Carl Rogers Theory of Self - connection to NVC and sociocracy

Carl Rogers Nineteen propositions of his theory of self. I Iiked reading through and seeing the obvious connections to NVC (Marshall Rosenberg was student of Rogers, and also to sociocracy values and practice. (from Wikipedia)

  1. All individuals (organisms) exist in a continually changing world of experience (phenomenal field) of which they are the center.
  2. The organism reacts to the field as it is experienced and perceived. This perceptual field is “reality” for the individual.
  3. The organism reacts as an organized whole to this phenomenal field.
  4. A portion of the total perceptual field gradually becomes differentiated as the self.
  5. As a result of interaction with the environment, and particularly as a result of evaluative interaction with others, the structure of the self is formed—an organized, fluid but consistent conceptual pattern of perceptions of characteristics and relationships of the “I” or the “me”, together with values attached to these concepts.
  6. The organism has one basic tendency and striving—to actualize, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism.
  7. The best vantage point for understanding behavior is from the internal frame of reference of the individual.
  8. Behavior is basically the goal-directed attempt of the organism to satisfy its needs as experienced, in the field as perceived.
  9. Emotion accompanies, and in general facilitates, such goal directed behavior, the kind of emotion being related to the perceived significance of the behavior for the maintenance and enhancement of the organism.
  10. The values attached to experiences, and the values that are a part of the self-structure, in some instances, are values experienced directly by the organism, and in some instances are values introjected or taken over from others, but perceived in distorted fashion, as if they had been experienced directly.
  11. As experiences occur in the life of the individual, they are either, a) symbolized, perceived and organized into some relation to the self, b) ignored because there is no perceived relationship to the self structure, c) denied symbolization or given distorted symbolization because the experience is inconsistent with the structure of the self.
  12. Most of the ways of behaving that are adopted by the organism are those that are consistent with the concept of self.
  13. In some instances, behavior may be brought about by organic experiences and needs which have not been symbolized. Such behavior may be inconsistent with the structure of the self but in such instances the behavior is not “owned” by the individual.
  14. Psychological adjustment exists when the concept of the self is such that all the sensory and visceral experiences of the organism are, or may be, assimilated on a symbolic level into a consistent relationship with the concept of self.
  15. Psychological maladjustment exists when the organism denies awareness of significant sensory and visceral experiences, which consequently are not symbolized and organized into the gestalt of the self structure. When this situation exists, there is a basic or potential psychological tension.
  16. Any experience which is inconsistent with the organization of the structure of the self may be perceived as a threat, and the more of these perceptions there are, the more rigidly the self structure is organized to maintain itself.
  17. Under certain conditions, involving primarily complete absence of threat to the self structure, experiences which are inconsistent with it may be perceived and examined, and the structure of self revised to assimilate and include such experiences.
  18. When the individual perceives and accepts into one consistent and integrated system all his sensory and visceral experiences, then he is necessarily more understanding of others and is more accepting of others as separate individuals.
  19. As the individual perceives and accepts into his self structure more of his organic experiences, he finds that he is replacing his present value system—based extensively on introjections which have been distortedly symbolized—with a continuing organismic valuing process.

I’ve been thinking and reading lately about how humans avoid uncertainty beyond a lot of other things and how we’re wired to do that because humans are strong at planning, and in uncertainty, we can’t. So we’d rather believe a distorted story and ignore a few perceptions. Until we can’t anymore because the tension is too big.
But 18 and 19 are a bit of a turn here, assuming that people are more accepting of others - I wonder why that is? Is he saying because then we’re not so much in defensive/threatened mode? Interesting.

Hi, I have been reading about Jung’s idea of us all having a shadow self and its tendency to scapegoat and vilify others who disagree with us. This thinking emphasizing the importance of looking at our own shadow self Wondering if this is part of the movement from #16-19.
Thanks for the conversation.

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As a nondualist I proceed with the understanding that the concept of separate selves is illusory, but is experienced as real. I think, given that almost everyone perceives themselves as separate, the closer we can get to #19 the better. This kind of process is a lot of the reason I moved from being a conservative Christian in my youth, to a progressive nondualist in my 50s.

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Just came across this thread of posts…very interesting…interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB)–a relatively new theoretical integration of life cycle development, attachment theory and brain development—emphasizes the role of early relationships in cultivating the experience of “self”. By definition, an infant’s “self” experience is embedded in interaction with another… IPNB defines “mind” as the exchange of energy and information between brains…without going into too much detail, the theory positions relationship more firmly within the emergence of a sense of separate self…and emphasizes the roles of trust and cognitive stability as functional components of a stable sense of self, which is linked to the ability to accurately intuit or imagine or devise a theory of what is going on in the minds of others with greater or lessor accuracy. The more an individual can trust their ability to know others informs their own sense of cohesive self. Anyway…this post got me thinking…it seems to me that value systems emerge in relationship with others…maybe another way of conceptualizing a "continuing organismic valuing process (#19). There is certainly a direct link between this idea to the implementation of governance systems as shaping human culture in ways that reflect higher order values—or not, according to the ability of those with power to consider the needs of others–to accurately and compassionately imagine or recognize their needs and cooperate to implement plans that meet needs mutually.

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