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Perspective Group

This group consists of the areas that affect our perspective on and relating to life (cognitively as well as affectively):

  • Relating to death is the root area of the group. Many scholars point out that our perspective on life depends on the way we relate to death (in other words, on the extent to which awareness of our own mortality plays a part). This area also covers loss and grief, but the sense of loss that has causes other than death (such as the break-up of a relationship, for example) is considered within other areas: Attachment, Coping, and Relationship dynamic.
  • Importance: what is important for us depends on, and at the same time affects, our perspective. Importance is largely based on the way we construct our experience and therefore it has a strong cognitive component.
  • Attachment is the area that refers to our subjective sense of connectedness with something or somebody. Attachment is in many ways similar to importance, but it is based more on feelings than evaluation, so it is a counterpart and also complements the above area.
  • Resilience is about our responses to undesirable experiences. Resilience is included here because it depends on one’s perspective and is strongly affected by the other areas in this group. It is inversely proportional to a level of attachment and importance given to such experiences (e.g. pain is easier to tolerate if its importance is reduced). Relating to death can have perhaps indirect but still significant effects (e.g. small annoyances pale in significance in the face of death).

All these areas belong to the internal domain. Relating to death is in this domain because knowing that we will one day die is not based on personal experience but is extrapolated, and relating to death is based on internal processes. Importance and Attachment are both about internal processes (importance is not in things, we ascribe it to them). Resilience too is considered to be largely about our state of mind. The whole group, of course, also belong to the existence mode, as do all other groups in this category.