productivity; orientation, productive

The productive orientation of personality refers to a fundamental attitude, a mode of relatedness in all realms of human experience. It covers physical, mental, emotional, and sensory responses to others, to oneself, and to things. Productiveness is man’s ability to use his powers and to realize the potentialities inherent in him. Saying he uses his powers implies that he must be free and not dependent on someone who controls his powers. It implies, furthermore, that he is guided by reason, since he can make use of his powers only if he knows what they are, how to use them, and what to use them for. Productiveness means that he experiences himself as the embodiment of his powers and as the „actor“; that he feels himself as the subject of his powers, that he is not alienated from his powers, i.e., that they are not masked from him and transferred to an idolized object, person, or institution. Another way of describing productiveness (…) is to say that the productive person animates that which he touches. ― (1970b [with Michael Maccoby]: Social Character in a Mexican Village. A Sociopsychoanalytic Study, Englewood Cliffs (Prentice Hall) 1970, pp. 71f.)

The full unfolding of biophilia is to be found in the productive orientation. The person who fully loves life is attracted by the process of life and growth in all spheres. He prefers to construct rather than to retain. He is capable of wondering, and he prefers to see something new to the security of finding confirmation of the old. He loves the adventure of living more than he does certainty. His approach to life is functional rather than mechanical. He sees the whole rather than only the parts, structures rather than summations. He wants to mold and to influence by love, reason, by his example; not by force, by cutting things apart, by the bureaucratic manner of administering people as if they were things. He enjoys life and all its manifestations rather than mere excitement. ― (1964a: The Heart of Man. Its Genius for Good and Evil, New York (Harper and Row) 1964, pp. 46f.)