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Macrocosm: from adaptation to, to creation of

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Macrocosm: from adaptation to, to creation of?

Most of us are somewhat familiar with the admonitions "know thyself" and "the unexamined life is not worth living". To know the self is to know the microcosm and to examine life is to know the macrocosm. To know either of these domains it is necessary to know both. Of course, we never complete the task but if we are to engage it successfully we must do it together.

"Civilized man, even if he fights the outside world, is no longer opposed to a natural enemy but at bottom to himself, to his own creations, as he finds himself mirrored, particularly in manners and customs, morality and conventions, social and cultural institutions. The phenomenon thus described is of fundamental meaning for the understanding of the human being's relation to the outer world as well as to his fellow man."

We see here the interrelationship of the microcosm (human individuality) and the macrocosm, which is the other, i.e. the rest of the world. The micro and the macro develop in parallel in the sense that they are inter-dependent and react upon one another.

In this parallel development the the chief actor and the chief onlooker are one and the same because the opposing force of the macro (natural reality) is but that which is an artistic creation of the micro (the individual), it is civilization.

This form of reality structure "is based essentially on the conception that the inner world, taken in from the outside by means of identification has become in the course of time an independent power...This relation to outer reality I designate as creation in contrast to adaptation, and comprehend as will phenomena."

Otto Rank, one of the three most important Freudian proteges (including Jung and Adler), speaks of having been completely under the influence of Freudian theory but later moves from that biological-mechanistic realism to an emphasis upon the artistic i.e. the creative man.

Rank theorizes that the psychic ego is born from the biological ego therein the human being becomes both creator and creature, i.e. the human being moves from creature to creator in the ideal sense of being creator of the individual with its individualized personality and character.

Quotes from Will Therapy and Truth and Reality by Otto Rank

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