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- Apr 2019
Personality development, if done right, inevitably sets us on a collision course with the unjust world in which we live, and with everything that is primitive, unevolved and destructive within ourselves. One of the major developmental dynamisms—i.e, the internal forces guiding our individual growth as described in TPD—is positive maladjustment: a lack of adjustment to the world as is, guided by our vision of what ought to be which turns us into eternal misfits, “guests of reality,” to use the title of Par Lagerkvist’s story. Positive maladjustment is always rooted in universal human values embedded in our conscience and gives rise to our protest, internal and external, against the inhumane status quo. Sometimes this protest can take a form of non-cooperation or silence, or even mental illness, but it is still positive and expressive of better mental health than unreflective adjustment to what is. Jiddu Krishnamurti reminded us that “[i]t is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” This maladjustment in turn awakens other developmental dynamisms such as guilt, shame, astonishment with oneself, disquietude with oneself, subject-object in oneself, and others that create the basis for transcending our biological and social limitations through personality growth.