What skills to learn, what tools to get
Kegan 3, Kegan 4, and Kegan 5 walked into a bar... What do you observe? IOW, what everyday examples of behaviors across different contexts come to your mind when you think of Kegan 3, Kegan 4. and Kegan 5?
Just finished David Frayne's Refusal of Work [recommended] after Ego (I think) posted something about it some time ago. The author interviews a few people who end up deciding to stop working, or work part time, etc., and some of those stories seemed to me to illustrate quite well and colourfully what I think is a Kegan shift (3->4) in a somewhat ERE-like context.
Here's some interesting bits:
Here's some interesting bits:
Adam said he liked to gently provoke people into clarifying their reasons for working, but identified this as an uncomfortable or taboo area of conversation:
[People] give you quite a flippant answer, which is their way of saying ‘oh, don’t ask me that’. They’re quite happy to talk about other things and engage in small talk, but no one really wants to talk about these deep issues.
In each case, the interviewees expressed a strong desire to live with intention, often referring to some earlier period in their lives that had been conducted in a less-than-lucid state of consciousness, without them being in the driving seat. Within this context, the breakpoint represents the welcome moment at which they began to question the work role.
What the breakpoint more humbly represents is the moment at which people began to reflect more clearly on the nature of cognitive power, and on their own powers of self- direction within the constraints of the society around them. The need to be employed was no longer accepted as a natural law or feature of human nature, but instead represented an object ripe for critical attention. With high spirits and a note of pride, people described a process of reflection on their stock notions and habits, a shedding of their roles, and a rediscovery of their lives as open to possibilities.
What was it exactly that afforded the people I met this degree of critical distance from a previously naturalised state of affairs? The breakpoint represents the moment at which reification was punctured, with people’s lives taking on a renewed feeling of malleability. But when and why do people cease to accept their social roles as natural and given? In spite of the normalising functions of socialisation, social discipline and ideology, social
struggles show us that the integration of individuals into the social order is never a finished process. But if there is always an element of the self that refuses integration, then what causes this element to wake up and be heard?
The causes of a breakpoint are difficult to pin down. Critical reflection might be prompted in the most unpredictable of situations: by the vague sense of desolation that descends in a traffic jam or a crowded shopping mall; by the resentment that surfaces in a pointless team meeting; by the meditative quality of mind which can follow a trip into nature or a drive down an open road. The interviewee Eleanor talked in almost mystical terms about a kind of transcendence or flash of insight: what Cohen and Taylor, writing on the theme of escape, call a ‘momentary slip through the fabric’ (Cohen and Taylor, 1992). The person is briefly overwhelmed by some vague and indescribable force or spirit which leads him or her into a process of re-evaluation. Eleanor Berger and Pullberg speculate that de-reification may occur in ‘times of trouble’, which rattle the world down to its foundations and allow it to be rebuilt anew
Whilst she said repeatedly that she was happy with her daily routine, I asked her to think about whether there were things she missed about work, and it was at this point that she raised the issue of social recognition. Lucy became visibly upset:
David: If I were to push you, out of the things you said you miss about work, which was the most important?
Lucy: Um [long pause] [sigh]. I suppose the thing I miss most is not feeling like I’m letting people down. Maybe that’s because, I don’t know, I just feel like I’m letting Matthew’s parents down and my parents down. I suppose I wouldn’t say – I don’t know, does this make sense?
David: Yes. So do you worry about that then?
Lucy: I worry every day [long pause], all the time [sigh]. I just – I feel like I should get a job so that I don’t feel like I’m letting everybody else down, but I just [sigh] – I don’t know if I can do that.
One of Lucy’s main ambitions was to have lots of children. She told a story about how her mother – a nurse – had concealed Lucy’s non-work ambitions from colleagues at a Christmas party, believing that Lucy’s maternal goals were too homely or old-fashioned. Lucy’s lack of work-centred ambitions seemed to embarrass her mother.
Mycroft Holmes. You have just identified Mycroft Holmesjacob wrote: ↑Fri May 24, 2019 2:34 pmIt would ... but what would that look and feel like? Such a person would have instant solutions to all diplomatic issues in the world not only in terms of identifying the issues but also in solving them. It's easy enough to apply the Hegelian constructor to see what it looks like in theory but it's hard to grok it in practice. It's similar to how a mathematician can easily imagine what things look like in 3D but would be hard pressed to imagine/intuit anything but the simplest objects (lines, planes, spheres, and cubes) in 4D and beyond thus having to resort to technical manipulations.
@Loner, I too just finished the book and loved chapters 5 and 6, the ones most focused on people's experiences with refusing work. Many similarities to ERE.