A primary model of personal transformation is that a patient or client experiences change after repeated exposure to a third person, a therapist, who projects unconditional acceptance of the client.  The client’s underlying motivations for engaging in frustrating or not desirable experiences or behaviors are embraced by the therapist as reasonable, normal, even heroic.  The client’s split experience becomes less split and symptoms begin to lift as internal combat subsides.

The premise is that there is some kind of dissociation or split resulting in symptoms or uncomfortable experiences, a split that can be bridged or healed when the patient is provided a model of how to take a noncombative third position.

Splits naturally occur during ontogeny, biological evolution and when observing societal transformation.  It’s as if the Hegelian thesis/antithesis/synthesis sequence describes evolution at any scale.  This blog suggests that males and females are naturally split and evolve in different directions.  When males evolutionarily accelerate in maturation, females neotenize.  When females accelerate, males delay in maturation or exhibit neoteny.  It seems that splitting, seeking cooperation while moving farther apart, is natural to our species.

Ontogenetically, while one is an embryo and in early childhood, testosterone surges compel the trimming or pruning of synapse growth and the diminution of the (usually) right cerebral hemisphere.  This seems evolutionarily related to an ability to engage in speech.  The split we experience as personalities with an unconscious and conscious mind is likely a direct result of this ontogenetic split evolutionarily encouraged to achieve facility with spoken language, abstract thinking and an ability to manage or manipulate time.

As personalities seeking a synthesis between competing unconscious and conscious world views, we are also wrestling with an existential split compelled by a unique neurological profile profiting from speech and creative dissociation.  That ontological transformation unfolds inside the larger/longer species specific male/female split characterized by opposite maturation rate trajectories.

The seeming chaos this creates in our societies is perhaps easier to see than in our evolution, ontogeny or individual personalities.  Conflict, miscommunication and failed attempts at cooperation seem endemic to any society of two or more people.  It’s astonishing that stuff gets done with miscommunication plaguing attempts to achieve common goals.  Noting how a split experience is natural to the individual, to individuals in general (ontogeny) and to our species, it seems natural that society should reveal the same dynamic.

Personality transformation can be viewed as a healing of rifts or a transcendence of opposites.  What might be other avenues to approach the ways that personalities evolve?


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