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Growing Older Together: Temporality, Mutuality, and Performance in the Thought of Alfred Schutz and Erik Erikson Author(s):

Lucy Bregman Source: The Journal of Religion, Vol. 53, No. 2 (Apr., 1973), pp. 195-215 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: Accessed: 20/08/2009 10:10
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GrowingOlder Together: Temporality, in the Thought Mutuality,and Performance of Alfred Schutz and Erik Erikson

Every time the rite... is repeated, the archetypal action of the god or ancestor is being repeated, that action which took place at the beginning of the hero time, or, in other words, in a mythical time.... Whether he became himself, or merely a contemporary of the hero's, the Melanesian was living in a mythical that could not possibly be confused with any profane kind present of time.... It would be impossible to overstressthe tendency ... to bring back that time, mythical time, the Great Time. For this bringing-back is effected without exception by every rite and every significant act.1 The purpose of this paper is to examine the three ideas which Eliade brings together in this passage from Patterns in Comparative Religion: a special sort of time, becoming contemporary with another, and "rite" or performance. For Eliade, the return to illo tempore is the key to archaic religiousness; our own modern "desacralized" condition is marked by an inability to escape profane time. We moderns can be contemporary only with ourselves. I will argue against such a view of modernity, by showing how for twentieth-century people, as well as for archaic man, an interrelation exists among special forms of mutuality-" becoming contemporary with"-a performance situation, and a non-everyday mode of time. The meanings of these terms, and their connections with each other, will be established through a close look at two twentieth-century thinkers not concerned explicitly with the question of modern religiousness. Alfred Schutz, using Husserlian phenomenology, examined the process by which meanings are constituted in everyday life. Schutz's organizing principle in this project was the introduction of temporality, drawing heavily not only on Husserl's internal time-consciousness but on Bergson's notion of duree.To describe the experience of shared
1 Mircea Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion (Cleveland: Meridian Books,
1967), pp. 394-95.


The Journal of Religion temporality, Schutz supplied the phrase "growing older together." Out of an entirely different strand of twentieth-century thought, Erik Erikson, our second thinker, revised the psychoanalytic theory of development through the two related notions of "identity" and "mutuality"; his thought can be taken as an expansion of "growing older together" as the fundamental human experience of mutual activation. But in introducing Eriksonianthought, it seemed fitting to turn not just to Erikson's own theoretical writings but to a study by William Henry and John Sims which attempted to validate his constructs, and finally to data from that study. In the fantasies of modern people we can perceive the fundamental experiences upon which Schutz and Erikson have based their theoretical structures. Both these thinkers share an overall view of social reality as a human construction, and emphasize the individual's active participation in the creation of social meanings. The impact of both Schutz's and Eriskon'spositions is to transform the experiencedescribedby Eliade from a paradigmof archaicreligiousness into a permanent human possibility. At the end of the paper, I will offer several suggestions based on this understandingof twentiethcentury materials. Even if one has qualms about easily identifying the kind of experiences toward which Schutz and Erikson point with "religion," it is enough at this point to allow that these experiences could be interpreted as precarious attempts on the part of modern people to escape the tyranny of "profane" everydayness. On this assumptionthe data of psychologyon twentieth-centurypeople becomes of equal stature with that of anthropology and history of religions, whereasfor Eliade the psychologiststudiesonly "approximatevariants" of what the historian of religions can grasp in its original state.2 Although the psychological materials used in this paper cannot possibly be said to "prove" any overall conclusions about the spirituality of "modern man," they do allow, when taken seriously, for an openended view of modern experience, and the variety of forms which life within "modernity" can take.

Using Bergson and Husserl's notion of an inner duree,an internal time-consciousnesswhich is radically prior to our ordinary spatialized idea of temporality, Alfred Schutz reinterpreted the methodological
2 Mircea Eliade, Imagesand Symbols(New York: Sheed & Ward, 1969), p. 21.


Growing Older Together questions which had perplexed Weber, questions of the meaningfulness of social action. Schutz's basic theory, as presentedin ThePhenomenology of theSocial World,rests on the dichotomy between experience as lived in the duree, the "flow of duration," and experience as "typified" or already past. We know our own experiences, and thus are able to attend to them and constitute them, making them "meaningful," only as passed away. Out of this interpretation experience-a kind of stopping and thinking-we accumulate a stock of schema derived from past experiences, typifications out of which our everyday world is constructed. However, fundamental to Schutz's view is the fact that whereas the world of objectifications can be a product only of experiences-as-past, the universal basis for this world is the fact of our experience in the mode of the duree:this occurs every time we have an experience which Schutz calls a "we-relationship." What is a "we-relationship" and why is it central to Schutz's thinking about the social world ? Although Schutz's thought is dependent on Husserl in many ways, their basic projects are essentially different. Husserl used transcendental phenomenology to search for an absolute and indubitable grounding for all scientific knowledge; Schutz was concerned to analyze the structures of the "everyday world" from a phenomenological perspective, and the everyday world is in essence social. Husserl had been faced with the "problem" of intersubjectivity after establishing the transcendental ego as the only true subject of phenomenological statements,3 but for Schutz intersubjectivity-the thesis of the alter ego-was not a "problem" but a phenomenological given. The "we-relationship," whose temporal mode is that of "growing older together," takes the place of the transcendental ego as the appropriate starting place for phenomenological reflections on the constitution of meaning, when the structure of sociality is to be understood. The other person, the Thou, "is conscious, and his stream of consciousness is temporal in character, exhibiting the same basic forms as mine."4 Thus, one can talk of
shared experience, a "simultaneity": "What we mean ... by the

simultaneity of two durations or streams of consciousness is simply In the we-relationship, this: the phenomenon of growingolder together."5 I am face to face with an Other; more important, we "share time."
3 Edmund Husserl, Cartesian Meditations(The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, I969), pp. 89-92. 4 Alfred Schutz, The PhenomenologytheSocial World of (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1967), p. 98.

5 Ibid., p. 103.


The Journal of Religion I attend to his experiences in the mode of the vivid present (the duree), although I can attend to my own only in the mode of pastness. "The result is that I am incomparably better attuned to him than I am to myself."6 That this "pure we-relationship" exists as a dimension of our experience, makes it possible for Schutz to consider all forms of sociality as derivatives of this face-to-face shared temporality, of growing older together. "And because I grasp what is going on in his mind only through the medium of his perceived bodily movements, this act of grasping is for me a lived experience that transcends my own stream of consciousness" 7 and yet remains close to it.8 Thus, Schutz centers the basic human experience of sociality into Bergson's duree,whereas self-reflection and typification exist only in the pastness of the reflective constituting consciousness. The everyday world as Schutz structures it becomes a continuum of "anonymity" or distance from the living experience of the we-relationship. The more anonymous and "typed" are our experiences of others, the more they are remote from the shared duree, the less chance we have to grow older together. In the everyday world, we have "contemporaries," "they-relationships" with all those with whom we are not in werelationships. Schutz has eight gradients of "distance" for this world, beginning with friends from whom one is temporarily separated, proceeding in the direction of anonymity and "theyness" through "mailmen" (functionally defined ideal types) to "artifacts of any kind which bear witness to the subjective meaning-context of some unknown person." 9 All "they-relationships " are expressed by typifications; none involve, therefore, the mode of the lived, vivid present.
7 Ibid., pp. 166-67. 8 It is probably misleading to compare Schutz's treatment of the we-relationship to Martin Buber's famous "I-Thou." Schutz is not concerned with the depth of the relationship, but with its structure in contrast with all other temporal modes of sociality. On the other hand, Buber's description of his encounter with a cat would perfectly match the Schutzian we-relationship. "The beginning of this cat's glance, lighting up under the touch of my glance, indisputably questioned me: It is possible that you think of me? Do you really not just want me to have fun? Do I concern you? Do I exist in your sight? ...... My own glance was certainly more lasting; but it was no longer the streaming human glance" (I and Thou [New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1958], p. 97). Here the two grow older together in a shared experience of mutual questioning. By implication, one of Schutz's limitations is that his "social world" includes only humans. On this point, see Thomas Luckmann, "On the Boundaries of the Social World," in Phenomenology andSocialReality,ed. Maurice Natanson (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, I970). 9 Schutz, p. 18I. 198
6 Ibid., p. I69.

Growing Older Together Further "distant" still, according to the scale of the "everyday world," are the worlds of predecessorsand successors,with whom I can never have a "we-relationship." This continuum borders on a dichotomy, between the "we-relationship" and the everydayworld of typifications intimate anonymous
vivid vague

understoodunder the spatialized temporalityof "standard time," which is itself a typification necessaryto maintain the worldof the "they." Standard or "clock time" is an expansion of time-as-passed,the mode of all typifications and applied schemas. Schutz in his later writings explored various "worlds" other than that of everyday reality. In a fascinating essay "On Making Music Together," he examines a kind of social situation in which the "anonymity continuum" outlined above does not hold, and in which a quite different pattern of shared temporality is allowed to appear. This essay and its significance are unfortunately neglected by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann in their appropriation and expansion of Schutz's thought, giving the "everyday world" of TheSocialConstruction a kind of imperialismwhich is lacking in Schutz. More relevant of Reality to our topic, the entire theme of dual temporality, the modes of the duree and the already passed, seems to have been dropped by Berger and Luckmann; and it is the distinctive appearance of these modes which marks out the musical situation from the everyday world. The sociality on which Schutz focuses in this essay is that peculiar form of the we-relationship which exists between the composer and the beholder, the latter including player, listener, and readerof music.l0 Schutz uses Western classical music as his model, in which the "composer" is assumed to be a specified person separatedfrom the beholder. However, his analysis would also hold for a great many other musical situations and degrees of participation, as he himself admits. One distinctive feature of the musical we-relationshipis that it need not be face to face, and is defined solely by "shared time" within the musical experience. The "shared time" refers here only to the lived present of
10Alfred Schutz, Collected PapersII: Studiesin Social Theory(The Hague: Martinus
Nijhoff, I964), p. 169.

inner simultaneity


The Journal of Religion the duree, and is therefore not susceptible to typifications and objectifications within which the we-relationship ordinarily occurs. Such meaning structuresare conceptual unities, and the distinction of music is that its "meaning structure is not capable of being expressed in conceptual terms."11 Music is a counterbalance to Schutz's highly cognitive focus in Phenomenology of theSocialWorld,and yet it would be erroneous think as merely "irrational." Instead of a to of it entirely structure based on acts of interpretation and typing, "the cognitive meaning of a musical work ... is essentiallyof a polythetical structure. It cannot be grasped monothetically. It consists in the articulated step-by-step occurrence in inner time, in the very polythetic constitutional process itself." 12 The "polythetical constitutional process" is a

Husserlian notion; it can best be contrasted with the all-at-once

grasping of meaning which is involved in apprehending " 2 x 2 = 4."

The implication is that a musical work, as polythetical, cannot be so grasped. It cannot be "summarized" but is comprehended only through performance. The performance consists of a re-creation, a reconstitution by the beholder, of the polythetic step-by-step structure of the composer. "Although separated by hundreds of years, the [beholder] participates with quasi simultaneity in the [composer's] stream of consciousnessby performing with him, step by step, the ongoing articulation of his musical thought. The beholder, thus, is united with the composer by a time dimension common to both, which is nothing other than a derived form of the vivid present shared
by the partners in a genuine face-to-face relation."

This "shared time" can be distinguishedfrom that of the ordinary we-relationshipin two ways. First, it permits a beholder to "grow older
together" with a composer whom everyday reality consigns to the world of predecessors, a world in principle unavailable for such possibilities. Second, the shared time of musical performance is, unlike that of the ordinary we-relationship, not liable to be confused with "clock time," objectified time-as-passed upon which the world of ideal types depends. Schutz is very insistent on this point. The number of minutes which a certain symphony takes to be performed "is a fact which might possibly interest the program maker of a broadcasting station. To the beholder it means nothing." 14 Objectified time is
11 Ibid., p. I59. 12 Ibid., p. 172. 13 Ibid., p. 171. 14 Ibid. 200

Growing Older Together spatialized time and is thus distinct from the inner duration in which all growing older together occurs. Thus, Schutz's analysis of the musical relationship of "growing older together" unites the three terms which were our starting point: temporality, becoming contemporary, and performance. Performance, however, is no longer an empty category; it consistsof just that step-bystep reconstituting which defines the polythetical meaning structure. This performance is in the mode of the duree,and indeed is to be understoodas tied to a special temporality. For Schutz, this is necessarily a shared experience, and it is at this point that what psychology can contribute to an understanding of "mutuality" becomes relevant. Schutz's own concept of the "we-relationship" is very much a formal structure, and the writings of Erikson provide one way to understand it as a category underlying actual human developmental processes. It is this emphasis which can help put the rather marginal situation of making music into the center of human experience.


For Schutz (as for Eliade) the shared temporality of musical performance remains an extraordinary experience, and he does not discuss the implications of this for one's return to the everyday world. Nor does he suggest that the musical we-relationship might serve any generalized function such as setting a limit to the claims of the anonymous "they" world of clock time. A possible supplement to Schutz's thinking about the we-relationshipand its place within the social world is to be found within the writings of Erik Erikson. As a thinker in the Freudian tradition, Erikson'sthought could bring to phenomenological perspective three important aspects which Schutz does not stress. This is evident in his famous First, Eriksonian man is embodied. 15of " body modes" of world-relatedness; chart (in Childhood andSociety) these modes are also models of sexual orientation harking back to
Freud's three "stages," the original inspiration for Erikson's chart. In contrast with Schutz, it is inconceivable that Erikson would write

the following sentence: "Since the Thou also performs intentional

Acts, it also bestows meaning."16 One encounters another human
15 Erik Erikson, Childhood and Society (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1963), p. 89. 16 Schutz, The Phenomenology of the Social World, p. 98.


The Journal of Religion being as male or female, but never as it; this fact has relevance for Eriksonin a way that it simply doesn't for Schutz. Second, the tradition of psychoanalytic thought replaces ontological or structural "primordiality" with chronological "origins" within the human life cycle. Whatever other implications this may have, the focus on development within psychoanalytic thought necessitates a concrete "we-relationship"-that is, the family, or even just the mother-infant relationship-as a particular model for all subsequent relationships. Instead of structurally prior versus derivative, Erikson's Freudian background dichotomizes between the family and the early stages of childhood, on one hand, and the "secondary" relationships involving culturalinstitutions,on the other. This becomes a particularly crucial aspect of Erikson's thought, but there is certainly no need to debate the role of the family as the "privileged" example" of social reality within all psychoanalyticallybased theory. Erikson typifies a third feature of Freudian tradition, moreover: conceptualizing human development as a series of conflicts and resolutions, he is most interesting and eloquent when he focuses on "what can go wrong." In contrast with Piaget's theory of childhood play (to cite one glaring example), Erikson views play as a means toward solving conflicts, and only secondarily as intrinsically enjoyable and Society).The (see the "Toys and Reasons" chapter in Childhood result of this emphasis on neurosis, interpreted as a failure to resolve childhood conflicts, has traditionally been a very precarious view of adult strength and sanity on the part of psychoanalysis.This is by no means as dominant a theme in Erikson as it was for Freud,17 but for both, lived reality is a precarious construction, something one must work at to attain. Although similar to Schutz in this notion of reality as a construction, an achievement, Erikson's tradition, and his own formulations, make it much easier to see identity diffusion, or failed mutuality, than the positive cases of each. The writings of Eriksoncan be used to help expand Schutz's analysis of the musical situation into a general frameworkfor relating it to the everyday world. Schutz explicitly separated his own undertakingfrom that of transcendental phenomenology proper (i.e., from Husserl's project) and focused on the structures of social life exhibited within the natural attitude. The separation between the intentionalities of the transcendental ego and all psychologizing-a distinction which
17 Erikson himself tries to overcome this; see "Human Strength and the Cycle of Generations," in Insightand Responsibility (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., I964). 202

Growing Older Together Husserl vehemently maintained-would therefore not seem to extend to relating psychological materials to Schutz. Therefore, I would explicitly deny that Schutz is here to provide a "grounding" for Eriksonian thought in the philosophical sense in which Husserl hoped his own "transcendental egology" would be a grounding for the positive sciences, including psychology.18Nor will I resort to Schutz's own duality of "everyday world" and "social science" to explicate how Erikson's thought interrelates Freud's metapsychology with its "scientific" structure, with intuitions drawn from a variety of other "worlds"-as in the "Eight Ages of Man" essay with its Shakespearian base. One of the problems with Eriksonian thought is that it does presuppose a much greater reciprocity between everyday reality and "social science" than does psychology which leans toward mathematical models and exact formal structures.19Here, however, I intend only to show that his account of mutuality and identity is structurallysimilar to that of Schutz, and that Eriksonianformulations can often be expressedin Schutzian terminology. In order to tap the range of Erikson's work and influence, I will discuss his constructs as they arise within his general developmental schema, and then turn to an extremely concrete and fascinating study done by William Henry and John Sims, which aimed to test the coherence and validity of the Eriksonian construct of "identity diffusion" and thus of "identity" as its opposite. Focusing still further, I will examine a bit of data from this study-the Thematic Apperception Test record of one of the subjects-in order to encounter in the living imagination of the contemporary person those same interrelations of temporality, mutuality, and performance with which we were confronted in our initial passage from Eliade. A. TheLife Stagesand Temporality The best presentation of Erikson's "life stages" is found in the preand viously mentioned "Eight Ages of Man" chapter in Childhood he has on the various and Society.However, expanded analogies meanings implicit in the stages of development in at least two other essays: "Human Strength and the Cycle of Generations"and "Psycho18 Edmund Husserl, "Philosophy as a Rigorous Science," in Phenomenologyand the Crisis of Philosophy (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1965). 19 Erikson discusses such reciprocity, or so it seems, in his essay on Freud, "The First Psychoanalyst," in Insight and Responsibility.


The Journal of Religion logical Reality and Historical Actuality." Underlying all these writings is the belief that human existence can be viewed simultaneously as the development of an individual living through his life history and as a series of mutualities which unite men with each other, generation with generation, and man with cosmos. These mutualities form our "( actuality," the "world of participation, shared with other participants with a minimum of defensive maneuvering and a maximum of mutual activation."20 Each life stage is a mode of such activation, and several of the stages are explicitly based on the successful establishment of mutuality with others. However, the life stages of earliestchildhood are roughly derivedfrom Freud's celebrated progression of oral, anal, and phallic stages, and Erikson is very insistent on retaining the bodily, biological grounding for emotional development. But Erikson, focusing on mutuality, must account for the biological development and bodily orientation not only of the individual but of the partner in the mutuality of coparticipation. Freudian perspective, as we mentioned, gives the family a privileged place as the first locus of consciousness, experience, and relatedness. But Freud saw the family via the child's development, or rather, by means of the reconstructed childhood of adult neurotics. Erikson does not totally alter this view, but he does make a significant attempt to bring the parent's biologically based orientation into the picture. Thus, the baby is dependent, receptive, and "oral" in that mutuality is established through feeding, overcoming the anxieties of helplessness and establishing (one hopes) a sense of basic trust which remains with the individual throughout life.21 The mother is, however, a partner in a situation of mutual activation, and "biological motherhood needs at least three links with social experience: the mother's past experience of being mothered; a conception of motherhood shared with trustworthy contemporary surroundings; and an all-enveloping world-image tying past, present and future into a continuing pattern of providence."22 The establishment of a successful relationship with another is referred to in psychoanalytic terminology as "object love," and this crass-sounding expression contains an implicit recognition that links this first relationship of infancy with the first experience of an "object" insofar as the infant has "the ability to perceive the qualityof the thingworld. . . the experience of the care-taking enduring
20 Erikson, Insight and Responsibility, p. I65. 21 Erikson, Childhood andSociety,pp. 248-49. 22 Erikson, I Insight and Responsibility, p. 16.


Growing Older Together who reciprocatesone's physical and emotional being, person as a coherent needs in expectable ways and therefore deserves to be endowed with trust."23 As for Schutz, then, the we-relationship between living people becomes the ground for our experience of everydaynessinsofar as this is a question of taking for granted the stability of predictability of schemas and structureswithin this world. This original-for Erikson, chronologically prior in the life of the individual-form of verification is implicitly reactualized in all later mutuality, first within the family, then by means of various secondary settings within the culture. The special "secondary settings" in which the mutuality of earliest trust is reestablished and reconfirmed most explicitly are at the "stages" of identity, intimacy, and generativity. Growth for the Eriksonianperson is understoodin three interrelated but differing ways. a) The individual lives his own life history, "growing older" from trust in infancy through wisdom and integrity in old age. A failure to resolve the conflict of any stage is a disturbance in one's relationship to one's own future.24 b) The individual experiences an expanding series of mutualities, "growing older together" first in the mother-child relationship, then with peers, and finally through parenthood, to the establishment of mutuality with the next generation. The "world of successors" is for Erikson a world of one's own and other people's children. c) At each stage, the individual also recapitulates elements of his own past. For example, trust is reaffirmedin the identity stage, taking on the form of "loyalty" to a particular ideological structure or role which one has adopted for one's own. Unsolved conflicts of earlier stages reerupt and are reenacted in the world of the adolescent.25 Erikson'stheory of cultural institutions is that these provide not only role models but resources to overcome such remnants of childhood conflicts. The "childish" element in religion, its regressive focus on dependency and submissiveness,is seen by Erikson as an attempt to express universal, archaic modes of being at a communal and symbolic level, recapitulating and reaffirming the infantile attitude of trust. In such a reenactment, trust is maintained in relation to the wider structuresof community and cosmos, and the ambiguity of the original
24 In Childhood and Society (p. 67), he makes this point by comparing neurotic fixation to "a phonograph record with a faulty groove."

23 Ibid., p. 17.

25 Ibid., p. 26i.


The Journal of Religion trust relationship is overcome.26 However, in a case where earlier experience had failed to establish firm trust in others and the world, such a resolution through institutionalized reenactment, in a "secondary setting," would be precarious. Identity as a stage is more difficult to achieve in a society where the role models for adults, available to members of the society, are somehow inadequate or unsatisfactory in relation to inner need, or where there are just too many options at once. Erikson's most well-known writings deal with this problem, and many studies of contemporary youth are based on this notion of "identity" (Keniston's The Uncommittedis an excellent example). A positive failure to achieve identity, identity diffusion or "role confusion" is tied not only to vocational models but also to the possibility of being able to achieve lasting intimacy, for which one needs a sense of continuity, an assurance about being and remaining oneself. It is important to mention that the reasons for not being able to cement one's identity are to be sought in the individual's life experiences as a child, as well as conditioning cultural factors. This is a different position from that of Allen Wheelis, who in The Quest for Identity seems to ascribe a direct causal relation between factors such as rapid social change and a breakdown in identity. Actually, Wheelis's definition of "identity" is quite different from Erikson's, for it relies much more heavily on the Freudian construct of the super ego as the "mainstay" of identity and sociality.27 However, I mention Wheelis here because his principle argument is that psychoanalysis Freud's method has no power to "cure" identity diffusion-since offers no superego supports and "could uncover an identity provided such were hidden, but cannot create one that is lacking."28 Oddly enough, many of Wheelis's patients, on whom he based this unhappy conclusion, belonged to the same subgroup from which the Henry and Sims study originated, a group of people for whom failure to achieve identity took on a special sense: professional actors.

B. "Identity Difusion" andDistrustof Time: TheStudyof Actors

The Eriksonian concept of "identity" is one point in which mutuality, performance, and temporal ordering all play an extremely central part. In order to illustrate exactly how Erikson's thought can shed light on the relations between these three themes, we can look at the
26 Ibid., p. 250. 27 Alien Wheelis, The Questfor Identity (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., I95 8), p. 99. 28 Ibid., p. 73.


Growing Older Together study conducted by Henry and Sims, and reported briefly in TransAction(September I970) as "Actors' Search for Self." We can see how for one group of people, problems with identity also presupposed problems with time and mutuality which became actualized in terms of performance. In this study by Henry and Sims, Erikson's concept of "identity diffusion" is investigated in terms of its coherence and validity. Because of the peculiarly negative focus of psychoanalytic thought, it was much easier to investigate diffusion than successfully completed identity formation, since one can ask the question, "What group of people seem to have a persisting problem with 'identity'?" and then proceed to use this group as subjectsfor a study of unresolved conflict at this developmental level. The success of this method does not depend on comparing a sample with a control group, but only on isolating a sample and determining its characteristics in regard to some particular problem. Other people can have problems relating to identity (college students, hospitalized psychiatric patients), but, as we recall, Eriksonian identity is closely tied to vocational choice, and actors embody this facet of the construct particularly clearly. Moreover, the advantage of using a nonhospitalized population is that one presupposes a certain degree of social adaptation in spite of identity failure. The subjects of the "identity" study all aimed at becoming "professionals," and no matter what their other problems were, their ability to work at their acting remained unimpaired.29 The main features of "identity diffusion" prominently include a lack of intimacy and "time diffusion." Since identity presupposes a firm ability for mutuality and reciprocity, the lack of identity implies an inability to "grow older together" in the Eriksonian sense of engaging in a successful pattern of mutual activation. Since sexual role is one very important aspect of identity, the correspondingform of sexuality in the case of "failed identity" is either isolation or "frenetic and unsatisfactoryattempts at intimacy with inappropriatepartners."30 "Time diffusion" is described as follows: "The inability to maintain
29 For this very reason, many of the cases described by existential psychologists such as Binswanger and Eugene Minkowski seem to be curiously deficient in all attempts to deal with the subjects' sociality. None of Minkowski's patients described in Lived Time (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, I970) was working when he confronted them, and the majority were hospitalized. I mention this only to suggest that the present discussion of temporality might conceivably be understood in relation to work such as Minkowski's. 30 William Henry and John Sims, "Actors' Search for a Self," Trans-Action (Sep-

tember 1970), p. 60.


The Journal of Religion perspective and expectancy; a distrust of waiting, hoping, planning, of one's relationship to the future; a disregardfor time as a dimension for organizing one's life."31 Why should this be an important and fundamental characteristic of the behavior of the identity-diffused person? Eriksoniantemporality is based on mutuality between persons as the foundation of all "objectified" continuities and stabilities; within the earliest trust is an implicit futurity, and with each successful conflict stage resolved, the past is recreated and reinterpreted. In Schutzian language, "growing older together" (in the original experience of mutuality) is the living experience out of which all "objectified" continuities and stabilities in clock time begin. To live comfortably within even the clock time of the everyday world, one needs to have developed the ability to share inner time with another. The reported results of the Henry and Sims study do indeed show that actors and actressesshare a coherent set of measurablecharacteristics corresponding to Erikson'snotion of identity diffusion, with the possible exception of "industry diffusion" (if anything, their industry was overconcentrated in relation to their demanding and difficult careers). "Actors are people whose early lives have been marked by disjunctive experiences ... leaving each of [them] with the sense of a quest in search for the one life style appropriateto them. We think that the role experimentation so begun and subsequently institutionalized in acting, becomes the modus vivendi that has meaning for them." 32 It is this "institutionalization" which allows the performancelives of the actors to complete their existences in the everyday world. For actors, there is even evidence that the very process of rehearsal and performance seems to lower the level of identity diffusion, as they "settle into their roles" over a period of a few weeks.33 In order to further concretize the relationships between mutuality and time diffusion, and tie them to a notion of performance,I wish to turn to a bit of data from the Henry and Sims study, the Thematic ApperceptionTest protocol of one of the subjects.The TAT, a standard instrument for psychological research, is usually described as a "projective technique" and a test of "fantasy."34 It consists of a standard
32 Ibid., p. 62. 33 Ibid.

31 Ibid., p. 6o.

34 The TAT was developed by Henry Murray and associates, doing research on "normal" personalities at the Harvard Psychological Clinic. Its uses, and the system for administration and scoring, are described in Murray's ThematicApperception Test Manual (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, I943).


Growing Older Together set of pictures, to each of which the subject is asked to tell a story. Now, a story implies something more than a description, and very often the tester will prod the subject with such questions as "What's happening in the picture?" or "How will it all turn out?" The implication is that in order to tell a story one must be able to construct an imaginative sequence in which a "now" portrayed in the picture is meaningfully related to both a past and a future. "Time diffusion" can be seen when the response does not take the form of a "story," or when the storyteller shows confusion in relating past, present, and future in the context of meaningful action which he is describing. Since the test situation itself presupposes a face-to-face relation between administrator and subject, and since many of the TAT pictures are specifically designed to elicit responses centering on interpersonal relations, one may say that a sort of mutuality is equally built into the TAT. The professional actress whose record we will examine illustrated a variety of such interpersonal stories, as well as a fascinating example of "time diffusion" and a large sample of references to performance. It should be mentioned that she was judged to be one of the more extreme cases of "identity diffusion" within the sample. Here is one of her stories (told to a picture which is usually seen as a father-son dialogue); we see the "face-to-face" element of all mutuality literalized so that the theme of distrust is expressed by interpreting one character as concretely " two-faced." The opening remark is presumably addressed to the tester, although it seems to blend naturally into the context of the story she tells. What a sour look on your face. This is a father and son. The son has had all sorts of current disappointments and setbacks, and is a little bitter about it. And the father is trying ostensibly on the surface to comfort the son, telling him not to worry, it happens to everybody; on the other hand, he's gloating over the fact that the son is having it so easy. On this side of his face (the right-hand side, as you look at the picture) he's supporting. And on this side, he's saying, "Oh, you thought it was so easy. I had to work for a living and it wasn't so easy." Now for a resolution to this I don't know what to say is going to happen. Well, the boy will go on struggling, realizing that he cannot find the kind of understanding from his father that he had hoped for, and the father will from a distance watch his son's life and career going from this point with an ambivalent feeling of rooting for him on the one hand and being grateful for his failures on the other. [Card 7BM] Such a we-relationship as she depicts is disturbed in its very face-tofaceness, in that an attunement to such a two-faced other would not

The Journal of Religion constitute a shared experience in which meaning could be created. In this case, the "missed mutuality" is thoroughly in keeping with the fascination of actors with "the problems of using oneself as the artistic medium" 35 and a preoccupation with gesture and facial expression. The element of missed mutuality pervades her stories to pictures which portray explicitly heterosexual scenes. Since sexual intimacy is an area of conflict for those high in identity diffusion, the stories our subject tells are especially revealing. Two are described by her as "actors doing a scene"-that is as a performance. In one case, the participants are described as uninterestedin the scene they're rehearsing, who "got into the movies by selling their outside." Their off-stage lives are described as meaningless and filled with instability.36 A card portraying a man and a woman embracing, identified by her as a scene from a play, elicits the following: "In spite of my suspicions about all that went around this moment-have the feeling of mutual comfort in this scene." She then switches to considering it as an actual moment in lived time, and the couple become a husband and wife, who have "been married forever, and have had all sorts of difficulties, but this is a moment of temporary reconciliation and comfort. And in the future they will go on having conflicts but every once in a while they'll come back to this moment. And their ability to do this will keep them together. But he'll always be the difficult one" (card o). This last story expresses perhaps the most positive view of interpersonal relations in the entire set. The central characters of her other stories become homosexual, contemplate suicide, and "die very lonely and withdrawn." In the "happy couple" story, it is the "moment" portrayed in the picture which makes their marriage bearable, and their happiness is said to depend on their capacity to return to it. What is the relationshipfor the subject between this "moment" and the temporal structure of her existence? The "moment" appears
Henry and Sims, p. 59. This story is told to Card 4, described in Murray's Manual as: "A woman is clutching the shoulders of a man whose face and body are averted as if he were trying to pull away from her." The complete story given by our subject goes: " There's Linda Darnell. Reminds me of a movie I saw called 'Pinkie.' Just reminds me of a movie. These are movie actors doing a scene. They make their career on their looks and they don't give themselves credit for the great human beings that they are. So they get into the movies by selling their outside. They're not terribly interested in the scene they're doing now, and later on in their careers they're going to be very unhappy. After many husbands she will try to kill herself. After many wives he will take to drinking, if he isn't already drinking."
35 36

Growing Older Together much more dramatically in still another story, told to a picture of a little boy looking at a violin. This picture reminds me of the story of Yehudi Menuhin. He was a child prodigy, and then when he grew up he had to find out how to play technically what he had just played instinctively as a child. So, the story I would tellThis is a child prodigy and the violin. This catches him in a moment before he knows what's going to happen in the way of the difficulty, but there's that kind of-sometimes you see the whole of life, your own and everyone else's in a moment and he's dimly aware of what's to come, but not very conscious here, just kind of vague, he sees the mystery of it all. And he'll grow up to be Yehudi Menuhin and will have to struggle to learn how to do it all over again. [Card I] Here we can speak of temporal diffusion on several levels. Most obviously, the "plot" is contained in the first two sentences, and repeated without elaboration later on. But far more powerful is the temporality of Yehudi Menuhin's life, as the storyteller understands it. Instead of a meaningful Eriksonian progression from childhood through identity to the completion of the life history, the adulthood of the hero is pictured as a painful repetition of childhood activity. He must "struggle to learn how to do it all over again" rather than doing anything new. Performance is a repetitious effort, an unending attempt to recreate a childhood which is never overcome; Menuhin, like the storyteller herself, is stuck on the "identity treadmill" and does not "grow older" in the Eriksonian sense. It would be interesting to consider Yehudi Menuhin as an actor's archetype, a figure whose history became mythicized for this group of people (according to Henry, this is why he appears so frequently in actors' fantasies in just this way). So far, much of what we have seen in this woman's fantasies is directly "translatable" into the Schutzian categories of temporality, mutuality, and performance. Such a translation becomes feasible when one agrees that the actors' performance is, like the musician's, the step-by-step participation in an unfolding polythetic structure of meaning. The meaning structures involved in acting and rehearsing are not subject to the process of objectification and typification, any more than a musical theme could be summarized and grasped monothetically. However, like a musical work, a script is also a product, and therefore can be viewed (from the outside) as an objectification in spatialized time, although the temporality in which the performance occurs must be that of the duree,the lived present.

The Journal of Religion However, musical performance involved "growing older together" as a relationship between beholder and composer, and among the beholders. Since it is impossible for the actors in their off-stage lives to achieve the kind of trust and intimacy necessary for real " mutuality," the Schutzian "shared time" on stage becomes a kind of substitute, and, as in the TAT story, heterosexual mutuality is transformed into "two actors doing a scene." Unfortunately, the performance situation, when used in this way, is in itself not capable of altering the overall impression of fakeness and futility, and no lasting mutuality is transferred from the stage scene to the rest of life. As for "distrust of time," its origin lies in the disturbance of the basic forms of mutuality, the grounding of the we-relationship understood as a "growing older together." The inability to use clock time as a field of planning is a derivative of this missed mutuality in the mode of the duree,just as the performance situation becomes an attempt to recapture the shaped dureethrough we-relationships on stage. In the Yehudi Menuhin story, we find two temporal modes in sharpest contrast which do not seem to correspond to the Schutzian duree or to the clock time of the world of typifications. Virtually all duration is set aside in the "moment" in which both past and present become transparent, and the subject senses "the mystery of it all." This comes much closer to the specifically Eliadian transcendence of "the terror of history" (which expresses an understanding of duration as a realm of meaningless suffering) through the moment of the Eternal Present in which all profane time is abolished.37 For both Eliade and the actress, even the Schutzian "growing older together" in shared simultaneity appears to collapse.

How can our understandings of temporality, mutuality, and the polythetical meaning construction which I have called "performance" be related to Eliade's analysis of the modern situation ? In order to do this, I believe that one must admit along with Schutz, that any "performance" is a step-by-step unfolding, an event in shared time. This means that there is no way to talk of an action of this sort occurring completely atemporally, and although the phenomenological method might demand that one place objectified spatialized time "in brackets," one is still forced to accept the duree, the internal time-consciousness,
37 Mircea Eliade, Cosmosand History (New York: Harper & Row, I959), 212 p. I5I.

Growing Older Together as indubitable.38 In short, a Schutzian perspective would insist that Eliade is simply not being phenomenologically correct if he refuses to acknowledge that even "sacred time" involves some form of duration. Eliade himself has taken one step in this direction in his essay "Two Types of Primordiality"39 but not for the reasons we suggest are necessary. It is not relevant here to discuss or attempt to guess what the exact relation between phenomenologyof religion and philosophical phenomenology is, but it can be assumed that Eliade's terminology is at this point not under the direct influence of the latter movement. One could then imagine the possibility of taking Eliade's writings as Schutz took Weber's, and giving them a systematic phenomenological grounding. The Henry and Sims study seems to offer a view of "identity diffusion "which could lead to a specification of "identity" entailing other patterns of temporal structuring and uses of performance. However, one could question the negative focus of Erikson'stheory, and plausibly allow that actors-instead of being identity "failures"-have managed to construct identities bypassing both the Eriksonian model and the "superego" types of identity recognized by Wheelis. Through their expensive use of performance structures, actors have epitomized a notion of identity as a precarious process, rather than a stable given. If this is a more appropriateformulation, one may hazard a guess as to why these same people are now such central figures in American self-consciousness,and no longer a despised class (this assumes that the psychosocial gratifications of professional acting have remained relatively constant). As older, more "superego-based" identities are no longer feasible, modern people have become, for better or worse, more open to a view of identity as a project which might continue almost indefinitely, and of which actors are perhaps only an extreme example. Certainly this view allows one to see what is obvious from
any issue of True Screen Romances-namely, that the actor's "search

for self" is the focus of widespread interest. According to this view of identity, which is what psychologists such as Lifton and Rieff40 have proposed, our own use of "entertainment" (institutionalized performance) may be more similar to that of archaic societies than Eliade
40 Lifton's "Protean Style" is explicated in "Woman as Knower: Some Psychohistorical Perspectives," in The Womanin America(Boston: Beacon Press, I967). Rieff's "psychological man" appears at the end of Freud: The Mind of the Moralists (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., I96I).

39 Mircea Eliade, The Quest(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, I969).

38 Husserl, Cartesian Meditations, p. 28.


The Journal of Religion (for one) has realized. For him, as for many thinkers, the tendency of archaic societies to consider everysignificant action as a pattern of performance has led to the belief that in such actions the real "identities" of the participants are expressed. The corollary assumption has been that for us things are different. In actual fact, most psychologists involved in anthropological research have been impressed by the wide variety of personality patterns and individual identities in even the most traditional societies. Moreover, although both play and fantasy have become important constructs for psychology, their institutionalization as "entertainment" has rarely attracted the student of religion except as examples of "secularization." One could imagine an analysis of the religious meanings of the relations among the script writer as provider of stage identity, the actor as performer, and the audience as cobeholders, without necessarily resorting to various notions such as "degeneration" or "secularization." Finally, it would appear that both Schutz and Erikson not only assume but stress that contemporary people know another kind of time, other than time spatialized and objectified (clock time, Eliade's profane time). Nor does Eliade himself deny this when it suits him: "Man is also aware of several temporal rhythms, and not only of historical time. He has only to listen to good music, to fall in love, or to pray, and he is out of the historical present, he reenters the eternal present of love and of religion. Even to open a novel, or to attend a dramatic performance, may be enough to transport a man into another rhythm of time-what might call "condensed time"which is anyhow not historical time."41 What all three seem to assume is that only a non-ordinary couldpossiblyhavereligious form of temporality Schutz's of meaning,although analysis performance leaves open the possibility that anynonspatialized, non-objectifiabletemporality which might become the occasion for such a performance situation might have such meaning. It is these assumptionswhich seem, paradoxically, to be themselves products of a peculiarly twentieth-centuryexperience with time, and perhaps with the social world itself. This experience involves not only a dichotomy between the standard time of the everyday world, and the "inner" time of the we-relationship, but also the precarious attempt to overcome the general domination over the latter by clock time, and the world of the "they" over the simultaneity
of the "we-relationship." But Erikson and Schutz rescue the "we-

relationship" by showing its primordiality over objectified "reality."

41 Eliade, Imagesand Symbols, p. 33. 214

Growing Older Together The actress, in her TAT stories, uses a "moment" of inner reality to transcend the ordinary world of relatively meaningless and unhappy occurrences. The curious split between inner dureeand spatialized temporality has taken many forms-for example, science fiction stories of time travel-but even writers as diverse as those we have discussed seem to share it, as well as an intensified emphasis on the and the we-relationships.Could this be an attempt recovery of the duree to insure that "growing older together" in non-everyday performance remains a permanent human possibility, available to contemporaries as well as to archaic man, who became truly himself in shared temporality with his gods and heroes? Perhaps "religion" should not be "located" in a particular style of temporal ordering-the return to illo tempore-or even within a non-everyday temporality apart from spatialized standardtime, but ratherdefined in part by how a particular culture experiences time, how it attempts to encompass even two extremely dichotomized forms of temporal ordering into a meaningful social world which human beings have not only constructed but within which they must continue to live.