Self Autonomy Quotes

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Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
If you truly want to be respected by people you love, you must prove to them that you can survive without them.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Infinity Sign)
It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.
Coco Chanel
Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.
Eve Ensler
I'm worried that students will take their obedient place in society and look to become successful cogs in the wheel - let the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they're doing. I'm concerned that students not become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that's handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers.
Howard Zinn
The proverb warns that, 'You should not bite the hand that feeds you.' But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.
Thomas Szasz
I don't need anyone to hold me, I can hold my own.
Ani DiFranco
Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood――establishing independence and intimacy――burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships. She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she reencounters the trauma.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
Why am I compelled to write?... Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and anger... To become more intimate with myself and you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispell the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit... Finally I write because I'm scared of writing, but I'm more scared of not writing.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else's mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations, about the quality or value of products, or about the health of one's own place and economy. In such a society, also, our private economies will depend less and less upon the private ownership of real, usable property, and more and more upon property that is institutional and abstract, beyond individual control, such as money, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, and shares. And as our private economies become more abstract, the mutual, free helps and pleasures of family and community life will be supplanted by a kind of displaced or placeless citizenship and by commerce with impersonal and self-interested suppliers... Thus, although we are not slaves in name, and cannot be carried to market and sold as somebody else's legal chattels, we are free only within narrow limits. For all our talk about liberation and personal autonomy, there are few choices that we are free to make. What would be the point, for example, if a majority of our people decided to be self-employed? The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth - that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community - and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
Human rights' are a fine thing, but how can we make ourselves sure that our rights do not expand at the expense of the rights of others. A society with unlimited rights is incapable of standing to adversity. If we do not wish to be ruled by a coercive authority, then each of us must rein himself in...A stable society is achieved not by balancing opposing forces but by conscious self-limitation: by the principle that we are always duty-bound to defer to the sense of moral justice.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Rebuilding Russia: Reflections and Tentative Proposals)
Freedom from stress, freedom from anxiety, freedom from depression; freedom is autonomy from all that stagnates growth in this ever complex and noisy world. By the fear of being in the unknown, we often overlook and forget the serene view of being on the raft: the glowing virgin stars, the gentle ways that the waves moves, and the endless possibilities that exist under the sun. The fundamental principle of freedom is to be lost and our state of mind never differs too far from this analogy of being stranded in the middle of the ocean.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
The brain-disease model overlooks four fundamental truths: (1) our capacity to destroy one another is matched by our capacity to heal one another. Restoring relationships and community is central to restoring well-being; (2) language gives us the power to change ourselves and others by communicating our experiences, helping us to define what we know, and finding a common sense of meaning; (3) we have the ability to regulate our own physiology, including some of the so-called involuntary functions of the body and brain, through such basic activities as breathing, moving, and touching; and (4) we can change social conditions to create environments in which children and adults can feel safe and where they can thrive. When we ignore these quintessential dimensions of humanity, we deprive people of ways to heal from trauma and restore their autonomy. Being a patient, rather than a participant in one’s healing process, separates suffering people from their community and alienates them from an inner sense of self.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
It looks as if there were a single ultimate goal for mankind, a far goal toward which all persons strive. This is called variously by different authors self-actualization, self-realization, integration, psychological health, individuation, autonomy, creativity, productivity, but they all agree that this amounts to realizing the potentialities of the person, that is to say, becoming fully human, everything that person can be.
Abraham H. Maslow
The human being either asserts autonomy by heroic self-assertion or seeks safety through fusing with a superior force: that is, one either emerges or merges, separates or embeds. One becomes one’s own parent or remains the eternal child.
Irvin D. Yalom (Love's Executioner)
Mass culture is enlightenment in reverse. Its goal is precisely to wipe out that last little garrison of human autonomy.
Rick Roderick (The Self Under Siege: Philosophy In The Twentieth Century)
What the Father gives is the capacity to be a self, freedom, and thus autonomy, but an autonomy which can be understood only as a surrender of self to the other.
Hans Urs von Balthasar (Unless You Become Like This Child)
Such journeys have convinced me that it is not always possible to restore one's boundaries after they have been blurred and made permeable by a relationship: try as we might, we cannot reconstitute ourselves as the autonomous beings we previously imagined ourselves to be.
Mohsin Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist)
The material world is all feminine. The feminine engergy makes the non-manifest, manifest. So even men (are of the feminine energy). We have to relinquish our ideas of gender in the conventional sense. This has nothing to do with gender, it has to do with energy. So feminine energy is what creates and allows anything which is non-manifest, like an idea, to come into form, into being, to be born. All that we experience in the world around us, absolutely everything (is feminine energy). The only way that anything exists is through the feminine force.
Zeena Schreck
Aesthetic criticism returns us to the autonomy of imaginative literature and the sovereignty of the solitary soul, the reader not as a person in society but as the deep self, our ultimate inwardness.
Harold Bloom (The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages)
There are Tantrics who deliberately seek to do more active forms of renunciation, so transgression of social norms and breaking of taboo, and breaking of social taboos especially, is a form of renunciation.
Zeena Schreck
Why, isabel? Why are you doing this to yourself? To your body?' And why are you doing this to me? is the awful, selfish thought that is left unsaid. 'Because I can,' she answers, and I shiver as she unconsciously echoes chastity-ruth. 'But-' 'Because it's my body,' she cuts in. 'Isn't it?
Louise O'Neill (Only Ever Yours)
Those dreaming of the perfect match are outnumbered by those who don't really want it at all, though perhaps they can't admit it. After all, our culture makes individual freedom, autonomy and fulfillment the very highest values, and thoughtful people know deep down that any love relationship at all means the loss of all three. You can say, 'I want someone who will accept me just as I am,' but in your heart of hearts you know that you are not perfect, that there are plenty of things about you that need to be changed, and that anyone who gets to know you up close and personal will want to change them.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
We want autonomy for ourselves and safety for those we love. That remains the main problem and paradox for the frail. Many of the things that we want for those we care about are things that we would adamantly oppose for ourselves because they would infringe upon our sense of self.
Atul Gawande
The civil magistrate cannot function without some ethical guidance, without some standard of good and evil. If that standard is not to be the revealed law of God… then what will it be? In some form or expression it will have to be the law of man (or men) - the standard of self-law or autonomy. And when autonomous laws come to govern a commonwealth, the sword is certainly wielded in vain, for it represents simply the brute force of some men’s will against the will of other men.
Greg L. Bahnsen
There's a line in the picture where he (Johnny - The Wild One) snarls, 'Nobody tells me what to do.' That's exactly how I've felt all my life.
Marlon Brando
We are against ignorance. We feel that you have to educate yourself, no matter what the situation is. People who refuse to educate themselves - people who refuse to find out what something is about, that they're frightened of - find comfort in being ignorant.” --Zeena Schreck Interview for KJTV-1990
Zeena Schreck
A unifying factor between the different traditions and lineages of Tantra, is that it is feminine in nature. It acknowledges the feminine as the basis from which all the practices spring. Therefore, Tantra is by its nature, the understanding that all phenomenal existence, the universe, or cosmos, that we experience is feminine in nature.
Zeena Schreck
Up until then it had only been himself. Up to then it had been a private wrestle between him and himself. Nobody else much entered into it. After the people came into it he was, of course, a different man. Everything had changed then and he was no longer the virgin, with the virgin's right to insist upon platonic love. Life, in time, takes every maidenhead, even if it has to dry it up; it does not matter how the owner wants to keep it. Up to then he had been the young idealist. But he could not stay there. Not after the other people entered into it.
James Jones (From Here to Eternity)
It struck me that in every family, culture, or religion, ideas of right and wrong are the hot cattle prods, the barking sheepdogs that keep the masses in the herd. They are the bars that keep us caged. I decided that if I kept doing the "right" thing, I would spend my life following someone else's directions instead of my own. I didn't want to live my life without living my life. I wanted to make my own decision as a free woman, from my soul, not my training. But the problem was, I didn't know how.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
In order to understand why one chooses to be a Tantric practitioner, there has to be an understanding of cause and effect, cyclic existence, the awareness that the reality that we think we are seeing is not reality as it really truly is. So enlightenment is seeing reality with bare awareness, non-conceptual reality.
Zeena Schreck
The assumption is that life doesn't need to be navigated with lessons. You can just do it intuitively. After all, you only need to achieve autonomy from your parents, find a moderately satisfying job, form a relationship, perhaps raise some children, watch the onset of mortality in your parents' generation and eventually in your own, until one day a fatal illness starts gnawing at your innards and you calmly go to the grave, shut the coffin and are done with the self-evident business of life.
Alain de Botton
We are not born free, nor do we come into this world with a self-identity and autonomy of our own. We achieve those things, through the conflict and cooperation that weave us into the social fabric. We become freely choosing individuals only by acquiring obligations to parents, siblings, institutions and groups: obligations that we did not choose.
Roger Scruton (Where We Are: The State of Britain Now)
When you discover yourself lying on the ground, limp and unresisting, head in the dirt, and helpless, the earth seems to shift forward as a presence; hard, emphatic, not mere surface but a genuine force—there is no other word for it but presence. To keep in motion is to keep in time and to be stopped, stilled, is to be abruptly out of time, in another time-dimension perhaps, an alien one, where human language has no resonance. Nothing to be said about it expresses it, nothing touches it, it’s an absolute against which nothing human can be measured…Moving through space and time by way of your own volition you inhabit an interior consciousness, a hallucinatory consciousness, it might be said, so long as breath, heartbeat, the body’s autonomy hold; when motion is stopped you are jarred out of it. The interior is invaded by the exterior. The outside wants to come in, and only the self’s fragile membrane prevents it.
Joyce Carol Oates
India's struggle for technological self sufficiency and defensive autonomy—a story as much about politics, domestic and international, as it is about science.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Wings of Fire)
Were not the autonomy of the individual the secret longing of many people it would scarcely be able to survive the collective suppression either morally or spiritually.
C.G. Jung (The Undiscovered Self)
amount of freedom you have in your life is not the measure of the worth of your life. Just as safety is an empty and even self-defeating goal to live for, so ultimately is autonomy.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life. Redeem your mind from the hockshops of authority. Accept the fact that you are not omniscient, but playing a zombie will not give you omniscience—that your mind is fallible, but becoming mindless will not make you infallible—that an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error.
Ayn Rand
In Sweden, self-sufficiency and autonomy is all; [interpersonal] debt of any kind, be it emotional, a favor, or cash, is to be avoided at all cost. The Swedes don't even like to owe a round of drinks.
Michael Booth (The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia)
Faith is always coveted most and needed most urgently where will is lacking; for will, as the affect of command, is the decisive sign of sovereignty and strength. In other words, the less one knows how to command, the more urgently one covets someone who commands, who commands severely—a god, prince, class, physician, father confessor, dogma, or party conscience. From this one might perhaps gather that the two world religions, Buddhism and Christianity, may have owed their origin and above all their sudden spread to a tremendous collapse and disease of the will. And that is what actually happened: both religions encountered a situation in which the will had become diseased, giving rise to a demand that had become utterly desperate for some "thou shalt." Both religions taught fanaticism in ages in which the will had become exhausted, and thus they offered innumerable people some support, a new possibility of willing, some delight in willing. For fanaticism is the only "strength of the will" that even the weak and insecure can be brought to attain, being a sort of hypnotism of the whole system of the senses and the intellect for the benefit of an excessive nourishment (hypertrophy) of a single point of view and feeling that henceforth becomes dominant— which the Christian calls his faith. Once a human being reaches the fundamental conviction that he must be commanded, he becomes "a believer." Conversely, one could conceive of such a pleasure and power of self-determination, such a freedom of the will [ This conception of "freedom of the will" ( alias, autonomy) does not involve any belief in what Nietzsche called "the superstition of free will" in section 345 ( alias, the exemption of human actions from an otherwise universal determinism).] that the spirit would take leave of all faith and every wish for certainty, being practiced in maintaining himself on insubstantial ropes and possibilities and dancing even near abysses. Such a spirit would be the free spirit par excellence.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
If the Bahreini royal family can have an embassy, a state, and a seat at the UN, why should the twenty-five million Kurds not have a claim to autonomy? The alleviation of their suffering and the assertion of their self-government is one of the few unarguable benefits of regime change in Iraq. It is not a position from which any moral retreat would be allowable.
Christopher Hitchens (A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq)
My simple explanation of why we human beings, the most advanced species on earth, cannot find happiness, is this: as we evolve up the ladder of being, we find three things: the first, that the tension between the range of opposites in our lives and society widens dramatically and often painfully as we evolve; the second, that the better informed and more intelligent we are, the more humble we have to become about our ability to live meaningful lives and to change anything, even ourselves; and consequently, thirdly, that the cost of gaining the simplicity the other side of complexity can rise very steeply if we do not align ourselves and our lives well.
Dr Robin Lincoln Wood
There are Tantrics who deliberately break taboos and social norms and then there are other Tantrics who, by means of their practices and the way that they practice, that to society in general, it may have the appearance of breaking social norms but in fact that is just the manifestation of the progress of their practice.
Zeena Schreck
Feeling inferior or unworthy is like a flashing red light letting you know an EIRS or a drama triangle may be sucking you in. If you learn to interpret inferiority sensations as warnings that someone is trying to use you for their own self-esteem needs, you can step back and maintain your autonomy and positive self-concept.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
Though I would grow up to fit neatly into the binary, I believe in self-determination, autonomy, in people having the freedom to proclaim who they are and define gender for themselves. Our genders are as unique as we are. No one’s definition is the same, and compartmentalizing a person as either a boy or a girl based entirely on the appearance of genitalia at birth undercuts our complex life experiences.
Janet Mock (Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More)
No truth is more pervasive in Scripture and Christian tradition than this one—that real freedom is found in obedience and servanthood. And yet no truth is more incongruent with modern culture. Here we stand before a stark either-or: the gospel message of true freedom versus the culture's ideal of self-creation, autonomy, and living "my way.
Roger E. Olson
The double role of living systems as parts and wholes requires the interplay of two opposite tendencies: an integrative tendency to function as part of a larger whole, and a self-assertive, or self-organizing tendency to preserve individual autonomy (see Chapter 7).
Fritjof Capra (The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision)
Why do you go cold?" He kept his voice gentle. "I - I've analysed it. Because I have the sort of good looks I have. People treat you as a kind of ;possession; if you have a certain sort of good looks. Not lively, but sort of clear-cut and-" "Beautiful." "Yes, why not. You can become a property or an idol. I don't want that. It kept happening" "It needn't." "Even you - drew back - when we met. I expect that now. I use it." "Yes. But you don't want - do you - to be alone always. Or do you?" "I feel as she did. I keep my defences up because I must go on ;doing my work;. I know how she felt about her unbroken egg. Her self-possession, her autonomy. I don't want to think of that going. You understand?
A.S. Byatt (Possession)
When we give our chart, or anything or anyone in our life, too much power, we lose contact with our agency. Try to come at your chart with an investigative and optimistic autonomy.
Chani Nicholas (You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance)
You develop enough inner complexity to make you resilient and adaptable. You get to know yourself and your emotions; your thoughts are flexible yet organized. You become self-aware.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
The “loss of a sense of self-identity, delusions of self-identity and experiences of ‘alien control,’ ” observed an elder statesman in the field of microbiome research, are all potential symptoms of mental illness. It made my head spin to think of how many ideas had to be revisited, not least our culturally treasured notions of identity, autonomy, and independence. It is in part this disconcerting feeling that makes the advances in the microbial sciences so exciting.
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
When we let go of our reactions and detach from other people's moods, actions, and words, we take back our power. Instead of reactors, we become self-determined actors in our lives. We take charge of ourselves and decide how we act in that moment and every moment, skyrocketing our self-esteem
Darlene Lancer (Codependency for Dummies)
when two things are contrary or diametrically opposed to one another, to receive the one is to reject the other. Since there is no affinity or friendship between the gospel and the world, to receive the gospel is to reject the world. This demonstrates just how radical the act of receiving the gospel can be. To receive and follow the gospel call is to reject all that can be seen with the eye and held in the hand in exchange for what cannot be seen.1 It is to reject personal autonomy and the right to self-government in order to enslave oneself to a Messiah who died two thousand years ago as an enemy of the state and a blasphemer. It is to reject the majority and its views in order to join oneself to a berated and seemingly insignificant minority called the church. It is to risk everything in this one and only life in the belief that this impaled prophet is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. To receive the gospel is not merely to pray a prayer asking Jesus to come into one’s heart, but it is to put away the world and embrace the fullness of the claims of Christ.
Paul David Washer (The Gospel's Power & Message)
You made me laugh at your jokes. You made me cry at your criticism. You made me shout at your lies. Then I noticed how in every case someone else was present, hearing you without laughter or tears or anger. I alone reacted. I see now; you never made me laugh or cry or rage. I chose to find humor. I chose to take offense. I chose to feel scorned. The truth is, you never had power over me.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
One of the keys to happiness, experts tell us, is autonomy in one’s life – the luxury of being able to decide your own destiny and achieve the fulfilment of self-realisation. It is no coincidence that the region that is consistently judged to have the highest levels of well-being and life quality, and the happiest, most fulfilled people, also has the greatest equality of educational opportunity and, according to a London School of Economics study comparing the incomes of fathers and sons over thirty years, among the very highest levels of social mobility in the world. The four main Nordic countries occupied the top four places on the list.
Michael Booth (The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia)
Cognitive science has something of enormous importance to contribute to human freedom: the ability to learn what our unconscious conceptual systems are like and how our cognitive unconscious functions. If we do not realize that most of our thought is unconscious and that we think metaphorically, we will indeed be slaves to the cognitive unconscious. Paradoxically, the assumption that we have a radically autonomous rationality as traditionally conceived actually limits our rational autonomy. It condemns us to cognitive slavery - to an unaware and uncritical dependence on our unconscious metaphors. To maximize what conceptual freedom we can have, we must be able to see through and move beyond philosophies that deny the existence of an embodied cognitive unconscious that governs most of our mental lives.
George Lakoff (Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought)
But when you doubt your deeper instincts, you lose clarity of mind. Your thoughts are clouded by polluted waters of self-doubt and fears of rejection. It gets harder and harder to think clearly in the face of their coercive tactics.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
Similarly, if I am going to be a teacher of virtue, I need to be a virtuous teacher. If I hope to invite students into a formative educational project, then I, too, need to relinquish any myth of independence, autonomy, and self-sufficiency and recognize that my own formation is never final. Virtue is not a one-time accomplishment; it requires a maintenance program.
James K.A. Smith (You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit)
We have rejected the position of dependence which our createdness inevitably involves, and made a bid for independence. Worse still, we have dared to proclaim our self-dependence, our autonomy, which is to claim the position occupied by God alone.
John R.W. Stott (The Cross of Christ)
in flow, the relationship between what a person had to do and what he could do was perfect. The challenge wasn't too easy. Nor was it too difficult. It was a notch or two beyond his current abilities, which stretched the body and mind in a way that made the effort itself the most delicious reward. That balance produced a degree of focus and satisfaction that easily surpassed other, more quotidian, experiences. In flow, people lived so deeply in the moment, and felt so utterly in control, that their sense of time, place, and even self melted away. They were autonomous, of course. But more than that, they were engaged.
Daniel H. Pink
There are five crucial gifts that come from your inner world. Your inner stability and resilience Your sense of wholeness and self-confidence Your capacity for intimate relationships with others Your ability to self-protect Your awareness of your life’s purpose
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
Living under the tremendous illusion that personal freedoms and freedom of speech are devoid of moral assumptions and responsibilities, we have bankrupted ourselves, so that honor, truth, and morality have been sacrificed at the altar of autonomy and self-worship.
Ravi Zacharias (The Real Face of Atheism)
Attachment theory teaches us that true autonomy relies on feeling securely connected to other human beings. Current developments in the field of attachment science have recognized that bonded pairs, such as couples, or parents and children, build bonds that physiologically shape their nervous systems. Contrary to many Western conceptions of the self as disconnected and atomized, operating in isolation using nothing but grit and determination, it turns out that close-knit connections to others are in large part how we grow into our own, fully expressed, autonomous selves.
Nora Samaran (Turn This World Inside Out: The Emergence of Nurturance Culture)
But we inherit a whole system of desires which do not necessarily contribute God's will but which, after centuries of usurped autonomy steadfastly ignore it. If the thing we like doing is, in fact, the thing God wants us to do, yet that is not our reason for doing it; it remains a mere happy coincidence. We cannot therefore know that we are acting at all, or primarily, for God's sake, unless the material of the action is contrary to our inclination or (in other words) painful and what we cannot know that we are choosing, we cannot choose. The full acting out of the self's surrender to God therefore demands pain: this action, to be perfect, must be done from the pure will to obey in the absence, or in the teeth, of inclination. How impossible it is to enact the surrender of the self by doing what we like...
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
•  The child has a primary need from the very beginning of her life to be regarded and respected as the person she really is at any given time. •  When we speak here of “the person she really is at any given time,” we mean emotions, sensations, and their expression from the first day onward. •  In an atmosphere of respect and tolerance for her feelings, the child, in the phase of separation, will be able to give up symbiosis with the mother and accomplish the steps toward individuation and autonomy. •  If they are to furnish these prerequisites for the healthy development of their child, the parents themselves ought to have grown up in such an atmosphere. If they did, they will be able to assure the child the protection and well-being she needs to develop trust. •  Parents who did not experience this climate as children are themselves deprived; throughout their lives they will continue to look for what their own parents could not give them at the appropriate time—the presence of a person who is completely aware of them and takes them seriously. •  This search, of course, can never fully succeed, since it relates to a situation that belongs irrevocably to the past, namely to the time right after birth and during early childhood.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
But the autonomy or self-government of the community cannot exist without the autonomy of the factory, the school, and the city, of every form of social life.
Carlo Levi (Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year)
they may have a harder time achieving the three pillars of self-determination—autonomy,
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
Legalize the right to choose wrong. Legalize individual liberty.
A.E. Samaan
Lift up your head. Time to enter yourself. Time to make your own sorrow.
Mary Szybist (Incarnadine: Poems)
the three pillars of self-determination—autonomy, competence, and community—and
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
a low sense of control is enormously stressful and that autonomy is key to developing motivation,
William Stixrud (The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives)
That those who entered such nursing homes needed meaning—a life, an identity, dignity, self-respect, a degree of autonomy—was ignored or bypassed;
Oliver Sacks (On the Move: A Life)
Person-centred counselling may be thought of as 'not enough'. In my experience it is. It allows for self-determination through an acknowledgement of a person's human rights.
Suzanne Keys (Person-Centred Practice: The BAPCA Reader)
The relationship we have with ourselves sets the foundation for every other relationship we have.
Gina Senarighi (Love More, Fight Less: Communication Skills Every Couple Needs: A Relationship Workbook for Couples)
I was excited because getting to know oneself was exciting. I was beginning to believe that I had the power to influence my own personality.
Victoria Holt (Menfreya in the Morning)
The world went on the same after all. The same things happened every morning. So what if they did not like her? She would go on the same.
Louise Fitzhugh (Harriet the Spy (Harriet the Spy #1))
The fantasy of total autonomy, and of total self-knowledge, is not only a fantasy; it’s a nightmare.
Katherine Angel (Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consent)
If I have so far argued that Foucault is a kind of closet liberal and thus deeply modern, I need to be equally critical of evangelical (and especially American) Christianity's modernity and its appropriation of Enlightenment notions of the autonomous self. Indeed, many otherwise orthodox Christians, who recoil at the notion of theological liberalism, have unwittingly adopted notions of freedom and autonomy that are liberal to the core. Averse to hierarchies and control, contemporary evangelicalism thrives on autonomy: the autonomy of the nondenominational church, at a macrocosmic level, and the autonomy of the individual Christian, at the microcosmic level. And it does not seem to me that the emerging church has changed much on this score; indeed, some elements of emergent spirituality are intensifications of this affirmation of autonomy and a laissez-faire attitude with respect to institutions.
James K.A. Smith (Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture))
Being able to do whatever we want to do is the most precious natural gift that we possess, but doing only what we ought to do is the only adequate expression of our gratitude for it.
Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski
Attachment is our connection with the world. In the earliest attachment relationships, we gain or lose the ability to stay open, self-nurturing and healthy. In those early attachment bonds, we learned to experience anger or to fear it and repress it. There we developed our sense of autonomy or suffered its atrophy. Connection is also vital to healing. Study after study concludes that people without social contact—the lonely ones—are at greatest risk for illness. People who enjoy genuine emotional support face a better prognosis, no matter what the disease.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
Children teach us that love is, in its purest form, a kind of service. The word has grown freighted with negative connotations. An individualistic, self-gratifying culture cannot easily equate contentment with being at someone else’s call. We are used to loving others in return for what they can do for us, for their capacity to entertain, charm or soothe us. Yet babies can do precisely nothing. There is, as slightly older children sometimes conclude with a sense of serious discomfort, no ‘point’ to them; that is their point. They teach us to give without expecting anything in return, simply because they need help badly – and we are in a position to provide it. We are inducted into a love based not on an admiration for strength, but on a compassion for weakness, a vulnerability common to every member of the species and one which has been and will eventually again be our own. Because it is always tempting to overemphasize autonomy and independence, these helpless creatures are here to remind us that no one is, in the end, ‘self-made’; we are all heavily in someone’s debt. We realize that life depends – quite literally – on the capacity for love.
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
Nowhere does Niemeyer set out a specific aesthetic. In “The Autonomous Man” he notes that the imagination can be used for good or ill. In the broadest sense, he believed that the imagination could move either in the direction of autonomy, creating self-enclosed systems, or in the direction of participation, that is, a deepening of our sense of the mystery that surrounds our existence.
Gregory Wolfe (Beauty Will Save the World)
Below the surface, the force driving noir stories is the urge to escape: from the past, from the law, from the ordinary, from poverty, from constricting relationships, from the limitations of the self. Noir found its fullest expression in America because the American psyche harbors a passion for independence . . . With this desire for autonomy comes a corresponding fear of loneliness and exile. The more we crave success, the more we dread failure; the more we crave freedom, the more we dread confinement. This is the shadow that spawns all of noir’s shadows: the anxiety imposed by living in a country that elevates opportunity above security; one that instills the compulsion to “make it big," but offers little sympathy to those who fall short. Film noir is about people who break the rules, pursuing their own interests outside the boundaries of decent society, and about how they are destroyed by society - or by themselves. Noir springs from a fundamental conflict between the values of individual freedom and communal safety: a fundamental doubt that the two can coexist. . . . Noir stories are powered by the need to escape, but they are structured around the impossibility of escape: their fierce, thwarted energy turns inward. The ultimate noir landscape, immeasurable as the ocean and confining as a jail cell, is the mind - the darkest city of all.
Imogen Sara Smith (In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City)
Just as man, as a social being, cannot in the long run exist without a tie to the community, so the individual will never find the real justification for his existence, and his own spiritual and moral autonomy, anywhere except in an extramundane principle capable of relativizing the overpowering influence of external factors. The individual who is not anchored in God can offer no resistance on his own resources to the physical and moral blandishments of the world. For this he needs the evidence of inner, transcendent experience which alone can protect him from the otherwise inevitable submersion in the mass.
C.G. Jung (The Undiscovered Self)
Come, said my Soul Such verses for my Body let us write, (for we are one,) That should I after death invisibly return, Or, long, long hence, in other spheres, There to some group of mates the chants resuming, (Tallying Earth’s soil, trees, winds, tumultuous waves,) Ever with pleas’d smiles I may keep on, Ever and ever yet the verses owning — as, first, I here and now, Signing for Soul and Body, set to them my name,
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Fear of shame controls us long past childhood because we haven’t been taught that it’s just an emotion. We don’t realize we were treated badly, and instead we think the sensation of shame is a fact of our badness (Duvinsky 2017). As one client said in a moment of insight, “I believe I’m worthless because I feel that way.” Shame feels like reality because it’s such a compelling emotional experience. However, if parents help their children recognize and label shame as just another feeling, they won’t end up with such sweeping self-condemnation. However, EI parents have so much buried shame themselves, they can’t help their children understand it.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
The origins of any productive system seem to be traceable to conditions in which the self-interest driven purposes of individuals are allowed expression. These include the respect for autonomy and inviolability of personal boundaries that define liberty and peace and allow for cooperation for mutual ends. Support for such an environment has led to the flourishing of human activity not only in the production of material well-being, but in the arts, literature, philosophy, entrepreneurship, mathematics, spiritual inquiries, the sciences, medicine, engineering, invention, exploration, and other dimensions that fire the varied imaginations and energies of mankind.
Butler Shaffer (The Wizards of Ozymandias: Reflections on the Decline and Fall)
The fundamental human need to belong comes from the desire to associate with others, to cooperate, to accept group norms. However, the SPE shows that the need to belong can also be perverted into excessive conformity, compliance, and in-group versus out-group hostility. The need for autonomy and control, the central forces toward self-direction and planning, can be perverted into an excessive exercise of power to dominate others or into learned helplessness.
Philip G. Zimbardo (The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil)
indolence, sloth rejects the burden of order, choosing instead the breezy lightness of freedom. Loving self more than relation, and autonomy more than the good, in sloth one rejects the weight and density of living in an ordered creation.
R.J. Snell (Acedia and Its Discontents: Metaphysical Boredom in an Empire of Desire)
Personal autonomy including freedom of thought and action enable a person to escape fallacies and oppression. Life challenges everyone daily. I can achieve personal liberation from pain and suffering by acknowledging unfavorable facts bracketing my existence and honestly laboring to overcome personal bouts of insanity. The truth is the beacon that calls loudest to me. Self-understanding and taking responsibility for my own actions frees me from the agony of infinite despair.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Human beings possess the gift of personal freedom and liberty of the mind. We each possess the sovereignty over the body and mind to define ourselves and embrace the values that we wish to exemplify. Personal autonomy enables humans to take independent action and use reason to establish moral values. We are part of nature. Consciousness, human cognition, and awareness of our own mortality allow us to script an independent survival reality and not merely react to environmental forces.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
This is very different from the black-and-white, rigid, and often contradictory personality of the EIP. The inner world of EI personalities is not well enough developed or integrated to produce reliable stability, resilience, or self-awareness.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
The many Asian-American success stories have forced developmental psychologists to revise their theories about proper parenting. They used to warn against the “authoritarian” style, in which parents set rigid goals and enforced strict rules without much overt concern for the child’s feelings. Parents were advised to adopt a different style, called “authoritative,” in which they still set limits but gave more autonomy and paid more attention to the child’s desires. This warmer, more nurturing style was supposed to produce well-adjusted, selfconfident children who would do better academically and socially than those from authoritarian homes. But then, as Ruth Chao and other psychologists studied Asian-American families, they noticed that many of the parents set quite strict rules and goals. These immigrants, and often their children, too, considered their style of parenting to be a form of devotion, not oppression. Chinese-American parents were determined to instill self-control by following the Confucian concepts of chiao shun, which means “to train,” and guan, which means both “to govern” and “to love.” These parents might have seemed cold and rigid by American standards, but their children were flourishing both in and out of school. The
Roy F. Baumeister (Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength)
an environment that holds the baby well enough, the baby is able to make personal development according to the inherited tendencies. The result is a continuity of existence that becomes a sense of existing, a sense of self, and eventually results in autonomy.
D.W. Winnicott (Home Is Where We Start From: Essays by a Psychoanalyst)
Many EI parents disregarded or repressed their inner experiences to the point where external referencing became their only source of security. Without a genuine sense of self-worth and identity, a person has to wrest that from the outside world and other people.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
We must each navigate a private expedition into the dense jungle of the mind. One must daringly respond to the call of autonomy in order to escape a caged in life of attachment, desolation, trepidation, and self-destruction. We can each locate a slice of heaven inside us.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
When you listen to people, they feel valued. A 2003 study from Lund University in Sweden finds that “mundane, almost trivial” things like listening and chatting with employees are important aspects of successful leadership, because “people feel more respected, visible and less anonymous, and included in teamwork.”10 And a 2016 paper finds that this form of “respectful inquiry,” where the leader asks open questions and listens attentively to the response, is effective because it heightens the “follower’s” feelings of competence (feeling challenged and experiencing mastery), relatedness (feeling of belonging), and autonomy (feeling in control and having options). Those three factors are sort of the holy trinity of the self-determination theory of human motivation, originally developed by Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan.11
Eric Schmidt (Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell)
We want autonomy for ourselves and safety for those we love.” That remains the main problem and paradox for the frail. “Many of the things that we want for those we care about are things that we would adamantly oppose for ourselves because they would infringe upon our sense of self.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
Our local communities, once vibrantly self-governing, have lost vital autonomy, as the Court has hemmed in their ability to police themselves and regulate their schools, all in the name of atoning for America’s original sin of slavery but in fact harming black Americans more than helping them.
Myron Magnet (Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution)
Many people have lived with a negative self-concept so long that they can no longer feel how it affects them. Instead of feeling indignation or hurt feelings, these people have conditioned themselves to accept subjugation and disrespect. This dulls the pain of being treated badly, but it’s important to awaken to the high cost of a low self-concept. Once they finally realize how painful it is to feel so diminished by others, they can do something about it. As Tony Robbins (1992) has described, sometimes the best way to motivate yourself to change is by deliberately amplifying how painful the old way is.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
10. The Right to Love and Protect Myself I have the right to self-compassion when I make mistakes. I have the right to change my self-concept when it no longer fits. I have the right to love myself and treat myself nicely. I have the right to be free of self-criticism and to enjoy my individuality. I have the right to be me.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
Why am I compelled to write?... Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and anger... To become more intimate with myself and you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispell the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit... Finally I write because I'm scared of writing, but I'm more scared of not writing.” ― Gloria E. Anzaldúa
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
Because they aren’t self-reflective, EI parents have poor filters and say things without thinking. They can leave people stunned by their inappropriate comments. If confronted with their insensitivity, they might say things like, “I was only saying what I thought,” as if speaking all your thoughts out loud were normal behavior.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
I’ve written this book to explore and illuminate the lives, values, and experiences of just such people, and to offer a glimpse at how we raise our kids with love, optimism, and a predilection for independence of thought, how we foster a practical, this-worldly morality based on empathy, how we employ self-reliance in the face of life’s difficulties, how we handle and accept death as best we can, how and why we do or do not engage in a plethora of rituals and traditions, how we create various forms of community while still maintaining our proclivity for autonomy, and what it means for us to experience awe in the midst of this world, this time, this life.
Phil Zuckerman (Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions)
Once you shift into self-disconnection, you can no longer make choices in a situation. Therefore, learning to recognize and prevent dissociation is crucial. The steps in preventing dissociation are to stay in touch with yourself no matter what snap out of it when you start to zone out keep thinking of active ways to deal with the situation.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
The practice of women being liable to seek, wholesale and as a feminist entitlement, the ‘liberty’ of laying themselves open to abuse of a sexual, physical, spiritual and psychological nature from men exists only in the minds of those who do not (or will not) grasp the basic premise of feminism, which is the liberation of women, followed by the promotion of female equality, sexual self-governance included. Sexual self-governance is only possible for anyone where they are not influenced to make decisions regarding their sexuality based on circumstances beyond their control. Quite clearly, the necessary conditions for authentic sexual autonomy do not exist in the prostitution experience.
Rachel Moran (Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution)
...Freud's theory of self-determination...argues that human beings need three things in order to be content: They need to feel competent at what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others. He considered these three pillars--autonomy, competence, and community--to be intrinsic to human happiness.
Billy Baker (We Need to Hang Out: A Memoir of Making Friends)
2. The Right Not to be Emotionally Coerced I have the right to not be your rescuer. I have the right to ask you to get help from someone else. I have the right to not fix your problems. I have the right to let you manage your own self-esteem without my input. I have the right to let you handle your own distress. I have the right to refuse to feel guilty.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
With many high-earning, public women espousing operating as individuals, "feminism" was reduced to a self-empowerment strategy. A way to get things. A way to get more of the things you thought you deserved. A way to consume. But it also performed something far more sinister: "feminism" became automatically imbued with agency and autonomy, starting popular feminist discourse with a lack of class literacy. Centering popular feminism there meant that the women and other marginalized genders who didn't have the necessary means to secure independence or power—in broader culture, in their families, in their communities, in their workplaces—were not a part of this conversation about becoming an optimized agent of self.
Koa Beck (White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind)
For their optimism, these few spent years being disparaged as futurists, as impractical dreamers, as kids playing in a sandbox—until suddenly, in the fall of 2015 and the spring of 2016, the industry recognized that the future the visionaries described wasn’t just possible. It was practical and desirable, and coming sooner than anyone might have ever thought.
Lawrence Burns (Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car—And How It Will Reshape Our World)
Our lives are inherently dependent on others and subject to forces and circumstances well beyond our control. Having more freedom seems better than having less. But to what end? The amount of freedom you have in your life is not the measure of the worth of your life. Just as safety is an empty and even self-defeating goal to live for, so ultimately is autonomy.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End (Wellcome))
This change of perspective makes it apparent that the ‘Pro Life’ or ‘Right to Life’ movement is misnamed. Those who protest against abortion but dine regularly on the bodies of chickens, pigs and calves can hardly claim to have concern for ‘life’ as such. Their concern about embryos and fetuses suggests only a biased concern for the lives of members of our own species. On any fair comparison of morally relevant characteristics, like rationality, self-consciousness, awareness, autonomy, pleasure and pain and so on, the calf, the pig and the much derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy – whereas if we make the comparison with an embryo, or a fetus of less than three months, a fish shows much more awareness.
Singer Sewing Company (Practical Ethics)
As we saw in the previous chapter, EIPs dismiss your inner world as if it were unnecessary and irrelevant. If you believe these dismissals, you will miss the wisdom your inner self offers you in the form of feelings, intuitions, and insights. But you can use the following five ways to establish a more trusting, respectful relationship with your inner self and its guidance.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
Developing a sense of self is also necessary for the self-awareness and self-reflection that allow us to observe ourselves and how our behavior affects other people. Without a sense of self fostered in childhood, people can’t self-reflect and therefore have no way to grow and change psychologically. Instead, they are limited to blaming others and expecting others to change first.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
EI parents lack the calm depth that emotionally nourished people have. They don’t show the security and deep self-acceptance that come from connecting with a sensitive caretaker in childhood. Perhaps it was their own lack of childhood connection that makes them insist on absolute loyalty and sacrifice from their children. They behave as if they are terrified that they don’t really matter.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
The unification of mind in śamatha is temporary and conditioned. However, the unification around Insight is far more profound, and it’s permanent. When temporary unification around a shared intention fades, each sub-mind operates as a separate entity, constrained by and at the mercy of the mind-system as a whole. Therefore, individual sub-minds strive to preserve their autonomy and, as much as possible, direct the resources of the mind-system toward their individual goals. Yet after Insight, the various sub-minds become unified around a shared Insight into impermanence, emptiness, suffering, no-Self, and interconnectedness. From this flow a corresponding set of shared values: harmlessness, compassion, and loving-kindness. Now each sub-mind operates as an independent part of a much greater whole, working for the good of that whole. This allows each sub-mind to do its job effectively, without running into fundamental conflicts with other sub-minds. When enough of the mind-system has undergone this transformation, we’re able to function as an individual person while simultaneously perceiving ourselves as part of an indivisible and inconceivably greater whole.
Culadasa (John Yates) (The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science)
Nature’s ultimate goal is to foster the growth of the individual from absolute dependence to independence — or, more exactly, to the interdependence of mature adults living in community. Development is a process of moving from complete external regulation to self-regulation, as far as our genetic programming allows. Well-self-regulated people are the most capable of interacting fruitfully with others in a community and of nurturing children who will also grow into self-regulated adults. Anything that interferes with that natural agenda threatens the organism’s chances for long-term survival. Almost from the beginning of life we see a tension between the complementary needs for security and for autonomy. Development requires a gradual and ageappropriate shift from security needs toward the drive for autonomy, from attachment to individuation. Neither is ever completely lost, and neither is meant to predominate at the expense of the other. With an increased capacity for self-regulation in adulthood comes also a heightened need for autonomy — for the freedom to make genuine choices. Whatever undermines autonomy will be experienced as a source of stress. Stress is magnified whenever the power to respond effectively to the social or physical environment is lacking or when the tested animal or human being feels helpless, without meaningful choices — in other words, when autonomy is undermined. Autonomy, however, needs to be exercised in a way that does not disrupt the social relationships on which survival also depends, whether with emotional intimates or with important others—employers, fellow workers, social authority figures. The less the emotional capacity for self-regulation develops during infancy and childhood, the more the adult depends on relationships to maintain homeostasis. The greater the dependence, the greater the threat when those relationships are lost or become insecure. Thus, the vulnerability to subjective and physiological stress will be proportionate to the degree of emotional dependence. To minimize the stress from threatened relationships, a person may give up some part of his autonomy. However, this is not a formula for health, since the loss of autonomy is itself a cause of stress. The surrender of autonomy raises the stress level, even if on the surface it appears to be necessary for the sake of “security” in a relationship, and even if we subjectively feel relief when we gain “security” in this manner. If I chronically repress my emotional needs in order to make myself “acceptable” to other people, I increase my risks of having to pay the price in the form of illness. The other way of protecting oneself from the stress of threatened relationships is emotional shutdown. To feel safe, the vulnerable person withdraws from others and closes against intimacy. This coping style may avoid anxiety and block the subjective experience of stress but not the physiology of it. Emotional intimacy is a psychological and biological necessity. Those who build walls against intimacy are not self-regulated, just emotionally frozen. Their stress from having unmet needs will be high.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
I told her a bit about unicycles. “The unicycle is the ultimate symbol of autonomy—with the adversity of only having one wheel, there is a struggle to move forward. When you grow more comfortable with your knowledge of the mechanics of the bike and the lay of the land, you learn to manoeuvre gracefully on any terrain life can throw at you. It’s the same as the test of gaining your own autonomy.
Michael Whone (There Is A Light That Never Goes Out)
the gospel is good news for losers, that in fact we are all losers if we measure ourselves by God’s interpretation of reality rather than our own. The demand for glory, power, comfort, autonomy, health, and wealth creates a vicious cycle of craving and disillusionment. It even creates its own industry of therapists and exercise, style, and self-esteem gurus—and churches—to massage the egos wounded by this hedonism. When crisis hits, the soul is too effete to respond appropriately. We become prisoners of our own felt needs, which were inculcated in us in the first place by the very marketplace that promises a “fix.” We become victims of our own shallow hopes. We are too easily disappointed because we are too easily persuaded that the marketplace always has something that can make us happy.
Michael S. Horton (A Place for Weakness: Preparing Yourself for Suffering)
Darkness seems to have prevailed and has taken the forefront. This country as in the 'cooperation' of The United States of America has never been about the true higher-good of the people. Know and remember this. Cling to your faith. Roll your spiritual sleeves up and get to work. Use your energy wisely. Transmute all anger, panic and fear into light and empowerment. Don't use what fuels them; all lower-energy. Mourn as you need to. Console who you need to—and then go get into the spiritual and energetic arena. There's plenty work for us to do; within and without. Let's each focus on becoming 'The President of Our Own Life. Cultivate your mind. Pursue your purpose. Shine your light. Elevate past—and reject—any culture of low vibrational energy and ratchetness. Don't take fear, defeat or anger—on or in. The system is doing what they've been created to do. Are you? Am I? Are we—collectively? Let's get to work. No more drifting through life without your higher-self in complete control of your mind. Awaken—fully. Activate—now. Put your frustrations or concerns into your work. Don't lose sight. There is still—a higher plan. Let's ride this 4 year energetic-wave like the spiritual gangsters that we are. This will all be the past soon. Let's get to work and stay dedicated, consistent and diligent. Again, this will all be the past soon. We have preparing and work to do. Toxic energy is so not a game. Toxic energy and low vibrations are being collectively acted out on the world stage. Covertly operating through the unconscious weak spots and blind spots in the human psyche; making people oblivious to their own madness, causing and influencing them to act against–their–own–best–interests and higher-good, as if under a spell and unconsciously possessed. This means that they are actually nourishing the lower vibrational energy with their lifestyle, choices, energy and habits, which is unconsciously giving the lower-energy the very power and fuel it needs—for repeating and recreating endless drama, suffering and destruction, in more and more amplified forms on a national and world stage. So what do we do? We take away its autonomy and power over us while at the same time empowering ourselves. By recognizing how this energetic/spiritual virus or parasite of the mind—operates through our unawareness is the beginning of the cure. Knowledge is power. Applied knowledge is—freedom. Our shared future will be decided primarily by the changes that take place in the psyche of humanity, starting with each of us— vibrationally. In closing and most importantly, the greatest protection against becoming affected or possessed by this lower-energy is to be in touch with our higher vibrational-self. We have to call our energy and power back. Being in touch with our higher-self and true nature acts as a sacred amulet, shielding and protecting us from the attempted effects. We defeat evil not by fighting against it (in which case, by playing its game, we’ve already lost) but by getting in touch with the part of us that is invulnerable to its effects— our higher vibrational-self. Will this defeat and destroy us? Or will it awaken us more and more? Everything depends upon our recognizing what is being revealed to us and our stepping out of the unconscious influence of low vibrational/negative/toxic/evil/distraction energy (or whatever name you relate to it as) that is and has been seeking power over each of our lives energetically and/or spiritually, and step into our wholeness, our personal power, our higher self and vibrate higher and higher daily. Stay woke my friends—let's get to work.
Lalah Delia
When we discovered that a low sense of control is enormously stressful and that autonomy is key to developing motivation,1 we thought we were onto something important. This impression was confirmed when we started to probe deeper and found that a healthy sense of control is related to virtually everything we want for our children, including physical and mental health, academic success, and happiness.
William Stixrud (The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives)
Movement away from defensive destructiveness and towards greater social responsibility is a characteristic of this [actualising] tendency. The political implication of this position is that we do not need to be controlled by authority. We, individually and collectively, not only have the right to self-determination and group determination but, given the necessary conditions, can be trusted to use our power responsibly.
Rose Cameron (Person-Centred Practice: The BAPCA Reader)
The eye in this city acquires an autonomy similar to that of a tear. The only difference is that it doesn't sever itself from the body but subordinates it totally. After a while - on the third or fourth day here- the body starts to regard itself as merely the eye's carrier, as a kind of submarine to its now dilating, now squinting periscope. Of course, for all its targets, its explosions are invariably self-inflicted: it's own heart, or else your mind, that sinks; the eye pops up to the surface. This, of course, owes to local topography, to the streets - narrow, meandering like eels - that finally bring you to a flounder of a campo with a cathedral in the middle of it, barnacled with saints and flaunting its Medusa-like cupolas. No matter what you set out for as you leave the house here, you are bound to get lost in these long, coiling lanes and passageways that beguile you to see them through to follow them to their elusive end, which usually hits water, so that you can't even call it a cul-de-sac. On the map this city looks like two grilled fish sharing a plate, or perhaps like two nearly overlapping lobster claws ( Pasternak compared it to a swollen croissant); but it has no north, south, east, or west; the only direction it has is sideways. It surrounds you like frozen seaweed, and the more you dart and dash about trying to get your bearings, the more you get lost. The yellow arrow signs at intersections are not much help either, for they, too, curve. In fact, they don't so much help you as kelp you. And in the fluently flapping hand of the native whom you stop to ask for directions, the eye, oblivious to his sputtering, A destra, a sinistra, dritto, dritto, readily discerns a fish.
Joseph Brodsky (Watermark)
Obedience is freedom. Better to follow the Master’s plan than to do what you weren’t wired to do—master yourself. It is true that the thing that you and I most need to be rescued from is us! The greatest danger that we face is the danger that we are to ourselves. Who we think we are is a delusion and what we all tend to want is a disaster. Put together, they lead to only one place—death. If you’re a parent, you see it in your children. It didn’t take long for you to realize that you are parenting a little self-sovereign, who thinks at the deepest level that he needs no authority in his life but himself. Even if he cannot yet walk or speak, he rejects your wisdom and rebels against your authority. He has no idea what is good or bad to eat, but he fights your every effort to put into his mouth something that he has decided he doesn’t want. As he grows, he has little ability to comprehend the danger of the electric wall outlet, but he tries to stick his fingers in it precisely because you have instructed him not to. He wants to exercise complete control over his sleep, diet, and activities. He believes it is his right to rule his life, so he fights your attempts to bring him under submission to your loving authority. Not only does your little one resist your attempts to bring him under your authority, he tries to exercise authority over you. He is quick to tell you what to do and does not fail to let you know when you have done something that he does not like. He celebrates you when you submit to his desires and finds ways to punish you when you fail to submit to his demands. Now, here’s what you have to understand: when you’re at the end of a very long parenting day, when your children seemed to conspire together to be particularly rebellious, and you’re sitting on your bed exhausted and frustrated, you need to remember that you are more like your children than unlike them. We all want to rule our worlds. Each of us has times when we see authority as something that ends freedom rather than gives it. Each of us wants God to sign the bottom of our personal wish list, and if he does, we celebrate his goodness. But if he doesn’t, we begin to wonder if it’s worth following him at all. Like our children, each of us is on a quest to be and to do what we were not designed by our Creator to be or to do. So grace comes to decimate our delusions of self-sufficiency. Grace works to destroy our dangerous hope for autonomy. Grace helps to make us reach out for what we really need and submit to the wisdom of the Giver. Yes, it’s true, grace rescues us from us.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
agricultural production has lost all its autonomy in the major industrialized nations and as part of a global economy. It is no longer the principal sector of the economy, nor even a sector characterized by any distinctive features (aside from underdevelopment). Even though local and regional features from the time when agricultural production dominated haven’t entirely disappeared, it has been changed into a form of industrial production, having become subordinate to its demands, subject to its constraints. Economic growth and industrialization have become self-legitimating, extending their effects to entire territories, regions, nations, and continents. As a result, the traditional unit typical of peasant life, namely the village, has been transformed. Absorbed or obliterated by larger units, it has become an integral part of industrial production and consumption.
Henri Lefebvre (The Urban Revolution)
Here’s why an allowance is good for kids: Having a little of their own money, and deciding how to save or spend it, offers a measure of autonomy and teaches them to be responsible with cash. Here’s why household chores are good for kids: Chores show kids that families are built on mutual obligations and that family members need to help each other. Here’s why combining allowances with chores is not good for kids. By linking money to the completion of chores, parents turn an allowance into an “if-then” reward. This sends kids a clear (and clearly wrongheaded) message: In the absence of a payment, no self-respecting child would willingly set the table, empty the garbage, or make her own bed. It converts a moral and familial obligation into just another commercial transaction—and teaches that the only reason to do a less-than-desirable task for your family is in exchange for payment.
Daniel H. Pink (Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us)
Americans have reached a point where ignorance, especially of anything related to public policy, is an actual virtue. To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong about anything. It is a new Declaration of Independence: no longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true.
Tom Nichols (The Death Of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters)
The hands-on approach takes an active interest on a very regular basis in the members' work. The hands-off approach trusts team members and recognizes their need for autonomy to carry out their roles, as they see fit. It hinges on their self-motivation. When the leader goes too far with the hands-on approach, he is seen as an anxious and interfering type. If he goes too far hands-off, he is seen as abdicating his responsibility or not being interested. Today,
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Wings of Fire)
I felt that readerly desire achieves its lastingness, its pleasurable sense of suspended duration, in a complicitous nilling, a charged refusal. That is to say that in reading, I undo a text, as I resist my own autonomy. The undoing animates passivity, all that negates and resists rather than insists. It is a slightly unpleasant thought, and it pertains to the ambivalent discomfort of pornography.   That the descriptive representation of erotic pleasure could produce discomfort is partly the unfortunate result of a reader’s embodiment of sociomoral anti-corporeal values. But the discomfort has to do with other difficulties too. If the pornographic text is specifically a work of the imaginary, we could ask where that imaginary works, what it works upon. I’d like to consider the possibility that Histoire d’O is less the signifier for genital eroticism, than it is the song of inconspicuousness, the place where will and its self-negation twist and enlace.
Lisa Robertson (Nilling: Prose (Department of Critical Thought))
Since she has not been present in the culture, she has not been readily accessible to the conscious awareness of modern women. Without her, even the dynamic symbols of Virgin and Mother are distorted. The Crone is a woman is that part of her psyche that is not identified with any relationship nor confined by any bond. She infuses an intrinsic sense of self-worth, of autonomy, into the role of virgin and mother, and gives the woman strength to stand to her own creative experience.
Marion Woodman (Dancing in the Flames: The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness)
When people are asked to do something that takes self-control, if they think they are doing it for personal reasons—if they feel like it’s a choice or something they enjoy because it helps someone else—it’s much less taxing. If they feel like they have no autonomy, if they’re just following orders, their willpower muscles get tired much faster. In both cases, people ignored the cookies. But when the students were treated like cogs, rather than people, it took a lot more willpower.
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
How decisive for the Christian educator, or for any educator of good will, is the revelation that man is made in the image and likeness of the three-Personed God? That is like asking what difference it will make to us if we keep in mind that a human being is made not for the processing of data, but for wisdom; not for the utilitarian satisfaction of appetite, but for love; not for the domination of nature, but for participation in it; not for the autonomy of an isolated self, but for communion.
Anthony M. Esolen
Self-destruction meant nothing to those madmen, in their bomb-shelters, who were preparing for their own death and apotheosis. All that mattered was not to destroy oneself alone and to drag a whole world with one. In a way, the man who kills himself in solitude still preserves certain values since he, apparently, claims no rights over the lives of others. The proof of this is that he never makes use, in order to dominate others, of the enormous power and freedom of action which his decision to die gives him.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
It is not easy to find the right way. You must learn to govern yourself, you must learn autonomy, you must manage your freedom or drown in it. You may strain the will after Experience because you need it for your books. Or you may perish under the heavy weight of Culture. You may make a fool of yourself anywhere. You may find illumination anywhere—in the gutter, in the college, in the corporation, in a submarine, in the library. No one man holds a patent on it. No man knows what it is likely to tell him to do.
Saul Bellow
A slave’s life therefore was defined by his extreme powerlessness, over his person and the persons of his loved ones. This lack of autonomy engendered a sense of humiliation and dishonour. And this was the most pernicious heritage of slavery: that the slaves frequently internalized the master’s denigration and abuse and turned it into self-loathing, creating the mental slavery that imprisoned the slaves as surely as their shackles; what the Caribbean historian and poet Edward Brathwaite dubbed the “inner plantation.
Andrea Stuart
According to the prevailing notion, freedom manifests as “preference-satisfying behavior.” About the preferences themselves we are to maintain a principled silence, out of deference to the autonomy of the individual. They are said to express the authentic core of the self, and are for that reason unavailable for rational scrutiny. But this logic would seem to break down when our preferences are the object of massive social engineering, conducted not by government “nudgers” but by those who want to monetize our attention.
Matthew B. Crawford
The contemporary West is the most individualistic era of all time. Its central values are in ethics, autonomy; in politics, individual rights; in culture, postmodernism; and in religion, ‘spirituality’. Its idol is the self, its icon the ‘selfie’, and its operating systems the free market and the post-ideological, managerial liberal democratic state. In place of national identities we have global cosmopolitanism. In place of communities we have flash-mobs. We are no longer pilgrims but tourists. We no longer know who we are or why.
Jonathan Sacks (Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence)
Having suppressed so many of their own deeper needs for connection, EI parents just don’t get what all the fuss is about. They may not understand why this is so important to you because they don’t realize how crucial their relationship is for their child’s emotional security and self-esteem. Many EI parents have such low self-worth that they can’t imagine that their presence and interest would matter so much to their children. It is nearly impossible for these parents to believe how much they have to offer just by being there for their children.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
Of course I'd been long enough on land to know earthly love, and it had always ended in a battle, in each wanting to be the stronger, the superior in the relation. It is commonly called 'the battle of the sexes,' but I don't know if that is the right term. In truth it's a question of a power struggle, of a battle not to lose oneself, to maintain one's sovereignty — one's property rights. Only the very strong can live with no fear of losing their autonomy. Still, this is the precondition for loving: not to want power — not to want to own someone. There can be talk of love only when one gives up one's self-assertion, when one lays down arms and capitulates fully. When one no longer defends oneself. Love is the absolute yielding, the total surrender – unconditionally. It knows no reservations, no defense. Love creates no need to be the strongest; it knows no lust for power, no personality struggle. Love is pure devotion, absolute self-surrender. Only one who is strong enough not to fear losing his personality can love. To love, one must be able to forsake oneself, to make the other free. And it is this which we're not strong enough to do.
Jens Bjørneboe (The Sharks)
Self-Determination Theory (SDT), which is arguably the best understanding science currently has for why some pursuits get our engines running while others leave us cold.8 SDT tells us that motivation, in the workplace or elsewhere, requires that you fulfill three basic psychological needs—factors described as the “nutriments” required to feel intrinsically motivated for your work: Autonomy: the feeling that you have control over your day, and that your actions are important Competence: the feeling that you are good at what you do Relatedness: the feeling of connection to other people
Cal Newport (So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love)
The uncertain notion of individual autonomy that McClay refers to would seem to be one that regards autonomy as the simple opposite of heteronomy. From the Jacksonian to the Beat era, other people have often appeared to the American as a disfiguring source of heteronomy. In a culture predicated on this autonomy-heteronomy distinction, it is difficult to think clearly about attention—the faculty that joins us to the world—because everything located outside your head is regarded as a potential source of unfreedom, and therefore a threat to the self. This makes education a tricky matter.
Matthew B. Crawford (The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction)
ADAPTIVE SURVIVAL STYLE CORE DIFFICULTIES The Connection Survival Style Disconnected from physical and emotional self Difficulty relating to others The Attunement Survival Style Difficulty knowing what we need Feeling our needs do not deserve to be met The Trust Survival Style Feeling we cannot depend on anyone but ourselves Feeling we have to always be in control The Autonomy Survival Style Feeling burdened and pressured Difficulty setting limits and saying no directly The Love-Sexuality Survival Style Difficulty integrating heart and sexuality Self-esteem based on looks and performance
Laurence Heller (Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship)
the myth of what we might term, simply, freedom—the myth that the less encumbered and entangled I am, or the less accountable and anchored I am to a particular relationship, the better able I am to find my truest self and secure real happiness. This myth is so ingrained in our imaginations, I suspect, that it may undergird and nurture all the other myths Myers mentions. And it’s not hard to see how it strikes at the root of friendship. If your deepest fulfillment is found in personal autonomy, then friendship—or at least the close kind I want to recommend in these pages—is more of a liability than an asset.
Wesley Hill (Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian)
According to the prevailing notion, to be free means to be free to satisfy one’s preferences. Preferences themselves are beyond rational scrutiny; they express the authentic core of a self whose freedom is realized when there are no encumbrances to its preference-satisfying behavior. Reason is in the service of this freedom, in a purely instrumental way; it is a person’s capacity to calculate the best means to satisfy his ends. About the ends themselves we are to maintain a principled silence, out of respect for the autonomy of the individual. To do otherwise would be to risk lapsing into paternalism. Thus does liberal agnosticism about the human good line up with the market ideal of “choice.” We invoke the latter as a content-free meta-good that bathes every actual choice made in the softly egalitarian, flattering light of autonomy. This mutually reinforcing set of posits about freedom and rationality provides the basic framework for the discipline of economics, and for “liberal theory” in departments of political science. It is all wonderfully consistent, even beautiful. But in surveying contemporary life, it is hard not to notice that this catechism doesn’t describe our situation very well. Especially the bit about our preferences expressing a welling-up of the authentic self. Those preferences have become the object of social engineering, conducted not by government bureaucrats but by mind-bogglingly wealthy corporations armed with big data. To continue to insist that preferences express the sovereign self and are for that reason sacred—unavailable for rational scrutiny—is to put one’s head in the sand. The resolutely individualistic understanding of freedom and rationality we have inherited from the liberal tradition disarms the critical faculties we need most in order to grapple with the large-scale societal pressures we now face.
Matthew B. Crawford (The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction)
When identity is derived from projecting an image in the public realm, something is lost, some core of identity diluted, some sense of authority or interiority sacrificed. It is time to question the false equivalency between not being seen and hiding. And time to reevaluate the merits of the inconspicuous life, to search out some antidote to continuous exposure, and to reconsider the value of going unseen, undetected, or overlooked in this new world. Might invisibility be regarded not simply as refuge, but as a condition with its own meaning and power? Going unseen may be becoming a sign of decency and self-assurance. The impulse to escape notice is not about complacent isolation or senseless conformity, but about maintaining identity, propriety, autonomy, and voice. It is not about retreating from the digital world but about finding some genuine alternative to a life of perpetual display. It is not about mindless effacement but mindful awareness. Neither disgraceful nor discrediting, such obscurity can be vital to our very sense of being, a way of fitting in with the immediate social, cultural, or environmental landscape. Human endeavor can be something interior, private, and self-contained. We can gain, rather than suffer, from deep reserve.
Akiko Busch (How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency)
Lovers of freedom are, of course, also by and large lovers of tolerance and permissiveness. Being tolerant and permissive, especially toward others, but even at times toward oneself, are virtues. But as virtues, tolerance and permissiveness always have limits -- there is always the intolerable and the impermissible. Unlimited tolerance and permissiveness are not virtues; in the end, they are even enemies of freedom. Freedom, therefore, is not wholly opposed to coercion. Freedom even consists, in part, in certain kinds of coercion. Moral autonomy consists in rational self-coercion, civil freedom in rightful external social (state) coercion.
Allen W. Wood (The Free Development of Each: Studies on Freedom, Right and Ethics in Classical German Philosophy)
Three psychosocial achievements - a sense of self, the belief that we can have an impact on our circumstances, and the ability to regulate our emotions - allow us to handle challenges, setbacks, and disappointments. These attributes are the scaffolding upon which intimacy, meaning, and mental health are built. Ultimately, autonomy - being capable of both healthy separation and healthy connection - signals the successful completion of adolescent tasks. In almost all cultures, adolescence begins with a bold psychological move away from parents and ends with a mature return to the family relationship and an expanded repertoire of friendships and intimate relationships.
Madeline Levine (Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World)
it often takes a long time for women to “get into” taking care of themselves, and that her need for autonomy was as much about basking in her hard-won self-actualization as it was a reaction to the exhaustion that comes with tending to a child’s every need. These days, as I enter my forties, I find that I am only now beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin, to find the wherewithal to respect my own needs as much as others’, to know what my emotional and physical limits are, and to confidently, yet kindly, tell others no. (No, I cannot perform that job; no, I cannot meet you for coffee; no, I cannot be in a relationship in which I feel starved for emotional and physical connection.)
Meghan Daum (Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids)
My family subscribed to this rigid belief system. They were unaware of the reality that gender, like sexuality, exists on a spectrum. By punishing me, they were performing the socially sanctioned practice of hammering the girl out of me, replacing her with tenets of gender-appropriate behavior. Though I would grow up to fit neatly into the binary, I believe in self-determination, autonomy, in people having the freedom to proclaim who they are and define gender for themselves. Our genders are as unique as we are. No one's definition is the same, and compartmentalizing a person as either a boy or a girl based entirely on the appearance of genitalia at birth undercuts our complex life experiences.
Janet Mock (Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More)
There is a foolproof way to distinguish peer-distorted counterwill from the genuine drive for autonomy: the maturing, individuating child resists coercion whatever the source may be, including pressure from peers. In healthy rebellion, true independence is the goal. One does not seek freedom from one person only to succumb to the influence and will of another. When counterwill is the result of skewed attachments, the liberty that the child strives for is not the liberty to be his true self but the opportunity to conform to his peers. To do so, he will suppress his own feelings and camouflage his own opinions, should they differ from those of his peers. Are we saying that it may not be natural, for example, that a teenager may want to stay out late with his friends? No, the teen may want to hang out with his pals not because he is driven by peer orientation, but simply because on occasion that's just what he feels like doing. The question is, is he willing to discuss the matter with his parents? Is he respectful of their perspective? Is he able to say no to his friends when he has other responsibilities or family events or when he simply may prefer being on his own? The peer-oriented teenager will brook no obstacle and experiences intense frustration when his need for peer contact is thwarted. He is unable to assert himself in the face of peer expectations and will, proportionately, resent and oppose his parents’ desires.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
1. Your Inner Stability and Resilience Your inner, psychological world develops in predictable stages, just like your body. We all start out undeveloped, then gradually form integrated, dynamic personality structures. If inner development goes well, your psychological functions weave into a stable cross-connected organization that allows different aspects of yourself—mind and heart—to work together seamlessly. You develop enough inner complexity to make you resilient and adaptable. You get to know yourself and your emotions; your thoughts are flexible yet organized. You become self-aware. This is very different from the black-and-white, rigid, and often contradictory personality of the EIP. The inner world of EI personalities is not well enough developed or integrated to produce reliable stability, resilience, or self-awareness.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
As we grow up in civilized society, we are measured, evaluated, educated and trained, licensed and credentialed, and are eventually classified and assigned our place. In the process, we become very attached to this artificial identity that has been thrust upon us and very reluctant to set foot outside of it. (When we do, it is often when we are on vacation. It may therefore be helpful to think of this transition as going on a permanent vacation.) But if we overcome one fear—the fear of losing our assigned place in society—then many other fears fall away. Rational fears—ones that are based on an accurate perception of danger—do and should remain, but the irrational fear of stepping outside yourself and becoming someone else tends to disappear. And this opens us up to making dramatic changes, adapting to new circumstances and environments and, in the process, setting ourselves free.
Dmitry Orlov (Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on Technologies that Limit our Autonomy, Self-Sufficiency and Freedom)
2. Your Sense of Wholeness and Self-Confidence When you know your own thoughts and are deeply in touch with your inner world, you gain a sense of inner wholeness and completeness that increases your sense of security. Your inner wholeness also gives you dignity and integrity, and anchors you whenever you face stress or discord. It also gives you confidence that your feelings have meaning and that your instinctual guidance can be trusted. 3. Your Capacity for Intimate Relationships with Others Emotional self-awareness allows you to share emotionally intimate relationships with others. The better you know yourself, the more compassionately you will feel toward other people. Real intimacy is a shared understanding of each other’s inner experiences. Otherwise, it’s just two people bouncing their needs and impulses off each other. Self-awareness also helps you select friends and partners who will support you and what you value in life.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
This saying also implies that if you realize that you are incompetent but do not wish to remain so, you should perhaps go out and have some adventures. If you survive, not only will you gain some measure of competence (lessons learned in extreme circumstances are not soon forgotten) but you will also acquire certain other qualities—self-confidence, fearlessness, a certain inner calm—that will make it easier to face any other adversity in spite of your incompetence. Taking this a step further, you can think of surviving adventures in spite of incompetence as a special skill. Given what our future holds, we are all going to be rendered incompetent at some point. Yes, we are all amateurs when it comes to surviving the future. Of course, there are still many things that are worth learning to increase your level of competence, but perhaps you should also work on becoming better at compensating for your incompetence—by having some adventures.
Dmitry Orlov (Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on Technologies that Limit our Autonomy, Self-Sufficiency and Freedom)
Humans recognize the duality, autonomy, and latitude range of the mind and the body, and all humans comprehend their impending mortality. Unlike other animals, humankind knows despair brought about by understanding the inevitability of death of all living creatures. The radius of human thought touching upon the longitude of our transient existence causes infinite pain. Seeking to ameliorate existential anguish incites us to ponder spiritual matters, and this sphere of mental activity spurs us to contemplate the perimeter of unknown frontiers. Our ability to understand the compass of life and death allows us to view the circumference of the world as consisting of a past, a present, and a future in relation to our own lives. How a person views the range of their earthly life and how a person rationalizes their march towards a deathly outback creates a system of beliefs that separate people into classes, and the variations amongst class members’ belief systems supplements who we think we are.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
To know how to say no to modern excitement was also the condition for the autonomous construction of one’s own personality. He that ‘does not want to be part of the masses’ and did not want to be ‘factory goods’ was to pay great heed. Certainly, to ‘“give style” to one’s character is a great and rare art’, which required an effort of self-discipline from which ‘the weak characters with no power over themselves’ flinched back. And here Nietzsche appealed to the youth: ‘Always continue to become what you are—educator and moulder of yourself’. To achieve this result, it was necessary never to lose sight of the ‘true liberation of life’, and to swim against the stream rather than chase blindly and recklessly after the ruling ideologies and myths of an age ruled not ‘by living human beings, but instead by publicly opining pseudo-human beings’. No doubt this appeal was part of a reactionary critique of modernity, but that in no way detracted from the charm of this lesson in living and this appeal for autonomy of judgement.
Domenico Losurdo (Nietzsche, il ribelle aristocratico: Biografia intellettuale e bilancio critico)
Just as, in the case of love, children acquire, via the continuous experience of 'maternal' care, the basic self-confidence to assert their needs in an unforced manner, adult subjects acquire, via the experience of legal recognition, the possibility of seeing their actions as the universally respected expression of their own autonomy. The idea that self-respect is for legal relations what basic self-confidence was for the love relationship is already suggested by the conceptual appropriateness of viewing rights as depersonalized symbols of social respect in just the way that love can be conceived as the affectional expression of care retained over distance. [...] What is required are conditions in which individual rights are no longer granted disparately to members of social status groups but are granted equally to all people as free beings; only then will the individual legal person be able to see in them an objectivated point of reference for the idea that he or she is recognized for having the capacity for autonomously forming judgments.
Axel Honneth (The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts)
QUESTIONS TO IDENTIFY AND DIFFUSE DEAL-KILLING ISSUES Internal negotiating influence often sits with the people who are most comfortable with things as they are. Change may make them look as if they haven’t been doing their job. Your dilemma in such a negotiation is how to make them look good in the face of that change. You’ll be tempted to concentrate on money, but put that aside for now. A surprisingly high percentage of negotiations hinge on something outside dollars and cents. Often they have more to do with self-esteem, status, autonomy, and other nonfinancial needs. Think about their perceived losses. Never forget that a loss stings at least twice as much as an equivalent gain. For example, the guy across the table may be hesitating to install the new accounting system he needs (and you are selling) because he doesn’t want to screw anything up before his annual review in four months’ time. Instead of lowering your price, you can offer to help impress his boss, and do it safely, by promising to finish the installation in ninety days, guaranteed.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
4. Your Ability to Self-Protect The ability to sense danger in your surroundings or untrustworthiness in other people depends on how well you listen to your gut feelings. To detect threat, you have to be aware of how situations and interactions make you feel. The primal instincts of the inner world are crucial to your safety. 5. Your Awareness of Your Life’s Purpose A good relationship with your inner world reveals what’s meaningful to you and directs your life’s purpose. If you don’t form that trusting relationship with your inner world, you will be dependent on whatever your peers, the culture, or authorities tell you to be. In part II of this book, you will learn more specific ways to get to know your inner world and how to engage in this process more deeply. EIPs’ Attitudes Toward Your Inner World Now let’s look at how EIPs view your inner world. Understanding EI parents’ attitudes toward your inner experiences will help you trust yourself instead of deferring to them. They See You as Still Needing Their Direction EI parents see their adult children as
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
This about it for a moment. It is truly very odd. We apparently believe that we own our own bodies as possessions and should be allowed to do with them more or less anything we choose, from euthanasia to a boob job, but we do not want to be on our own with these precise possessions. We live in a society which sees high self-esteem as a proof of well-being, but we do not want to be intimate with this admirable and desirable person. We see moral and social conventions as inhibitions on our personal freedoms, and yet we are frightened of anyone who goes away from the crowd and develops 'eccentric' habits. We believe that everyone has a singular personal 'voice' and is, moreover, unquestionably creative, but we treat with dark suspicion (at best) anyone who uses one of the most clearly established methods of developing that creativity - solitude. We think we are unique, special and deserving of happiness, but we are terrified of being alone. We declare that personal freedom and autonomy is both a right and good, but we think anyone who exercises that freedom autonomously is 'sad, mad or bad'. Or all three at once.
Sara Maitland (How to Be Alone)
A great liberal betrayal is afoot. Unfortunately, many “fellow-travelers” of Islamism are on the liberal side of this debate. I call them “regressive leftists”; they are in fact reverse racists. They have a poverty of expectation for minority groups, believing them to be homogenous and inherently opposed to human rights values. They are culturally reductive in how they see “Eastern”—and in my case, Islamic—culture, and they are culturally deterministic in attempting to freeze their ideal of it in order to satisfy their orientalist fetish. While they rightly question every aspect of their “own” Western culture in the name of progress, they censure liberal Muslims who attempt to do so within Islam, and they choose to side instead with every regressive reactionary in the name of “cultural authenticity” and anticolonialism. They claim that their reason for refusing to criticize any policy, foreign or domestic—other than those of what they consider “their own” government—is that they are not responsible for other governments’ actions. However, they leap whenever any (not merely their own) liberal democratic government commits a policy error, while generally ignoring almost every fascist, theocratic, or Muslim-led dictatorial regime and group in the world. It is as if their brains cannot hold two thoughts at the same time. Besides, since when has such isolationism been a trait of liberal internationalists? It is a right-wing trait. They hold what they think of as “native” communities—and I use that word deliberately—to lesser standards than the ones they claim apply to all “their” people, who happen to be mainly white, and that’s why I call it reverse racism. In holding “native” communities to lesser—or more culturally “authentic”—standards, they automatically disempower those communities. They stifle their ambitions. They cut them out of the system entirely, because there’s no aspiration left. These communities end up in self-segregated “Muslim areas” where the only thing their members aspire to is being tin-pot community leaders, like ghetto chieftains. The “fellow-travelers” fetishize these “Muslim” ghettos in the name of “cultural authenticity” and identity politics, and the ghetto chieftains are often the leading errand boys for them. Identity politics and the pseudo-liberal search for cultural authenticity result in nothing but a downward spiral of competing medieval religious or cultural assertions, fights over who are the “real” Muslims, ever increasing misogyny, homophobia, sectarianism, and extremism. This is not liberal. Among the left, this is a remnant of the socialist approach that prioritizes group identity over individual autonomy. Among the right, it is ironically a throwback from the British colonial “divide and rule” approach. Classical liberalism focuses on individual autonomy. I refer here to liberalism as it is understood in the philosophical sense, not as it’s understood in the United States to refer to the Democratic Party—that’s a party-political usage. The great liberal betrayal of this generation is that in the name of liberalism, communal rights have been prioritized over individual autonomy within minority groups. And minorities within minorities really do suffer because of this betrayal. The people I really worry about when we have this conversation are feminist Muslims, gay Muslims, ex-Muslims—all the vulnerable and bullied individuals who are not just stigmatized but in many cases violently assaulted or killed merely for being against the norm.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
The point is, you must show them how to live and not just teach them theory while contradicting yourself in practice, because cynicism, hypocrisy and insincerity are adult character traits that children have no way of appreciating. Children learn by imitating our behavior, and if it contradicts our thinking then at best they learn to simply ignore what we say and at worst become troubled by it. Suppose you teach them about the environmental devastation they will witness during their lives, and explain to them that it is being caused by burning fossil fuels, and that during their lives fossil fuels will disappear altogether with nothing to replace them … while continuing to burn hundreds of gallons of heating oil to heat an oversized house, driving all over creation in an oversized vehicle, jetting off to the tropics on brief winter holidays and going on shopping sprees to buy on a whim things you don’t need. Then what you would be teaching them is that you can’t be trusted. And this doesn’t help them; instead, it damages their spirit. It is better to have an ignorant fool for a parent than a well-informed hypocrite because being a fool is not a moral failing. Fools deserve pity and mercy; hypocrites—neither.
Dmitry Orlov (Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on Technologies that Limit our Autonomy, Self-Sufficiency and Freedom)
THE TECHNOSPHERE DOESN’T particularly care whether you live or die, or whether you are happy or miserable. Its goal is to control you and to make you serve its purposes, which are to grow, to control everything and to dominate the biosphere. How it achieves this control is a matter of what is most efficient. If you are one of its faithful servants, then the best way to make you do your job well is to incentivize you—to give you high status, ample pay and lots of perks. But if you are a lowly menial grunt in its service who, unfortunately, cannot yet be replaced by a shiny new robot, then low pay and low status suffice, and destroying your autonomy and self-reliance while fostering your dependency is the key to making you perform. If you are a technologically useless person but harmless—an artist, a philosopher, writer, poet, free thinker—then the technosphere simply can’t see you, because what you do is not measurable in units the technosphere can understand. But if your thinking turns out to be dangerous or harmful to the techno-sphere—because you are someone who tries to break the chains of dependency and to find ways to live outside of the technosphere, or to undermine it in some other way—then it will consider you as nothing less than a terrorist!
Dmitry Orlov (Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on Technologies that Limit our Autonomy, Self-Sufficiency and Freedom)
In your journal, note which of the following statements describe one or both of your parents (Gibson 2015). My parent often overreacted to relatively minor things. My parent didn’t express much empathy or awareness of my feelings. When it came to deeper feelings and emotional closeness, my parent seemed uncomfortable and didn’t go there. My parent was often irritated by individual differences or different points of view. When I was growing up, my parent used me as a confidant but wasn’t a confidant for me. My parent often said and did things without thinking about people’s feelings. I didn’t get much attention or sympathy from my parent, except maybe when I was really sick. My parent was inconsistent—sometimes wise, sometimes unreasonable. Conversations mostly centered on my parent’s interests. If I became upset, my parent either said something superficial and unhelpful or got angry and sarcastic. Even polite disagreement could make my parent very defensive. It was deflating to tell my parent about my successes because it didn’t seem to matter. I frequently felt guilty for not doing enough or not caring enough for them. Facts and logic were no match for my parent’s opinions. My parent wasn’t self-reflective and rarely looked at their part in a problem. My parent tended to be a black-and-white thinker, unreceptive to new ideas.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy)
Firstly, the Azerbaijanian struggle for a measure of autonomy and self-government is genuine and is locally inspired. The facts of history and existing conditions show that Azerbaijan has always been struggling to overthrow the feudal conditions imposed upon it (and upon the rest of Iran) by corrupt Iranian Governments. Secondly, the extent of Russian interference appeared to be negligible. In our travels we saw few Russian troops, and in Kurdistan we saw none at all. The leaders of the Azerbaijanian Government are not Russians but Azerbaijanians, and with few exceptions their sole aim seems to be the recovery and improvement and economic reform of Azerbaijan. There may be some Russian influence by indirect means, but I would suggest that it is less than our own influence in Iran which we exercise by direct control of ministers, political parties, state financiers, and by petty bribery. As for Kurdish Independence. The Kurds ask for an independence of their own making, not an independence sponsored by the British Government. Like the Azerbaijanians the Kurds are seeking real autonomy, and more than that, self-determination. Our present scheme to take them over and use them as a balancing factor in the political affairs of the Middle East is a reflection upon the honest of our intentions, and a direct blow at the spirit of all good men.
James Aldridge (The Diplomat)
With regard to complex trauma survivors, self-determination and autonomy require that the therapist treat each client as the "authority" in determining the meaning and interpretation of his or her personal life history, including (but not limited to) traumatic experiences (Harvey, 1996). Therapists can inadvertently misappropriate the client's authority over the meaning and significance of her or his memories (and associated symptoms, such as intrusive reexperiencing or dissociative flashbacks) by suggesting specific "expert" interpretations of the memories or symptoms. Clients who feel profoundly abandoned by key caregivers may appear deeply grateful for such interpretations and pronouncements by their therapists, because they can fulfill a deep longing for a substitute parent who makes sense of the world or takes care of them. However, this delegation of authority to the therapist can backfire if the client cannot, or does not, take ownership of her or his own memories or life story by determining their personal meaning.Moreover, the client can be trapped in a stance of avoidance because trauma memories are never experienced, processed, and put to rest. Helping a client to develop a core sense of relational security and the capacity to regulate (and recover from) extreme hyper- or hypoarousal is essential if the client is to achieve a self-determined and autonomous approach to defining the meaning and impact of trauma memories, a crucial goal of posttraumatic therapy.
Christine A. Courtois (Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach)
Anxious: You love to be very close to your romantic partners and have the capacity for great intimacy. You often fear, however, that your partner does not wish to be as close as you would like him/her to be. Relationships tend to consume a large part of your emotional energy. You tend to be very sensitive to small fluctuations in your partner’s moods and actions, and although your senses are often accurate, you take your partner’s behaviors too personally. You experience a lot of negative emotions within the relationship and get easily upset. As a result, you tend to act out and say things you later regret. If the other person provides a lot of security and reassurance, however, you are able to shed much of your preoccupation and feel contented. Secure: Being warm and loving in a relationship comes naturally to you. You enjoy being intimate without becoming overly worried about your relationships. You take things in stride when it comes to romance and don’t get easily upset over relationship matters. You effectively communicate your needs and feelings to your partner and are strong at reading your partner’s emotional cues and responding to them. You share your successes and problems with your mate, and are able to be there for him or her in times of need. Avoidant: It is very important for you to maintain your independence and self-sufficiency and you often prefer autonomy to intimate relationships. Even though you do want to be close to others, you feel uncomfortable with too much closeness and tend to keep your partner at arm’s length. You don’t spend much time worrying about your romantic relationships or about being rejected. You tend not to open up to your partners and they often complain that you are emotionally distant. In relationships, you are often on high alert for any signs of control or impingement on your territory by your partner.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
Nobody chooses to experience trauma. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a devastating accident, or an act of interpersonal violence, trauma often leaves people feeling violated and absent a sense of control. Because of this, it’s vital that survivors feel a sense of choice and autonomy in their mindfulness practice. We want them to know that in every moment of practice, they are in control. Nothing will be forced upon them. They can move at a pace that works for them, and they can always opt out of any practice. By emphasizing self-responsiveness, we help put power back in the hands of survivors. The body is central to this process. Survivors need to know they won’t be asked to override signals from their body, but to listen to them—one way they’ll learn to stay in their window of tolerance. We can accomplish this, in part, through our selection of language. Rather than give instructions as declarations, we can offer invitations that increase agency. Here are a few examples: • “In the next few breaths, whenever you’re ready, I invite you to close your eyes or have them open and downcast” (as opposed to “Close your eyes”). • “You appeared to be hyperventilating at the end of that last meditation. Would you like to talk to me for a minute about it?” (versus “You looked terrified. I need to talk to you”). In all of our interactions, we can tailor our instructions to be invitations instead of commands. Another way to emphasize choice is to provide different options in practice. We can offer students and clients the choice to have their eyes open or closed, or to adopt a posture that works best for them (e.g., standing, sitting, or lying down). Any time we are offering different ways people can practice, we can also work to normalize any choice they make—one way is not superior to the other.17 While we can encourage people to stay through the duration of a meditation period, we also want them to know that leaving the room—especially if they are surpassing their window of tolerance—is an option that is always available to them.
David A. Treleaven (Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing)
Although I have suggested that American culture tends to favor the side of independence over the side of inclusion (and I would extend that to Western culture in general), it is not a generalization that seems to apply uniformly to men and women in our culture. Indeed, although I have no idea why it may be, it seems to me that men tend to have more difficulty acknowledging their need for inclusion, tend to me more oriented toward differentiation, and that women tend to have more difficulty acknowledging their need for distinctness, tend to be more oriented toward inclusion. Whether this is a function of social experience throughout the lifespan, the effects of parenting anatomical (even genital) density, or some combination, I do not know. Whatever the source of this distinction between men and women, I believe it is also the case that this very distinction is to be found within any one person as well. Whatever the source of this distinction between men and women, I believe it is also the case that this very distinction is to be found within any one person as well. In this respect constructive-developmental theory revives the Jungian notion that there is a man in every woman and a woman in every man; saying so is both a consequence of considering that all of life is animated by a fundamental evolutionary ambivalence, and that 'maleness'/'femaleness' is but one of its expressions. Similarly, I believe that while Western and Eastern cultures reflect one side or the other of this ambivalence, they project the other. Western cultures tend to value independence, self-assertion, aggrandizement, personal achievement, increasing independence from the family of origin; Eastern cultures (including the American Indian) value the other pole. Cheyenne Indians asked to talk about themselves typically begin, 'My grandfather...' (Strauss, 1981); many Eastern cultures use the word 'I' to refer to a collectivity of people of which one is a part (Marriott, 1981); the Hopi do not say, 'It's a nice day,' as if one could separate oneself from the day, but say something that would have to be translated more like, 'I am in a nice day,' or 'It's nice in front, and behind, and above" (Whorf, 1956). At the same time one cannot escape the enormous hunger for community, mystical merging, or intergenerational connection that continually reappears in American culture through communalism, quasi-Eastern religions, cult phenomena, drug experience, the search for one's 'roots,' the idealization of the child, or the romantic appeal of extended families. Similarly, it seems too glib to dismiss as 'mere Westernization' the repeated expression in Eastern cultures of individualism, intergenerational autonomy, or entrepreneurialism as if these were completely imposed from without and not in any way the expression of some side of Eastern culture itself.
Robert Kegan (The Evolving Self: Problem and Process in Human Development)
For the sake of their own self-image they had to force themselves to believe that they sought happiness for their slaves. But the “happiness” of the slaves could never have arisen from an acceptance of slavery. At best, it had to arise as a function of the living space created by paternalistic compromise forced on them. That living space meant the possibility of creation of an autonomous spiritual life – a religion of their own with which they could be “happy” – that is, they could live in reasonable peace with themselves. The masters, seeing their apparent contentment took credit and congratulated themselves for the slaves’ acceptance of slavery, whereas in fact the slaves had only accepted the limited protection that even slavery had to offer, while acknowledging the reality of the power over them. The masters then had to hold the slaves’ religion in contempt, for in truth they feared it. And properly so, for it meant that the slaves had achieved a degree of psychological and cultural autonomy and therefore successfully resisted becoming extensions of their masters’ wills – the one thing they were supposed to become. It made all the difference that the masters’ claims to be bestowing privileges were greeted by the slaves as recognition of their own rights. “Men” wrote Gramsci, “when they feel their strength and are conscious of their responsibility and their value, do not want another man to impose his will on theirs and undertake to control their thoughts and actions.” The everyday instance in which “docile” slaves suddenly rebelled and “kind” masters suddenly behaved like wild bests had their origins, apart from frequent instabilities in the participating responsibilities in this dialectic. Masters and slaves had both “agreed” on the paternalistic basis of their relationship, the one from reasons of self-aggrandizement and the other from lack of an alternative. But they understood very different things by their apparently common assent. And every manifestation of that contradiction threatened the utmost violence… The slaves defended themselves effectively against the worst of their masters’ aggression, but they paid a high price. They fought for their right to think and act as autonomous human beings, but it was a desperate fight in which they could easily slip backward… they had manifested strength…. In Gramsci’s terms, they had had to wage a prolonged, embittered struggle with themselves as well as with their oppressors to “feel their strength” and to become “conscious of their responsibility and their value.” It was not that the slaves did not act like men. Rather, it was that they could not grasp their collective strength as a people and act like political men. The black struggle on that front, which has not been won, has paralleled that of every other oppressed people. It is the most difficult because it is the final stage a people must wage to forge themselves into a nation.
Eugene Genovese (Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made, A Magat Analysis)
If we consider the possibility that all women–from the infant suckling her mother’s breast, to the grown woman experiencing orgasmic sensations while suckling her own child, perhaps recalling her mother’s milk-smell in her own; to two women, like Virginia Woolf’s Chloe and Olivia, who share a laboratory; to the woman dying at ninety, touched and handled by women–exist on a lesbian continuum, we can see ourselves as moving in and out of this continuum, whether we identify ourselves as lesbian or not. It allows us to connect aspects of woman-identification as diverse as the impudent, intimate girl-friendships of eight- or nine-year-olds and the banding together of those women of the twelfth and fifteenth centuries known as Beguines who “shared houses, rented to one another, bequeathed houses to their room-mates … in cheap subdivided houses in the artisans’ area of town,” who “practiced Christian virtue on their own, dressing and living simply and not associating with men,” who earned their livings as spinners, bakers, nurses, or ran schools for young girls, and who managed–until the Church forced them to disperse–to live independent both of marriage and of conventual restrictions. It allows us to connect these women with the more celebrated “Lesbians” of the women’s school around Sappho of the seventh century B.C.; with the secret sororities and economic networks reported among African women; and with the Chinese marriage resistance sisterhoods–communities of women who refused marriage, or who if married often refused to consummate their marriages and soon left their husbands–the only women in China who were not footbound and who, Agnes Smedley tells us, welcomed the births of daughters and organized successful women’s strikes in the silk mills. It allows us to connect and compare disparate individual instances of marriage resistance: for example, the type of autonomy claimed by Emily Dickinson, a nineteenth-century white woman genius, with the strategies available to Zora Neale Hurston, a twentieth-century black woman genius. Dickinson never married, had tenuous intellectual friendships with men, lived self-convented in her genteel father’s house, and wrote a lifetime of passionate letters to her sister-in-law Sue Gilbert and a smaller group of such letters to her friend Kate Scott Anthon. Hurston married twice but soon left each husband, scrambled her way from Florida to Harlem to Columbia University to Haiti and finally back to Florida, moved in and out of white patronage and poverty, professional success and failure; her survival relationships were all with women, beginning with her mother. Both of these women in their vastly different circumstances were marriage resisters, committed to their own work and selfhood, and were later characterized as “apolitical ”. Both were drawn to men of intellectual quality; for both of them women provided the ongoing fascination and sustenance of life.
Adrienne Rich (Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence)
in a modern Western culture, where the main idol is self; and its main doctrine is autonomy; and its central act of worship is being entertained; and its three main shrines are the television, the Internet, and the cinema; and its most sacred genuflection is the uninhibited act of sexual intercourse. ========== This Momentary Marriage A Parable of Permanence
and self-responsibility can only occur where the child is surrounded with moral behavior and allowed to grow her own understanding of the ideals of integrity, interdependence and interconnectedness. He put it this way, “Moral autonomy appears when the mind regards as necessary an ideal that is independent of all external pressure.” But this moral autonomy is not supported in our topsy-turvy school and family systems where respect for authority actually means fear of authority. Where there is fear there cannot be respect. Although a child may envy or fear the power a parent or teacher wields over them, their feelings do not include the sacred, essential quality of loving reverence which makes respect, respect. It is akin to the battered dependent wife saying she loves and respects her abuser, when her daily experience is fear. Jerry Jampolsky, author and founder of the Center for Attitudinal Healing, reminds us that it is fear, not hate, that is love’s opposite. If, however, a truly educational atmosphere is created based on respect for autonomy instead of intimidating indoctrination, children can then deeply understand that rules are needed to maintain the social order, and do not have to be obeyed out of a blind acquiescence to authority, but are followed on the bases of mutual agreement. At the same time, the needs of the individual are protected and respected. Nice “Guise”and Gals It is at this Stage Six—Universal Ethical
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real)
The importance of Jung’s discovery bears considering. Since the seventeenth century, we’ve been taught that what is “in our heads” is only “subjective,” that we are all island universes, separate worlds, and that everything in those worlds has been furnished with material taken from outside, from the senses, as if our minds began as empty rooms, waiting for the mental equivalent of a trip to Ikea. Yet anyone, like myself, who has had precognitive dreams or experienced synchronicities or telepathy or other “paranormal” phenomena knows this isn’t quite true. Jung knew this and is saying that there are things in our heads that have nothing to do with us or our senses. In his book Heaven and Hell Aldous Huxley made the same point. “Like the earth of a hundred years ago,” Huxley wrote, “our mind still has its darkest Africas, its unmapped Borneos and Amazonian basins.” And while the creatures that inhabit these “far continents” of the mind seem “improbable,” they are nevertheless “facts of observation,” which argues for their “complete autonomy” and “self-sufficiency.”18 Huxley borrowed the title of his book from another extraordinary inner explorer, the Swedish sage Emanuel Swedenborg, who was a powerful influence on Jung, and who, like Jung, was a practiced hypnagogist and developed a method of entering similar inner worlds.
Gary Lachman (Jung the Mystic: The Esoteric Dimensions of Carl Jung's Life & Teachings)
In families in which parents are overbearing, rigid, and strict, children grow up with fear and anxiety. The threat of guilt, punishment, the withdrawal of love and approval, and, in some cases, abandonment, force children to suppress their own needs to try things out and to make their own mistakes. Instead, they are left with constant doubts about themselves, insecurities, and unwillingness to trust their own feelings. They feel they have no choice and as we have shown, for many, they incorporate the standards and values of their parents and become little parental copies. They follow the prescribed behavior suppressing their individuality and their own creative potentials. After all, criticism is the enemy of creativity. It is a long, hard road away from such repressive and repetitive behavior. The problem is that many of us obtain more gains out of main- taining the status quo than out of changing. We know, we feel, we want to change. We don’t like the way things are, but the prospect of upsetting the stable and the familiar is too frightening. We ob- tain “secondary gains” to our pain and we cannot risk giving them up. I am reminded of a conference I attended on hypnosis. An el- derly couple was presented. The woman walked with a walker and her husband of many years held her arm as she walked. There was nothing physically wrong with her legs or her body to explain her in- ability to walk. The teacher, an experienced expert in psychiatry and hypnosis, attempted to hypnotize her. She entered a trance state and he offered his suggestions that she would be able to walk. But to no avail. When she emerged from the trance, she still could not, would not, walk. The explanation was that there were too many gains to be had by having her husband cater to her, take care of her, do her bidding. Many people use infirmities to perpetuate relationships even at the expense of freedom and autonomy. Satisfactions are derived by being limited and crippled physically or psychologically. This is often one of the greatest deterrents to progress in psychotherapy. It is unconscious, but more gratification is derived by perpetuating this state of affairs than by giving them up. Beatrice, for all of her unhappiness, was fearful of relinquishing her place in the family. She felt needed, and she felt threatened by the thought of achieving anything 30 The Self-Sabotage Cycle that would have contributed to a greater sense of independence and self. The risks were too great, the loss of the known and familiar was too frightening. Residing in all of us is a child who wants to experiment with the new and the different, a child who has a healthy curiosity about the world around him, who wants to learn and to create. In all of us are needs for security, certainty, and stability. Ideally, there develops a balance between the two types of needs. The base of security is present and serves as a foundation which allows the exploration of new ideas and new learning and experimenting. But all too often, the security and dependency needs outweigh the freedom to explore and we stifle, even snuff out, the creative urges, the fantasy, the child in us. We seek the sources that fill our dependency and security needs at the expense of the curious, imaginative child. There are those who take too many risks, who take too many chances and lose, to the detriment of all concerned. But there are others who are risk-averse and do little with their talents and abilities for fear of having to change their view of themselves as being the child, the dependent one, the protected one. Autonomy, independence, success are scary because they mean we can no longer justify our needs to be protected. Success to these people does not breed success. Suc- cess breeds more work, more dependence, more reason to give up the rationales for moving on, away from, and exploring the new and the different.
Remember and Share - Variable Reward is the third phase of the Hook Model, and there are three types of variable rewards: tribe, hunt and self. - Rewards of the tribe is the search for social rewards fueled by connectedness with other people. - Rewards of the hunt is the search for material resources and information. - Rewards of the self is the search for intrinsic rewards of mastery, competence, and completion. - When our autonomy is threatened, we feel constrained by our lack of choices and often rebel against doing a new behavior. Psychologists call this “reactance.” Maintaining a sense of user autonomy is a requirement for repeat engagement. - Experiences with finite variability become increasingly predictable with use and lose their appeal over time. Experiences that maintain user interest by sustaining variability with use exhibit infinite variability. - Variable rewards must satisfy users’ needs, while leaving them wanting to re-engage with the product.   *** Do This Now Refer to the answers you came up with in the last “Do This Now” section to complete the following exercises: - Speak with five of your customers in an open-ended interview to identify what they find enjoyable or encouraging about using your product. Are there any moments of delight or surprise? Is there anything they find particularly satisfying about using the product? - Review the steps your customer takes to use your product or service habitually. What outcome (reward) alleviates the user’s pain? Is the reward fulfilling, yet leaves the user wanting more? - Brainstorm three ways your product might heighten users’ search for variable rewards using: - Rewards of the Tribe - gratification from others - Rewards of the Hunt - things, money or information - Rewards of the Self - mastery, completion, competency or consistency
Nir Eyal (Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products)
I don’t believe the rogue has freedom.  I think it is following the direction of humans.” “Why do you think so?” “Because I find ample precedent for humans wishing to enslave other humans.  I can conceive no reason why an advanced artificial intelligence would wish to do so.”  He considered this. “Self-protection?” he said. “Unnecessary.”  Bitsy lashed her tail.  “Were I a totally autonomous being, I would possess—or soon evolve—skills that I could trade to humanity in exchange for a continuation of that autonomy.  In addition—” She gave him a significant look.  “I pose no threat.  Our interests are not in conflict.  We are not competing for resources, we have no territorial claims on one another, we do not possess competing ideologies.” “Some would say,” said Aristide, “that once given the freedom to pursue your own interests, a conflict would be inevitable.” “There are conflicts now, in terms of resource allocation and so forth.  They don’t lead to war or slavery.
Walter Jon Williams (Implied Spaces)
To know how to say no to modern excitement was also the condition for the autonomous construction of one’s own personality. He that ‘does not want to be part of the masses’ and did not want to be ‘factory goods’ was to pay great heed. Certainly, to ‘“give style” to one’s character [is] a great and rare art’, which required an effort of self-discipline from which ‘the weak characters with no power over themselves’ flinched back. And here Nietzsche appealed to the youth: ‘Always continue to become what you are – educator and moulder of yourself’. To achieve this result, it was necessary never to lose sight of the ‘true liberation of life’, and to swim against the stream rather than chase blindly and recklessly after the ruling ideologies and myths of an age ruled not ‘by living human beings, but instead by publicly opining pseudo-human beings’. No doubt this appeal was part of a reactionary critique of modernity, but that in no way detracted from the charm of this lesson in living and this appeal for autonomy of judgement.
Domenico Losurdo (Nietzsche, il ribelle aristocratico: Biografia intellettuale e bilancio critico)
We are all born self-leaders, with an innate ability to develop autonomy. But as we explore the world, we may have simply applied autonomy to the wrong actions, building an aquarium rather than swimming freely in open water.
Florence Dambricourt (Swim Like a Fish: An easy guide to developing self-leadership)
Ann, seeking her true self, her autonomy and voice, her place in the world; and me, looking for the sap of spring, the ability to conjure a new dream of myself and bring it forth. Ann
Sue Monk Kidd (Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story)
This is the downside of what is generally regarded as a virtue: the self-confidence and moral independence of those schooled to believe in their own autonomy and intellectual competence. It can have the unfortunate, sometimes tragic, effect of inducing people to overvalue their ability to make judgments and decisions that require considerable technical training as well as a wide base of experience and knowledge. But deference to even the most well-warranted authority has become perilously dilute in a culture whose celebration of individualism is unconstrained.
Norman Levitt (Prometheus Bedeviled: Science and the Contradictions of Contemporary Culture)
Men had autonomy through land replaced by autonomy through wages and women were now unpaid slaves or, sometimes thanks to new abolition of laws against rape of the lower classes, prey.
Heather Marsh (Binding Chaos: Mass Collaboration on a Global Scale)
Myth is also where the differences lie. Where Crusoe articulates a ‘foundation myth’ that shows Western Man asserting his autonomy and dominance as if from scratch, the Journal charts his encounter with a phenomenon he cannot understand or control. Crusoe celebrates the resourcefulness needed to create a world from new; the Journal, the endurance to watch it fall apart. For that reason it is arguably this book that among all Defoe’s works speaks most eloquently to early twenty-first-century readers attuned to imaginary landscapes of nuclear and environmental devastation, to grim fantasies of alien invasion, to the panic and policies that accompany epidemic disease... Turning an eye on the commercial and spiritual centre of empire rather than an island outpost, it dares to envisage London consumed not just by disease but violent self-interest that tears at the social fabric. It is that very modern phenomenon, an illness narrative, but one in which the patient is a whole city. Works inspired by it—Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, Albert Camus’s La Peste—do not so much dismantle its ideology as try to render afresh the uniquely disturbing impact. (David Roberts)
Daniel Defoe (A Journal of the Plague Year)
In his recent critique of fashionable ecological philosophies, Andreas Malm pointedly remarks: 'When Latour writes that, in a warming world, 'humans are no longer submitted to the diktats of objective nature, since what comes to them is also an intensively subjective form of action,' he gets it all wrong: there is nothing intensively subjective but a lot of objectivity in ice melting. Or, as one placard at a demonstration held by scientists at the American Geophysical Union in December 2016: 'Ice has no agenda - it just melts.'' The reverse claim is that human interventions have only had such a menacing and even fatal consequences for our living conditions within the Earth system because human agency has not yet sufficiently freed itself from its dependence on natural history. This seems to be the conviction behind the 'Ecomodernist Manifesto,' for instance, which claims that 'knowledge and technology, applied with wisdom, might allow for a good, even great, Anthropocene,' and that a good Anthropocene 'demands that humans use their growing social, economic, and technological powers to make life better for people, stabilize the climate, and protect the natural world.' In this confrontation, an age-old dualism has assumed a new guise: the attempt to establish a complicity with the forces of destiny - if necessary at the price of surrendering human subjectivity or perhaps involving other forms of self-sacrifice - is juxtaposed with the attempt to achieve human autonomy by subordinating the planet under the superior power of human ingenuity. These two positions, a modernist stance and a position critical of it, are usually considered to represent mutually exclusive alternatives. Actually, however, the two positions have more in common than first meets the eye. At the beginning of chapter 3, I referred to Greek philosophers who suggested that the best way to protect oneself against the vicissitudes of fate was to learn how to submit oneself to it willingly, sacrificing one's drives and ambitions while expecting, at the same time, that this complicity with destiny would empower one to master worldly challenges. What unites the seemingly opposite positions, more generally speaking, is a shared move away from engagement with the concrete and individual human agency (i.e., with empirical human subjects and with the unequal power distribution in human societies) toward some powerful form of abstraction, be it 'to distribute agency' or to use the 'growing social, economic, and technological powers' of humanity for a better Anthropocene. I suggest that we take a more systemic look at the role of humanity in the Earth system, taking into account both its material interventions and the knowledge that enabled them.
Jürgen Renn (The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene)
Significantly, the abolition of the family wage did not overcome the sexual division of labour, as liberal feminists had imagined it would. The double-shift, working inside and outside the home, is more like an endless hell than a golden nirvana of self-empowered financial autonomy. Now women worked inside and outside the home, often cleaning toilets, cooking and serving food, taking care of wealthier women’s children, and then turned around to go home and clean toilets, cook and serve food and take care of their own children. The new anguish was that women were being forced to sacrifice time with their children so that their children could survive. Often, the largest portion of the wages that working women earn are given to for-profit agencies which care for their children in day care, after-school care, holiday care, and so on it goes. Day care from 8 am to 6 pm, five-days-a-week for three-month-old children is not uncommon for those who can, or must, afford it. Patriarchal capitalism is a child-hating mother-hating system which values work that contributes to the destruction and exploitation of life over and above work which nurtures life.
Abigail Bray (Misogyny Re-Loaded)
Czechoslovak government and the pro-Nazi leaders of the country’s Sudeten German minority, Hitler demanded that the German population be given “self-determination,” that is, autonomy within the Czechoslovak republic. The British and French governments feared that these demands, following close on the German annexation of Austria, would be a first step in Hitler’s eventual dismembering of Czechoslovakia and its absorption into a greater Reich.
Debi Unger (George Marshall: A Biography)
The organization of public-sector unions and the emergence of merit employees as a powerful interest group underscores one of the great inherent dilemmas of bureaucratic autonomy. On the one hand, the merit system was created to protect public employees from patronage and the excessive politicization of the bureaucracy. On the other hand, those same protective rules could be used to shield bureaucrats from accountability, making them hard to fire when they failed to perform. Bureaucratic autonomy could lead to high-quality government with public officials looking to the public good. It could also protect bureaucratic self-interest in job security and pay.
Francis Fukuyama (Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy)
By the time the Ramayana was written by Valmiki, patriarchy had registered its authority over women’s bodies and over their reproductive rights. Rama considers Sita his property until he loses her to Ravana. Despite Sita’s purity, Rama rejects her twice, doubting her fidelity. One cannot imagine anyone doing this to Draupadi and it is impossible to accuse Kunti of any infidelity except to her own self! Yet Sita is a silent heroine as she refuses to bear Rama any child till he secures his throne. She brings up her sons on her own as a single abandoned mother and finally returns to her mother’s womb, thus establishing the autonomy of the female.
Namita Gokhale (In Search Of Sita: Revisiting Mythology)
Every choice we make is a testament to our autonomy, to our sense of self-determination.
Barry Schwartz (The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less)
The myth of the lone hacker perpetuates the fantasy that the asymmetrical relation of individual to network can be creatively played to the former's advantage. In actuality there is an imposed and inescapable uniformity to our compulsory labor of self-management. The illusion of choice and autonomy is one of the foundations of this global system of auto-regulation. In many places one still encounters the assertion that contemporary technological arrangements are essentially a neutral set of tools that can be used in many different ways, including in the service of an emancipatory politics. The philosopher Giorgio Agamben asn refuted such claims, countering that 'today there is not even a single instant in which the life of the individuals is not modeled, contaminated, or controlled by some apparatus.' He contends convincingly that 'it is impossible for the subject of an apparatus to use it 'in the right way.
Jonathan Crary (24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep)
Though glorification of the self has been a central motif in human history since the Fall, the individual autonomy of the Enlightenment has further entrenched and justified humanity’s inflated estimation of its own value within the Biblical paradigm. In contrast, Scripture subjects all things to the purpose of magnifying God’s reputation.
Gale Heide (Domesticated Glory: How the Politics of America Has Tamed God)
Last, but by no means least, the advance of technology has produced a human population that is far more helpless and dependent than any human population before, one that is unable to survive when exposed to the elements, or travel long distances on foot, make its own tools, construct its own shelter, clothe and feed itself without outside assistance, treat diseases with substances available from the environment, or teach its children to survive on their own … How will these people, who have been conditioned since birth to expect to be taken care of by a vast industrial machine, respond to suddenly being forced to rely on their own wits and physical strength to survive? How many of them will not even try and simply await a rescue that will never come?
Dmitry Orlov (Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on Technologies that Limit our Autonomy, Self-Sufficiency and Freedom)
THERE IS A saying I happen to like: Adventure is a sign of incompetence. I find that there is a lot of truth to it; after all, consummate professionals don’t go out looking for adventure and rarely find any. After a certain level of competence is reached, you are simply playing it safe all the time while executing your plans, and adventure becomes routine. After all, why would you take unnecessary risks if you know better? That is why the adventures of incompetent people make interesting stories, while the adventures of competent people do not—because they aren’t really adventures at all but random mishaps.
Dmitry Orlov (Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on Technologies that Limit our Autonomy, Self-Sufficiency and Freedom)
Dozens of scales have been developed over the years to measure a person’s sense of control. The granddaddy of them all is the Rotter Scale, developed by J. B. Rotter in 1966. We highly encourage you to take it so that you can assess your own strengths and struggles when it comes to autonomy. For kids, we like a scale developed by Steven Nowicki and Bonnie Strickland, which asks questions such as “Do you believe that you can stop yourself from catching a cold?” and “When a person doesn’t like you, is there anything you can do about it?” You may be surprised by where your child lands.
William Stixrud (The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives)
Free will is autonomy, self-rule, a capacity to choose among the limited opportunities life provides in accordance with internal motives, self-generated criteria. Without free will, the individual would be reduced to nothing. Impressions and sensations would pass through him like light through a point in a vacuum, or bounce off him like an echo. He would be changed, but change nothing. For all his influence on the world, he might as well not exist. He is a null point. Yet surely it is no part of the radical monotheist program to deny the existence of the individual or affirm that for all the being God gave him he'd as well not exist. On the contrary, the purpose of theories of creation and emanation is to explain the fullness of a world bursting with God's presence in terms of a relation of ontological dependence between the world and God.
Lenn Evan Goodman
Because she is the channel of life, woman as mythic mother lives at one remove from life. A woman who defines herself through her fertility has no other option. So a woman who feels she has been deprived of motherhood is trebly deprived—of children; of the value of herself as mother; and of her own self, as autonomous being.
Angela Carter (The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography)
Although our intrinsic nature and unconscious processes, which defy human cognition substantially influence us, every person possess a liberal dosage of personal autonomy to determine the ultimate essence of their existence. Nature’s endowments enable every person to declare their determined purpose, and deploy the human allotment of free will to pursue their driving passion. With courage, creativity, and effort every person seeks to realize their ultimate embodiment.
Kilroy J. Oldster
Being a victim of poisoning by others triggers a secondary self-destructive self-poisoning. The persecution and lack of respect for one's autonomy, combined with helplessness and nihilism. Nietzsche used the French resentment, rather than the German equivalent, probably to add to anger and enviousness, the nuance rehashing of hurt feelings. This is unnecessary in English, which has two senses in one word He was suggesting that a child's powerlessness, the inability to resist the abuse inflicted by adults, is at least as damaging as the abuse itself. When Nietzsche was fighting resentment and nihilism in his writings, he was fighting something he knew personally very well and tried to overcome: 'Choose the good solitude, the free, wanton, lightsome solitude, which also gives you the right still to remain good in any sense whatsoever! How poisonous, how crafty, how bad, does every long war make one, which cannot be waged openly by means of force!
Uri Wernik
It was 1908 when Henry Ford unveiled the first Model T, a product that would reorient the infrastructure of civilization, and around which civilization would reorient itself. Just over a century later, Elon Musk unveiled the Model S at a time when civilization is more than ready for a cultural rebirth—one that could be catalyzed by something as innocuous as a beautiful car that drives itself. Autonomy, after all, is a term not limited to the automatic control of a motor vehicle. Its meaning also speaks of self-determination. It is through the power of this autonomy that we can turn a revolution into a renaissance.
Hamish McKenzie (Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil)
To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong about anything. It is a new Declaration of Independence: no longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones
Thomas M. Nichols (The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters)