Self as a developmental stage

What if our task is to out grow our self. Eric Erickson described developmental tasks of a mature life. The last stage is one of “integraty  vs dispair”. This is when the self looks back over its life time and feels good or bad about the life reviewed.

What if we are exploring a stage beyond an identity with the  self and its story. To develop implies an occurance  that has never happned before. Develop is to open the envelop that something new might arrive.




About Hayward

Clinical Psychologist and practicing psychotherapist for thirty seven years. Studying Time Space and Knowledge since 1980 and integrating this vision into clinical practice as seemingly appropriate and useful.
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4 Responses to Self as a developmental stage

  1. David Filippone says:

    Meant to put this here…

    Hi Eliana and Hayward,
    Agree with both your statements. When Rinpoche says in your quote: “The self is guided not by awareness, but by the need to gain power over its circumstances so that it can obtain what it wants…” The assumption need not be that the self, acting in its myopic or self-centered way is acting to enhance or enlarge itself. When for example, Rinpoche, or even Mother Theresa for that matter, marshaled all available resources to accomplish particular projects they labored tirelessly to complete for the good of many, while the goal was perhaps a selfless act, the work, the coordination, the structuring of thought, the planning, the engaging with others, and so on, required an agent. From a TSK perspective, would that personal agency not be their higher and perhaps best self in action?

  2. Eliana Kalaf says:

    I would like to add a couple of phrases about this discussion:

    “The self is guided not by awareness, but by the need to gain power over its circumstances so that it can obtain what it wants. In place of the light of knowledge, the thick darkness of wanting and the seductive images of desire determine how the self shall act.” LOK 35

    “Bodhisattvas are those who seek enligntenment for the sake of all other beings. Their path is the way of selflessness whereby the mind is trained to go beyond its ordinary self-centered preoccupations and anxieties and learns, by gradual degrees, to place others at the focus of its interest and concern. This altruistic attitude forms the basis and heart of all the Buddha´s teaching of the Mahayana or Great Vehicle.” Dilgo Khyentse´s Enlightened Courage pg xiii

  3. michaelg says:

    Hi Hayward,
    I don’t know whether you would prefer to be congratuated on reaching a stage of “integrity” in which a spirit of inclusion and measured response holds sway, or whether you think of yourself as still a young-in, not ready for any damn final stage, thank you. I find–without the benefit of your experience of thousands of people traversing this path and who sometimes find themselves facing down dispair–that when the self becomes able to treat the interests of others as being as important as its own, then he makes for a fine ally in this life. At such times, I feel no need to throw the self overboard. After all, if he is willing to take his turn on the oars, I’m quite happy with his company. –Michael

  4. Eliana Kalaf says:


    My understanding is that mind is very tricky and trying to develop implies some manipulation. My suggestion is to observe and see the reactions of the mind to every stimulus and try something less reactive and more inclusive.

    My proposal is to try to observe what the experience means to me, to trace when mind divert from simple observation and focus on meanings and interpretations.

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