Take yourself back there if you will. You have been born into whatever welcoming or unwelcoming conditions you experienced and you have formed some kind of ongoing relationship to the crucial business of fulfillment of your vital needs. Now you have also progressed from total physical helplessness to being ambulant. You can stand, you can walk, you are beginning to explore your world with some autonomy. Thus, the third stage in character development is essentially a confrontation with power. This confrontation with power will create an inner sense of personal power in relation to the world about you and those figures who confront you, form you, and have a seminal influence on your inward growth and development in relation to the outer world.
This stage centers on the influence of the mother, because traditionally it is the mother who has been in close proximity to the toddler in his first tentative exploits into danger and familiarization with the environment. The environment now is transformed due to this fundamental and radical change of standing, being vertical, and ambulant.
Autonomy also includes emotions and reactions and the beginning of learning and forming a relationship to your emotional world and external reality. How the mother and other primary caregivers respond to this faltering, uncertain, and vulnerable process of creation will affect the outcome itself.
Let us take an example: the parent leaves the toddler momentarily, but is delayed by taking a short phone-call. When the parent returns to the room, the toddler has forsaken the toys he was playing with on the floor and broken some precious ornaments on a low shelf. How is the parent to react? Does she feel angry about the object broken or relieved that the child is not cut? Is she angry with herself for not being there? Does she feel outraged that her child did not behave predictably and stay with his toys?
The psychopathic stage is all about power, emotions, and control. You have progressed from belonging (the schizoid stage) to dependency (the oral stage) and now to power (the psychopathic stage). Power not only outwardly but also inwardly. So you are beginning to form a backdrop, a context for self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth -- all very important aspects of the human psyche in adult life, and all highly significant.
Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [email protected]
Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [...]