Theatre as a practice of love
I regard the theatre as a place for human development, not just to demonstrate a scenario.
We want to develop ourselves. However, we do not know how to achieve it, so Human resource development is under discussion. This article is for readers who have read thousands of books or articles about how to develop people and win the game but have failed. The failure might stem from ignorance of the other side of the conflict; love. The author explained what we should take into account for human development, and both two events were suggested for us to take into deep consideration; conflict and love. This discussion also introduced the model of bipolar self proposed by Kohut, a psychologist, to clarify human nature and to understand the importance of the two events. Being a person with great competency does not mean being a person who has the skills to love. How about talking about love? Without love, even with high competency, we can develop ourselves further. Without love, we can not overcome conflict.
I remember a story of a leader written in a book, whose title I forget. Simply, that is the story of how a leader who has ‘a dominant or “ruling” attitude’ (Adler, 2019, p.186) changes their mind and reconstructs the company with others’ help. Do you think changing your mind, so changing belief, is required to develop oneself? If we have not tried and have not felt developing, we may try to change our belief with practice. Because human development is not a linear process, it seems difficult to become capable of what we are not capable of. The challenge might suffer us. So we need love. Without love from others, we can not develop ourselves further. Love is the will for development and the practice of the will. The concept of presence by Carl Rogers (Brodley, 2000) and Patsy Rodenburg (Rodenburg, 2007) represents a status of a person who is ready to love. Do we think we are present or absent? Peck (2002) noted that the opposite side of love is laziness. Where does laziness come from? Do we think we are lazy?
Bipolar self loves
Needless to say, we develop ourselves according to our needs in life. What needs do we have? We have only one need; to love ourselves. Love for oneself stems from both the pole of self-assertive ambitions and the pole of values and ideals. To heal oneself or to survive in conflict is to love oneself. Fromm (2006, preface) said, “Love is not a sentiment which can be easily indulged in by anyone, regardless of the level of maturity reached by him. It wants to convince the reader that all his attempts for love are bound to fail unless he tries most actively to develop his total personality so as to achieve a productive orientation; that satisfaction in individual love cannot be attained without the capacity to love one’s neighbor, without true humility, courage, faith, and discipline.” This statement represents love as a practice of will to develop oneself and help others develop themselves. Because others help one develop oneself, one needs to love others because one loves oneself. The immaturity of a person is caused by a lack of mature human resources. ” Treatment requires an understanding of the early failures and provides an environment in which the intrapsychic structures may belatedly develop” (Baker & Baker, 1987, p.1). Here is the fact that a person can not develop oneself without mature relationships with others. Kohut named others, which develops oneself selfobjects (Kohut, 1971).
What happens if we do not reach a certain degree of maturity? Psychology shows examples in the name of personality disorders (Personality Disorders – MSD Manual Professional Edition, n.d.). That represents “conflict surrounding selfobject needs” (Nehrig et al., 2019, p.1). The main purpose of conflict around an immature person is to compensate the function of the immature bipolar self with selfobjects, which results in ruining or ignoring others. Contrary, matured bipolar self can spare their energy to developing others; there is room for others in mind.
The bipolar self (Kohut, 2009) represents the structure of the self, the pole of self-assertive ambitions, and the pole of values and ideals. Simply, the former is for wisdom to restore the mentality, and the latter is for wisdom to survive outside of the home. Fromm (2006) described these concepts with the roles of mother and father. The development of the two polar represents the maturity of personality and skills to love and to be happy. Roughly to say, Rodenburg (2007) uses the term First Circle and Second Circle to represent the function of each polar, and Second Circle is the balanced status of the mind. Though Rodenburg (2007) mentioned both types of energy functions, not just negatively, she focused on the negative phase of the two; First Circle energy damages the self while Third Circle energy damages others. In psychology, some mental diseases are caused by malfunction of each polar; for example, Avoidant personality disorder can be detected when a person can not deal with a relationship at the workplace and can not heal oneself at home; Narcissistic personality disorder is the aggressive and threatening pattern of personality disorder, which harass others to defend oneself. If a person seems defensive or offensive, or not responsive, that represents the immaturity of bipolar self.
Bipolar self conflicts and heals
People choose what they cost their time, energy, and money because these are limited resources. In other words, because values and ideals differ between people, conflict happens, ordinary. We can see the conflict in fiction, a dispute in court, and business. A conflict is an unavoidable event that develops human beings. Nietzsche assumed the will of power and approved the conflict because the will of power is human nature (Skordis et al., 2021). This assumption seems practical because we can see competition and only a competitive person can earn much. Here bipolar self works; it is designed for a person to play a game, to heal oneself injured in the battle, and play a game again to love oneself. Nietzsche’s concept of the will of power represents the employment of the polar of values and ideals, which demand the self to control oneself by self, not to be controlled by others. Adler, a psychologist, also expressed the will of power and the polar of values and ideals from his perspective; ‘Life (and all psychic expressions as part of life) moves ever toward “overcoming,” toward perfection, toward superiority, toward success’ (Adler, 2019, p.186). The polarity of values and ideals leads one to play a game and to lead oneself to win the game.
Bipolar self and collective intelligence
TThe appearance of the polarity of values and ideals can be detected as spiritual intelligence (SI). “Spiritual intelligence is the intelligence with which we access our deepest meanings, purposes, and highest motivations” (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, p.3). And the other polar of self-assertive ambitions can be described as the root of emotional intelligence (EI). “EI influences our stress level, our ability to perform, and our effectiveness when working with others” (Pisanos, 2011, p.439). If we have the concept of collective bipolar self, EI and SI deserve called collective intelligence, which is essential intelligence for a group of people to develop. Adler represented this with the terms community feeling and social interest (Adler, 1956). Do you think we are collectively intelligent?
Adler, A. (1956). The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler. H. L. Ansbacher & R. R. Ansbacher (Eds.). New York, NY: Harper Torchbooks
Baker, H. S., & Baker, M. N. (1987). Heinz Kohut’s self psychology: an overview. The American Journal of Psychiatry. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1987-12921-001
Fromm, E. (2006). The Art of Loving. Harper Perennial Modern Classics.
Kohut, H. (1971). The analysis of the self. New York: International Universities Press.
Kohut, H. (2009). The restoration of the self. University of Chicago Press.
Peck, M. S. (2002). The road less traveled: A new psychology of love, traditional values, and spiritual growth. Simon and Schuster.
Rodenburg, P. (2007). Presence: How to use positive energy for success in every situation. Penguin UK.
Skordis, I., Kechagias, C., & Antoniou, A. (2021). Letting Nietzsche inside schools? Educational potential and an acknowledgement of the optimism of his philosophy. SN Social Sciences