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How Can “Disintegration” Be Positive?

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the concept of "positive disintegration" from the psychological theory of Kazimierz Dabrowski. It explores how disintegration, though often seen as negative, can actually be a positive process of personal growth and development.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Positive Disintegration

1. What is the key distinction between negative and positive disintegration?

  • Negative disintegration occurs when a person does not manage to harness their own capacity for growth.
  • Positive disintegration is what happens when a person lets go of their previous worldview and rebuilds it in line with their own authentic values, reintegrating at a higher level.

2. How does overexcitability (OE) relate to positive disintegration?

  • People with overexcitability, especially emotional OE, find it harder to "just let go" of perceived injustices, stupidity, suffering, etc. This predisposes them to developing psychoneuroses.
  • However, Dabrowski saw this as a necessary part of the process of positive disintegration and higher development.

3. What is Dabrowski's view on adjustment vs. maladjustment?

  • Dabrowski saw "adjustment" to an unhealthy society as negative, while "maladjustment" or the desire to change the world to align with one's values was positive.
  • He believed that great human catalysts for change, from Socrates to Gandhi, were people who were "adjusted to what ought to be" rather than just accepting the status quo.

[02] Dynamisms and Levels of Development

The article mentions that the article will go on to explore Dabrowski's concepts of "dynamisms" and "levels of development", but this section is not included in the given text.

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