Circling the Square


Encounter – S.Calhoun 2010

From development to liberation Sachs (1992) and Esteva (1992) argue that it is time to dismantle the mental structure and language of “development,” including that which is still attached to it in the form of opposition, such as “underdevelopment” and “counter-development.” We intend “liberation” as a holistic term that urges us to consider the links between economic, political, sociocultural, spiritual, and psychological transformation. In its holistic intent, it helps us to resist thinking that one could be psychologically liberated or individuated while economically or culturally enslaved or knowingly or unknowingly curtailing of the freedom of others. Liberation psychology links the interior with the exterior, widening its focus to include community, holding “self” and “other,” body and soul together. In doing so, our encounters and treatment of others are as carefully reflected upon as our relation to ourselves. The self is seen to be diminished if the other—person, nature, or group—is only grasped as a means to one’s own gratification: objectified, appropriated, and de-animated. There is a sustained attempt to witness the thoughts and feelings of the other, drawing back from attributions and projections upon the other that serve the ends of the self (see Chapter 10). Liberation psycholo- gies try to understand how and why others in the community as well as parts of the self are silenced or unheard. They nurture milieus that encour- age a restoration of voice. They seek to understand the psychologies of ego- defense that yield greed, hatred, violence, or amnesia about the suffering of self and others.

Toward Psychologies of Liberation; Mary Watkins and Helene Shulman – Palgrave 2008

(Helene Shulman wrote Living at the edge of chaos: complex systems in culture and psyche. [google books] It is for me one of those books–essential, hardly known at all, and the product of a modern, creative, questing sensibility. In this respect she joins in my estimation thinkerfeelers such as Arthur Young, Kirkpatrick Sales, Richard Grossinger, Marion Woodman, Paul Thibault, and a few, precious, others.

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