The Courage for Harmony

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The Courage for Harmony:: 

On Suffering and Social Interest Julia Yang George Drabik Governors State University 2006 NASAP conference O’Hare, Illinois The Courage for Harmony:


To present the aesthetic virtue of harmony as a transcultural response to suffering that cultivates the spiritual prevision for the community feeling of Adlerian psychology. Goal

Questions for Philosophical Discourse: 

Why do we suffer? What are the causes of suffering and how these conditions be eliminated? What is the meaning of suffering and under what conditions can it make us more human? Questions for Philosophical Discourse

Questions for Philosophical Discourse: 

What are therapeutic values of suffering? How could we creatively facilitate healthy changes that encourage individuals to develop a sense of self worth and common purpose with a community feeling? Questions for Philosophical Discourse


“Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, association with the unpleasant is suffering, dissociation from the pleasant is suffering, not to receive what one desires is suffering…” - The Buddha What Is Suffering


Universal to human living. Addressed in most cultural and belief systems. Pathology may be found in the denial of emotional suffering. Relief of external suffering may require higher values (e.g. courage, hope, endurance, etc.) Suffering Is Inevitable


Moists: Distinctions and partiality Confucians: Injustice Taoists: Failure to cherish all things Buddhists: Craving/Attachment Christians: Bearing Jesus’ cross Existentialists: Existential anxiety Humanists: Low self-esteem Why do we suffer?


Moists: Universal love Confucians: Ethical behavior directed toward all Taoists: To cherish all things Buddhists: Elimination of craving Detachment Christians: Salvation (Love for God and Man) Existentialists: Meaning Humanists: Self-actualization Elimination of suffering.


“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break so that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician…the cup the physician brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay, moistened by the Potter’s own sacred tears”. – Gibran Teleology of Suffering


“…but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Roman 5:3-4) Suffering is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world where the individuals are not in harmony with the universe and the Creator. -C.S. Lewis Teleology of Suffering


“No experience is a cause of success or failure. We do not suffer from the shock of our experiences so-called trauma - but we make out of them just what suits our purposes.” –Adler Teleology of Suffering


Threat to wholeness. Physical, social, psychological, and spiritual dimensions. Helplessness, Alienation (self, others, society). A crisis of meaning. Relief of external suffering may require higher values (e.g. courage, hope, endurance, etc.) Experiencing Suffering Egnew, 2005


For whom do you suffer? What events precede your suffering? When do you suffer most? Do you find yourself in a special place when weighed down with suffering? What leads to the cessation of suffering? Questions of Vital Necessity

Healing: Transcending Suffering : 

Wholeness Narrative Harmony Healing: Transcending Suffering


The Healing Path Suffering Courage Harmony Social Interest

On Courage: 

On Courage  Patience in suffering (James 5:7) “...courage is not the absence of despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair.” - Rollo May “the willingness for risk taking and to move ahead in the presence of difficulties.”

On Courage: 

On Courage  “Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving, and full of the desire to serve...Learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation. Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all. Cultivate vigor, patience, will, purity; avoid malice and pride. Then, you will achieve your destiny.” ~ Krishna

On Harmony Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary : 

On Harmony Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary an interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole

Attainment of Harmony The Buddha’s “Noble Eightfold Path”: 

Attainment of Harmony The Buddha’s “Noble Eightfold Path” Right Understanding Right Thought Right Speech Right Action 5. Right Livelihood Right Effort Right Mindfulness 8. Right Concentration


Confucius: The Doctrine of the Mean Self renewal: Generation & Regeneration Unity of Men and Haven Harmony with Self and State Plato: “The Republic”: the harmonious cooperative effort of the three souls: Courage, emotion, wisdom. Attainment of Harmony The Proper Order


Tao (way, or path) as the origin of all creation and the force - unknowable in its essence but observable in its manifestations (Te). To possess the fullness of living means to be in perfect harmony with one's original nature. action through inaction complementary opposites reversion Attainment of Harmony The Absolute Tao

Attainment of Harmony The Christian Instructive : 

Attainment of Harmony The Christian Instructive Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3, 8-9 NIV

Harmony as Social/Spiritual Ideal: Global Humanity: 

Harmony as Social/Spiritual Ideal: Global Humanity Absence of: Self-serving interest Safeguards Exploitation Superiority

Harmony as Social/Spiritual Ideal: Global Humanity Presence of : 

Harmony as Social/Spiritual Ideal: Global Humanity Presence of Aesthetics Agape Altruism Courage Hope Empathy Meaning Endurance Movement Stillness Coherence Encouragement Reconciliation Wholeness Regeneration Social Connectedness

Problems of Social Living: 

Problems of Social Living It is all about “ the relationship of the individual to the problems of the outside world” (Adler in Milliren, 2004) Work Love Intimacy Self Universe

Responding to Suffering Contribution & Cooperation: 

Responding to Suffering Contribution & Cooperation Greed vs. Needs Blame vs. Build Loneliness vs. Aloneness Praise vs. Encouragement, Conformity vs. Self reliance Illusion of becoming vs. Here and Now, Wishful thinking vs. What Is Punishment vs. Consequence One-upmanship vs. Togetherness Self centering vs. Other directedness

Responding to Suffering Contribution & Cooperation: 

Responding to Suffering Contribution & Cooperation Growing apart vs. Growing Agape Begging attitude vs. Creativity Flaws vs. Assets, Holding on to vs. Let go Double mind vs. Free mind Infantile attitude/Maturity, Productivity Comparison vs. Cooperation Eros vs. Agape Manipulation vs. Choice Intimidation vs. Initiative


Attainment of Harmony The Courage of Achieving Community feeling Suffering Harmony Courage Contribution Cooperation


Gemeinschaftsgefuhl Social interest Social feeling Community spirit Sense of community Public-spiritedness Adlerian Perspective: Elimination of suffering.

Gemeinschaftsgefuhl and the Individual: 

Gemeinschaftsgefuhl and the Individual Heinz Ansbacher writes: “They are in the Adlerian sense the truly mentally healthy whose social interest does not imply a mere adaptation to immediate reality, but a courageous, self-reliant, and free striving for a goal ‘which would have to signify the ideal community for all mankind, the ultimate fulfillment of evolution.’”


Dreikurs on the ‘Courage to be Imperfect’ Social Interest Prestige


Healing: Giving Courage & Making Connection “The process of facilitating the development of a person’s inner resources and courage toward positive movement.” (Dinkmyere & Losoncy, 1996) The making space for “a sense of connection, with ourselves, others, and the universe.” (Leibrich, 2002)


“Feeling at Home” Only those are able to muster the courage to advance on the useful side who consider themselves a part of the whole, who are at home on this earth and in this mankind (Adler in Ansnacher & Ansbacher, 1956, p.159) Social Harmony via Cosmic Social Interest


Individual Psychology is the heir to all great movements whose aim is the welfare of mankind. Adler

Selected References: 

Selected References Ansbacher, H. L. & Ansbacher, R. R. (1956). The individual psychology of Alfred Adler. New York: Harper Torchbooks. Beecher, W. & Beecher M. (1966). Beyond success and failure. Willard & Marguerite Beecher Foundation, Richard, TX. Cleary, T. (1989).The Book of Balance and Harmony. San Francisco: North Point. Driekurs, R. (1971). Social equality: The challenge of today. Adler School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, IL. Driekurs, R. (1989). Fundamentals of Adlerian psychology. New York: Greenberg. Egnew, T. R. (2005. The meaning of healing: Transcending suffering. Annals of Family Medicine, 3 (3) Leibrich, J. (2002). Making space: spirituality and mental health. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 5(2), 144-162. Miller, R. B. (2005). Suffering in Psychology: The demoralization of psychotherapeutic practice. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 15(3). 299-336. Milliren, A. P. & Yang, J. (2004, June)). Yin, Yang and social interest: In search of laws of social living across cultures. Paper presented at the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology 52nd Annual Conference, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Mosak, K. H. (1977). The tasks of life I. Adler’s three tasks. In H. H. Mosak (Ed.). On Purpose. Adler School of Professional Psychology (pp. 93-99). Chicago, IL: Author. Yang, J. & Waller. B. (2005). Transforming a Work Life into a Life Work. Illinois Counseling Association Journal, 153(1), 21-31. Special Issue: Counseling for All the Seasons of Life.

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