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Rollo May

Date de naissance: 21. avril 1909
Date de décès: 22. octobre 1994

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Rollo May, né le 21 avril 1909 à Ada et mort le 22 octobre 1994 à Tiburon est un psychologue existentialiste nord-américain.

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Citations Rollo May

„Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations“

— Rollo May
Context: Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem. Ch. 6 : On the Limits of Creativity, p. 115

„We are more apt to feel depressed by the perpetually smiling individual than the one who is honestly sad.“

— Rollo May
Context: We are more apt to feel depressed by the perpetually smiling individual than the one who is honestly sad. If we admit our depression openly and freely, those around us get from it an experience of freedom rather than the depression itself. Paulus : Reminiscences of a Friendship (1973)

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„We define religion as the assumption that life has meaning. Religion, or lack of it, is shown not in some intellectual or verbal formulations but in one's total orientation to life. Religion is whatever the individual takes to be his ultimate concern.“

— Rollo May
Context: We define religion as the assumption that life has meaning. Religion, or lack of it, is shown not in some intellectual or verbal formulations but in one's total orientation to life. Religion is whatever the individual takes to be his ultimate concern. One's religious attitude is to be found at that point where he has a conviction that there are values in human existence worth living and dying for. p. 180

„It is a road to universals beyond discrete personal experience.“

— Rollo May
Context: Symbol and myth do bring into awareness infantile, archaic dreads and similar primitive psychic content. This is their regressive aspect. But they also bring out new meaning, new forms, and disclose a reality that was literally not present before, a reality that is not merely subjective but has a second pole which is outside ourselves. This is the progressive side of symbol and myth. This aspect points ahead. It is integrative. It is a progressive revealing of structure in our relation to nature and our own existence, as the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur so well states. It is a road to universals beyond discrete personal experience. Ch. 4 : Creativity and the Encounter, p. 91

„The self is made up, on its growing edge, of the models, forms, metaphors, myths, and all other kinds of psychic content which give it direction in its self-creation. This is a process that goes on continuously.“

— Rollo May
Context: The self is made up, on its growing edge, of the models, forms, metaphors, myths, and all other kinds of psychic content which give it direction in its self-creation. This is a process that goes on continuously. As Kierkegaard well said, the self is only that which it is in the process of becoming. Despite the obvious determinism in human life — especially in the physical aspect of ones self in such simple things as color of eyes, height relative length of life, and so on — there is also, clearly, this element of self-directing, self-forming. Thinking and self-creating are inseparable. When we become aware of all the fantasies in which we see ourselves in the future, pilot ourselves this way or that, this becomes obvious. Ch. 5 : The Delphic Oracle as Therapist, p. 99

„Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, "This is me and the world be damned!"“

— Rollo May
Context: Therapy isn't curing somebody of something; it is a means of helping a person explore himself, his life, his consciousness. My purpose as a therapist is to find out what it means to be human. Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, "This is me and the world be damned!" Leaders have always been the ones to stand against the society — Socrates, Christ, Freud, all the way down the line. As quoted in Marriage Today : Problems, Issues, and Alternatives (1977) by James E. De Burger, p. 444 Variant: I think Dostoevsky was right, that every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, this is me and the damned world can go to hell. As quoted in The Wordsworth Dictionary of Quotations (1998) by Connie Robertson, p. 270

„The past has meaning as it lights up the present, and the future as it makes the present richer and more profound.“

— Rollo May
Context: The first thing necessary for a constructive dealing with time is to learn to live in the reality of the present moment. For psychologically speaking, this present moment is all we have. The past and future have meaning because they are part of the present: a past event has existence now because you are thinking of it at this present moment, or because it influences you so that you, as a living being in the present, are that much different. The future has reality because one can bring it into his mind in the present. Past was the present at one time, and the future will be the present at some coming moment. To try to live in the "when" of the future or the "then" of the past always involves an artificiality, a separating one's self from reality; for in actuality one exists in the present. The past has meaning as it lights up the present, and the future as it makes the present richer and more profound. p. 227

„The acorn becomes an oak by means of automatic growth; no commitment is necessary.“

— Rollo May
Context: The acorn becomes an oak by means of automatic growth; no commitment is necessary. The kitten similarly becomes a cat on the basis of instinct. Nature and being are identical in creatures like them. But a man or woman becomes fully human only by his or her choices and his or her commitment to them. People attain worth and dignity by the multitude of decisions they make from day by day. These decisions require courage. Ch. 1 : The Courage to Create, p. 21

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„All life is a flux between these two aspects of the daimonic.“

— Rollo May
Context: The daimonic is is obviously not an an entity but refers to a fundamental, archetypal function of human experience — an existential reality in modern man, and, as far as we know, in all men. The daimonic is the urge in every being to affirm itself, assert itself, perpetuate and increase itself. The daimonic becomes evil when it usurps the total self without regard to the integration of that self, or to the unique forms and desires of others and their need for integration. It then appears in excessive aggression, hostility, cruelty — the things about ourselves which horrify us most, and which we repress whenever we can or, more likely, project on others. But these are the reverse side of the same assertion which empowers our creativity. All life is a flux between these two aspects of the daimonic. We can repress the daimonic, but we cannot avoid the toll of apathy and the tendency toward later explosion which such repression brings in its wake. p. 123

„Man is the "ethical animal" — ethical in potentiality even if, unfortunately, not in actuality.“

— Rollo May
Context: Man is the "ethical animal" — ethical in potentiality even if, unfortunately, not in actuality. His capacity for ethical judgment — like freedom, reason and the other unique characteristics of the human being — is based upon his consciousness of himself. p. 150

„Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings.“

— Rollo May
Context: Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. It is based on the experience of one's identity as a being of worth and dignity, who is able to affirm his being, if need be, against all other beings and the whole inorganic world. p. 67

„The daimonic arises from the ground of being rather than the self as such.“

— Rollo May
Context: The daimonic refers to the power of nature rather than the superego, and is beyond good and evil. Nor is it man's 'recall to himself' as Heidegger and later Fromm have argued, for its source lies in those realms where the self is rooted in natural forces which go beyond the self and are felt as the grasp of fate upon us. The daimonic arises from the ground of being rather than the self as such. p. 123

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„The authentic rebel knows that the silencing of all his adversaries is the last thing on earth he wishes“

— Rollo May
Context: The authentic rebel knows that the silencing of all his adversaries is the last thing on earth he wishes: their extermination would deprive him and whoever else remains alive from the uniqueness, the originality, and the capacity for insight that these enemies — being human — also have and could share with him. If we wish the death of our enemies, we cannot talk about the community of man. In the losing of the chance for dialogue with our enemies, we are the poorer. Ch. 11 : The Humanity of the Rebel

„When you write a poem, you discover that the very necessity of fitting your meaning into such and such a form requires you to search in your imagination for new meanings.“

— Rollo May
Context: When you write a poem, you discover that the very necessity of fitting your meaning into such and such a form requires you to search in your imagination for new meanings. You reject certain ways of saying it; you select others, always trying to form the poem again. In your forming, you arrive at new and more profound meanings than you had even dreamed of. Form is not a mere lopping off of meaning that you don't have room to put into your poem; it is an aid to finding new meaning, a stimulus to condensing your meaning, to simplifying and purifying it, and to discovering on a more universal dimension the essence you wish to express. Ch. 6 : On the Limits of Creativity, p. 119

„The daimonic needs to be directed and channeled. Here is where human consciousness becomes so important.“

— Rollo May
Context: We must rediscover the daimonic in a new form which will be adequate to our own predicament and fructifying for our own day. And this will not be a rediscovery alone but a recreation of the reality of the daimonic. The daimonic needs to be directed and channeled. Here is where human consciousness becomes so important. We initially experience the daimonic as a blind push. It is impersonal in the sense that it makes us nature's tool. … consciousness can integrate the daimonic, make it personal. p. 126

„Therapy isn't curing somebody of something; it is a means of helping a person explore himself, his life, his consciousness.“

— Rollo May
Context: Therapy isn't curing somebody of something; it is a means of helping a person explore himself, his life, his consciousness. My purpose as a therapist is to find out what it means to be human. Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, "This is me and the world be damned!" Leaders have always been the ones to stand against the society — Socrates, Christ, Freud, all the way down the line. As quoted in Marriage Today : Problems, Issues, and Alternatives (1977) by James E. De Burger, p. 444 Variant: I think Dostoevsky was right, that every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, this is me and the damned world can go to hell. As quoted in The Wordsworth Dictionary of Quotations (1998) by Connie Robertson, p. 270

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