Human Security

Human Security: Some Reflections

W. E. BLATZ
Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1966
Pages: 132
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt15jjbhj
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Human Security
    Book Description:

    Dr. Blatz's first book to appear in twenty-one years, and his first complete exposition of his famous Theory of Security.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3213-4
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    D. C. WILLIAMS

    DR. WILLIAM BLATZ was the founder of the nursery school movement in Canada. His St. George’s School which opened in 1925 as an adjunct to the Psychology Department at the University of Toronto, was one of the first of its kind in North America. By 1938 the University formally recognized its essential nature and made it the Institute of Child Study. Together with the Banting Institute (1930), it served Toronto in a unique capacity for many years.

    Dr. Blatz was thus one of the pioneers of the institute idea. He encouraged interdisciplinary study not only because the many facets of...

  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    MARY L. NORTHWAY
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xv-2)
  5. 1. Introduction
    (pp. 3-13)

    THE ANCIENTS had a word for it,cacoethes scribendi,the urge to write. And so after fifty years of more or less formal observation of the most fascinating objects in the world around us, namely other human beings, I feel impelled to put on paper what I think I have learned and the circumstances under which such learning took place.

    In such an introduction, the personal pronoun is not out of place. Self-conceit in its original context meant a good opinion of one’s self. Provided it is not wholly unjustified, it is not indictable. With this risk in mind, I...

  6. 2. Consciousness
    (pp. 14-28)

    MOST PEOPLE are fairly healthy physically although there are very few who have absolutely nothing wrong with them; it may be only a hangnail. Similarly most people are fairly well mentally although there are very, very few who at times do not show some signs of distress. Indeed, most people carry on physically or mentally without undue interruptions, in spite of intermittant inadequacies. There are two sides to the picture of mental health: how the person appears to other people, and how he inwardly feels himself. There is a great deal of unalloyed misery in the world that no one...

  7. 3. Consequences
    (pp. 29-34)

    THE BASIC NEEDS of man are: (1) to select, through accepting or rejecting immediate conscious experiences, (2) to satisfy the organic appetites, and (3) to deal with frustration. Man will continuously seek to satisfy these three needs. At all times one or more of them are operative; at some times some are more imperative than others; hungry, a man seeks food; in pain, he seeks surcease; tired, he seeks rest; under the urgency of the sex need he seeks a mate; frustrated, he attacks or tries to escape. From the beginning he not only seeks to satisfy the need of...

  8. 4. Immature Dependent Security
    (pp. 35-43)

    TRY TO ENVISAGE the mind of a young infant. We can only guess what it is like. Our guess must be based on what we know of our own adult conscious state. We are not looking for something that is unobservable, but for something that up to the present has been unrecorded. Whether it is unrecordable is still a matter of controversy. We believe that the child whom we are observing is aware of his own mental activities—that is, he is conscious.

    There is good reason to believe that the infant in the last months of intra-uterine life is...

  9. 5. Insecurity
    (pp. 44-51)

    IT IS NO WONDER that parents of young children are often mystified and confused. Their child may be compared to an amateur juggler learning to keep three Indian clubs in the air at one time while standing on a raft floating on the backs of a group of performing seals.

    The clubs represent three of the streams of the developmental process going on in the child:emancipation, regression,andfixation.These may be readily identified at birth, but can be described more accurately as time goes on. Emancipation is the desire of a child to get out from under the...

  10. 6. Emancipation and Regression
    (pp. 52-62)

    ONE DAY in the late spring I watched a parent bird push a well-grown fledgling from the nest. It fluttered to the lawn, stood still for a moment, and then flew to the lower limits of a nearby lilac bush. From then on, it was on its own.

    Later, in the early summer, I watched a mother put her young child into a playpen on the lawn outside the kitchen window. Then, with many a backward glance, she returned to the house. Her face appeared dimly at the window. The child’s first reaction was to look around, then he appeared...

  11. 7. Independent Security
    (pp. 63-77)

    A PERSON who is willing to accept the consequences of his actions without trying to avoid them in any way and without depending upon anyone to accept them for him is said to beindependently secure.Serenity is the conscious component of this state, as it is of all secure states. Independent security can only be attained by first being insecure, by accepting the challenge of the insecurity and expending effort to deal with it. Thereby one acquires skill and knowledge which lead to independence. Skill and knowledge make it easier to predict and therefore accept consequences, and hence pave...

  12. 8. Mature Dependent Security
    (pp. 78-92)

    FOR A SHORT TIME after birth, a child under adequate care finds most his needs satisfied. He is immaturely dependent, and thus secure and serene. But his serenity however satisfying, begins to cloy, and strikes out and attains a degree of independent security withitsattendant serenity. At the same time he is beginning to emancipate himself from his immature dependency. The two processes go on at the same time.

    Chart IV shows the development of the security patterns in the early years. The first graph shows the progress of emancipation from infancy to twenty-one, the hypothetical point of completion...

  13. 9. Deputy Agents
    (pp. 93-102)

    WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL is trying to deal with a situation, he may face up to it, make a decision, use his “know-how,” and accept the consequence. If he does, he is using his independent security. However, his efforts may take him into false channels which do not lead to a real solution but by which he avoids the real consequence at least temporarily. These false channels are called “deputy agents.” Deputy agents are devices an individual uses to carry him over a period of insecurity until he is willing to accept the consequences of a genuine decision. They work by...

  14. 10. Decisions
    (pp. 103-111)

    RECENTLY an elderly and outwardly successful business executive said half jestingly that the hardest decision he had to make was “to get out of bed every morning,” and then he added half seriously, “I suppose when I retire I will have the same difficulty deciding to sleep in!”

    There is a universal misapprehension that decisions are relatively rare in everyday life, that they occur only on fairly momentous occasions and are turning points in a person’s career. As a matter of fact, as we saw earlier, since man is a conscious organism, he constantly selects from among alternatives. Selection is...

  15. 11. The Scope of the Security Theory
    (pp. 112-122)

    THE CONCEPT of security is all-inclusive and all-pervasive. By “all-inclusive” I mean that all aspects of an individual’s behaviour in all areas of his life can be interpreted in terms of security. By “all-pervasive” I mean that the actions of all individuals in all places and at all times can be viewed in the scheme of security theory. This does not mean that security is to be considered a panacea for all the world’s ills, or as a new form of religion. It is a system of psychology which meets the criteria of being both comprehensive and consistent.

    It is...

  16. Postscript
    (pp. 123-131)
    MARY L. NORTHWAY

    STUDENTS frequently referred to the security theory as “the gospel according to Blatz,” and colleagues vehemently challenged his postulates and on occasion strengthened their own studies through their desire to prove him wrong. Yet for Blatz security was no gospel to be accepted as dogma. He expected his expositions on security to provoke questions and to stimulate research. They did. This postscript contains some of the recurring questions which the theory aroused, some of Blatz’s answers to them, and a summary of the studies and publications which emerged from the interchange.

    Although the questions often appeared in superficial and trivial...

  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 132-132)