Individuality: Creation versus Adaptation
Creation/Adaptation—Meaning/Biology—creation is to adaptation as meaning is to biology.
Our species is a great experiment by Mother Nature—can a species of animals with self-consciousness survive quick extinction?
We might usefully consider our species as like the first water creatures to colonize the land. This water/land creature is presently an unknown species to science. That is to say that the human species might well represent the same kind of giant evolutionary step because we humans are the first animal to have creative as well as adaptive qualities.
Otto Rank’s will psychology throws meaningful light on the psychological foundation of epistemology and ethics—leading to a philosophy of the psychic—the creation of individuality in “rebirth experience” as being the actual creative act—in this act the psychic ego is born out of the biological corporal ego thus moving from creature to creator—i.e. creator of his own personality.
There is movement from competition with nature to artistic creation of reality which we call civilization—his competition becomes with himself—the inner world becomes an independent power which seeks to alter the external world to more correspond to the inner—this is more creation than adaptation and can be comprehended as will phenomena.
“In this sense 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 creation, as he finds himself mirrored, particularly in manners and customs, morality and conventions, social and cultural institutions.”
This idea is based upon the assumption that our inner world, in our creation of it, slowly becomes a power independent of the outer world, which we constantly try to modify to suit our inner reality. This is not adaption but is creation, which can be called ‘will phenomena’.
This is movement from Freudian id which is subject to natural laws under guise of “repetition compulsion” while personality “consists of identifications which form the basis of the parental super-ego”—to move beyond the super-ego morality to an ideal formation to a personality that guides—he evolves the ego ideal from self-chosen factors consciously strived for.
Quickie from Wiki: “Repetition compulsion is psychological phenomenon in which a person repeats a traumatic event or its circumstances over and over again. This includes reenacting the event or putting oneself in situations that have a high probability of the event occurring again. This "re-living" can also take the form of dreams, repeating the story of what happened, and even hallucination.”
This concept, “repetition compulsion”, was noted formally by Sigmund Freud in his 1920 essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle in which he observed a child throw his favorite toy from his crib, become upset at the loss, then reel the toy back, only to repeat this action again.
Quotes from Truth and Reality by Otto Rank