Trying to Define "Be-ing"

For the last week or so, I've been reading and reading (and reading and reading…) to try to come up with a way to define "be-ing." I've read psychology, philosophy and spirituality essays and books, and sifted through numerous self-improvement type sites. They all seem to point to the same thing, yet it still seems as though something vital is missing.

I'll present a few things I've come up with so far. It's all pretty rough and more or less my interpretation of a lot of different sources, so there won't be any direct resources cited. Inspiration comes from numerous sources such as Burt Wilson, RHH, Carl Rogers, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, Viktor Frankl, Eugene Kennedy, Sigmund Freud, and many authors that have written about the major personality theorists. Boiling it down, here are some of the things that I feel are included in "be-ing:"


As our internal guidance system, values are the assumptions we've made about what is right and wrong. What we declare are our values shed light on the internal struggles and moral dilemmas we've experienced, and forms a rough sketch of what we expect of ourselves. Values form the basis of our definition of ideals and aspirations. Value formation starts as an infant and is based on real, "organismic" needs and preferences. There is no doubt in your mind when an infant is uncomfortable in a wet diaper or given a spoonful of a fruit that is not liked.

Willing to be Open to Experience

Along with defining likes and dislikes, a young child will devote all waking hours to exploring her body and her environment. The driving need for love and acceptance of this new, real self forms and then continues throughout life. As values and the real self continue to form, the need for love and acceptance cause some values to be in conflict with the values of parents or friends, which in turn impacts the perception of the real self.


Conscious and unconscious defenses are used to protect the self from anxiety and stress and discomfort caused by the conflict between real, "oranismic" values and self perception and the need for love and acceptance. Thinking and reasoning play a part in self concept and self worth here. "If I do this, then mommy and daddy love me; if I don't, they don't love me" and "I should be a perfect student or housewife or parent" and "I ought to be much better at this than I am." As this ideal self conflicts more and more with the real, organismic self, anxiety, stress and discomfort increase.

Unconditional Regard

When love and acceptance are found, the feeling of safety and the ease of discomforts follow. Behavior and feelings are separate from and do not impact worth as perceived by the self or others. It is OK to drop defenses and masks and ease the pressure of the demands placed on the self to perform. The distance between the ideal self and the real self decreases.

Growth and Potential

Becoming or "be-ing" is a process; a never-ending, fluid process. Values are defined and true to the real self, experiences are welcome and joyous, genuineness begets deeper and more rewarding relationships, and unconditional regard felt and given positively strengthens relationships even more. Within this real, honest self is unlimited potential and boundless growth, self-realization and actualization.


I'm astounded to think that all the reading I've done boils down to five short paragraphs! I see that my interpretation is more reflective of Carl Roger's person-centered theory than anything else, and I think it's because he leaves a very wide-open door to spirituality. I'm a Big Picture thinker, obviously, and though I've managed to boil a mountain down to a pimple, I still feel I've missed something vital and important.

I need your help. Maybe we can find that missing link together.

1 comment:

  1. Graphic is called "Continuous Process of Becoming" by Jaimie Cahlil.