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  #51  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 02:59 PM
Paul Miedema Paul Miedema is offline
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Red face Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Hello George,
it is almost becoming literature, all these assumptions of how a foetus would experience and interprete his stay in the womb. Sounds a bit like the movie that could have been produced before the well known movie "Look who's talking". We are assuming a lot and interprete with our adult minds how a foetus or a baby might feel about the things that he/she is a part of, although not playing an active part. We are all informed about babies at risk when they are born with the umbilical cord almost suffocating them. What a way to start. Sure, we believe that it is obvious that babies with a start like that are at risk. Yet, I do not know about research that tells me that babies all suffer from this kind of condition although I am inclined to believe they do.
In the same way we can dream about how a toddler might feel in a world of adults. So small, and all the others so tall. Again, it seems the interpretation of us as adults that a toddler should feel small, insignificant and therefor inferior. How about us, when we choose to interprete the position of a toddler as an inferior one? What does that say about our lifestyle?
Or should we say that a toddler feels inferior ONLY when he is treated by his adult environment as an inferior being?
I am wrestling with that.....
Paul
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  #52  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 04:13 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Maybe we should be advised to stay on the firm ground of common-sense knowledge and ask what we know. Perhaps we should, at least for a while, leave aside the question of prenatal experience. At least we agree that the inferiority feeling is of central significance in human experience, or what do you think? Then we should ask, How does it arise? It is by no means clear that inferiority is some kind of necessary evil. It is a common part of our human condition. For some people, it is a motive to excel on the useful side, for some people it becomes a source of evil ("I am determined to prove a villain"). As such, it is neither good or bad, it is neutral. We make it good or bad. What is the determining factor here, is the final fiction. I may be wrong, but this seems to me the most natural and logica basis to start "From the ground up ..." Or what do you think?
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  #53  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 04:17 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Paul your point is well taken. Indeed we can never know what the child concludes or is experiencing, but I do believe it is consistent with Adler's understanding of the universal nature of the inferiority feeling, to try to extrapolate it back to the infant's perception. No it is not scientifically testable. Many other aspects of our assumptions in psychology are also not yet testable and may never be. We are working with a theory ... a metaphoric construction of reallity ... an "as if" notion. I hope I do not deviate from Adler's thinking as it is published as I am trying to explore the roots of the "Minderwertigkeit". Appreciate your call to testability, but I know of no way yet to test.
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  #54  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 04:27 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Manu I wish I could give some scientific references, perhaps Henry can. I know in the literature there is information about the influences of the prebirth experiences. I do not wish to build a "doctrine" around this, but if the fetus does have stored in non-verbal memory, some feelings from this time, it might be one of the early "grounds for subsequent conclusions". As you can see in the threads, I have quickly moved on to the very earliest months of life with more testable notions. Many thanks for the clarity check. I do want to be careful not to get away out in the "twilight zone".
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  #55  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 06:15 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

In his book "The Secret Life of the Unborn Child," Thomas Verney, M.D., a psychiatrist from Toronto, who taught at Harvard and York University, describes his research and the findings of laboratories he visited in America, Canada, England, France, Sweden, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Rather than speculate on what the fetus experiences, he emphasizes the research connecting prenatal and birth conditions with early childhood personality development and learning problems. Many of his observations and conclusions are compelling. There are a few references to his work via a Google search on the Internet, and Amazon Books offers a brief view into the contents of his book.
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  #56  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 06:22 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Thumbs up Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

I appreciate the help Henry. I thought we had discussed such matters in one of or telephone chats, but the information got lost in my aging brain filing system. And to think that Verney was from Toronto ... Canadian EH?
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  #57  
Unread October 29th, 2004, 11:37 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Lightbulb Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

So the head is raised from below to above and soon the child can seat himself and then to stand. The "upward movement" from a physically inferior position accelerates. That young mind starts to wish more and more to rise beyond its obstacles. Soon it stands clinging to the crib rails or to a local chair. The face of pure pleasure smiles at the parents if indeed the parents are pleased. And as it gains first six inches in altitude and then eight inches, its horizen rapidly expands. The below to above progression has its own rich rewards, and the big people start to notice. The struggle achieves notice (assuming a loving family), or may achieve no notice in the less loving family. But the child can not yet do what it is starting to see the "big people do"; it may also be a deep discouragement depending entirely on the conclusions of the child, coupled with the attitude of its local community ... usually a family! If a desire to be above ensues we would view this to be "movement in a wrong direction" away from "social interest" and therefore not good or acceptable. This discouragement may lead to a goal of being socially/psychologically above ... the goal of "fictional superiority" (More on this will follow later ... please be patient. It a a comprehensive theory and inclusive, so it takes a great deal of time to even begin to expose the basic notions.)
But what if all is not right in the childs physical body? It may not be able to speak at the expected level. It may struggle with physical balance and stability. It is disadvantaged and can not act upon this growing urge to develop and achieve. Adler refers to these overburdening problems as "organ inferiorities". These "deficiencies" are a very early development in his personality theory. These inferiorities may be an impediment, but the child may quickly learn to use them as a little quite brilliant tool, to put the family in his service or maybe indeed eventually to put all of mankind if he can, in the service of filling up his perceived inadequacy. But he must do something with these organ inferiorities either for good or ill. He is a good little observer and notes that he does not have a level field on which to play. Will he try harder, or adapt with new stratagies, or will he give up and seek to put others in his service? Helen Keller was a Canadian lady who became a writer and she was both blind and deaf. She did not lie back on the "oars of cruel fate" but rather with an encouraging teacher and much personal courage and persistance, she achieved much for the common good. These organ inferiorities need not condemn the course of a child's life to dependency and impovrishment, but rather with encouragement and personal courage, they may even prove a blessing. It is not what the child does not have that is the problem, but rather what he does with the tools at hand. Of course a severe cognitive impairment may be an overwhelming problem that can not be overcome, but all too many folks with "organ inferiorities" are tempted to excuse themselves from what Adler called "The iron clad logic of communal living". Adlerians do not accept many physical limitations as an outlet strategy from the tasks of life. Very few humans have nothing to offer!
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Last edited by George Neeson; October 30th, 2004 at 08:01 AM. Reason: Clarity again and incompleteness and spelling again
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  #58  
Unread October 30th, 2004, 08:41 AM
Paul Miedema Paul Miedema is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

George,
I think that the ground you are looking for might be found in the development of Adler's thinking as a physician who became interested in a phenomenon he called "organ inferiority". How about that?
Paul
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  #59  
Unread October 30th, 2004, 09:38 AM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Question Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

Paul I don't think the inferiority feeling is "caused by organ inferiorities". I believe the realization of the Organ Inferiority is predated by the sense, again in French where the word is so powerful, of incompletude (by the way Adler does use this word in French in one of his papers and as usual, I can't reference it). An organ inferiority of the eyes may drive its holder to view with such greater care, that they become the artist. No, the organ inferiority does not seem like the "ground", but it may be used to build an increased sense of inferiority. Then again, it may become a challenge to overcome that can drive the "afflicted" person to excell. What do you think of this idea? Am I tracking correctly? Thanks for you response.
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Last edited by George Neeson; October 30th, 2004 at 11:07 AM. Reason: wording wrong
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  #60  
Unread October 30th, 2004, 02:03 PM
Paul Miedema Paul Miedema is offline
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Default Re: From the ground up ... an Adlerian primer??

George,
I know that the inferiority feeling is not caused by organ inferiority. I was mainly pointing to the development of Adler's thinking, that shifted from his professional interest in the body to problems of the mind. Adler's "ground" really was his work as a physician who was struck by the natural movement of the body to strive for improvement. Wounds, that heal. Scar tissue being stronger than before. The tendency of the body to improve a weak organ. All these things raised Adler's curiousity, I guess. He noticed how people also suffered mentally from purely physical problems. I guess that at that kind of awareness he linked the psyche to the somatic.
We keep on guessing;;
Paul
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