THE FIFTH SUBSISTENCE LEVEL - The E-R or
Multiplistic Existential State
Theme: Express self
for what self desires, but in a fashion calculated not to bring
down the wrath of others.
This level arises when the D problem, the need for lasting
order and everlasting security, is provided by the philosophical
prescriptives for authority. This rigid, dogmatic, authoritarian
leadership blocks those developing feelings of self which began to
emerge in the third level of existence. This produces problems in
the self for having to adhere to authoritarian ways. And, it
arises from the problem created by the fact of death which a
developing consciousness begins to question.
This desire for the expression of self and this doubt about the
prescriptions and answers of authority, plus the fact that lower
classes have little pleasure in life and higher cannot be certain
of afterlife, activates the R neurological system. This leads the
person to ask, "is this the only life I will ever live and,
if so, why can't I have some pleasure in this existence?"
This activation of the N system provides for the beginning of
dispassionate, objective, hypothetico-deductive, not
moralistic-prescriptive thinking. This leads to thinking in a
multiplistic, not absolutistic, manner. That is, there are many
ways to think, but only one best way, rather than only the right
way or the wrong way.
Thinks beyond giving and receiving to objective viewing of
self, others, things, activity around self and one's own
activities. Thinks in terms of it being right to receive and to
aspire beyond what one's class is--permits one's status desire.
Behaves in terms of not receiving or not following "the
word." Tries to analyze and to comprehend and, in so doing,
to be impersonal and distant.
Thinks in terms of all life being a game with the end being to
discover how to circumvent the rules to one's own advantage, but
not so much as to raise the ire of others. "Bend-the rules,
don't break them," is the dictum. Promote the individual
self, but carefully.
Enjoys mapping the territory of experience, but shies from
intense personal experiencing itself. Uncomfortable sensing the
whole as more than its parts. Prefers to add up his/her own
conception of the parts. Breaks things into parts so as to
understand and to control them.
Shows actions perceived by others as hostile, but are unaware
of the hostility and deny its presence. Lives so as to express
self, but by avoiding serious trouble when so doing.
Sees the world in terms of intra-psychic separation from
others, Thinks in terms of disidentifying self from earlier ways
of thinking and doing and of rearranging things to suit self. See
selves as struggling to free selves from others. These are
struggles to free self from actual restriction, not
Thinks in terms of real concern for others so long as such
thinking does not hurt self. Spawns a rational, economic,
bargaining, self-promoting conception for managing life's
First appeared 600-700 years ago.
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