Beyond Individualism: Toward a New Understanding of Self, by Gordon Wheeler

By Gordon Wheeler

During this pathbreaking and provocative new remedy of a few of the oldest dilemmas of psychology and dating, Gordon Wheeler demanding situations the main simple guiding principle of the West cultural culture: the individualist self. features of this self-model are our embedded but pervasive principles that the person self precedes and transcends dating and social box stipulations and that interpersonal adventure is one way or the other secondary or even against the desires of the interior self. Assumptions like those, Wheeler argues, that are taken to be inherent to human nature and improvement, quantity to a controlling cultural paradigm that does huge violence to either our evolutionary self-nature and our intuitive self-experience.  He asserts that we're really way more relational and intersubjective than our cultural typically permits and that those relational capacities are deeply equipped into our inherent evolutionary nature.

His argument progresses from the origins and lineage of the Western individualist self-model, into the root for a brand new version of the self, dating, and event out of the insights and implications of Gestalt psychology and its philosophical derivatives, deconstructivism and social constructionism.  From there, in a associated sequence of experiential chapters, each one of them a groundbreaking essay in its personal correct, he is taking up the basic dynamic subject matters of self-experience and relational existence: interpersonal orientation, meaning-making and variation, help, disgrace, intimacy, and eventually narrative and gender, culminating in issues of well-being, ethics, politics, and spirit.  the result's an image and an adventure of self that's grounded within the lively dynamics of awareness, challenge fixing, mind's eye, interpretation, review, emotion, meaning-making, narration, and, particularly, courting. through the ultimate part, the reader comes away with a brand new feel of what it capability to be human and a brand new and extra usable definition of overall healthiness.

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Extra resources for Beyond Individualism: Toward a New Understanding of Self, Relationship, and Experience

Example text

At the same time, the enduring psychological consequences of this whole approach for our methods and models, which are embedded in the paradigm and still with us today, have also been less appreciated. Or rather, these consequences -- the ecological and social irresponsibility that have tended to accompany the triumph of the West -- have themselves been widely critiqued and much lamented at times, but generally without appreciating how those consequences themselves flow directly and inevitably from Plato's individualist/dualist assumptions about self and relationship.

With "revealed truth" or "fundamentalist" positions, the same basic pattern applies. The data in question are generally some particular texts, presumably inspired or dictated by absolute divine authority. But whatever its presumed source, the text we have is in words, and someone reading it must arrive at a conclusion as to what it means. To take one obvious example, what about the commandment of the Judea-Christian Bible, forbidding kiHing. What kind of killing should we take this as applying to?

What we want to add here, as all through these chapters, is the kind of conceptual and theoretical framework in which that experiential knowing is grounded and related to other concepts and dynamics, rather than floating somewhere apart from our basic language and cultural assumptions, or actually flying in the face of those assumptions. Knowledge and processes of knowing that are deracinated from their context, in the way that theory and experience are separated in our individualistic heritage and framework, cannot empower us or serve as the basis for coherent, grounded interventions in our work, our lives, and our own self-experience.

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