I’ve been thinking of writing this post long ago. I was a diligent researcher on Kazimierz Dabrowki’s Theory of Positive Disintegration for the needs of my thesis about the personal development in the democratic society. I’ve read almost all his books in Polish and all possible articles in English (what an amazing personality he was!) and I highly appreciate his “stairs to heaven” – his theory about 5 levels of mental development. You can observe the systematization of something that cannot be caught and measured, but yet, he managed to do that! The subtle hierarchy of emotions, states, values and meanings is developing from level to level till the last one – Secondary Integration. I took a piece of description from Wikipedia:
“The fifth level displays an integrated and harmonious character, but one vastly different from that at the first level. At this highest level, one’s behavior is guided by conscious, carefully weighed decisions based on an individualized and chosen hierarchy of personal values. Behavior conforms to this inner standard of how life ought to be lived, and thus little inner conflict arises.”
This level is probably the most interesting for me. It sounds like a goal for every human being. The level of Secondary Integration is based on the personal and social ideal. So I suppose this ideal should be built, formulated and definitively is not spontaneous. I guess the first three levels (from second to the forth) are the chance to intuitively turn from the body-oriented worldview to the integral one.
Body-oriented worldview is based on the values of survival. But the blisses of happiness, joy, thankfulness, insights, knowledge, freedom prompt us, that there’s something more, then just survival, then just fight. We suspect, there’s something more we are born for. We contemplate stars and oceans, we listen to the moving music and feel the connection with the rest of the world. But this intuition is unspoken. we feel and seek for that feeling. Finally it’s a chance to learn some philosophy trend or religious one. Because they might bring us closer to the transcendentality. Though this awfully strange word doesn’t explain much to us, we understand, that worldview we are seeking for is something we have to define… This is unbelievably difficult thing, because this means we have to turn our whole living and thinking up side down. We have to counter our inner demons, our inborn fears and illusions.
Well, where am I driving to? We want to change our lives for better. We want to be free, happy, creative, positive. We want to change it, but we have no idea what it can be. The schoolboy cannot imagine what life looks like when you are a student. But he knows, he should go step by step learning new subjects and new paradigm. Why do we suppose new better life is something less difficult? We have to become pupils and students and study the science of life. The concept of Dabrowski’s personal ideal on the fifth level – is concrete. It has to be realized, proved, spoken, learned and kept deep inside one’s heart. And this sounds to me like making a huge, deep and thorough personal research. The most inspiring question of this research would be – what is happiness to you? What is true happiness? Let’s think of it together next time.