Living Systems, Evolving Consciousness, and the Emerging Person: A Selection of Papers from the Life Work of Louis Sander (Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book
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This collection of previously published papers can be viewed as a story of the gradual emergence of an overarching idea through the course of a life's work. The idea concerns the way emerging knowledge of developmental processes, biological systems, and therapeutic process can be integrated in terms of basic principles that govern the living system as an ongoing creative process - a process in which there is a continuing impetus, both energizing and motivational, that moves the living system toward an enhanced coherence in its engagement with its surround as it achieves an ever-increasing inclusiveness of complexity. The papers have been selected in a roughly chronological order from a career of early developmental research within the background of psychoanalytic thinking. The biological underpinnings of psychoanalysis can be extended by systems thinking. Our notions of the evolution of consciousness can also be extended from this simple level of a neural machinery essential for adaptation and survival to the capacity for the awareness of one's own inner state within the flow of one's engagement with one's surround.
From this enrichment of inner experiencing through evolving self-awareness, the unique organization of the "person" emerges within the developmental process - from expectancies and emotions, to values, meaning, purpose, goals, and "direction". The title of the book has been chosen to capture this sequence. Further evolution of conscious organization will enable the human species to achieve the state of being "together-with" and yet "distinct-from" as the system as a whole, on a wider, more global level, gains increasing coherence as it complexity increases. Hopefully, the implications of this idea will emerge in the reader's thinking, as the chapters move from the level of adaptation to recognition.
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