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Psychology Studies the Syndromal Structure of the Unit

Panel 5: The Formal Range of Four Relational Modalities as the Alternative Specific Responses to Stress and the Related Distortions of Reality.

     Individuals differ in the way they resolve conflicts. Their differences may be identified as qualitative distinctions along the two key principles of relating. Accordingly in dealing with stress usually an individual unconsciously chooses to be either passive or active, and either antagonistic or cooperative. His/her relational choice determines a person’s expectations or anxieties and subsequent defenses, reversals and compromises.

    Dorothy and the Lion illustrate the dominant-cooperative and the dominant-antagonistic modalities, the Scarecrow and the Tinman, the submissive-cooperative and the submissive-antagonistic relational alternatives. The Oz heroes exemplify the four relational syndromes.

    Their respective role choices entail different passivity states, hence expectations and distortions. Dorothy who chooses to be a thinker (activity) saw Oz as an enormous head (her passivity or anxiety state). The Lion who threatened others with his roar perceived the Wizard as a fierce fireball. The Scarecrow who was kind perceived Oz as a kind lady. The Tinman who could not love, perceived Oz as a most terrible beast. (see Panel #11)

    Eventually confronting their passivity or anxiety states, their relational distortions, helped the Oz heroes to overcome their weaknesses, to see reality without distortions, thus to transform their conflicts into true resolutions.

Role Oppression Stress
Role Assumption Response
Anticipated Role Reversal, Anxiety

The formal Unit process manifests itself as the thematic evolution of an artist's canvasses. The four Henry Gorski canvasses are formally interrelated. They illustrate how the unconscious evolves from a state of passivity to one of activity, from a state of antagonism to one of cooperation and from a state of alienation to one of mutual respect.

The Formal Range of Relational Modalities Constitutes the Spectrum of Normal Personality Categories.

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