It can look the same, but not at the same time. Green, greensand, ochre, umber, blue, turquoise. Land and water, summer and winter. Compiling it all into one at once, that’s how I show you the world. I love you, child of the soul.
Is it the shore of a lake or the coast of an island?
The view towards the water. Watching the depths of the psyche. Both fascinating and frightening. Overcoming the fear of the hidden, that’s how I’d like you to understand the world. I love you, child of wisdom.
Is it to float or to dive?
To immerse without the need to walk on water, meeting intuition and inspiration. The conscious and the unconscious. Blurring, transcending the physical boundaries, that’s how we can connect across the worlds. I love you, child of the muse.
As with predominant dualistic thinking, (parent-children) relationships are also wrongly understood as between two parties. It seems to be the insecure ego’s desire to own a person. A trinity warrior, on the other hand, doesn’t have to control through exclusive possession. Instead, he or she recognizes an individual’s right to be complete by one’s own and to maintain other relationships with both parents too.
Take the mother, who can separate her romantic bonding from exclusive rights on the common child. Look at the father, who respects the child’s need to have a mother and a father. Real adults know that balanced and meaningful contact with each parent in everyday life is a most powerful predictor of a child’s future health, well-being, and positive social functioning. Responsible parents respect that maternal and paternal parenting is equally vital for a child’s well-being.
Time distribution arrangements that ensure the involvement of both parents in essential aspects of their children’s everyday lives and routines—including bedtime and waking rituals, transitions to and from school, and extracurricular and recreational activities—are likely to keep nonresidential parents playing psychologically important and central roles in the lives of their children. The insecurely egoistic parent, in contrast, practices parental gatekeeping and works towards alienating the other parent to let their selfish urge win over reason and the well-being of others. That’s not right; we all can feel it. And, there is plenty of research showing the benefits of shared/joint parenting(https://www.mathias-sager.com/2017/05/23/shared-parenting-research-geteilte-kinderfursorge-forschung/).
How is it possible to touch a life? A living body today may be a dead one tomorrow. By having felt such a body, have you touched life? Yes, and no. You have touched a temporary expression of it. Life is what is not affected by time and can be found in before earth-time starts to tick and in the never-ending future of the universe. Life in a human being is the part that is unmaterial, that does not weigh a single gram, that lets our hair grow, and which keeps on animating other bodies after the work for our body is done. Life is going on. Here on earth life is always renewing and its forms are evolving, and we are a temporary part of it. What else could be the meaning of any life if not dedicated contribution to life itself?
Helping the gift of life that lets us become aware of its existence in the form of a human being and helping life in others to abound into the future long after we’re already gone again is the highest meaning there is.
How presumptuous would it be to say it is ‘our’ time to come; I could die right now and have only very temporarily been part of life’s unfolding. In any case, I certainly won’t be able to take care of the future for any much longer. So, the tomorrows belong mainly to those who will be there forever: that is to say the next generations. In that sense, it’s everybody’s duty as a member of the human species to be aware of life as fundamentally inter-generational.
To be truly free means to be life itself, as life is what is moving things on, leaving a lot of dead bodies behind. So, while taking care of our bodies to be of this service, a fulfilling and meaningful life does not lie in the foredoomed-to-fail attempt to preserve our sentient existence and our relationship with our five-sensory experience into the future. Are you always aware of this fact as a matter of an omni-present intelligence at work?
What is your mortality awareness?
In many contemporary societies, people commonly negate death as what it is, and remembrances of mortality are seen as a burden and even depressing — what a misconception. The reason for low spirit is the deep silenced knowing that we will inevitably lose what we make us the belief to possess forever.
Only a strong experience that we have nothing to lose can prevent despair. Any worldly possessions can only temporarily and even hardly simulate the kind of freedom that our soul seeks.
Don’t we see that life energy is wasted to space? Many deceased are given more space to occupy than others have to live. Pretentious graves evidence the illusion of human life being connected to spacetime instead of humantime.
It’s time to develop the Awareness Intelligence of seeing the future through the lens of an extra-personal relationship with all humanity that carries the essence of life as a collective continuum.
Often future-related thoughts are worry-laden, for example, because of mind-wandering that is related to unfulfilled own goals or ambitions. The extra-future Awareness Intelligence mode enables the intentional generation of more positive and meaningful thoughts. Because these thoughts are related to the ever-ongoing life of which we are, however shortly in biological form, an eternal part of, they have an utterly positive effect on our feelings, moods, attitudes, and well-being overall.
It would be unfair to infect the future of the next generations with today’s social and cultural beliefs. We should not project our dreams into others. It’s not our dreams that should be realized through others; the realization of others own true selves has to become our mission. Parents, for example, are not intelligently aware if they expect their daughter or son to follow their footsteps or to become what they’ve always wished to be. Tragically, such parents would burn their child’s soul out by forcefully burn their neediness in there. The light that would shed on them would be a mere outside reflection. Although all human souls are of the same conscious energy and inextricably connected, every soul also has its own burning desire that needs to be respected even if impossible to express it explicitly.
Displaying reverence for life itself is the best role model one can be. Showing reverence is removing pressure, fear, and letting go of any selfish motives in how life is passed on. As we allow others to have their judgment-free intra-past without poisoning it with our own past and present, we leave them their future to unfold authentically. Their future too, however, is the same eternal life that inspires us all at all times. That’s why the intelligent future-related awareness mode is the extra-future, and not the intra- or inter-future. I’m not saying we should not spend time together with somebody who is more often closer to us over time. However,
To love one person is seeing the beauty of everyone.
“The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life,” as Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet, philosopher, and artist said so beautifully.
The human soul wants to explore all humantime. Can you feel how this is true for yourself too? One sign of our soul wanting to expand is its ability and incline to think about the past and the future. It is looking for the openings into the timelessness, which are, its natural habitat. However, it takes us an awaring mental stretch into eternity that is, if we think along a virtual timeline, the reaching into ‘before birth’ and ‘after death.’ Such an expanded temporal awareness takes effort, but against differing beliefs, it is not about sacrificing at all. To lead an aware life is rewarding oneself with deeper and more impactful experiences in any aspect of life; experiences and impacts, which are farthest-reaching and everlasting.
Will you fear death at the time of its arrival? Did you fear birth at the time of occurring to you? Quite surely not. Why then do you fear death now? Both birth and death are coming and ending in the same that is the conscious source energy of everything and anytime. To think that way is Awareness Intelligence in action. Anita Moorjani in her book “Dying to be me!” describes the purpose of life, as revealed during her near-death experience, to be the expansion of the tapestry of life in which everyone and everything is mutually connected independent of time and physical presence.
Isn’t it beautiful to broaden the reach of our true self in and through our awareness of this beautiful ever-present infinite future that belongs to all?!
Summary. In the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information often is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context. Black-and-white thinking is hindering positive deciphering of ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger. Individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power can cause closed mental systems that are increasingly unable to tolerate differences, ambiguities, and uncertainties. The promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance that leaves more room for thoughtful and empathic decisions. It will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to find the solutions sought for the benefit of all. What are your learnings from uncertain/ambiguous situations and how did you learn to develop a tolerance for it?
The difference between ‘uncertainty’ and ‘ambiguity’
Intolerance of Uncertainty and Intolerance of Ambiguity often have been confused. Although IU and IA are overlapping concepts, they can be differentiated as follows: Intolerance of uncertainty refers future negative events that cause worries, and intolerance for ambiguity refers to adverse stimuli in the present . Also, intolerance of uncertainty is built on the fact that information on outcomes of a situation is missing while intolerance for ambiguity is characterized by ambivalent or conflicting information available on the situation .
The effect of intolerance for uncertainty on tolerance for ambiguity
As per the discussion around the article https://www.mathias-sager.com/2018/06/12/tolerance-for-ambiguity-as-a-gateway-to-leadership-opportunity/ it became clear to me that tolerance for ambiguity respectively Intolerance for Ambiguity might be dependent a lot on context too. Thanks to all the involved for triggering that further research. While having assumed general business situations in times of relative peace in democratic countries in the last article, individual’s behavior in highly stressful (e.g., military) conditions in threatening environments needs to be looked at specifically, including both the concepts of uncertainty and ambiguity. I hope this article can contribute to that discussion.
Tolerance for ambiguity of an individual can be reduced in the context of threat through uncertainty, and especially when there is increased intolerance of uncertainty. In other words, in the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context . Besides, not only the threat itself but the possibly stronger propagation of stereotyping (e.g., of enemies) might promote black-and-white thinking that is hindering an open mindset as required to positively decipher ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger .
We generally have a choice between concern and cruelty. But as the example above showed, sometimes not-so-obvious factors influence our predispositions for one of the options because intolerance for an ambiguous situation, induced by threats of uncertainty, may trigger reactions of self-defense based on uncontrolled prejudices. Interviewing perpetrators in the Rwanda genocide revealed that individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power caused closed mental systems unable to tolerate differences, ambiguities, and uncertainties .
Hope and resilience to endure uncertainty
In our times of continued pervasiveness of populations living in environments of war and disasters, resilience is a further important concept. Hope as related to resilience is enabling individuals to imagine a better future and to endure the present despite the uncertainty for such an achievement . That way, the promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance and consequently to increase the tolerance for ambiguity for a more open mindedness that leaves room for thoughtful and empathic decisions.
Growth versus safety orientation
Maslow (1968) made the point that we are oriented toward either growth or safety in our everyday lives and that a growth orientation is more favorable for psychological health and well-being . When self-protection (needs) get reduced, self-awareness can arise and facilitate the appreciation of multiple possibilities in situations, which might be the stage of personal development where tolerance for ambiguity as the capacity to accept paradoxes starts to become feasible . Systems of mass conformity, authoritarianism, and nationalism/racism are offered as a means for safety, unfortunately at the cost of growth possibilities through autonomy, creativity, and the use of reason though. After World War II this became evident and powerful movements toward an open mind of tolerance of ambiguity emerged that could cater to both safety and growth needs . It is a function of societies to prepare the next generation for life, and it will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to find the solutions sought for the benefit of all .
What are your learnings from uncertain/ambiguous situations and how did you learn to develop a tolerance for it?
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Parental Alienation More than twenty years ago the late author and renowned child psychiatrist Richard A. Gardner coined the term Parental Alienation Syndrome. He used this term to characterise the breakdown of what was previously normal and healthy parent-child relationships during divorce and child custody cases. The definition of parental alienation according to Gardner is simple. One parent (in […]
Summary. This article describes some metacognitive strategies to learner profiles and then evaluates those strategies for individuals of different ages with intellectual and learning disabilities. In order to do so, different variables that effect those with intellectual and learning disabilities are identified. Social and cultural implications, as well as life span stages and interpersonal communication are discussed.
Egocentrism occurs as part of preschoolers’ development in the so-called pre-operational stage and means the inability of a child to differentiate between its own and other people’s thoughts . In other words, children would not realize the suffering of others as such at all . This poses a quite depressive outlook and may not correspond to own experience and observations. Aren’t there more empathy-promising possibilities than such a radical and moral-disabling egocentrism? Is there potential for interventions? And what does animal research tell us?
Introspection as the scientific method had to give place to behavioral psychology in the nineteenth century , which opposed mentalist approaches to the study of associative mechanisms in learned behavior  with rigorous observable laboratory experiments and animal behavior training as performed by B.F. Skinner  (Figure 1.). Associationists like E. Thorndike believed in biological processes which construe memory in the form of neuronal connections in the brain . Reinforcement, for example in the form of dopamine rewards, was considered necessary feedback for learning enablement . Today there is substantial evidence that learning can happen without this kind of reinforcement though . The classical conditioning (Figure 2.) through basic physical stimulation proven too simplistic, Ivan Pavlov introduced a second system allowing for linguistic inputs too . L.S. Vygotsky considered language as a requirement for the human ability to analyze the world by cognitively separating real-world objects from related conceptualizations . Signs and symbols allow a shared subjectivity, e.g., between teacher and student . Verbal animal behavior is studied to find roots for the development of human language sophistication .
Figure 1. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning Quadrant
Figure 2. Pavlov’s classical conditioning
Cognitive Approach to Learning
Noam Chomsky criticized that animal verbal behavior might follow different principles that wouldn’t allow generalization attempts to human behavior . The lack of real-life conditions in the laboratory environments and the difficulty to repeat animal experiments in wild life , ethical constraints in animal research limiting invasive practices , utterly operant-mathematical approaches, and an over-emphasis on language opened the way towards cognitive approaches beyond the study of language . The negligence of instinct’s role, as proven by Konrad Lorenz to be relevant for imprinting mechanisms in learning (Figure 3.), also brought behaviorism into critique . Vygotsky’s developmental method of research of the human species was re-discovered . Around the same time, after the mid of the twentieth century, Jean Piaget’s schema theory (Figure 4.) introduced the concepts of assimilation, accommodation, and equilibration as the developmental cognitive principles of his influential genetics based philosophy .
Figure 3. Konrad Lorenz’ Imprinting
Figure 4. Piaget’s Schema stages
After 1980, intelligence, especially Howard E. Gardner’s multiple intelligences (Figure 5.) (but also, Robert J. Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence , as well as his personality characteristics related to thinking styles ), were taken into account in education programs . Autonomous learning raised from Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (Figure 6.) noticing that human behavior is about willful and context-dependent mental processes . Innate needs for competence, as described by Skinner , and Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory further contributed to the motivational aspect of learning .
Figure 5. Gardner’s multiple intelligences
Figure 6. Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory
Piaget and Vygotsky both construct human development holistically from transactional, relational, and situational thinking perspectives . Such a constructivism also implies that education is about active learning rather than teaching , putting the focus on human growth experience instead of economic principles . Vygotsky with his socio-cultural approach to psychological development (Figure 7.) is, in my opinion, best reflecting Plato’s principle of “the meaning of the world is embedded in the experience of the world” (p. 399) reminding us that the theory of learning remains a dynamic and context-sensitive science going forward .
Figure 7. Vygotsky’s Socio-cultural approach
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Without parents having done something wrong, the socio-cultural environment and some mothers themselves can be non-supportive regarding equality in parenting, even in cases where mutual parenting would be logistically feasible. For children at any age, anger, anxiety, and sadness can carry the risk to lead to depression and developmental problems. Are you concerned and missing the cooperation from your partner to find a solution suitable for the child? Then it is time to take the ‘Loving Father Initiative.’ Let’s prove our children that we care.
Impressive (depressing) figures. Thanks for sharing as this is of uttermost importance.
I’m practicing here for drafting letters to Gates and co.
Why do these rich/powerful not change the world for the better? Because they just habitually might not change their convictions that made them multi-billionaires? Because they don’t see the chain of causes leading to inequality?
Regarding Bill Gates, for example, of course, one can argue that the development of the Personal Computer did a lot of great things for some people (not the majority of the world population though). I believe, however, that likely somebody else in a similar environment would have come up with a similar advancement. We probably wouldn’t have missed out on computers without Bill Gates. And although Gates and Buffet are from an absolute number perspective praised to be the most generous donators to (their own) foundations, they obviously care before anything else to remain the richest people in the world. Is that really so adorable? They don’t change the game; they only fight some symptoms of the sick system they are profiting from. And maybe they fight also their guilty conscience and feel good about being applauded to be generous?
The rich and powerful who still could buy and influence everything with only a fraction of their current fortune could invest into social impact businesses, empower awareness and education, and enable cooperative governance models to foster democracy and equality to eradicate hunger. There are obvious (or not for them?) ways to let benefit more people from the earthly resources that are extracted primarily for the enrichment of very few. Even if the money is not inherited and if one justifies his/her wealth compared to others’ poverty with a superiority in smartness or industriousness, does that justify amassing, holding back money that could help children from dying of hunger? How hypocritical is it to revel in grief about natural disasters or accidents, while forgetting systematically human-made, constant, and long-term poverty that is the cause for more than 20,000 children dying every single day?!
Even when they have lived their life and could survive with a couple of billion dollars, why do they still not change for making an systematic positive impact? Whose slaves are they? Slaves of their fear? Fear of not being obedient to the capitalist system? They ARE the system of capital as they control a significant part of it. Fear of themselves? Fear of looking into the mirror?! I already hear the reasoning that I don’t have the right to speak that way as I also enjoy privileges. This is not entirely accurate, because when all the volunteering and level of modesty (avoidance of unnecessary luxury/waste) put into proportional perspective, it is definitively in better support of a sustainable world. And let’s not forget the impact of promoting systematic change for all (e.g., by fostering democratically, cooperatively (instead of capitalistically) owned companies), instead of one’s own elitist circles only.
These are the strikingly game-changing questions I’d like to ask them and other fearful obedient directly. Let’s help our children to become courageous and strong leaders, happy in modesty but ambitious in their positive social impact for all.
Content: 1. There is more than East and West in cross-cultural psychology, 2. Need for internationalization of developmental psychology, 3. Integration of indigenous psychology, 4. Addressing country, individual, and situational levels
This essay evaluates whether “the fundamental problem of social psychology is the moralization of the individual by the society” (McDougall, 1908 as cited in , p.8). Also, how does attachment theory permeate aspects of human (and ecological) relationships , and how are emotional, moral, and identity development and personality theory aspects intertwined? Finally, implications are suggested regarding factors that have the potential to influence attachment style throughout the lifespan and across cultures.
According to John Bowlby’s attachment theory, a child develops a secure attachment style from experiencing availability and sensitivity from primary caregivers. In contrast, caregivers who are unavailable or insensitive cause a child developing insecure attachment, and abuse and threat lead to so-called disorganized attachment styles comprising of anxious and avoidant types . Secure attachment style enables better relationships with oneself and others . The preferred view of a natural need for a mother as the foundation for the traditional nuclear family that was propagated by the mid 20th-century society became challenged by Harlow’s experiments. Laboratory monkeys perished when deprived of their parents, but given a surrogate caregiver, they survived without a biological mother; they developed antisocial behavior due to the ‘machine-mother’s’ over-availability though . Harlow found also that peer relationships (e.g., playmates) allowed monkey infants to survive maternal deprivation or abuse, while the absence of peer experiences left them psychologically damaged .
Attachment styles and their effects
Attachment style is predictive of health-promoting behavior, whereas insecure attachment increases the probability of engaging in unhealthy behavior, such as risky sexual relationships, substance abuse, and poor diet . Avoidant attachment prevents an individual from effective socialization, communication, and problem-solving . Individual differences in mindfulness in adolescence can be traced back to early childhood background . A positive (vs. harsh, controlling, or uninvolving) parenting style is associated with lower relational aggression . Secure attachment is predictive of seeking help and consequently getting support . Collaboration, companionship, and support from classmates, co-workers, and family affect emotional processes that are decisive in academic success, which is especially challenging in intercultural environments with differing motivations and socio-emotional competencies. A student’s connection to the school determines school success . Social and emotional learning (SEL) can strengthen self-esteem, competence, and social inclusion that is supportive of the social and emotional health of youth . For adolescents, new close friendships satisfy age-appropriate attachment needs . The importance of high-quality peer attachment in adolescence is reflected by its negative correlation with exposure to violence  and depression that often impacts later romantic relationships .
Adult relationships and social bonding
Both child-parent and romantic partnerships follow a process from pre-attachment to a goal-corrected partnership . This bonding development towards a secure base is possible without secure attachment style of the partners. A couple defines each other as primary origin of support, whether this is effective or not . Romantic relationships may compensate for insecure attachment and related adverse developmental consequences; therefore, a secure partner’s behavior may directly alleviate an avoidant or anxiously attached partner’s concerns . Attachment in adulthood is also related to Hirschi’s Social Bonding Model. One’s attachment to norms as established by a workplace could be measured by job satisfaction that was found to be predictive of rule-breaking ideation and toleration .
Is morality the result of socialization from child-rearing, education, and promotion of norms? Lawrence Kohlberg with his influential research on moral development from the 1960s onwards provided evidence that already young children care about the needs and suffering of others and take spontaneous action to help . An indirect relationship between moral reasoning and attachment theory exists regarding secure attachment being favorable for cognitive development . Early social relationships foster empathy , which might be important for moral behavior. A 7-month-old child’s lowered attentional bias toward fearful facial expressions and the resulting less intensive engagement with the social contact was found to be predictive for lower attachment security at the age of 14 months . An infant’s egocentrism has to be seen as a cognitive inability to coordinate own and others perspectives . Promisingly, instructions can positively stimulate the reaching of higher moral levels . Kohlberg’s successive stages of moral development range from stage 1 that is guided by fear of punishment or seeking reward up to stage six that represents an independent and overarching orientation of moral principles .
Factors influencing attachment and moral development
Attachment style was reported to be modestly associated with some personality traits . Lonely persons might have a less positive stance towards others, what can reinforce their insecure attachment style . However, personality factors such as temperament and genetics are incapable of predicting attachment . Women suffer more from avoidant attachment style than male in their romantic partnerships . There is, however, no gender difference in moral perspectives evidenced . Religion and culture, though, can be influential on attachment orientation .
Emotion regulation training proved to be positively impacting attachment when targeting self-esteem as the primary reason for insecure attachment . When relationship difficulties are impeding self-worth with negative influences on secure attachment, the risk for anxiety and depression increases . Social anxiety mediates attachment , why therapies addressing anxiety work well for insecure attachment treatment . Insecure attachment has been successfully addressed by attachment-informed therapy promoting positive group relationships, e.g., in the context of substance abuse to substitute inter-personal relations . Motherhood itself can strengthen a mother’s self-esteem and therefore help her improve her attachment security . More than a third of people who grew up without a clear sense of belonging to a particular culture experience difficulties in establishing intimate friendships, but they use their shared transnational lifestyle to bond with others . Social orientation, compliance, self-control, and self-esteem are seen as preconditions for moral development , which are, at the same time, factors that are necessary for the healthy growth of individuals in general too.
Photo credit: loilamtan (pixabay.com)
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There may be two primary caregiver roles: one of a secure haven and one of exploration and discovery. These functions are not gender-specific though. Across different cultures, fathers who are alone with their children show similar behavior as mothers. Dual attachment offers the opportunity for children to build sensitive relationships with their fathers too, which is important for their development throughout life. Awareness should be increased regarding the risks and (socio-cultural) barriers that exist about fathers’ family involvement.