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Why Separate? A psychodynamic observation

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Great contributions on “what happens,” though I’m curious also as to “why.” There are important developmental processes in play as we move from total dependency and both biological and relational immaturity at birth to the gradual emergence of a sense of self as unique and separate from our source. 

Many of those investigating infancy and early childhood have found a psychodynamic perspective quite helpful, and even though the early theories are out of favor they have emerged as quite influential in understanding the nuances of early attachment and then later adult relationships. 

Because these relational dynamics saturate the fabric of all human interactions (and even the internal landscape of our relationship with ourselves), they contribute enormously to what we see, for example, in the climate sphere. Consider that everyone has conflicting feelings about being dependent on a mother, an other who can at best only guess at the needs and subjective experience of those in her care.  We carry that into all our contacts with others, even in fantasy. So note that “it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” might sell margarine exactly because we thrill at fooling her given how unhappy it was to be under her green thumb!

It’s certainly not true that understanding unconscious dynamics will make a significant change in personal behavior or social policy. That will take emotional work and “working through.” But it cannot but help our understanding to add an element of self-awareness to the discussion of why we are having such difficulty getting a grip.

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