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Make the leap  @psychohistorian.org

Make the leap

posted: 4653 days ago, on Thursday, 2006 Nov 23 at 06:52
tags: psychology.

Extract from The Language of Hypothesis by George Kelly (1964, 157-158).

"A good deal is said these days about being oneself. It is supposed to be healthy to be oneself. While it is a little hard for me to understand how one could be anything else, I suppose what is meant is that one should not strive to become anything other than what he is. This strikes me as a very dull way of living; in fact, I would be inclined to argue that all of us would be better off if we set out to be something other than what we are. Well, I'm not so sure we would all be better off perhaps it would be more accurate to say life would be a lot more interesting.

"There is another meaning that might be attached to this admonition to be oneself; that one should not try to disguise himself. I suspect this comes nearer to what psychologists mean when they urge people to be themselves. It is presumed that the person who faces the world barefaced is more spontaneous, that he expresses himself more fully, and that he has a better chance of developing all his resources if he assumes no disguises.

"But this doctrine of psychological nakedness in human affairs, so much talked about today and which allows the self neither make-up nor costume, leaves very little to the imagination. Not does it invite one to be venturesome. I suspect, for example, that in the Garden of Eden it might have occurred to Adam to take a chance much sooner than he did if Eve had been paying a little more attention to her wardrobe. As it was I hear she had to bribe him with an apple. Later on they say she contrived a saucy little something out of fig leaves.

"What I am saying is that it is not so much what man is that counts as it is what he ventures to make of himself. To make the leap he must do more than disclose himself; he must risk a certain amount of confusion. Then, as soon as he does catch a glimpse of a different kind of life, he needs to find some way of overcoming the paralyzing moment of threat, for this is the instant when he wonders who he really is whether he is what he just was or is what he is about to be. Adam must have experienced such a moment."

via: Krynauw

nothing more to see. please move along.


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