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  1. #1
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    Default Is Trauma the Mother of Growth?

    Jung observed that, “The developing personality obeys … only brute necessity; it needs the motivation force of inner and outer fatalities.” Are “outer fatalities” a requisite for growth? Are “inner fatalities” necessarily traumatic and potentially catastrophic? Are there gentler, more positive ways of facilitating development of personality?

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    In general this seems to work this way for me. Hard times have generally been catalysts for my growth, something which has accelerated since I have begun working on self realization.
    In theory its possible to develop without needing external experiences, through a process which was called intentional suffering by Gurdjieff.

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    IME, outer and inner "fatalities" come together. Each produces the other.
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  4. #4
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    The authoritarians go for trauma as a re-enactment of their own trauma, endlessly repeated.

    So trauma limits personal growth, chokes it, in an endless repetition of the original trauma.

    The empathic and creative go for pleasure and delight in each new moment.

    So pleasure and delight enables us to expand and explore ourselves in the act of becoming

    Personal growth is about becoming, we are made to become.

    And nothing becomes us more.

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    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Well there's trauma, and then there's TRAUMA.

    I think difficulties are conducive to personal growth as well as becoming aware of one's own limitations (for instance, I began to develop my Fe only when I saw that I needed "social skills" to be remotely successful in today's world). My own realizations, as well, have been conducive to growth (I guess that's the "inner fatality" of which they speak). Sometimes things just have to change.

    But, there are also things that have happened to make me into LESS of a person. Humiliating things, and things like being left for dead and pitted against the entire world. Those things made me stronger, but they also put me into a permanent misanthropic funk. So many defenses kicked in that I'm not sure how to make them stop, and in many ways, I feel like I've actually regressed.

    I guess that leaves me at..."difficulties don't have to be traumas" or something.

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    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Article Poster View Post
    Jung observed that, “The developing personality obeys … only brute necessity; it needs the motivation force of inner and outer fatalities.” Are “outer fatalities” a requisite for growth? Are “inner fatalities” necessarily traumatic and potentially catastrophic? Are there gentler, more positive ways of facilitating development of personality?

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    Thought-provoking post.

    Rain vs. flood, I think. The threshold for damage depends on the plant.

  7. #7
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    I have no idea what an inner fatality is. I wonder if Jung did when he wrote that...it's probably a product of his compulsion to 'balance' his theories; hence the nearly meaningless function Ni, which seems to be so vaguely defined as to be open to wild and self-serving interpretation.
    But I agree that outer trauma creates inner growth. A system will not change unless disturbed. Then it will reorganize itself to reflect the new reality. But it doesn't work without outer prompting.

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    Depends on the kind of trauma and the individual?

    Not everyone grows from trauma. Some people go through arrested development and stay stuck there for quite some time.

    The ability to overcome adversity and become a fully wholesome person depends on the person's environment too. Having a parental figure who instils love, compassion, and believes in their child can really help to build resilience, a strong personality.

    Just imagine, on the other hand, a child who suffers through trauma and growing up in a system without any sort of emotional support. They could cave in and become null and numb to life. An overly traumatized individual who suffers through an unlucky bout and string of trauma can also revert to lacking a strong personality, strong sense of self due to their lost abilities to express themselves in a very limited circumstance (years of imprisonment, whether real or emotional).

    Really depends. I think overall, enduring life experiences that are out of the ordinary can in some ways help build character. Because, those who have suffered and persevered, can empathize with others on a whole other level. And, sometimes, being able to survive, takes courage, a type of understanding unique to that very individual, which makes them different from their generic 4 generated letters, which don't say a thing about life experiences!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiddykat View Post
    Depends on the kind of trauma and the individual?

    Not everyone grows from trauma. Some people go through arrested development and stay stuck there for quite some time.

    The ability to overcome adversity and become a fully wholesome person depends on the person's environment too. Having a parental figure who instils love, compassion, and believes in their child can really help to build resilience, a strong personality.

    Just imagine, on the other hand, a child who suffers through trauma and growing up in a system without any sort of emotional support. They could cave in and become null and numb to life. An overly traumatized individual who suffers through an unlucky bout and string of trauma can also revert to lacking a strong personality, strong sense of self due to their lost abilities to express themselves in a very limited circumstance (years of imprisonment, whether real or emotional).

    Really depends. I think overall, enduring life experiences that are out of the ordinary can in some ways help build character. Because, those who have suffered and persevered, can empathize with others on a whole other level. And, sometimes, being able to survive, takes courage, a type of understanding unique to that very individual, which makes them different from their generic 4 generated letters, which don't say a thing about life experiences!
    From our Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse we know that most child abusers have been abused as children themselves.

    And we know that most those who weren't loved unconditionally as babies are unable to love unconditionally themselves.

    And instead of loving their babies unconditionally, they reach for manipulative tools such as astrology and mbti to explain their lack of unconditional love.

  10. #10
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    It can be if the person has the right attitude. The stronger the trauma is, the harder it is to accept it as something to grow from and is usually met with as much repression/suppression as possible, which doesent help anything but the ego and just makes the complexes associated with the trauma to manifest through unconscious way, most likely leading to more emotional pain and possibly stuff like reacting the trauma.
    For example i met this girl who had been raped by 4 guys some years ago, now she has this attitude that she doesent care what happens to her, since she had already been through hell(nothing could be worse, so nothing matters) and basically had turned into a slut with next to no sense of self protection..
    This sort of traumatic thing doesent lead to psychic benefits easily, but through the trauma, one could learn much about the self and grow much as an individual.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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