The New Frontier
in Democratic Theory and Practice:
Organizational Forms that Simultaneously Optimize Autonomy & Community

©1997, Andrew Dinkelaker

Chapter 4b - Educating for Participatory Democracy

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Psychological Level

The processes involved in educating the feeling and intuitive functions are highly susceptible to co-optation because: 1) the subtle distinctions made at the psychological level require personal experiential knowledge not readily available to extroverted socio-political types, while at the same time, socio-political subtleties are not normally available to introverted types who do possess personal experiential knowledge, and 2) these capacities can be developed without a sophisticated understanding of the socio-political implications of doing so. Furthermore, when they are developed apart from each other this fragmentation weakens the chances for transformation from Quadrant three to Quadrant four.

In addition to fragmentation of feeling [F] and intuition [N], one must understand that having control over the processes of creativity [N] and empathic resonance [F] is not necessarily the same as developing these functions. This is especially true in an organizational setting. Many times a job may require us to manufacture new ideas or a "sincere" smile. However, though we may have the ability to call upon these functions at will, they are seen as "distant" and not reflective of who we really are. Arlie Russell Hochschild, in her book The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, describes work performed under conditions of such estrangement as "emotional labor" (I would also add that there is "creative labor"). Like physical labor, emotional and creative labor exacts a cost from our lives. Specifically, we must be on guard against those tendencies that call upon the instrumentalization and management of feeling and intuition.

Educating the Capacity for Higher Level Feeling

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An empathic way of being can be learned from empathic persons. Perhaps the most important statement of all is that the ability to be accurately empathic is something that can be developed by training.72
Carl Rogers' statement is also echoed by others. Through surveying numerous theories on emotion, Fudjack and Dinkelaker's paper on the five levels of the four functions demonstrates that feeling as a psychological function can be educated to higher levels of development.

By educating this capacity one is in effect confronting authoritarian tendencies. Adorno found that in order for Fascism to be successful as a political movement it must secure "not only the frightened submission but the active cooperation of the great majority of people. Since by its very nature it favors the few at the expense of the many, it cannot possibly demonstrate that it will so improve the situation of most people... It must therefore make its major appeal, not to rational self-interest, but to emotional needs -- often to the most primitive and irrational wishes and fears."73 If the individual only has the capacity to use their feeling function at the most crass and undifferentiated level then they are all the more easily swayed by "mob hysteria" and "participation mystique." The authoritarian character type is generally associated with having a strictly "ST" value system with a strong focus on "realism" and rationality which contributes to a constriction of fantasy [N] and repression of affect [F]. Adorno found that the democratic character promotes the development of imagination and feeling which he has identified as intraception. "Intraception is a term stand for the dominance of feelings, fantasies, speculations, aspirations -- an imaginative, subjective human outlook."74 The authoritarian, the opposite of a democratic character, is an extremely anti-intraceptive individual who "is afraid of ...genuine feeling because his [sic] emotions might get out of control. Out of touch with large areas of his [sic] own inner life, he is afraid of what might be revealed if he, or others, should look closely at himself.... This general attitude easily leads to a devaluation of the human and the overvaluation of the physical object; when it is most extreme, human beings are looked upon as if they were physical objects to be coldly manipulated -- even while physical objects, now vested with emotional appeal, are treated with loving care."75 When individuals who have low intraception tap into their emotional center they either have an inability to verbalize their feelings (e.g. of aggression) or their expression is explosive. "Reports about blind rage, temper tantrums, and bad temper in general, [are] often found in the records of high-scoring [authoritarian] subjects."76

Erich Fromm found that modern Western society inhibits the development of individual's capacity to identify and work with feelings. "A wide range of emotions are

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suppressed and replaced by pseudo feelings."77 "In our society", Fromm continues, "emotions in general are discouraged. While there can be no doubt that any creative thinking -- as well as any other creative activity -- is inseparably linked with emotion, it has become ideal to think and to live without emotions. ..the result [of this forced separation] is the cheap and insincere sentimentality with which movies and popular songs feed millions of emotion-starved customers."78 The reversal of these trends would lead to spontaneous activity. Fromm states:

Spontaneous activity is the one way in which man [sic] can overcome the terror of aloneness without sacrificing the integrity of his [sic] self; for in the spontaneous realization of the self, man [sic] unites himself anew with the world -- with man, nature, and himself. Love is the foremost component of such spontaneity; not love as the dissolution of the self in another person, not love as the possession of another person, but love as spontaneous affirmation of others, as the union of the individual with others on the basis of the preservation of the individual self.79
The main methods for arriving at a deeper experience of love and a more sophisticated feeling function derive from the psychotherapeutic tradition. However, in the progressive move towards greater and greater levels of feeling coming out of psychotherapeutic encounters we must make sure we do not carry over many of Quadrant three practices and processes associated with this "old paradigm" word (psychotherapy). The psychotherapeutic tradition implicitly contains features of hierarchical character building and professionalism. Instead, deep interpersonal encounter may be used as a substitute phrase for psychotherapy's other more positive attributes.

A wide variety of works and practices in the field of psychotherapy are focused upon educating the feeling function through the use of, among others, drama, art, and writing. A core concept that consistently emerges throughout these works is empathy and/or attunement.

For example, contemporary psychologist Eugene Gendlin, in his book Focusing, describes empathy as focusing. "Focusing" is a new technique of self therapy that trains one to identify, through listening to the body, vague feelings that are usually attached to a specific problem. The technique provides a means for resolving the unaddressed issues. This resolution, when it occurs, produces a "felt shift" within the body that is experienced as a release of physical tension. Initially, the focusing process involves the clearing of a space where the individual can relax and settle down. After the ground is prepared one asks how one is doing and instead of conceptually answering the question one waits for an answer to emerge from within. This is described as the "felt sense" of a problem, a feeling of uncertainty and vagueness. Gendlin stresses the importance of paying attention to experiencing the entire sense of the problem in all its haziness. The next part centers around gaining a "handle" on what the quality of the felt sense may be. The emphasis is on finding a word that best fits the experience. Gendlin states that it may take several

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tries until one finds a word that matches. Once the word is found one checks it against the experience, consciously resonating between the two. This is a way of attuning to what your body is telling you. The final two steps, in Gendlin's technique, involve "asking" and "receiving." To ask means to sit in the experience and find out what this "sense" is all about. Typically a shift will occur as a bodily response to the question. The shift will be qualitatively different from "quick" mental answers. Gendlin suggests that when the shift occurs that one welcomes it. "You need not believe, agree with, or do what the felt sense just now says. You need only receive it."80 Through this process one begins to experience body / mind empathy and can use this technique to work with others to develop empathy between people.

Carl Rogers, in his book A Way of Being, describes some of the essential conditions for establishing an empathic environment. Included among these conditions are an uncritical attitude, openness to what emerges, listening deeply to another, acknowledging the other, and being non-judgmental. Rather than describing empathy as a state, Rogers emphasizes that empathy is a process -- a way of being.

It means entering the private perceptual world of the other and becoming thoroughly at home in it. It involves being sensitive, moment by moment, to the changing felt meanings which flow in this other person... It means temporarily living in the other's life, moving about in it delicately without making judgments... It means frequently checking with the person as to the accuracy of your sensings, and being guided by the responses you receive.81
However, Augusto Boal with his focus on actively engaging people who are suffering oppression in their own liberation process, found empathy to be counterproductive and detrimental. Boal's understanding of empathy stems from the Greek philosopher Aristotle's description of "catharsis" in drama which involves the spectator identifying and empathizing in a non-productive manner, according to Boal, with a reactionary hero. The audience is made to feel that everything is ok with the political status quo. Many of Rogers' conditions for empathy are present in the audience's identification with the flawed hero. The role of the Aristotelian stage hero is to provide a temporary feeling of calm or relief which reinforces the sense that everything is ok. Boal's point is well taken; producing audience catharsis drama is seen as a means to release pressure and anxiety without having the audience feel that they need to actively challenge the status quo. In other words, Boal is correctly reacting to the "upward" directed attunement process that occurs in Milgram's "agentic state." As Milgram described, a person attunes to those in power (the hero) and in so far as she/he experiences a successful resolution of ambiguity and strife he/she attributes this success to the authority figure not to oneself. Boal is more interested in critiquing the oppressive situation that is the focus of the improvisation, thereby politically activating the participants in the audience. However, Boal makes the mistake of conceiving that all forms of catharsis are a technique used to appease the masses and make them impassive spectators.

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The reductive and defensive attitude that Boal, who appears to be a "thinking" type, has toward catharsis is even more evident when he fails to notice how catharsis in the Morenian sense extends well beyond Aristotle's concept. According to Moreno:

Catharsis means a concussion and breaking-open of paralyzed feelings, and thus also means a concussion and breaking-open of hardened structures.... Emotional blocks loosened and dissolved, previously obstructed behavioral capabilities were recovered, and new possibilities for action were induced.82
Catharsis in this view contains the dynamic of liberation, which is strikingly similar to what Boal accomplishes in his theatre work. Catharsis, according to Moreno, activates the individual by dissolving hardened structures and feelings so that one can become free to initiate new social possibilities and behaviors.

Secondly, the interpersonal phenomenon that Moreno calls "encounter" constitutes a more profound relation between individuals than does empathy. Empathy may occur when only one party in the relationship is maintaining the conditions that Rogers describes as acceptance, a non-critical attitude, and listening. Encounter, according to Moreno, is a living concept involving a reciprocal form of empathy.

It is meeting on the most intensive level of communication. The participants are not put there by any external authority; they are there because they want to be, representing the supreme authority of the self-chosen path... It is an intuitive reversal of roles, a realization of the self through the other... the rare unforgotten experience of total reciprocity... The encounter is extemporaneous, unstructured, unplanned, unrehearsed...83
Encounter is being in the moment, without image or roles, the intense interaction of two or more participants. If one is to obtain such a level it requires interpersonal experiences involving improvisation that Moreno, Rogers, and Boal (among others) have explored.

Educating the Capacity for Higher Level Intuition ~ Creativity: Deconstruction / Reconstruction

According to Jung the relationship between the intuitive function (imagination) and the sensory function are inversely proportional, so that in so far as an individual educates one of these functions the other lies more or less fallow and undeveloped. In this light consider the following passages from Adorno and Erich Fromm that imply a similar relationship where a constricted imagination [N] correlates to an overemphasis on fact and the empirical nature of reality [S].

Adorno found that authoritarians tended to be rigid and intolerant towards ambiguity while those who were democratic in nature were flexible with a higher level of tolerance for uncertainty. In addition, "it is as if they [authoritarians] cannot allow

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themselves a completely uninhibited fantasy, as if they cannot get away from concrete 'reality' even for a moment. This unimaginativeness, or rather circumscription of ego bounds, seems related to the barren inner life, the shallow emotions..."84 Erich Fromm identifies several factors that discourage creativity:

One is the emphasis on knowledge of facts [S], or I should rather say on information. ...their time and energy are taken up by learning more and more facts so that there is little left for thinking. ...Another closely related way of discouraging original thinking is to regard all truth as relative.... which often presents itself by the name of empiricism or positivism [S] or which recommends itself by its concern for the correct usage of words.... [Lastly] is the assertion that the problems are too complicated for the average individual to grasp... only a 'specialist' can understand them, and he only in his own limited field, actually -- and often intentionally -- tends to discourage people from trusting their own capacity to think about those problems... The individual feels helplessly caught in a chaotic mass of data and with pathetic patience waits until the specialists have found out what to do and where to go.85
Educating imagination and the intuitive function would requires a turning inward and a "letting go" of conceptual frames and an exclusively empirical [S] perspective. I will briefly review art as process and psychotherapy as ways for educating the intuitive function. Furthermore, meditation enhances this skill, the capacity to deconstruct.

Toni Packer, a former Zen teacher and a student of Krishnamurti's work, goes beyond the traditional trappings of religion in order to address the essence of spirituality. In talking about the establishment of the Springwater Center, Packer states, "the question was whether profound insight and understanding could take place without a traditional religious context of any kind. Could one drop all traditional rituals, ceremonies, dogmas, symbols, hierarchical structure, lines of transmission, teacher homage, and veneration, and just carry on with fundamental questioning and awareness?"86 Echoing Krishnamurti's emphasis on attention, Packer states that the work of the moment is to face "directly the fear that arises when everything about oneself is called into question... Can our relationship with each other be one of listening and looking together? Can the images that come up be seen for what they are and be put aside so that they do not distort the listening and looking together?"87 Furthermore, Packer believes that until we are aware of the conditioning process that constantly operates within us, we will not be able to integrate the whole of ourselves.

What matters profoundly is that a human being discover directly, clearly, the enormous depth and weight of psychological conditioning that shapes and controls every move of the mind and body, keeping it divided and in conflict with itself, with other people, and with the natural environment. Not just to discover this
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conditioning, to become aware of it from moment to moment -- as it functions automatically, habitually, mechanically -- but to wonder whether it can slow down and come to a stop in silent understanding.88

The stopping of the psychological conditioning is what psychologist Milton Erikson referred to as the "depotentiation of the conscious set" in the process of deep personal deconstruction. In addition, meditation practice encourages the spirit of inquiry and a capacity to "remain in the question," rather than arriving at a premature closure of the question on the basis of conformity to conventional hegemenous realities. "It is only when one really works on oneself, probing deeply and stopping nowhere, that one gets in touch with this fundamental anxiety of being nobody."89 "Isn't it our anxiety", Packer continues, "our constant search for escapes, and our deep-seated resistance to facing and questioning every single movement of the mind that create this longing for authority? It seems to be so much easier and more soothing to let someone else take care of us -- tell us what to do and what not to do.... When attachment to inner and outer authority drops away, attention itself is the source of right action."90 Therefore, the challenge is to embrace the anxiety and insecurity of constant change while moving beyond the attachment to habitual thoughts and conditioning in order to be open to the thoughts and feelings in the moment that accompanies this insecurity of remaining in the question.

Art has an emphasis on the process of expression and the discovery of new possibilities. Exploring the sensory world through art constitutes the education of the intuitive function. Art involves the education and development of the capacity to deconstruct and reconstruct (via the creative act) which is the quintessence of intuition.

Peter London, a practicing art therapist and painter, in his book No More Secondhand Art: Awakening the Artist Within, describes the processes of increasing the ability to visualize, fantasize, and dream in order to use art as an instrument of personal transformation. London suggests that if art were used in the service of transforming the individual and society it would, among other things be: "fulfilling individual potentialities [N] and collective [F] possibilities [N], discovering the range of human possibilities [N], awakening us to higher levels of consciousness."91 While London acknowledges the importance of learning artistic techniques such as Monet's in order to refine one's skills it is "better to raise the questions Monet did than to mimic his responses... Your particular techniques and your principles of design will be derived from your struggle with these questions.... The solutions to the problems posed in art do not lie outside in the realms of technique and formula; they reside in the realm of fresh thinking about perennial issues, in honest feelings and awakened spirit.... do not set stock in correct responses, in familiar ways, or in the ways of others. This is a time of trusting hand and heart to find their way."92 The objective, according to London, is to meet art directly rather than to have the experience mediated through the concepts and eyes of another. This approach is not

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the same as the artist seeking novel and original ways. Instead, it is the direct experience, the freshness of experience of what one is expressing. "Artists are people who are driven to invent new terms to portray new ideas, ideas whose shape cannot be expressed by the stock language of old ideas. The need that drives the artist outside of convention's bounds is not originality for its own sake, but the desire to share what is known, apparently, only to oneself, and to shape utterance, gesture, and sign so as to carry that meaning out from the interior of self and into the public domain."93 London argues that the creative process is therapeutic because it allows for the individual to expand and amplify internal experiences in the form of artistic expression. To strengthen this connection London cites Joseph Zinker, a contemporary gestalt therapist:

...therapy is a process of changing awareness and behavior. The sine qua non of the creative process is change: the transformation of one form to another, of a symbol into insight, of a gesture into a new set of behaviors, of a dream into a dramatic enactment. Thus creativity and psychotherapy are interconnected at a fundamental level: transformation, metamorphosis, change.94

Rollo May, a contemporary psychologist, defines freedom as the ability to transcend the existing order and entertain the ambiguity of paradox. "Freedom is the possibility of self-realization based on personal choice, on free contact and spontaneous endeavor, or individual initiative... being able to harbor different possibilities in one's mind, even though it is not clear at the moment which way one must act."95 In addition, the greatest possible range of movement is also attributed to freedom. Therefore, developing the capacity to imagine, think, and to question deepens the degree to which one experiences freedom and autonomy of action. However, there is even a deeper level to freedom that May attributes to the capacity to "pause." The "pause" is the gap, the space yet unfilled, no-thing. "For it is in the pause that we experience the context out of which freedom comes. In the pause we wonder, reflect, sense awe, and conceive of eternity."96 It is in the pregnant silence of the pause that allows for the calling forth of continuous unrealized possibilities [N]. "The significance of the pause is that the rigid chain of cause and effect is broken."97 The creative individual uses the pause as an incubation period allowing for images and ideas to freely emerge as a creative impulse. This impulse is typically expressed in the form of a symbol, a word which means "to throw with". Thus, symbols bring together various parts into one image or form that then has a multitude of meanings.

In conclusion, there are a number of negative attributes that one must be on guard against to ensure that the education of the intuitive function is not used for hegemenous purposes. May states that one must be aware of the possibility of using the "gap" or "pause" as an excuse for not acting. Within the field of art, artists must confront the

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tendency toward the institutionalization, static formalization, and emphasis on technique of the creative process as it is expressed in the artistic cannon. Furthermore, Toni Packer challenges spiritual and meditation practitioners to exorcise their practice of reliance on an authority figure, mystification, and isolationism. It is important that these trappings are discarded when viewing the educational process as moving from Quadrant three to Quadrant four.

Democracy as Limino-Centric Society

The combination of autonomy [N] with community [F] creates paradigms of community, communities of paradigm, changing socio-symbolic cultures, and shifting paradigms of community. It is these attributes that can be found within the revitalization myths.

Eleanor Wilner, in her book Gathering the Winds, studies the function of vision and imagination during periods of time when cultures are in social upheaval. Wilner found that in times of chaos the visionary faculty [N] is commonly used to bridge the transition from the old social "order" to a new one. Visions [N] of a new society [F] are invoked by visionaries and prophets that describe how the current ills of society are solved through the transformation of social relationships [F]. These visions make it possible to survive the transition period where everything is unstable. Wilner uses anthropology and the literary tradition (especially the "Romantics") as evidence of where vision is used in this way. William Blake was a literary figure that Wilner identifies as having successfully embodied radically new social visions in response to the upheaval caused in part by the Enlightenment. In addition, from the field of anthropology Wilner investigates the processes that a number of preliterate societies used in times of transition. For example, there are the "cargo cults" which were tribal societies who found cargo crates washed up on the beaches of their islands. The tribal leaders interpreted this a sign of a coming apocalypse for which everyone must prepare in order to survive. Wilner found that there are a number of common traits that emerged as a result of how different cultures responded to social transformation. These traits are as follows:

(1) the imminent expectation of a great cataclysm or apocalypse which will destroy the world as it is; (2) an accompanying return of the dead, the ancestors, and/or the man-god or culture hero; (3) an inversion of the present state of affairs, involving often both nature and culture, with particular focus on the power arrangements of the society; (4) a belief in the invulnerability of the "elect" cultists through the period of destruction, their redemptive power, and their inheritance of the new world; (5) a redemptive millennial vision of the new world, which often promises eternal youth, perfect amity, and material plenty, as well as release from inhibitions and obligations; (6) techniques for the expediting of the apocalypse-millennium which usually involve both a return to certain nativistic customs and rites and an assimilation and transvaluation of alien cultural elements.98

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The final trait is one that is commonly found throughout many different cultures world-wide as "rites of passage." The process of denunciation (apocalypse) and annunciation (reintegration) are also found within the works of educator Paulo Freire and psychologist Issac Predillinsky. Revitalization, Wilner agues, is the method whereby a social group re-configures itself in a manner that rejuvenates society.

Anthropologist Victor Turner focused much of his attention on the transition state associated with "rites of passage." Rites of passage are rituals that occur in the transition period between two cultures or in the transition from on role to another (e.g., from "child" to "adult," from "citizen" to "leader"). Victor Turner identifies social transformation within various cultures occurring in three distinct stages: separation, margin, and aggregation. It was the marginal stage that Turner was particularly interested in examining. Turner uses the term "liminality" to connote this stage: "liminal entities are neither here nor there; they are betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial."99 The term "liminal" therefore is the threshold state between paradigms and culture. This liminal period is characterized by communitas [F] and saccra [N]. Saccra are the symbolic objects around which the template for the new culture is formed. Communitas, a term borrowed from Paul Goodman, is described by Turner as anti-structural in that the bonds are undifferentiated, equalitarian, direct, and nonrational (though not irrational).100 Furthermore, Turner describes that "communitas emerges where social structure is not."101 "Communitas breaks in through the interstices of structure, in liminality; at the edges of structure, in marginality; and from beneath structure, in inferiority... it transgresses or dissolves the norms that govern structured and institutionalized relationships."102

Turner's use of liminal and transition state is conservative in nature because he views their value only as a transition between structures and not as a sustainable social system. Turner believes that communitas is impermanent, where one is always like a pendulum swinging between culture and anti-culture.

There is a dialectic here, for the immediacy of communitas gives way to the mediacy of structure, while, in rites de passage, men [sic] are released from structure into communitas only to return to structure revitalized by their experience of communitas.103 This need not be the case. It has been suggested that forms of social organization exist in which liminality (communitas) is contained within a comparatively minimalist structure proscribed by the principles of democracy. The term that has been used for this idea is "liminocentric."104 It is interesting to note that Turner himself come very close to this idea, but it appears that he does not know what he is talking about:

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The spokes of the wheel and the nave (i.e., the central block of the wheel holding the axle and spokes) to which they are attached would be useless, he said, but for the hole, the gap, the emptiness at the center. Communitas, with its unstructured character... might well be represented by the "emptiness at the center..."105

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72. Rogers. (1980). p. 150.
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73. Adorno. (1950). p. 10.
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74. Adorno. (1950). p. 235.
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75. Adorno. (1950). p. 235.
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76. Adorno. (1950). p. 450.
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77. Fromm. (1966). p. 269.
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78. Fromm. (1966). p. 270.
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79. Fromm. (1966). p. 287.
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80. Eugene Gendlin. (1978). Focusing. p. 60.
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81. Rogers. (1980). p. 142.
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82. Schutzman and Cohen-Cruz. (1994). pp. 98-9.
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83. Jacob Moreno. (1960). The Sociometry Reader. p. 15.
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84. Adorno. (1950). p. 573.
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85. Fromm. (1966). pp. 273-76.
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86. Toni Packer. (1990). The Work of the Moment. p. 31.
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87. Packer. (1990). p. 4.
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88. Packer. (1990). pp. 26-7.
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89. Packer. (1990). p. 51.
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90. Packer. (1990). pp. 66-7.
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91. Peter London. (1989). No More Secondhand Art: Awakening the Artist Within. p. 8.
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92. London. (1989). p. 17.
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93. London. (1989). p. 18.
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94. London. (1989). p. 35.
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95. Rollo May. (1981). Freedom and Destiny. pp. 10-11.
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96. May. (1981). p. 163.
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97. May. (1981). p. 167.
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98. Wilner. (1975). pp. 19-20.
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99. Victor Turner. (1969). The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-structure. p. 95.
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100. Fox. (1986). p. 98.
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101. Turner. (1969). p. 126.
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102. Turner. (1969). p. 128.
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103. Turner. (1969). p. 129.
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104. John Fudjack coined this term. (1995). Limino-Centric Forms of Organization. (unpublished manuscript).
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105. Turner. (1969). p. 127.
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