This article describes Eleanor Roosevelt's discipline of inner life. An earlier study (Piechowski & Tyska, 1982) showed that Eleanor Roosevelt met all the criteria of self-actualization as given by Maslow. Maslow labeled her a “doer” rather than a ”seer” or a visionary. But she was an inspired person, “a woman with a deep sense of spiritual mission” (Lash, 1971) and, as such, much more a “seer” than Maslow gave her credit. Christ was her inner ideal. Her methods of inner work are described in the sections on the courage to know oneself, coping with inner conflict and emotional pain, self-discipline, and the inner ideal. Her inner growth is briefly analyzed in terms of Dabrowski's theory of emotional development-a theory particularly well equipped toward understanding lives engaged in the process of inner psychic transformation.

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Author: Piechowski