Vasudevi Reddy and Nicole Rossmanith
Structure and openness in development

Engaging with the world inevitably creates structure of some kind in self-development. Thus from early infancy on - with shared affective patterns and interpersonal routines, cultural norms, concepts and symbols and so on - various, increasingly complex forms of self, other and world emerge, which open up an increasing number of possibilities for new kinds and levels of engagement and for further developing a world together. However these same structures, becoming more rigid, salient and perhaps reified with time, may obscure or obstruct engagement and arrest development. Drawing from everyday life experiences, from developmental and cultural psychology as well as from spiritual traditions we explore this paradoxical relationship between structure and openness to engagement and attempt to understand the process of formation and change of structures in self and its relations to the world.