Monday, June 19, 2006

Visser on Shadows vs Core Qualities

Frank Visser has finally addressed on his blog his recent run-in with Ken Wilber. He suggests that if criticism of Wilber's system may be partly the result of people attacking their own shadows, it may also be motivated by valid observations, and Wilber's response may be an attack on his own shadows. Furthermore, says Visser, it might be more profitable to address the whole dynamic of the conflict in terms of a "conflict resolution strategy (pioneered byDaniel Ofman)" employing the concept of "core qualities."

"The idea," explains Visser, "is that each mental quality has an extreme version (its "pitfall"), but also its opposite quality (or "challenge"), which in turn has its extreme version (or "allergy").For example: The quality of eloquence has the pitfall of being talkative, the challenge of knowing when to be quiet, and the allergy of never speaking up. Now an eloquent person will typically have an allergy for people who never speak up -- and a quiet person hates those who are talkative. When allergies escalate, a conflict is born. The trick of conflict resolution is to acknowledge and affirm both qualities in each other, while avoiding their pitfalls, c.q. allergies."

I'm no psychologist, but it seems to me as though there might be something to this approach.

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