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Posts tagged “carl rogers

Becoming a Person

This abstract discusses the final steps of the process on becoming a fully grown person, independent, interdependent and unique, which comes from the acceptance of certain factors.

Based on 4 very influential theories.. merging a theory from each sector: Philosophy, Psychology, Spirituality, Physics..

or as Capra called it:

An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism...

The final acceptance that man is nothing more, or nothing less, than a homo sapien, basically implies that there comes a point where man fully accepts his pure self without displaying (consciously or unconsciously) theaters of control; A collection of behaviors a human has been accustomed to getting certain responses from and thus repeats them in order to control others. Either this is done openly and knowingly, or at a more subtle (less aware) level as a way of life, but nonetheless controlling.



“The basic discovery of psychotherapy seems to be – if our observations as human beings have any validity – that we do not need to be afraid of being merely homo sapiens.

It is the discovery that if we can add to the sensory and visceral experiencing, which is characteristic of the whole animal kingdom, the gift of a free and undistorted awareness of which only the human animal seems fully capable. We have an organism that is beautifully and constructively realistic. We have then an organism which is aware of the demands of the culture as it is of its own physiological demands for food or sex, which is just as aware of its desire for friendly relationships as it is of its desire to aggrandize itself, which is as aware of its delicate and sensitive tenderness towards others, as it is of its hostilities towards others.

When man’s unique capacity of awareness is thus functioning freely and fully, we find that we have, not an animal whom we must fear, not a beast who must be controlled, but an organism able to achieve, through the remarkable integrative capacity of its central nervous system, a balanced, realistic, self enhancing, other enhancing, behavior, as a resultant of all these elements of awareness. To put it another way, when man is less than fully man, when he denies to awareness various aspects of his experience, then indeed we have all too often a reason to fear his behavior, as the present world situation testifies. But when he is most fully man, when he is a complete organism, when awareness of experience, that peculiarly human attribute, is most fully operating, then he is to be trusted, then his behavior is constructive. It will not always be conforming. It will be individualized.”

( Taken by: A psychotherapist’s view on Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers * )


This behavior and state of emotional maturity as well as grounded focused awareness derives from acceptance as well as growth.

Growth that comes when a human stops playing games, games of power or control, either consciously or unconsciously.

These games were first stated by psychiatrist Eric Berne, in his book: Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships, in 1964. 

The book describes both functional and dysfunctional social interactions.

In the first half of the book, Berne introduces Transactional Analysis as a way of interpreting social interactions.

He describes three roles or ego states known as the Child, the Parent, and the Adult and postulates that many negative behaviors can be traced to switching or confusion of these roles.

He discusses procedures, rituals, and pastimes in social behavior, in light of this method of analysis.

For example, a boss who talks to his staff as a controlling parent will often engender self-abased obedience, tantrums, or other childlike responses from his employees.

The second half of the book constructs a catalog of a series of “games” in which people interact through a patterned and predictable series of “transactions” which are superficially plausible (that is, they may appear normal to bystanders or even to the people involved), but which actually conceal motivations, include private significance to the parties involved, and lead to a well-defined predictable outcome, usually counterproductive.

Not all interactions or transactions are part of a game.

Specifically, if both parties in a one-on-one conversation remain in an Adult state, it is unlikely that a game is being played.

Therefore, in order for true interaction to occur, both individuals have to be in a grown up state, without trying to gain control. Having nothing to win and nothing to lose, communication can be honest and equal.

Unless we break the circle, we will continue playing the same game over and over again, having the same responses and experiences, over and over again.

We think we’re relating to other people–but actually we’re all playing games.

Transactional Analysis is discussed here in detail.

Transactional Analysis

& popular culture


New Age author James Redfield has acknowledged Harris and Berne as important influences in his best-seller The Celestine Prophecy. The protagonists in the novel survive by striving (and succeeding) in escaping from “control dramas” that resemble the games of TA.)


Redfield describes that “control dramas” are basically theaters of control (Transactional Analysis), although he suggests (in his book “The Celestine Prophecy”) that ulterior motives behind theaters of control are not only psychological but manipulating in terms of controlling energy.

..the link to Redfield’s insightful interview on Transactional Analysis as well as what happens after man is freed from playing games, can be found in this post



To become a person, an individual, one has to look inwards as well as outwards. The internal search (psychotherapy) meets external observation and appreciation (physics) and thus man can become a medium, having a balance between the two.

It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking, the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet.
These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human culture, in different times or different cultural environments or different religious traditions: hence if they actually
meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow.

Werner Heisenberg

Introducing at this point: the theory of energetics,

which supports that energy is under transformation, thus evolving

(it sounds familiar doesn’t it? it’s based on the 2nd law of Thermodynamics..)

Everyone realizes, at one level or another, that manipulation is a feature of common human psychology. Manipulation occurs either due to subconscious or conscious Psychological ulterior motives (Transactional Analysis) which later on was studied and related to energy flow (notice that when you are having a conversation with someone who insists, how you are drained from strength, stamina, energy). In Redfield’s interview he clarifies the connection between Transactional Analysis and energetics.

Not only in terms of interaction but also in terms of evolution, when a personality evolves, it becomes witness of a change occurring, either around or inside him/her.

A fully grown individual who does not – consciously or unconsciously – play games, through the process of maturing, gradually realizes that everything is interconnected. A realization deriving from empirical knowledge, when a human has overcome his/her own personal dramas and is thus receptive to observing, clearly, the processes occurring inside him/her and around him/her.. and gradually it becomes evident that everything contains the same energy flow.

Not only is this felt and described in various literary masterpieces but is also proven with the connection of Western and Eastern philosophy.

Such a book is “The Tao of Physics” a book by physicist Fritjof Capra, published in 1975 by Shambhala Publications (The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism) which is attached to this post and can be downloaded by clicking here:  The_Tao_of_Physics

“I had gone through a long training in theoretical physics and had done several years of research. At the same time, I had become very interested in Eastern mysticism and had begun to see the parallels to modern physics. I was particularly attracted to the puzzling aspects of Zen which reminded me of the puzzles in quantum theory.”

Fritjof Capra

hm.. what is energetics?



The basics of energy flow is broken down in the science of “Energetics”, mentioned here:



(What is it?)


Energetics is the scientific study of energy under transformation. Because energy flows at all scales, from the quantum level, to the biosphere and cosmos, energetics is therefore a very broad discipline, encompassing for example thermodynamics, chemistry, biological energetics, biochemistry  and ecological energetics.

Lehninger contended that when the science of thermodynamics deals with energy exchanges of all types, it can be called energetics.



In general, energetics is concerned with seeking principles that accurately describe the useful and non-useful tendencies of energy flows and storage under transformation.

‘Principles’ are understood here as phenomena which behave like historical invariants under multiple observations.
When some critical number of people have observed such invariance, such a principle is usually then given the status of a ‘fundamental law’ of science.

Like in all science, whether or not a theorem or principle is considered a fundamental law appears to depend on how many people agree to such a proposition. The ultimate aim of energetics therefore is the description of fundamental laws.

Philosophers of science have held that the fundamental laws of thermodynamics can be treated as the laws of energetics. Through the clarification of these laws energetics aims to produce reliable predictions about energy flow and storage transformations at any scale; nano to macro.




of energetics:

Odum proposed 3 further energetic principles and one corollary that take energy hierarchy into account. The first four principles of energetics are related to the same numbered laws of thermodynamics, and are expanded upon in that article. The final four principles are taken from the ecological energetics of H.T. Odum.

Principles of energetics:


* Zeroth principle of energetics

If two thermodynamic systems A and B are in thermal equilibrium, and B and C are also in thermal equilibrium, then A and C are in thermal equilibrium.

* First principle of energetics

The increase in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of energy added to the system by heating, minus the amount lost in the form of work done by the system on its surroundings.

* Second principle of energetics

The total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value.

* Third principle of energetics

As a system approaches absolute zero of temperature all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value or zero for the case of a perfect crystalline substance.

* Fourth principle of energetics

There seem to be two opinions on the fourth principle of energetics:

– The Onsager reciprocal relations are sometimes called the fourth law of thermodynamics. As the fourth law of thermodynamics Onsager reciprocal relations would constitute the fourth principle of energetics.

– In the field of ecological energetics H.T. Odum considered maximum power, the fourth principle of energetics. Odum also proposed the Maximum empower principle as a corollary of the maximum power principle, and considered it to describe the propensities of evolutionary self-organization.

* Fifth principle of energetics

The energy quality factor increases hierarchically. From studies of ecological food chains, Odum proposed that energy transformations form a hierarchical series measured by Transformity increase (Odum 2000, p. 246). Flows of energy develop hierarchical webs in which inflowing energies interact and are transformed by work processes into energy forms of higher quality that feedback amplifier actions, helping to maximise the power of the system” — (Odum 1994, p. 251)

* Sixth principle of energetics

Material cycles have hierarchical patterns measured by the energy/mass ratio that determines its zone and pulse frequency in the energy hierarchy. (Odum 2000, p. 246). M.T. Brown and V. Buranakarn write, “Generally, energy per mass is a good indicator of recycle-ability, where materials with high energy per mass are more recyclable”



* * * * * * *

All this.. is simply a collection of ideas and theories, stated for the sake of philosophical pondering, therefore open to discussion. Everything that has been stated in this post should be taken into mere consideration and not complete acceptance.

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Carl Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology.

Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association in 1956.

For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology in 1972.

Towards the end of his life Carl Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with national intergroup conflict in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships.

Independent Self

There have been many attempts to describe the levels of intimacy in human behavior. The basic categorization concluded in three major states of being, either in such a state or between states. That is, the relationship between dependence – independence – interdependence.

My personal favorite (discussing mostly the state of being when one is dependent, then moves to independent and then is able to be and chooses to become: interdependent) is Jorge Bucay (which I undoubtedly suggest for further reading).

Moreover, the foundation of this concept is to understand the following (which I quote from various sources, since I couldn’t have put it better myself and is thus a collage of theories):

Independent Self is a bounded, unique, more or less integrated, motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, action, organized into a distinctive whole and set contrastingly, both against other such wholes and against a social background.

Taken by: Social Psychology textbook*

Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually and physically responsible to, and sharing a common set of principles with others. This concept differs distinctly from “dependence” in that an interdependent relationship implies that all participants are emotionally, economically, ecologically and or morally “interdependent.” Some people advocate freedom or independence as a sort of ultimate good; others do the same with devotion to one’s family, community, or society. Interdependence recognizes the truth in each position and weaves them together. Two states that cooperate with each other are said to be interdependent. It can also be defined as the interconnectedness and the reliance on one another socially, economically, environmentally and politically.

Taken by: Marx first used the term interdependence in the Communist Manifesto (1848) in describing the universal interdependence of nations in comparison to the old local and national seclusion of independence and self-sufficiency. Will Durant made one Declaration of Interdependence on April 8, 1944. Others have been written in the years since, and interest in the United States has picked up in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Leaders as diverse as Mahatma Gandhi, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Stephen Covey have written and spoken at length about interdependence.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
As I see it,
basically, Independence is what derives from our personal struggle to become a whole individual. To be free. To be emotionally mature and responsible, in theory and in actuality, for our own actions.
Interdependence could describe the bond of man with social factors but in a healthy relationship and not some form of dependency or extreme intimacy.
The best way to put it is:
Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. Without interrelation with society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. His social interdependence enables him to test his faith and to prove himself on the touchstone of reality.  

Mahatma Gandhi, Young India, March 21, 1929, p. 93

Explanation: A child is born dependent and is celebrated, in an independent society, when they can say “I can do it for myself.” However a tribal child is encouraged to grow beyond independence into interdependence, so they can say “I can do it for others”. Truly successful tribes and organizations are by their nature inherently interdependent, whose elder leadership’s multi-generational visioning skills are guiding and evolving diverse competing interests into completing interests, for the benefit of all. The independent is grandchild to the interdependent. by Tom Harris

The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.  

William James, Great Men, Great Thoughts, and the Environment, Atlantic Monthly, October, 1880

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.  

John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, Houghton Mifflin, 1911, Chapter 7

…for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.  

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.  

Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won’t be good leaders or team players. They’re not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.  

Hence, international co-operation and solidarity and the relentless search for consensus become an absolute imperative. They are the only possible alternative for all nations, whose interdependence is being made increasingly manifest by the rapid development of production technology, of transport and communications, as well as by the overhanging threat of deterioration of the environment and exhaustion of natural resources. And what is one to say of the frightful accumulation of means of destruction in a world facing the no less frightful problems of hunger, disease and ignorance?  

Federico Mayor, Address to the “Symposium 80” on International Cultural Relations: Bridges Across Frontiers, Bonn, 27 May 1980



and here comes the twist..


Illusion of Self:

“According to research by Anne Wilson and Michael Ross in 2001, you see the person you used to be as a foolish bumbler with an awful haircut, but your current self as a badass who is worthy of at least three times the praise.”

“The findings of these studies showed you tend to accept credit when you succeed, but blame bad luck, unfair rules, difficult instructors, cheaters and so on when you fail. When you are doing well, you think you are to blame. When you are doing badly, you think the world is to blame.

This behavior can be observed in board games and senate races, group projects and final exams. You attribute everything to your amazing skills when things are going your way, but once the tide turns, you look for external factors which prevented your genius to shine through”.

Taken by:  Mr. McRaney.

More on his blog here: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2009/10/20/self-serving-bias/




* Carl Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology. The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships.

Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association in 1956.

For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology in 1972.

Towards the end of his life Carl Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with national intergroup conflict in South Africa and Northern Ireland.


PS:: Further reading here http://www.panarchy.org/rogers/person.html