up for them by salesmen, advertisers, parents, propagandists, TV, newspapers and so on. They are pawns to be moved by others rather than self-moving, self·determining individuals. Therefore they are apt to feel helpless, weak, and totally determined; they are prey for predators, flabby whiners rather than self-determining, responsible persons. What this nomesponsibility means for self·choice politics and economics is of course obvious; it is catastrophic. Democratic self-choice society mus!:t have self-movers, selfqeciders, self·choosers who make up their own minds, free agents, freewillers. The extensive experiments by Asch (20) and by McClelland (326-328) permit us to guess that self·determiners come to perhaps 5 percent to' 30 percent of our population depending on the particular circumstances. Of my self-actualizing subjects, 100 percent are self-movers. Finally I must make a statement even though it will certainly be dis- ~urbing to many theologians, philosophers, and scientists: self-actualizing individuals have more "free will" and are less "determined" than average people are. However the words "free will" and "determinism" may come to be operationally defined, in this investigation they are empirical realities. Furthermore, they are degree concepts, varying in amount; they are not all-or-none packages.


Autonomy; Independence of Culture and Environment; Will; Active Agents


One of the characteristics of self-actualizing people, which to a certain extent crosscuts much of what we have already described, is their relative independence of the physical and social environment. Since they are propelled by growth motivation rather than by deficiency motivation, selfactualizing people are not dependent for their main satisfactions on the real world, or other people or culture or means to ends or, in general, on extrinsic satisfactions. Rather they are dependent for their own development and continued growth on their own potentialities and latent resources. Just as the tree needs sunshine and water and food, so do most people need love, safety, and the other hasic need gratifications that can come only from without. But once these external satisfiers are obtained, once these inner deficiencies are satiated by outside satisficrs, the true problem of individual human development begins, e.g., self-actualization, This independence of environment means a relative stability in th~ face of hard knocks, blows, deprivations, frustrations, and the like. These people can maintain a relative serenity in the midst of circumstances that would drive other people to suicide; they have also been described as "self-contained." Deficiency-motivated people must have other people available, since most of their main need gratifications (love, safety, respect, prestige, belongingness) can come only from other human beings. But growth-motivated people may actually be hampered by others. The determinants of satisfaction and of the good life arc for them now inner-individual and not social. They !J.ave become strong enough to be independent of the good opinion of other people, or even of their affection. The honors, the status, the rewards, the popularity, the prestige, and the love they can bestow must have become less important than self-development and inner growth (209, ~60, ~88, 403). We must remember that the best technique we know, even though not the only one, for getting to this point of relative independence from love and respect, is to have been given plenty of this very same love and respect in the past.


Continued Freshness of Appreciation


Self-actualizing people have the wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naIvely, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others-what C. Wilson has called "newness" (483). Thus for such a person, any sunset may be as beautiful as the first one, any flower may be of breath-taking loveliness, even after he has seen a million flowers. The thousandth baby he sees is just as miraculous a product as the first one he saw. He remains as convinced of his luck in marriage thirty years after his marriage and is as surprised by his wife's beauty when she is sixty as he was forty years before. For such people, even the casual workaday, moment-to·moment business of living can be thrilling, exciting, and ecstatic. These intense feelings do not come all the time; they come occasionally rather than usually, but at the most unexpected moments. The person may cross the river on the ferry ten times and at the eleventh crossing have a strong recurrence of the same feelings, reaction of beauty, and excitement as when he rode the ferry for the first time (I 15). ' There are some differences in choice of beautiful objects. Some sub· jects go primarily to nature. For others it is primarily children, and for a few subjects it has been primarily great music; but it may certainly be said that they derive ecstasy, inspiration, and strength from the basic experiences of life. No one of them, for instance, will get this same sort of reaction from going to a night club or getting a lot of money or having a good time at a party. Perhaps one special experience may be added. For several of my subjects the sexual pleasures and particularly the orgasm provided, not passing pleasure alone, but some kind of basic strengthening and revivifying that some people derive from music or nature. I shall say more about this in the section on the mystic experience. It is probable that this acute richness of subjective experience is an aspect of closeness of relationship to the concrete and fresh, per se reality discussed above. Perhaps what we call staleness in experience is a consequence of rubricizing or ticketing off a rich perception into one or another category or rubric 'as it proves to be no longer advantageous, or useful, or threatening or otherwise ego involved (46). I have also become convinced that getting used to our blessings is one of the most important nonevil generators of human evil, tragedy, and SUffering. What we take for granted we undervalue, and we are therefore too apt to sell a valuable birthright for a mess of pottage, leaving bchind regret, remorse, and a lowering of ~elf-esteem. Wives, husbands, children, friends are unfortunately marc apt to bc lovcd and appreciated after they have died than while they are still available. Something similar is true for physical health, for political freedoms, for economic well-being; we learn their true valuc after we have lost them. Herzberg's studies of "hygiene" factors in industry (193), Wilson's observations on the St. Neat's margin (481,483), my study of "low 6'Tumbles, ' high grumbles and metagrurnbles" (291) all show that life could he vastly improved if we could count our blessings as self-actualizing people can and do, and if we could retain their constant sense of good fortune and gratitude for it.


The Mystic Experience; The Peak Experience


Those subjective expressions that have been called the mystic experience and described so well by William James (212) are a fairly common experience for our subjects though not for all. The strong emotions described in the previous section sometimes get strong enough, chaotic, and widespread enough to be called mystic experiences. My interest and attention in this subject was first enlisted by several of my subjects who described their sexual orgasms in vaguely familiar terms which later I remembered had been used by various writers to describe what they called the mystic experience. There were the same feelings of limitless horizons opening up to the vision, the feeling of being simultaneously more powerful and also more helpless than one ever was hefore, the feeling of great ecstasy and wonder and awe, the loss of placing in time and space with, finally, the conviction that something extremely important and valttablc had happened, so that the subject is to some extent transformed and strengthened even in his daily life by such experiences. It is quite important to dissociate this experience from any theological or supernatural reference, even though for thousands of years they have been linked. Because this experience is a natural experience, well within the jurisdiction of science, I call it the peak experience. We may also learn from our subjects that such experiences can occur in a lesser degree of intensity. The theological literature has generally assumed an absolute, qualitative difference between the mystic experience and all others. As soon as it is divorced from supernatural reference and studied as a natural phenomenon, it becomes possible to place the mystic experience on a quantitative continuum from intense to mild. vVe discover then that the mild mystic experience occurs in_many, per-


haps even most individuals, and that in the favored individual it occurs often, perhaps even daily. Apparently the acute mystic or peak experience is a tremendous intensification of any of the experiences in which there is loss of self or transcendence 01 it, e.g., problem centering, intense concentration, muga behavior, as described by Benedict (40), intense sensuous experience, self-forgetful and intense enjoyment of music or art. Further studies of peak experiences are set forth in (252, 293, 295, 310, 315). I have learned through the years since this study was first begun in I (1.')5 (it is still going on) to lay far greater stress than I had at first on the differences between "peakers" and "nonpeakers." Most likely this is a difference of degree or amount, but it is a very important difference. Some of its consequences arc set forth in considerable detail detail in (315). If I had to sum it up very briefly, I would say that the nonpeaking selfactuaIizer~ ~eem so far to tend to be practical, effective people, mesomorphs living in the world and doing very well in it. Peakers seem also to live in the realm of Being; of poetry, esthetics; symbols; transcendence; "r"eiigion" of the mystical, personal, noninstitutional sort; aAd of endexperiences. My prediction is that this will turn out to be one of the crucial characterological "class differences," crucial especially for social life because it looks as though the "merely healthy" nonpeaking self-actualizers seem likely to he the social world improvers, the politicians, the workers in society, the reformers, the crusaders, whereas the transcending peakers are more apt to write the poetry, the music, the philosophies, and the religions.


Gemeinschaftsgefühl


This word, invented by Alfred Adler (2), is the only one available that describes well the flavor of the feelings for mankind expressed by selfactualizing subjects. They have for human beings in general a deep feeling of identification, sympathy, and affection in spite of the occasional anger, impatience, or disgust described below. Because of this . they have a genuine desire to help the human race. It is as if they were all memhers of a single family. One's feelings toward his brothers would be on the whole affectionate, even if these brothers were foolish, weak, or even if they were sometimes nasty. They would still be more easily forgiven th:ln strangers. If one's view is not general enough and if it is not spre:ld over a long· period of time, then one may not see this feeling of identification with mankind. The self-actualizing person is aftp.r all very different from other people in thought, impulse, behavior, emotion. 'When it comes down to it, in certain basic ways he is like an alien in a strange land. Very few really understand him, however much they may like him. He is often saddened, exasperated, and even enraged by the shortcomings of the average person, and while they are to him ordinarily no more than a nuisance, they sometimes become bitter tragedy. However far apart he is from them at times, he nevertheless feels a basic underlying kinship wit~ these creatures whom he must regard with, if not condescension, at least the knowledge that he can do many things better than they can, that he can see things that they cannot see, that the truth that is so clear to him is for most people veiled and hidden. This is what Adler called the olderbrotherly attitude.



Interpersonal Relations


Self-actualizing people have deeper and more profound interpersonal relations than any other adults (although not necessarily deeper than those of children). They are capable of more fusion, greater love, more perfect identification, more obliteration of the ego boundaries than other people would consider possible. There are, however, certain special characteristics of these relationships. In the first place, it is my observation that the other members of these relationships are likely to be healthier and closer to self-actualization than the average, often mU'c'h closer. There is high selectiveness here, considering the small proportion of such people in the general population. One consequence of this phenomenon and of certain others as well is that self-actualizing people have these especially deep ties with rather few individuals. Their circle of friends is rather small. The ones that they love profoundly are few in number. Partly this is for the reason that being very close to someone in this self-actualizing style seems to require a good deal of time. Devotion is not a matter of a moment. One subject expressed it like this: "I haven't got time for many friends. Nobody has, that is, if they are to be real friends." The only possible exception in my group was one woman who seemed to be especially equipped socially. It was almost as if her appointed task in life was to have close and warm and beautiful relations with all the members of her family and their families as well as all her friends and theirs. Perhaps this was because she was an uneducated woman who had no formal task or career. This exclusiveness of devotion can and does exist side by side with a widespreading Gemeinschaftsgefiihl, benevolence, affection, and friendliness (as qualified above). These people tend to be kind or at least patient to almost evcryone. They havc an especially tcndcr lovc for children and are easily touched by them. In a very real even though special sense, they love or rather have compassion for all mankind. This love does not imply lack of discrimination. The fact is that they can and do spcak realistically and harShly of those who deserve it, and especially of the hypocritical, the pretentious, the pompous, or the self-inflated. But thc face-to-face relationships even with these people do not always show signs of realistically low evaluations. One explanatory statement was about as follows: "Most people, after all, do not amount to much but they could have. They make all sorts of foolish mistakes and wind up being miserable and not knowing how they got that way when their intentions were good. Those who are not nice are usually paying for it in deep unhappiness. They should be pitied rather than attacked." Perhaps the briefest possible description is to say that their hostile reactions to others are (I) deserved, (2) for the good of the person attacked or for someone elsc's good. This is to say, with Fromm, that their hostility is not character based. but is reactive or situational. . ,All the subjects for whom I have data show in common another characteristic lhat is appropriate to mention here, namely, that they attract at least some admirers, friends or even disciples or worshippers. The relation between the individual and his train of admirers is apt to be rather one-sided. The admirers are apt to demand more than our individual is willing to give. And furthermore, these devotions can be rather embarrassing, distressing, and even distasteful to the self-actualizing person. since they often go beyond ordinary bounds. The usual picture is of our subject being kind and pleasant when forced into these rclationships. but ordinarily trying to avoid them as gracefully as possiblc.


The Democratic Character Structure


All my subjects without exception may be said to be democratic people in the deepest possible sense. I say this on the basis of a previous analysis o~ authoritarian (303) and democratic character structures that is too elaborate to present here; it is possible only to describe some aspects of 'this behavior in short space. These people have all the obvious or superficial democratic characteristics. They can pe and are friendly with anyone of suitable character regardless of class, education, political belief. race, or color. As a matter of fact it often seems as if they are not even aware of these differences, which are for the average person so obviolls and so important.


They have not only this most obvious quality but their democratic feeling goes deeper as well. For instance. they find it possible to learn from anybody who has something to teach them-no matter what other characteristics he may have. In such a learning relationship they do not try to maintain any outward dignity or to maintain status or age prestige or the like. It should even be said that my subjects share a quality that could be called humility of a certain type. They are all quite well aware of how little they know in comparison with what cOl/lei be known and what is known by others. Because of this it is possible for th{:m without' pose to be honestly respectful and even humble before people who can teach them something that they do not know or who have a skill they do not possess. They give this honest respect to a carpenter who is a good carpenter;.or for that matter to anybody who is a master of his own tools or his own craft. The careful distinction must be made bctwccn this democratic feeling and a lack of discrimination in taste, of an undiscriminating equalizing of anyone human heing with any other. These individuals, themselves elite, select for their friends elite, but this is an elite of character, capacity, and talent, rather than of birth, race, blood, name, family, age, youth, fame, or power. Most profound, hut also most vague is the hard-to-get-at-tenuency to give a certain quantum of respect to any human being just because he is a human individual; our subjects seem not to wish to go beyond a certain minimum point, even with scoundrels, of demeaning. of derogating, of robbing of dignity. AmI yet this goes along with their strong sense of right and wrong, of good and evil. They are morc likely rather than less likely to counterattack against evil men and evil hehavior. They are far Ie.ss ambivalent, confused or weak-willed about their own anger than avcrage men are.


Discrimination Between Means and Ends, Between Good and Evil


I have found none of my subjects to be chronically unsure about the difference between right and wrong in his actual living. Whether or not they could verbalize the matter, they rarely showed in their day-to-day living the chaos, the confusion, the inconsistency, or the conflict that are so common in the average person's ethical dealings. This may be phrased also in the following terms: these individuals are strongly ethical, they have definite moral standards, they do right and do not do wrong. Needless to say, their notions of right and wrong and of good and evil are often not the conventional ones.


One way of expressing the quality I am trying to describe was suggested by Dr. David Lcvy, who pointed out that a few centuries ago these would all havc been described as men who walk in the path of God or as godly mcn. A few say that thc)' believe in a God. but describe this God more as a metaphysical concept than as a personal figure. If religion is defined only in social-behavioral terms, then these are all religious people, the atheists included. But if more conservatively we use the term religion to stress the supernatural element and institutional orthodoxy (certainly the more common usage) then our answer must be quite different. for rhen very few of them are religious. Self:actualizing people most of the time behave as though, for them. means and ends arc clearly distinguishable. In general, they are fixed on ends rather than on means, and means are quite definitely subordinated to these ends. This, however, is an overly simple statement. Our subjects makc the situation more complex by often regarding as ends in themselves many cxperiences and activities that are, for other people, only means. Our subjects are somewhat more likely to appreciate for its own sa'ke, and in an absolute way, the doing itself; they can often enjoy for its own sake the getting to some place as well as the arriving. It is occasionally possible for them to make out of the most trivial and routine activity an intrinsically enjoyable game or dance or play. Wertheimer pointed out that most children are so creativc that they can transform hackneyed routine, mechanical, and rote experiences, e.g., as in one of his experiments. transporting books from one set of shelves to another, into a structured and amusing game of a sort by doing this according to a certain system or with a certain rhythm.


Philosophical, Unhostile Sense of Humor


One very early finding that was quite easy to make, because it was common to all my subjects, was that their sense of humor is not of the ordinary type. They do not consider funny what the average man considers to be funny. Thus they do not laugh at hostile humor (making people laugh by hurting someone) or superiority humor (laughing at someone else's inferiority) or authority-rebellion humor (the unfunny, Oedipal, or smutty joke). Characteristically what they consider humor is more closely allied to philosophy than to anything else. It may also be called the humor of the real because it consists in large part in poking flln at hllman beings in general when they are foolish, or forget their place in the universe, or try to be big when they are actually small. This can take the form of poking fun at themselves, but this is not done in any masochistic or downlike way. Lincoln's humor can serve as a suitable example. Probably Lincoln never made a joke that hurt anybody else; it is also likely that many or even most of his jokes had something to say, had a function beyond just producing a laugh. They often seemed to be education in a more palatable form, akin to parables or fables. On a simple quantitative basis, our subjects may be said to be humorous less often than the average of the population. Punning, joking, witty remarks, gay repartee, persiflage of the ordinary sort is much' less often seen than the rather thoughtful, philosophical humor that elicits a smile more usually than a laugh, that is intrinsic to the situation rather than added to it, that is spontaneous rather than planned, and that very often can never be repeated. It should not be surprising that the average man, accustomed as he is to joke books and belly laughs, considers our subjects to be rather on the sober and serious side. Such humor can be very pervasive; the human situation, human pride, seriousness, busy-ness, bustle, ambition, striving and planning can all be seen as amusing, humorous, even funny. I once understood this attitude, I thought, in a room full of "kinetic art," which seemed to me to be a humorolis parody of human life, with the noise, movement, turmoil, hurry and bustle, all of it going no place. This attitude also rubs off on professional work itself, which in a certain sense is also play, and which, though taken seriously, is somehow also taken lightly,


Creativeness


This is a universal characteristic of all the people studied or observed. There is no exception. Each one shows in one way or another a special kind of creativeness or originality or inventiveness that has certain peculiar characteristics. These special characteristics can be understood more fully in the light of discussion later in this chapter. For one thing, it is different from the special-talent creativeness of the Mozart type. We may as well face the fact that the so-called geniuses display ability that we do not understand. All we can' say of them is that they seem to be specially endowed with a drive and a capacity that may have rather little relationship to the rest of the personality and with which, from all evidence, the individuals seem to be born. Such talent we have no concern with here since it does not rest upon psychic health or basic satisfaction. The creativeness of the self·actualized man seems rather to be kin to the naIve and universal creativeness of unspoiled children. It '~eems to be more a fundamental characteristic of common human nature -a potentiality given to all human beings at birth. Most h~man beings lose this as they become enculturated, but some few individuals seem either to retain this fresh and naive, direct way of looking at life, or if they have lost it, as most people do, they later in life recover it. Santayana called this the "second naivete," a very good name for it: This creativeness appears in some of our subjects not in the usual forms of writing books, composing music, or producing artistic objects, but rather may be much more humble. It is as if this special type of creativeness, being an expression of healthy personality, is projected out upon the world or touches whatever activity the person is engaged in. In this sense there can be creative shoemakers or carpenters or clerks. Whatever one does can be done with a certain attitude, a certain spirit that arises out of the nature of the character of the person performing the act. One can even see creatively as the child does. This quality is differentiated out here for the sake of discussion, as if it were something separate from the characteristics that precede it and follow it, but this is not actually the case. Perhaps when we speak of creativeness here we are simply describing from another point of view, na,mely, from the point of view of consequences, what we have described above as a greater freshness, penetration, and efficiency of perception. These people' seem to see the true and the real more easily. It is because of this that they seem to other more limited men creative. Furthermore, as we have seen, these individuals are less inhibited, less constricted, less bound, in a word, less enculturated. In more positive terms, they are more spontaneous, more natural, more human. This too would have as one of its consequences what would seem to other people to be creativeness. If we assume, as we may from our study of children, that all people were once spontaneous, and perhaps in their deepest roots still are, but that these people have in addition to their deep spontaneity a superficial but powerful set of inhibitions, then this spontaneity must be checked so as not to appear very often. If there were no dlOking-off forces, we might expect that every human being would show this special type of creativeness (10, 307).


Resistance to Enculturation; the Transcendence of any Particular Culture


Self-actualizing people are 'not well adjusted (in the naive sense of approval of and identification with the culture). They get along with the culture in various ways, but of all of them it may be said that in a certain profound and meaningful sense they resist enculturation (295) and maintain a certain inner detachment from the culture in which they are


immersed. Since in the culture-and-personality literature very little has been said about resistance to molding by the culture, and since, as Riesman (398) has clearly pointed out, the saving remnant is especially important for American society, even our meager data are of some importance. On the whole the relationship of these healthy people with their much less healthy culture is a complex one; from it can be teased out at least the following components. 1. All these people fall well wi'thin the limits of apparent conventionality in choice of clothes, of language, of food, of ways of doing things in our culture. And yet they are not really conventional, certainly not fashionable or smart or chic. The expressed inner attitude is usually that it is ordinarily of no great consequence which folkways are used, that one set of traffic rules is as good as any other set, that while they make life smoother they do not really matter enough to make a fuss about. Here again we see the general tendency of these people to accept most states of affairs that they consider unimportant or unchangeable or not of primary concern to them as individuals. Since choice of shoes, or style of haircut or politeness, or manner of behaving at a party are not of primary concern to any of the individuals studied, they are apt to elicit as a reaction only a shrug of the shoulders. These are not moral issues. But since this tolerant acceptance of harmless folkways is not warJl1 approval with identification, their yielding to convention is apt to be rather casual and perfunctory, with cutting of corners in favor of directness, honesty, saving of energy, etc. In the pinch, when yielding to conventions is too annoying or too expensive, the apparent conventionality reveals itself for the superficial thing that it is, and is tossed off as easily as a cloak. 2. Hardly any of these people can be called authority rebels in the adolescent or hot sense. They show no active impatience or moment-tomoment, chronic, long-time discontent with the culture or preoccupation with changing it quickly, although they often enough show bursts of indignation with injustice. One of these subjects, who was a hot rebel in his younger days, a union organizer in the days when this was a highly dangerous occupation, has given up in disgust and hopelessness. As he became resigned to the slowness of social change (in this culture and in this era) he turned finally to education of the young. All the others show what might be called a calm, long.time concern with culture improvement that seems to me to imply an acceptance of slowness of change along with the unquestioned desirability and necessity of such change. This is by no means a lack of fight. When quick change is-possible or


when resolution and courage are needed, it is available in these people. :\lthough they are not a radical group of people in the ordinary sense, I think they easily could be. First of all, this is primarily an intellectual group (it must be remembered who selected them), most of whom already have a mission, and feel that they are doing something really important LO improve the world. Second, they are a realistic group and seem to be unwilling to make great but useless sacrifices. In a more drastic situation it seems very likely that they would be willing to drop their work in favor of radical social action, e.g., the anti-Nazi underground in Germany or in France. My impression is that they are not against fighting but only against ineffective fighting. Another point that came up very commonly in discussion was the desirability of cnjoying life and having a good time. This seems to all but one to be incompatible with hot and full-time rebelliousness. Furthel:- more, it seems to them that this is lOO great a sacrifice to make for the slllall returns expected. Most of them have h;H! their episodes of fighting, impatience, and eagerness in youth, and in most cases have learned that -L\leir optimism about quick change was unwarranted. What they settled down to as a group was an accepting, calm, good-humored everyday effort to improve' lhe ClIlture, usually from within. rather than to reject it wholly and fight it from without. 3. An inner feeling of detachment from the culture is not necessarily conscious but is displayed by almost all, particularly in discussions of the American culture as a whole, in various comparisons with other cultures, and in the fa(:t that they very frequently seem to be able to stand off from it as if they did not quite belong to it. The mixture of varying proportions of affection or approval and hostility or criticism indicated that they select from American culture what is good in it by their lights and reject what they think bad in it. In a word they weigh it, assay it, taste it, and then make their own decisions. This is certainly very different from the ordinary sort of passive yielding to cultural shaping displayed for instance by the ethnocentric subjects of the many studies of authoritarian personalities. It is also different from the total rejection of what after all is a relatively good culture, that is, when compared with other cultures that actually exist, rather than fantasied heavens of perfGction (or as one lapel button put it, Nirvana Now!). Detachment from the culture is probably also reflected in our selfactualizing subjects' detachment from people and their liking for privacy, which has been described above, as also in their less than average need for the familiar and customary. 4. For these and other reasons they may be called autonomous, i.e.,


ruled by the laws of their own character rather than by the rules of society. It is in this sense that they are not only or merely Americans, but also to a greater degree than others, members at large of the human species. To say that they are above or beyond the American wlture would be misleading if interpreted strictly, for after ~ll they speak American, act American, have American characters, etc. And yet if we compare them with the oversocialized, the robotized, or the ethnocentric, we are irresistibly tempted to hypothesize that this group is not simply another subcultural group, but rather less encul· tlIrated, less flattened out, less molded. This implies degree. and placing on a continuum that ranges from relative acceptance of the culture to relative detachment from it. If this turns out to be a tenable hypothesis, at least one other hypoth. esis can be deduced from it, that those individuals in different cultures who are more detached from their own culture should not only have less national character but also should be more like each other in certain respects than they are like the less developed members of their own societies. In summary the perennial question, Is it possible to be a good or healthy man in an imperfect culture? has been answered by the observa· tion that it is possible for relatively healthy people to develop in the American culture. They manage to get along by a complex combination of inner autonomy and outer acceptance that of course will be possible, only so long as the culture remains tolerant of this kind of detached with· holding from complete cultural identification. Of course this is not ideal health. Our imperfect society clearly forces inhibitions and restraints upon our subjects. To the extent that they have to maintain their little secrecies, to that extent is their spontaneity lessened and to that extent are some of their potentialities not actualized. And since only few people can attain health in our culture (or perhaps in any culture), those who do attain it are lonely for their own kind and are therefore less spontaneous and less actualized. 1


The Imperfections of Self-Actualizing People


The ordinary mistake that is made by novelists, poets, and essayists about the good human being is to make him so good that he is a caricature, so that nobody would like to be like him. The individual's own wishes for perfcction, and his guilt and shame about shortcomings are projected upon various kinds of people from whom the average man demands much more than he himself gives. Thus teachers and ministers are sometimes conceived to be rather joyless people who have no mundane desires and who have no weaknesses. It is my belief that most of the novelists who have attempted to portray good (healthy) people did this sort of thing, making them into stuffed shirts or marionettes or unreal projections of unreal ideals, rather than into thc robust, hearty, lusty individuals they really arc. Our subjects show many of the lesser human failings. They too are equipped with silly, wasteful, or thoughtless habits. They can be boring, slUbborn, irritating. They are by no means free from a rather superficial vanity, pride, partiality to their own productions, family, friends, and children. Temper outbursts are not rare. Our subjects are occasionally capable of an extraordinary and unexpected ruthlessness. It must be remembered that thcy are very strong people. This makes it possible for them to display a surgical coldness when this is called for, beyond the power of the average man. The man who found that ",long-trusted acquaintance was dishonest cut himself off from this fricm:ship sharply and abruptly and without any observable pangs whatsoever. Another woman who was married to someone she did not love, when she decided on divorce, did it with a decisiveness that looked almost like ruthlessness. Some of them recovcr so quickly from the death of people close to them as to seem heartless. Not only are these people strong but also they are independent of lheopinions of other people. One woman, extremely irritated by the stuffy conventionalism of some individuals she was introduced to at a gathering, went out of her way to shock these people by her language and behavior. One might say it was all right for her to react to irritation in this way. but another result was that these people were completely hostile not only to the woman but to the friends in whose home this meeting took place. While our subject wanted to alienate these people, the host and hostess did not. We may mention one more example that arises primarily from the absorption of our subjects in an impersonalworld. In their concentration, in their fascinated interest, in their intense concentration on some phenomenon or question, they may become absent-minded or humorless and forget their ordinary social politeness. In such circumstances, they are apt to show themselves more clearly as essentially not interested in chatting, gay conversation, party-going. or the like, they may use language or behavior that may be very distressing, shocking. insulting, or hurtful to others. Other undesirable (at least from the point of view of others) consequences of detachment have been listed above. Even their kindness can lead them into mistakes, e.g., marrying out of pity, getting too closely involved with neurotics, bores, unhappy people, and then being sorry for it, allowing scoun~rels to impose on them for a while, giving more than they should so that occasionally they encourage parasites and psychopaths, etc. Finally, it has already been pointed out that these people are ?lot free of guilt, anxiety, sadness, seH-castigation, internal strife, and conflict. The fact that these arise out of nonneurotic sources is of little consequence to most people today (even to most psychologists) who are therefore apt to think them unhealthy for this reason. What this has taught me I think all of us had better learn. There are no perfect human beings! Persons can be found who are good, very good indeed, in fact, great. There do in fact exist creators, seers, sages, saints, shakers, and movers. This can certainly give us hope for the future of the species even if they are uncommon and do not come by the dozen. And yet these very same people .can at times be boring, irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, or depressed. To avoid disillusionment with human nature, we must first give up our illusions about it.


Values and Self-Actualization


A firm foundation for a value system is automatically furnished to the self-actualizer by his philosophic acceptance of the nature of his self, of human nature, of much of social life, and of nature and physical reality. These acceptance values account for a high percentage of the total of his individual value judgments from day to day. What he approves of, disapproves of, is loyal to, opposes or proposes, what pleases him or displeases him can often be understood as surface derivations of this source trait of acceptance. Not only is this foundation automatically (and universally) supplied to all self·actualizers by their intrinsic dynamics (so that in at least this respect fully developed human nature may be universal and cross-cultural); other determiners are supplied as well by these same dynamics. Among these are (1) his peculiarly comfortable relationships with reality, (2) his Gemeinschaftsgefiihl, (3) his basically satisfied condition from which flow, as epiphenomena, various consequences of surplus, of wealth, overRowing abundance, (4) his characteristically discriminating relations to means and ends, etc. (see above). One most important consequence of this attitude toward the world -as well as a validation of it-is the fact that conflict and struggle, ambivalence and uncertainty over choice lessen or disappear in many areas of life. Apparently much so-called "morality" is largely an epiphenomenon of nonacceptance or dissatisfaction. Many problems are seen to be gratuitous and fade out of existence in the atmosphere of pagan acceptance. It is not so much that the problem is solved as that it becomes clearly seen that it never was an intrinsic problem in the first place, but only a sickman-created one, e.g., card-playing, dancing, wearing short dresses, exposing the head (in some churches) or not exposing the head (in others). drinking wine, or eating some meats and not others, or eating them on some days but not on others. Not only are such trivialities deflated; the process also goes on at a more important level, e.g., the relations between the sexes. attitudes toward the structure of the body and toward its functioning, and toward death itself. The pursuit of this finding to more profound levels has suggested to the writer that much else of what passes for morals, ethics, and values may be simple by-products of the pervasive psychopathology of the average. ,Many conflicts, frustrations, and threats (which force the kind of choice in which v~lue is expressed), evaporate or resolve for the self-actualizing person in the same way as do, let us say, conflicts over dancing. For him the seemingly irreconcilable battle of the sexes .becomes no conflict at all but rather a delightful collaboration. The antagonistic interests of adults and children turn out to be not so antagonistic after all. Just as with sex and age differences, so also is it with natural differences, class and caste differences. political differences, role differences, religious differences, etc. As we know, these are each fertile breeding grounds for anxiety, fear, hostility, aggression, defensiveness, and jealousy. But it begins to appear that they need not be, for our subjects' reaction to differences is much less often of this undesirable type. They are more apt to enjoy differences than to fear them. To take the teacher-student relationship as a specific paradigm, our teacher subjects behaved in a very unneurotic way simply by interpreting the whole situation differently, e.g., as a pleasant collaboration rather than as a clash of wills, of authority, of dignity, etc.; the replacement of artificial dignity-that is easily and inevitably threatened-with the natural simplicity that is not easily threatened; the giving up of the attempt to be omniscient and omnipotent; the absence of student-threatening authoritarianism; the refusal to regard the students as competing with each other or with the teacher; the refusal to assume the professor stereotype and the insistence on remaining as realistically human as, say, a plumber or a carpenter; all of these create a classroom atmosphere in which suspicion, wariness, defensiveness, hostility, and anxiety tend to disappear. So also do similar threat responses tend to disappear in marriages, in families and in other interpersonal situations when threat itself is reduced. The principles and the values of the desperate man and of the psychologically healthy man must be different in at least some ways. They have profoundly different perceptions (interpretations) of the physical world, the social world and the private psychological world, whose organization and economy is in part the responsibility of the person's value system. For the basically deprived man the world is a dangerous place, a jungle, an enemy territory populated by (I) those whom he can dominate and (2) those who can dominate him. His value system is of necessity, like that of any jungle denizen, dominated and organized by the lower needs, especially the creature needs and the safety needs. The basically satisfied person is in a different case. He can afford out of his abundance to take these needs and their satisfaction for granted and can devote himself to higher gratifications. This is to say that their value systems are different, in fact must be different. The topmost portion of the value system of the self-actualized person is entirely unique and idiosyncratic-character-structure-expressive. This must be true by definition, for self-actualization is actualization of a self, and no two selves are altogether alike. There is only one Renoir, one Brahms, one Spinoza. Our subjects had very much in common, as we have, seen, and yet at the same time were more completely individualized, more unmistakably themselves, less easily confounded with others than any average control group could possibly be. That is to say. they are simultaneously very much alike and very much unlike each other. They are more completely individual than any group that has ever been described, and yet are also more completely socialized, more identified with humanity than any other group yet described. They are closer to both their specieshood and to their unique individuality.


The Resolution of Dichotomies in Self-Actualization


At this point we may finally allow ourselves to generalize and underscore a very important theoretical conclusion derivable from the study of selfactualizing people. At several p01nts in this chapter-and in oth.er chapters as well-it was concluded that what had been considered in the past to be polarities or opposites or dichotomies were so only in less healthy people. In healthy people, these dichotomies were resolved, the polarities


disappeared, and many oppositions thought to be intrinsic merged and coalesced with each other to form unities. But see also (82). For example the age-old opposition between heart and head, reason and instinct, or cognition and conation was seen to disappear in healthy people where they become synergic rather than antagonists, and where conflict between them disappears because they say the same thing and point to the same conclusion. In a word in these people, desires are in excellent accord with reason. St. Augustine's "Love God and do as you will" can easily be translated, "Be healthy and then you may trust your impulses." The dichotomy between selfishness and unselfishness disappears altogether in healthy people because in principle every act is both selfish and unselfish (312). Our subjects are simultaneously very spiritual and very pagan and sensual even to the point where sexuality becomes a path to the spiritual and "religious." Duty cannot be contrasted with pleasure nor work with play when duty is pleasure, when work is play, and the person doing his duty and being virtuous is simultaneously seeking his pleasure and being happy. If the most socially identified people are themselves also the most individualistic people, of what use is it to retain the polarity? If the most mature are also childlike? And if the most ethical and moral people are also the lustiest and most animal? Similar findings have been reached for kindness-ruthlessness, concreteness-abstractness, acceptance-rebellion, self-society, adjustment-maladjust. ment, detachment from others-identification with others, serious-humorous, Dionysian-Apollonian, introverted-extraverted, intense-casual, seriousfrivolous, conventional-unconventional, mystic-realistic, active-passive, masculine-feminine. lust-love, and Eros-Agape. In these people, the id, the ego, and the superego are collaborative and synergic; they do not war with each other nor are their interests in basic disagreement as they are in neurotic people. So also do the cognitive, the impulsive and the emotional coalesce into an organismic unity and into a non-Aristotelian interpenetration. The higher and the lower are not in opposition but in agreement, and a thousand serious philosophical dilemmas are discovered to have more than two horns, or, paradoxically, no horns at all. If the war between the sexes turns out to be no war at all in matured people, but only a sign of cripplil1g and stunting of growth, who then would wish to choose sides? Who would deliberately and knowingly choose psychopathology? Is it necessary to choose between the good woman and the bad, as if they were mutually exclusive, when we have found that the really healthy woman is both at the same time? In this. as in other ways, healthy people are so different from average ones, not only in degree but in kind as well, that they generate two very different kinds of psychology. It becomes more and more clear that the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy. The study of self. actualizing people must be the basis for a mO,re universal science of psychology.



12 - Love in Self-Actualizing People


It is amazing how little the empirical sciences have to offer on the subject of love. Particularly strange is the silence of the psychologists, for one might think this to be their particular obligation. Probably this is just another example of the besetting sin of the academicians, that they prefer to do what they are easily able rather than what they ought. like the notso-bright kitchen helper I knew who opened every can in the hotel one day because he was so very good at opening cans. I must confess that I understand this better now that I have undertaken the task myself. It is an extraordinarily difficult subject to handle in any tradition. And it is triply so in the scientific tradition. It is as if we were at the most advanced position in no man's land, at a point where the COi'\ventional techniques of orthodox psychological science are of very little use. (As a matter of fact, it was this inadequacy that made necessary the development of new methods of getting information about this and other uniquely human reactions. These in turn have led on toward a different philosophy of science (292, 376). Our duty is clear here. We must understand love; we must be able to teach it, to create it, to predict it, or else the world is lost to hostility and to suspicion, The importance of the goal lends worth and dignity e\'Cn to such unreliable data as are herein offered. The research. the subjects, and the major findings have already been described in the previous chapter. The specific question before us now is, what have these people to teach us about love and sex?



A Preliminary Description of Some Characteristics of Love Between the Sexes


We shall mention first some of the better-known characteristics of love between the sexes and then proceed to the more special findings of our study of self-actualizing people. The core of the description of love must be subjective or phenomenological rather than objective or behavioral. No description, no words can ever communicate the full quality of the love experience to one who has himself never felt it. It consists primarily of a feeling of tenderness and affection with great enjoyment, happiness, satisfaction, elation, and even ecstasy"in experiencing this feeling (if all is going well). There is a tendency to want to get closer, to come into more intimate contact, to touch and embrace the loved person, to yearn for him. This person furthermore is perceived in some desirable way, whether as beautiful, as good, or as attractive; in any case, there is pleasure in looking at and being with the loved one and distress and depression in separation from him. Perhaps from this comes the tendency to focus attention upon the love(l person, along with the tendency to forget other people, and to narrow perception in such a way that many things are not noticed. It is as if the loved person were in himself attractive, and pulled the attention and perception of the loving person. This feeling of pleasure in contact and in being with, shows itself also in the desire to be together with the loved one as much as possible in as many situations as possible; in work, in play, during aesthetic and intellectual pursuits. There is often expressed a desire to share pleasant experiences with the loved person so that it is often reported that the pleasant experience is more pleasant because of the presence of the sweetheart. Finally, of course, there is a special sexual arousal in the lover. This, in the typical instance, shows itself directly in genital changes. The beloved person seems to have a special power that nobody else in the world has to the same degree of producing erection and secretion in the partner, of arousing specific conscious sexual desire, and of producing the usual pricklings and tinglings that go with sexual arousal. And yet this is not essential, since love can be observed in people who are too old for sexual intercourse.


The desire for intimacy is not only physical but also psychological. It expresses itself frequently as a special taste for privacy for the pair. In addition to this, I have observed often the growth in a pair who love each other of a secret language, secret sexual words that other people cannot understand, and of special tricks and gestures that only the lovers understand. Quite characteristic is the feeling of generosity, of wanting to give and to please. The lover gets special pleasure from doing things for and making gifts to the loved one. 1 Very common is the desire for a fuller knowledge of one another, a yearning for a kind of psychological intimacy and psychological proximity and of being fully known to each other. Special delight in sharing secrets is common. Perhaps these are subexamples that come under the broader heading of personality fusion, of which we shall speak below. A common example of the tendency to generosity and to do things for the one who is loved are the very common fantasies in which a person will imagine himself making great sacrifices for the sake of his sweetheart. ; (There are of course other love relationships, for example between friends, brothers, parent and child. I must at least mention my suspicion, arrived at in the course of these investigations, that the purest love for the Being of the other-B·love-is found in some grandparents.)


Developing of Defenses in Self-Actualizing Love Relationships


Theodor Reik (393, p. 171) has defined one characteristic of love as the absence of anxiety. This is seen with exceptional clearness in healthy individuals. There is little question about the tendency to more and more complete spontaneity, the dropping of defenses, the dropping of roles, and of trying and striving in the relationship. As the relationship con· tinues, there is a growing intimacy and honesty and self·expression, which at its height is a rare phenomenon. The report from these people is that with a beloved person it is possible to be oneself, to feel natural; "I can let my hair down:' This honesty also includes allowing one's faults, weaknesses, and physical and psychological shortcomings to be freely seen by the partner, There is much less tendency to put the best foot forward in the healthy love relationship. This goes so far as to make less likely the hiding even of physical defects of middle and old age, of false te~th, braces, ~irdles, and the like. There is much less maintenance of distance, mystery. and glamour, much less reserve and concealment and secrecy. This complete dropping of the guard definitely contradicts folk wisdom on the subject, not to mention some of the psychoanalytic theorists. For instancc, Rei~ believes that being a good pal and being a good sweetheart are mutually exclusive and contradictory. My data, or rather my impressions seem to indicate the contrary. My data definitely contradict also the age-old theory of intrinsic hostility between the sexes. This hostility between the sexes, this suspicion of the opposite sex, this tendency to identiCy with olle's own sex is an alliance against the other sex, even the \'ery phrasing of "oppositc" sex is found often enough in neurotic people amI even in average citizens in our society, but it is definitely not found in self-actualizing people, at least with the resources for investigation that I had at my disposal. Another finding that contradi<:ts folk wisdom and also some of the more esoteric theorists on sexuality and love, is the definite indication that in self-actualizing people the quality of the love satisfactions and the sex satisfactions may both impro\'e with the length of lherelationship. It seems quite clear that even the strictly sensual and physical satisfactions Gill be improved by familiarity with the partner rather than by novelty in healthy people. Of course, there is little doubt that novelty in the sexual partner is. very exciting and attractive for many people, but 0111' data make it very unwise to make any generalization ahout this, and certainly not for self-actualizing people. We may sum up this characteristic of self-actualizing love in the generalizatioa that healthy love is in part an absence of defenses, that is to say, an increase in spontaneity and in honesty. The healthy love relationship tends to make it possihle for two people to be spontaneous, to know each other, and still to love each other. Of course, this implies that as one gets to know another person more and more intimately and profoundly, one will like what one sees. If the partner is profoundly bad rather than good, increasing familiarity will produce not increasing preference but increasing antagonism and revulsion. This recalls a finding that I made in a little study of the effects of familiarization on paintings. My finding was that good paintings become more and more preferred and enjoyed with increasing familiarization, but that bad paintings become less and less preferred. The difficulty of deciding at that time on some objective criterion of good and bad in paintings was so great that I preferred not to publish the finding. But if I may be permitted this amount of subjectivism, I will say that the better people are, the more they will be loved with greater familiarity; the worse people are the less they will be liked as familiarity increases. One of the deepest satisfactions coming from the healthy love relationship reported by my subjects is that such a relationship permits the greatest spontaneity, the greatest naturalness, the greatest dropping of defenses and protection against threat. In such a relationship it is not necessary to be guarded, to conceal, to try to impress, to feel tense, to watch one's words or actions, to suppress or repress. My people report that they can be themselves without feeling that there are demands or expectations upon them; they can feel psychologically (as well as physically) naked and still feel loved and wanted and secure. Rogers has described this well (401a, p. 159). "'Loved' has here per- ; haps its deepest and most general meaning-that of being deeply understood and,deeply accepted.... We can love a person only to the extent that we are not threatened by him; we can love only if his reactions to us, or to those things which affect us, arc understandable to us.... Thus, if a person is hostile toward me, and I can see nothing in him at the moment except the hostility, I am quite sure that I will react in a defensive way to the hostility." Menninger (335a, p. 22) describes the reverse side of the coin. "Love is impaired less by the feeling that we are not appreciated than by a dread, more or less dimly felt by everyone, lest others see through our masks, the masks of repression that have been forced upon us by convention and culture. It is this that leads us to shun intimacy, to maintain friendships on a superficial level, to underestimate and fail to appreciate others lest they come to appreciate us too well." These conclusions are further supported by the greater freedom of hostility and anger expression in our subjects as well as in their lowered need for conventional politeness with each other.


The Ability to Love and to be Loved


My subjects were loved and were loving, and are loved and are loving. In practically all (not quite all) my subjects where data were available, this tended to point to the conclusion that (all other things being equal) psy-chological health comes from being loved rather than from being deprived of love. Granted that the ascetic path is a possible one, and that frustration has some good effects, yet basic need gratification seems to be much more the usual precursor or Anlage of health in our society. This seems to be true not only for being loved but for 10vi11g as well. (That other requirements are also necessary is proven by the psychopathic personality, especially as exemplified by Levy's (264) indulged psychopath.) It is also true of our sel£-actualizing people that they now love and are loved. For certain reasons it had better be said that they have the power to love and the ability to be loved. (Even though this may sound like a repetition of the sentence, before, it is really not.) These are clinically observed facts, and are quite public and easily confirmed or disconfirmed. Menninger (335a) makes the very acute statement that human beings really do want to love each other but just do not know how to go about it. This is much less true for healthy people. They at least know how to love, and can do so freely and easily and naturally and without getting wound up in conflicts or threats or inhibitions. However, my subjects used the word love warily and with circumspection. They applied it only to a few rather than to many. tending to distinguish sharply between loving someone and liking him or being friendly or benevolent or brotherly. It described for them an intense feel. ing, not a mild or disinterested one.


Sexuality in Self-Actualizing Love


We can learn a very great deal from the peculiar and complex nature of sex in the love life of self-actualizing people. It is by no means a simple story; there are many interwoven threads. Nor can I say that I have many data. Information of this sort is hard to come by in private people. On the whole, however, their sex life, as much as I know of it, is characteristic and can be described in such a way as to make possible guesses, both posi. tive and negative, about the nature of sex as well as about the nature of love. For one thing it can be reported that sex and love can be and most often are more perfectly fused with each other in healthy people. Although it is perfectly true that these are separable concepts, and although no purpose would be served in confusing them with each other unnecessarily (393, 442), still it must be reported that in the life of healthy people, they tend to become joined and merged with each other. As a matter of fact we may also say that they become less separable and less separate from each other in the lives of the people we have studied. \Ve cannot go so far as some who say that any person who is capable of having sexual pleasure where there is no love must be a sick man. But we can certainly go in this direction. It is certainly fair to say that self-actualizing men and women tend 011 the whole not to seek sex for its own ~ake, or to be satisfied with it alone when it comes. I am not sure that my data permit me to say that they would rather not have sex at all if it came without affection, but I am quite sure that I have a fair number of instances in which for the time being at least sex was given up or rejected because it came without love or affection. 2 Another finding already reported in Chapter I I is the very strong impression that the sexual pleasures are found in their most intense and ecstatic perfection in self-actualizing people. If love is a yearning for the perfect and for complete fusion, then the orgasm as sometimes reported hy self.actualizing people becomes the attainment of it. Experiences described in reports that I have obtained have indeed been at so great a level of intensity that I felt it justifiable to rerord them as mystic experi- 'ences. Such phrases as too big to assimilate, too good to be true, too good to last, etc, have been coupled with reports of being swept away completely by forces beyond control. This combination of very perfect and intense sexuality along with .other characteristics to be reported produces several seeming paradoxes that I now wish to discuss. In self-actuali,ing people the orgasm is simultaneously more important amI less important than in average people. It is often a profound and almost mptical experience. and yet the absence of sexuality is more easily tolerated by these people. This is not a paradox or a contradiction. It follows from dynamic motivation theory - Loving at a higher need level makes the lower needs and their frustrations and satisfactions less important. less central more easily neglected. Rut it also makes them more wholehearteclly enjoyed when gratified. An excellent parallel may be made between this and the attitud~ of these people toward food. Food is simultaneously enjoyed and yet regarded as relativdy unimportant in the total scheme of life by selfactllalizing people. When they do enjoy it, they can enjoy it wholeheartedly and without the slightest tainting with bad attitudes toward animality and the like. And yet ordinarily feeding oneself takes a relatively unimportant place in the total picture. These people do not need sensuality; they simply enjoy it when it occurs. Certainly also food takes a relatively unimportant place in the philosophy of Utopia, in Heaven, in the good life, in t~le philosophy of values and ethics. It is something basic, to be taken for granted, to be used as a foundation stone upon which higher things are built. These people are very ready to recognize that the higher things cannot be built until the lower ones are built, but once these lower needs are satisfied, they recede from consciousness, and there is little preoccupation with them. The same seems to be true of sex. Sex can be, as I said, wholeheartedly enjoyed, enjoyed far beyond the possibility of the average person, even at the same time that it does not play any central role in the philosophy of life. It is something to be enjoyed, something to be taken for granted, something to build upon, something that is very basically important like water or food, and that can be enjoyed as much as these; but gratification should be taken for granted. I think such an attitude as this resolves the apparent paradox in the self-actualizing person's simultaneously enjoying sex so much more intensely than the average person, yet at the same time considering it so much less important in the total frame of reference. It should be stressed that from this same complex attitude toward sex arises the fact that the orgasm may bring on mystical experiences, and yet at other times may be taken I-ather lightly. This is to say that the , sexual pleasure of self-actualizing people may be very intense or not intense at all. This conflicts with the romantic attitude that love is a divine rapture, a transport, a mystic experience. It is true that it may be also a delicate pleasure rather than an intense one, a gay and light-hearted, playful sort of thing rather than a serious and profound experience or even a neutral duty. These people do not always live on the heightsthey usually live at a more average level of intensity, and lightly and mildly enjoy sex as a titillating, pleasant, playful, enjoyable, tickling kind of experience instead of a plumbing of the most intense depths of ecstatic emotionality. This is especially true when the subjects are relatively fatigued. Under such circumstances, the lighter kind of sex may take place. Self-actualizing love shows many of the characteristics of self-actualization in general. For instance, one characteristic is that it is based on a healthy acceptance of the self and of others. So much can be accepted by these people that others would not accept. For example, in spite of the fact that these people are relatively less driven to love affairs outside the marriage, yet they are mu~h more free than the average to admit to the fact of sexual attraction to others. My impression is that there tends to be a rather easy relationship with the opposite sex, along with casual acceptance of the phenomenon of being attracted to other people, at the same time that these individuals do rather less about this attraction than other people. Also it seems to me that their talk about sex is considerably more free and casual and unconventional than the average. Now what this sums up to is an acceptance of the facts of life, which, going along with the more intense and profound and satisfying love relationship, seems to make it less necessary to seek for compensatory or neurotic sex affairs outside the marriage. This is an interesting instance in which acceptance and behavior do not correlate. The easier acceptance of the facts of sexuality seems to make it easier rather than harder to be relatively monogamous. In one instance, where the woman had long since separated from her husband, whatever information I was able to get from her indicated that she went in for what would be called promiscuity. She had sexual affairs and was very definite about how she enjoyed them. This was a fifty-fiveyear-old woman. 1 was never able to get more details than her statements that she diel have such affairs and that she enjoyed sex very much. There was no slight element of guilt or anxiety or of the feeling of doing anything wrong in her conversation about this matter. Apparently the tendency to monogamy is not the same as the tendency to chastity, or a rejection of sexuality. It is just that the more profoundly satisfying the love relationship. the less necessity there is for all surts of compulsions for sex affairs with people other than the wife or husband. Of course, this acceptance of sexuality is also a main basis for the intensity of enjoyment of sexuality that I find in self-actualizing people. Another characteristic I found of love in healthy people is that they made no really sharp differentiation between the roles and personalities of the two sexes. That is, they did not assume that the female was passive and the ma.le active, whether in sex or love or anything else. These people were all so certain of their maleness or femaleness that they did not mind taking on some of the cultural aspects of the opposite sex role. It was especially noteworthy that they could be both active and passive lovers and this was the clearest in the sexual act and in physical love-making. Kissing and being kissed" being above or below in the sexual act, taking the initiative, being quiet and receiving love, teasing and being teasedthese were all found in both sexes. The reports indicated that both were enjoyed at different times. It was considered to be a shortcoming to be limited to just active love-making or passive love-making. Both have their particular pleasures for self-actualizing people.


This can go pretty far, almost to the point of reminding us of sadism and masochism. There can be a joy in being used, in subjection and passivity, even in accepting pain, in being exploited. Also, there can be an active and positive pleasure in squeezing and hugging and biting and in being violent and even in inflicting and receiving pain, so long as this does not go beyond a certain point. Since this is very probably related to the lack of doubt about their maleness or femaleness, their masculinity or femininity, so also is it my strong impression that healthier men are more apt to be attracted by intelligence, strength, competence, etc., in their women rather than threatened by it, as is so often the case with the uncertain male. Here again we have an instance of the way in which common dichotomies are so often resolved in self-actualization, appearing to be valid dichotomies only because people are not healthy enough. This agrees with D'Arcy's (103) thesis that erotic and agapea~ love are basically different but merge in the best people. He speaks about two kinds of love, which are ultimately masculine or feminine, active or passive, self-centered or self.effacing, and it is true that in the general public these seem to contrast and to be at opposite poles. However, it is different in healthy people. In these individuals the dichotomies are resolved, and the individual becomes both active and passive, both selfish and unselfish, both masculine and feminine, both self-interested and self·effacing. D'Arcy acknowledges that this occurs, though with extreme rarity. One negative conclusion that our data, limited though they are, permit us to make with considerable confidence is that the Freudian tendency to derive love from sex or to identify them is a bad mistake.3 Of course Freud is not alone in this error-it is shared by many less thoughtful citizens--but he may be taken as its most influential exponent in western civilization. There are strong indications here and there in Freud's writings that he had different thoughts about the matter occa· sionally. Once, for example, he spoke about the child's feeling for the mother as deriving from the self-preservation instincts, Le., a kind of feeling akin to gratitude for being fed and cared for: "It (affection) springs from the very earliest years of childhood, and was formed on the founda tion provided by the interests of the self-preservation instinct" (139, p. 204). In another place he interprets it as reaction formation (p. 252); again, as the mental side of the sexual impulse (p. 259). In a lecture reported by Hitschmann (195, pp. 2-3) he considered all love to be repetition of the infant's love for the mother. "... the sucking of the child at the breast of the mother (is) the model of every love-relation. The finding of the object is indeed a refinding." On the whole, however, the most widely accepted of the various theories put forth by Freud is that tenderness is aim-inhibited sexuality.4 That is, to put it very bluntly, it is, for Freud, deflected and disguised sexuality. When we are forbidden to fulfill the sexual aim of coupling, and when we keep on wanting to and do not dare admit to ourselves that we are, the compromise product is tenderness and affection. Contrariwise, when we meet with tenderness and affection we have no Freudian recourse but to regard this as aim-inhibited sexuality. Another deduction from .this premise that seems unavoidable is that if sex were never inhibited, and if everyone could couple with anyone else, then there would .~e no tender love. Incest taboos and repression-these are what breed love, according to Freud. For other views see Refs. 27, 213. Another kind of love discussed by the Freudians is genital love, frequently defined with exclusive emphasis on genital and without any reference to love. For instance, it is often defined as the power to be potent, to have a good orgasm, to have this orgasm from penile-vaginal coupling without the necessity of recourse to clitoris, anus, sadism, masochism, etc. Of course, more sophisticated statements are also found though rarely. The best statements in the Freudian tradition I have been able to find are the ones by Michael Balint5 and by Edward Hitschmann (195).


How tenderness is involved in genital love remains a mystery, for in sexual intercourse there is, of course, no inhibition of the sexual aim (it is the sexual aim). Nothing has been said by Freud of aim-gratified sexuality. If tenderness is foimd in genital love, then some source other than aim inhibition must be found, a nonsexull.l source, it would seem. Suttie's analysis (442) very effectively reveals the weakness of this position. So also do those of Reik (393), Fromm (145, 148), DeForest (106), and others in the revisionist-Freudian tradition. Adler (13) as far back as 1908 affirmed that the need for affection was not derived from sex. 


Care, Responsibility, and the Pooling of Needs


One important aspect of a good love relationship is what may be called need identification. or the pooling of the hierarchies of basic needs in two persons into a single hierarchy. The effect of this is that one person feels another's needs as i[ they were his own and [or that matter also feels his own needs to some extent as if they belonged to the other. An ego now expands to cover two people. and to some extent the two people have become for psychological purposes a single unit, a single person. a single ego. This principle, probably first presented in technical form by Alfred  Adler (2, 13), has been very well phrilsed by Erich Fromm (148), particularly in his book Man for Himself, in which love is defined (pp. 129-130):


Love, in principle is indivisible as far as the connection between 'objccts' and one's own self is concerned. Genuine love is an expression of productivcness and implies care, respect, responsibility, and knowledge. It is not an 'affect' in the sense of being affected by somcbody, but an active striving for the growth and happiness of the loved person, rooted in one's own capacity to love. 


Schlick (413a, p. 186) has also phrased this well: 


The social impulses are those dispositions of a person by virtue of which the idea of a pleasant or unpleasant state of another person is itself a plcasant or unpleasant experience (also the mere perception of another creature, his presence alone, can by virtue of such an impulse, elicit feelings of pleasure). The natural effect of these inclinations is that their bearer establishes the joyful states of others as ends of his conduct. And. upon realization of these ends he enjoys the resultant pleasure; for not only the idea, but also the actual perception of the expression of joy pleases him.


The ordinary way in which this need identification shows itself to the eyes of the world is in terms of taking on responsibility, of care, of concern for another person. The loving husband can get as much pleasure from his wife's pleasure as he can from his own. The loving mother would rather cough herself than hear her child cough, and as a matter of fact would willingly take on to her own shoulders the disease of her child, since it would be less painful for her to have it than to see and hear her child have it. A good example of this is seen in the differential reactions in good marriages and in bad marriages to illnesses and the consequently necessary nursing. An illness in the good couple is an illness of the couplc rather than a misfortune of one of the pair. Equal responsibility is automatically taken, and it is as if they were both simultaneously struck. The primitive communism of the loving family shows itself in this way and not only in the sharing of food or of money. It is here that one sees at its best and purest the exemplification of the prin- 'ciple: from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs. The only modification that is here necessary is that the needs of the other person are the needs of the lover. If the relationship is a very good one, the sick or weak one can throw himself upor the nursing care and the protectiveness of the loving partner with the same abandonment and lack of threat and lack of selfconsciousness that a child shows in falling asleep in his parent's arms. It is often enough observed in less healthy couples that illness makes a strain in the couple. For the strong man whose masculinity is practically identified with physical strength, illness and weakness is a catastrophe in the same way. For the woman who defines femininity in terms of physical attractiveness of the beauty contest style, illness or weakness or anything else that lessens her physical attractiveness is for her a tragedy, and for the man as well if' he defines femininity in the same way. Our healthy people are almost completely exempted from this mistake. If we remember that human beings are in the last analysis isolated from each other and encapsulated. each one in his own little shell, and if we agree that also in the last analysis people can never really know each other as they know themselves. then every intercourse between groups and individuals is like an effort of "two solitudes to protect. and touch and greet each other" (Rilke). Of all such efforts that we know anything about. the healthy love relationship is the most effective way of bridging the unbridgeable gap between two separate human beings. In the history of theorizing about love relations as well as about altruism, patriotism, etc., much has been said about the transcendence of the ego. An excellent modern discussion of this tendency at the technical level is afforded in a book by Angyal (12), in which he discusses various examples of a tendency to what he calls homonomy, and which he contrasts with the tendency to autonomy, to independence. to individuality, and the like. More and more clinical and historical evidence accumulates to indicate that Angyal was right in demanding that some room be made in a systematic psychology for these various tendencies to go out beyond the limits of the ego. Furthermore. it seems quite clear that this need to go out beyond the limits of the ego may be a need in the same sense that we have needs for vitamins and minerals. i.e.• that if the need is not satisfied, the person becomes sick in one way or another. I should say that one of the most satisfying and most complete examples of ego transcendence is a healthy love relationship. See also (182, 314).


Fun and Gaiety in the Healthy Love Relationship


The concepts of Erich Fromm and Alfred Adler that were mentioned above stress productivencss, care, responsibility. This is all vcry truc. but Fromm. Adler, and the others who write in the same vein strangely omit one aspect of the healthy love relationship that was very clear in my subjects: namely. fun. merriment. elation, feeling of well-being. gaiety. It is quite characteristic of self-actualizing people that they can enjoy themselves in love and in Sex. Sex very frequently becomes a kind of a game in which laughter is quite as common as panting. The way in which Fromm and other serious thinkers on the subject have described the ideal love relationship is to make it into something of a task or a burden rather than a game or a pleasure. When Fromm (148, p. 110) says: "Love is the productive form of relatedness to others and to oneself. It implies responsibility, care, respect and knowledge, and the wish for the other person to grow and develop. It is the expression of intimacy between two human beings under the condition of the preservation of each other's integrity," it must be admitted that this sounds a little like a pact or a partnership of some kind rather than a spontaneous sportiveness. It is not the welfare of the species, or the task of reproduction, or the future development of mankind that attracts people to each other. The love and sex life of healthy people, in spite of the fact that it frequently reaches great peaks of ecstasy, is nevertheless also easily compared to the g-ames of children and puppies. It is cheerful, humorous, and playful. We shall point out in greater detail below that it is not primarily a striving, as Fromm implies; it is basically an enjoyment and a delight, which is another thing altogether.


Acceptance of the Other's Individuality; Respect for the Other


All serious writers on the subject of ideal or healthy love have stressed the affirmalion of the other's individuality, the eagerness for the growth of the other, the essential respect for his individuality and unique personality. This is confirmed very strongly by the observation of the selfactualizing people, who have in unusual measure the rare ability to be pleased ralher than threatened by the partner's triumphs. They do indeed respect their partners in a very profound and basic way that has many, many implications. As Overstreet says quite well (366a, p. 103), "The love of a person implies, not the possession of that person, but the affirmation of that person. It means granting him, gladly, the full right 10 his unique manhood." Fromm's statement on the subject is also very impressive (145, p. 261): "Love is the foremost component of such spontaneity; not love as the dissolution of the self jn another person, but love as a spontaneous affirmation of others, as the union of the individual with others on the hasis of the preservation of the individual himself." A most impressive example of this respect is the ungrudging pride of such a man in his wife's achievements, even where they outshine his. Another is the absence ofjealollsy.


This respect shows itself in many ways which, ill'cidentally, should be differentiated from the effects of the love relationship per se. Love and respect are separable, even though they often go together. It is possible to respect without loving, even at the self-actualizing level. I am not quite so sure that it is possible to love without respecting, but this too may be a possibility. Many of the characteristics that might be considered aspects or attributes of the love relationship are very frequently seen to be attributes of the respect relationship. Respect for another person acknowledges him as an independent entity and as a separate and autonomous individual. The self-actualizing person will not casually use another or control him or disregard his wishes. He will allow the respected person a fundamental irreducible dignity, and will not unnecessarily humiliate him. This is true not only for interadult relationships but also in a self-actualizing person's relationship to children. It is possible for him, as for practically nobody else in our culture, to treat a child with real respect. _ One amusing aspect of this respect relationship between the sexes is that it is very frequently interpreted in just the opposite way, i.e., as a lack of respect. For example, we know well that a good many of the so-called signs of respect for ladies are in fact hangovers from a nomespecting past, and possibly even at this time are for some unconscious representations of a deep contempt for women. Such cultural habits as standing up when a lady enters a room, giving a lady the chalr, helping her with her coat, allowing her to go first through the door, giving her' the best of everything and the first choice of everything-these all imply historically and dynamically the opinion that the woman is weak and incapable of taking care of herself, for these all imply protection, as for the weak and incapable. Generally women who respect themselves strongly tend to be wary of these signs of respect, knowing full well that they may mean just the opposite. Self-actualizing men who tend really and basically to respect and to like women as partners, as equals, as pals, and as full human beings rather than as partial members of the species, are apt to be much more easy and free and familiar and impolite in the traditional sense. I have seen this make for trouble, and I have actually seen self-actualizing men accused of lack of respect for women.


Love as End Experience; Admiration; Wonder; Awe


The fact that love has many good effects does not mean that it is motivated by those effects or that people fall in love in order to achieve them.


The love that is found in healthy people is much better described in terms o[ spontaneous admiration and of the kind of receptive and undemanding awe and enjoyment that we experience when struck by a fine painting. There is too much talk in the psychological literature of rewards and purposes, of reinforcements and gratifications, and not nearly enough of what we may call the end experience (as contrasted with the means experience) or awe before the beautiful that is its own reward. Admiration and love in my subjects are most of the time per se, undemanding of rewards and conducive to no purposes, experienced in Northrop's Eastern sense (361), concretely and richly, for their own sake, idiographically (6). Admiration asks for nothing and gets nothing. It is purposeless and useless. It is more passive than active and comes close to simple receiving in the Taoistic sense. The awed perceiver does little or nothing to the experience; rather it does something to him. He watches and stares with the innocent eye, like a child who neither agrees nor disagrees, approves nor disapproves, but who, fascinated by the intrinsic attention-attracting quality of the exeprience, simply lets it come in and achieve its effects. The experience may be likened to the eager passivity with which we allow ourselves to be tumbled by waves just for the fun that is in it; or perhaps better, to the impersonal interest and awed, unprojecting appreciation of the slowly changing sunset. There is little we can inject into a sllnset. In this sense we do not project ourselves into the experience or attempt to shape it as we do with the Rorschach. Nor is it a signal or symbol for anything; we have not been rewarded or associated into admiring it. It has nothing to do with milk, or food, or other body needs. 'Ve can enjoy a painting without wanting to own it, a rosebush withollt wanting to pluck from it, a pretty baby without wanting to kidnap it, a bird without wanting to cage it, and so also can one person admire and enjoy another in a nondoing or nongetting way. Of course awe and admiration lie side by side with other tendencies that do involve individuals with each other; it is not the only tendency in the picture, bllt it is deflllitely part of it. Perhaps the most important implication of this observation is that we thereby contradict most theories of love, for most theorists assume thal people are driven into loving another rather than attracted into it. Freud (138) speaks of aim-inhibited sexuality, Reik (393) speaks of aiminhibited power, and many speak of dissatisfaction with the self forcing liS to create a projected hallucination, an unreal (because overestimated) partner. But it seems clear that healthy people fall in love the way one reacts


to one's first appreciative perception of great music-one is awed and overwhelmed by it and loves it. This is so even though there was no prior need to be overwhelmed by great music. Horney in a lecture has defined unneurotic love in terms of regarding others as per .Ie, as ends in themselves rather than as means to ends. The consequent reaction is to enjoy, to admire, to be delighted, to contemplate and appreciate, rather than to usc. St. Bernard said it very aptly: "Love seeks no cause beyond itself and no limit; it is its own fruit, its own enjoyment. I love because I love; I love in order that I may love ..." (209). Similar statements are available in abundance in the theological literature (103). The effort to differentiate godly love from human love was often based on the assumption that disinterested admiration and altruistic love could be only a superhuman ability and not a natural human one. Of course, we must contradict this; human beings at their best, fully grown, show many characteristics once thought, in an earlier era, to be supernatural prerogatives. It is my opinion that these phenomena are best understood in the framework of various theoretical considerations presented in previous chapters. In the first place, let us consider the differentiation between deficiency motivation and growth motivation (295). I have suggested that sel£-actualizers can be defined as people who are no longer motivated by the needs for safety, belongingness, love, status, and self-respect because these needs have all'eady been satisfied. \Vhy then should a lovegratified person fall in love? Certainly not for the same reasons that motivate the love-deprived person, who falls in love because he needs and craves love, because he lacks it, and is impelled to make up this pathogenic deficiency (D-Iove).6 Self-actualizers have no serious deficiencies to make up and must now be looked upon as freed for growth, maturation, development, in a word, for the fulfillment and actualization of their highest individual and species nature. What such people do emanates from growth and expresses it without striving. They love because they are loving persons, in the same way that they are kind, honest, natural, i.e., because it is their nature to be so spontaneously, as a strong man is strong without willing to be, as a rose emits perfume, as a cat is graceful, or as a child is childish. Such epiphenomena are as little motivated as is physical growth or psychological maturation. There is little of the trying, straining, or striving in the loving of the seH-actualizer that so dominates the loving of the average person. In philosophical language, it is an aspect of being as well as of becoming and can be called B-love, that is, love for the Being of the other.


Detachment and Individuality


A paradox seems to be created at first sight by the fact that self-actualizing people maintain a degree of individuality, of detachment, and autonomy that seems at first glance to be incompatible with the kind of identification and love that I have been describing above. Rut this is only an apparent paradox. As we have seen, the tendencies to detachment and to need identification and to profound interrelationships with another person can coexist in healthy people. The fact is that self-acwalizing people are simultaneously the most individualistic and the most altruistic and social and loving of all human beings. The fact that we have in our culture pill these qualities at opposite ends of a single continuum is apparently a mistake that must now be corrected. These qualities go tqgether and the dichotomy is resolved in self-actualizing people. We fllld in our subjects a healthy selfishness, a great self-respect, a disindinatio~ to make sacrifices without good reason. What We see in the love relationship is a fusion of great ability to love and at the same time great respect for the other and great respect for oneself. This shows itself in the fact that these people cannot be said in the ordinary sense of the word to need each other as do ordinary lovers. They can be extremely dose together and yet go apart when necessary without collapsing. They do not ding to each other or have hooks or anchors of any kind. One has the definite feeling that they enjoy each other tremendously but would take philosophically a long separation or death, that is, would remain strong. Throughout the most intense and ecstatic love affairs, these people remain themselves and remain ultimately masters of themselves as well, living by their own standards even though enjoying each other intensely. Obviously, this finding, if confirmed, will necessitate a revision or 'at least an extension in the definition of ideal or healthy love in our culture. '\Ve have customarily defined it in terms of a complete merging of egos and a loss of separateness, a giving up of individuality rather than a strengthening of it. While this is true, the fact appears to be at this moment that the individuality is strengthened, that the ego is in one sense merged with another, but yet in another sense remains separate and strong as always. The two tendencies, to transcend individuality and to sharpen and strengthen it, must be seen as partners and not as con-tradictories. Furthermore, it is implied that the best way to transcend the ego is via having a strong identity.


The Greater Taste and Perceptiveness of Healthy Lovers


One of the most striking superiorities reported of self-actualizing people is their exceptional perceptiveness. They can perceive truth and reality, more efficiently than the average run of people, whether it is structured or unstructured, personal or nonpersonal. This acuity manifests itself in the area of love relations primarily in an excellent taste (or perceptiveness) in sexual and love partners. The close friends, husbands, and wives of our subjects make a far finer group of human beings than random sampling would dictate. This is not to say that all the observed marriages and choices of sexual partner were at the self-actualizing level. Several luistakes can be reported, and although they can be to some extent explained away, they testify to the fact that our subjects are not perfect or omniscient. They have their vanities and their own special weaknesses. For example, at least one man of those I studied married more out of pity than out of equalitarian love. One married a woman much younger than himself, in the face of the inevitable problems. A measured statement would then stress that their taste in mates, while far better than average. is by nQ means perfect. But even this is enough to contradict the generally held belief that love is blind or, in the more sophisticated versions of this mistake, that the lover necessarily overestimates his partner. It is quite clear that, though this probably is true for average people. it need not be true for healthy individuals. Indeed, there are even some indications that the perceptions of healthy people are more efficient, more acute when in love than when not. Love may make it possible to see qualities in the loved person of which others arc completely oblivious.7 It is easy enough to make this mistake because healthy people can fall in love with people whom others would not love for very definite faults. However. this love is not blind to the faults; it simply overlooks these perceived faults, or else does not regard them as shortcomings. Thus physical imperfections, as well as economic, educational, and social shortcomings, are far less important to healthy people than are character defects. As a consequence, it is easily possible for self-actualizing people to fall deeply in love with homely partners. This is called blindness by others, but it might much better be called good taste or perceptiveness. I have had the opportunity of watching the development of this good taste in several relatively healthy young college men and women. The more mature they become, the less attracted they were by such characteristics as handsome, good-looking, good dancer, nice breasts, physically strong, tall, handsome body, good necker, and the more they spoke of compatibility, goodness, decency, good companionship, considerateness. In a few cases, it could actually be seen that they fell in love with individuals with characteristics considered specifically distasteful a few years hefore, e.g., hair on the body, too fat, not smart enough. In one young man, I have seen the number of potential sweethearts grow fewer year by year until, from being attracted to practically any female, and with exclusions being solely on a physical basis (too fat, too tall), he could think of making love with only two girls from among all that he knew. These were now spoken of in characterological rather than in physical terms. I think research will show that this is more characteristic of increasing health than simply of increasing age. Two other common theories are contradicted by our data. One is that opposites attract, and the other is that like marries like (homogamy). The facts of the matter are that in healthy people homogamy is the rule with respect to such character traits as honesty, sincerity, kindliness, and courage. In the more external and superficial characteristics, e.g., income, class status, education, religion, national background, appearance, the extent of homogamy seems to be significantly less than in average people. Self-actualizing people are not threatened by differences nor by strange- .ness. Indeed, they are rather intrigued than otherwise. They need familiar accents, clothes, food, customs, and ceremonies much less than do average people. As for opposites attracting, this is true for my subjects to the extent that I have seen honest admiration for skills and talents that they themselves do not possess. Such superiorities make a potential partner more rather than less attractive to my subjects, whether in man or in woman. Finally, J wish to call attention to the fact that the last few pages supply us with another example of resolution or denial of an age-old dichotomy, i.e., between impulse and reason, between head and heart. The people with whom my subjects fall in love are soundly selected by either cognitive or conative criteria. That is, they are intuitively, sexually, impulsively attracted to people who are right for them by cold, intel. lectual, clinical calculation. Their appetites agree with their judgments, and are synergic rather than antagonistic. This reminds us of Sorokin's efforts (434) to demonstrate that the true, the good, and the beautiful are positively interrelated. Our data seem to confirm Sorokin, but only for healthy people. With respect to neurotic people, we must remain circumspect on this question. See also (449).



13 - Cognition of the Individual and of the Generic


Introduction


All experience, all behavior, all individuals can be reacted to by the psychologist in either of two ways: He may study an experience or a behavior in its own right, as unique and idiosyncratic, i.e., as different from any other experience or person or behavior in the whole world. Or he may respond to the experience not as unique, but as typical, i.e., as an example or representative of one or another class, category, or rubric of experience. This is to say that he does not in the strictest sense examine, attend to, perceive, or even experience the event; his reaction is rather like that of the file clerk who perceives only enough of the page to be able to file it under A or B, etc. For this activity the name "rubricizing" might be suggested. For those who dislike neologisms the term "abstracting BW" might be preferable. The subscript letters Band . W stand for Bergson (461)1 and Whitehead (475), the two thinkers who have contributed most to our understanding of dangerous abstracting.2 Such a distinction is a natural by-product of any serious concern with the basic theories that underlie psychology. In general, most American psychological activity proceeds as if reality were fixed and stable rather than changing and developing (a state rather than a process), and as if it were discrete and additive rather than interconnected and patterned. This blindness to the dynamic and holistic aspects of reality is responsible for many of the weaknesses and failures of academic psychology. Even so, it is not necessary to create a dichotomy of opposition, or to choose up sides to do battle. There are stability as well as change, similarities as well as differences, and holism-dynamicism can be as onesided and doctrinaire as atomism-staticism. If we emphasize the one at the expense of the other in this chapter, it is because this is necessary to round out the picture and restore balance. In this chapter we shall discuss some of the problems of cognition in the light of these theoretical considerations. The writer especially hopes to communicate some of his conviction that much of what passes for cognition is actually a substitute for it, a second-hand trick made necessary by the exigencies of living in a flux-and-process reality without being willing to acknowledge this fact. Because reality is dynamic, and because the average Western mind can cognize well only what is static, much of our attending, perceiving, learning, remembering, and thinking actually deals with staticized abstractions from reality or with theoretical constructions rather than with reality itself. Lest this chapter be taken as a polemic against abstractions and concepts, let me make it clear that we cannot possibly live without concepts, generalizations, and abstractions. The point is that they must be experi. entially based rather than empty or helium-filled. They must be rooted in concrete reality and tied to it. They must have meaningful content rather than being mere words, mere labels, mere abstractions. This chapter deals with pathological abstracting, "reduction to the abstract," and with the dangers of abstracting.


Rubricizing in Attention


In so far as the concept of attending differs at all from the concept of perceiving, it is in a relatively greater stress on selective, preparatory, organizing, and mobilizing actions. These need not be pure and fresh tesponses that are determined entirely by the nature of the reality at· tended to. It is a commonplace that attending is determined as well by the nature of the individual organism, by the person's interests, motives, prejudices, past experiences, etc. What is more to our point, however, is the fact that it is possible to discern in the attending responses the difference between fresh, idiosyncratic attending to the unique event, and stereotyped, rubricized recognition in the outside world of a set of categories that already exist in the mind of the attending person. That is, attending may be no more than a recognition or discovery in the world of what we ourselves have already put there-a sort of prejudging of experience before it happens. It may be, so to speak, a rationalization for the past, or an attempt to maintain the status quo, rather than a true recognition of change, novelty, and flux. This can be achieved by attending only to that which is already known, or by forcing the new into the shape of the familiar. The advantages and disadvantages for the organism of this stereotyping of attention are equally obvious. It is evident that full attention is not needed for mere rubricizing or class placing of an experience, which in turn means saving of energy and effort. Rubricizing is definitely less fatiguing than whole-hearted attending. Furthermore, rubricizing does not call for concentration, it does not demand all the resources of the organism. Concentrated attention, which is necessary for the perceiving and understanding of an important or novel problem is, as we all know, extremely wearing, and is therefore relatively rare. Testimony for


this conclusion is found in the common preference for streamlined reading, condensed novels, digest magazines, stereotyped movies, cliche-laden conversation, and in general, avoidance of real problems, or at least a strong preference for stereotyped pseudosolutions. Rubricizing is a partial, token, or nominal response rather than a total one. This makes possible automaticity of behavior, Le., doing several things at the same time. which in turn means making possible. higher activities by permitting lower activities to be carried on in a reflexlike fashion. In a word, we do not have to notice or pay attention to the familiar elements of experience. Thus we need not perceive as individuals, waiters, doormen, elevator operators, street cleaners, men in any sort of uniform, etc.3 There is a paradox involved here, for it is simultaneously true that we tend (I) not to notice that which docs not fit into the already constructed set of rubrics, i.e., the strange, and (2) it is the unusual, the unfamiliar, the dangerous, or threatening that are most attention compelling. An unfamiliar stimulus may be either dangerous (a noise in the dark) or not (new curtains on the windows). Fullest attention is given to the unfamiliar-dangerous; least attention is given to the familiar-safe; an intermediate amount is given to the unfamiliar-safe or else it is trans· formed into the familiar-safe, i.e., rubricized.' There is an interesting speculation that proceeds from the curious tendency that the novel and strange either attract no attention at all or • attract it overwhelmingly. It would seem that a large proportion of our (less healthy) population responds with attention only to threatening experiences. It is as if attention were to be regarded only as a response to danger and as a warning of the necessity for an emergency response. These people brush aside experiences that are nonthreatening and not dangerous, as therefore not being worthy of attention or any other response, cognitive or emotional. For them, life is either a meeting of dangers or relaxation between dangers. But there are some people for whom this is not so. These are the people who will respond not only to dangerous situations. Probably feel ing more secure and self-confident, they can afford the luxury of responding to, noticing, and even thrilling with experiences that are not dangerous but pleasantly exciting, etc. It has been pointed out that this positive response, whether mild or strong, whether a slight titillation or an overwhelming ecstasy, is, like the emergency response, a mobilization by the autonomic nervous system, involving the viscera and the rest of the organism, The main difference between these experiences is that one seems to be felt introspectively as pleasant, the other as unpleasant. With this observation, we see that the human being not only adapts to the world in a passive way but also enjoys it and even imposes himself upon it actively. The factor whose variation seems to account for most of these differences is what may loosely be called mental health. For relatively anxious people, attending is more exclusively an emergency mechanism, and the world tends somewhat to be divided simply into the dangerous and the safe.


The truest contrast with rubricizing attention is probably furnished by Freud's concept of "free floating attention.nll Observe that Freud recommends passive rather than active attending on the grounds that active attention tends to be an imposition of a set of expectations upon the real world. Such expectations can drown out the voice of reality, if it be weak enough. Freud recommends that we be yielding, humble, passive, interested only in finding out what reality has to say to us, concerned only to allow the intrinsic structure of the material to determine that which we perceive. This all amounts to saying that we must treat 


the experience as if it were unique and unlike anything else in the world and that our only effort must be to apprehend it in its own nature, rather than to try to see how it fits into our theories, our schemes, and our concepts. This is in the most complete sense a recommendation to problem centering and against ego centering. T? the fullest extent possible the ego, its experiences, and its preconceptions, its hopes, and its fears are to be put aside if we are to apprehend the per se intrinsic nature of the experience before us. It may be helpful to make the familiar (even stereotyped) contrast between the approach to an experience by the scientist and by the artist. If we may allow ourselves to think of such abstractions as the true scientist and the true artist, it is probably accurate to contrast their approach to any experience by saying that the scientist fundamentally seeks to classify the experience, to relate it to all other experiences, to put it into its place in a unitary philosophy of the world, to look for the respects in which this experience is similar to and different from all other experiences. The scientist tends to put a name or a label upon the experience, he tends to put it into its place, in a word, to classify it. The artist, that is, if he is what an artist should be, according to Bergson, Croce, et aI., is most interested in the unique and idiosyncratic character of his experience. He must treat the experience as an individual. Each apple is unique, different, and so also each model, each tree, each head-no one is quite like any other. As a critic said of a certain artist, "He sees what others only look at." He is in no way interested in classifying the experience or placing it in any mental card catal-og that he may have. It is his task to see the experience fresh, and then if he has the talent, to freeze the experience in some way so that perhaps less perceptive people may also see it fresh. Simmel said it nicely, "The scientist sees something because he knows something-the artist, however, knows something because he sees it."6 Perhaps another parallel may help to drive the difference home. These same people whom I have called true artists are different from ordinary people in at least one other characteristic. To put it as briefly as I can, they seem to be able to see each sunset, each flower, or each tree with the same delight and awe and full attention and strong emotional reaction as if this were the first sunset or flower or tree they had ever 


seen. The average person will respond in a commonplace fashion to any miracle, however wonderful, if only he has seen the miracle happen five times before. An honest artist can retain the sense of the miraculous even after these thousand experiences. "He sees the world with the greater clarity of those for whom it is continuously new."


Rubricizing in Perception


Stereotyping is a concept that can apply not only to the social psychology of prejudice, but also to the basic process of perceiving. Perceiving may be something other than the absorption or rogistration of the intrinsic nature of the real event. It is more often a classifying, ticketing, or labeling of the experience rather than an examination of it, and ought therefore to be called by a name other than true perceiving. 'What we do in stereotyped or ruhricized perceiving is parallel to the use of cliches and hackneyed phrases in speaking. For instance, it is possible in being introduced to another human being to react to him freshly, to try to understand or to perceive this individual ~s a unique individual, not quite like anybody else living. More often what we do, however, is to ticket or label or place the man. We place him in a category or a rubric, regard him not as a unique individual, but as an example of some concept or as a representation of a category. For instance, he is a Chinaman, rather than Lum Wang who has dreams and ambitions and fears that are quite different from those of his brother. Or he is labeled as a millionaire or a member of society or a dame or a child or a Jew or a something.' In other words, the person engaged in stereotyped perceiving ought to be compared, if we wish to be honest, to a file clerk rather than a camera. The file clerk has a drawer full of folders, and her task is to put every letter on the desk into its appropriate folder under the A's or B's or whatever. Among the many examples of rubricizing in perceiving, we may cite the tendency to perceive: I. The familiar and hackneyed rather than the unfamiliar and fresh 2. The schematized and abstract rather than the actual 3. The organized, structured, the univalent rather than the chaotic, unorganized, and ambiguous 4. The named or namable rather than the unnamed and unnamable 5. The meaningful rather than the meaningless 6. The conventional rather than the unconventional 7. The expected rather than the unexpected


Furthermore, where the event is unfamiliar, concrete, ambiguous, unnamed, meaningless, unconventional, or unexpected, we show a strong tendency to twist or force or shape the event into a form that is more familiar, more abstract, more organized, etc. 'Ve tend to perceive events more easily as representatives of categories than in their own right, as unique and idiosyncratic. Numerous illustrations of each of these tendencies can be found in the Rorschach test, the literatures of Gestalt psychology, of projective testing, and of the theory of art. Hayakawa (99, p. 103), in this last area, cites the example of an art teacher who "is in the habit of telling his pupils that they are unable to draw any individual arm because they think of it as an arm; and because they think of it as an arm they think they know what it ought to be." SchachteI's book is full of fascinating examples (410). It is obvious that one needs to know less about a stimulus object for the purpose of filing it in an already constructed system of categories , than for the purpose of understanding and appreciating it. True perception, which would encompass the object as unique, play over all of it, soak it in, and understand it, would obviously take infinitely more time than the fraction of a second that is all that is necessary for labeling and cataloging. It is also probable that rubricizing is far less efficient than the fresh perception, mostly because of this already mentioned characteristic of being possible in a fraction of a second. Only the most outstanding characteristics can then be used to determine the reaction, and these can very easily give a false lead. Rubricizing perception then is an invitation to mistakes. These mistakes become doubly important because rubricizing perception also makes it less probable that any original mistake will be corrected. One who has already been put into a rubric tends very strongly to be kept there, because any behavior that contradicts the stereotype of the rubric can be regarded simply as an exception that need not be taken seriously. For instance, if we have become convinced for some reason that a person is dishonest, and if then, in one particular card game, we try to


catch him, only to fail, we ordinarily continue to call him a thief, assuming that he was honest for ad hoc reasons. perhaps out of fear of detection or out of laziness or the like. If we are profoundly enough con· vinced of his dishonesty, it may make no difference if we never catch him in a dishonest act. He might then be regarded simply as a thief who happens to be afraid to be dishonest with us. Or contradictory behavior may be regarded as interesting, in the sense of being not characteristic of the essence of the person but rather only superficially put on. If we are perfectly convinced that Chinese are inscrutable. then to find one who laughs does not change our stereotype of the Chinese. but we are rather apt to regard him simply as a queer or exceptional or peculiar Chinese. Indeed it may be that the concept of stereotyping or rubricizing may furnish us with a good part of the answer to the age-old problem of how people can continually believe in falsehood even when truth stares them in the face year after year. I know it is customary to consider this imperviousness to evidence as entirely explained by repression. or in general. motivational forces. There is no doubt that this statement is also true. The question is whether it is the whole truth. and in and of itself. a sufficient explanation. Our discussion indicates that there are also other reasons for being blind to evidence. We can get some inkling of the violence that can be done to an object if we ourselves are on the receiving end of a stereotyping attitude. Of course, any Negro or any Jew could attest to this but it is also true at times of everyone else. See, for instance. such expressions as "Oh, it's just the waiter," or "It is another of those ]oneses," etc. We ordinarily feel insulted and unappreciated if we are thus casually put into a parcel with a lot of other people from whom we feel different in many ways. But it is impossible to improve on William James's statement on the subject: "The first thing the intellect does with an object is to class it along with something else. But any object that is infinitely important to us and awakens our devotion feels to us also as if it must be sui generis and unique. Probably a crab would be filled with a sense of personal outrage if it could hear us class it without ado or apology as a crustacean, and thus dispose of it. 'I am no such thing: it would say; 'I am myself, myself alone' " (212, p. 10).



Rubricizing in Learning


A habit is an attempt to solve a present problem by using a previously successful solution. This implies that there must be (I) a placing of the present problem in a certain category of problems, and (2) a selection of the most efficient problem solution for this particular category of problems. Classification, i.e., rubricization, is therefore inevitably involved. The phenomenon of habit illustrates best a point that is also true of rubricized· attention, perceiving, thinking. expression, etc., namely that all rubricizing is, in effect, an attempt to' "freeze the world."s In actuality. the world is a perpetual flux and all things are in process. In theory, nothing in the world is static. (even though for practical purposes, many things are). If we are to take theory quite seriously. then each experience, each event, eac.h behavior is in some way or other (whether important or unimportant) different from every other experience, behavior, etc. that has occurred in the world before or will ever occur again.9 It would seem reasonable then, as Whitehead has repeatedly pointed out, to base our theories and philosophies of science and common sense squarely on this basic and unavoidable fact. The truth is that most of us do not do this. Even though our most sophisticated scientists and philosophers have long ago discarded the old concepts of empty space and enduring things pushed around aimlessly in it. these verbally discarded concepts still live on as a basis for all our less intellectual reactions. Though the world of change and growth is and must be accepted, this is rarely done emotionally and with enthusiasm. We are still deeply Newtonian (287). All reactions that may be labeled rubricized may then be redefined as "efforts to freeze or staticize or stop the motion of a moving, changing process world in order to be able to handle it," for it is as if we could handle this world only when it is not in motion. An example of this tendency is the ingenious trick that static-atomistic mathematicians have invented in order to treat motion and change in a motionless way, i.e., the calculus, For the purposes of this chapter, psychological examples are more pertinent, however, and it is necessary to pound home the thesis that habits, and inde~d all reproductive learning, are examples of this tendency by statically minded people to freeze a process world into temporary immobility, since they cannot manage or cope with a world in a flux. Habits are then conservative mechanisms, as James long ago pointed out (211). Why is this so? For one thing, because any learned reaction, merely by existing, blocks the formation of other learned reactions to the same problem. But there is another reason, just as important, but ordinarily neglected by the learning theorists, namely, that learning is not only of muscular responses but of affective preferences as well. Not only do we learn to speak English but we learn to like and prefer it (309).10 Learning is not then a completely neutral process. We cannot say, "If this reaction is a mistake, it is easy enough to' unlearn it or replace it with the right reaction," for by learning, we have, to some degree, committed ourselves and our loyalties. Thus if it is our desire to learn to speak French well, it may be better not to learn it at all if the only available teacher has a bad accent; it could be marc efficient to wait until a good teacher is available. For this same reason we must disagree with those in science who are very airy in their attitude toward hypotheses and theories. "Even a false theory is better than none," they say. The true situation is not as simple as this, if the foreguing considerations have any validity. As a Spanish proverb says, "Hab'its arc at first cobwebs, then cables." These criticisms by no means apply to all learning; they apply only to atomistic and reproductive learning, i.e., recognition and recall of isolated ad hoc reactions. Many psychologists write as if this were the only way in which the past could have an influence upon the present, or in which the lessons of past experienre may profitably be used to solve present problems. This is a naive assumption, for much of what is actually learned in the world, i.e., the most important influences of the past, is neither atomistic nor reproductive. The most important influence of the past, the most influential type of learning, is what we may call char· acter or intrinsic learning (311a), i.e., all the effects on character of all our experiences. Thus, experiences are not acquired by the organism one by one like so many coins; if they have any deep effect at all, they change the whole person. Thus the influence of some tragic experience would be to change him from an immature person to a more mature adult, wiser, more tolerant, more humble, better able to solve any of the problems of adult life. The contrasting theory would be that he had changed in no way except by the ad hoc acquisition of a technique of managing or solving' such and such a particular type of problem, e.g., the death of his mother. Such an example is far more important, far more useful, far more para. digmatic than the usual examples of blind association of one nonsense syllable with another, which experiments, in my opinion, have to do with nothing in the world except other nonsense syllables. l1 If the world is in process, every moment is a new and unique one.


Theoretically speaking, all problems must be novel. The typical problem, according to process theory, is the problem that has never been faced before and that is, in essential ways, unlike any other problem. That problem that very much resembles past problems is then, according to this theory, to be understood as a special case rather than a paradigmatic one. If this is so, recourse to the past for ad hoc solutions is as likely to be dangerous as helpful. My belief is that actual observation will show this to be practically as well as theoretically true. In any case, nobody, whatever his theoretical bias, will argue about the fact that at least some of the problems of life are novel and must therefore have novel solutions.12 From the biological point of view, habits playa double role in adaptaLion because Lhey are simultaneously necessary and dangerous. They necessarily imply something which is not true, i.e., a constant, unchanging, static world, and yet are commonly regarded as one of the human being's most efficient tools of adaptation, which certainly implies a changing, dynamic world. A habit is an already formed reaction to a situation or answer to a problem. Because it is already formed, it develops a certain -mertia and resistance to change.13 But when a situation changes, our reaction to it should also change or be ready to change quickly. Therefore, the presence of a habit may be worse than no reaction at all, since the habit guarantees resistance to and delay in building up the newly necessary reaction to the new situation. In a similar connection, Bartlett speaks of the "challenge of the external environment which partially changes and in part persists, so that it demands a variable adjustment yet never permits an entirely new start." (33, p. 224). It may help to make this clearer if we describe this paradox from another point of view. We may then say that habits are built up to save time, effort, and thought in dealing with recurrent situations. If a problem comes up again and again in similar form, we certainly can save a


good deal of thought by having available some habitual answer that can automatically be trotted out to deal with this recurrent problem whenever it arises. Thus a habit is a response to a repetitive, unchanging, familiar problem. This is why it is possible to say that a habit is an as-if reaction-Has if the world were static, unchanging, and c.onstant." This interpretation is borne out, of course, by the uniform stress. upon repetition by those psychologists who are impressed with the primary importance of habit as an adjustive mechanism. A good deal of the time this is just as it should be, for there is no doubt that many of our problems are actually repetitive, familiar, and relatively unchanging. The ·man who is engaged in what are called the higher activities, thinking, inventing, creating, finds that these activities demand, as a prerequisite, elaborate sets of innumerable habits that automatically solve the petty problems of everyday life, so that the creator is free to give his energy to the so-called higher problems. But a contradiction is involved-even a paradox. In actual fact, the world is not static, familiar, repetitive, and unchanging. Instead, it is constantly in aux, ever new, always developing into something else, shifting, and changing. We need not argue as to whether this is a fair characterization of every aspect of the world; we can avoid unnecessary metaphysical debate by assuming for tbe sake of argument that some aspects of the world are constant, while some are not. If this is granted, then it must also be granted that however useful habits may be for the constant aspects of the world, they, are positively a hindrance and an impediment when the organism has to deal with the changing, fluctuating aspects of the world with problems which are unique, novel, never before met with.14


Here then we have the paradox. Habits are simultaneously necessary and dangerous. useful and harmful. They undoubtedly save us time, effort. and thought, but at a big expense. They are a prime weapon of adaptation and yet they hinder adaptation. They are problem solutions and yet in the long run they are the antonyms of fresh. unrubricized thinking, that is to say. of solutions to new problems. Though useful in adjusting ourselves to the world. they often hinder us in our inventiveness and creativeness. which is to say they tend to prevent our adjusting the world to ourselves. Finally. they tend to replace, in a lazy way. true and fresh attending, perceiving. learning. and thinking.l{; It might be added finally that reproductive memory is much more difficult unless a set of rubrics (frame of reference) is available. The interested reader is referred to Bartlett's excellent book (33) for experimental support for this conclusion. Schachtel (410) is brilliant on the subject. We might add one other example here that fortunately can also be easily checked. The writer found during a summer's field work with an Indian tribe that he could not remember the Indian songs that he liked very JIlUch, however often he tried. It was possible to sing the song along with the Indian singer perhaps a dozen times, and then only five minutes later not be able 'to repeat it alone. For any person with a good musical memory this can be a baffling experience. understandable only when it is realized that Indian music is so different in basic organization and quality that there is no frame of reference against which to remember it. A simpler example that everyone will have met with is the difference in difficulty for an English-speaking person in learning. let us say, Spanish on the one hand and. on the other hand. some Slavic language like Russian. Most words in Spanish or French or German have cognates that the Englishspeaking person can use as a frame of reference. But since these cognates are almost entirely missing in Russian, learning the language becomes extraordinarily difficult.


Rubricizing in Thinking


In this area rubricizing consists of: (I) having only stereotyped problems, or in failing to perceive new ones, or in reshaping them, in a Procrustean fashion, so that they may be c1assificd as familiar rather than novel, and/or (2) using only stcreotyped and rote habits and techniqucs for solving these problems, and/or (3) having, in advance of all lifc's problems, sets of ready-made, cut and dricd solutions and answers. These three tendencies add up to an almost complete guarantee against creativeness or inventiveness.lr. But they impel us so strongly that so profound a psychologist as Bergson was impelled mistakenly to define intellect as though it could do nothing more than rubricize, e.g., "Intellect (is) ... the faculty of connecting the same with the same, of perceiving and also of producing repetition." (46, p. 59). "Explaining it :1lw:1Ys consists ill resolving it, it the unforeseeable and new, into elements of old or known, arranged in a different order. The intellect can no more admit complete novelty than real becoming; that is to say, here again it lets an essential aspect of life escape ..." (46, p. 181). "... we treat the living like the lifeless and think all reality however fluid, under the form of the sharply defined solid. We are at ease only in the discontinuous, in the immobile, in the, dead. The intellect is chamctaized by a natural inability to comprehend life" (46, p. 182). But Bergson's own intellect refuted this over-generalization. '


STEREOTYPED PROBLEMS To start with, the first effort of that person who tends strongly to rubricize will ordinarily be to avoid or overlook problems of any kind. In most extreme form this is exemplified by those compulsive-obsessive patients who regulate and order every corner of their lives because they dare not face anything unexpected. Such people are severely threatened by any problem that demands more than a ready-made answer, i.e., that demands self-confidence, courage, security. If the problem Inwt be perceived, the first effort is to place the problem and to see it as a representative of a familiar category (since the familiar does not produce anxiety). The attempt is to discover, "Into which class of previously experienced problems can this particular one be placed?" or "Into which category of problems does this fit-or can it be squeezed?" Such a placing reaction is possible, of course, only on the basis of pen:eived resemblances. I do not wish to go into the difficult problem of similarity; it is sufficient to point out that this perception of resemblances need not be a humble, passive registration of the intrinsic nature of the realities perceived. This is proved by the fact that various individuals, classifying in terms of idiosyncratic sets of rubrics, can nevertheless all be successful in rubricizing the experience. Such people do not like to be at a loss and will classify all experiences that cannot be overlooked, even if they find it necessary to cut, squeeze, or distort the experience. One of the best pieces I know on this subject is that of Crookshank (97) on the problems involved in. medical diagnosis. Psychologists will be more familiar with the strictly taxonomical attitude of many psychiatrists toward their patients. STEREOTYPED TECHNIQUES Generally, one of the main advantages of rubricizing is that along with successful placing of the problem goes an automatically available set of techniques for handling this problem. This is not the only reason for rubricizing. That the tendency to place a problem is very deeply motivated is seen, e.g., in the physician who feels more easy in the presence of a known, though incurable, disease than in the presence of a com· pletely mysterious set of symptoms. If one has handled this same problem many times before, the proper machinery will be well oiled and ready to use. Of course, this means a strong tendency to do things as they have been done before, and as we have seen, habitual solutions carry disadvantages as well as advantages. As advantages we may cite again ease of execution, energy saving, automaticity, affective preference. anxiety saving, etc. The main disadvantages are loss of flexibility, ad;ptability, and creative inventiveness, i.e., the usual consequences of assuming that this dynamic world can be treated as if it were static. An excellent example of the effects of stereotyped thinking techniques is furnished by Luchins' interesting experiments on Einstellung (279). STEREOTYPED CONCLUSIONS Probably the best-known example of this process is rationalization. This and similar processes may be defined for our purposes as having a readymade idea or foregone conclusion and then devoting a good deal of intellectual activity to supporting this conclusion or finding evidence for it. ("1 don't like that fellow and I'm going to find a good reason why,") This is the kind of activity that has only a thinking-like facade. It is not think· ing in the best sense because it comes to its conclusions irrespective of the nature of the problem. The knitting of the brow, the heated discussions, the straining after evidence are all so many smoke screens; the conclusion was fated before the thinking ever began. Often enough even the fa~ade is la<.king; people may simply believe without even making the. gesture of seeming to think. This takes even less effort than rationalizing. Every psychologist knows that it is possible for a person to live by a set of ready-made ideas that were acquired complete and entire during the first decade of life and that have never and shall never be changed in the slightest degree. It is true that such a man may have a high lQ. He may therefore be able to spend a good deal of his time in intellectual activity, selecting out from the world whatever bits of evidence support his ready-made ideas. We cannot deny that this sort of activity may occasionally be of some use to the world, and yet it seems clearly desirable for the psychologist to make some sort of verbal differentiation between productive, creative thinking on the one hand and even the most skillful ' rationalizing on the other. The occasional advantages of rationalizing are a small matter when weighed against the more impressive phenomena of blindness to the real world, imperviousness to new evidence, distortion in perceiving and remembering. the loss of modifiability and adaptability to a changing world, and other indications that the mind has ceased to develop. But rationalization need not be our only example. It is also rubricizing when the problem is used as a stimulus to associations from among which are chosen those which best fit the particular occasion. It would seem that rubricized thinking has a special affinity for and relationship to reproductive learning. The three types of processes that we have listed could easily be dealt with as special forms of habit activity, There is clearly involved a special reference to the past. Problem solving becomes little more than a technique of classifying and solving any new problem in the light of past experience. Thinking of this type then often amounts to no more than a shuffling about and rearrangement of previously acquired habits and memories of the reproductive type. The contrast with more holistic-dynamic thinking can be seen more clearly when we understand that this latter type of thinking is more clearly allied to the perceptual processes than to the memory processes (225, 465). The main effort in holistic thinking is perceiving as clearly as possible the intrinsic nature of the problem with which one is confronted, as Wertheimer stresses in his recent book (465) and which Katona (225) phrases as "the effort to perceive in a problem its solution."17 It is examined carefully in its own right and in its own style almost as if no other such problem had been met before. The effort is to ferret out its own intrinsic, per se nature, whereas in associative thinking it is rather to see how this problem relates to or resembles other problems previously experienced. IS This is not to imply that past experience is not used in holistic thinking. Of course it is. The point is that it is used in a different way. as has been described in the discussion above of so-called intrinsic learning, or learning to become the Person you are potentially (31Ia). That associative thinking occurs there is no doubt. The debate is rather over which kind of thinking shall be used as the centering point, as the paradigm, as the ideal model. The contention of the holisticdynamic theorists is that thinking activity, if it carries any meaning at all, by definition has the meaning of creativeness, uniqueness, ingenuity, and inventiveness. Thinking is the technique whereby mankind creates some· thing new, which in turn implies that thinking must be revolutionary in the sense of occasionally conflicting with what has already been concluded. If it conflicts with an intellectual status quo it is then the opposite of habit, 01' memory, or what we have already learned, for the simple reason that it must by definition contradict what we have already learned. If our past learning and our habits work well, we can respond automat- , ically, habitually, and familiarly. That is to say, we do not have to think. From this point of view, thinking is seen as the opposite of learning, rather than as a type of learning. If we were permitted a slight exaggeration, thinking might almost be defined as the ability to break our habits and to disregard our past experiences. Another dynamic aspect is involved in the kind of truly creative thinking exemplified by the great achievements of human history. This is its characteristic boldness, daring, and courage. If these words are not quite apropos in this connection, they come close enough, as we can see if we think of the contrast between a timid child and a brave child. The timid child must cling closer to his mother who represents safety, familiarity, and protection; the bolder child is freer to venture forth and can go farther from home base. The thinking process that parallels the timid clinging to the mother is the equally timid clinging to habit. The bold thinker-which is almost a redundancy, like saying a thinking thinkermust be able to break the Einstellung, to be able to be free of the past,' of habit, expectation, learning, custom, and convention, and to be free of anxiety whenever venturing out of the safe and familiar harbor. Another type of stereotyped conclusion is furnished by those instances in which individuals' opinions are formed by imitation and/or prestige suggestion. These are generally considered to be underlying and basic trends in healthy human nature. It would probably be more accurate to consider them examples of mild psychopathology, or at least something very-dose to it. When important enough problems are involved, they are primarily responses to an unstructured situation, which has no fixed frame of reference, by overanxious, overconventionalized, or overlazy people (people without an opinion of their own, people who do not know what their opinion is, people who mistrust their own opinions).19 It would seem that a fairly large proportion of the conclusions and problem solutions that we come to in the most basic areas of life seem to be of this sort, in which, while we think, we look out of the corner of our eyes to see what conclusion the other people are coming to so that we can also come to it. Obviously such conclusions are not thoughts in the truest sense of the word, i.e., dictated by the nature of the problem, but rather stereotyped conclusions picked up whole from other people whom we trust more than ourselves. As might be expected, such a position has certain implications for helping us to understand why conventional education in this country falls so far short of its goals. \Ve shall stress only one point here, namely, that education makes little effort to teach the individual to examine reality directly and freshly. Rather it gives him a complete set of prefabricated spectacles with which to look at the world in every aspect, e.g., what to believe, what to like, what to approve of, what to feel guilty about. Rarely is each person's individuality made much of, rarely is he encouraged to be bold enough to see reality in his own style, or to be iconoclastic or differ. ent. Proof for the contention of stereotyping in higher education can be _~btained in practically any college catalog, in which all of shifting, in. effable, and mysterious reality is neatly divided into three credit slices which, by some miraculous coincidence, are exactly fifteen weeks long, and which fall apart neatly, as a tangerine does, into completely independent and mutually exclusive departments. 2o If ever there was a perfect example of a set of rubrics imposed upon reality rather than by reality, this is it. (There is beginning to be available what might be called a "parallel educational establishment" or "humanistic education," which attempts to remedy these defects of the conventional educational establishment. Names, addresses, etc., may be found in "The Eupsychian Network" in (295, pp. 237-240). This is all obvious enough, but what is less obvious is what to do about ~t. One idea strongly suggested by an examination of rubricized thinking is a decreased absorption with rubrics and an increased concern with fresh experiences, with concrete and particular realities. On this point we cannot improve on \Vhitehead's statements.


My own criticism of our traditional educational methods is that they are far too much occupied with intellectual analysis. and with the acquirement of formularized information. What I mean is, that we neglect to strengthen habits of concrete appreciation of the individual facts in their full interplay of emergent values, and that we merely emphasize abstract formulations which ignore this aspect of the interplay of diverse values. At present our education combines a thorough study of a few abstractions. with a slighter study of a large number of abstractions. We are too exclusively bookish in our scholastic routine. The general training should ' aim at eliciting our concrete apprehensions. and should satisfy the itch of youth to be doing something. There should be some analysis even here, but only just enough to illustrate the ways of thinkin~ in diverse spheres. In the Garden of Eden, Adam saw the animals before he named them: in the traditional system, children named the animals before they, saw them. This professional training can only touch one side of education. Its centre of gravity lies in the intellect, and its chief tool is the printed book. The centre of gravity of the other side of training should lie in intuition without an analytical divorce from the total environment. Its object is immediate apprehension with the minimum of evisceratin~ analysis. The type of generality, which above all is wanted, is the appreciation of variety of value. (475, pp. 284-286.)


Stereotyping and Nonholistic Theorizing


It is by now generally accepted that theory building customarily implies selection and rejection. which in turn means that a theory must be expected to make some aspects of the world more clear and other aspects less clear. One characteristic of most nonholistic theories is that they are sets of rubrics or classes. But no one has ever devised a set of rubrics into which all phenomena fit easily; there are always some left out, some that fall in between the rubrics, and some that seem to belong simultaneously in various rubrics. Furthermore, this kind of theory is almost always abstractive, that is to say. it emphasizes certain qualities of phenomena as more important than others or at least more worthy of notice. Thus any such theory, or any other abstraction for that matter, is apt to derogate or neglect or over· look some of the qualities of phenomena, i.e.• to omit part of the truth. Because of these principles of rejection and selection, any theory must be expected to give no more than a partial. pragmatically biased view of the world. It is probably true, also, that all theories combined never give a full view of phenomena and of the world. The full subjective richness of an experience seems to come more often to artistically and emotionally sensitive people than to theorizers and intellectuals. It may even be that the so-called mystic experience is the perfect and extreme expression of this sort of full appreciation of all the characteristics of the particular phenomenon. These considerations should by contrast show up another characteristic of particularized, individual experience, namely, its nonabstractive character. This is not the same as saying it is concrete in Goldstein's sense. The brain-injured patient, when he behaves concretely, is actually not seeing all the sensuous characteristics of an object or experience. He sees and is able to see only one such characteristic, that determined by the particular context, e.g., a bottle of wine is just that and nothing else, not for instance, a weapon, or a decoration, or a paperweight, or a fire extinguisher. If we define abstracting as selective attention, for any of various reasons, to some rather than others of the numberless characteristics of an event, Goldstein's patients might actually be said to be abstracting. There is then a certain contrast between classifying experiences and appreciating them, between using them and enjoying them, between cognizing them in one way and cognizing them in another way. All writers on the mystic and religious experiences have emphasized this as few technical psychologists have. For instance, Aldous Huxley says: "As the individual grows up, his knowledge becomes more conceptual and systematic in form, and its factual, utilitarian content is enormously increased. But these gains are offset by a certain deterioration in the quality of immediate apprehension, a blunting and a loss of intuitive power" (209, p. vii).21 However, since appreciation is certainly not our only relationship with nature, being in fact the least pressing biologically of all such relationships, we must not maneuver ourselves into the foolish position of stigmatizing theories and abstractions because of their dangers. Their advantages are great and obvious, especially from the point of view of communication and of practical manipulation of the world. If it were our function to make recommendations, we should probably phrase it in ,some such fashion as this: The ordinary cognitive processes of the working intellectual, the scientist, etc. can be made even more powerful than they are if it be remembered that these processes are not the only possible weapons in the armory of the researchers. There are others as well. If they have ordinarily been relegated to the poet and the artist this is because it was not understood that these neglected styles of cognition gave access to that portion of the real world which is hidden~from the exclusively abstracting intellectual. Furthermore, as we shall see in Appendix B, holistic theorizing is also possible, in which things are not dissected and separated from each other, but are seen intact in their interrelations as facets of a whole, contained within it, seen as figure against ground, or at different levels of magnification.


Language and Naming


Language is primarily an excellent means of experiencing and communicating nomothetic information, i.e., rubricizing. Of course, it attempts also to define and communicate the idiosyncratic or idiographic, but for ultimate theoretical purposes, it often fails. 22 .All it can do with the idiosyncratic is to give it a name, which after all does not describe it or communicate it, but only labels it. The only way to know the idiosyncratic fully is to experience it fully and to experience it oneself. Even naming the experience may screen it off from further appreciation, as one professor discovered when walking down a country road with his artist wife. Upon seeing some lovely flower for the first time, he asked its name. He was thereupon scolded by his wife. "What good does the name do you? When you learn its name, you're satisfied and don't bother enjoying the /lower any more."23 . To the extent that language forces experiences into rubrics, it is a screen between reality and the human being. In a word, we pay for its benefits. Therefore, while using language, as we must of necessity, we should be aware of its shortcomings and we should try to get around them. 24 If all this is true for language at its theoretical best, the situation must be far worse when language gives up altogether the struggle to be idiosyncratic, and degenerates completely into the use of stereotypes, platitudes, mottoes, slogans, cliches, battle cries, and epithets. It is then very obviollsly and frankly a means for obviating thought, for dulling the perceptions, stunting mental growth, and stultifying the human being. Language then has in truth "the function of concealing thought rather than of communicating it."


One other characteristic of language that helps to make trouble is that it is outside of space-time-<>r at least particular words may be. The word England over a period of 1000 years does not grow, age, develop, evolve, or change as the nation itself does. And yet such words as this are all we have to describe events in space-time. What does it mean to say. "There will always be an England"? As Johnson has it, "The moving finger of actuality writes faster than the tongue can herald. The structure of language is less fluid than the structure of reality. Just as the thunder we hear is no longer sounding, so the reality we speak about exists no more." (215, p. 119.)



14 - Unmotivated and Purposeless Reactions


In this chapter we shall grope further toward a scientifically usable differemiatiolJ between striving (doing, coping, achieving, trying, purposiveness) and being-becoming (existing, expressing, growing, self-actualization). This distinction is, of course, a familiar one in Eastern cultures and religions, e.g., Taoism, and, in our culture, among some philosophers, theologians, aestheticians, students of mysticism, and increasingly among "humanistic psychologists," existential psychologists, etc. Western culture generally rests on the Judaic-Christian theology. The United States particularly is dominated by the Puritan and pragmatic spirit which stresses work, struggle and striving, soberness and earnestness, and a~ove all, purposefulness.! Like any other social institution, science in general and psychology in particular is not exempt from these cultural climate and atmosphere effects. American psychology, by participation, is overpragmatic, over-Puritan, and overpurposeful. This is evident not only in its effects and avowed purposes but also in its gaps, in what it neglects. No textbooks have chapters on fun and gaiety, o,n leisure and meditation, on loafing and puttering, on aimless, useless, and purposeless activity, on aesthetic creation or experience, or on unmotivated activity. That is to say, American psychology is busily occupying itself with only half of life to the neglect of the other-and perhaps more important-half! From the point of view of values, this may be described as a preoccupation with means to the exclusion of concern with ends. This philosophy is implicit in practically all American psychology (including orthodox and revisionist psychoanalysis), which uniformly neglects per se activity and end experience (which gets nothing done) in favor of coping, changing, effective, purposeful activity that gets something useful done.


The culmination of this philosophy may be found in a quite explicit form in John Dewey's Theory of Valuation (108) in which the possibility of ends is ill effect denied; they are themselves only means to other means, to other means ... , etc. (although in other of his writings, he does accept the existence of ends). At a clinical level, we have already discussed various aspects of this differentiation in the following ways: 1. In Appendix B it may be noticed that a holistic emphasis is necessary to stress coexistence and mutual interdependence in addition to the successiveness of causality theory, especially of the atomistic variety. In chain causality, as in Dewey's value theory, one thing leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another ... , etc. This is a natural accompaniment of the theory that nothing is important for its own sake. Causality t.heory is a quite suitable. even necessary tool for the life of achievement ~nd technological accomplishment, but is completely useless for the life that stresses intensive perfection, aesthetic experience, contemplation of ultimate values, enjoyment, meditativeness, connoisseur· -snip, and self-actualization. 2. In Ghapter 3 it was recognized that motivated is not synonymous with determined. There arc determinants other than motives as demonstrated by, e.g., constitutional changes like sunburn or glandular activity, maturational changes, situational and cultural determinants, as well as for psychological changes like retroactive and proactive inhibition or latent learning. Although it was Freud (141) who originally confounded the two concepts, his mistake has been so widely followed by psychoanalysts that they now automatically look for motives only no matter what change occurs, e.g., eczema, gastric ulcer, slips of the pen, forgetting, etc. 3. In Chapter 5 many psychological phenomena were shown to be unmotivated, epiphenomenal consequences of need gratification rather than purposeful, motivated, learned changes as has usually been assumed.


That this is no small mistake is apparent at once from the list of phenomena that were claimed to be wholly or partially gratification effects, e.g., psychotherapy, attitudes, interests, tastes and values, happiness, good citizenship, attitudes toward the self, a host of character traits, and dozens of other psychological effects as well. Need gratification permits the emergence of relatively unmotivated behavior, e.g., "immediatdy after satiation, the organism allows itself to give up pressure, tension, urgency and necessity, to loaf, laze and relax, to putter, to be passive, to enjoy the sun, to ornament, to decorate and polish the pots and pans (rather than to use them), to play and have fun, to observe idly what is of no importance, to be casual and aimless." 4. An experiment on the effects of familiarity in 1937 (309) demonstrated that simple, unrewarded, repetitive contact tended finally to produce preference for the familiar object, or word, or activity even when it was initially distasteful. Since this constitutes a pure case of learning by unrewarded contiguity, it must be considered unmotivated change by the reward, tension-reduction, and reinforcement theorists at least. 5. Chapter 13 demonstrates the important difference for various fields of psychology between stereotyped or rubricized cognition and fresh, humble, receptive, Taoistic cognition of the concrete, the idiosyncratic, the unique, innocent cognition without preconceptions and expectations, and without the intrusion of wishes, hopes, fears, or anxieties. Most acts of cognition, it would seem, are stale, careless recognitions and catalogings., of stereotypes. Such a lazy classifying under preexisting rubrics is profoundly different from actual, concrete perceiving with full and undivided attention of the many-sidedness of the unique phenomenon. It is only from such cognition that full appreciation and savoring of any experience can come. To the extent that rubricizing is a premature freezing of conclusions, because the person is afraid of the unknown, it is motivated by the hope of anxiety reduction and avoidance. The person who has comfortable relations with the unknown, or what is almost the same thing, can tolerate ambiguity (135), is therefore less motivated in his perceptions. It was also suggested in this chapter that the close tie found by Murphy, Bruner, Ansbacher, Murray, Sanford, McClelland, Klein, and many others, between motivation and perception had best be regarded as a somewhat psychopathological phenomenon, rather than as healthy. Very bluntly put, this tie is symptomatic of a slightly sick organism. In self-actualizing people it is at a minimum; in neurotic and psychotic people it is at a maximum, as in delusions and hallucinations. One way of describing this difference is to say that cognition in the healthy is relatively unmotivated; in the sick it is relatively motivated. Latent learning in human beings is


an instance of unmotivated cognition that could test this clinical finding. 6. Our study of self-actualizing people made clear the necessity for distinguishing somehow between their motivational life and that of more average people. They were clearly living a self-fulfilling, value-enjoying, self-perfecting life, rather than seeking for the basic need gratification that the average citizen lacks, i.e., growth motivation or metamotivation rather than deficiency motivation. Thus they were being themselves, developing, growing, and maturing, not going anywhere (in the sense, e.g., of social climbing), not striving in the ordinary sense of straining and trying for a state of affairs other than that in which they were. The distinction between deficiency motivation and growth motivation implies that self-actualizing itself is not a motivated change, unless motivation be understood in a wholly new sense. Self-actualization, the coming to full development and actuality of the potentialities of the organism, is more akin to growth and maturation than it is to habit formation or association via reward, that is, it is not acquired from without but is rather an unfolding from within of what is, in a subtle sense, already there. Spontaneity at the self-actualizing level-being healthy, natural-is unmotivated; indeed it is the contradiction of motivation. 7. Finally, in Chapter 10 the expressive determinant of behavior and of experience was discussed at some length, especially in its implications for theory of psychopathology and psychosomatics. It was strongly stressed that expression must be called relatively unmotivated, by contrast with coping, which is both motivated and purposive. The only alternative to this contrast is a complete semantic and conceptual revolution in the vocabulary of motivation. In this chapter, depression, Goldsteinian catastrophic breakdown, Maier's frustration-instigated behavior, and catharsis and release phenomena in general were also shown to be expressive, i.e., relatively unmotivated. So also were Freudian slips, tics, and free association seen to be expressive as well as motivated. 8. Behavior, with rare exceptions discussed below, is means rather . than end, i.e., it gets things done in the world. It is a question whether the exclusion of subjective states as a legitimate object of psychological study does not, a priori, make difficult or even impossible the solution of the problem we are discussing. Ends as I see them are very frequently subjective experiences of satisfaction. Without reference to the fact that most instrumental behaviors have human worth only because they bring about these subjective end-experiences, the behavior itself often becomes scientifically senseless (492). Behaviorism itself may be understood better if it is seen as one cultural expression of the general Puritan striving and


achieving point of view we have already mentioned. This implies that to its various other failings must now be added ethnocentrism.


Examples of Relatively Unmotivated Reactions


So far then we have listed several broad categories of phenomena that must be considered to be more or less unmotivated, depending on the various definitions of the word that are possible. There are also many other such reactions, and these we shall now discuss briefly. It should be observed that they are all relatively neglected areas of psychology, an excellent illustration for the student of science of the way in which a limited outlook on life creates a limited world. For the carpenter who is only a carpenter, the world is made of wood.


Art


The creation of art may be relatively motivated, i.e., when it seeks to communicate, to arouse emotion, to show, to do something to another person, or it may be relatively unmotivated, i.e., when it is expressive rather than communicative, intrapersonal rather than interpersonal. The fact that expression may have unforeseen interpersonal effects (secondary gain) is beside the point. Very much to the point, however, is the question, "Is there a need for expression?" If there is, then artistic expression, as well as cathartic and release phenomena are as motivated as food seeking or love seeking. I have indicated at various points in earlier chapters that I think the evidence will soon force us to recognize such a need to express in action whatever impulses have been aroused in the organism. That this will make paradoxes is clear from the fact that any need or any capacity is an impulse and therefore seeks expression. Should it then be called a separate need or impulse or should it rather be considered to be a universal characteristic of any impulse? At this point we need noi opt for one or another of these alternatives, since our only purpose is to show that they are all neglected. Whichever one turns out to be most fruitful will force a recognition of (I) the category of unmotivation or (2) a tremendous reconstruction of all motivation theory. Quite as important for the sophisticated person is the question of aesthetic experience. This is so rich and valuable an experience for so many people that they will simply scorn or sneer at any psychological


theory that denies or neglects it, no matter what scientific grounds there may be for such neglect. Science must account for all reality, not only the impoverished and bloodless portions of it. The fact that the aesthetic response is useless and purposeless, and that we know nothing about its motivations, if indeed, there are any in the ordinary sense, should indicate to us only the poverty of our official psychology. Even the aesthetic perception, cognitively speaking, may be seen as relatively unmotivated by comparison with ordinary cognitions. We have seen in Chapter 13 that rUbricizing perception was at best partial; not so much an examination of all the attributes oE an object, as a classification of it on the basis of those few attributes that are useful to us, relevant to our concerns, or need gratifying or need threatening. Taoistic, disinterestedperceiving of the many-sidedness of a phenome.non (with especial reference not to usefulness but to its efficacy in producing end experiences) is one characteristic of the aesthetic perception.3 I have found useful as a jumping·off point for thinking about just being, analysis of the concept of waiting. The cat in the sun does not wait any more than a tree waits. Waiting implies wasted, unappreciated time that is' empty of significance for the organism, and is a by-product of a too exclusively means-oriented attitude toward life. It is most often a stupid, inefficient, and wasteful response, since (I) impatience usuall) does no good, eve.n from the point oE view oE efficiency, and (2) even means experiences and means behaviors can be enjoyed, savored, and appreciated for their own sake at, so to speak, no extra charge. Travel is an excellent example of the way in which a piece of time can be either 


enjoyed as end experience or completely wasted. Education is another instance. So also are interpersonal relations in general. Involved here also is a certain inversion of the concept of wasted time. For the use-oriented, purposeful, need.reducing kind of person that time is wasted that achieves nothing and serves no purpose. \Vhile this is a perfectly legitimate usage, we may suggest that an equally legitimate usage might be to consider that time wasted that does not carry end experience with it, i.e., that is not ultimately enjoyed. "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." "Some things that are not necessary may yet be essential." An excellent illustration of the way in which our culture is unable to take its end experiences straight may be seen in strolling, canoeing, golfing, etc. Generally these activities are extolled because they get people into the open, close to nature, out into the sunshine, or into beautiful surroundings. In essence, these are ways in which what should be unmotivated end activities and end experiences are thrown into a purposeful, achieving, pragmatic framework in order to appease the Western conscience.


Appreciation, Enjoyment, Wonder, Zest, Connoisseurship, End Experience


Not only the aesthetic experience but many others also are passively, received and enjoyed by the organism. This enjoyment itself can hardly be said to be motivated; if anything it is the end or purpose of motivated activity, the epiphenomenon of need gratification. The mystic experience, the experience of awe, of delight, of wonder, of mystery, and of admiration are all subjectively rich experiences of the same passive, aesthetic sort, experiences that beat their way in upon the organism, flooding it as music does. These too are end experiences, ultimate rather than instrumental, changing the outside world not at all. All this is true for leisure as well, if it is properly defined (375). Perhaps it is appropriate to speak here of two such ultimate pleasures: (I) K. Biihler's function pleasure, and (2) the pleasure of sheer living (biopleasure, zestful experiencing). Especially can we see these in the child who repeats and repeats his newly perfected skill out of sheer delight that comes with good and skillful functioning. Dancing may also be a good example. As for the basic life pleasure, any ailing or dyspeptic or nause· ated person can testify to the reality of that most ultimate biological pleasure (zestful experiencing) that is an automatic, unsought-for, unmotivated by-product of being alive and healthy.


Style and Tastes


In Chapter 10, the style of behavior, as contrasted with its functions and purposes, was listed as an example of expression, following among others, Allport, (B), Werner (464), and Wertheimer (465,467). I wish to add here some data reported in 1939 (305) that should illustrate and support this thesis. In this research I attempted to discover the various ways in which high-dominance with high self-esteem, women (strong, self-confident, self-assertive characters) differed from low-dominance women (with low self-esteem, passive, shy, or retreating characters). So mallY differentiations were discovered that it finally became relatively easy to make diagnosis (and therefore validation) by simply watching them walk, talk, etc. Character structure showed itself in tastes, in clothes, party behavior, etc. as well as in overt functional, purposeful, motivated behavior. A few examples will suffice. The stronger person shows this strength by choosing foods that are saltier, sourer, and more. bitter, more sharp and of stronger taste, e.g., . strong cheeses rather than milder ones; foods that taste good even though ugly and ut:tattractive, e.g., shellfish; foods that are novel and unfamiliar, e.g., fried squirrel, snails. They are less finicky, less easily nauseated, less fussy about unattractive or sloppily prepared food. And yet they are more sensuous and hearty and lusty about good food than are the low-dominance women. By a kind of physiognomical isomorphism (464) these same qualities show themselves in other areas, e.g., their language is tougher, stronger, harder; the men they choose are tougher, stronger, harder; their reactions to exploiters, leeches, and other people who try to take advantage of them is stronger, tougher, and harder. Eisenberg's studies (lIB) very strongly supported these conclusions in various other ways. For instance, the high scorers in my test of dominance-feeling or self-esteem (294), were more apt to come late to appointments with the experimenter, to be less respectful, more casual, more forward, more condescending, less tense, anxious, and worried, more apt to accept an offered cigarette, much more apt to make themselves comfortable without bidding or invitation. In still another research (31I), their sexual reactions were found to be even more sharply different. The stronger woman is much more apt to be pagan, permissive, and accepting in all sexual realms. She is less apt to be a virgin, more apt to have masturbated, more apt to have had sexual relations with more than one man, much more apt to have tried such experiments as homosexuality, cunnilingus, fellatio, and anal sexuality.


In other words here too she is apt to be more forward, less inhibited, tougher, harder, stronger. See also De Martino (107). An unpublished experiment by Carpenter (79) on the different musical tastes of high- and low-scoring women comes to a foreseeable conclusion, namely, that high scorers (high self-esteem) are more open to strange, wild, unfamiliar music, to cacophony, and to lack of melody, to the powerful rather than the sweet. Meadow (335) showed that low scorers (shy, timid, less confident) deteriorated intellectually more than did high scorers when put under stress, Le., they were less strong. See (297a) for parallels with work of McClelland and his collaborators on the need for achievement. The value of these examples for our thesis lies in the clearly observable fact that these are all unmotivated choices, all expressive of a type of character structure in the same way that all of Mozart's music is Mozartian somehow, or that Renoir's copy of a Delacroix painting looks more like Renoir than like Delacroix. These are all expressive in the same way that the style of writing is, or that TAT stories or Rorschach protocols are, or that doll play is.


Play


Play may be either coping or expressive or both (see page 70) 'as is now quite clear from the literature on play therapy and play diagnosis. It ; seems quite probable that this general conclusion will supplant the various functional, purposive, motivational theories of play put forward in the past. Since there is nothing to prevent us from using the coping-ex. pressive dichotomy with animals, we may also reasonably look forward to more useful and realistic interpretations of animal playas well. All we have to do to open up this new area for research is to admit the possibility that play may be useless and unmotivated, a phenomenon of being rather than of striving, end rather than means. The same may probably be affirmed of laughter, hilarity, gaiety, having fun, joy, ecstasy, euphoria, etc.


Ideology, Philosophy, Theology, Cognition


This is another area that has resisted the tools of official psychology. I think this is partly so because thinking in general has been automatically regarded since Darwin and Dewey as problem solving, i.e., as functional and as motivated. What little data we have to contradict this assumption come mostly from the analysis of the larger thought products-philosophical systems -whose correlations with individual character structure are easy enough to establish (192). That a pessimist like Schopenhauer should produce a pessimistic philosophy seems very understandable. To consider it purely rationalization or defense or security device is surely nai"ve after all we have learned from TAT stories or the art products of children. In any case, to take a parallel expressive production, how could Bach's music or Rubens's painting be defensive or rationalization? Remembering also may be relatively unmotivated, as is clearly seen in the phenomenon of latent learning, which is found in greater or lesser degree, in all human beings. The to-do among the researchers over this problem is really irrelevant since it is of no concern to us whether rats show latent learning or not. Human beings in their daily lives do beyond a doubt. The finding of Ansbacher (13) that insecure people tend strongly to have insecure early memories, and my own finding that insecure people tend strongly to have manifestly insecure dreams are also instances in . ,point. These seem to be obviolls expressions of attitude toward the world. I cannot conceive how they could be, without straining, interpreted as solely neec(gratifying, rewarding, or reinforcing. The truth or the correct answer is in any case often simply perceived without effort, rather than struggled for and sought. The fact that in most experiments motivation of some sort is necessary before problems can be solved may easily be a function of the triviality or arbitrariness of the problems rather than proof that all thinking must be motivated. In the good life lived by the healthy person, thinking, like perceiving, may be spontaneous and passive reception or production, an unmotivated, effortless, happy expression of the nature and existence of the organism, a letting things happen rather than making them happen, as much an example of being as the perfume of a flower or the apples on a tree.



15 - Psychotherapy, Health, and Motivation


It is amazing that experimental psychologists have not turned to the study of psychotherapy as to an unworked gold mine. As a result of successful psychotherapy, people perceiYe differently, think differently, learn differently. Their motives change, as do their emotions. It is the best technique we have ever had for laying bare men's deepest nature as contrasted with their surface personalities. Their interpersonal relations and attitudes toward society are transformed. Their characters (or personalities) change both superficially and profoundly. There is even some evidence that their appearance changes, that physical health is improved, etc. In some cases, even the IQ goes up. And yet, the word is not even listed in: the index of most books on learning, perception, thinking, motivation, social psychology, physiological psychology, etc. To take a single example, there is no question whatsoever that the theory of learning would, to say the least, profit by the study of the learning effects of such therape';ltic forces as marriage, friendship, free association, resistance analysis, success in a job, not to mention tragedy, trauma, conflict, and suffering. Another equally important set of unsolved problems is turned up by examining the psychotherapeutic relationships as simply a subexample of social or interpersonal relationships, i.e., as a branch of social psy


chology. We can now describe at least three ways in which patients and therapists can relate to each other, the authoritarian, the democratic, the laissez-faire, each having its special usefulness at various times. But precisely these three types of relationships are found in the social atmosphere of boys' clubs and in styles of hypnosis, in types of political theory, in mother-child relationships (300) and in kinds of social organization found in infrahuman primates (306). Any thorough study of the aims and goals of therapy must expose very quickly the inadequate development of current personality theory, call into question the basic sciendfic orthodoxy that values have no place in science, lay bare the limitations of medical notions of health, disease, therapy, and cure, and reveal clearly that our culture ~tiII lacks a usable value system. No wonder people are afraid of the problem. Many other examples could be adduced to prove that psychotherapy is an important department of general psychology. We may say that psychotherapy takes place in seven main ways: (I) by expression (act completion, release, catharsis), as exemplifIed in Levy's release therapy (271); (2) by basic need-gratification (giving support, reassurance, protection, love, respect); (3) by removing threat (protection, good social, political, and economic conditions; (4) by improved insight, knowledge, and understanding; (5) by suggestion or authority; (6) by direct attack on the symptoms, as in the various behavior therapies; and (7) by positive self-actualization, individuation, or growth. For the more; general purposes of personality theory, this also constitutes a list of the ways in which personality changes in culturally and psychiatrically approved directions. We are here specially interested in tracing a few of the interrelationships between the data of therapy and the theory of motivation so far presented in this book. It will be seen that gratification of the basic needs is an important (perhaps the most important) step along the path to the ultimate, positive goal of all therapy, namely, self-actualization. It wiII also be pointed out that these basic needs are mostly satisfiable only by other human beings, and that therefore therapy must take place mostly on an interpersonal basis. The sets of basic needs whose gratifications constitute the basic therapeutic medications; e.g., safety, belongingness, love, and respect, can be obtained only from other people. May I say at once that my own experience has been almost entirely confined to the briefer therapies. Those whose experience is primarily with psychoanalytic (deeper) therapy are much more likely to come to the conclusion that insight rather than need gratification is the important


medicine. This is so because seriously sick people are incapable of accepting or assimilating satisfactions of basic needs until they have given up their infantile interpretations of self and others and become capable 01 perceiving and accepting personal and interpersonal reality as it is. We could debate the matter if we wished, pointing out that the purpose of insight therapy is to make possible the acceptance of good interpersonal relations and the need gratifications that go with them. We know insight has been effective only because these motivational changes come to pass. However, acceptance for the time being of a crude differentiation between the simpler, briefer, need-gratification therapy and the deeper, longer; more laborious insight therapy has considerable heuristic value. As we shall see, need gratification is possible in many nontechnical situa. tions, such as marriages, friendship. collaboration, teaching. etc. This opens a theoretical road to a much wider extension of therapeutic skills to all sorts of laymen (lay therapy). At present, insight therapy is definitely a technical matter, for which much training is necessary. The relentless pursuit of the theoretical consequences of this dichotomy between lay therapy and technical therapy will demonstrate its varied usefulness. It is po~sible also to hazard the opinion that, although the deeper insight therapies involve additional principles, they too can best be understood if we choose as our beginning point the study of the effects of thwarting and gratifying of man's basic needs. This is directly contrary to the practice now extant, of deriving an explanation of the shorter therapies from a study of one or another variety of psychoanalysis (or other insight therapy). One by-product of this latter approach has been to make the study of psychotherapy and personal growth an isolated area in psychological theory, more or less sufficient unto itself, and governed by special or autochthonous laws peculiar to this field alone. This chapter explicitly rejects such implications, and proceeds from the conviction that there are no ad hoc laws in psychotherapy. That we have proceeded as if there were is due not only to the fact that most professional therapists have been trained medically rather than psychologically, but also to the . curious blindness of experimental psychologists to the repercussions upon their own picture of human nature of the phenomena of psychotherapy. In short, we may contend not only that psychotherapy must ultimately base itself squarely on sound, general psychological theory, but also that psychological theory must enlarge itself to become adequate to this reo sponsibility. Accordingly we shall deal first with the simpler therapeutic phenomena, postponing the problems of insight to a later part of this chapter.


Some Phenomena that Support the View of Psychotherapy and Personal Growth as Need Gratification via Interpersonal Relations


We know of many facts that, taken together, make impossible (1) any purely cognitive, or (2) any purely impersonal theory of psychotherapy, but that are quite compatible with need-gratification theory and with an interpersonal approach to therapy and growth. 1. Psychotherapy has always existed wherever there was a society. The shaman, the medicine man, the witch, the wise old woman of the community, the priest, the guru, and more recently in Western civilization, the physician, have always been able to achieve in some cases what we call today psychotherapy. Indeed the great religious leaders and organizations have been validated as such, by their cures, not only of gross and dramatic psychopathology, but also of subtler character and value disturbances. The explanations that these people offered for these achievements have nothing in common with each other and need not be considered seriously. We must accept the fact that though these miracles could be performed, the performers did not know why or how they were achieved. 2. This discrepancy between theory and practice exists' today also. The various schools of psychotherapy all disagree wi th each other, some;- times very violently. And yet a psychologist in clinical work will, in a long enough period of time, run across patients who have heen cured by representatives of each of these schools of thought. These patients will then be grateful and loyal proponents of the one or another brand of theory. But it is just as easy to ,collect instances of failure for each ofthese schools of thought. And to make the matter triply confusing, I have seen patients cured by physicians or even by psychiatrists who, to my certain knowledge, had never had any training of any kind in what could fairly be called psychotherapy (not to mention schoolteachers, ministers, nurses, dentists, social workers, etc.). It is true that we can criticize these various theoretical schools on empirical and scientific grounds and arrange them in a crude hierarchy of relative validity. And we may expect that in the future we shall be able to gather suitable statistics to show that one theoretical training produces a higher percentage of cure or growth than another, even though neither fails or succeeds all the time. At this moment, however, we must accept the fact that therapeutic results may occur to some degree independently of theory, or for that matter, with no theory at all. 3. Even within the confines of one school of thought, let us say classical Freudian psychoanalysis, it is well known and commonly admitted by the analysts that there arc wide differences from analyst to analyst, not only in ability as ordinarily defined, but also in sheer efficacy at curing. Some brilliant analysts who make important contributions in teaching and writing, who admittedly know a great deal and who are sought after as teachers and lecturers, and as training analysts, yet too often fail to cure their patients. And there are others, who never write anything or make few if any discoveries, who yet cure their patients most of the time. Of course there is clearly some degree of positive correlation in these abilities to be brilliant and to cure patients, and yet the exceptions remain to be explained. t 4. There are through history some well-known cases in which the master of. a school of therapeutic thought, while himself extraordinarily capable as a therapist, yet largely failed in teaching this ability to his srudents. If it were only a matter of theory, content, or knowledge, and if the personality of the therapist made no difference, students should eventually do as well or better than their teachers, if they were equally intelligent and assiduous. 5. It is a common enough experience for any type of therapist to see a patient for the first time. discuss a few external details with him, e.g., procedure, hours, etc., and have him reporr or demonstrate improvement by the time of the second contact. In terms of what was overtly said or done, this result is absolutely incomprehensible. 6. Sometimes therapeutic results occur without the therapist saying a word. In one instance, a college girl wanted advice abollt a personal problem. At the end of one hour, during which she talked and I said riot a single word, she had settled the problem to her own satisfaction, thanked me gratefully for my advice, and left. 7. For cases that are young enough, and that are not too serious, the ordinary major life experiences can be therapeutic in the fullest sense of the word. A good marriage, success in a suitable job, developing good friendships, having children. facing emergencies, and overcoming difficulties-I have occasionally seen all of these produce deep character changes, get rid of symptoms, etc. without the help of a technical ther. apist. As a matter of fact, a case could be made for the thesis that good life circumstances are among the ultimate therapeutic agents and that technical psychotherapy often has the task only of enabling the individual to take advantage of them. 8. Many psychoanalysts have observed that their patients progressed' during gaps in their analysis and also after the analysis was completed. 9. It has also been reported that one sign of successful therapy is to be found in concomitant improvement of the wife or husband of the person under therapy. 10. Perhaps most challenging of all is the very peculiar situation existing today in which the vast majority of cases are treated or at least handled by people who were never trained to be therapists or were inade· quately trained. I can illustrate best by citing my own experience in this area, an experience that must be paralleled by hundreds of other indio viduals in the field of psychology and in other fields. The training of the large majority of graduate students in psychology during the twenties and thirties was (and still is to a lesser extent) limited, sometimes to the point of sterility. The student, coming into psychology because he liked human beings and wanted to understand and help them, found himself initiated into a peculiar cultlike atmosphere in which most of his time was spent on the phenomena of sensation. the ramifications of the conditioned reflex, and the nonsense syllable, and the peregrinations of white rats through mazes. Along with this came a more usefqJ, but still philosophically limited and naive training in experimental and statistical methods. And yet, to the layman, a psychologist was a psychologist, a target for all the major life questions, a technician who was supposed to know why divorces occur, why hatred develops, or why people become psychotic. Often he had to answer the best way he could. Especially was this true in the smaller cities and towns that had never seen a psychiatrist and never heard of psychoanalysis. The only alternative to a psychologist was a favorite aunt, the family physician or minister. Thus it was possible for an untrained psychologist to assuage his guilty conscience. Also he could put his efforts down to necessary training. What I wish to report, however, is that these fumbling elforts so often worked, to the complete amazement of the yOtlng psychologist. He was well enough prepared for his failures, which of course were more frequent, but how to explain successful results that he had not even hoped for? Some experiences were even more unexpected. In the course of vari· ous researches in which I had to collect intimate and detailed case his· tories of various types of personality, I was completely unprepared by my training for. the occasional occurrence of a cure of the very personality distortion I was examining when I had done nothing but ask questions about the personality and life histof)! It has also happened once in a while that, upon being asked for the usual advice by a stlluent, I would advise him to seek professional psychotherapy and explain why I thought this desirable, what was wrong with him, the nature of psychological illness, etc. In some cases, this alone was sufficient to remove the presenting symptoms. Such phenomena as these are less often seen by the professional therapist than by the amateur. Indeed, it has become quite clear that some psychiatrists are simply not ready to believe the reports of such happen. ings as these. But this can all easily be checked and confirmed, since such experiences are common among psychologists and social workers, not to mention ministers, teachers, and physicians. How to explain these phenomena? It seems to me that we can under. stand them only with the aid of a motivational, interpersonal theory. It is necessary apparently to stress not what was consciously said or done, but what was unconsciously done and unconsciously perceived. The ther. apist in all the cases cited was interested in the patient, concerned about him. was trying to help him, thereby proving to the patient that he had worth in the eyes of at least one person. Since the therapist was in all cases someone who was perceived as wiser, older, stronger, or healthier, the patient could also feel more safe and protected and therefore less vulner.able and less anxious. The willingness to listen, the lack of scolding, the encouragement of frankness, the acceptance and approval even after sinful revelations, gentleness and kindness, the feeling given to the patient of having somone on his side, all these in addition to the factors listed above, help to produce in the patient the unconscious realization of being liked, protected, and respected. As has been pointed out already, these are all gratifications of basic needs. It seems quite clear that if we supplement the better-known therapeutic determinants (suggestion, catharsis, insight, and more recently, the behavior therapies, etc.) by assigning a much larger role to basic need gratifications. we can explain much more than we' could with these known processes alone. Some therapeutic phenomena occur with these gratifications as their only explanation-presumably less serious cases. Others-- more serious-which are sufficiently explained by the more complex therapeutic techniques alone can be even more fully understood by adding, as a determinant, the basic need gratifications, which come almost automatically in good interpersonal relationships (291).


Psychotherapy as a Good Human Relationship


Any ultimate analysis of human, interpersonal relationships, e.g., friendship, marriage, etc., will show (1) that basic needs can be satisfied only interpersonally, and (2) that the satisfactions of these needs are precisely those we have already spoken of as the basic therapeutic medicines, namely, the giving of safety, love, belongingness, feeling of worth, and self-esteem. \Ve should inevitably in the course of an analysis of human relations find ourselves confronted with the necessity, as well as tire possibility, of differentiating good from poor relationships. Such a differentiation can very fruitfully be made on the basis of the degree of satisfaction of the basic needs brought about by the relationship. A relationship-friendship, marriage, parent-child relation-would then be defined (in a limited fashion) as psychologically good to the extent that it supported or improved belongingness, security, and self-esteem (and ultimately self-actualization) and bad to the extent that it did not. These cannot be satisfied by trees, mountains, or even dogs. Only from another human being can we get fully satisfying respect and protection :md love, and it is only to other human beings that we can give these in the fullest measure. But these are precisely what we find good friends, good sweethearts, good parents and children, good teachers al!.d students giving to each other. These are the very satisfactions that we seek for from good human relationship of any kind. And it is precisely these need gratifications that are the sine qua non preconditions for the production of good human beings, which in turn is the ultimate (if not immediate) goal of all psychotherapy. The sweeping implications of our system of definitions would then be that (1) psychotherapy is not at its base a unique relationship, for some of its fundamental qualities are found in all "good" human relationship,2 and (2) if this is so, this aspect of psychotherapy must be subjected to a more thoroughgoing critique than it has ordinarily received, from the viewpoint of its nature as a good or bad human interpersonal relation.3 1. Taking then the good friendships (whether between wife and husband, parent and child, or man and man) as our paradigms of the good interpersonal relations, and examining them a bit more closely, we find that they offer many more satisfactions than even those we have spoken of. Mutual frankness, trust, honesty, lack of defensiveness, can all be seen as having in addition to tl\eir face value, an additional expressive, catharti"c release value (see Chapter 10). A sound friendship permits also the expression of a healthy amount of passivity, relaxation, childishness, and silliness, sin~e if there is no danger and we are loved and respected for ourselves rather than for any front we put on or role we play, we can be as we really are, weak when we feel weak, protected when we feel confused, childish when we wish to drop the responsibilities of adulthood. In addition, a really good relationship improves insight even in the Freudian sense, for a good friend or husband is one who feels free enough to offer the equivalent of analytic interpretations for our consideration. Nor have we spoken enough yet of what may broadly be called the educational value of a good human relationship. We have desires not only to be safe and to be loved, but also to know more and more, to be curious, to unfold every wrapping and to unlock every door. Beyond this, we have to reckon also with our basically philosophical impulses to structure the world, to understand it deeply, and to have it make sense. While a fine friendship or parent-child relation should offer much in this area, these satisfactions are or should be achieved to a special degree in a good therapeutic relationship. Finally it might we well to say a word about the obvious (and therefore neglected) fact that it is as great a deli~l\t to love as to be loved.· The open impulse to affection is severely inhibited in oUl: culture as the sexual and the hostile impulses--perhaps even more (442). We are allowed open expression of affection in extraordinarily few relationships, perhaps' in only three, the parent-ehild pair, the grandparent-grandchild pair, and in married people and sweethearts, and even in these we know how easily they can become strangulated and mixed with embarrassment, guilt, defensiveness, playing a role, and with a struggle for dominance. It is not enough stressed that a therapeutic relationship permits, even encourages, open verbal expression of love and affection impulses. Only here (as well as in the various "personal growth" groups) are they taken for granted and expected, and only here are they consciously purged of their unhealthy admixtures and then, thus cleansed, put to the best of uses. Such facts as these point unmistakably to the necessity of reevaluating the Freudian concepts of transference and countertransference. These concepts rose out of a study of sickness, and are much too limited for dealing with health. They must be enlarged to include the sound as well as the crippled, the rational as well as the irrational. 2. There can be differentiated at least three different qualities of human relationship, the dominant-subordinate, the equalitarian, and the aloof or laissez-faire. These have been demonstrated in diverse areas (300), including the therapist-patient relationship. A therapist can consider himself the active, deciding, managing boss of his patient, or he can relate himself to the patient as a partner in a common task, or finally, he can transform himself into a calm, emotionless mirror to the patient, never becoming involved, never coming humanly close, but always remaining detached. This last i~ the type that Freud recommended, but the other two types of relationship are the ones that actually prevail most often although officially, the only label available for any normal human feelings for the analysand is countertransference, i.e., irrational, sick. Now, if the relationship between the therapist and the patient is the medium through which the patient is to obtain his necessary therapeutic medicines-as the water is the medium in which the fish finds all his need objects-it lIlust be considered, not per se, but rather in the light of which medium is best for which patient. \Ve must guard ourselves against choosing one for loyal backing, to the exclusion of others. There is no reason why all three, as well as others, perhaps yet to be discovered, should not be found in the armamentarium of the good therapist. While it follows from what has been presented above that the aver· age patient would thrive best in a warm, friendly, democratic partnership relation, there arc too many for whom it will not be the best atmosphere to allow us to make it into a rule. This is partirularly true for more serio ous cases of chronic stabilized neurosis. Some more authoritarian characters, who will identify kindness with weakness, must not be allowed to develop an easy contempt for the therapist. Holding the reins tight, and setting very definite limits to permissiveness, may be desirable for the patient's ultimate good. This has been especially stressed by the Rankeans in their discussions of the limits of the t~erapeutic relation. Others, who have learned to regard affection as a snare and a trap, will recoil with anxiety to anything but aloofness. The deeply guilty may demand punishment. The rash and the self·destructive may need positive orders to keep them from harming themselves irreparably. But there can be no exception to the rule that the therapist ought to he as conscious as possible of the relationship he forms with his patient. Granted that he will spontaneously ten~ to one type rather than another because of his own character, he shouldJ)e able to hold himself in check when his patient's good is concerned. In any case, if the relationship is bad, whether in general terms or in the terms of the individual patient, it is doubtful that any of the other resources of psychotherapy can have much effect. This is largely so because such a relationship is apt never to be entered into or soon broken off. But even if the patient stays with someone he deeply dislikes or resents or is anxious with, time is too apt to be taken with self-defense, with defiance, •with the patient tempted to take as his main goal displeasing the therapist. To sum up, even though forming a satisfactory human relationship may not be an end in itsel( but rather a means to an end, it must still be regarded as a necessary or highly desirable precondition for psychotherapy, since it is usually the best medium for dispensation of the ultimate psychological medicines that all human beings need. There are yet other interesting implications of this point of view. If psychotherapy consists, in ultimate essence, of supplying to a sick human being just those qualities that he should have gotten from other good , Q.uman relations, this amounts to defining the psychologically sick person a~ one who has never had enough good relationships with olher people. This does not contradict our previous definition of the sick man as one who has not got enough of love, respect, etc., since he can gel these only from other people. Though these definitions are thus shown to be tautologous, each leads us off in different directions and opens our eyes to different aspects of therapy. One c!Jl1sequel1ce of tllis second definition of sickness is that it throws the psychotherapeutic refadonship into another light. It is by most considered to be a desperate measure, a last recourse, and because mostly sick people enter into it, it has come to be regarded as itself weird, abnormal, sick, unusual, an unfortunate necessity, like surgery, even by the therapists themselves. Surely this is not the attitude with which people enter into other beneficial relationships like marriage, friendship, or partnership. But, by theory at least, psychotherapy is as similar to friendship as it is to surgery. It ought then to be looked upon as a healthy, desirable relation, even to some extent and in some respects, as one of the ideal relationships between human beings. By theory, it ought to be looked forward to, eagerly entered upon. This is what should follow from previous considerations. In actuality, however, we know that this is not the case. very often. This contradiction, of course, is well recognized but is not fully ex; plained by the neurotic's necessity for hanging on to his illness. It must also be explained by misunderstanding of the fundamental nature of therapeutic relations, not only by patients, but also by many therapists. I have found potential patients more ready to go into therapy when it was explained to them as I have done above than when the explanation was of the more usual sort. Another consequence of an interpersonal definition of therapy is that it makes it possible to phrase one of its aspects as training in the technique of establishing a good human relationship (something a chronic neurotic cannot do without special help), of proving this to be a possibility, of discovering how enjoyable and fruitful it is. The hope would be then that he could now form deeply good friendships with olhers, by a kind of transfer of training. Presumably, he could then get all necessary psychological medicines, as most of us do, from our friendships, our children, our wives or husbands, and our colleagues. From this point of view, therapy can be defined in still another way, namely, as preparing the patient to set up on his own the good human relationships that all human beings want and in which relatively healthy people get many of the psychological medicines that they need. Another deduction from foregoing considerations would be that patients and therapists ideally should choose each other and that furthermore this choice should be made, not alone on the basis of reputation, size of fee, technical training, and skill, etc., but also on the basis of ordinary human liking for each other. It could easily be demonstrated logically that this should at least shorten the time necessary for treatment, make it easier for both patient and therapist, make possible a closer approach to ideal cure, and make the whole experience more rewarding for both. Various other corollaries of such a conclusion would be that the backgrounds. level of intelligence, experiences, religion, politics, values, etc, of both should be more rather than less similar, ideally. It must by now be clear that the personality or character structure of the therapist is, if not all-important, certainly one of the crucial considerations. He must be an individual who can enter easily into the ideally good human relationship that is psychotherapy. Furthermore, he must be -able to do this with many different kinds of people or even with all human beings. He must be warm and sympathetic, and he must be sure enough of himself to be able to give respect to other human beings. He ought to be an essentially democratic person, in the psychological sense that he looks on other human beings with essential respect simply because they are human and unique. In a word, he should be emotionally secure and he should have healthy self-esteem. In addition his life situation ought ideally to be so good that he is not absorbed with his own problems. He should be happily married, be financially successful, have good friends, like life, and generally be capable of having a good time. Finally, all this implies that we might very well throw open for additional consideration the prematurely closed question (by the psychoanalysts) of continued social contacts between therapist and patient after the formal therapeutic sessions are closed or even while they are going on.


Good Human Relations as Psychotherapeutic


Because we have expanded and generalized the phrasing of the ultimate goals of psychotherapy, and the specific medicines that produce these end effects, we have become logically committed to an obliteration of the walls that fence off psychotherapy from other human relationships and life happenings. Those happenings and those relationships in the life of the ordinary individual that help him make progress toward the ultimate ends of technical psychotherapy may fairly be called psychotherapeutic even though they occur outside an office and without benefit of a professional therapist. It follows that a wholly proper part of the study of psychotherapy is examination of the everyday miracles produced by good marriages, good friendships, good parents, good jobs, good teachers, etc. An example of a theorem deriving directly from such consideration would be that technical therapy ought to rely much more than it has on steering patients into just such therapeutic relationships as soon as the patient can accept and handle them. Certainly we need not be afraid as professionals of putting into the hands of amateurs these important psychotherapeutic tools: protection, love and respect for other human heings. 'Vhile they are certainly powerful tools, they are not therefore dangerous ones. 'Ve may expect that ordinarily we cannot hurt anybody by loving and respecting him (except occasional neurotic individuals, who are, in any case, badly off already). It is fair to expect that care, love, and respect are forces almost always for good and not for harm. Accepting this, it must be our clear conviction that not only is every good human being potentially an unconscious therapist, but also we must accept the conclusion that we should approve of this, encourage it, teach it. At least these fundamentals of what we may call lay psychotherapy can be taught from childhood on to any human being at all. One clear task, for public psychotherapy (using the analogy of contrast between public health and private medicine) is to teach just these facts, to broadcast them far and wide, to be certain that every teacher, every parent, and ideally every human being, be given the chance to understand them and to apply them. Human beings have always gone for advice and help to others whom they respected and loved. There is no reason why this historical phenomenon should not be formalized, verbalized, and encouraged to the point of universality by psychologists as well as religionists. Let people realize clearly that every time they threaten someone or humiliate or hurt unnecessarily or dominate or reject another human being, they become forces for the creation of psychopathology, even if these be small forces. Let them recognize also that every man who is kind, helpful, decent, psychologically democratic, affectionate, and warm, is a psychotherapeutic force even though a small one.5


Psychotherapy and the Good Society


As a parallel to the previously discussed definition of good human relationships, we can explore the implications of the, by now, obviously called-for definition of the good society as one that gives to its members the greatest possibility of becoming sound and self-actualizing human beings. This in turn means that the good society is the one that has its institutional arrangements set up in such a way as to foster, encourage, reward, produce a maximum of good human relationships and a minimum of bad human relationships. A corollary from foregoing definitions and identities would be that good society is synonymous with psychologically healthy society, while bad society would be synonymous with psychologically sick society, which in turn means basic-need gratifying and basic-need thwarting respectively, i.e., not enough love, affection, protection, respect, trust, truth, and too much hostility, humiliation, fear, contempt; and domination. It should be stressed that social and institutional pressures foster ·therapeutic or pathogenic consequences (make them easier, more advantageous, more probable, give them greater primary and secondary gains). They do not absolutely fate them or make them absolutely inevitable. We know enough of the range of personality in both simple and complex societies to respect, on the one hand, the plasticity and resilience of human nature, and on the other hand, the peculiar stubbornness of the already formed character structure in exceptional individuals which makes it possible for them to resist and even flout social pressures (see Chapter 11). Always the anthropologist seems to be able to find one kind man in the cruel society, one fighter in the pacific society. We know enough now not to blame all human ills on social arrangements a la Rousseau, nor dare we hope that all human beings can be made happy, healthy, and wise by social improvements alone. So .far as our society is concerned we can look at it from various points of view, all useful for one or another purpose. For instance we can • strike a sort of avera~e for our or any other society and label it fairly sick, extremely sick, etc. More useful for us, however, would be a gauging and balancing against each other of the sickness-fostering and the healthfostering forces. Our society clearly has much of both teetering in a pre· carious balance, with control going now to one set of forces, now another. There is no reason why these forces should not be measured and experimented with. . Leaving such general considerations and turning to the individual· psychological ones, we deal first with the fact o( subjective interpretation of the culture. From this point of view, we may fairly say of the neurotic person that, for him, the society is sick, for he sees in it preponderantly danger, threat, attack, selfishness, humiliation, and coldness. It is of course understood that his neighbor, looking at the same culture, the same peo· pie, may find the society to be a healthy one. These conclusions do not contradict each other psychologically. They can both exist psychologi"cally. Thus every deeply sick person lives subjectively in a sick society. The conclusion from the conjoining of this statement and our previous discussion of the psychotherapeutic relationship is that therapy may be phrased as an attempt to set up a miniature good society.G This same phrasing may be used even where the society is sick from the point of view of a large majority of its members. Theoretically then, psychotherapy socially amounts to mnning counter to the basic stresses and tendencies in a sick society. Or in a more generalized form, no matter what the degree of general health or sickness of a society, therapy amounts to fighting against the sickness-producing forces in that society on an individual scale. It tries, so to speak, to turn the tide, to bore from within, to be revolutionary or radical in an ultimate" etymological sense. Every psychotherapist, then, is or should be fighting in the small rather than in the large, the psychopathogenic forces in his society, and if these be fundamental and primary, he is actually fighting his society. Clearly if psychotherapy could be tremendously extended, if, instead of dealing with a few dozen patients a year, psychotherapists could deal with several million patients a year, then these small forces against the nature of our society would become quite perceptible to the naked eye. That the society would change there can be no doubt. First would come changes here and there in the flavor of human relationships with respect to such qualities as hospitality, generosity, friendliness, and the like, but when enough people became more hospitable, more generous, more kind, more social, then we may rest assured that they would force legal, political, economic, and sociological changes as well (347). Perhaps the rapid spread of T-groups, encounter groups, and many other kinds of "personal growth" groups and classes Jllay have perceptible effects on the society. 1t seems to me that no society, however good, could completely eliminate sickness. 1£ threats do not come from other human beings, they will always come from nature, from death, from frustration. from sickness. even from the mere fact that by living together in a society, though we advantage ourselves thereby, we must also necessarily modify the form of satisfying our desires. Nor dare we forget that human nature itself generates much evil, if not from inborn malice, then from ignorance, stupidity, fear, miscommunications, clumsiness, etc. See Chapter 9. This is a terribly complicated set of interrelations and it is very easy to be misunderstood or to say things in such a way as to invite misunderstanding. Perhaps I can guard against this, without writing at very great length, by referring the reader to a paper I prepared for my students in a seminar on Utopian Social Psychology (31Ib). It stresses the empirical, the actually attainable (rather than unattainable fantasies) and it also insists on statements of degree rather than either/or statements. The task is 5tlructured by the questions: How good a society does human nature permit? How good a human nature does society permit? How good a human nature can we hope for considering the built-in limitations of human nature that we already know about? How good a society dare we hope for in view of the difficulties inherent in the very nature of society itself? My personal judgments are that no perfect human being is possible or even conceivable. but that human beings are far more improvable than most people believe. As for the perfect society, this seems to me to be an impossible hope. especially in view of the obvious fact that it is close to impossible even to make a perfect marriage, a friendship, or parent-<:hild relationship. If untainted love is so difficult to achieve in a pair, a family, a group. how much more difficult for 200 million? For 3 billion? And yet again, it is clear that pairings, groupings and societies. though not perfectible. are very clearly improvable and can range from very good to very ,bad. Furthermore. I feel we know enough about improving pairs, groups, and societies to reject the likelihood of quick or easy changes. Improving a single person-so that it lasts--can be a matter of years of therapeutic work. and even then the main aspect of the "improvement" is that it permits him to go about the lifelong task of improving himself. Instant self-actualization, in a great moment of conversion or insight or awakening does happen. but it is extremely rare and should not be counted upon. The psychoanalysts have long since learned not to rely on insight alone, but now stress "working through," the long, slow, painful, repeated effort to use and to apply the insights. In the East, spiritual teachers and guides will generally also make this same point, that to improve oneself is a lifelong effort. The same lesson is now slowly dawning upon the more thoughtful and sober of the leaders of T-groups, basic encounter groups, personal growth groups, affective education, etc., who are now in the painful process of giving up the "Big Bang" theory of self-actualization. All formulations in this area would have to be degree formulas of ' course, as in the following examples. (1) The healthier the general society, the less necessity there should be for individual psychotherapy, since fewer individuals would be sick. (2) The healthier the general society, the more likely will it be that a sick person can be helped or cured without tech· nical therapeutic intervention, i.e., by the good life experiences. (3) The healthier the general society, the easier will it be for the therapist to cure the sick patient, since simple gratification therapy is more likely to be acceptable to the patient. (4) The healthier the general society, the easier will it be for insight therapy to cure, because there will be so many supporting good life experiences, good relationshi ps, etc., as well as relative absence of war, unemployment, poverty, etc., and other sociopathogenic influences. Obviously, dozens of theorems of this easily testable sort are possible. Some such phrasing of the relationship between individual sickness, individual therapy, and the nature of the society is necessary to help solve the often stated pessimistic paradox, "How can health or improvement of health be possible in a sick society that created the ill health in the first place?" Of course the pessimism implied in this dilemma is contradicted by the very presence of self-actualizing people, and by the existence of psychotherapy, which proves its possibility by actually existing. It is helpful, even so, to supply a theory of how it is possible, if only to throw the whole question open to empirical research.


The Role of Training and Theory in Modern Psychotherapy


As illness becomes more and more severe, it becomes less and less accessible to benefit from need gratification. There comes a point in this continuum where (1) basic need gratifications are often not even sought for or wanted, having been given up in favor of neurotic-need gratifications, and (2) even when they are offered, the patient cannot use them. It is no use offering him affection, for he is afraid of it, mistrusts it, misinterprets it. and finally refuses it.


It is at this point that professional (insight) therapy becomes not only necessary but irreplaceable. No other therapy will do, neither suggestion, nor catharsis, nor symptom cure, nor need.gratification. Therefore, beyond this point, we enter, so to speak, into other country-an area governed by its own laws, an area in which all principles so far discussed in this chapter cease to apply unless modified and qualified. The differences between technical and lay therapy are vast and important. Thirty or forty years ago we should not have had to add anything to the above discussion. Today it is necessary to do so, for psychological developments in this century, starting with the revolutionary discoveries of Freud, Adler, etc., have been transforming psychotherapy from an unconscious art into a consciously applied science. There are now available psychotherapeutic tools that are not automatically available to the good human being, but are available only to people of sufficient intellect who have in addition been rigorously trained to use these new techniques. They are artificial techniques, not spontaneous or unconscious ones. They can be taught in a way that is to some extent independent of the character structure of the psychotherapist. I wish tQ speak here only about the most important, the most revolutionary of these techniques, i.e., the bringing of insight to the patient, that is, making consciously available to him his unconscious desires, impulses, inhibitions, and thoughts (genetic analysis, character analysis, resistance analysis, analysis of the transference). It is primarily this tool that gives the professional psychotherapist who also has the requisite good personality his tremendous advantage over the man who has merely the good personality and not the professional techniques. How is this insi~ht brought about? So far most if not all the techniques for bringing it about have not gone very much beyond those that Freud elaborated. Free associations, dream interpretation, interpretation of the meaning behind everyday behavior, are the major paths by which therapists help the patient to gain conscious insight into himself.7 A few other possibilities are ready to hand hut they are much less important. •Relaxation techniques and various techniques that induce some form of dissociation and then take advantage of it are not so important as the so·called Freudian techniques, even though they might very well be used more than they are today. Within limits these techniques can be acquired by anybody with a decent intelligence who is willing to go through a suitable course of training provided by psychiatric and psychoanaly~ical institutes, graduate departments of clinical psychology, etc. It is true that, as we might have expected, there are individual differences in the efficiency of their use. Some students of insight therapy seem to have better intuition than others. \Ve may suspect also that the kind of man we have labeled as the good personality will be able to use them far more efficiently than the therapist who does not have this kind of personality. All institutes of psychoanalysis include a personality requirement for their students. Another new and great discovery given to us by Freud is the recognition of the necessity for self·understanding by the psychotherapist himself. While the necessity for this kind of insight by the therapist is recognized by the psychoanalysts, it is not yet formally recognized by psychotherapists of other persuasions. This is a mistake. It follows from the theory presented here that any force that will make the therapist into a better personality will thereby make him a better therapist. Psychoanalysis or other profound therapy of the therapist can help to do this. If it sometimes fails to cure altogether, at least it can make the therapist aware of what is likely to threaten him, of the major areas of conflict and frustFation with· in him. Consequently, when he deals with his patients, he can discoun~ these forces within himself, and correct for them. Being always conscious of them, he can make them subject to his intelligence. In the past, as we have said, the character structure of the therapist was far more important than any theories he held, or even more impor. tant than the conscious techniques that he used. But this must become less and less so as technical therapy becomes more and more sophisticated. In the total picture of the good psychotherapist his character structure for the last decade or two has slowly receded in importance and wiil cer· tainly continue to do so in the future, while his training, his intelligence, his techniques, his theories have steadily become more and more impor. tant until, we may rest assured, some time in the future they will become all-important. We have lauded the wise old woman technique of psychotherapy for the simple reasons that in the past these were the only psychotherapists available, and second because even in the present and in the future they will always be important in what we have called lay psychotherapy. No longer, however, is it sensible or justified to toss a coin to decide whether to go to the minister or to the psychoanalyst. The good professional psychotherapist has left the intuitive helper far behind. We may expect that in the not too distant future, especially if the society improves, the professional psychotherap_ist will not be used for purposes of reassurance, support. and other need gratifications, because we will get these [rom our fellow laymen. An individual will come for maladies that lie beyond the reach of simple gratification therapy or release therapy, but that are accessible only to professional techniques that are not used by the layman. Paradoxically a completely contrary deduction is also possible from the foregoing theories. If relatively healthy people are so much more readily touched by therapy, it is quite possible that much technical therapeutic time will be reserved [or the most healthy instead of the least healthy on the sensible grounds that improving ten people a year is better than improving one, especially if these few are themselves in key lay therapelltic positions, e.g., teachers, social workers, physicians. This is already happening to a considerable extent. A large proportion of the time of experienced psychoanalysts and existential analysts is occupied with training and teaching and analyzing young therapists. It is also very ·oommon now [ora therapist to be teaching physicians, social workers, psychologists, nurses, ministers, and teachers. Before leaving the subject of insight therapy, I think it well to resolve the dichotomy so far implied between insight and need gratification. Purely cognitive or rationalistic insight (cold, unemotional knowledge about) is one thing; organismic insight is another. The full insight that the Freudians sometimes speak about is a recognition of the fact that mere knowledge about one's symptoms, even when we add knowledge about where they come from and the dynamic role they play in the contemporary psychic economy. is frequently not in itself curative. There ought to be an emotional experience simultaneously, an actual reliving of the experience, a catharsis, a reaction. That is, a full insight is not only a cognitive but also an emotional experience. Somewhat more subtle is the contention that this insight is often a conative, need-gratifying, or frustrating experience as well, an actual feelo ing of being loved, or abandoned, or despised, or rejected or protected. The emotion that the analysts speak of then is better seen as the reaction to realization, e.g., that father really loved him after all as one vividly relives a twenty-year-old experience. repressed or wrongly understood until now, or that he suddenly realizes, by actually experiencing the appropriate emotion. that he hated the mothe! he had always assumed he loved. This rich experience, simultaneously cognitive, emotional, and conative. we may call the organismic insight. But supposing we have been studying emotional experiences primarily? Again we should have to expand the experience more and more to include conative elements, and we should ultimately find ourselves speaking of the organismic or holistic emotion, etc. So also for the conative experience; it too would expand to a nonfaculty experience of the total organism. The final step would be to realize that there was no difference between organismic insight, organismic emotion, and organismic conation except the angle of approach of the student, and the original dichotomies would be clearly seen to be artifacts of a too atomistic approach to the subject.


Self-Therapy; Cognitive Therapy


It is one implication of the theory presented here that self-therapy has at the same time greater possibilities and also greater limitations than have been commonly realized. If every human being learns to know what he lacks, learns what his fundamental desires are, learns in broad outline the symptoms that indicate the lack of satisfaction of these fundamental desires, he can consciously go about trying to make up for these lacks. We may fairly say that by this theory most human bein~s have within their own power greater possibility than they have realized for curing themselves of the multitude of mild maladjustments which are so common in our society. Love, safety, belongingness, and respect from other'people are almost panaceas for the situational disturbances and even for some of, the mild character disturbances. If the individual knows that he should have love, respect, self-respect, etc., he can consciously seek them out. Certainly everyone will agree that seeking them out consciously will be better and more effective than trying to make up for their lack unconsciously. But at the same time that this hope is offered to a good many indio viduals, and that they are given a wider possibility for self-therapy. than has ordinarily been thought to be possible, there are certain problems for which they must necessarily seek help only from professional hands. For one thing, in severe character disturbances or existential neuroses, a clear understanding of the dynamic forces originating, precipitating, and maintaining the disturbance are absolutely necessary before anything can be done for the patient beyond mere amelioration. It is here that all the tools that are necessary to bring conscious insight must be used, tools for which there are as yet no substitutes, and that are at present usable only by professionally trained therapists. Once a case is recognized as severe, help from the layman, from the wise old woman becomes in nine cases outof ten completely useless so far as permanent cure is concerned. This is the essential limitation upon self.therapy.


Group Therapy: Personal Growth Groups


A final implication of our approach of psychotherapy is a greater respect for group therapies as well as T-groups, etc. We- have stressed so much the fact that psychotherapy and personal growth is an interpersonal relationship that on a priori grounds alone we should feel that an extension from pairing into a larger grouping might very well be beneficial. If ordinary therapy may be conceived of as a miniature ideal society of two, then group therapy may be seen as a miniature ideal society of ten. We already have a strong motivation for experimenting with group therapy, viz., economy of money and time, and a widcr availability of psychothcrapy to more and more patients. But in addition we now have empirical data that indicate that group therapy and T-groups can do some things that individual psychotherapy cannot. We know already that it is very easy to get rid of the sense of uniqueness, of isolation, of guilt or sin when patients find out that the other members of the group are made of about the same kind of stuff as they are, that their goals, their conflicts, their satisfactions and dissatisfactions, thcir hidden impulses and thoughts are apt to be almost universal in the society taken at large. This reduces the psychopathogenic effect of these secretive conflicts and impulses. Another therapeutic expectation is also borne out by actual practice. In individual psychotherapy the patient learns to make a good human relationship with at least one individual-the therapist. It is then hoped that he can transfer this ability over to his social life in general. Often he can, but sometimes he cannot. In group therapy he not only learns how to establish this good relationship with at least one person, but actually proceeds under the eye of the therapist to practice this ability with a whole group of other people as well. In general the results from experiments already available. while not startling. are certainly encouraging. It is because of sud1 empirical data as well as because of deductions from theory that we should urge more research with group psychotherapy. not only because it is a promising lead for tecbnical psychotherapy. but also because it will surely teach us much about general psychological theory and even about broad social theory as well. So also for T-groups, basic encounter groups, sensitivity training. and all the other kinds of groups now categorized as personal growth groups or affective education seminars and workshops. Though quite different in procedure, they may yet be said to have the same far goals of all psychotherapies. that is, self-actualization, full-humanness, fuller use of species and personal potentials, etc. Like any of the psychotherapies, they can do wonders when well run by competent people. But we now have enough experience to know that they can be useless or harmful when under bad management. Therefore much more research is needed. This of course is not a startling conclusion because exactly the same is true for surgeons and for all other professionals. Nor have we solved the problem of just how a layman or an amateur can choose the competent therapist (or physician or dentist. or guru, guide. or teacher) and avoid the incompetent one.



16 - Normality, Health, and Values


The words normal and abnormal cover so many different meanings that they have become just about useless. The strong tendency today is for psychologists and psychiatrists to substitute for these very general words the more specific concepts that are included under these heads. This is what I mean to do in this chapter. In general the attempts to define normality have been either statistical, or culturally relative, or biological.medical. However, these are the formal definitions only, the "company" or Sunday definitions, not the eveT)'day ones. The informal meaning carried by the word is just as definite as the professional ones. Most people have something else in mind when they ask, "What is normal?" For most people, even for the professionals in their informal moments, this is a value question, and in effect asks what we should value, what is good and bad for us, what we shoull worry about, and what we ought to feel guilty or virtuous about. I choose to interpret the title of this chapter in the lay sense as well as in the professional.sense. It is my impression that most of the technicians in the field do the same thing although they do not admit it most of the time. There is a good deal of discussion about what normal ought to mean and rather little about what it does mean in context, in normal conversation. In my therapeutic work I have always interpreted the question about normality and abnormality in the speaker's context rather than in the technical context. When a mother has asked me whether her child was normal, I understood her to be asking ought she worry about it or not, should she change her efforts to control her child's behavior, or should she let it slide and not bother. When people after a lecture have asked about the normality and abnormality of sexual behavior, I have understood their question in the same way, and my answer very frequently implied, "Do worry about it," or, "Do not worry about it." I think that the real reason for currently revived interest in this problem among psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, and psychologists is the feeling that this is the great value question. When, for instance, Erich Fromm talks about normality, he places it in the context of goodness, desirability, and value. So increasingly have most other writers in this area. This kind of work now and for some time past has been very frankly an effort to construct a psychology of values that might ultimately serve as a practical guide for ordinary people, as well as a theoretical frame of reference for professors of philosophy and other technicians. I can go even further than this. For many of these psychologists this whole effort is more and more (for mos~) admitted to be an attempt to do what the formal religions have tried to do and failed to do, that is, to offer people an understanding of human nature in relationship to itself, to other people, to society in general, and to the world in general, a frame of reference in which they could understand when they ought to feel guilty and when they ought not to feel guilty. That is to say, we are working up what amounts to a scientific ethics. I am perfectly willing that, my remarks in this chapter be understood as moving in this direction.


Definitions of Normality


Now before we get to this important subject let us turn first to the various technical attempts to describe and define normality that have not worked well. I. Statistical surveys of human behavior tell us simply what is the. case and what actually exists, and are supposed to be completely devoid of evaluation. Fortunately, most people, even scientists, are simply not strong enough to resist the temptation to approve of the average, of what is most common and most frequent, especially in our culture, which is so strong for the common man. For instance, Kinsey's excellent survey of sexual behavior is highly useful for the raw information that it gives. But Dr. Kinsey and others simply cannot avoid talking about what is normal (meaning desirable). It is average in our society to have a sick, pathological sexual life (from the psychiatric point of view). This does not make it desirable or healthy. We must learn to say average when we mean average. Another example is the Gesell table of norms of baby development, which are certainly useful for scientists and physicians to have. But most mothers are apt to get worried if their baby is below the average in the development of walking or drinking out of a cup, as if this were bad or frightening. Apparently after we find out what i; average, we must still ask, "Is the average desirable?" 2. The word normal often is used as an unconscious synonym for tradition or habitual or conventional, and is usually meant to cloak the tradition in approval. I remember the turmoil over women smoking when I went to college. It was not normal, our dean of women said, and forbade it. At that time it was also not normal for college women to wear slacks, or to hold hands in public. Of course what she meant was, "This is not traditional," which was perfectly true, and this implied for her, "This is abnormal, sick, intrinsically pathological," which was perfectly false. A few years later the traditions changed and she was fired, because by that .time her ways were not "normal." 3. A variant of this usage is to cloak tradition in theological approval. So-called sacred books are interpreted very frequently as setting norms for behavior, but the scientist pays as little attention to these traditions as to any other. 4. Finally, the culturally relative may also be considered to be obsolete as a source of definition of normal, desirable, good, or healthy. The anthropologists of course did us a great service at first in making us aware of our ethnocentrism. We had been as a culture trying to set up as absolute and species-wide criteria all sorts of local cultural habits like wearing pants or eating cows rather than dogs. A wider ethnological sophistication has dispelled many of these notions, and it is generally recognized that ethnocentrism is a serious danger. Nobody can speak for the whole species now unless he knows something about cultural anthropology and something about a half a dozen or a dozen cultures at least, so that he is able to . rise above his own culture or stand aside from it, and is thereby more able to judge the human species as a species and not as a neighborhood group. 5. The main variant.of this mistake is found in the idea of the welladjusted man. It may puzzle the lay reader to discover how hostile psychologists have become to this seemingly sensible and obvious idea. After all everyone wants his children to be well adjusted and part of the group, popular, admired, and loved by the friends of their own age. Our big question is, "Adjusted to which group?" Nazis, criminals, delinquents. drug addicts? Popular with whom? Admired by whom? In H. G. Well's wonderful short story, "The Valley of the Blind," where all are blind, the sighted man is maladjusted. Adjustment means a passive shaping of on~self to one's culture, to the external environment. But supposing it is a sick culture? Or to give another example, we are slowly learning not to prejudge juvenile delinquents as being necessarily bad or undesirable on psychiatric grounds. Crime and delinquency and bad behavior in children may sometimes represent psychiatrically and biologically legitimate revolt against exploitation, injustice, and unfairness. Adjustment is a passive rather than active process; its ideal is attained in the cow or in the slave or anyone else who can be happy without individuality, even, e.g., the well-adjusted lunatic or prisoner. This extreme environmentalism implies infinite malleability and flexibility in the human being and unchangeability in reality. It is therefore status quo and fatalistic. It is also untrue. Human beings are not infinitely malleable, and reality can be changed. 6. In a completely different tradition is the medical-clinical custom of applying the word normal to the absence of lesion, disease, or obvious malfunctions. The internist who cannot find anything physically wrong after a thorough examination will say the patient is normal, even though he is in pain still. What he means is, "By my techniques I cannot discover; what is wrong with you." The physician with some psychological training, the so-called psychosomaticist, can see still more and will use the word normal much less often. Indeed many psychoanalysts go so far as to say no one is normal, meaning completely free of sickness. That is to say, no one is without blemish. Which is true enough, but again does not help us much in our ethical pursuit.


New Concepts of Normality


What is taking the place of these various conceptions that we have learned to reject? The new frame of reference that this chapter is concerned with is still in process of development and construction. It cannot be said to be dearly seen yet or reliably supported by incontestable evidence at the moment. It is fair to characterize it rather as a slowly developing concept or theory that seems more and more probably to be the true direction of future development. Specifically my prediction or guess about the future of the normality idea is that some form of theory about generalized, species-wide, psychological health will soon be developed, which will hold for all human beings no matter what their cultur(' and no matter what their time. This is taking place all empirical as well as on theoretical grounds. This new form of thinking has been forced by new facts, new data of which I shall speak later. Drucker (113) has presented the thesis that western Europe since the beginning of Christianity has been dominated by some four successive ideas or concepts as to the ways in which individual happiness and welfare should be sought. Each of these concepts or myths held up a certain type of man as ideal, and generally assumed that if only this ideal were followed, individual happiness and welfare would be sure to result. The spiritual man was regarded as ideal during the middle ages, the intellectual man during the Renaissance. Then with the rise of capitalism and Marxism, the economic man has tended to dominate ideal thinking. More recently, and especially in the fascist countries, it might also be fair to ~peak of a similar and parallel myth, namely, that of lleroic man (heroic ip the Nietzchean sense). It looks now as if all these myths have failed, and are now giving way to a new one that is slowly developing in the minds of the most advanced thinkers and researchers on the subject, and that may fairly be expected to come into flower in the next decade or two, namely, the concept of the psychologically healthy man, or the eupsychic man, who is also in effect the "natural" man. I expect that this concept will affect our era as profoundly as have the ones mentioned by Drucker. Now let me try to present briefly and at first dogmatically the essence of this newly developing conception of the psychologically healthy man. First of all and most important of all is the strong belief that man has an essential nature of his own, some skeleton of psychological structure that may be treated and discussed analogously with his physical structure, that he has some needs, capacities, and tendencies that are in part genetically based, some of which are characteristic of the whole human species, cutting across all cultural lines, and some of which are unique to the indio vidual. These basic needs are on their face good or neutral rather than evil. Second, there is involved the conception that full health and normal and desirable developmen~ consist in actualizing this nature, in fulfilling these potentialities, and in developing into maturity along the lines that this hidden, covert, dimly seen essential nature dictates, growing from within rather than being shaped from without. Third, it is now seen clearly that most psychopathology results from the denial or the frustration or the twisting of man's essential nature. By this concept what is good? Anything that conduces to this desirable development in the direction of actualization of the inner nature of man. What is bad or abnormal? Anything that frustrates or blocks or denies the essential nature of man. What is psychopathological? Anything that disturbs or frustrates or twists the course of self-actualization. 'Vhat ,is psychotherapy, or for that matter any therapy or growth of any kind? Any means of any kind that helps to restore the person to the path of self-actualization and of development along the lines that his inner nature dictates. At first blush, this conception reminds us a great deal of the Aristotelian and Spinozist ideas of the past. In truth, we must say that this new conception has much in common with the older philosophies. But we must also point out that we now know a great deal more than Aristotle and Spinoza about the true nature of the human being. 'Ve know in any case enough to understand what their mistakes and shortcomings were. Primarily the kinds of knowledge that these ancient philosophers lacked and that led their theories to have fatal shortcomings have been discovered by the various schools of psychoanalysis. We have acquired from the dynamic psychologists particularly, but also from animal psychologists and others, a greatly increased understanding of man's motivations, especially of his unconscious motivations. Second, we now have a greatly increased knowledge of psychopathology and of the origins of this psychopathology. Finally, we have learned a great deal from the psychotherapists, particularly from the discussions of the processes and the goals, of psychotherapy. What this amounts to saying is that we may agree with Aristotle when he assumed that the good life consisted in living in accordance with the true nature of man, but we must add that he simply did not know enough about the true nature of man. All that Aristotle could do in delineating this essential nature, or inherent design of human nature, was to look about him, to study people, to observe what they were like. But if one observes human beings only on the surface, which was all Aristotle could do, one must ultimately wind up with what amounts to a static conception of human nature. The only thing that Aristotle could do was to build a picture of the good man in his own culture and in that particular period of time. You remember that in his conception of the good life, Aristotle accepted completely the fact of slavery and made the fatal mistake of assuming that just because a man was a slave that this was his essential nature and therefore it was good for him to be a slave. This exposes completely the weakness of resting on a mere surface observation in the attempt to build up the idea of what the good man or the normal man or the healthy man is like.



Differences Between Newer and Older Concepts


I suppose that if I had to put into a single phrase the contrast between the Aristotelian theory and the modern conceptions of Goldstein, Fromm, Horney, Rogers, Buhler, May, Grof, Dabrowski, Murray, Sutich, Bugental, Allport, Frankl, Murphy, Rorschach, and many, many others, I would maintain that the essential difference is that we can now see not only what man is, but what he may become. That is to say that we can see not only surface, not only the actualities, but the potentialities as well. We know better now what lies hidden in man, what lies suppressed, neglected, and unseen. ''''e are now able to judge the essential nature of man in terms of what his possibilities, potentialities, and highest possible development may be, instead of relying only on external observations, of what is the case at this moment. This approach sums up to this: history has practically always sold human nature short. Another advantage that we have over Aristotle is that we have learned from these same dynamic psychologists that self-realization cannot be attained bY' intellect or rationality alone. You remember that Aristotle had a hierarchy of human capacities in which reason took the top place. Along with this went inevitably the notion that reason contrasted with, struggled with, and was at odds with man's emotional and instinctoid nature. But we have learned from the study of psychopathology and psychotherapy that we must modify considerably our picture of the psychological organism to respect equalty rationality, emotionality, and the conative or wishing and driving side of our nature. Furthermore, from our empirical studies of the healthy man we have learned that these are definitely not at odds with each other, that these sides of human nature are not necessarily antagonistic but can be cooperative and synergic. The healthy man is all of a piece, integrated, we might say. It is the neurotic person who is at odds with himself, whose reason struggles with his emotions. The result of this split has been that not only the emotional life and the conative have been misunderstood and badly defined, but that also we realize now that the conception of rationality that we inherited from the past is also wrongly understood and wrongly defined. As Erich Fromm has said, "Reason' by becoming a guard set to watch its prisoner, human nature, has become a prisoner itself and thus both sides of human nature, reason and emotion, were crippled" (148). We must all agree with Fromm that the realization of the self occurs not only by acts of thinking but rather by the realization of man's total personality, which includes the active expression not only of his intellectual but also his emotional and instinctlike capacities. Once granted reliable knowled~e of what man call be under certain conditions that we have learned to call good, and wanted that he is happy, serene, self-accepting, unguilty, and at peace with himself only when he is fulfilling himself and becoming what' he can be, it is possible and reasonable to speak about good and right and bad and wrong and desirable and undesirable. If it is objected by the technical philosopher, "How can you prove that it is better to be happy than unhappy?" even this question can be answered empirically, for if we observe human bein~s under sufficiently wide conditions, we discover that they, thf'Y themselves, not the observer, choose spontaneously to be happy rather than unhappy, comfortable rather than pained, serene rather than anxious. In a word, human beings choose health rather than illness, all other things being equal (with the proviso that the)' choose for themselves that they be not 1.00 sick, and that the conditions be 01" a kind that wiII be discussed later). This answers also the customary philosophical objection to the meansend value propositions with which all are familiar (If you want end x, you ought to do means y. "You ought to eat vitamins, iF yOIl want to live longer.") \Ve now have a different approach to this proposition. We know cmpif'ically what the human species wants, e.g., love, safety, absence of pain, happiness, prolongation of life, knowledge, etc. \Ve can then say not, "If you wish to be happy, then ... ," but, "If you are a sound mem- ' bel' of the human species, then... :' This is all true in the same empirical sense that we casually say a dog prefers meat to salad, or that goldfish need fresh water, or that flowers prosper best in the sun. I maintain firmly then that we have been making descriptive, scientific statements rather than purely normative ones. (I have suggested the term fusion words, where the word is both descriptive and normative (314). Another word for my philosophical colleagues who distinguish sharply between what we are and what we ought to be. What we can be = what we ought to be, and is much better language than oug-ht to be. Observe that if we are being descriptive and empirical, then alight is completely out of place, as can be clearly seen if we ask about nowers or animals, what they ought to be. What sense does ought make here (or should)? What ought a kitten become? The answer to this question and the spirit in which it is put is the same for human children. Even a stronger way of saying this is that it is today possible to distinguish in a single moment of time what a man is and what he could be.


We are all familiar with the fact that the human personality is organized into layers, or depths. That which is unconscious and that which is conscious coexist, even though they may contradict each other. One is (in one sense); the other also is (in another deeper sense) and could one day come to the surface, become conscious, and then be in that sense. In this frame of reference, you can understand that people who behave badly may yet be loving deep down. If they manage to actualize this species-wide potentiality they become healthier men, and in this special sense, more normal. The important difference between man and all other beings is that his needs, his preferences, his instinct remnants are weak and not strong, equivocal not unequivocal, that they leave room for doubt, uncertainty, and conflict, that they are all too easily overlaid and lost to sight by culture, by learning, by the preferences of other people.l Through the ages we have been used to thinking of instincts as univocal, unmistakable, strong, and powerful (as they are in animals) that we never saw the possibility oE weak instincts. We do have a nature, a structure, a shadowy bone structure of in- ;tinctoid tendencies and capacities, but it is a great and difficult achievement to know it in ourselves. To be natural and spontaneous, to know what one is, and what one really wants, isa rare and high culmination that comes infrequently, and that usually takes long years of courage and hard work.


Man's Inner Nature


Let us sum up then. What has been affirmed is that man's inherent design or inner nature seems to be not only his anatomy and physiology, but also his most basic needs, yearnings, and psychological capacities. And second, this inner nature is usually not obvious and easily seeen, but is rather hidden and unfulfilled, weak rather than strong. And how do we know that these needs and constitutional potentialities are inherent design? Of the twelve separate lines of evidence and techniques of discovery listed in Chapter 6 and in (298), I shall mention now only the four most important. First, frustration of these needs and capacities is psychopathogenic, i.e., it makes people sick. Second, their gratification is healthy-character.fostering (eupsychogenic), as neurotic need gratifications are not. That is, it makes people healthy and better. Third, they spontaneously show themselves as choices under free condi· tions. Fourth, they can be directly studied in relatively healthy people. If we wish to differentiate basic from nonbasic, we cannot look alone to introspection of conscious needs or even to description of unconscious needs because, phenomenologically, neurotic needs and inherent needs may all feel much alike. They press equally for gratification, for the monopolizing of consciousness, and their introspected qualities are not different enough from each other to enable the introspector to differentiate them except perhaps at the end of his life and in retrospect (as did Tolstoy's Ivan Ilyitch), or in moments of special insight. No, we must have some other external variable to correlate with, to covary with. In effect this other variable has been the neurosis-health continuum. We are now pretty well convinced that nasty aggressiveness is reactive rather than basic, effect rather than cause, because as a nasty person gets healthier in psychotherapy, he gets less vicious; and as a healthier person gets more sick, he changes in the direction of more hostility, more venom, and more viciousness. Furthermore, we know that giving gratification to neurotic needs does not breed health as does gratification of basic inherent needs. Giving a neurotic power seeker all the power he wants does not make him less neurotic, nor is it possible to satiate his neurotic need for power. How· ever much he is fed he still remains hungry (because he's really looking for something else). It makes little difference for ultimate health whether' a neurotic need be gratified or frustrated. It is very different with basic needs like safety or love. Their grati. fication does breed health, their satiation is possible, their frustration does breed sickness. The same seems to be true for individual potentialities like intelligence, or strong tendency to activity. (The only data we have here are clinical.) Such a tendency acts like a drive that demands fulfillment. Gratify it and the person develops nicely; frustrate it and block it, and various subtle troubles, not yet very well known, develop at once. The most obvious technique of all, however, is the direct study of people who are actually healthy. We certainly know enough now to be able to select relatively healthy people. Granted that perfect speciments do not exist, still it may be expected that we can learn more about the nature, for example. of radium when it is relatively concentrated than when it is relatively dilute. The investigation reported in Chapter I I has demonstrated the possibility that a scientist could study and describe normality in the sense of excellence, perfection, ideal health, the fulfillment of human possibilities. If we know what good people are like or can be like, it becomes possible for the human species (who mostly want to be good) to model themselves on these paragons and improve thereby. The most fully studied example of inherent design is the love need. With this we can illustrate all four of the techniques so far mentioned for differentiating the inherent and universal in human nature from the accidental and local. l. It is agreed by practically all therapists that when we trace a neurosis back to its beginnings we shall find with great frequency a deprivation of love in the early years. Several semi-experimental studies have confirmed this in infants and babies to such a point that radical deprivation of love is considered dangerous even to the life of the infant. That is to say, the deprivation of love leads to illness. 2. These illnesses, if they have not gone so far as to be irreversible, are now known to be curable, especially in young children, by giving affection and loving kindness. Even in adult psychotherapy and analysis -Qf more serious cases, there is now good reason to believe that one thing that the therapy does is to make it possible for the patient to receive and utilize the iove that heals. Also there is a mounting mass of evidence to prove a correlation between affectionate childhood and a healthy adulthood. Such data add up to the generalization that love is a basic need for healthy development of the human being. 3. The child in the situation where he is permitted free choice, and granted that he is not yet warped and twisted, prefers affection to nonaffection. We have no true experiments yet to prove this, but we have a huge amount of clinical data and some ethnological data to support this conclusion. The common observation that children prefer an affectionate teacher or parent or friend to the hostile or cold teacher or parent or friend illustrates what I mean. The crying of infants tells us that they prefer affection to nonaffection, for instance in the Balinese situation. The adult Balinese does not need love as the adult American does. Balinese children are taught by bitter experiences not to ask for it and not to expect it. But they do not like this training; the children weep bitterly while being trained not to ask for love. 4. Finally, what do, we find descriptively in healthy adults? That practically all (though not quite all) have led loving lives, have loved and been loved. Furthermore, they are now loving people. And finally and paradoxically they need love less than the average man does, apparently because they already have enough. A perfect parallel that makes these points more plausible and more common sense is supplied by any other of the deficiency diseases. Supposing an animal lacks salt. First this produces pathology. Second, extra salt taken into the body cures or helps these sicknesses. Third, a white rat or a human that lacks salt when given a choice will prefer salt·laden foods, that is, will eat salt in unusually large quantitie~ and in the case of the human, will report subjective cravings for salt and will report that it tastes especially good. Fourth, we find that healthy organisms, already having enough salt, do not specially crave it or need it. We may therefore say that just as an organism needs salt in order to attain health and avoid illness, so also does it need love for the same reasons. In other words, we can say that the organism is so designed that it needs salt and love, in the same way that automobiles are so designed that they need gas and oil. We have spoken much of good conditions, of permissiveness, etc. These refer to the special conditions of observation that are so often necessary in scientific work and are the equivalent of saying, "This is true under such and such circumstances."


Definition of Good Conditions


Let us turn to this problem of what constitutes good conditions for the revelation of original nature to see what contemporary dynamic psychology has to offer on the subject. If the upshot of what we have already said is that the organism has a vaguely delineated, intrinsic nature of its own, it is quite clear that this inner nature is a very delicate and subtle something rather than being strong and overpowering as it is in lower animals, who are never in any doubt about what they are, what they want, and what they do not want. The human needs for love, or for knowledge or for a philosophy, are weak and feeble rather than unequivocal and unmistakable; they whisper rather than shout. And the whisper is easily drowned out. In order to discover what a human being needs and what he is, it is necessary to set up special conditions that foster expression of these needs and capacities that encourage and make them possible. In general these conditions may all be summed up under the one head of permissiveness to gratify and to express. How do we know what is best for pregnant white rats to eat? \¥e give them free choice from among a wide range of possibilities, and we let them eat whatever they want, whenever they want it, and in any quantities or patterns they choose. We know it is best for a human infant to be weaned in an individual fashion, i.e., whenever it is best for him. How do we determine this? Certainly we cannot ask the infant, and we have learned not to ask the oId-school pediatrician. We give the baby a choice; we let him decide. We offer him both the liquid and the solid food. If the solid food appeals to him he will spontaneously wean himself from the breast. In the same way we have learned to let the child tell us when he needs love, or protection, or respect or control, by setting up a permissive, accepting, gratifying atmosphere. We have learned that this is the best atmosphere for psychotherapy, indeed, the only possible one, in the long run. Free choice from among a wide range of possibilities has been found useful in such diverse social situations as choos· ing roommates in institutions for delinquent girls, choosing teachers and courses in lOlIege, choosing bombardier crews, etc. (I leave aside the knotty but important question of desirable frustration, of discipline, of setting limits to gratification. I wish to point out only that while permissiveness may be best for our experimental purpose, it need not also he sufficient in itself for teaching consideration of others and awareness of their needs or of what may be necessary in the future.) From the point of view, then, of fostering self-actualization or health, a. good environment (in theory) is one that offers all necessary raw materials and th\~11 gets Ollt of the way and stands aside to let the (average) organism itself utter its wishes and demands and make its choices (always remembering that it often chooses delay, renunciation in favor of others, etc., and that other people also have demands and wishes).


A Psychological Utopia


It has been my pleasure recently to work up a speculative description of a psychological Utopia in which all men are psychologically healthy. Eupsychia, I call it (pronounced Yew-sigh.key-a). From what we know of healthy people, (:ould we predict the kind of culture that they would evolve if 1000 healthy families migrated to some deserted land where they could work out their own destiny as they pleased? ''''hat kind of education would they choose? Economic system? Sexuality? Religion? I am vcry uncertain of some things--economics in particular. But of other things I am very sure. One of them is that this would almost surely be a (philosophically) anarchistic group. a Taoistic but loving culture, in which people (young people too) would have much more free choice than we are used to, and in which basic needs and·meta needs would he respected much more than they are in our society. People would not bother each other so much as we do, would be much less prone to press opinions or religions or philosophies or tastes in clothes or food or art or women on their neighbors. In a word, the inhabitants of Eupsychia would tend to be more Taoistic, nonintrusive, and basic needgratifying (whenever possible), would frustrate only under certain con· ditions that I have not attempted to describe, would be more honest with each other than we are, and would permit people to make free choices wherever possible. They would be far Jess controlling, violent, contemptuous, or overbearing than we are. Under such conditions, the deepest layers of human nature could show themselves with greater ease. I must point out that adult human beings constitute a special case. The free-choice situation does not necessarily work for people in g-eneral -only for intact ones. Sick, neurotic people make the wrong choices; they do not know what they want, and even when they do, have not courage enough to choose correctly. When we speak of free choice in human beings, we 'refer to sound adults or children who are not yet twisted and distorted. Most of the good experimental work with free choice has been done with animals. We have also learned a great deal about it at the clinical level from the analysis of psychotherapeutic processes.


Environment and Personality


There is another important problem that confronts us as we struggle to understand this newer conception of normality and its relationship to environment. One theoretical consequence would seem to be that perfect, . health needs a perfect world to live in and to make it possible. In actual research, it does not seem to work out that way exactly. It is possible to find extremely healthy individuals in our society, which is very far from perfection. Certainly these individuals are not perfect but they certainly are as fine people as we can now conceive. Per· haps at this time and in this culture we just do not know enough about how perfect people can get. In any case, research has established an important point in discovering that individuals can be healthier, even much healthier, than the culture in which they grow and live. This is possible primarily because of the ability of the healthy man to be detached froIll his surroundings, which is the same as saying that he lives by his inner laws rather than by outer pressures. Our culture is democratic and pluralistic enough to give a very wide latitude to individuals to have the characters that they please, so long as their external behavior is not too threatening or frightening. Healthy individuals are not usually externally visible; they are not marked off by unusual clothes, or manners, or behavior. It is an inner freedom that they have. So long as they at'e independent of the approval and dIsapproval of other people, and seek rather self-approval, so long may they be con· sidered to be psychologically autonomous, i.e., relatively independent of the culture. Tolerance and freedom of taste and opinion seem the key necessities. To sum up, what research we have points to the conclusion that while a good environment fosters good personalities, this relationship is far from perfect, and furthermore, the definition of good environment has to change markedly to stress spiritual and psychological as well as material and economic forces.


The Nature of Normality


Now coming hack to the question with which we started, the nature of normality, we have come close to identifying it with the highest excellence of which we are capable. But this ideal is not an unattainable goal set out far ahead of liS; rather it is actually within us, existent but hidden, as potentiality rather than as actuality. ; Furthermore, it is a conception of normality that I claim is discovered rather than invented, based on empirical findings rather than on hopes or wishes. It implies a strictly naturalistic system of values that can be enlarged by further empirical research with human nature. Such research should be able to give us answers to the age-old questions "How can I be a good man?" "How can I live a good life?" "How can I be fruitful?" "Happy?" "At peace with myself?" 1£ the organism tells us what it needs-and therefore what it values-by sickening and withering when deprived of these values, this is the same as telling us what is good for it. One last point. The key concepts in the newer dynamic psychology are spontaneity, release, naturalness, self-choice, self-acceptance, impulseawareness, gratification of basic needs. They used to be control, inhibition, discipline, trainil1g, shaping, on the principle that the depths of human nature were dangerous, evil, predatory, and ravenous. Education, family training, bringing up children, acculturation in general were all seen as a process of bringing the darker forces within us under control. See how different are the ideal conceptions of society, law, education, and family that are generated by these two different conceptions of human nature. In the one case they are restraining and controlling forces; in the other they ~re gratifying and flllfilling. 2 Of course, this is an oversimple. either-or contrast. It is unlikely that either conception is totally correct or totally incorrect. Yet the contrast of ideal types is useful in sharpening our perceptions. In any case, if this conception that identifies normality with ideal health holds up, we shall have to change not ,only our conceptions of individual psychology but also our theories of society.