Survival and Differentiation

Our survival and growth as a species depends on our ability to differentiate.

Dec 22, 2021

Our survival and growth as a species depends on our ability to differentiate.

Enmeshment demands rigidity.

The more your sense of self, the more your sense of okayness, the more that your basic personhood is dependent upon another- the more vulnerable you are to changes in the system/relationship you are enmeshmed in.

This doesn’t mean that we are pursuing the impossible, mythical state of total self-reliance (aka individualism).

It means that we are solid in our sense of self enough that the way others grow and change, and the way that conditions in life shift, are not a threat to our core being.

It means being able to face change with our sense of self intact.

Flexibility/adaptability is one of our core traits as humans that has contributed to our continued survival as a species.

And living in a moment of extreme historic significance, as we face circumstances that pose existential threats to that continued survival, our flexibility is more important than ever.

As we have seen in so many ways- the doctrine of rugged individualism thwarts attempts to challenge and shift culture and society towards things like inclusivity and sustainability.

And similarly, the reactionary left response to rugged individualism has been a hard turn towards enmeshment- subcultures that perpetuate strict adherence to ideologies and normalize controlling behaviors that seek to homogenize and punish those who value their personal sovereignty.

The truth is that interdependence does indeed come with sacrifice.

But that sacrifice requires fully autonomous and consenting individuals to create change that is lasting and sustainable.

If we cannot put differentiation at the core of our movements towards change, we will find that our movements are vulnerable to co-optation and will fall apart when inevitable growth and change occurs.