Vision and Aims of AHP -- August 1999,
by Eric Dodson
As some of you may know, this summer I was elected to the board of directors
of the Association of Humanistic Psychology (AHP), whose board meeting
I attended a few weeks ago in Seattle. At that board meeting, we
spent some time exploring AHPís overarching vision and aims. In the following
list, Iíve recast the themes that emerged in somewhat more poetic language.
Basically, I feel that continually questing after the poetic pulse of AHPís
enterprise is crucial to maintaining humanistic psychologyís vitality --
both for today and for the future. Iíve come to sense in our times
a powerful tendency to reduce almost everything -- including humanistic
psychology -- to the most banal, repetitive and lifeless formulae.
For instance, in our commercialized world even "being all you can be" has
through sheer repetition become one of advertisingís bloodless gimmicks
-- no longer a potent, inspirational call to human possibility and destiny.
In essence, I feel that our modern world is placing humanistic psychology
in danger of becoming a caricature of itself. And against that backdrop,
one of our challenges lies in resisting the temptation to settle upon any
final vocabulary and self-description. I feel that our world is calling
us toward an ongoing re-poeticizing of our common project -- in a way that
speaks to what is best in humanistic psychologyís tradition, and at the
same time opens up new, surprising connections to our current world (a
delicate balance, to be sure). So I offer the following statement of vision
and purpose -- both as a personal act of defiance in a world seemingly
bent on the banalization of everything, and as an invitation for us all
to enter into a more vital, more powerful reinvention of our common enterprise.
-- Eric Dodson
Vision and aims
- To call humanity toward fulfilling its deeper, more encompassing values
- To stand powerfully and unabashedly for freedom, healthy choice, expression
- To quest after community and human interconnection, both locally and
across the globe,
- To sense and appreciate the ongoing interweaving of our minds, our bodies,
our spirits, and the world around us,
- To give voice to lifeís fundamental riddle, and to seek after its greater
charm, subtlety and
- To expand humanityís furthest boundaries, and to help our world give
birth to its wider
- To find ourselves open, wild and alive in the passionate welter of lifeís
- And ultimately to quicken the pulse of life for all sentient beings.
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