ABSTRACT

Self is not a given, yet it grows from the experience of relatedness and the seeking of attachments, organically, entwined with the rhythms of bodily existence. Living in a symbolic milieu confers great flexibility on human relatedness and the development of this self. The power of association and the wandering nature of individual human thought takes us to unexpected places, warranting reconsideration of the value of “primary” and “secondary” process. Thoughtful well-being is realized in communicative exchange through shared experience in situations of trust, creative play and friendship, as also found in effective therapeutic relationships. Processes of personal instantiation and recognition characterize emergent realizations. Realizations also occur in quiet spaces where a self-process has been established, as in experiences related to dreams. The forward orientation of self in time brings to mind a person who grows as a prospective self in a community where openness and shared experience create many personal possibilities.